Day 1 plan!
How does this sound for the 1st day(same day I fly down)?
My flight leaves @ 7:00a.m. and we should be arriving Orlando by 10:00 a.m. Well probably get our rental car first off and then get gas and a bite to eat.
Since we won't have a full day, the parks are out the question, but I don't want to waste the time we do have by spending it solely at the hotel.
This is what I was thinking, After getting settled in to our room- heading to Kennedy Space Center because my dad's a science geek lol- it should only take an hour if not less to get there and can be interesting and fast to explore. After this maybe doing DTD. I have no clue what is worth doing here. I here Solei is good, but I don't know if it's worth $100. I'm a bit interested in Disney Quest but I don't know if I'm too old to enjoy it. Do you think this is a good plan? Will I have enough time to do this or will there be any time left over for a possible third activity? I'm soo excited!! I leave the day after Thanks Giving! Only 3 more days :) ALL sugestions greatly apreciated! :)
I've never been to the Space Center so I don't know how long that takes but there is a lot to see at Downtown Disney if you really want to explore. Disney Quest is worth trying. The build your own roller coaster ride is cool (sorry, I forgot the name of it) but besides that it is mostly arcade games. Cirque to Soleil is supposed to be a lot of fun, but I've never been sorry. Don't forget that mvmcp might be going on the night you get there too.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I hope you have fun! Where are you staying?
The good thing about DTD is that it's a great place to just wander around without having to be committed to anything. Cirque is really good, but your whole day depends on a lot of things. The first day you described sounds extremely best-case scenario-like. What if your flight gets delayed, what if the Kennedy Space Center takes longer than anticipated, what if you hit traffic on the way back? I don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, but I'm really just trying to play devil's advocate.
Since this will be the first night of your vacation, I would recommend just taking it easy - play it all by ear and don't give yourself a bunch of deadlines. Shop in DTD, just walk around and let it soak in that you're finally in Disney. You don't want to start your vacation off all stressed!
As a side note, Cirque is totally worth the $100!! Get your tickets for the middle of your vacation rather than the first day. And if you're worried about it cutting into your park time, just go to the early showing of it (I think it's around 6:30) - you'll have plenty of time afterwards to get back and see a nighttime show, especially since you'll have a car. That's what we did, and it worked wonderfully!
It's been quite awhile since we were to the Kennedy Space Center. But I am sure your Dad could easily spend 4-5 hours there. I would research that online to see what is available. We took a bus tour on the grounds when we went... that's how big it is.....
Starting Dad off on a happy note would be a GREAT idea!!
KSC is about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half drive from WDW. The time you'll spend there can vary depending on your level of interest. Admission includes an IMAX movie (you usually have a choice between two or three), and a bus tour that drops you at three or four different locations on the complex. The way the bus tour works is you are dropped off at each location, and the bus leaves. You spend as much or as little time there as you want, and then you get on the next bus to the next location. The last stop brings you back to the visitor center, where you can shop in the gift shop, walk around the rocket garden, and walk through a shuttle mock-up.
There's a new attraction at KSC since the last time I went there, some kind of motion simulator that is supposed to give you the feeling of launching in a shuttle. KSC admission also includes (at least it did a few years ago) admission for the same day to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. This is a separate facility in Titusville, one of the towns adjacent to KSC. I've never to this facility, and it's not on the bus tour or anything. If you want to see it you have to take the initiative to find out where it is and drive there.
Anyway, unless you're willing to rush through it or skip a couple of things I wouldn't try to plan on doing KSC as a half-day or less. Also if you're planning on doing KSC I wouldn't go to WDW first. KSC is about an hour and a half drive from either place, but it's about a half hour or so from the airport to WDW, so it's kind of out of the way to go there first. So if you decide on KSC, plan on going there directly from the airport. I'm pretty sure KSC closes to the public by 5 or 6PM, so you'll have plenty of time to go back to your room after that's done.
You'll also want to research KSC and check out their operating schedule before you leave. I know the tour takes you to places that you can't be on a launch day or during a rollout, but I'm not sure what they do on such days -- whether they close the visitor center completely or they just curtail the tour. As will be pointed out to you when you buy your tickets, KSC is a working space port and tourist operations are definitely secondary to official business.
All this notwithstanding, KSC is not to be missed if you have a science geek in your party.
