I’m heading to Norfolk this afternoon for the long bank holiday weekend. I just wondered where other people are going/have been on holiday this year? Or if you don’t have a holiday planned, where is your ideal holiday destination?
I'm a sucker for Disney Florida. We would get bored on a beach and the 24hr entertainment and ultra-controlled & predictable environment of Disney really reduces my stress.
Yeah I’m not a beach holiday person either, more of an explorer. Disney Florida sounds amazing! What’s it like? It’s probably not quite at the same level but I’m hoping to take the children to Disneyland Paris once the youngest is old enough to appreciate it.
It's brilliant - we've done it lots (22) times so we know all the wrinkles and how to get much more out of it than the average visitor.
We go in Feb/March - much hotter than a British summer but still manageable (why do people go there in summer?). It's also their minimum crowd weeks - before Easter, spring break etc. but after Christmas & Disney Marathon, half term etc.
We get a great deal then - staying in a great mid-range Disney hotel (Port Orleans) with flights, hire car & insurance, park tickets, full dining plan, Disney Photopass (all you photos on rides and in parks for free), free parking in the parks, extra 'Magic Hours' and $200 Disney money all for £1300 - bargain - why would anyone go to Paris?
We literally don't need any money with us - it's all inclusive. The hotel has regular private boats to take guests to the Disney Springs shopping, restaurant & nightlife park too - and as alcohol is included in the meal plan, there's no need to drive.
Because of my serious health problems, we get the disability pass so we don't ever queue - so we can get around the whole park and do everything.
We were there in Feb this year and it was really quiet. The new Star Wars land opens in a couple of months so it will be rammed through the summer - I would avoid it at al costs.
What makes it great is that nothing goes wrong - there is no need for stress - The Mouse does not allow it. And if something ever does go wrong, the staff go over and above to make it right. It's a guaranteed good time.
We do a lot of the extra-curricular stuff too like the character breakfasts, carriage rides and dinner shows. I've been scuba diving at Epcot a few times - with big sharks!
We're looking at doing Disney Anahiem in California next year.
If you're comparing the single park in Paris to Florida, you can't - Disney Fl covers 44 square miles and has 6 parks and you've got Universal, Seaworld, Discovery Cove and many other big attractions within 10 mins.
We thought about doing Paris a few years back - but when you do the maths and total everything up, Fl works out cheaper. Kids need to be at least 5 to make it worthwhile.
Wow that actually does sound really, really good! I was only planning to take the litluns to Disneyland Paris because my eldest has been there a couple of times and has been asking if myself and the litluns can go there with her. However, I think you’ve convinced me that Disney Fl is the better option, I just need to convince my daughter! I’ll definitely have to wait until the youngest is at least 5 though as she has ‘substantial additional needs’ and would be a nightmare to manage on an aeroplane at present.
It's actually better to take a disabled child with you - it unlocks all the special assistance - and they REALLY know how to help you maximise the holiday.
We go with Virgin - their planes have full interactive entertainment systems and portable DVD players and the crews are amazing for helping people on the flights. They will do everything possible to assist you. You can also get lots of help through both airports with the lanyard system.
We've done Florida in every possible combination - renting villas, different hotels and hotels on Disney property - each has pros and cons.
And it's hot - so all you need is a bunch of T-shirts and underwear - and that packs down to nothing - buy toiletries & anything else when your there (4 T-shirts for $10 in the outlet malls).
So - we don't take luggage - just a small hand-luggage only so we don't get hung up in baggage claim - we're through the airport and at the hotel before most people find their bag.
If you're thinking about doing it, contact me before you book it and I'll give you the heads-up on all the things you can do to make your life easier and put the Disney Magic into your time there (without wasting a load of cash).
There's a load of little things like joining the car hire company's preferred customer club - you get a free upgrade when you pick up the car (we ended up with a Lincoln Town Car a few years ago - 4.6 V8 limo - very nice)
So having a very disabled daughter has some advantages:-) well I suppose she should be entitled to some perks, she’s such a happy little soul too, just makes it all the more heartbreaking. I imagine that she will still be disabled when she is 5. She’s on the waiting list for Autism screening and genetic testing for rare genetic disorders. I personally believe that she has both.
I need to find out about this lanyard system, I’ve heard a few people talking about it but I’ve not had any need to look into it myself yet.
Thank you for all the tips and offering to advise on the best way to go about booking, I really appreciate that. As I said I’d have to wait until litlun is 5 and she’s only just 2 now. I’ll have to see how she is in 3 years. Though she’s a total sensory seeker so I’m sure she’d love it!
Yes - you would not believe how much help you can get all the way from the airport, on the flight, at Orlando airport and all the way through to your hire car and then at the hotels and parks - if you play the game properly and ask for it. A smile and a polite British accent works wonders.
Some rides do a child-swap so parents can get to take turns on rides while the other looks after the kids.
There is a philosophy to being a Disney cast member - you have to realise that you are a part of someone's experience - so if you're not prepared to go over and above at all times, get another job.
It fits well with the American service mentality and the whole 'have a nice day' thing.
The Magic Kingdom has some amazing expereinces for small kids - like The Enchanted Tiki Lounge, The Big Top play area at the Dumbo rides, The Jungle Cruise and all the shows.
Worth having a look of youtube for people's videos of all the things to do.
You can even book a dinner reservation in Cinderella's Castle and at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort.
We've done some things in the past that are not available now - like driving The Monorail.