General chatter - Any Disney/Universal Tips?

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04-09-2009, 03:30 AM
My hubby and I are taking a trip to FL next month. We want to do Disney and Universal. Does anyone have any money saving tips or any ideas on anything we shouldn't miss while there? :carrot:

04-09-2009, 04:52 AM
If, by chance, you or your hubby are having a birthday when you are here, you can get in for free.

You go to the site and print up a birthday pass.

As for Universal/Islands of Adventure, you can buy a food pass I think for $20 a person. You can eat at certain areas of the park all day and get as much food as you want. It is a pretty good deal. They have awesome chicken fingers, pizza, chinese, burgers...things like that. So, if you buy the food pass at Universal, you can save money.

The food at Disney is outrageous, so I don't know what to tell you there. If you buy a multi-park pass for several days you may be able to save money at Disney. Otherwise, plan on spending a bunch. Personally, my husband and I are taking our kids to Disney's water park, Typhoon Lagoon...which they will love. They also have Blizzard Beach. Just go to the site and check it out. Also, if you are associated with the military, you may be able to get a discount of some sort. Sorry, that's all I know for now but if I hear anything else, I will post later.

04-09-2009, 07:52 AM
When we went, we stayed right outside the park. Breakfast was included so we ate good before heading to the park each day. For lunch, we would usually just have a small snack (usually an ice cream!). Then we had a nice dinner. This definitely saved $$$. As for lunch, it was so hot there, we were not usually too hungry.

Also, we kept a water bottle and refilled it often. They sold these Disney water bottle straps to wear them around your neck or wherever, so it made it more convenient. This way we didn't have to buy drinks all the time and we drank lots of water.

04-09-2009, 08:24 AM
Sounds good.

04-09-2009, 08:32 AM
We were at Disney last summer. Portions of food are large. We are a family of four and we would order two entrees and share. This was at the counter service type restaurants. You can take food into the Disney Parks. (At least you could last year.) We did and our bags were searched everyday and no one said anything. You can take Peanut Butter Sandwiches to eat for lunch. Or take packs of snack crackers, fruit bars, etc.

Eat a good breakfast, snack for lunch, then eat a evening meal. You will do a lot of walking so don't worry too much about calories. It will be hot so you will be drinking a lot of water anyway.

Have Fun!!

I wish it were me. We still have tickets left from last year. My goal is to lose 60 pounds by next summer, go back to Disney, and take new family pictures. After all Disney is where Dreams come True!:dancer:


04-09-2009, 02:46 PM
I am so excited I can't stand it. We are going to be super tight on money but I figure being at Disney and being super tight on money is better than being at home with a few hundred dollars in fast food and misc Walmart trips.

I saw the food package at Universal. I know that they do unlimited drinks there too for 8$ I just wish they had that for Disney too but it seems like you have to buy the hotel package before you get the Disney Dining plan...

I think we are going to do the 4 day park pass to Disney....

Did I mention that I am so excited that I can't stand it???

04-09-2009, 03:17 PM
1) At pretty much *any* amusement park, you can get a cup of water for free. It just to be a stand that does soda from a tap and not only bottled soda. However, I found the Disney free water tasted horrible, so I usually got bottled most of the time.

2) If you stay at the resort hotels, then you can get into a certain theme park an hour before the general public. MY advice is find out that schedule, and go to a DIFFERENT park that day, because everyone who stays at Disney goes into the park they can get into early. This applies whether you stay at a resort hotel or not.

3) If you can, and it's convenient, leave the park for lunch. This is easier to do if you're staying at one of the resort hotels.

4) When you enter the park, work from the back to the front. Don't just get into the first line you see, because that's what everyone does.

5) If the park has a single riders line, consider doing that to save time in line or to re-ride ones you really liked.

04-09-2009, 10:34 PM
We spent a few days in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in January. We had a wonderful time!!!!! You just said that it was your hubby and yourself, which can make things a lot easier. When kids are involved, you have to make concessions for them, their energy levels etc. With just two adults we found that we were a lot more relaxed.

We stayed at Camelot Inn and Suites, which is just across the road. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was clean, and VERY convenient. It was just a few minutes ride from the front entrance of Disneyland/DCA. They provided a basic breakfast, but we brought our own breakfasts along, as I love my regular oatmeal etc.

Even though our park days had shorter hours, we still found that we had plenty of time to have a mid-day break. So we would leave the park at lunch time and have lunch elsewhere. This helped with money, but it was also nice to check other things out. We had a hire car, so we drove to shops nearby for a walk and to buy a few basic supplies.

You can take food into the parks as long as it is already prepared. Someone on another site mentioned that they weren't allowed to take sandwich 'fixings' into the park, but already made sandwiches were fine. We took our snacks with us, but also bought some special things, as we don't get to Disneyland often and wanted to try a few things. We drank water and coffee now and then, but their coffee is really not that good. At one place you could get free refills all day, but I had enough trouble finishing one of them, so definitely didn't want more. Because our hours were shorter, we had a small dinner back in our room I think, but we also got some nice food a couple of times.

