• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Trip Report MILESTONE TRIP! First Orlando Visit, Final Disney Park! LIVE

THE TIME HAS COME!

In just about a week, I will be starting my very first ever trip to Orlando…and all therein that may be explored.

As the title suggests, among other milestones, this trip will see me visiting my 12th and final Disney Park – Magic Kingdom itself! I have traveled extensively, with all the other Disney Destinations worldwide under my belt, yet somehow I have so far resisted the allures of the Vacation Kingdom. In this week days leading up to my departure, I’ll be going over “why not yet,” “why now,” my itinerary, maybe even soliciting some travel advice.

But for now…Who’s going?

7166D4BC-82E3-4FDB-981E-47ACE8702961.jpeg

Me after a hike at Bryce Canyon (the real Big Thunder). My beard is much calmer now.

Just me. Doug. Typically I’m a regular of the Imagineering forums, but I'm just a dilettante on these Trip Report boards. Traveling solo, as is my wont.

Where? Universal’s Endless Summer Resort for three nights, then the Walt Disney World Swan for like a week.

When? September 21st – October 1st.

The broadest plan is to see as much of Orlando as I can (both Disney and beyond) in the week+ prior to Magic Kingdom’s 50th. That means plans to see Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, even the Fun Spots.

Over ambitious, perhaps? Sure it is, but I’ve done my research, and I know my travel style and what I'm capable of! Let’s do this!
 
Last edited:

macefamily

Well-Known Member
Oh yeah ! Bring it ! Hopefully we see you. We'll be a group of 5. We're leaving from Philly, PA 10:00 PM on Wed., 9/22. Hitting Universal & Epcot on Thursday (Horror Nights), all day Universal with a dinner at Boathouse on Friday, brunch on Saturday at Art Smiths with an all day Hopper for Disney parks, going to try and hit all four. We're not a "rope drop" type of group, but we're going to try it this trip. Enjoy and be safe !
 
Last edited:

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You’ve been to Epcot, DHS, and Animal kingdom, but not Magic kingdom? But you also said it’s your first time in Orlando. I admit — I’m confused.
This will be my first time at Epcot, DAK & DHS as well. I’ll be visiting them before Magic Kingdom, since I wanted to give it the place of honor as #12. Expect a more complete itinerary later on.


Oh yeah ! Bring it ! Hopefully we see you. We'll be a group of 5. We're leaving from Philly, PA 10:00 PM on Wed., 9/22. Hitting Universal & Epcot on Thursday (Horror Nights), all day Universal with a dinner at Boathouse on Friday, brunch on Saturday at Art Smiths with an all day Hopper for Disney parks, going to try and hit all four. We're not a "rope drop" type of group, but we're going to try it this trip. Enjoy and be safe !
Hooray! Looks like we’ll be doing HHN on the same night! After that, I start tackling the Disney parks in “reverse order,” so with any luck we’ll run into each other a few times.

While I hope to do rope drops, that’ll take some adjustment since I’m coming out from the West Coast.

Third! Have an awesome time on your trip, Hulk!
Thanks Cap!
 

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm in! Looking forward to hearing a first timers opinion of the World right now. Thanks for sharing your trip!
Welcome! I hope I do Orlando and Walt Disney World justice.

Looking forward to the report

And once you have stepped foot into #12 (WDW MK in your case) I will welcome you the club
(WDW MK was #1 for me - SDL was my #12 in 2017)

Max
I seem to recall years ago we traded notes on Hong Kong and Shanghai. I look forward to joining the Twelve Park Club!

Will be following along!
Glad to have you aboard!

Will be looking forward to reading about it. Your roadtrip report from a few years ago is one of my favorite trip reports I have read here.
Awesome, glad to have you! I don't completely remember which road trip report this was. Was it a coaster trip?
 

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
zzX1FF1.jpg

OK, SO WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN TO ORLANDO BEFORE?

I’m in my late 30s now, and I travel a lot, so how is it that the world’s premier vacation destination has thus far passed me by?

Well, I’m a Disneyland local. I grew up 40 minutes away, and I still go regularly. So that casual spur-of-the-moment, day-of Disney fix has always been nearby. No need to schedule a cross-country trip for something similar.

And when the travel bug did strike, I quickly found that my tastes skewed international, exotic, and adventurous. Travel light, travel cheap, forego comfort to maximize experiences! By traveling like this, I’ve been fortunate enough in recent years to go…
  • Camping on the plains of the Serengeti
  • Climbing the Huangshan Mountains in China
  • Camel safaris and overnight trains across Northern India
  • Eating deadly pufferfish sushi in Kyoto
  • Watching underground muay thai boxing in Bangkok
  • Exploring the Cambodian ruins of Angkor

Among other things.

g2BYekB.jpg


These travels have also brought me to Disney’s (& Universal’s) many wonderful international parks – TDL, TDS, SDL, HKDL, DLP, WDSP, also USJ & USS. These parks are often a nice brief respite from the wider world of travel. If I’m in a foreign country for several weeks already, I don’t mind a couple of days at a theme park.

