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Old 06-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
Reader0108598
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New to this forum and Disney

Hi


I have never been to Disney or Orlando and thought it might be about time to find out what it is all about, My 55th BD is in September.
I have a jet blue getaway package i am thing of changing from Fort lauderdale to Orlando. (Four day stay)


Value hotel - which one
Shuttles-do all hotels have them
Airport transportation
Cheapest to buy park passes
Hopper do I need this
Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks


I realy just want to go see what all the fuss is

I am reading the boards like crazy. Appreciate any suggestions on how not to break the bank!

Thank you Reader
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
RHMH
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Welcome aboard Dis Friend Have Fun.

I hope I can answer a couple of your questions for you.

Value hotel - which one - never stayed at one, but Dis Friends enjoy Pop Century.
Shuttles-do all hotels have them - All Disney Resorts have shuttles.
Airport transportation - Book Disney and ride the Complimentary Magical Express Bus from the airport to your resort.
Cheapest to buy park passes - Undercover Tourist.com
Hopper do I need this - NO!!!!!
Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks - Online order from We Go Shopping .com. Also you can eat at Disney very economically if you really tried.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
Reader0108598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHMH View Post
Welcome aboard Dis Friend Have Fun.

I hope I can answer a couple of your questions for you.

Value hotel - which one - never stayed at one, but Dis Friends enjoy Pop Century.
Shuttles-do all hotels have them - All Disney Resorts have shuttles.
Airport transportation - Book Disney and ride the Complimentary Magical Express Bus from the airport to your resort.
Cheapest to buy park passes - Undercover Tourist.com
Hopper do I need this - NO!!!!!
Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks - Online order from We Go Shopping .com. Also you can eat at Disney very economically if you really tried.
Wow thank you so much!!!
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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What a nice greeting ,Thank you !
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reader0108598 View Post
Hi

I have never been to Disney or Orlando and thought it might be about time to find out what it is all about, My 55th BD is in September.
I have a jet blue getaway package i am thing of changing from Fort lauderdale to Orlando. (Four day stay)

Value hotel - which one
Shuttles-do all hotels have them
Airport transportation
Cheapest to buy park passes
Hopper do I need this
Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks

I realy just want to go see what all the fuss is

I am reading the boards like crazy. Appreciate any suggestions on how not to break the bank!

Thank you Reader
Welcome! Disney is SO awesome! Once you go you'll see why so many people love it!

To answer some of your questions with my opinions:

Value hotel- I've only stayed at pop century, but it was really cool. I loved the huge statues, and the overall atmosphere. The Art of Animation looks like it is awesome though! I'm hoping to stay there during a future trip.

Shuttles- yes all Disney hotels have busses (and some have boats and or a monorail) to get to and from the parks. One thing that I've learned about the busses is that if you want to get to Downtown Disney from a park, you need to take a bus to any Disney owned hotel and wait there for the Downtown Disney bus. Same goes for if you are at your hotel, and have a dinner reservation at a restaurant in a different Disney hotel. You would need to get on a bus to any park, and wait there for the bus to the hotel that your restaurant reservation is located. This can be time consuming, so make sure to plan ahead for that.

Airport transportation- if you're staying at a Disney owned hotel, and flying into the Orlando airport (MCO) during certain times of the day, you can use Disney's Magical Express. This service is EXCELLENT (and FREE)! I use it every time I go to Disney. If you are flying on one of the many airlines that use this service, you can check your bags with the luggage tags that Disney gives you, and Disney will get your bags at the Orlando airport and bring them to your hotel room for you. This saves a lot of time and stress, in my opinion. However, the bags will not arrive until a few hours after you have gotten to Disney, so if you use this service, pack your essentials with you on your carry-on. This is also a great service for when you are leaving Disney. You can actually check your luggage at your hotel, and not have to worry about your bags for the rest of the trip. The Magical Express bus is really cool too. I think it's so great because it gets you into the Disney spirit as soon as you're off the plane. I did just realize that you may be flying with a stop, I'm not sure how the luggage service works with that. But if it is nonstop I know it's great! So regardless of if you use the luggage service or not, you can still ride the magical express to Disney answer back for free! It's definitely worth checking in to. There are other transportation methods from the airport as well- taxis, rental cars, car services etc.

