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Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

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Palm Desert...
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Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

I have a feeling this is going to be long...

As my husband and I were bumped off of a New York flight earlier this summer and we were given to free tickets by the airline to fly anywhere in the continental US, we've decided to go to Disneyworld for our first time this December. I'm so excited!

I've been reading TA religiously for the past week or so and getting helpful hints from you all and this is what I'm thinking...

First of all, we're both early 50's, but think we're about 25. It's just the two of us going, no kids, no grandkids. I work for Marriott, so as much as we'd love to stay on WDW resort property, doesn't make sense with my Marriott employee discount!

I was thinking of making reservations at either the Courtyard,Fairfield or Springfield Suites at Marriott Village. Any thoughts? Or would Orlando World Center be better? Also, We'll be renting a car for the week.

Here's our tentative itinerary:

Saturday - Redeye to Orlando

Sunday - Hotel check-in, relax / nap (we're 50!!) and then maybe hit Downtown Disney for a late lunch and then to MGM for the Osborne Light Show.

Monday - Epcot and then stay to see IllumiNation. Try to book Rose & Crown for dinner to see IllumiNation

Tuesday - Husband wants to golf (me shop!) then off to the Magic Kingdom about noon and stay for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Wednesday - Animal Kingdom and then maybe Downtown Disney for dinner

Thursday - Hubby golfing again in morning and maybe back to Magic Kingdom

Friday - MGM Studios

Saturday - Take a drive around WDW to checkout the resorts to see holiday decorations. Possibly back to Epcot or Animal Kingdom for afternoon or evening.

Is this too much? Is it too boring?

Have I missed anything? Being that we're from Southern California, we already have our own Sea World and Universal. We wanted to make this all about Disney.

Thanks!

Kissimmee, Florida
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1. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

Sounds like you are ready for fun! When in Dec. are you planning to visit?

The Marriot World Center is right on the road (536) to the parks, so you would be very close there.

Will you have the multi-day pass? If so, I'd recommend eating the latest lunch sitting at MGM (usually 4pm) then staying there the 1st day. Downtown Disney's restaurants are not that exciting to me.

I'd even recommend one of the resort hotels or Boardwalk restaurants for dinner if you aren't at the parks.

If your hubby is golfing and you've finished shopping, there is a great spa at Grand Floridian if you like that. You can also book a massage at Yacht & Beach Club.

If you are driving around to see the decorations at hotels, there is a tea time (I believe reservations are required) at Grand Floridian. They usually have the giant gingerbread houses out at Christmas. All of the big resorts are beautiful, too.

For a really fancy dinner, try JIKO's at Animal KIngdom Resort.

Have fun!

-Deb

Palm Desert...
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2. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

Thanks for the hints.

I think I'm going to get us the 7-day Park Hopper.

And, I LOVE the idea of tea at the Grand Floridian and also the spa!

Thanks!

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3. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

The Marriott World Center is a nicer hotel but the three hotels in the Marriott Village are more central to restaurants and stores-and have fridge and microwave in the rooms which is essential to my family.Just make sure you make any Disney dinner reservations ASAP as everything books up really fast. And make sure you plan for a midday break,you will get tired and especially at that time of year,you'll want lots of energy at night to see the fireworks and Osborne Lights.Have fun.

pa
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4. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

Hi collz, I'm thinking of going the same time. My husband's Birthday Week. No kids. We were there 2 years ago the same time. It was wonderful. Not very crowded at all and the weather was great.

Your plan looks good, not too much, not too boring. Only a few things I recomend. The Mickey Christmas Party may be the time it is crowded, not sure it would be worth it, lots and lots of kids ( don't get me wrong, I love kids, especially since they grew up and moved out !) but when you are there without kids, it's different. Just a thought. Plan to go to Animal Kingdom in the Morning, the Safari is much better then, lots of Animals roaming about. One last thing, don't forget that there are some fantastic Restaurants at the Disney Resorts, don't limit yourselves to Downtown ( altho we love Fulton's Crab House, among others ). You don't have to be staying at any of the Resorts to eat at them.

