A theme park gift under $10? Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Knowing that the Disney prices would increase in August, our group of nine bought 8 Day Park Hopper Tickets with Water Park Fun & More from Undercover Tourist in advance. Free shipping is included and we saved time and money by purchasing in advance.
We purchased Universal`s 2 Park Unlimited Admission tickets from their website, saving time and a substantial amount of money. We took advantage of Universal's $150 coupon book deal, which should save us money on food and drinks.
We will also be purchasing SeaWorld`s 1 Day Adult for the Price of Child tickets from their website.
We are bringing two cars and will drive from Ottawa, Ontario, on August 25, saving a significant amount of money by splitting gas. One of our friends will be flying in since she cannot join us for the entire trip.
By staying in Disney, we will take advantage of their free parking and free transportation.
Other non-Disney venues will be reached via our vehicles and parking costs will be split evenly.
There were many excellent hotel and resort deals available, particularly from MouseSavers, but we received an offer we couldn't refuse on the DIS Discussion Boards. By posting a request for a Disney Vacation Club rental with flexible vacation times in late August, we were offered a 2-bedroom suite at Disney's Old Key West Resort for $8.50 CAD / point and with weekend rates charged as weekday rates (the weekend rates are more than twice as expensive as the weekday rates). This deal saved us about $1000 off the rack rate for an 11 night stay and will allow us to prepare our own meals, use free transportation, and take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.
We used Disney's new online dining reservation system to get advance reservations for Spirit of Aloha, California Grill, Teppan Edo, Biergarten, and 50's Prime Time Cafe. We will eat breakfast in the room and pack most of our lunches.
The following is a tentative, flexible (with the exception of travel) schedule:
August 25: Depart Ottawa, Ontario
August 26: Arrive and check-in.
August 27: SeaWorld Orlando
August 28: Epcot
August 29: Animal Kingdom, Extra Magic Hours, Spirit of Aloha
August 30: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom
August 31: Islands of Adventure
September 1: Magic Kingdom
September 2: Cocoa Beach, maybe Kennedy Space Center
September 3: Universal Studios Orlando
September 4: Epcot (drinkin' around the world), Extra Magic Hours
September 5: whatever, followed by Spectromagic parade, California Grill for fireworks.
September 6: Depart
Inter-spliced with these days will be water parks, CityWalk, Downtown Disney, Disney's Boardwalk, and downtown Orlando.
Your call is very important to us. Please offer any suggestions and/or comments you may have for this trip. Feel free to ask me to report on anything of interest while I'm there. Some things to take into consideration:
In our group, there are nine people: five guys, five gals, ages 21 - 22.
We are mostly college students and we love to party.
We are likely going to avoid Busch Gardens Tampa due to its distance from our resort.
This will be my seventh visit to Orlando. Three others have visited Orlando, but have only seen Universal Studios Florida and Cocoa Beach. The other five have never been to a true theme park.
We will be driving without any overnight hotel, campground, or other rest stops.
We are adventurous.
Please note that anybody who asks about the status of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit while I'm in Orlando will be virtually punched through their monitor.
I look forward to this trip and the opportunity to write about it.
Would love to get a report on how the Space Mountain refurb is progressing (if you can see anything from the outside of the attraction), as well as a scoop on the new Harry Potter construction.
Additionally, please keep us posted on the status of Universal's new coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, while you are in the vicinity.
The rooms are pretty big so you should have no problem making breakfast!
Olivia's at OKW is better for lunch. Some stuff there can be hit or miss, but usually its really good lunch stuff.
Consider using your car at OKW. Its usually faster just to use the car to get to EPCOT, DHS, and Downtown Disney. You can also get to the boardwalk (mentioned below)
Other than that, you are a pretty big TPI expert on the site so you know your stuff! Good luck driving all that way down!
You should try the Canada resturant for laughs to see what you think of your countrymen!