So I’ve just never happened to find myself in Orlando yet. It’s harder to justify to myself a theme-park-only vacation. WDW seems especially intimidating to a first-time visitor. It is much more of a resort than the other Disney Parks worldwide, with much more emphasis placed on on-site hotels & FastPass+ and ADRs, plus a massive cottage industry and fan culture surrounding it. Lots more pre-planning required! For my travel style, jaunting off to someplace new like Malaysia or Turkey is easier. I’ve grown accustomed to touching down in a wholly unique culture and finding my way around with limited resources or amenities. My comfort zones are weird!



SO WHY AM I GOING TO ORLANDO NOW?

COVID happened!

Travel abroad is no longer an option. So, like many, my attentions turned towards the United States. Last year, I satisfied my travel itch by road tripping the western National Parks…before a wildfire threatened my house and I had to return home early to deal with that.

5F95E291-B925-49FA-BC69-6FA12E9A8CBB.jpeg

This year, Orlando started to look like a much more realistic option. WDW has lost a lot in the last year due to the pandemic, sadly, yet it suddenly feels more accessible to a newcomer. With FastPass+ gone, and Disney Genie yet to premiere, I no longer felt like I had to assemble spreadsheets months in advance to simply get a foothold and start planning reservations. Now, I can simply show up and have fun…like all the other parks in the world! (With extensive ADRs still scheduled, of course.) The Disney-owned hotels lost their perks (a big blow to many guests), which has made other onsite lodging more competitive. I’ll be staying at the Swan, with a nightly cost that’s somehow $200 less than the cheapest Value Resort rate. That’s nuts! Plus, I’ll be in WDW around a week before Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary. I’m hoping that means fewer crowds, but with reburbishments nearly complete.

This might be the only Orlando trip of my lifetime. As a West Coaster, it simply isn’t a convenient frequent travel destination. And so much other stuff beckons! But Orlando must be done at some point, and that point is now.
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
I'm in! I can't wait to hear about your trip! So jealous of all the traveling you have been able to do. I was lucky enough to visit Singapore 22 years ago, but that is the most "exotic" place I've been. I always love to hear what first timers have to say and how they view the parks differently than those of us that have been going for years!
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
zzX1FF1.jpg

OK, SO WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN TO ORLANDO BEFORE?

I’m in my late 30s now, and I travel a lot, so how is it that the world’s premier vacation destination has thus far passed me by?

Well, I’m a Disneyland local. I grew up 40 minutes away, and I still go regularly. So that casual spur-of-the-moment, day-of Disney fix has always been nearby. No need to schedule a cross-country trip for something similar.

And when the travel bug did strike, I quickly found that my tastes skewed international, exotic, and adventurous. Travel light, travel cheap, forego comfort to maximize experiences! By traveling like this, I’ve been fortunate enough in recent years to go…
  • Camping on the plains of the Serengeti
  • Climbing the Huangshan Mountains in China
  • Camel safaris and overnight trains across Northern India
  • Eating deadly pufferfish sushi in Kyoto
  • Watching underground muay thai boxing in Bangkok
  • Exploring the Cambodian ruins of Angkor

Among other things.

g2BYekB.jpg


These travels have also brought me to Disney’s (& Universal’s) many wonderful international parks – TDL, TDS, SDL, HKDL, DLP, WDSP, also USJ & USS. These parks are often a nice brief respite from the wider world of travel. If I’m in a foreign country for several weeks already, I don’t mind a couple of days at a theme park.

So I’ve just never happened to find myself in Orlando yet. It’s harder to justify to myself a theme-park-only vacation. WDW seems especially intimidating to a first-time visitor. It is much more of a resort than the other Disney Parks worldwide, with much more emphasis placed on on-site hotels & FastPass+ and ADRs, plus a massive cottage industry and fan culture surrounding it. Lots more pre-planning required! For my travel style, jaunting off to someplace new like Malaysia or Turkey is easier. I’ve grown accustomed to touching down in a wholly unique culture and finding my way around with limited resources or amenities. My comfort zones are weird!



SO WHY AM I GOING TO ORLANDO NOW?

COVID happened!

Travel abroad is no longer an option. So, like many, my attentions turned towards the United States. Last year, I satisfied my travel itch by road tripping the western National Parks…before a wildfire threatened my house and I had to return home early to deal with that.


This year, Orlando started to look like a much more realistic option. WDW has lost a lot in the last year due to the pandemic, sadly, yet it suddenly feels more accessible to a newcomer. With FastPass+ gone, and Disney Genie yet to premiere, I no longer felt like I had to assemble spreadsheets months in advance to simply get a foothold and start planning reservations. Now, I can simply show up and have fun…like all the other parks in the world! (With extensive ADRs still scheduled, of course.) The Disney-owned hotels lost their perks (a big blow to many guests), which has made other onsite lodging more competitive. I’ll be staying at the Swan, with a nightly cost that’s somehow $200 less than the cheapest Value Resort rate. That’s nuts! Plus, I’ll be in WDW around a week before Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary. I’m hoping that means fewer crowds, but with reburbishments nearly complete.

This might be the only Orlando trip of my lifetime. As a West Coaster, it simply isn’t a convenient frequent travel destination. And so much other stuff beckons! But Orlando must be done at some point, and that point is now.
Wow, I love your story! I'd love to travel to a lot of different countries, though I have to admit that I am not as adventurous as you are. I'll be interested on your take as a first timer to WDW, since DLR is your "home" resort. And coming from all sorts of more exotic places, I wonder how that will translate to Disney park travel, especially to those attractions that are modeled after real places, like "The real Big Thunder Mountain." This sounds like it could be really exciting for the readers! Something new for us! I don't know about anyone else, but I'd love to hear any stories you have about the real places, if any of them come up while you are at WDW and something reminds you of a particular memory. Just for a bit of spice!
 

Rasstuss

Member
Welcome! I hope I do Orlando and Walt Disney World justice.


I seem to recall years ago we traded notes on Hong Kong and Shanghai. I look forward to joining the Twelve Park Club!


Glad to have you aboard!


Awesome, glad to have you! I don't completely remember which road trip report this was. Was it a coaster trip?
Yes, I think it was titled something like "Visions of Steel and Wood", it was Detroit to Philly with Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knoebels and others. If you have other trip reports out there I'm sure I would enjoy those too. One piece of advice, for the Fun Spots and other local attractions look into the GoCity pass for Orlando. It can be a great savings for that stuff and you can buy a multiple day pass that can be used over something like a 2 week window so it works great to break up Disney Park days.
 

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It sounds like you have had a lot of interesting travels. I hope you have fun at WDW!
Thanks!

I'm in! I can't wait to hear about your trip! So jealous of all the traveling you have been able to do. I was lucky enough to visit Singapore 22 years ago, but that is the most "exotic" place I've been. I always love to hear what first timers have to say and how they view the parks differently than those of us that have been going for years!
I'm really looking forward to seeing WDW for the first time. I'm really curious about how it compares to all the other Disney resorts. It's on a wholly different scale!

Wow, I love your story! I'd love to travel to a lot of different countries, though I have to admit that I am not as adventurous as you are. I'll be interested on your take as a first timer to WDW, since DLR is your "home" resort. And coming from all sorts of more exotic places, I wonder how that will translate to Disney park travel, especially to those attractions that are modeled after real places, like "The real Big Thunder Mountain." This sounds like it could be really exciting for the readers! Something new for us! I don't know about anyone else, but I'd love to hear any stories you have about the real places, if any of them come up while you are at WDW and something reminds you of a particular memory. Just for a bit of spice!
That is a fantastic idea! Animal Kingdom and World Showcase in particular will likely jog memories.

"I'd love to travel to a lot of different countries, though I have to admit that I am not as adventurous as you are."

I've found that with more experience, international travel gets increasingly easier. There are some overseas destinations, such as England or France or Japan, which would make good starting points for a novice would-be adventurer. For Disney World fans who like a bit more comfort and security, Adventures by Disney (which I haven't done) looks like an excellent - albeit pricey - way to explore the world.

Yes, I think it was titled something like "Visions of Steel and Wood", it was Detroit to Philly with Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knoebels and others. If you have other trip reports out there I'm sure I would enjoy those too. One piece of advice, for the Fun Spots and other local attractions look into the GoCity pass for Orlando. It can be a great savings for that stuff and you can buy a multiple day pass that can be used over something like a 2 week window so it works great to break up Disney Park days.
I'll absolutely look into this, thank you. One quick question: Do the Fun Spots offer pay-per-ride tickets, or is it an all-day ride pass?

My only other trip report covers a recent one day visit to Lagoon in Utah. This was part of my "200th roller coaster" mission, which I'll explore in a post later today.

 

Rasstuss

Member
Thanks!


I'm really looking forward to seeing WDW for the first time. I'm really curious about how it compares to all the other Disney resorts. It's on a wholly different scale!


That is a fantastic idea! Animal Kingdom and World Showcase in particular will likely jog memories.

"I'd love to travel to a lot of different countries, though I have to admit that I am not as adventurous as you are."

I've found that with more experience, international travel gets increasingly easier. There are some overseas destinations, such as England or France or Japan, which would make good starting points for a novice would-be adventurer. For Disney World fans who like a bit more comfort and security, Adventures by Disney (which I haven't done) looks like an excellent - albeit pricey - way to explore the world.


I'll absolutely look into this, thank you. One quick question: Do the Fun Spots offer pay-per-ride tickets, or is it an all-day ride pass?

My only other trip report covers a recent one day visit to Lagoon in Utah. This was part of my "200th roller coaster" mission, which I'll explore in a post later today.

Yes the Funspots do offer individual ride tickets. If you do the Gocity pass it includes 4 individual Funspot Ride tickets but I think they are just good at the Orlando location and not Kissimmee.
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom