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2011-11-03 10:11 AM

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Expert
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Alexandria, MN
Subject: Disney suggestions

We're heading down for the Disney marathon in January with the kids.  The race is on Sunday, we'll be done and back to our hotel by 11 am.  We have the rest of the day Sunday, then all day Monday and Tuesday for parks.  Flying out Wednesday, no parks that day.  Will not be doing any parks the days prior to the race, just hanging at my parents house far from Disney.

I'd like to try and get in a park on Sunday, after the race.  I know my legs will be shot, but I'm thinking that a bit of walking that afternoon will probably help, as opposed to sitting around by the pool or something the rest of the day.  Plus, I want the kids to get as much as we can from the trip.

Any suggestions on which park might involve the least amount of walking and mayhem that day?  Options are Magic Kingdom, Epcot and maybe Universal because the oldest really wants to do that Harry Potter deal.  Animal Kingdom is a distant 4th option, after all it's just an expensive zoo.  Also, I'm going to be checking to see if there's certain nights that certain parks are open late, since we'll be getting started late in the day.



2011-11-03 10:24 AM
in reply to: #3787275

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

If you are staying on the property, I would go to the studios on Sunday. It is the smallest of the parks and probably the least crowded. Magic Kingdom is always crowded and Epcot requires serious walking if you visit the country displays as you walk around the lake.

If you are off property, you might as well check out Islands of Adventure. The park is about 20-30 minutes from the Disney property towards downtown. There was a time where you could buy an unlimited pass that allowed you to skip the line for each ride once. Not sure if it still exists.

It you want to see the animals without going into Animal Kingdom, simply go into the hotel and out the back side of the lobby. It is open and you will see some animals wander in there. The stairwells at night increases the chance to see them.

2011-11-03 10:28 AM
in reply to: #3787275

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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

i was there for the races last year.

i only went to universal (which is now not called universal) but there isnt much for little kids to do there except see movies (or shows) about movies. only a few "rides" and they are more adult rides.

but , if you want to sit down alot this would be the park to do that is. just sit and watch shows all day.

 

2011-11-03 10:30 AM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

You might re-consider animal kingdom and take the safari ride.  See the whole thing without walking.  Go Early in the A.M. though.

You are correct though, it's a big Zoo with no visible fences.

My vote is for Universal, you can walk, then sit through some of the shows so you're not walking so much.

Last,  GOOD LUCK IN THE MARATHON!!

2011-11-03 10:50 AM
in reply to: #3787275

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
Is Typhoon Lagoon still there? That would be my vote.
2011-11-03 11:01 AM
in reply to: #3787275

Master
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
I would say universal is your best bet.  Animal kingdom is smallest, but it doesn't sound like you are very psyched up about it.  Magic and epcot are pretty huge so I think you're just asking for more wear and tear there.


2011-11-03 11:57 AM
in reply to: #3787275

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Master
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
Did the Harry Potter thing last Jan. and really enjoyed it...highly recommend it.
2011-11-03 12:55 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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Venture Industries,
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
How old are your kids?
2011-11-03 12:57 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
Definitely not Epcot, it's huge.  I like to stay in Disney so I would say Magic Kingdom.  It's small and has plenty to do to keep everybody happy.  When I did the race a few years ago we went to Animal Kingdom in the afternoon.  I thought that was a good choice because it doesn't have SO much to do so I didn't feel rushed after the race.  Also, AK sells beer and MK doesn't.  If you decide on AK I can tell you a bunch of cool stuff that makes it way better than a big zoo!
2011-11-03 1:33 PM
in reply to: #3801639

Iron Donkey
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Brock Samson - 2011-11-03 12:55 PM How old are your kids?

There just saying they're taking the kids, but are they really??  Hmmmmmm.

2011-11-03 2:00 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

No, really, they're coming too!  They are 5 & 8, both boys.



2011-11-03 2:10 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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South Florida
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

I just realized you only have three park days, so if you really want to do MK, Epcot & Universal you won't have time for AK.  I don't know much about Islands of Adventure (the other half of Universal where Harry Potter is), but after the race I would not want to have to leave Disney to get over there - it would waste too much of the day.  If you really want to do IOA I'd go on a  day when you can leave really early to get there as soon as it opens.

 

Just thought of something - where are you staying?  If you are staying on Disney property you can take advantage of the parks opening early or closing late on some of the days you will be there.  

I just checked the schedule and Magic Kingdom is open until 11PM on race day if you are staying on property.  This would give you tons of time to be there and just relax instead of feeling like you had to rush around.  AK closes at 5 that night and Epcot closes at 9.  Tuesday Epcot opens an hour early for resort guests- 8am- 9pm and the other parks close at 9.

I also just checked a website that gives a crowd estimate based on past years and your week looks great - only 2-3 out of 10.

 

If I were you I would do MK Sunday after the race, Epcot Monday & Universal (IOA) Wednesday.

