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Thread: First Visit Advice

  1. #26

    We're working around my wife's work schedule and trying to avoid hot/high humidity weather. I thought spring breaks were usually late March and April? My wife is concerned that if we book and buy tickets other than directly from Disney we are going to give up perks. She's afraid we're not going to be able to use Magic band and pre-book fast passes and dining. Looks to me that you just have to register your tickets on "My Disney Experience" and you still get to do all that. Any information on that?

    There are no perfect men in this world-Only perfect intentions

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  3. #27
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    That's it! It really does work that simply, our usual way of going about things is to rent points (if points to our preferred resort are not available we book room thru disney) and purchase our tickets thru undercover tourist. Everything ties neatly together under our account and we are able to book both Magical Express and fantasies. Oh and ADRs as well.
    Disclaimer: I was a travel agent for a while pre 9-11, and I've made several trips to -
    Roughly yearly - WDW in past 17 years so I've got a fairly confident take on my way of going about things. That being said I still do occasionally book thru WDW and I fully recommend it for first timers if they like the piece of mind and peace of mind that it brings them. No sense fretting over it. You are spending g a LOT of money on your trip, you should book it how it feels right for you.


  4. #28

    I also have done both-bought from UT and direct with a package. UT is great, no issues at all but I have not returned them either. Since magic bands have come out I have liked the simplicity of booking a package and there is nothing I have had to do. Picked our bands, fast passes and done. For me, it was worth the extra $.
    I have not been at that time of year so I'm sorry I don't have any feedback. Enjoy your planning!

    Michelle
    offsite '86, ASMo '01, POR '02, CBR '05, POR '08, POR '10, BCV '10, Pop '11, BC '14, POR '16, FQ '17

  5. #29

    First Visit Advice

    Hello. UK visitor here but I have also done a couple of shorter 9 night trips. I strongly advise you stay onsite at Universal for your days there. I am not a massive Universal fan but my children love it so we go there some trips. If you stay one night in a Universal deluxe hotel you gain front of line passes for your check in and check out day so even a one night stay affords you two days FOL passes. So two nights you’d get 3 days of FOL passes. And early entry. That makes Universal super easy to tour and they have recently added the Harry Potter rides to their FOL attractions too. You will need a park to park pass to ride the Hogwarts train if that matters to you. The water rides don’t make you damp they drown you. Plan them into one soggy session. Or for December just avoid. That would be a shame though as they are some of the best Universal rides. It’s them. Harry P and lots of 3D stuff. Sort of anyway.

    For Disney I’ve done 10 onsite stays and 1 off site stay so you can see my preference there. I’m too chicken to drive in the US though what with the whole wrong side of the road and automatic gears stuff going on.... I think MK and Epcot need two days each and AK needs a long morning and long evening with use of FPP now they have the Pandora area. DHS currently needs only a day as it is a shell of a park for the moment at least. If I were you I’d do 2 nights at Universal to include arrival night as the Universal FOL pass means you can get a lot done on arrival day if you get to your hotel by tea time. I’d then move onto Disney for 7 nights. If we are flush the Beach Club is my family’s favourite Resort as you can walk to Epcot and DHS. My personal favourite Resort is AKL but it’s not close to much but AK. My favourite moderate Resort by a long mile is POR. Caribbean Beach is currently a building site and for me I’d not revisit even if it wasn’t. That’s just personal choice though. I can’t comment on the value resorts as we have not stayed at them. Finally. I recommend reading the Unofficial Guide to WDW then exploring their website at touringplans.com

     

    If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)

  6. #30
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    foresthill Ca

    Seriously drench you. Scooby is not exaggerating the water rides at Universal. We did both parks in one day hopping.
    We did both WDW waterparks in one day as well. 5 WDW days, one at each park, and the last day we hit 3 parks.


  7. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    Seriously drench you. Scooby is not exaggerating the water rides at Universal. We did both parks in one day hopping.
    We did both WDW waterparks in one day as well. 5 WDW days, one at each park, and the last day we hit 3 parks.
    +1 on the drenching at Universal Islands of Adventure. Those drying booths are there for a reason (and likely very profitable!).

    I did Jurassic Park and Bilge-Rat Barges and decided to skip Dudley Do-Right because I was soaked enough. I don't normally use a poncho on rides, but I highly recommend it for JP. The drop basically caused a WALL of water to hit the ride vehicle. Bilge-Rat Barges I recall being a bit like Kali River Rapids, but more frequent areas where you get soaked. DO NOT even consider taking a backpack, purse, etc with you if you do not want it saturated. I seem to recall I used the locker in JP and managed to do BRB under the same time frame that the locker would not expire (I had purchased "Universal Express" (Front of Line) to have shorter lines for my single day of hopping). If you do decide to do all 3, they are relatively close to one another, at least. So you don't have to trek across the park for a thorough soaking.