Cheapest to buy park passes- try undercover tourist or if you are a AAA member, you may find a better deal there.

Park hopper- I find this amazing! I love the flexibility of going to one park in the morning, and then going to a park that closes later, later in the day. This depends on your touring style though.

Dining plan- I LOVE the dining plan! I love having everything paid for before I go (except tips). I love the Disney restaurants. I honestly wouldn't go to Disney without the regular dining plan. That is just my opinion though. Many people I'm sure would disagree. I just think its a great advantage to have, and you have the opportunity to save a lot of money. Some of my favorite restaurants on Disney property are Crystal Palace, Boma, and Coral Reef. I can't wait to try Be Our Guest, Ohanna, and Tusker house next January! I don't know any restaurants outside of Disney, but I have heard there is both a target and a Walmart close by.

I really hope you have an amazing trip, and that you come back loving Disney as much as I do!
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
Reader0108598
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGDisney View Post
Welcome! Disney is SO awesome! Once you go you'll see why so many people love it!

To answer some of your questions with my opinions:

Value hotel- I've only stayed at pop century, but it was really cool. I loved the huge statues, and the overall atmosphere. The Art of Animation looks like it is awesome though! I'm hoping to stay there during a future trip.

Shuttles- yes all Disney hotels have busses (and some have boats and or a monorail) to get to and from the parks. One thing that I've learned about the busses is that if you want to get to Downtown Disney from a park, you need to take a bus to any Disney owned hotel and wait there for the Downtown Disney bus. Same goes for if you are at your hotel, and have a dinner reservation at a restaurant in a different Disney hotel. You would need to get on a bus to any park, and wait there for the bus to the hotel that your restaurant reservation is located. This can be time consuming, so make sure to plan ahead for that.

Airport transportation- if you're staying at a Disney owned hotel, and flying into the Orlando airport (MCO) during certain times of the day, you can use Disney's Magical Express. This service is EXCELLENT (and FREE)! I use it every time I go to Disney. If you are flying on one of the many airlines that use this service, you can check your bags with the luggage tags that Disney gives you, and Disney will get your bags at the Orlando airport and bring them to your hotel room for you. This saves a lot of time and stress, in my opinion. However, the bags will not arrive until a few hours after you have gotten to Disney, so if you use this service, pack your essentials with you on your carry-on. This is also a great service for when you are leaving Disney. You can actually check your luggage at your hotel, and not have to worry about your bags for the rest of the trip. The Magical Express bus is really cool too. I think it's so great because it gets you into the Disney spirit as soon as you're off the plane. I did just realize that you may be flying with a stop, I'm not sure how the luggage service works with that. But if it is nonstop I know it's great! So regardless of if you use the luggage service or not, you can still ride the magical express to Disney answer back for free! It's definitely worth checking in to. There are other transportation methods from the airport as well- taxis, rental cars, car services etc.

Cheapest to buy park passes- try undercover tourist or if you are a AAA member, you may find a better deal there.

Park hopper- I find this amazing! I love the flexibility of going to one park in the morning, and then going to a park that closes later, later in the day. This depends on your touring style though.

Dining plan- I LOVE the dining plan! I love having everything paid for before I go (except tips). I love the Disney restaurants. I honestly wouldn't go to Disney without the regular dining plan. That is just my opinion though. Many people I'm sure would disagree. I just think its a great advantage to have, and you have the opportunity to save a lot of money. Some of my favorite restaurants on Disney property are Crystal Palace, Boma, and Coral Reef. I can't wait to try Be Our Guest, Ohanna, and Tusker house next January! I don't know any restaurants outside of Disney, but I have heard there is both a target and a Walmart close by.

I really hope you have an amazing trip, and that you come back loving Disney as much as I do!


Hi KGDisney

Thank you for the wealth of information I am flying jetblue non stop and can change my getaway package Jet blue is offering free hopper pass and the free dinning plan is going on for September. Soooo I just have to convince my hubby that Disney is not just for kids . He is agreeing with me but chuckleing to himself, Idiot!! lol Anyway My B day trip and I am paying so we go where I want to go and bet my bottom dollar hubby will like it just as much as I do.
Thanks so much Reader
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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The value resorts are ok but if you are not a dvc member I would suggest looking at the dvc rental threads. You can stay at a much nicer resort for not that big of a price difference.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:33 PM   #9
Reader0108598
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Originally Posted by HollenAngi View Post
The value resorts are ok but if you are not a dvc member I would suggest looking at the dvc rental threads. You can stay at a much nicer resort for not that big of a price difference.

