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First Time in DW Orlando from Overseas, looking for tips !

moimatt

New Member
Original Poster
Hello everyone,

We will be visiting DW from Nov 17th (arrival time unknown) to Nov 20th (we are leaving early morning on Nov 21st) and there will be 4 or us : a married couple and two singles, all in our early 30s.

What you should know about me (I think it might be important, but I won't feel too bad if you skip this part :) ) :

I absolutely love Disney.
I live in France and I've been to DLP (which I still call Euro Disney) a dozen times, meaning I know the place by heart.
I've been to Disney Sea in Tokyo in 2017 and realized that "our" park is actually quite small. I was taken aback by several things besides the size of the place : there were unique food carts all over the place (and I felt like I had a duty to sample all of them) and we didn't have time to do everything we wanted since the place was huge and we didn't really plan our day.
This is why I'm looking into this trip now, trying to plan EVERYTHING, especially since it seems there are so many things that I should know that I don't.
The more I look into it, the more I get lost.
So hopefully you guys will be a tremendous help in our planning of this trip.
Oh and I apologize for any mistakes as English is not my native language.

Where we will be staying

We're on the fence between two places :
  • 2 rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter
  • 1 Family Suite at Art of Animation
We are not very regarding as we just want a place to sleep that is comfortable, not too remote
Any advice is welcome.

Parks we plan on visiting
  • MK
  • HS (for Galaxy's Edge obviously)
  • AK
  • Maybe Univeral Studios
We have three days at the very least, maybe 3 and a half. Do you think this is feasible?
Obviously we want to make the best of Galaxy's Edge as this is the main reason we are coming to Orlando, but any recommendation on must-do rides or rides to skip would be greatly appreciated. Since we are very familiar with the rides in DLP, we are open to skipping those that we already experienced in Paris, unless they are very different in Orlando.

Other miscellaneous questions
  • What would be your best dining recommendations? We plan on snacking during the day and having a full meal for dinner only
  • Should we use the bus/shuttles or use our car (we re renting one at the airport)? We like to save time but I think at this point, money might be an issue, so we are considering the price of tolls, gas and any other I might have missed.
  • Any shows that we should absolutely see?
  • Are there any "secret" experiences? Just like secret menu items at In and Out, are there secret/hidden things we should know that could make the experience even better? In Paris everything is pretty upfront, you kinda get what you see and, maybe because we are French, there is little interactions with the cast. So if there are such secrets, I'm all ears :)
  • Anything else that comes to mind that I might have missed?
I realize there is an awful lot of questions.
We started planning this trip a couple of weeks ago and the more I research this part of our holidays, the more I am overwhelmed by the amount of information there is and the things that I had not taken into consideration (I now know we will have Magic Bands and that we HAVE to plan our FPs early. And I also know that there are far too many restaurants for me to keep track).
Bottom line is : I'm scared to botch our stay and not enjoy the experience as much as we could have
I will keep reading about it all in different parts of this forum in the meantime, but I greatly appreciate any help coming our way :)

Thanks you very much !
Matt
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
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To assist you, what ride types and food do you enjoy ? Being from Europe, Epcot in it's current state only has a few items that might intrest you.
 

Worldlover71

Well-Known Member
Bienvenue! Vous avez beaucoup des questions, mais, nous avon beaucoup des suggestions ici. (Your English is much better than my French!)

Where we will be staying: Since you are all adults, I would suggest two rooms rather than a suite. I think you will be more comfortable. You mentioned that money was a concern and that you do not plan on spending much time in your room. You might want to look into Pop Century, which is less expensive than Port Orleans but still a fun place to stay. There, you will also have the new Skyliner to get to HS (and Epcot , if you go there.)

Parks we plan on visiting : With 3 1/2 days, something will have to be sacrificed. WDW is just too big to see everything in one short trip. Universal is also large and you could easily spend three days there. I would suggest 1 day each for MK and HS. You did not mention Epcot, which would be my choice for a third full day. If you do not want to go there for some reason, I would spend my third day at AK. Some people say it is not a full day park, but if you enjoy animal exhibits and shows, there is plenty to see. If however, you prefer thrill rides and Harry Potter, Universal should be your third park. If you find that you arrive early on your first day and are not too tired, you could also add an additional day to your ticket and spend it in either Epcot or AK, depending on where you choose to spend the other days.

