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First time WDW

HappyStitch

New Member
Hello!

My boyfriend and I would like to visit WDW (and Universal Studios, Cape Kennedy, ...) for the first time in May. It's our first trip to Florida and we will stay 3 to 3,5 weeks including a few days in Miami with trips to Key West and the Everglades. In Orlando we will stay a minimum of two weeks.

I have a few questions.

Is it a good idea to travel to the parks during the pandemic? Which restrictions can we expect?
Do we need a rental car for Orlando or can we use shuttles/uber or can we walk by foot?

I would be very grateful for every tips :)
 

heatherhy01

Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome to the boards!! How exciting to be planning your first trip to Florida!
Is it a good idea to travel to the parks during the pandemic? Which restrictions can we expect?
I think that by traveling anywhere, there is some risk involved. What you will not get to experience since it's your first time are those great character interactions that most of us are use to. You can still meet them from afar and take "selfies" but you will not be able to have those photos that we all know and adore from the past. With it being your first time, you may not even take notice..lol As of right now, masks are mandated for indoor activities and indoor lines, but not while walking outdoors. Depending on when in May you intend to travel, you may have less of a crowd. I mean, there are always a lot of people in the parks but at certain times, they are more crowded.
Do we need a rental car for Orlando or can we use shuttles/uber or can we walk by foot?
You would be able to use Uber, but that could get costly for the amount of time that your staying. I guess that I would look at how long you are staying at "Disney", are you staying on property or off property? A rental car might be your best bet. My thoughts are that if you intend on doing Disney when you first arrive and are staying on property, you could use the internal travel system to get around the parks until you are ready to check out and hit your other sights at an off property hotel. Then, you could pick up the rental. Or, are you renting a house/condo for your entire stay? If that is the case, I would definitely suggest a rental car.

This is just my opinion and I am by no means an expert. Have fun planning! And keep us updated on all your plans, we love to hear about other folks trips:)
 
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llo HappyStitch...welcome to the boards! You have come to the right place for advice on your upcoming vacation! You have a lot of Friends on here that will guide you through your journey, all you have to do it ask and you will get answers, suggestions and advice.

My 2 cents worth is if you opt to get a rental car, I would use amtrak.com(asl Julie: RENTAL CARS) and follow link. for 3 weeks of rental car is $57/day or $1198.00/3 weeks
Depending on where you are coming from(?) you can use undercovertourist.com for discounted Park Tickets and Hotels!

If you need any help just holler!°O°
 
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HappyStitch

New Member
Original Poster
Thank you both so much for your helpful tips :)
I'm happy to find here other Disney Fans like me :)

I've talked to my boyfriend and we also can travel in September or October. I would love it to interact with the disney characters, so I think about travel in autumn may be better?!

After your advices we have decided to rent a car for our stay in Orlando.

Many greetings from Austria,
Katy
 
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Figgy1

Premium Member
Happy Planning IMHO you should go in fall if heat and humidity bother you by fall I mean mid late October through November the later you go the less chance for a tropical system going through the area.
Run do not walk and get a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Disney and sign up for touring plans as that will make everything so much easier.
For the Universal portion of the trip try and stay at one of the 3 deluxe resorts a that will get you unlimited express pass
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Just in case you dont know, as you are now renting a vehicle... there is a charge for parking at the Disney resort parking lots. Be sure to add this into your WDW budget. Since you are planning to do off property trips, renting a car will depending on how much you travel around will be better for you cost wise and time wise than Uber. Using the Disney transportation around property is easy to use and can be efficient, but you may find driving to the parks faster. Returning to your resort by car in the evenings can be faster due to the lengthy lines for buses.
 
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RoadiJeff

Well-Known Member
You can get a full size rental car for under $260 per week, including taxes and fees, through Priceline. As others have mentioned, be careful about the hotels that charge for daily parking, usually $20-$25 per day. The Comfort Inn that I stayed at last fall did not have a parking surcharge.

Screenshot 2022-01-15 at 23-44-31 Priceline - Checkout MCO, 1 22 - 1 29.png
 
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RoadiJeff

Well-Known Member
@RoadiJeff thank you for your tips :)

We are now thinking about going in September. Which month will you prefer? May or September?
Hmm...tough choice. In May, it would be right before the kids get out of school for the summer and the crowds might be slightly less. In September, it would be right after the kids go back to school and maybe less crowded then, too. I'd probably go in September.

Here's a money-saving tip related to renting a car. Florida has many toll roads and the rental car companies make it convenient for the customers by renting a toll transponder to them, usually for $10 per day. That's in addition to the actual cost of any tolls. You can go on the Florida Sunpass website (the state's toll authority) and purchase your own transponder for $14.95. It's yours to keep forever. You can use it in your rental car and avoid whatever daily rental fee they charge. You just pay a discounted price of any actual tolls. The Orlando airport (MCO) also has a free transponder rental service called Visitor Toll Pass. It's a great program and I've used it in the past.

