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Discussion Starter #1
It's been in the works for a while, until 9/11 made some dents in our plans. :(

But life goes on, and so does timeshare :) So, we are off to Orlando in a few months.

I have a few convenience/money saving questions for you, guys, as well as any suggestions on how to keep a 4-year-old "occupied".

I will be staying in a hotel by SeaWorld.

1. Do I need to rent a car? Can I use shuttles and/or cabs? How expensive are the latter? Does parking at the parks cost any money?

2. Any money-saving tips? Do they honor AAA there? How about Acura TLC? Any savings off MSRP? :) Any knowledge of any "package deals"? (I've studied their Web sites already)

3. Any particular attractions/places to must-see (again, with 4-year-old a main "sight-seeer") as well as any "tourist traps" to avoid.

Any other insights will also be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance.
 

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Last time we went was when we were still living in Queens, but some of the basics still apply.

1) Transportation -- still best to rent a vehicle, since you're not at the mercy of shuttle schedules. It is true that shuttles can work out well, but you have to see if your hotel provides shuttles to all the places you want to go. Also, the shuttles tend to get awfully crowded and become standing room only for quite a long schlep. I remember after a downpour the bus smelling like a wet sock. And if it's really warm and humid and uncomfortable, standing around waiting for a shuttle is a pain.

2) I highly recommend "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World." It is jam-packed with ways to save not only money, but to save time, which is highly precious on a short vacation and with a child who is going to run out of gas. The book gives an idea of which rides are suitable for various age ranges (if they're scary or not). It has good tips on dining.

It gives really low-level detail of how to be the first to get on a popular ride, e.g. by taking shortcuts through the park. In the race to get on line for a popular ride, I remember one guy shouting out, "everyone with the book, THIS WAY!!!"

3) You of course will save money by bringing in your own food since it's frightfully expensive in the parks. I don't know what limitations exist nowadays for stuff but I would guess you can still bring your lunch and some snacks.

4) Parking at the parks I remember is free; it's the admission that kills you. The book will mention it if it isn't.

Have fun!
 

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Option on rental car

Vip9. We are flying to Orlando at the end of March for a week at my freinds time share. This is primetime and everything is high but I feel I did real well using priceline.com for our car. We got a full sized car at a bid of $20 a day accepted by Hertz. Saved well over $100:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Option on rental car

nwaring said:
Vip9. We are flying to Orlando at the end of March for a week at my freinds time share. This is primetime and everything is high but I feel I did real well using priceline.com for our car. We got a full sized car at a bid of $20 a day accepted by Hertz. Saved well over $100:)
Nwaring, thanks. Unfortunately, I am reluctant to rent cars. I guess you may consider it "in the genes" :) - I had a bad experience once and never since rented one.

If you plan to visit any of the parks, I will be [im]patiently waiting for your insights.

I am going there in early May.

Enjoy.
 

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VIP 9 - I agree with wmquan, I would strongly recommend renting a car for the week, especially if you are planning on staying off Disney property. I am not positive how much the parking is for the day but it is definitely not free. I believe that it is between $5.00 - 10.00 per day, however, the idea of having a car to travel around on your own is well worth the price of the weekly rental. Also, keep in mind the daily fees associated with cabs. If shuttles are available, you will most likely have to pay for them as well and they will take you AT LEAST, 4 - 5 times longer to get to your destination then if you drive yourself.

I also find that "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World" is a must have and should be throughly read before you start your trip. We go every year and purchase a new edition (it is updated each year with the latest and greatest) to give us the low down. We will be going in the last week of April of this year again and we can't wait. The other thing I would ecommend is to stay on Disney property if you can swing it. This will allow you the complete use of all Disney transportation as well as early entry into certain parks, E-Ride nights (for an additional $10.00, you can purchase a pass that allows to to remain in the park 3 hours after closing to enjoy certain attractions) as well as to make reservations to any Disney restaurant 3 months prior to your arrival.

Hope this all helps and have a great time on your trip.

JPOW
 

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The parks

Vip9. We might not even make it to WDW. My friend's son and his high school baseball team are down there for "spring" training and we will be watching some of that. We are planning on going to Universal one day but most of our time will be spend taking it easy and (this will draw the posts) watching the Indians in their last week of spring training. :D
 

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Better go asap--

I just heard today that a couple of Orlando Parks are raising prices on admission tickets and the other parks are soon to follow. I know this wasn't in one of your questions, but I thought you might want to know.
 

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i beilve they charge between $5 and $10 a day for parking. here is a nice trick to do to aviod this. Now depening on what park you are going to do you to the follwoing.

