Re: 16 night trip in August


#1

Hi all,
My first time on the forum!
Our family of 6 are heading to WDW in August for 16 nights for the first time (mum, dad, 2 grown up sons, two teen daughters). We are staying in a villa at Old Key West. I have a couple of questions.
I have signed up to the Touringplan.com site to help me get the best from our time there. I’ve seen the best places to see each day, but is there any site that would calculate this for me if I type in dates? eg. it asks you to tick where you want to visit whilst you are there and factors in all the crowds etc. to give the best 16 night plan?
Also, we would like to finish up with a trip to Universal Studios and SeaWorld. What is the best transportation from Old Key West considering there are 6 of us? Do you think it best to hire a car for a few days or to use Mears?
Anyone have any experience of OKW? Can you get into the parks early using the buses or are we likely to have big problems? Are the boats better?
Any advice would be so much appreciated.
This trip is a one-off and I so much want to make it the holiday of a lifetime for us all.
One final question I’ve just thought of too - any tips on booking restaurants ahead of time? I need to know what date we are doing what I guess, so for example if I want to eat at Rose and Crown in Epcot, we should be in Epcot that day? Does it work like this every day, or does it really not matter, just book a place and make our way to wherever it is on the day in question? There are so many things to worry about getting right or wrong!
Thank you everyone for your help.


#2

Hi Lindat and welcome to Mousebuzz! You’ve certainly come to the right place for help in all the things you’ve asked above, and we have members far more eloquent than myself who will give you all the right answers.
A 16 night trip is wonderful- lucky you! and you’ll be able to do and see almost everything.


#3

Welcome to Mousebuzz! And congratulations on your trip!

As for OKW - it’s our favourite resort! Are you a DVC member or are you renting points - or just staying on your own? Whatever it is - OKW is great. The suites are huge! Biggest of all the DVC properties. Do you have a one or two bedroom suite? Because then you will have a full kitchen, completely supplied with everything you need, washer and dryer. TVs in bedrooms and living room. King bed in master, two queens in second bedroom and sofa-bed in living room.

Here are some tips: Request a refurbished suite. This is easy to do; just call up the resort and ask them to put it on your reservation. This isn’t a guarantee you’ll get one; but if you can say you requested one, it’s more likely you’ll get lucky. Request a villa that is either close to Hospitality House, the first villas on Millar Road or Peninsular Road, the first villas on Old Turtle Pond Road. Be leary of South Point Road, as it is far away from everything AND gets noise from the highway. Our favourite villa is 42, right on the banks of the Sassagoula River. (even if you don’t get a refurbished suite - the suite will still be sparkly clean and very nice. Olivia’s is the restaurant at OKW. It’s good food in a casual “family” type setting. The main pool is fun with a “sandcastle” water slide. There are 3 other quiet pools on the property. Although OKW is a huge resort, it’s very pedestrian friendly and very family friendly. It’s got a very laid-back village feel. You will hear griping about the buses from OKW - but the fact is that every resort has issues with the buses. It’s best just to relax - a bus will get you there and usually without any problems. We’ve stayed at OKW for 20 years and I can count the problems we’ve had with buses on one hand.

I would suggest renting a car for the Universal Days. It’s just so much easier and getting to Universal is simple. You can rent a car right on Disney property at the Swan Resort, the Hilton at Downtown Disney or the rental kiosk just outside the Magic Kingdom. Don’t miss Harry Potter - it’s amazing!

I would advise that you pick up a copy of the Unofficial Guide to WDW for 2011 and read it thoroughly. It has everything you need to know and will answer any question you can think of.

You can make an ADR (that’s Disney-speak for Advanced Dining Reservation) either on-line, or by calling WDW directly. I would advise that you read through the restaurants (or ask questions here) about the restaurants and have an idea what and where you want to eat. Do you want to do character meals? buffets? quiet dinners? ethnic? WDW has them all.

Most of all, feel welcome here - this is the friendliest Disney site on-line - you won’t find snarky comments or nasty comments. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have - someone is bound to know the answer!

Happy planning!:happy:


#4

You need to look at the crowd projections for august at Free Disney World Crowd Calendars, Ride Reviews, Resort Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, and More

August 2011 Disney World Crowd Calendar ? easyWDW

Best part? Free

A careful readthrough of that site will set you on the right path.

Also, #1 piece of Advice…16 days is alot, you wont need to be that agressive in your touring. Don’t stress yourself out.

Book meals that look good to you.

Id get hopper passes so you can go to the different restaurants with ease.

Also, waterparks in August are the best. With all that time, you’ll love the relaxation of sitting in castaway creek for an afternoon.

Rent a car right in WDW, and use that for a few days. There are a few spots (Alamo in the Dolphin Hotel).


#5

Welcome to Mousebuzz.

Well, it sounds as if you have a lot of your questions answered.
Except for a couple: I like midnight walks on the beach; warm showers in the sun; and beer. I’m a Virgo who likes to walk backwards on an escalator for the reaction.

What? wrong forum? sorry … Umm welcome.


#6

Wow 16 nights, welcome to Mousebuzz.