You certainly walk a LOT, so wear comfortable footwear. I had no trouble with my sneakers, but I have worn them for a lot of walking before, so knew they were going to be OK. I have read it suggested that you may want to take two pairs of shoes and change in the middle of the day to avoid sore feet, but I didn't have a problem with the one pair of shoes all day.

We didn't go on a lot of rides, because we get motion sickness, but there was still SO much to do and see. I spent WAY too much time in the shops. We don't have Disney stores over here, so I had to get my Disney shopping fix out of my system while we were there.

If you buy a Park Hopper of three or more days (we had a three-day one) then this will include an Magic Morning day. This means that you can get into certain parts of Disneyland an hour earlier than other people. We found this quite useful. Even though a number of people have this ticket/pass, it was still fairly quiet and we had more room to take photos without so many people in them. We took a LOT of photos, so this was important to us.

I have read (on a Disney discussion board - - I hope that I am allowed to post that) that many people go to Disneyland in the morning, then have a break and visit DCA in the afternoon. DCA closes earlier, so people then go back into Disneyland for the last hour. We would have liked to spend more time in DCA, as I know there was stuff we missed, but that will have to wait for the next trip. You definitely need more time in Disneyland.

Oh... hopefully "Fantasmic" will be back up and running. We didn't expect to see it because it doesn't usually run in winter, but they didn't have the usual parade because they were doing work along Main Street, so they ran Fantasmic every night. We watched it two nights, because it is wonderful! It is a mixture of special effects, singing, dancing, lighting/water shows and fireworks. It is difficult to describe, but I am sure you will love it! I think it will be back up and running for the summer.

Other things to catch would be the Aladdin show at DCA (we missed this but I am determined to catch it next time, because I have heard it is incredible), and the Pixar parade at DCA.

One of the rides with the longest lines is the Nemo subs. We actually enjoyed this ride and only had a 15 minute wait, which is VERY unusual, because we went there first on our Magic Morning entry day.

Oh dear... I think I've almost written a book here! I just get so excited about this topic. I LOVE everything Disney! If you have any more questions I may be able to help you, but the DIS boards are also fantastic for info.

I wish I was going again soon, but we have to wait a few years to get more money together.

04-09-2009, 10:41 PM
Oh, I forgot about Universal! We have done this twice. The first time we went on the VIP tour, which was GREAT! Lots of special things, but a little expensive. The second time (in January) we just did the normal entry and we did the general trolley tour. It was still wonderful. You get to see scenes that you have seen in movies and it is great as you recognise different things. Once again, we didn't go on many rides, but just wandering around checking everything out takes a while. Definitely catch the Water World show! It is VERY well done. But don't sit too near the front if you want to stay dry! Universal City Walk is just outside the front gates and there are some nice shops there (do you get the idea that I like shopping?) to wander around.

As far as studio tours go, we also went to Warner Bros in January and did their Deluxe tour, which goes for five hours and includes lunch where the stars/producers etc eat. THAT was incredible! We learnt SO much. There aren't any rides or anything, but we loved it. It was quite expensive, but we found it worth it. There is a cheaper tour for two hours and I have read that people enjoy that one as well. That might be something to consider, depending on what you are after.

I LOVE vacations!!!!!

04-10-2009, 12:45 AM
Dont miss Epcot-my favorite every time we go.It is easy to get caught up in the magic and spend too much.Just set a budget.You will get lots of exercise which is a great bonus.Your first time there is the best!!!Have fun.

04-10-2009, 05:34 AM
Oops... I was so excited about the Disney theme that I didn't read properly and thought it was DisneyLAND and Universal in LA.

Sorry... I'm not sure my answers will be of ANY use to you, but at least I got some of my excitement out of my system for a while. LOL

04-11-2009, 08:48 PM
There are a lot of nice motels outside of the Disney compound that will cost you half of what you would pay to stay on their grounds. We always stay outside of Disny and they are close also to Universal. I LOVE Universals Islands of Adventure! You are going to have so much fun! Just be prepared for lines and crowds. I like to get there as soon as the park opens and get the rides I really like done first. Enjoy!

04-11-2009, 11:51 PM
Go when its raining...the lines are minimal and the jungle cruise is like a tropical rain forest!!

04-12-2009, 11:46 PM
When you get to Disney, get a Fastpass first thing. Then stand in line for other rides until your fastpass is due. You can actually hold fastpasses for two rides - but only within a certain time limit. If you get one, go to another fastpass machine, and it will tell you when you are eligible to get another one.
Be there when the park opens; the lines are shorter then. More people come later in the day.
Chrys Dayley