Check out allearsnet.com or wdwinfo.com for a complete Restaurant and Menus List.

Happy Planning and maybe I'll see you there !

Palm Desert...
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5. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

Thanks to all, so far.

I'm kind of a "travel by the seat of my pants" type of gal, so this having to make dinner reservations this far in advance, makes me a nervous wreck! (I had a hard time picking out a date and time to get married. What if I didn't FEEL like getting married that day!)

Anyway, thought I'd like to do some of the Disney stuff like Hoop de Doo review and Downtown Disney but after I've listened to you all, I think I like the idea of hitting some of the resort restaurants. Nicer atmosphere and less kids!

Do any of you ever take time out to drive around Orlando and sight see? Is there anything around there that I absolutely have to see?

Collsz

pa
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6. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

Just thought of another great reason to be at Disney the first week of Dec. The Christmas Day Parade @ Magic Kingdom, is Filmed that week. Rumor has it, that it will be filmed this year on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. How fun would it be to be in the filming. It would be great to see yourselves, come Christmas Morning, on TV.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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7. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

HI again Collz,

I'll be visiting Disney World that same week as you in December, but doubt we'll bump into each other. The one "downside" to the week will be the Pop Warner Championships which will be taking place at the Disney Wide World of Sports, which is going to bring in hoards of teenagers for the competitions.

Your plan needs a little rearranging in my opinion. Since you are not staying on Disney property (but with Marriott instead), you need to try to avoid the parks with the Extra Magic Hours to avoid the excessive crowds those days bring.

Here are the conflicts with the EMH that I see based on the Disney schedule of EMH days.

1. Sunday night at MGM is an "evening EMH" night. You may want to do this park on another evening.

2. Tuesday for the Mickey's Christmas party is great, but you'll need a separately priced ticket to stay for the party if you go to the park as a "day guest" as well. So in essence, you will have to pay to get in twice to this park for that one day (do you really want to do this?). The Mickey's Christmas party is a "separately ticketed event" at Magic Kingdom, and as a day guest, you cannot stay in the park if you don't have a ticket for it.

3. Wednesday at Animal Kingdom is another EMH day you want to avoid. The EMH is in the evening, but the park may be extra crowded the entire day.

4. Thursday at Magic Kingdom is once again a morning EMH day and you should not do M.K. on these morning dates. The parks is really crowded.

5. Friday at MGM would be fine; no special events and no EMH.

I hope this is understandable; if you have any questions, feel free to write back.

Kissimmee, Florida
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8. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

I think even with the extra hours, its not that crowded the first week of Dec. That's when Disney employees start to have their Christmas time to attend the parks with their families. It is the slow season and I've never seen the parks really crowded during this time. The previous poster is correct about Mickey's Christmas Party though - it is a separate admission.

As for Orlando sight-seeing: have you ever driven to downtown Orlando? Depending on the time of day or what you are interested in there's plenty to do. There is the Orlando Art Museum ($7), its big and very nice. There are restaurants downtown and a beautiful Lake area (Lake Eola). I'd say if you bored one day, make the trip, otherwise, I think you will be very happy around Disney.

-Deb

Palm Desert...
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9. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

I LOVE parades! Being the Florida / Disney virgin here, I had no idea the parade wasn't filmed at Christmas! I would love to be there for the parade.

About the Mickey's Very Merry Party. I knew about the extra charge, and had planned on paying it to go, but do you all think it's necessary to see or should I not bother?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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10. Re: Lots of questions for Dec 2 - 9 Trip

If you are willing to pay the extra money for the ticket to the Mickey's Christmas Party, then yes, you should go at least once.

The popularity of this party has increased tremendously over the last few years, and more and more dates for the party are added each year. Apparently, it must be worth the price since the demand for the tickets is so high.

I do advise purchasing the Christmas party tickets ahead of time, as they do limit the number sold per date, and they usually sell out long before the date arrives.