HollenAngi Thank you

I will go do that right now! What a great forum!

Reader
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reader0108598 View Post
Hi


I have never been to Disney or Orlando and thought it might be about time to find out what it is all about, My 55th BD is in September.
I have a jet blue getaway package i am thing of changing from Fort lauderdale to Orlando. (Four day stay)


Value hotel - which one (They're all nice and priced similarly--Pop Century and Art of Animation are commonly noted as the best.)
Shuttles-do all hotels have them (Yes, transportation to and from parks and Downtown Disney [DTD] is complimentary. They are a wonderful benefit to staying onsite.)
Airport transportation (DME--Disney Magical Express--is a fun way to get to your hotel after landing in Orlando. They're are signs to ground transportation and DME throughout the terminal, just make sure you look for them when you land. Once in the DME area, more signs will direct you to the correct line to enter in order to get on the bus heading to your resort. Buses usually serve more than one resort.)Cheapest to buy park passes (I don't know that you'll find any site that will save you more than a few dollars per ticket--Disney keeps their pricing structure in a tight fist. )
Hopper do I need this (This will be your toughest call. Hopper passes do cost more, but they offer more flexibility. Want to be in the Magic Kingdom for rope drop in the morning, but then want to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours (EMH) at Animal Kingdom that night? You'll need park hoppers. EMH are just what they are called--extra hours in a given park on most mornings and/or most nights. Only those staying at a Disney resort can take advantage of these. For example, Disney Hollywood Studios might close for ticket holders at 9 p.m., but remains open until 11 p.m. for those staying onsite. On the other hand, if you plan to visit just one park each day, then a hopper wouldn't be needed.)
Dining plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks (If you have no vehicle, eating offsite would require a taxi or getting to DTD via a Disney bus. Dining plans can work, but you'd have to run the figures to see if they would work for you. For us, we don't usually have a dining plan, so we pay out of pocket (OOP), but we split meals or eat lightly during the day. The value resorts also have food courts which are relatively inexpensive, or you can also order things like pizzas from offsite restaurants to be delivered.)


I realy just want to go see what all the fuss is

I am reading the boards like crazy. Appreciate any suggestions on how not to break the bank! (Be moderate with the souvenirs you buy; don't eat at signature restaurants; and take advantage of free things such taking a bus to other resorts and checking them out. For example, if you take a bus to the Wilderness Lodge [keep in mind there are no resort-to-resort buses], you can take a tour of the Lodge's wonderful architecture and theming or hunt for Hidden Mickeys there--just ask the front desk for a hint sheet.Keep reading and asking questions, and when it comes time to visit, you'll feel like a pro. Have fun!

Thank you Reader
Welcome to a place we sometimes call our second home! Hopefully, you will find a lot of magic for your first trip to Disney. The previous posters (pp in the language of the DIS) had good answers, but since I know newbies like a lot of information that matches, I'll try to help out, as well. I've added my thoughts in red after each concern above.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:42 PM   #11
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Welcome!!!
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sleepydog25 View Post
Welcome to a place we sometimes call our second home! Hopefully, you will find a lot of magic for your first trip to Disney. The previous posters (pp in the language of the DIS) had good answers, but since I know newbies like a lot of information that matches, I'll try to help out, as well. I've added my thoughts in red after each concern above.
Patrick you are so right! Us newbie's want a ton of information. When I get somthing in my head I devour info until I get the answers I need.

Thank goodness this (traveling) is a fun obsession.

Thankyou for the great info!

Reader
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:55 AM   #13
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Welcome!!!
Thanks Jesswindsor
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:58 AM   #14
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Hi and welcome!!! You're going to have such a great time!!! (I turn 55 in October, so I'm right there with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reader0108598 View Post
Hi

Value hotel - which one We're a family of 5, so I've never stayed at the Values. But a friend stayed at Pop a few years ago and loved it.