    While I've not done it, scoobydooby makes good points about considering an on-site stay at Universal as well. It's also a good tip that the two "e ticket" Harry Potter rides are now part of the Front of Line program. When they were newer, they were not, so you had to wait on the traditional line for those 2 even if you did buy the Front of Line pass.
    -Dave

  8. #32

    We have Jurassic Park here in CA as well, so that isn't something we's do or any other get soaked rides for that matter. We really are mostly wanting to ride the Hogwarts Express and see Diagon Alley for the most part. I'm thinking 1 day might be enough, and I think you can add the front of line pass anyway. 2 day passes don't cost a great deal more however, so we may purchase those just in case we want to return a second day. We really don't want to be switching hotels back and forth. Uber prices are around $20-$25 each way from what I've read. Has anybody purchased the Disney Dining Plans? Are they worth it, or is it best to wing it? Looks like you can now include an adult beverage for 2018.

    There are no perfect men in this world-Only perfect intentions

  9. #33
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    foresthill Ca

    Their JP was not as good. We did both Dudley Do Right and Popeye's, man were we wet!
    Kong opened just before we went. It is different, but the same as the section of the tram at USH.
    We are not HP people, we rode the dueling dragons and then took the train to the other park. We rode most things in IA, um the drop ride was down, but I think we hit everything else, except Kong it was down, before we hopped, the Sinbad show was...disappointing. We rode/watched several things but skipped others at US, walked back and rode Kong and then hopped back again since our youngest wanted to ride their Mummy, it was different good. The girls and I rode Transformers, exactly the same, even the line. And then caught some anniversary show in the middle on the water before the park was closed. The show may have been at close like WOC. We were satisfied, but if we had had a second day that would have been just as good. Several things I would have liked a second shot at, and a little more time for details. We only ate lunch in the park. Jurassic cafe, or whatever theirs is called.
    Oh and they provide lockers for rides and wand you at several to make sure you have nothing in your pockets. Hulk and Men in Black come to mind.
    For reference, we like 2 park days for USH, mainly to be able to hit our favorites more than once in the off season. We also hop back and forth at DL and like 5 park days, with partials on arrival/departure when we have APs.


  10. #34

    Well-We took the plunge! Booked everything online through Walt Disney World Travel. 9 nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort, 6 day hopper passes, and the dining package, plus round trip flights. We just have to buy the Universal tickets-Either 1 or 2 days.

    There are no perfect men in this world-Only perfect intentions

  11. #35
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    You will not regret upgrading tickets to hoppers. Enjoy your trip, making your ADR's & fast pass selections!

    "The way in which this nation's unctuous elements tend to trickle down as if Florida were the grease trap under America's George Foreman Grill..."
    -Craig Pittman
    Oh, Florida!

  12. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyGoofyGuy View Post
    Well-We took the plunge! Booked everything online through Walt Disney World Travel. 9 nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort, 6 day hopper passes, and the dining package, plus round trip flights. We just have to buy the Universal tickets-Either 1 or 2 days.
    Congrats!

    Not that it won't still be OK, but you did read about the construction before you decided on Caribbean Beach, right? There is a lot going on right now. Just something to be aware of.
    -Dave

  13. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by ericles View Post
    You will not regret upgrading tickets to hoppers. Enjoy your trip, making your ADR's & fast pass selections!
    Hoppers are the only way to go.

  14. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyGoofyGuy View Post
    Well-We took the plunge! Booked everything online through Walt Disney World Travel. 9 nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort, 6 day hopper passes, and the dining package, plus round trip flights. We just have to buy the Universal tickets-Either 1 or 2 days.
    Oh, that's gonna be so much fun! Might be worth it if you do one day at universal to get a car out to Cape Canaveral and do the tour at Kennedy Space Center.

  15. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    Congrats!

    Not that it won't still be OK, but you did read about the construction before you decided on Caribbean Beach, right? There is a lot going on right now. Just something to be aware of.
    Thanks! We saw a few resorts had that warning. We're hoping by March things might be farther along, but who knows. Anyway, it was the next price point up from the value resorts that only offered 2 double bed rooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickjandrews View Post
    Hoppers are the only way to go.
    At first we didn't think it was something easy to do, but everything we read said otherwise and it wasn't a huge amount of $ more.

    Quote Originally Posted by nickjandrews View Post
    Oh, that's gonna be so much fun! Might be worth it if you do one day at universal to get a car out to Cape Canaveral and do the tour at Kennedy Space Center.
    We're excited! We've been talking about going there for many years and just never made it happen. That's a great suggestion on the Kennedy Space Center-We'll have to check into that.
    There are no perfect men in this world-Only perfect intentions

  16. #40

    Anybody ever done the "Disney After Dark" event? Only 4 hours and with tax 2 tickets for non AP holders is a bit over $250, so I'm not sure that would be worth it.

    There are no perfect men in this world-Only perfect intentions

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