2011-11-03 2:14 PM
in reply to: #3805677

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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
MomX3 - 2011-11-03 2:10 PM

I just realized you only have three park days, so if you really want to do MK, Epcot & Universal you won't have time for AK.  I don't know much about Islands of Adventure (the other half of Universal where Harry Potter is), but after the race I would not want to have to leave Disney to get over there - it would waste too much of the day.  If you really want to do IOA I'd go on a  day when you can leave really early to get there as soon as it opens.

 

Just thought of something - where are you staying?  If you are staying on Disney property you can take advantage of the parks opening early or closing late on some of the days you will be there.  

I just checked the schedule and Magic Kingdom is open until 11PM on race day if you are staying on property.  This would give you tons of time to be there and just relax instead of feeling like you had to rush around.  AK closes at 5 that night and Epcot closes at 9.  Tuesday Epcot opens an hour early for resort guests- 8am- 9pm and the other parks close at 9.

I also just checked a website that gives a crowd estimate based on past years and your week looks great - only 2-3 out of 10.

 

If I were you I would do MK Sunday after the race, Epcot Monday & Universal (IOA) Wednesday.

Holy cow, you totally win the grand prize on helping me out!  I had seen a park hours schedule on the Disney site, but it only went out 10 days.  If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that info?  That seems like it makes the most sense for us, as we are staying on the property (Caribbean Beach Resort) so we'll get to take advantage of the extended hours.

2011-11-03 2:15 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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South Florida
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Boys ages 5 & 8?  Definitely Magic Kingdom!

You also might want to skip Epcot and try Hollywood Studios.  My girls don't love it, but my son does! They have the Indiana Jones show, the car & motorcycle stunt show, the Star Wars ride, Jedi Training (can get picked to fight Darth Vader), Toy Story Mania, the Muppet 3D movie & Tower of Terror or Rockin Rollercoaster if they are tall enough and brave enough.  It is only a 1/2 day park for us though.

 

2011-11-03 2:19 PM
in reply to: #3787275

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

I'm kind of a Disney nerd.  We live in FL now so we go a few times a year, in fact I'm going with a friend this weekend - no kids! - for the Food & Wine Festival).

I checked the Disney site for the park hours, but there is another site called Touring Plans that does a crowd calendar.  They will only show you a few weeks out, but I had subscribed a while back and am still able to see it. 

If your kids aren't dead set on going to Universal it will be cheaper to get a 3 day ticket to Disney than a 2 day ticket there and a 1 day to IOA.

2011-11-03 2:48 PM
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2011-11-03 8:28 PM
in reply to: #3787275

Champion
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Did Disney a few years ago (and scheduled to run Goofy this year).  While not a Disney park, we ended up doing GatorLand post raceday.  It had a lot of sit down shows, no real crowd.

Agree no to Epcot.  You'll run through it twice on raceday - it would just be cruel to have to around there AGAIN.

2011-11-03 8:48 PM
in reply to: #3787275

Master
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Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

We will be there with a 5 and 8 year old as well. We went last October, and it was the prospect of using the 1/2 marathon in 2012 as an excuse to go back so soon that gave me the gumption to start running, and here I am.

We're doing 6 days, 5 nights. We won't be doing everything in the world that we did the first time, but there are some highlights I would recommend for your 5 and 8 year olds.

#1 - Jedi Training. Watching your kids defeat Darth Vader. As a gen Xer, this was the highlight of my trip. The only thing is, you have to get there at rope drop and go get signed up first thing. You can't just happen by and get them in the show. But it is worth the wait in line, and I'm told that wait has even gotten short since last year, and they tell you when to come back. Here's my tiny 4 year old and 7 year old just over a year ago. After the show, or even if you don't do it, go to the Tattooine Shop and you can build your own light saber. (Also in Hollywood Studios, there is an Indiana Jones Stunt Show.)

#2 Something fun to do in the magic kingdom: a new feature for boys, The Pirates League. This is the boy version of the bippity boppity boutique. They get super cool face painting done, they pick a pirate theme. They get a bandana, a sword, eyepatch, and a pretty nice pendant and a pirate name, a picture and a treasure map to decode the pendant. they also sell costumes extra, but we took one of our own that I got at a yard sale, unopened for $1. Check out the 5th 6th and 7th pics in this album.

#3 - downtown disney. Not a park, just a place to spend all your money. Restaurants and stores, but there's a lego store. They might also dig the T-Rex restaurant. Book it now though. You actually may not be able to get in at this point.

Any other BTers interested in crossing paths, I'd love to see if our schedules line up. I have every day pretty well planned again, as far as parks and meals.

2011-11-03 9:28 PM
in reply to: #3787275

Expert
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Alexandria, MN
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Alright, after some more talk with my wife and kids, and checking into the "Marathon Monday" deal here's the plan:

Sunday, after the race, the 8 year old and myself will be heading over to Universal for the rest of the day.  My wife said, "I'd rather spend the $85 park ticket at the yarn store for knitting".  So she's going to sit around the pool with the 5 year old or maybe go to Downtown Disney.

