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Hi, I am a 37 year old that has been dying to go to Disney since I was a child. I am finally having my chance to go this October. My husband went in Jr. High and said it was lame. He is wiling to suffer through it again for my sake, bless him. I am unsure on how many days to spend. I am thinking 4 to be safe but he feels that is 2 days too many. I know it is a big place but how much stuff is enjoyable for adults? I am not a fuddy duddy, I don't care about spas or restaurants, I like rides & shows! I am not a drinker or partier so the nightlife doesn't appeal to me. We are also going to visit universal Studios while we are in town too. I love Halloween & the idea of visiting these parks this time of year sounds great! We are looking at the week of 10/20. Is it possible to do all the fun stuff with out children in 2-3 days at Disney? Also is it best to stay at one of the Disney resorts? What about adding the park hopper & meal passes?

I didn't realize how many additional things are involved in going to theme park, born in raised in Arlington, I grew up at Six Flags and I can ride all the coasters twice & see all the shows in one day...how many more rides does Disney World have, for anyone that is familiar SFOT and can give me an idea of what I have ahead of me!

King Fergus

Triplejulie wrote:
Hi, I am a 37 year old that has been dying to go to Disney since I was a child. I am finally having my chance to go this October. My husband went in Jr. High and said it was lame. He is wiling to suffer through it again for my sake, bless him. I am unsure on how many days to spend. I am thinking 4 to be safe but he feels that is 2 days too many. I know it is a big place but how much stuff is enjoyable for adults? I am not a fuddy duddy, I don't care about spas or restaurants, I like rides & shows! I am not a drinker or partier so the nightlife doesn't appeal to me. We are also going to visit universal Studios while we are in town too. I love Halloween & the idea of visiting these parks this time of year sounds great! We are looking at the week of 10/20. Is it possible to do all the fun stuff with out children in 2-3 days at Disney? Also is it best to stay at one of the Disney resorts? What about adding the park hopper & meal passes?

I didn't realize how many additional things are involved in going to theme park, born in raised in Arlington, I grew up at Six Flags and I can ride all the coasters twice & see all the shows in one day...how many more rides does Disney World have, for anyone that is familiar SFOT and can give me an idea of what I have ahead of me!

Well hello from Bonnie Scotland..My first trip was when I was reaching my 52nd birthday..I hadn't a clue what to expect..But this year in October will be our 6th trip and I do know what's ahead..MAGIC...My advice is plan..plan..research..do more planning..Better still buy Passporter's book for WDW..It's what I refer to as the Disney Bible... yay

disvillain63's picture
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Joined: 12/23/2013
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For your first time, 4 days might be too few. If you are interested in all four parks, that's barely a park a day. That may be okay for DHS and AK, but definitely not Epcot and MK...if you want to see it all and not be totally wiped out from the experience. We do 4 days now, but we're veterans and don't plan on seeing everything...we pick and choose...I still want to go back and spend at least a week, like we did when the kids were young.

jhugo's picture
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Joined: 01/11/2014
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I totally agree with disvillain63 that 4 days might be to few. If it is your first visit I would almost say a full week would be better. Epcot is a 2 day park if you have never been to it. I wasn't sure if my husband would like Disney the first time I took him but he is as much of an addict as I am now. You just get pulled in by the magic and can't help but have fun. This is a great forum to get good advice and ideas for your stay. Also get the passporter guide book it is amazing and I still use it for planning trips. I think it's best to stay on grounds that way you never have to leave the Disney magic. So welcome and please keep us updated on your plans.

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Joined: 12/01/2013
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I can't imagine doing Disney in just 2 days...there is way to much to see and do...even without children. I always do the 5 day hopper and that gives us a day to just chill.

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Welcome, Julie!