Oh yes, for the people our age:
Check out Raligan Road and most of Downtown Disney at least once. There are some good stuff at House of Blues, Bongos, and Raligan Road once again. Also, you can go to the "EPCOT Resorts" which are the Boardwalk Inn and The Beach/Yachtt Club. The Boardwalk has a Microbrewery, Dance Hall, Sports Bar, and Piano Bar. Beach Club you can walk around the nice pool, play games, and Beaches and Cream Ice Cream Shop staring the infamous Kitchen Sink (google it! You have ten hungry 20 somethings that can scarf that thing down!). OKW also has shuffle boards, bonefires, volleyball, swimming, and biking.
We are not going to be doing any Extra Magic Hour mornings. We're college kids - we're gonna have a hard enough time being at the gates for 9. In my experience, the evening EMH's do not affect attendance drastically (until, of course, the evening).
@ James Koehl -
I ate at the California Grill once and had a great meal, excellent service, and a beautiful outdoor view of the fireworks. It was not overcrowded on the terrace - it was January and was too "cold" for the patrons, so we were alone. I guess that will be different in August.
@ Anthony -
The reason we'll be using Disney's transportation so fervently is that the owners of the cars do not want to drive while on vacation. They don't mind the extra time. I've been to Raglan Road before and am considering a return trip. And that "kitchen sink" sounds excellent.
@ James -
May you suffer the eternal waiting time for the Pteranodon Flyers while the infernal music of It's a Small World torments you for inquiring about HRRR.
As for my torment, how do you know I am not already experiencing that kind of pain living 1500 miles away from my favorite place on Earth?
Now, where's that RRR update, BEEEE-OTCH??!!!
Seriously, have a fun and relatively safe trip. And avoid the Awful...errr...Waffle House at all costs.
Due to the sheer rides of MK, EMH work there the best!
I understand you don't want to use the cars, but be warned: OKW's busses appear to be a bit rarer and slower than some of the other resorts. I just mention DHS, Downtown Disney, and EPCOT because its so close. However, don't drink and drive. I don't know whats legal in Canada, but down here its not suggested ;) So do whatever you want, but I warned you about OKW busses!
Do you know where you are staying in OKW?
The closer to the Hospitality House, the better. Try to stay on Penisular or Miller's Road
As for Discovery Cove, I think our schedule might be a bit jammed for another park. Someday.
And I have no idea where we're staying in OKW.
Last time we stayed there, we stayed close to the back, but pretty much had our own private pool in Turtle Crawl.
2). If you plan to do as much as possible, I would advise against clubbing/partying/raving/getting arrested. If you plan to get up early next morning, best avoid the alcohol.
3). If you're doing a lot of theme parking on your trip, best listen to the 'theme park expert' of the group because he/she knows best. Oh wait, that should be you!
Enjoy your trip, and be sure to update us on the HRRR situation! (Don't hit me please!)
I may pass on HRRR if the waits are unbearable. In my eye, no ride is worth waiting more than 90 minutes for. I'd rather see everything else with shorter waits.
As for boozin', remember that we're college students/recent grads. Drinking and getting up early is our forte!
I'm comin' in from the left, James! [PUNCH]
I'm just gonna walk towards you kicking air, like this. And if you get hit, it's your own fault.
If do right, no can defense. Banzai!!!
What do ya look like? il look out for you (lol) im going in 10 days got a nice 9hr 40 min flight from the UK to look forward to!!
That would be hilarious if you saw me. I've always thought about running into a fellow Insider.
I'm 5'11", stocky, heavy-built, and 21-years-old. Just finished college. I dress somewhat like a preppy/urban frat boy. I usually have a big, stupid grin on my face.
I'll be traveling with a group of nine people (including me), all the same age. 5 guys, 4 girls. We should be following that itinerary somewhat closely.
Here are some pictures of me, my brother, and my parents from our Vegas trip in January:
I know Robert, among others, hates caps-riddled comments, but I can't help it ...
IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS I'LL BE LEAVING FOR ORLANDO!!!!!
As much as I'd love to do daily reports, I know I won't have the effort. I will take jot notes, but no updates will be provided until I'm back in Kingston.
Just check out those pictures I posted and my itinerary - maybe we'll run into one another.
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort