Walt Disney World, Orlando
Unless you have hundreds of dollars to take your family to Cirque du Soliel then there is little here worth seeing. "It's free" they say....well walking is free. There is a Ghiradelli Chocolate shop and you'd think that would be a hit...well for $8.00 I got a sundae and I'm sad to say that it is tasteless and is nothing like the ones in San Francisco.
You might be able to hear an entertainer playing music.
If you are taking local transit you will eventually end up in DT Disney because that is where the buses transfer.
I am a Disney annual pass holder and recieved discount cards in the mail off the purchase of new Disney annual passes. They are good for 10% off the purchase of a new annual pass. Each card is good for six people and I have four of them. If anyone is intersted I would love to give them to people who could use them. Since they are only good for new passes not upgrades or renewals I can't do anything with them myself. I am in the Orlando area almost every weekend so we could meet at the park gates and these are totally free. I'm going to be there anyways and would just like to see someone get something out of them as it's a really good deal. If you live anywhere close to Disney in Florida, or sometimes even when you don't, you'll probably find yourself going to Disney three or four times a year anyways what with visiting relatives, birthdays and the like. Now that day passes have upped to $80 for a one day Florida resident pass these things pay for themselves. Plus they come with parking and other discounts. If anyone is interested just e-mail me through this site and we can set up a weekend, preferably soon as I think they run out in late July. Hope this helps somene, :).
As of June 2008, you could still take your own food and drinks into Disney parks. Do not walk into their parks without a lot of bottled water, snacks, other drinks, etc.
We took in lots of drinks, sandwiches, snacks, chocolates in a soft sided cooler. Lockers are located just inside the gates of the parks. Unless you have wads of dough, do not plan on eating all meals and getting all drinks in the parks. While they do not try to rip you off as bad as a baseball stadium or some other unnamed parks, food and drinks are certainly not included in the ticket price so go prepared!!!
Unique Suggestions: Take your own food and drinks and store them in a locker.
Fun Alternatives: There is no equivalent or alternative to Disney or Epcot. You must go!!! Just go prepared!
If some one has a fake Disney tickets don't buy it! Because those disney passes is no good! buy it in the your front desk in your local hotel that you are staying or in the Disneystore. "buyers Beware"
Unique Suggestions: Beware all around you! they might change the good pass to a bad one!
Fun Alternatives: here is a tip for you! If you have a bad disney passes. you can tell one of the castmembers or one of the officer you have been rip off! Then you can one of the castmembers in the entrance of the parks he or she give you a good ticket or passes!
It is easy to go to Disney and spend a fortune. BE CAREFUL BUYING POST CARDS...They don't have prices marked on them and I paid almost 15.00 for 5 cards. (some were shaped like mickey hats etc). You may want to ask how much they are before buying..or you might end up with an unpleasant suprise at the register.
Unique Suggestions: Some of the best memories I have of my trip are from the pictures I took. If you are determined to get something (I caved myself) I suggest planning your purchases well. Don't go crazy buying souvenirs..If you buy 6 5.00 items you just blew 30.00 for keychains.
Fun Alternatives: There are several discount stores all around the area that carry Disney Merchandise for lowerprices. I suggest checking out outletmalls if you have the time.
Simply put, the Disney All Star Hotels are not a great value for your money. These are supposed to be the budget alternative to the Disney resort hotels and the three hotels each have a theme. But budget in Disney-speak means something different than budget hotel does to the average traveler.
I stayed at one of the All-Star hotels (I believe it was the music one) in 2001. We paid $80 or $90 for the privilege of staying on Disney grounds. The hotel had an overpriced cateteria which served horrible food, bus service was slow and sporadic and the rooms were tiny.
There are plenty of budget hotels within a couple of miles of Disneyville which have clean and comfortable rooms, restaurants and even shuttle service for less money. Since there are so many hotels., deals are plentiful either on the web or by contacting the hotels directly. Disney doesn't have special offers too often, so you are almost always guaranteed to pay more here.
Fun Alternatives: I'd recommend checking the prices at hotels on International Drive or even in Kissimmee before paying the rates here.
If you want to do the Disney thing, first of don't be fooled by the Time share scam that promises you free tickets to the park. If it sounds to good to be true "it is". take your own food to the park, you will save a lot of $$ and stay in hotels outside the disney area. Try hotels in neighboring districts like Winter Park or Altamonte Springs
Unique Suggestions: If you know someone who lives here have them buy the tickets using their resident discount, you'll save from 10 to 15 % and try to go to the Parks during off season time.
Fun Alternatives: If you like Rollercoasters, Universal has the best ones. And if you like to drink, drinking is allowed inside the park. You can't drink inside Disney (is a family attraction) but you can at Epcot, Animal Kingdom & MGM.
