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  #11  
Old 01-26-2012, 02:32 PM
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Most of the planning experience is gong to be your own personal preferences . We had park hopper passes but never hopped parks. Some use them religiously. That was money we could have spent elsewhere.

fuscofamily5 had terrible experiences with transportation throughout the parks and hotels. We on the other hand never had a single issue (knock on wood). I think another issue would be how comfortable you are driving in new areas. Some can handle it better than others, it is too stressful for us to pick up and return rental cars and try to find our way around. The transportation issue is something you will find debated on most forum boards. I think it has it's pros and cons.

If you decide on using the Disney Dining Plan and do not end up using all your snacks, a good tip is to stock up on at the end of the trip and use them for munchies on the airplane. A lot of times you can even get the dining plan free with your package booking through Disney. We have have twice now and that helps with the cost factor. If you are light eaters, I would forgo the plan unless it is included.

Something we like to do is bring ponchos with us. We pick a few up from the dollar store and when a sudden Florida downpour hits, we throw them on. This is also one of the best times to hit the major rides as a lot of others will wait til the rain stops. If your wearing flip flops or sandals, you needn't worry about soaking your sock and shoes either.

Fast Passes will come in handy as well. Some of the rides have very long wait times. Soarin' at Epcot is one that seems to be a family favorite and the fast pass will cut your wait in line by about 2/3.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2012, 06:13 PM
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fuscofamily5 fuscofamily5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Host Young Gang Mom View Post
fuscofamily5 had terrible experiences with transportation throughout the parks and hotels. We on the other hand never had a single issue (knock on wood). I think another issue would be how comfortable you are driving in new areas. Some can handle it better than others, it is too stressful for us to pick up and return rental cars and try to find our way around. The transportation issue is something you will find debated on most forum boards. I think it has it's pros and cons.
I want to clarify my "terrible experiences" a bit...

We've done Disney about 6-7 times with our children. Once off property so we drove everywhere, and once we drove and stayed on property and had a mix of Disney transport and self-driving, and several times we've flown and used Disney transport almost exclusively, so I'm not making a recommendation based upon a single experience here.

If you are patient and not trying to see as much as possible in a short period of time (as it seems your family is planning to do) then using Disney transportation is quite adequate. They run on time, they go everywhere you need to go and it's free/included.

That said, depending upon where you're staying and where you want to go you can expect to spend quite a lot of time sitting/waiting/riding on those buses and boats compared to driving yourself--and I'm talking about the equivalent of a day depending upon your needs. Indeed, going from one hotel to another can take over an hour each way at times when driving directly will take you 10-15 minutes. How much is that saved 60-90 minutes worth to you for a round trip? If you're eating in the parks and not visiting the other hotel/resorts the buses are pretty efficient and more direct and the saved hassle of parking and driving is probably worth it.

For us...we'll almost certainly provide our own transportation in the future, at least for going out to eat as we enjoy trying the better restaurants at the other resorts and having the option of going off-property to buy groceries and eat.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2012, 06:53 PM
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I would like to mention that there is a grocer that will deliver to your resort, for a nominal fee of course. We usually have them come and bring a good supply of drinks and morning snacks so we can hit the parks in the morning without our stomachs grumbling.

Last edited by Host Young Gang Mom; 01-26-2012 at 06:54 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:12 PM
Audrey'smom Audrey'smom is offline
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Thanks..all info was very helpful! Im definately going to get the "unofficial" vac guide! I think i may have seen it at Barnes and Noble the last time I was there! Thanks much!
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2012, 02:11 PM
Host Lisa Host Lisa is offline
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You have already received quite a bit of good advice here, however, I'll just add another comment to the parking/transportation info. We recently returned from our 6th visit to Disney World. The first 5 times we stayed at Disney hotels but opted to rent a car and stay at a condo/suites style hotel in Lake Buena Vista this time. I was worried about it but it worked out very well. We rented our car at the airport and had no difficulty at all driving to Lake Buena Vista. We drove and parked at each of the parks and found the parking lots to be extremely well organized. We also drove to Downtown Disney and to Universal Studios without any problems.

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  #16  
Old 01-27-2012, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Host Lisa View Post
You have already received quite a bit of good advice here, however, I'll just add another comment to the parking/transportation info. We recently returned from our 6th visit to Disney World. The first 5 times we stayed at Disney hotels but opted to rent a car and stay at a condo/suites style hotel in Lake Buena Vista this time. I was worried about it but it worked out very well. We rented our car at the airport and had no difficulty at all driving to Lake Buena Vista. We drove and parked at each of the parks and found the parking lots to be extremely well organized. We also drove to Downtown Disney and to Universal Studios without any problems.

Lisa
If you drive, do you need to pay for parking at each location? Also, were the walks to and from you car lengthy or a about the same as the bus drop off? Just in case we ever dare to be wild and rent one visit.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:22 AM
Host Lisa Host Lisa is offline
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You need to pay for parking at the Disney parking lots but not at Downtown Disney. If I remember correctly it was $14 a day for parking and the ticket could be used the same day at other parks. There wasn't much walking required arriving first thing in the morning as we did. You only have to walk to the end of the row of parking and there are trams that pick up passengers and drive them either to the park entrance or, in the case of Magic Kingdom, to the Ticket and Transportation Centre to get the ferry or the monorail.

We used valet parking at Universal Studios which is an extra, however, we had heard that the actual parking lot was FAR away.

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  #18  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the information, I budget diligently, so this will be of help if we ever go that route.
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  #19  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:28 PM
Macy2 Macy2 is offline
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If you stay at a Disney resort, you don't have to pay for parking at the parks. Just display the parking pass you are given at check-in.
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:15 PM
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Thank you Macy2!
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