Monday is "Marathon Monday" however from what I've read there will be no free park admission this year, like they did last year.  We'll spend the day at Magic Kingdom, dinner is already reserved at that Crystal Palace place at 6:00.  I guess if you wear your medal you'll at least get lots of congrats and high fives.

Tuesday will be Epcot, and we're taking the kids to Le Cellier for dinner at 5:40.  Tuesday is also an extended hours day, so we can get in an hour early at 8:00am.  If we're lucky we'll make it until park close and the fireworks display.

Wednesday morning we've got a reservations at Chef Mickey's with the kids, then it's off to the airport!

2011-11-04 7:50 AM
in reply to: #3787275

Elite
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Venture Industries,
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Epcot isn't the most kid friendly park.  It's actually two parks in one, the front half has some rides, and the back half is the parade of nations.  There isn't as much for little ones at Epcot as at the other parks.  Also Epcot is the hottest of all the parks because there is very little shade, especially in the front portion of the park.

The nations portion of the park is built around a lagoon so there is A LOT of walking to make it around to see all of the nations.  In the nations portion of the park I think there are only a couple of rides, on at Norway and one in Mexico.

Just a quick FYI. 

2011-11-04 7:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

FoggyGoggles - 2011-11-03 3:48 PM IMO - Hitting the big parks the day of the race might be better than the next one or two. My legs were much worse the days after the HM than 'the' day.

x2.

After my 70.3, I was great that day, awful the second day, and fine the third day.

Second day might be good for Hollywood Studios for all of the reasons mentioned here.



2011-11-04 12:56 PM
in reply to: #3787275

Master
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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
A few bits of advice from a confirmed Dis-nut:

1) Enjoy the Cheese Soup at Le Cellier. Yum! We now just get take out soup at the door and wander around the countries. More time in the park and the same great taste, it's a win/win.
2) X2 on everything from Momx3, she obviously knows her Disney stuff.
3) allears.net has a bunch of good info.
4) Fast-Pass. It is your friend.
2011-11-04 1:11 PM
in reply to: #3821868

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Subject: RE: Disney suggestions
Climbinggonzo - 2011-11-03 10:28 PM

We'll spend the day at Magic Kingdom, dinner is already reserved at that Crystal Palace place at 6:00.  I guess if you wear your medal you'll at least get lots of congrats and high fives.

Tuesday will be Epcot, and we're taking the kids to Le Cellier for dinner at 5:40.  Tuesday is also an extended hours day, so we can get in an hour early at 8:00am.  If we're lucky we'll make it until park close and the fireworks display.

Wednesday morning we've got a reservations at Chef Mickey's with the kids, then it's off to the airport!

You got reservations at 3 of the most popular restaurants at Disney, especially Le Cellier.  Good work!

If your boys are into roller coasters take them to Space Mountain.  We were at Disney in Oct with our 6 year old son and he wanted to try Space Mountain.  I was unsure if he would enjoy it, but he totally loved it.  We had to ride 3 times in a row before he'd had enough.

Get a Dole Whip while at the Magic Kingdom, nice sweet treat after 26.2 miles.

Test Track and Soarin are good rides at Epcot.

2011-11-04 3:51 PM
in reply to: #3787275

Elite
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South Florida
Subject: RE: Disney suggestions

Where are you eating the night before the race?  I ate at a delicious Italian restaurant in the Swan hotel called Il Mulino.  I hear Le Cellier is great, we haven't been there yet.

Epcot does have a lot to do for the kids, not as much as some of the other parks, but they can keep busy.  They should like Soarin', Living with the Land, Nemo, Turtle Talk with Crush, Journey Into Imagination, Test Track (my DDs favorite), Spaceship Earth, the boat ride in Mexico, the ride in Norway and maybe the Mission to Mars (I've never done it, but my kids kind of liked the milder side.)  There are also two buildings in the middle called Innovations East & West - they have some interesting stuff for the kids in there including a virtual roller coaster where you build your coaster then get in a capsule and "ride" what you built.  There is a place that has free samples of different sodas from around the world, get your camera ready and convince your kids to try the Beverly.

In the countries, besides the two rides, there are lots of entertainers that my kids like if I can time it right.  There is also something called Kim Possible missions - my kids enjoyed this.  You find a location (look on the map) and get a ticket to pick up your "Kimmunicator" (an old style flip phone) later in the day.  You pick a country and the phone talks you through a scavenger hunt in that country.  (our favorite so far is Germany)  You can do one mission or do them all day, depends on how much your kids like it.  We had a nice time doing one in England - we had a beer while we followed the kids around - kept everybody happy.  My older girls got bored faster (ages 7 & 9 at the time), but my then 5 year old boy loved it!

 

Oh yeah, and if your kids like to meet the characters there is a character meeting spot in Epcot that has 4 characters in one building, you go to them one by one.  If you get there at an off time the lines aren't usually as bad as other parks.  If you keep your eye out you will also find lots of characters in the countries who rarely have long lines - Snow White in Germany, Mary Poppins in England, Beauty & the Beast in France...



Edited by MomX3 2011-11-04 3:53 PM
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