Help I won a trip to Disney at work!

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:31 PM
So Wahoo to me, I am getting recognized for a job well done.

It's as trip to Orlando with planned networking events through out 2 days.
Thursday and Friday December 10th until 3:00 PM.

Then I can go home....but they have supplied a 2 park hopper pass, and hotel, for 2 more nights, and 160.00 to spend on food, or whatever in Disney Bucks.

Well I personally really want to go to Universal and Ride the coasters which I never have, but Disney is all paid.

I would be throwing away 160.00 plus a 2 day pass. That seems silly to do.

So I think I will use my Disney Hopper passes like this... and leave on Saturday night.

Friday 4:00 (I am on property at the Swan Hotel)
MGM is open until 8:00.
I thought Indiana Jones, Start Tours, Rock n Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror.

Saturday 1/2 a day at Animal Kingdom for Prime Evil Whirl and Dinosaur.
Saturday Epcot - Mission Space, Test Track, Living Seas, Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

It would be all new to me.
I have done Magic Kingdom only.

Should I give the $$$ and passes away and use my own money to go to Universal?

What would you do?
I will take ride or attraction suggestions as well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:38 PM
Well I wouldn't give up a free trip, although I am going to Universal instead of Disney. But if it was free for me to go to Disney, I woulda rather done that.

Kyle Says: Diamondback was a lot of fun! Made his first time at Kings Island worth it all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:41 PM
Gemini's avatar I'd give the money and passes to me. ;) Have fun at Universal.

Actually, I say stick with Disney. Of course, I'm a huge Disney fan, but if it's paid for and it's new to you, why not?

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:42 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but arn't the Park Hopper passes at Disney good for life? I was pretty sure that once you had them you could use them whenever you want and there was no limit to the amount of time between the first day and the last day of use. Am I right or is that only for the 5 or more day park hopper passes?

If you can't stand the heights, get out of the line.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:59 PM
Parkhopper passes never expire, however length-of-stay passes and other package tickets do expire at a certain date.
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 4:24 PM
I'm probably the biggest Disney hater 'round these parts, but I'd still say take advantage of the freebies. ToT, RnR are both great rides and Mission Space is supposedly pretty cool. You won't get as many thrills, but if it's Universal for big bucks vs. Disney for free, I'd take on Disney (of course, being that it's free, if I see that damn mouse close enough, I'd deck him and not worry about getting kicked out ;) )

... kidding of course (it could only happen in my dreams ...) *** Edited 11/9/2004 9:29:40 PM UTC by Impulse-ive***

Brett, Resident Launch Whore Anti-Enthusiast (the undiplomatic one)
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 4:36 PM
I say you got a good plan. I'd probably leave a little extra time at Animal Kingdom for Dinosaur re-rides because that is a flipping awesome ride, probably my favorite in all of the WDW resort.

Secondly, your Epcot plans are pretty lame IMO. Mission Space is awesome, a must ride, but if you are not good at spinning rides (Gravitron) I don't recommend riding more than once because the spinning sensation hits you when you close your eyes in bed hours later, flying home in this condition could be really unpleasant. The Living Seas, unless if you are very interested in underwater life, is a big chunk of time wasted. It's a basic aquarium found in any major city with the highlight being the unique underwater structure and the "water elevators" into it. I suggest you check out the World Showcase and ride Maelstrom in Norway and the leisurely boatride in Mexico. And don't forget about Spaceship Earth (if it is still open) because it will be your only opportunity to ride it and it is a classic.

Kilamanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom is usually the longest line in the park and is cool, but FAR from worth the wait, I know you didn't mention it, but don't ride it unless it is under an hour wait or if you have a fastpass, this ride turned me off to the entire park.

Finally, you are staying at the Swan, a very unique and eccentric hotel. I suggest taking the boat ride to Epcot where you will enter at the World Showcase side and the crowds will be very VERY small. It's a good idea to go to Epcot at night, it typically is slow with the new night shows at the other parks. And if you can get over to the Yacht and Beach Club (just a lagoon over) use some Disney dollars at Beaches and Cream, a nice 50/60's style restaurant with their signature dessert, THE KITCHEN SINK, a $25 ice cream sundae that is probably the best buy at Disney, $25 buys you A LOT of ice cream and it is really REALLY good, I don't recommend this if you are by yourself however.

All in all, enjoy your trip, don't think of the competition because once you exit the freeway, you are in a different world altogether, take advantage of it!

Mildly amused since 2003.
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 8:27 PM
I would not miss Fantasmic! at MGM and Illuminations at Epcot. They are both phenominal.

And the Bugs Life movie at Animal Kingdom is a hoot.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 8:42 PM
I would go to the park and sell them at the front gate. Then I would go to IOA.
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 9:20 PM

Ajrides said:
I would go to the park and sell them at the front gate. Then I would go to IOA.

I actually thought of that. Two day hopper pass and the 166.00 in bucks I figured I could get 200.00 easily. But it is a gift and intended for DW, so I am going to stick with that. All of the positive feedback helped me make up my mind! I live in Texas so I will be back at Orlando soon.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a couple of things to add into my schedule now.

Thank you all! *** Edited 11/10/2004 2:22:43 AM UTC by Markieb***

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 9:56 PM
I definitely would spend part of the $160 on a dinner at the California Grill at the Contemporary Hotel or the sushi bar at Epcot. The molten chocolate flourless cake is SO GOOD.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 10:26 PM
I agree with Fantasmic being a must do and the Living Seas being a waste of time. Congrats on your win.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:58 AM
Another one that is hilarious and well worth seeing is Muppets 3D at MGM.