Should we use the bus/shuttles: I would say yes, unless you are going to Universal, in which case you would need a car or a taxi/ride share. The Magical Express is included in the price of your hotel and is very efficient. The buses, boats, monorails and other included transportation are all efficient (some others might disagree about this.)

I hope this helps you get started.
 

mf1972

Well-Known Member
welcome to the forums. my wife & i have stayed at the french quarter & it’s a very nice resort. a suite at animation will be cheaper than 2 rooms at FQ. it depends on your preference.
a nice feature that FQ has is boat transportation service to disney springs. you’ll find a lot of dining options there.
you could watch some videos on youtube for both resorts & maybe that’ll help you make your decision. i might be wrong, but i think MK christmas party will be taking place during your stay. we did it last year & enjoyed it. it’s a separate ticketed event. it’s not included in your admission.
i hope some of this helps. enjoy your trip!

p.s.-i’m jealous. we haven’t been to any of the overseas disney parks as of yet
 

moimatt

New Member
Original Poster
Thanks a lot for the warm welcome and your input !

You guys are fast, this is amazing :)

So, after discussing the topic a bit with my fellow travelers, it looks like we will be spending 4 full days in Orlando, we are therefore tempted to substitute AK for Epcot since you guys seem to recommend it (I know nothing about Epcot so I will be reading all I about it can today).
To be honest, we decided upon AK solely based on Pandora, so if you think Epcot is better than AK, we might just follow your guidance (and for the record, we are more into thrill rides)
As far as the food is concerned we love everything ! We just want to avoid French/Parisian food since we get that all year long :) Cajun food however is something that we cannot find in France (or not that I am aware of) so we re more than willing to have some gumbo.

Worldlover71 Thanks for the French words, your French seem actually pretty good !
mf1972 Hopefully you'll get to experience one of those soon. I would recommend Tokyo because there are two big parks and I absolutely love Japan so it s the perfect opportunity to make a big memorable holiday (and it's a well known fact that we French people think that France is the best country in the world. But it is also the place we hate the most so anywhere else is better ;) )
 

Hula Baloo

Member
Our trips are going to be around the same time. I will be at WDW November 14-18.

Resort:
I have stayed at POFQ and really liked the theming. However, the Art of Animation will have the new Skyliner gondola system open by the time you visit. That would be another form of transportation for you to get to Hollywood Studios.

Parks:
If you are unsure about Universal Studios, I highly suggest EPCOT! The Food & Wine Festival will be taking place during your visit. The Skyliner gondola system will also take you from Art of Animation to EPCOT.
- Future World at EPCOT opens before the World Showcase portion opens. You can still walk through World Showcase, make dining reservations and ride the Frozen ride, but the shops won't open until 11:00am.

Transportation:
I don't believe you need to rent a car. I have never rented a car while at WDW. The Magical Express can pick you up from the airport and take you to your resort for free. Make sure to schedule a reservation in advance. If your flight arrives after 10:00pm local Florida time, you will have to get your luggage from baggage claim yourself. All other times in WDW, you can take the bus system or Skyliner if you stay at AOA. Uber or Lyft is also an option that I have used while there.

Fastpasses (FP+):
Since you are staying on WDW property, make sure you schedule these 60 days in advance of your first check-in day. Since you are in France, the time to schedule these Fastpasses would be September 18 at 1:00pm (7:00am Florida time).
- Make sure you get a Fastpass for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom. Those go very quickly and if you aren't able to get one, the wait time for standby is easily 2+ hours.
- At Magic Kingdom, the popular rides are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 7 Dwarves Mine Train, Peter Pan's Flight, Haunted Mansion. Choose your top 3 out of those options for Fastpasses.

Magic Bands:
Make sure to select the magic band colors you want by November 7. If you do not make a color selection, you will get a gray color. The Magic Bands are used as room keys to get you into your hotel room. They also store your Fastpasses on them and can be used to make purchases if you connect your credit card to the band.
 

Dave Ber

Well-Known Member
Thanks a lot for the warm welcome and your input !

