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what to miss at Disney

alberta
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what to miss at Disney

We want to limit Disney to two or three days and are going in August. We have been to Disneyland in California several times but still want to go to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We have also been to the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park. Are the other parks in Disney worthwhile or can we miss then. Will Universal Studios be worthwhile. Travelling with a 14 and 17 year old?

Colorado
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1. Re: what to miss at Disney

How long is your planned trip? Think you need to investigate a little further, because you will find that Walt Disney WORLD is much different than Disneyland. 4 separate parks, covering large areas; multiple large resort hotels, 2 waterparks, plus Downtown Disney.

Secondly, Universal is two parks--Universal and Islands of Adventure, again quite different than California area!

You could spend a week at Disney alone and not cover everything. Universal area would be at least two days for the two parks.

In addition, the area also has Sea World and it's additional attractions. Nearby in Tampa there is Busch Gardens.

Just trying to give you a sampling and hoping that you will do some homework by reading this site for information to help you make a good decision.

alberta
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2. Re: what to miss at Disney

Our trip will be roughly 14 days flying in and out of Miami. We are planning on two days at Universal. Last time we were there was without kids was 25 years ago. Spent two days at disney and one at universal. Really wondering about Magic Kingdom and whether it s time well spent. The kids are not interested in the water parks as they would rather go to the beach (hence the drive up from Miami along the coast.) Will also be spending a day at Kennedy. I appreciate we do not have the time or money to do it all so want to get the best bang for our buck and see a little of Florida at the same time. We have spent a lot of time at Seaworld and the Zoos in California thus want to do "different". We own Time share in California and are there yearly. Florida is huge and we simply must pick and choose. Hence the start of the research on the forums.

Tampa FL
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3. Re: what to miss at Disney

Florida is huge? Oh come on. Have you looked at a map of Alberta? It's much larger than Florida! LOL!

You are right, there is a lot to do. Since you go to California regularly the first thing you may want to eliminate is Magic Kingdom. Though not identical to Disneyland California, it's close.

Next maybe eliminate Busch Gardens as it is located in Tampa rather than Orlando UNLESS you have thrill ride fans. Islands of Adventure has thrill rides, but most would agree Busch has more and better rides.

Hope you have a wonderful Florida vacation.

Joe

Tampa

Pennsylvania
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4. Re: what to miss at Disney

It really depends on your kids but I think all of the Disney parks are worth seeing. If it is in the budget, you might consider a 3 day park hopper and use the 3rd day to go between Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.

When you are at Kennedy, if time allows, pop into the Police Officers Hall of Fame just outside the space center gate. It is worth a few hours of your time.

Central Illinois
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5. Re: what to miss at Disney

WDW Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are fairly similar and since you are traveling with 2 teenagers you may want to eliminate MK. That leaves Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. IMO you definetly need to see Epcot. Your boys will love Test Track and probably Soarin'. I believe Epcot is the largest park and while there are not tons of rides, there are many things to do and see. We enjoy walking through the different areas of the world and sampling all types of food. Epcot has our favorite "closing" show, IllumiNations. It was the choice for a repeat viewing on our last night there. Hollywood Studios would be a must do, especially with teens. They'll love the RnR coaster and Tower of Terror. Tons of things to do and see. Now, to Animal Kingdom. While they do have animals you may have seen at the San Diego Zoo, SDZ doesn't have Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest (our favorite WDW rides). So, I would say...Epcot, HS and AK for your trip. Also, it is a bit pricier, but having been at WDW a couple times we always get the Park Hopper pass. This will allow you to go to another park if you have exhausted your options at one. It's not an upgrade I would recommend to a first-timer, as on a first visit you will have plenty to do and see in a day at one park, but with the age of your boys and your experienced travel you may want to spend the extra money on a Park Hopper.

pa
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6. Re: what to miss at Disney

Just a note, a 4 day Disney Ticket is only $10 more than a 3 day

IMHO, all 4 Parks are worth a Full Day to explore

Ventnor City, New...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando
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7. Re: what to miss at Disney

In my opinion, Disney's Animal Kingdom is a great park for teens. It's nothing like a zoo or animal park. Outside of the Kilimanjaro Safari ride and few creatures here and there, it's NOTHING like a zoo. AK has my two favorite rides. One is Expedition Everest, a great roller coaster. It doesn't go upside-down, but it does go backwards (pretty unique!) at one point. My other fave is Dinosaur, a ride that can be tough to describe. Twelve people in a ride verhicle, the vehicle moves on a track, but it rides and falls at pitches and is very jerky and thrilling, with dinosaurs coming out at you, etc., all part of a very involved story line that puts you into the action.