Universal is a great place, but contrary to what some people are saying here, I think the intinerary you have set up at Disney will be even better.

Have a great time! We'll be looking for a trip report.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:00 AM
You mentioned Indiana Jones at Disney/MGM in your first post, be aware that it is a STUNT SHOW, NOT a ride at Disney World. The Indiana Jones ride is at Disneyland in CA.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:11 AM
"I definitely would spend part of the $160 on a dinner at the California Grill"

Not a bad suggestion. Thanks. I think I will freak someone out and look for someone alone like myself and ask them to have dinner with me on me!

I agree with Fantasmic being a must do and
the Living Seas being a waste of time. Congrats on your win

Thank you for the congrats. I am switching out living seas, and replacing with Fantasmic and illuminations.

Another one that is hilarious and well worth seeing is
Muppets 3D at MGM. I will add that as well. Thanks

be aware that it is a STUNT SHOW, NOT a ride at Disney World. Damit, well that is out then! Thanks

So it looks like this is my must do list now.

Friday MGM 4-8:00 PM
To Do:
Star Tours
Rock and Roller Coaster
Tower of Terror
Muppets 3d
Fantasmic at closing

Saturday Animal Kingdom 9 - 5
To do
Primevil Whirl
It's tough to be a bug

Epcot opens 9 - 7
Mission Space
Test Track
Honey I shrunk the kids
Illumination at closing maybe depends on what time I leave,
or if I elect to stay overnight.

Thanks again for all the help. *** Edited 11/10/2004 2:29:21 PM UTC by Markieb***

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:32 AM
Two of my favorite places to eat at WDW, specifically Epcot are Germany and Morocco. You get huge amounts of food, and Germany is definitely better at lunch. (Buffet at a significantly reduced price, and basically the same as at dinner.)

The Indiana Jones stunt show is fun, and if you get there early, and sit all the way in the front, and draw tons of attention to yourself (acting excited & energetic), you may get picked for an extra. Fun thing to do.

Just a $.02 opinion.

Just launch the train...and nobody will get hurt!
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 10:06 AM
Dining alone at the California Grill? Ask for a table by the chef. You won't be lonely and you'll definitely be entertained.

IMO, you should take advantage of the Disney stuff 100%. You will definitely have a good time. Come back for Universal another time, when you can make your own arrangements and stay in a Universal-area hotel. Or, if you can afford it, stay in a Universal Resort, since that gives you unlimited Universal Express (line-jumping privledges, like Disney's Fastpass, but no limit to return times or number of uses).

There are all kinds of strategies to maximizing your two days at Disney World. I would recommend borrowing or buying the 2005 Unnofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger. I used a previous version for a visit in 2001, and the 2005 edition is my 'bible' for an upcoming visit. Not only did it have very precise touring plans to minimize time spent in line, it also has excellent restaurant reviews. And if you have specific questions, Bob replies to emails.

And if you do decide to go to Universal, the 2005 UGTWDW has touring plans for UIOA and USO as well, and they're more up-to-date than the touring plans published in the latest Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to Universal, SeaWorld and the Best of Central Florida. *** Edited 11/10/2004 3:10:17 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 10:30 AM
While in animal kingdom, be sure to go over to look at the progress on Expedition Everest. It is looking great.
University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 10:33 AM
You will enjoy Swan. While it's a convention hotel in many ways you can't beat the location. On Thursday night you may want to explore the Boardwalk area right next to the hotel (or if you're into miniature golf you have Fantasia Gardens right in front of the hotel).

You can walk from the hotel to EPCOT (10-15 minutes) or Disney-MGM (about 5 minutes longer the other way) or just hop on the boats that dock through the hotels in that area.

If you enjoy arcades you would probably be selling yourself short if you didn't pay up for a night at DisneyQuest (free shuttle to Downtown Disney leaves from Swan).

On to your attack strategy, over at MGM if you enjoy holiday lights the Osbourne Lights is back this year and it's pretty cool if you're into that kind of thing (just avoid the overprice, watered down hot chocolate). One of my favorite things at MGM is the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? show where you actually compete for real prizes. You may want to squeeze that in.

You have EPCOT closing at 7pm but keep in mind that Test Track and Mission: Space -- as well as all of the countries -- are open until 9pm. Oh, and since you're going alone remember that Test Track and Mission: Space each have single-rider lines which will have you on fairly quickly.

If I were you I wouldn't spend so much time at Animal Kingdom whereas heading out to EPCOT for a late lunch at Canada's Le Cellier steakhouse (or the previously suggested Germany or Morrocco) will be far better, unique and memorable than wasting lunch at AK. Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl are walk-ons for the first 30-45 minutes of the day so you will have no problem if you go to Dinoland first, then grab a FastPass for the safari while you explore the rest of the park. Festival of the Lion King show is the best live show of the parks (again, if you're into that sort of thing). You didn't mention Kali River Rapids which is the only other "thrill" ride at AK. It's pretty lame as far as water rapid rides go but it does have a zinger of a plunge. If the weather is nippy that will likely be a walk-on as well in the morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 11:09 AM
Congratulations! that is a nice little incentive package they gave you.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it and enjoy. You're in the most magical place on earth.


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