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Need suggestions for Orlando

itchyfeet

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We're off for our first trip to Orlando the day after Thanksgiving. We're a senior couple and want to spend some time at Disneyworld. I know Thanksgiving weekend will be packed so we'll go the next week. Would like suggestions for what we should see in the area in addition to Disney and also hints for enjoying Disney & Epcot. We will be renting a car & want to see as much of the area as we can while we're there. TIA
 

mecllap

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A lot depends on how long you are actually going to be there. It will be helpful being at WDW after T-day, less crowded. Take umbrellas and ponchos. Do lots of advance planning to prioritize what you want to see and do. You can do a search on this board (and others) for Disney tips.

Going to WDW is lots different than Disneyland -- much larger and more complicated. It's more than 4 separate parks -- each of which can take more than a day to really "do." You can highgrade and combine a couple in one day, but you would miss a lot. If you haven't looked at them already, the boards that specialize in Disney will be a big help to you (at .com addresses) such as disboards, intercot, mousesavers, etc. You can google Disney forums or bulletin boards to find even more. Or google Disney tips.

You might want to take a day to go to the coast for the Space Center.
 

krissydee

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I'd recommend Cypress Gardens, more laid back picturesque theme park.
Also Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, along with lunch on Park Avenue is a very nice way to spend an afternoon.
 

pgnewarkboy

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If you are going without kids, definitely skip the magic kingdom. You can also skip animal kingdom. Its just okay. If you enjoy movies go to the Movie Park for at least one day and top it off with the fantasia nightime spectacle that is truly great for all ages. If you are a world traveller, EPCOT is not that big a deal. If not, it will be far more interesting. Soarin at EPCOT is a great "ride". You can easily kill a day at EPCOT and you can enjoy some of the foods and exhibitions.

A big question - are you into thrill rides? If so, ignore all my previous advice.:rofl:
 

hefleycatz

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Something different from the normal theme parks, try WonderWorks. Its a crazy amusement park for the mind. www.wonderworksonline.com This is an interactive playground for all ages. We went this summer and had a blast. They also have a Magic/Comedy Dinner Show which is fun.

Also, if you have never been to one, right up the road is a Ripley's Believe It or Not! This is a great picture taking opportunity for some really funny shots. Our daughters could not get enough of. Just good clean fun.

They are both a little pricey, but they have coupons on-line and also all over Orlando. Depending on where you stay, (we own at Vistana Villages) they give out coupon booklets. Every little bit helps.
 

lprstn

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tombo

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If you have a car drive to the Kennedy space center. You can spend a whole day there seeing rockets, talking to astronauts (yes every day they have question and answer sessions), touch a moon rock, see 2 different Imax movies, and many more things. If you are lucky you might see a launch or the space shuttle on the launching pad. It is a full day and you get the second day for free if you want to return.

http://www.ksctickets.com/
 

Carl D

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If you are going without kids, definitely skip the magic kingdom.
This is one piece of advice I would definitely ignore..
The Magic Kingdom, although certain parts are geared for young kids, definitely has an overall appeal for guests of all ages.

The Magic Kingdom is still the grandfather of all parks. It's really what started it all.
I believe it's still the most visited theme park in the world, but it may be a close second behind Disneyland.
 

pgnewarkboy

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I think the Magic Kingdom is a matter of taste. I have been there three times with grandchildren and loved watching them enjoy. My wife and I are in our early sixties and neither of us are into Disney commercialization. The grandchildren love the characters and everything else about the magic kingdom. I could live without it very well. However, given the high cost of ticket prices it would probably be a good idea to do a little research as to what the Magic Kingdom offers and whether it would suit your taste. You might want to check the unofficial guide to disney world in book stores. Or if ticket prices don't concern you, and you have never been there before, you might want to try it to see if you like it. Whats the worst that could happen! Everything in Disney World is well thought out and excellently produced.
 

littlestar

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Mickey's Merry Christmas Party would be fun. It's a hard ticket event for the Magic Kingdom. Official start time is 7:00 p.m., but we've always been allowed to come in around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. It snows on main street and there's free hot chocolate and sugar cookies. Admission prices (cheaper than a normal ticket during the day) and info is below:

http://allears.net/tp/hol_mk.htm
 

itchyfeet

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Thank you everybody for your suggestions. I do have a couple of questions. We'd like to go to St. Augustine - is this a day trip? Is everything at Disneyworld (all parks) decorated for Christmas? If so, we'd probably do the Magic Kingdom & Epcot. We're not particulary interested in the rides, but the special events sound interesting. Any suggestions for the best place to view the parade & fireworks for the Mickey Christmas Party? Do we have to have reservations to eat at any restaurant in the parks? or only the most popular ones?
 