#7

Oh! and don’t worry about BossMouse - he’s harmless…mostly. No, really, harmless - unless he gets away from his keeper.


#8

Are you sure you’re a Virgo? I used to be until they changed the dates. Now I’m a Leo.


#9

Thanks for the replies, especially the tip about requesting a refurbished room. I shall make sure I mention that.
I do have the Unofficial Guide to WDW, just haven’t ploughed through much of it yet. It said to ask for room 46 or 45 or 13. So I mention that on booking. Does anyone know if they are refurbished?
I could call again and change it to refurbished I guess, and change the number to 42?
We are booked with WDTC on a special offer and could only choose from Saratoga Springs or OKW. I hope it will live up to expectations. I would love to have stayed in one of the themed hotels, but it was thousands of pounds more.
Thanks for the tip re. hiring a car also. Is it best to do this ahead of the trip or wait until we are there? If ahead, any suggestions on best hire company?

You do all seem like a very friendly bunch and I’m happy to have found the forum.

It is 180 days away now, and panic just set in and I was thinking I really should be booking some restaurants etc. But even after reading through the book, it is so hard to know what to book when. I’d like to book the Hoop Di Doo Musical Revue (apologies if I spelt that wrong) and I’d like to book the restaurant Le Cellier and Cirque du Soileil and a pub meal in the Rose & Crown, but looking at the calendar, its so hard to know what to put where. Do you think I should just go for it, book any dates I can get and then work around them when I get there? Decisions, decisions … so many to make!

Thanks again,
Linda
:mickey:


#10

Welcome! You have the gift of time!!Make sure you put in at least 2-3 days of nothing! What I mean is you will be exhausted and cranky. On your off days simply get up and see what sounds good to you and your family. It may be a pool day or a waterpark day. It may be a day of shopping at DTD. Trust me, you’ll need it. Disney has a wide variety of places to eat. Take the time to go online and check them out. Do you have the Dining plan?


#11

Remember that you don’t necessarily purchase tickets for the entire stay. For example, if you get a 10 day park hopper with magic your way option, you can spend ten of the days in parks and I believe the same number of visits at typhoon lagoon, blizzard beach(Water parks) and Disneyquest (video games). It might be nice to just spend a few of your days going to just a waterpark…etc. Just an idea.
Welcome to mousebuzz…it is a great site for personalized information!


#12

Also, if you are going to Universal for a couple of days, you don’t want Disney tickets going to waste.

As for restaurants; for a first time the choice is so overwhelming. Will you be on the dining plan? Hoop-de-do is fun (coming from England you’ll get a taste of “down-home” cookin’ and entertainment. It’s all you can eat bbq. The show is corny - the jokes are always the same - but somehow you still laugh at them. It’s entertaining and fun.

LeCellier is a steakhouse and you will get arguments from both sides; I think I’m being accurate to say that the majority of people really like LeCellier and for a lot it’s their favourite restaurant. It’s known for it’s cheese soup, pretzel bread and filet with mushroom risotto. The staff is super-friendly and it’s a relaxed atmosphere (no need to worry about dressing up). It’s probably one of the hardest restaurants to get into because it’s not that large, so if you want to eat there, reserve asap.

Rose & Crown - well…I love the UK and everything…but the R&C menu isn’t the greatest (and that’s agreed by English people). THAT BEING SAID, I’ve only eaten lunch there once and it was fish 'n chips and you can get the very same fish 'n chips at the kiosk outside for half the price and get to sit in the pretty English gardens to eat them. The one big plus of dinner at the R&C is that you have a perfect vantage point for watching “Illuminations”, the Epcot Fireworks show, in the evening. The terrace overlooks the water.

Another thumbs-up restaurant at Epcot is the Biergarten in Germany where it’s Oktoberfest everynight. It’s a buffet and the food is plentiful and good and so is the beer. There’s an Oompah band and dancing. Because there are six of you, you’ll probably get a table to yourselves. Many don’t like Biergarten because tables are shared - but just as many like it because they are and you can meet other people.

Don’t worry over whether choosing OKW over SSR was the right thing to do - both are fantastic resorts - and while the decor isn’t as over-the-top as say, All Star Movies - both are luxury resorts and you’ll feel the Disney vibe at all the resorts. They will more than live up to your expectations. You can check out the photo gallery of OKW at AllEarsNet.com. You can also read all the menus of all the restaurants there. Any of the buildings you mentioned at OKW are good. Remember - you can only request - it’s not a guarantee you’ll get the building you ask for.

Cirque de Soleil is amazing! Everyone should see it at least once.


#13

Just a quick correction to the previous post… It’s www.allears.net not allearsnet.com :wink: That site is a wealth of information as is the new one we’ve all come to like recently, Free Disney World Crowd Calendars, Ride Reviews, Resort Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, and More. I refer to them everyday when planning a trip.

You’re getting great info so far! I wanted to add, make sure you read through lots of threads here to get ideas for restaurants (like the current one about restaurants we wouldn’t go back to!) and touring itineraries. Also, read the trip reports! Great ideas there and lots of feedback on the good, the not so good, and the not-so-Disney. :mickey: Have fun with your planning and I know you’ll have a great holiday! 16 nights in The World won’t disappoint!