If KSC sounds like too much to squeeze into the time you have, and you like animals, there's a nice little zoo in Melbourne, also about an hour and 15 from WDW, called Brevard Zoo. This one really is just a half-day attraction, and is a very small zoo, but has some nice extras that you don't find at most zoos, including a giraffe viewing and feeding platform, where you can feed and touch the animals, and a free flight aviary where you can buy nectar to feed to some of the birds. If you're interested the web site is Brevard Zoo | Melbourne, Florida.
Cirque is quite spectacular, and highly recommended. I've never done Disney Quest, but understand it's fun, at least for teenagers. I don't know how much it costs or whether it's worth it though. DTD also has a movie theater and plenty of shops and restaurants, many of them themed. It's a nice place to just walk around and browse. Easy to kill a few hours there without breaking the bank. Parking is awful there, however, so I'd suggest that you see about taking Disney transportation to and from DTD.
Here's one more option for a little free entertainment. Wishes (if it's being performed that night -- check Disney's web site to find out) can be observed from several locations outside the park that you can get to for free. I've seen it (and heard it -- they pipe in the music) from TTC. You should be able to get an unobstructed view from the ferry terminal. I've heard that the beach at the Poly also has the soundtrack and a good view. If you use Disney transportation, you don't even have to pay for parking. It's only going to fill about 15 minutes of your evening, but combined with a few hours at DTD and maybe a movie, or a trip to KSC or the zoo, this could be a good way to top off a relaxing first partial day of your vacation.
Good luck and have fun.
Ok I think we might skip the KSC. We went last year and I wasn't really worth the money. The zoo sounds nice though. We also might be doing something in Tampa so I'll have to see what's there. For somebody that asked, I'm staying @ a hotel on International Drive- so I won't be on Disney property. Ok sorry but I have A LOT of questions!
Is Universal City Walk as nice as Disney? Is Seaworld a nice park or not up to park with other Orlando attractions? Are the waterparks open?
Seaworld is pretty nice. It's not Disney, but I would rank it higher than Universal. But it's mainly shows with just a couple of rides, and I have never been able to figure out a way to get to all the shows in under a full day just because of the way they're scheduled. In fact I was there with my sister and her family a couple of weeks ago, and we went early in the day so they could get the best value out of their admission tickets, and we still didn't get to see everything.
One of the problems scheduling your day at Seaworld is that if you want to do the dolphin feeding (which I highly recommend) you need to be very flexible. Feedings are scheduled as the day progresses, so at any given time all you can find out is when the next feeding is. Say you plan your day and you have an opening around 3PM and want to know if there's a dolphin feeding then. You can't find out (indeed, they claim not to even make the determination) whether there will be a 3PM feeding until after the 1PM feeding begins.
Sorry, I don't know anything about touristy things to do in Tampa. I know Busch Gardens is there, but that's a full day theme park that I don't think you want to do on your day of arrival. I know that St. Petersburg, which is across the water from Tampa, has duck tours (which I've never done) and a pier with just some shops and a small aquarium. Might be worth your while if you're there anyway, but probably isn't worth the drive even from Tampa, and certainly not from Orlando.
All I know about City Walk is what I've seen walking through it on the way into Universal. Seems to me that it's pretty much equal to DTD minus Cirque (now that PI is closed). Be aware that City Walk shares the parking structure with the rest of the Universal complex. Last time I was there, which was a few years ago, it was something like $8 to park.
Outlet shopping seems to be popular with visitors. There are a number of outlet malls in the Orlando area. There's even a Disney owned and operated outlet store in at least one of the malls.
Ok thanks Tizzo, I'll take that info. into consideration. If I decide on Busch Gardens, that'll be a full day- especially considering it's in Tampa! The outlets sound like something I'd really enjoy and would want to do, but I don't konw about my dad- he doesn't get that kind of stuff. If I was to do Universal, but only could do 1 park- which would be the better, US or IOA? I like US for the Mummy ride and I want to try the Simpsons ride, but I really like a lot of the rides @ IOA- Never been to the latter, but it sounds like more thrills. I like the idea of the shock coaster, the green coaster that's NOT the Hulk, and the water themed rides. Oh and Spiderman! I just wish I had more than a week to do all this :p Thanks I'm stocked!! :)