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Carl D

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Thank you everybody for your suggestions. I do have a couple of questions. We'd like to go to St. Augustine - is this a day trip? Is everything at Disneyworld (all parks) decorated for Christmas? If so, we'd probably do the Magic Kingdom & Epcot. We're not particulary interested in the rides, but the special events sound interesting. Do we have to have reservations to eat at any restaurant in the parks? or only the most popular ones?
All parks are decorated for Christmas, but with the exception of Epcot and Mainstreet the decorations are mostly at the entrances.

Bt far, the resort hotels have the best decorations in my opinion.
You would want to visit all the deluxe level hotels, which include Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, and Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Polynesian and Contemporary have the weakest Christmas decorations of the deluxes.
 

Blues

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If you're worried about crowds at Disney, check out the crowd calendar published by the author of "Unofficial Guide to DisneyWorld". You can only look 30 days in advance unless you've bought the book. But you're close to the 30 day mark now, so it will be useful to you soon.

For dining, yes, book any reservations for in-park or resort dining. They open reservations 6 months in advance, and get booked very quickly. This is due to the popularity of the dining plans, where they package dining with a resort package. Call 407-WDW-DINE.

A good source of Disney info is http://wdwinfo.com/

Have fun!

-Bob
 

spatenfloot

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Thank you everybody for your suggestions. I do have a couple of questions. We'd like to go to St. Augustine - is this a day trip? Is everything at Disneyworld (all parks) decorated for Christmas? If so, we'd probably do the Magic Kingdom & Epcot. We're not particulary interested in the rides, but the special events sound interesting. Any suggestions for the best place to view the parade & fireworks for the Mickey Christmas Party? Do we have to have reservations to eat at any restaurant in the parks? or only the most popular ones?
Universal Studios has Christmas decorations and the Macy's Christmas Parade. Islands of Adventure has Grinchmas and Whoville performances. There are also good places to eat there. You might want to consider visiting if you have time.
 

cindi

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If you want to see a pretty amazing Christmas display, you need to see the Osbourne Light Show at Hollywood Studios.
 

Carl D

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If you want to see a pretty amazing Christmas display, you need to see the Osbourne Light Show at Hollywood Studios.
Amazing.. Yes. That said, for some odd reason it creeps me out. Not sure why.
 

summervaca

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Amazing.. Yes. That said, for some odd reason it creeps me out. Not sure why.
That cracks me up Carl:hysterical:

We visited Hollywood Studios on New Year's Eve last year and my daughter and I spent time looking at the Osbourne Light Show listening to thousands of people in top hats blowing horns!! (hats and horns were handed out by Disney). Now, that was creepy!

I love the Mexican restaurant in Epcot - San Angel, I think it is called. My family and I have eaten there twice and the atmosphere is very interesting. There are many attractions at Disney that are not wild rides, but that all ages enjoy such as the Three Caballeros which is hidden near the restaurant area in Mexico.
 

spiceycat

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dd is also decorated for Christmas!

would definitely spend a day at least doing the christmas resort - some of them even will service stuff.

MVMCP is a ticketed event - if you have the money it is worth it - but if you don't - well most people return to WDW.

if this is your first trip - won't try to do a bunch of other stuff. now if you are staying for 2 weeks - then you can do other stuff.

but WDW can really be a BIG place to see - you will do a lot of walking - so unless you can walk 5 miles a day - well might consider a scooter (rent offsite they are cheaper)

if you are talking about this THanksgiving - then take WDW in pieces - don't try to see and do everything you can't.

make a list of the top 5 things @ each park everyone in your party wants to
see. be sure to do those.

then if you have more time - relax and do others - or go back and go swimming. love Orlando in the winter you can still go swimming,.....:cheer:
 

silentg

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You might want to go to Celebration, it is on/off of 192. My sister always goes there when she visits Disney and us (we live in Orlando area). Good restaurants and shops, movie theater and they have snow showers in the evening. We also like Harmony it is on 192 heading towards Melbourne. There is a restaurant in Harmony called Greensides which is very good, weeknights they have dinner specials that are very reasonably priced. Are you staying in Disney or at a timeshare outside the park? Either way have a good time here! TerryC
 
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