Shuttles-do all hotels have them All the on site resorts offer both DME (free transportation to and from the airport) and transportation within Disney property.

Airport transportationDME is included

Cheapest to buy park passesIf you're thinking of a dining plan, get a Magic Your Way package. It includes park tickets. If your return flight is late enough, consider getting that extra day. We always get a return flight for 7 pm or so, and spend the morning in the parks.

Hopper do I need this We always get it, and use it. But you could certainly skip it then add it on if necessary. One day we started off in Animal Kingdom, got drenched on Kali River Rapids (no big deal; it was August) when the skies opened up an a monsoon started. -- actually it was the start of the rain before Tropical Storm Faye. We were heros for about an hour, then we went back to the resort, changed, and hopped to Epcot. Total day-saver.

Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks. You can probably do cheaper than the DDP, but we totally love the convenience. Last year we tried doing without it, and felt as though we were hemorraging money. There are several dining plans, one is just counter service, another includes a sit down meal each day... that's the one we get.

* ** If you're going in September, you can get FREE DINING!!!! http://www.mousesavers.com/walt-disn...ts/#freedining
r
Have fun!! And plan to love it enough that you want to return!
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Last edited by Aliceacc; 06-10-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reader0108598 View Post
Hi


I have never been to Disney or Orlando and thought it might be about time to find out what it is all about, My 55th BD is in September.
I have a jet blue getaway package i am thing of changing from Fort lauderdale to Orlando. (Four day stay)


Value hotel - which one
Shuttles-do all hotels have them
Airport transportation
Cheapest to buy park passes
Hopper do I need this
Dinning plans-Any stores or cheaper options near parks


I realy just want to go see what all the fuss is

I am reading the boards like crazy. Appreciate any suggestions on how not to break the bank!

Thank you Reader
My wife and I tried a resort other than Polynesian for the first time, and decided to go value. We went to Art of Animation, and I have to say...we quite possibly liked it better than Polynesian. The only issue was how far we were from the parks. However, I think all the values are that way. The resort is beautiful, and though you would think it would be cheesy and way too geared towards children, it is not. We got a mermaid room and there were a lot of adults, not many children really, and it was very quiet. I'm guessing the families were in the suite areas and there are none in Mermaid. Price was great, staff was great, view of Hourglass Lake was great, it was just a great experience.

Shuttles go to all disney resorts inside the park.

Airport transportation will be magical express, and if you have a package, that's free (might be free regardless, i've never went without a package).

Undercovertourist.com will likely have the cheapest tickets. You might save $50.

I personally always get hoppers. For the increase in price, you have a much more flexible vacation, and for me, I like to be in complete relaxation mode on vacation. I work hard enough at home, and want to have no worries at all. So if we're at AK and it rains, we can head over to MK or somewhere with indoor rides. If we're at MK and we decide we just really would love some japanese food, we head to Epcot. Days at AK when it closes at like 6pm or whatever, you can finish the day at MK and see Wishes. I just love the flexibility, and I don't think the amount you save by getting basic tickets is worth the loss in flexibility. And if you get one or two hoppers, they are front loaded, so getting another couple will be cheap. So I would say don't just get one or two. If you are going to get a hopper, get all hoppers.

As for Dining plan I looked into that on my wife and I's last trip. We try to watch our budget on food. Her favorite restaurant is Cassie's, which is kind of a ballpark hotdog spot on main street. We get out of there spending under $20 and full. Most of the time we go to Cosmic Rays for dinner at MK as well...we get out of there under $20 and full as well. We make a habit of spending about that on every meal. If you do that, the dining plan will be much more costly. If you enjoy the higher priced items on the menu, you might want a dining plan. We also share a drink and don't get dessert, and we mostly skip breakfast, and that's something else you are paying for when you get a dining plan.

So, to put it simpler, when it comes to dining plans, if you spend big bucks on food, get it. If you try to save on food (sharing drinks, any plate sharing of any kind whatsoever), it's totally not worth it. The only exception, one of my friends has 4 kids. He claims the dining plan might not be cost effective, but it is worth it to not have to worry about paying to feed 6 people every 4 hours.
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