We are a two-adult, zero-child family and we have done three WDW trips in the past 4 years--with three trips planned for this year. We also don't do spa stuff and don't care too much about dining. We like good food, but I'd rather go out for a nice meal at home and eat more "utilitarian" in Disney because food is rather expensive there. To really experience the parks, I would plan 6 days--two each at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT and one each at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. That's enough time to see everything and really decide if WDW is a place that your family would enjoy doing again. If you use park hopper, you may be able to do fewer days and still hit the highlights, but this really depends on your energy level, how crowded WDW is at the time you visit, and the amount of pre-planning that you do.

Staying on property is great and Disney transportation makes it easy for you to navigate the entire WDW property, but if you are going to Universal, you'll probably want to rent a car (as opposed to taking a taxi). Resorts in the Downtown Disney area will probably be your best bet as they are the closest to Universal. If you stay on property and rent a car locally in Orlando just for the days you need, you can still use Disney's free Magical Express service to and from the airport. It's about a 30-minute drive from MCO to WDW, so this is a nice benefit. If you do rent a car, take advantage of the opportunity to get off property for groceries and/or a few meals and you can nearly make up the cost of your rental car!

I'm personally not a fan of the Disney Dining Plan unless you get it as a free promo (which is often available in the fall) because it is too dessert-heavy for us. Gratuity is not included and what I pay in gratuity at a table service restaurant is sometime almost what I would pay for us to eat at a counter service restaurant!

As far as rides, there are relatively few "thrill" rides and according to others (I'm a non-roller coaster rider, but I have ridden all but 4 rides at Disney), they are not terribly thrilling relative to Six Flags, Kings Dominion, Hersheypark, etc. Each park has 2-3 "thrill" rides and what is an adrenaline rush to one person may be a pleasant ride to another person. A lot of the thrills on Disney rides come when you let yourself be immersed in the show elements of the ride. Some have relatively little motion, but are psychologically thrilling. In total number of attractions, Magic Kingdom has around 25 + fireworks, parades, and live shows, EPCOT has 10 + 11 country pavilions (5 of which have a ride or movie) and fireworks, Hollywood Studios has 11 + street entertainment and fireworks, and Animal Kingdom has 11 + a parade.

Most likely your husband's assessment of WDW as "lame" comes from his age at the time. I've heard a lot of older kids (especially boys) and teens express the same sentiment when they visited at that age for the first time. I would encourage you to pick up a book on the backstory of WDW--The Imagineers Field Guides are good and so is "Walt Disney World Hidden History" by Kevin Yee. All are available on Amazon. The parks change constantly, so some information may be out of date, but these books really help to build excitement for the trip and help you to understand how much detail is really in the parks. It's so well done that it's easy to take some of the finer points for granted!

Hope some of this is helpful! Good luck with your planning. Please keep chatting with us if you need more help with details and logistics!! mickey

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crazycatperson's picture
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How old is your husband? Chances are Walt Disney World had only two or three major parks when he went as a kid. If he's several years older than you are, the original Magic Kingdom park may have been all there was when he went. If that's the case, I'm not surprised he thinks you can do it all in just two days.

But there are four major parks now, and as others have already said, while you could tour all of Animal Kingdom Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios Park in one day each, Magic Kingdom and Epcot will take longer. So I agree, for a first visit four days is the absolute minimum. You'll need a full week to see most of everything, and even then you won't see it all.

Edited to add: I've been to Six Flags Over Texas, and it's got nothing on Disney World. Six Flags is a nice regional park. WDW is an international destination.

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I'm only 24, and was EXHAUSTED after doing all 4 parks in a matter of 2 1/2 days (plus an additional half day before we went home at Downtown Disney) when I went for the very first time last year. We mostly hit up the rides, saw one parade and one fireworks show (I would have loved to have seen Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom, but the timing didn't work out!). I left Magic Kingdom probably only riding half of the attractions there. There were at least four pretty big attractions in the other three parks we missed out on for various reasons. There were only a few things we were able to ride more than once. So I think your husband will be amazed by what all there is to do and see. I'd say you need no less than 4 full days devoted to Disney, and really I think the more the better.