I noticed you mentioned traveling to Key West. Back many years ago, I rode a motorcycle over 1,400 miles from my home to Key West and spent several days there. It felt like a whole different world than the rest of Florida. I enjoyed it but I had to eventually return home to the real world.
 
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Raxel7851

Well-Known Member
We enjoy going in May and September, but May is our favorite month. It doesn’t seem as humid as September and the crowds are about the same in both Months. Like @RoadiJeff stated, either month would be a good call. One side note though, the chance of a tropical storm/hurricane popping up would be less of an issue in May. You’ll have a great time either month!
 
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@RoadiJeff thank you for your tips :)

We are now thinking about going in September. Which month will you prefer? May or September?
Hey Happy...
September gives you the benefit of going to the Halloween Party (if they have it) ... I would shoot for September because its lower LOCAL crowds because school starts back in Florida. I would suggest bringing a rain poncho for each of you because it will rain at least an hour a day! If money is an issue, I would stay off site and save some money! OR if you want to stay on property...I would stay on property at UNIVERSAL rooms are better priced even over $100+/night and then just visit Disney during your stay. Use amtrak.com for rental car you may have to wait until you get here to do that! But if you fly into Orlando, you can simply take a few minutes after you deboard the plane to grab a bite to eat and grab a nice, discounted car rental through amtrak.com(ask julie-RENTAL CARS)
 
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jimbojones

Well-Known Member
@RoadiJeff thank you for your tips :)

We are now thinking about going in September. Which month will you prefer? May or September?
Honestly if you are two adults I would switch your schedule around a bit. I'd suggest 1 week in disney, 1 week for other parts of florida (rent a car) like KSC and St Augustine, and then end with 1 week in the keys. Key West is a great adult vacation destination, lots of fun bars and wild street energy (not even remotely family friendly at night), the rest of the keys are more laid back and you can snorkel on the reef, visit lots of beautiful natural spots, museums( visit the diving museum) , rent a boat, etc. But it is a long drive from Miami to Key west, I strongly suggest staying in the keys rather than day tripping from Miami. Don't get me wrong I like miami, (restaurants, cool night clubs, toasting your buns at Haulover) but there are so many nice little old motels in the keys that are just so pleasant and relaxing as well as great resatarants and natural beauty. I also suggest making disney the first part of the trip. You will have a blast but wdw is crowded and occasionally stressful, especially during the pandemic with everyone getting up in your space. Unwinding in the keys is a great way to end your time in Florida and outside of a forum like this which is full of rabid fanatics, I don't know anyone who has said to me that more than a week at disney was still fun. At some point the crowds and hemoraging of cash wear regular people down. Most of my non-fanatic friends were happiest with 4-5 days at disney

Sept in Florida is great, and hopefully by then the pandemic will have waned a bit too.
 
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HappyStitch

New Member
Original Poster
We are also thinking about to spend one week on the Bahamas after Orlando and skip Key West and the Everglades, because I'm looking about hotels at the Keys, but the are so expensive. For one week for 2 adults only the room the prices are minimum 3000 US Dollars.
But at the time we are not sure if we should travel to Orlando during the pandemic. I guess we will wait until summer to see how things going on and maybe the pandemic will end in a few months.
 
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NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
Another vote for May. September, although rare, is still in the midst of hurricane season. While we've visited in both in May and Sept (and many other months in between), May is a great time to visit, especially early to mid-May. I'd take rain protection whatever month you decide to go in. We went in April and were absolutely drenched when a freak storm came up--we had ponchos and umbrellas but they didn't help at all with the wind driving the rain sideways (I guess that storm knocked trees over in AK, lightning struck somewhere in MK, it was quite something for an April rain storm)!
 
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jimbojones

Well-Known Member
We are also thinking about to spend one week on the Bahamas after Orlando and skip Key West and the Everglades, because I'm looking about hotels at the Keys, but the are so expensive. For one week for 2 adults only the room the prices are minimum 3000 US Dollars.
But at the time we are not sure if we should travel to Orlando during the pandemic. I guess we will wait until summer to see how things going on and maybe the pandemic will end in a few months.
I hope this does not inflame anyone so I will try to say it in as neutral a way as is possible. but if you are concerned about the pandemic Florida is not a place where you will find that the masses are particularly concerned about it and it may not be a comfortable destination for you. But sept is a long way away.
 
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HappyStitch

New Member
Original Poster
We haven't already decided.
Maybe we will go in May for 2 weeks + 2 weeks Bahahams or Tulum, because we haven't see the sea or any beach 3 years long and had no vacation since them. We really need fun but also time to relax on a beach :)

The other option is to go to Orlando in September or early December for only 2 weeks and go to a beach destination for 2 weeks in May.

What do you think? :)
 
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