#14

[QUOTE=TaraRae82;1066320]Just a quick correction to the previous post… It’s AllEars.Net - The Unofficial Disney Planning Guide for Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line not allearsnet.com :wink: That site is a wealth of information as is the new one we’ve all come to like recently, Free Disney World Crowd Calendars, Ride Reviews, Resort Reviews, Restaurant Reviews, and More. I refer to them everyday when planning a trip.

You’re getting great info so far! I wanted to add, make sure you read through lots of threads here to get ideas for restaurants (like the current one about restaurants we wouldn’t go back to!) and touring itineraries. Also, read the trip reports! Great ideas there and lots of feedback on the good, the not so good, and the not-so-Disney. :mickey: Have fun with your planning and I know you’ll have a great holiday! 16 nights in The World won’t disappoint![/QUOTE]

Allears owns both links so whether you type in AllEars.Net - The Unofficial Disney Planning Guide for Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line or www. allears.net it will take you to the same place. My “favorites” point to the allearsnet.com, when you mentioned that the sight was different I thought maybe there were two different Disney sights for me to look at so I had to go try it. No such luck, they just take me both to the same sight.


#15

The sight keeps linking all my explanations so my post doesn’t make sense. The point is that both web addresses take you to the same place.


#16

Huh. Well it sure does work both ways. Learn something new everyday!


#17

Keep those great tips coming! Wonderful.
We have a 14 day pass to all Disney parks (one of the UK specials).
So we can come and go as we please, including the water parks.
We also have the free Disney Dining Plan. I think I’m just going to book up some great restaurants, and we’ll have to work around them while we’re there.
Its so hard planning 180 days ahead.
I’ll book Le Cellier and Coral Reef and Cirque du Soleil and the harder things to get plus Fantasmic dinner show. I’ll probably book a table at Rose and Crown to eat fish and chips and watch the fireworks too, thanks for the tip!
As we are only there 16 nights, we probably will waste a night of our tickets, but we got a great deal, and I really want to see Universal, Sea World and Islands of Adventure, so its necessary to “waste” a day of the other tickets.
Does anyone know if you can buy Universal, I of A and SW tickets in advance any cheaper?
Thanks,


#18

[QUOTE=Lindat;1066377]Keep those great tips coming! Wonderful.
We have a 14 day pass to all Disney parks (one of the UK specials).
So we can come and go as we please, including the water parks.
We also have the free Disney Dining Plan. I think I’m just going to book up some great restaurants, and we’ll have to work around them while we’re there.
Its so hard planning 180 days ahead.
I’ll book Le Cellier and Coral Reef and Cirque du Soleil and the harder things to get plus Fantasmic dinner show. I’ll probably book a table at Rose and Crown to eat fish and chips and watch the fireworks too, thanks for the tip!
As we are only there 16 nights, we probably will waste a night of our tickets, but we got a great deal, and I really want to see Universal, Sea World and Islands of Adventure, so its necessary to “waste” a day of the other tickets.
Does anyone know if you can buy Universal, I of A and SW tickets in advance any cheaper?
Thanks,[/QUOTE]

There are a few brokers that sale tickets a little cheaper than at the box office. Disney World tickets discount, Free Disney iPhone app, Android, Disney wait times, Universal Studios tickets - Undercover Tourist is one of them, I have used them once and didn’t have any problems. They usually save you tax and that is about it, but that can add up for 6 adults. Just make sure that it is a reliable source and that the tickets are valid. Usually if the ticket price is to good to be true it really is to good to be true. A lot of people don’t like to hassle with these just because they want to ensure they have a good ticket. Others sware by them because it does save a little money. You can also get good discounts if you stay on property at Universal but it sounds like you are booked at OKW for the entire trip.

I am jealous of a 16 day trip. We usually spend nine to ten nights and you still can’t get everything in. Sixteen will be just enough to fit in all the excitement and still get time to relax and enjoy yourself.


#19

“Only” 16 nights! Most people would give their firstborn for 16 nights at WDW! That sounds like a terrific deal you got!


#20

Welcome to MB. As you can see we all enjoy reading about our fellow members planning process. I have also gotten some great ideas right here reading trip reports.

We have done 11 days, but never 16. You will have plenty of time to take in everything the World has to offer. Remember, if you don’t get to do a certain ride or show, just catch it on another day. I remember that on our first trip w/ the kids they were upset that we did not get to EVERYTHING in MK on the first day. Then we went back the next day and everything was right in their lives. It can be overwhelming. If you are tired, just find a bench and people wach. Some of my best times are watching unknowing parents dragging tired and cranky kids around, especially late at night after the fireworks. We enjoy waiting until everyone has left the park and then make our way to the gates.

Remember to allow rest and relaxation time at your resort. Extra Magic Hours are great. Take advantage of them but at the same time don’t run full steam ahead every day and drain your batteries by trying to hit them all. After all, you are on vacation. That one fact is forgotten by many.

Enjoy. I look forward to your planning updates.