Also, Park Hoppers are a MUST! Especially if you're trying to do all four parks in such a short amount of time. Animal Kingdom especially tends to close early (5pm some days!) so you can hop over to Magic Kingdom or Epcot till they close and see fireworks that night. And while each park can be an all day park, if you're trying to do as many things as possible in a short amount of time, it's worth it to be able to hop to another park and do something different.

And I love staying on site, and found it super helpful in my whirlwind of a trip. Extra Magic Hours were super beneficial, especially when it came to nights the Magic Kingdom was open until midnight. The park would empty out a bit, so wait times would be minimal during them. Plus I'm weird and like riding the Disney buses even though I have my own car, so I can drive to wherever I want to go.

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This summer will be our 4th weeklong trip with the kids... there were other trips in the distant past.

We never feel as though we've seen it all, even after a full week.

Disney is so much more than just rides; it's a totally different thing than your typical 6 Flags park.

I suggest you talk your husband into a week, and choose an on site resort you think will appeal to him. (The fact sheets and videos at allears.net will help.) That way there will be no driving-- Disney's Magical Express will pick you up at the airport, get you to WDW, and return you at the end of your week.

I am a big fan of the dining plan, and if your kids are under 10 it's a particular value. Plan some meals you think he'll enjoy-- maybe lunch at Sci Fi in Hollywood Studios, or dinner at the Coral Reef. Take a look at the Hoop De Do Revue; we really enjoyed it last time.

Make plans to see Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. And, if you can swing it, book the Fireworks Dessert Party 180 days before your vacation starts.

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stars welcome Hi Julie welcome stars

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Welcome Julie. You've gotten a lot of good advise already. I will add; if you are only planning on 4 days, remember you will not see it all and don't even try.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be going on the week you are planning on going. For your Epcot day, you can eat around the world. They have concerts each night. In addition, they have various events you can attend(for a fee).

Since you haven't been before, make a list of attractions and shows you want to see and prioritize them by importance to you and your husband - "must do", "would like to do if time allows", etc.

I would suggest staying on property to add to the Magic. There are a lot of great resorts. The plus (for me) is letting Disney do the driving from the time I arrive in Orlando to the time I leave. I am a fan of the dining plan. It's not for everyone. The Disney Food Blog has a lot of good information on the various plans. I would suggest that you review the plans and see what's right for you.

http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/disney-dining-plans/

The members of this forum are great resources. Don't hesitate to ask questions as you plan your trip.

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As with the others, I'd advise some pretty tight planning and use of FP if possible for the most important attractions.

AK and DHS can, in theory, be done within a day each - AK possibly less than that whilst I'd say Epcot and MK will need at least a day each just to scratch the surface. On my last visit, I had a 14 day pass which would have been plenty of time if I'd just concentrated on Disney, but having also been given a Universal pass for the same period as well, it meant I lost a few days to the rival and a couple of days to shopping and packing.

Try to last the whole day in the parks if possible - there are loads of places to quite literally collapse for a rest and shopping can be collected from the front gate if you request it so you don't have to carry it everywhere. The fireworks displays at MK, Epcot and DHS are also pretty spectacular.

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RobynPrincess's picture
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wow, he thinks 4 days is too many?? we are going for 3 & 1/2 weeks in October and we have things planned for every single day!

Welcome to the forum xxx

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Hi and welcome You've already gotten some great advice, so I'll just echo everyone else in saying that I think a week is a much better plan, especially if you're trying to squeeze in Universal. I will say, however, that if Universal is the only thing you're planning to do offsite, I'd recommend calling Mears Transportation to bus you from your resort to the Universal parks. I believe it was $18 a person round trip which, for 2 people, made it much more cost efficient then a rental or taxi. We used Mears for transportation to Universal when we were there Oct 2012 and had a great experience. You just call them the night before to arrange a pickup time from your resort and then you have to give them a 3 hour warning before you want to get picked up so you can just call from the park when you know what time you want to leave.