As a long time "tourist" and now a cast member at disney, i find it quite offensive that some one would even suggest "Disney is really into customer service, so some of the urban legends are true: i really do know people who got in free by crying and pretending they lost their tickets, but you didn't hear that from me!" this makes me sick, to think that because you don't want to pay what an average of 35, 000 guests a day pay to get into the magic kingdom, you tell people to lie their way in. yes disney has the "the guest is always right" modo and i think it is good for all involved. that is set up for the honest person.
Unique Suggestions: dont eat at the parks, i dont. go back to the hotel and order in, pizza goes to any resort on property. or take in food with you. disney doesn't make you eat their food, you choose to.
Fun Alternatives: Yes some of the prices are a lil high, but so are prices to any type of theme park. if you go to universal (which im a season pass holder to) you will notice that it runs right along with disney. it is not cheaper. so going there instead really does nothing
After the virgin rep gave us all the usual guff and fluff, we were asked what we wanted to buy, kids shouted BBQ Dinner with mickey and friends(Mickeys backyard BBQ)...Ah an intimate bbq setting and a chance to meet and greet the disney posse, free food and beer!!!, not a chance-: long long multi point pick up trip, 100's of ppl and a big big queue, few ribs, some chicken and cold beans. Free beer and wine and transport sounds great, but huge outdoor barn with all these ppl, not the setting for a drink & feast...in short dont do it.
Unique Suggestions: if your a couple sit by the bar area(but will you feel like getting plastered with all these kids about?), if your a family get a bench near the "dance arena" and be prepared for the crush when mickey and his "3" pals appear just get stuck in with your camera.
Fun Alternatives: The arabian nights at a push, but if you just want good food, go Golden Coral...
The Disney theme parks food and beverage prices are crazy! It is not easy to leave park and drive somewhere, so you get stuck paying them. Just know about this when making your budget.
Plus, bringing food & drinks(no glass) is allowed in park. Do not panic, the security guy checks bags -but is only looking for guns and such.
I brought granola bars, few seperate bags of goldfish crackers, and juice boxes x2 for each kid and adult.
Unique Suggestions: Bring some juice and food in for snacks for small kids who need. Not more than want to carry all day though.
It's not that Animal Kingdom is a bad place. It's no worse than the "Tragic Kingdom" itself, but so many people arrive believing that AK is something special. It's probably because of the animal connection.
Animal Kingdom is, at best, an average-level zoo. And as a theme park, it's probably sub-par. Put it all together and you have a solid 2 1/2 star outfit on a 5-star scale.
Unique Suggestions: Go early and go on a weekday.
Fun Alternatives: If you like theme parks and you like animals too, I'd suggest you get in your car and drive west down Interstate 4 to Tampa, Florida. Go to Busch Gardens, which is both a better theme park and zoo than is Animal Kingdom.
And, if you're still in the mood to enjoy the "animal kingdom", visit Tampa's very impressive Lowry Zoo the next day.
Disney is Like all other Amusement Parks. They want Your Money. Disney is Great but Im sure if it is worth the cost of getting in. Food is super expensive.They catch You Just like we catch Mice. Ha.Ha. It is suppose to be funny.
THEME PARKS I was going to grudgingly recommend Disneyworld (I mean, it's a like, CULTURAL ICON) but I just saw the prices and thought it totally wasn't worth it. $50??? And that's not including all the expensive overpriced food. Befriend a local; then you can somehow find someone who works there. Many Disney/Universal employees sneak people in for only $20. Avoid these places in the summer, as it is insanely hot and crowded--you always see people crying and fighting.
Disney is really into customer service, so some of the urban legends are true: i really do know people who got in free by crying and pretending they lost their tickets, but you didn't hear that from me!
Of the Disney theme parks, Epcott is the most appealing, but the world showcase probably appeals to me since I like travelling so much. I thought the 'Morocco' showcase was the prettiest.
Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure did have a Dr. Seussland that, even with only one ride working for half the day, set me squealing in joy. (I did get in free)
You must go to Disney World. Repeatedly. It's really a neat place, kids can have fun there and so can adults. Hats off to Walt and his successors for creating a place where everyone can have fun!
But bring plenty of money because admission to the park is very expensive, tickets for the rides cost more, and you have to eat too! Plus you will want to buy souvineers...
In March, don't bother trying to go to Disney, etc. You will be waiting in line the majority of the time. Why spend a fortune to see 5 things (if you're lucky to do that many)? If you want to do the park thing, go in October. Our longest wait in October was 5 minutes and we went to all the parks except Epcot.