Kali River rapids is a great ride, too.

Although not my idea of a good time, a lot of teens might love Primeval Whirl. It's a mini roller coaster where the ride vehicle can be spun around, in addition to its movement along the track. To give you an idea of what it feels to ride it, the ride has earned the nickname Primeval Hurl (hurl, as in slang for vomit).

Disney's Hollywood Studios has great things for teen boys, as well. My two OTHER favorite rides are in DHS, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is fun and unique. It launches using magnets rather than gravity ... from a dead stop, you reach 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, and then you go through 3 inversions during the early part of the ride. Oh, and it's in the dark (much like Space Mountain), so you never know what's coming next. And with loud Aeromith music blaring from speakers in the headrest. Tower of Terror is a very highly themed ride, and at the end you drop down from almost 200 feet up ... and then you bounce back upo and go down again. Again, truly a thrill ride.

Star Tours is a Star Wars-themed motion simulator, which should be a lot of fun for the boys. It's incredibly well done, it's not just a run of the mill simulator.

They should also love Toy Story Midway Mania, the most popular ride in the park. Two people ride at a time, each with a shooting device installed in front of you. You "shoot" at a series of 3-D screens ... nothing physical comes out of your shooting device, but images of what you're shooting appear on the screen ... it's a pretty mind-blowing experience just from a technology angle.

Now, in terms of cost ...

I disagree with advice you got above (in Post #4) concerning buying a 3-day Disney park hopper ticket, to be able to go to 4 parks in 3 days. In terms of the ticket price itself, a 4-day base ticket will be CHEAPER than a 3-day park hopper. In other words, admission will cost you less if you go to 4 Disney parks over 4 days rather than 4 Disney parks over 3 days. [Please don't confuse this with partypa's correct information in Post #6 ... a 4-day base ticket costs about $11 more than a 3-day base ticket, a 4-day park hopper costs about $11 more than a 3-day hopper ... but a 3-day park hopper costs $44 MORE than a 4-day base ticket.]

Edited: 11 March 2012, 14:25
alberta
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8. Re: what to miss at Disney

@josephw51, Yes Alberta is huge, but no theme parks just a LOT of wide open spaces. ( we live 3 hours from the closest airport!)

I love the discussion that is happening, it is giving me a lot to think about. I had not considered Bush Gardens as an option and I like the Park hopper option. With Teenagers you can cover a lot in a day Esp. if you can start at 9 AM and the parks close at 9. Not sure If the boys will allow us to miss MK as they choose it over Calif. Adventure every time. Glad to hear the Animal Kingdom is so different that puts it in the mix. Not sure about Hollywood studios as it sounds like it overlaps with Cal. (Tower of terror in CA and Buss Lightyear in MK). Epcot is a for sure.

To Appease my Husband we will be taking a day off between Disney and Universal. Will likely stay on site at both parks (to take advantage of early entry and other perks). Idea is to check in night before "see" the "walk" area and hit the park in the morning. Any hotel suggestions?

Central Illinois
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9. Re: what to miss at Disney

@notthemama.......Most everyone will recommend a Disney hotel, I however prefer Bonnet Creek (Wyndham resort). It really depends on what you prefer though. Will a room with 2 beds suffice? Or would you prefer more room to move around? Do you like to save money and cook in? Or do you prefer to eat out every meal? Personally, we cook in and like extra space. It has been over 15 years that I have stayed in a hotel room for more than one night. Btw, Bonnet Creek is on Disney property and offers shuttle service to all the parks.

Manchester N.H.
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10. Re: what to miss at Disney

"Worthwhile"??? You betcha!! Gotta see it,to believe it. Age doesn't matter at Disney World. Have a fab time!! ;+)