If you are going to the Magic Kingdom, go to the Grand Floridan Hotel. When the guard at the gate stops you. Tell them youa re going eating at the resturant and they will let you through. Then take the Monarail over the the Magic Kingdom. (short ride)

Epcot Center. Go to the Yhat and Beach Club tell them the same and you can walk or take the ferry to the back of Epcot Center.

MGM- Go to Yhat and Beach Club or Board Walk, and tell tehm the same and you cna take the ferry to it.

Any Park in Disney - Go to any of the hotels mentioned and tell them the same. Then take the a bus to any park. (Busses are free, Disney Transpertation is better then most cities)

Any other questiosn just ask as i have been there many many many tiems and know a lot of tricks.

Heres a good one. If you want to see the Fantasmic Show at MGM. call up WDW-Dine (i think thats the number) and ask what resturant at MGM is holding seatsfor a certain nights performance. As the show fills up fast and if you want to see it you have to wait online for an hour. This way you eat at a resturant at MGM for which you have reservations for, then they give you a pass that gets you in a backdoor to the show with no wait.
 

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Any advice for 4 night, 5 day stay on the property, and on the monorail ? It should be an easy trip, just the wife and I, no kids, but I'm wondering what the must-see's and shortcuts are. Does the fastpass thing work ?

First time I went there with my grandparents back in '83, Epcot was still pretty new and a 3 day World Passport was $30. I couldn't believe they spent that much on me. Second time I went there in '86, The Living Seas had just opened. Looking at the website, I recognize very few of the attractions except for the thing that goes through the globe. I hear rumors that Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is no longer there ? Is this true ? :3: That was one of my favorites in the MK. Do we want to do all 4 parks ? I'm thinking of skipping Animal Kingdom.

Any advice on any part of it would be great. I will probably look for that book but just need to figure out approximately how much to budget for meals, etc. What's the best plan for ground transportation ?...right now we plan on using theirs; we're not getting a car. I know this will be spendy by staying there, but we rarely go all out like this.
 

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The 'Unofficial Guide' is a must. It covers discounts, car rental (even tells you which companies rent on airport vs off airport :28:), accommodations, incredible park ride strategies. food. kids, and on and on.
Without a doubt, a rental car is absolute requirement. Just no workable way around it. :trustme:
Best of luck. And tells us how it all turns out.
 

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nightguy said:
Any advice for 4 night, 5 day stay on the property, and on the monorail ? It should be an easy trip, just the wife and I, no kids, but I'm wondering what the must-see's and shortcuts are. Does the fastpass thing work ?
I'm a frequent visitor (way more than 50 times) and have annual passes for several years now and I'll try to help a little.

IMHO, the fireworks at the parks are must-see events, excluding the Animal Kingdom which doesn't have any. The Animal Kingdom closes at 5 or 6 pm so it's an early day. The SpectroMagic light parade at the Magic Kingdom is another must-see, but it might not be available every night so you'll need to check the nights and plan accordingly.

The fast pass system does work and can save time, but be sure to check the wait time for the standby line as well as the fast pass line. Sometimes the standard line is quite reasonable. The fast pass system is only in place for the more popular attractions. Some attractions close out quickly, like the Test Track and Mission Space at Epcot, since they are newer. Sometimes during early afternoon hours, those rides will be completely booked out for the day with fast passes, but the standby line will be available.

If you're flying into the Orlando Airport, you can usually rent a car for a week for what it costs just to go back and forth from Disney and the airport.

Admission ticket prices have increased recently, now almost $60 for one day. Parking is $8 a day, unless you stay in a Disney Resort and then it is free. If you stay in one of the three Disney Resorts that is on the Monorail, it is one of their Deluxe Resorts, which has a higher room rate. The monorail resorts are very handy for access to the Magic Kingdom and even somewhat handy for access to Epcot. There is no advantage for the other two parks.

If you're staying at one of the Disney Resorts, you can buy what is called 'length of stay passes' instead of a pass for each day. So you could buy 5 day passes or 4 day passes and it would be slightly less than a standard ticket, but you would have additional priveleges, such as hopping between parks, or water park visits, or admission to the Pleasure Island complex during the evening hours. Pleasure Island is an evening entertainment complex for adults with several nightclubs, located in the Downtown Disney area.

You can make a reservation for any of the table service restaurants up to 60 days in advance by calling 407-wdw-dine.

A typical fast food meal for an adult would be about $8 to $10. Many of the table service restaurants would be $20 to $25, including a buffet dinner with Disney characters. We enjoy a nice break at dinner time and always schedule a table service meal in there.

hope that helps, if you need more specific recommendations, just ask.
 
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