You guys are fast, this is amazing :)

So, after discussing the topic a bit with my fellow travelers, it looks like we will be spending 4 full days in Orlando, we are therefore tempted to substitute AK for Epcot since you guys seem to recommend it (I know nothing about Epcot so I will be reading all I about it can today).
To be honest, we decided upon AK solely based on Pandora, so if you think Epcot is better than AK, we might just follow your guidance (and for the record, we are more into thrill rides)
As far as the food is concerned we love everything ! We just want to avoid French/Parisian food since we get that all year long :) Cajun food however is something that we cannot find in France (or not that I am aware of) so we re more than willing to have some gumbo.

Worldlover71 Thanks for the French words, your French seem actually pretty good !
mf1972 Hopefully you'll get to experience one of those soon. I would recommend Tokyo because there are two big parks and I absolutely love Japan so it s the perfect opportunity to make a big memorable holiday (and it's a well known fact that we French people think that France is the best country in the world. But it is also the place we hate the most so anywhere else is better ;) )
Epcot is really about Drinking and some food, I would not skip out on Animal Kingdom, especially Pandora and Flight of Passage, along with Everest, the roller coaster and the safari, it is a much superior park than Epcot. If you are going to skip something, I would skip Universal this trip and go to the 4 Disney parks
 

mf1972

Well-Known Member
i also meant to recommend epcot also since the food & wine festival will still be running during your stay. we’ve done it many times, & enjoy it. if you’re not familiar with it, here’s the lowdown...
you’ll see food kiosks around the world showcase representing other countries offering bite size portions of foods from those countries & drinks also.
only downside is it’s gotten very popular over the last few years, so it could be pretty busy.
 
I would definitely recommend skipping pirates of the Caribbean ride to save time ( my favourite ride) It is extremely short compared to DLRP and California. Peter Pan was also identical from when I went compared to DLRP I do love that ride too however if short on time I would skip.
I would be tempted to skip Universal and concentrate solely on Disney . It is huge and you will want all the days to explore as much as you can.


We really enjoyed our meal at Boma which is at the Animal Kingdom lodge. We had spent the day at Animal Kingdom then we caught a bus to the Animal Kingdom lodge.

We are from the U.K , Epcot is our favourite park. We do however always skip the UK pavillion.
 

csmat99

Premium Member
You must go to Epcot and world showcase especially with Food and Wine still running. Great drinks and food. Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite parks but since you don't have too much time I would just do fast passes there for the safari, Everest and if lucky flight of passage and do quick stroll to see rest. Can knock it out in half a day. I have been able to do all four parks in 3.5 days but I have advantage of going many many times and know my way around.
 
I'm interested in why you skip the U.K. pavilion? Is it because it's too cliche looking and not accurate?
I guess because there is so much to see and do in world show case , we love all of the shows and atmosphere , but in the UK it is very much like home. The Rose and Crown also has the food we have at home . I am lucky we live right by the New Forest national park , and the beach . We always have fish and chips on the beach - best way to have them.

If we lived in a city then we probably would spend more time in the UK pavilion . My favourite pavilion is Mexico , I have fond memories from my first trip as a kid , and then later on when I have returned with my own family.
 

Hula Baloo

Member
I guess because there is so much to see and do in world show case , we love all of the shows and atmosphere , but in the UK it is very much like home. The Rose and Crown also has the food we have at home . I am lucky we live right by the New Forest national park , and the beach . We always have fish and chips on the beach - best way to have them.

If we lived in a city then we probably would spend more time in the UK pavilion . My favourite pavilion is Mexico , I have fond memories from my first trip as a kid , and then later on when I have returned with my own family.
Okay now I see, that makes sense. Now that I think about it, I walk past the US Pavilion each time I visit.

Yes, the Mexico pavilion is very pretty inside.
 

Familyof5

New Member
Parks:
Epcot is not my favorite. It's great....but If I only could visit 3 parks, I would skip Epcot.

Certainly, don't miss Animal Kingdom. It is very unique. Flight of Passage is the FastPass to get. NOT to be missed.

And, given your interest in HS, you may want to look at Transportation.
Art of Animation has a Gondola for transportation to HS. French Quarter is by bus.

We often stay 4 Adults at Pop Century....right across the bridge from Art of Animation. newly referbished 2Q - and less expensive. Same Gondola rides. But, eat at Art of Animation's food court....much better otions.

Trust me, you won't be spending much time in your rooms!
Enjoy.
 
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