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Great write up on DHS Bruce.

Only thing to add is that DHS is not a place to see characters. MK and Epcot have indoor waiting lines and you can knock out 3-6 characters in one line.

If you have a hopper I would eat dinner in the countries in Epcot. It's a boat ride, but I think it has stops at 3 hotel resorts. If you want you can get off at the Boardwalk or Beach Club resort (Whichever is first) and walk. It is quicker to the back entrance of Epcot.

Some days have two Phantasmic shows. Not sure which days, but if you are late to the first, just make sure to be there early for the 2nd.

I actually enjoy the great movie ride, but could skip the back lot tour.

If you want a plce for the kids to run around while you take a break, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area is good because it has one Entrance/Exit.

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Great write up on DHS Bruce.

Only thing to add is that DHS is not a place to see characters. MK and Epcot have indoor waiting lines and you can knock out 3-6 characters in one line.

If you have a hopper I would eat dinner in the countries in Epcot. It's a boat ride, but I think it has stops at 3 hotel resorts. If you want you can get off at the Boardwalk or Beach Club resort (Whichever is first) and walk. It is quicker to the back entrance of Epcot.

Some days have two Phantasmic shows. Not sure which days, but if you are late to the first, just make sure to be there early for the 2nd.

I actually enjoy the great movie ride, but could skip the back lot tour.

If you want a plce for the kids to run around while you take a break, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area is good because it has one Entrance/Exit.

I heard this attraction closed down... is the playground still around?
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Yeah, I still like the Great Movie Ride too. This used to be the anchor of the park. I remember when the line used to stretch outside the building. Then you would watch classic movie clips while winding through the queue. Now you fly through it in minutes.

The Extreme Stunt Show is probably my son's favorite attraction at DHS. It is pretty damn cool.

You'll probably want to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster more than once. It's a fun ride.

Toy Story Mania is impressive, but the one line regret I have from a week long trip was waiting an hour for that. FP highly recommended.

Sounds Dangerous, which may or may not be open, is pretty spare. The little hands on area (Sound Works) next to it is pretty cool though. We always liked the darkened sound booth with the headphones.

The walk-through exhibit Walt Disney: One Man's Dream is worth checking out if you have a little time to kill.

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Great write up on DHS Bruce.

Only thing to add is that DHS is not a place to see characters. MK and Epcot have indoor waiting lines and you can knock out 3-6 characters in one line.

If you have a hopper I would eat dinner in the countries in Epcot. It's a boat ride, but I think it has stops at 3 hotel resorts. If you want you can get off at the Boardwalk or Beach Club resort (Whichever is first) and walk. It is quicker to the back entrance of Epcot.

Some days have two Phantasmic shows. Not sure which days, but if you are late to the first, just make sure to be there early for the 2nd.

I actually enjoy the great movie ride, but could skip the back lot tour.

If you want a plce for the kids to run around while you take a break, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area is good because it has one Entrance/Exit.

I heard this attraction closed down... is the playground still around?
The attraction was the 3D movie at Epcot... "Honey I Shrunk the Audience". That was replaced by Captain EO. The play area at DHS is still open.
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Great write up on DHS Bruce.

Only thing to add is that DHS is not a place to see characters. MK and Epcot have indoor waiting lines and you can knock out 3-6 characters in one line.

If you have a hopper I would eat dinner in the countries in Epcot. It's a boat ride, but I think it has stops at 3 hotel resorts. If you want you can get off at the Boardwalk or Beach Club resort (Whichever is first) and walk. It is quicker to the back entrance of Epcot.

Some days have two Phantasmic shows. Not sure which days, but if you are late to the first, just make sure to be there early for the 2nd.

I actually enjoy the great movie ride, but could skip the back lot tour.

If you want a plce for the kids to run around while you take a break, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area is good because it has one Entrance/Exit.

I heard this attraction closed down... is the playground still around?
The attraction was the 3D movie at Epcot... "Honey I Shrunk the Audience". That was replaced by Captain EO. The play area at DHS is still open.
Good to know, thanks

:thumbup:

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Bruce -- doing DHS in a week or two. Any must sees and must avoids?

A lot of your DHS day is built around the question, "do I want to do Toy Story Mania?"If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.If you decide you don't need TSM that bad, stroll to the Tower of Terror and Rock and Roller Coaster. RnRC will have the longer line and more FP demand. I'm a big fan of Tower of Terror and Rock and Roller Coaster. You can find faster and more aggressive coasters in Orlando, but none of them sync Aerosmith songs with your ride. At Tower of Terror, take a moment to appreciate the details - they did a great job making the place look like it's been rundown for decades.Star Tours has improved a ton. Rather than try to launch a new character, they changed it to populate it with famous SW characters. The ride (it's a simulator) cycles through several different stories, so if you ride it twice there will be subtle differences.AVOID the backlot tour. It's a huge time suck with little payoff. I'd put the Great Movie Ride in the same bucket, with the exception of GMR is an air-conditioned option if the temp is above 90.If you and/or the gal pal like musical theater, the Beauty and the Beast show is good. It's a compressed version of the Broadway show hitting the song highlights. There's also a Little Mermaid show, but it's IMO geared towards kids. For a good snack, the Starring Rolls Cafe has good pastry options. I dug the chocolate croissant and the sweet rolls looked good.For dining... Mama Melrose's has reasonably priced pasta and flat breads for lunch. There's a Sci-fi themed eatery where you sit in an old convertible and watch 50s Sci-fi while you eat. If you're still around at dinner time, I'd actually park hop it over to Epcot.If you and/or yours are into the classic characters and/or drawing, consider an Animation Academy class in the animation building. They usually start up after the park has been open for a couple hours and run every half-hour. You'll learn how to draw one of the headliners like Mickey or Donald from a great instructor and get to keep your drawing.The MuppetVision 3D show is OK. It's a bit dated, but the theater you see it in is an excellent reproduction of the theater from the original Muppet Show. If you're into the Muppets, the studio store right by MuppetVision has some cool Muppet stuff and signage.The car stunt show and Indiana Jones shows are good, but probably don't need to be seen twice.Throughout the day, an American Idol competition takes place. No shtick. There's a studio theater for it and everything. Park goers can audition in the morning to compete in semifinals in the afternoon. The top singers advance to the Finals in the evening, and the studio audience votes for the winner. I think the daily champs win the right to audition for the real American Idol but I'm not sure about that. The finals are simulcast on video boards on the outside on the AI studio. Nothing I heard on those simulcasts made me want to watch the competition from inside the studio, but if someone from your group can sing it looks fun enough to compete in if you have talent.The big fireworks show is Phantasmic. It has its own dedicated amphitheatre and most of the show cannot be seen from other parts of the park. We did a dining/Phantasmic package where be got lunch at Mama Melrose's and reserved tickets to Phantasmic. I enjoyed it, but keep in mind that "Reserved" does not reserve you a seat, but the right to sit in a preferred viewing section that is first come first serve for Reserved ticket holders. You will still need to show up 45-60 minutes before showtime but they do let you bring snacks and drinks in with you.
Bruce Dickinson wears gold plated diapers. :thumbup: Great post!
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Leaving Thursday night for the half-marathon on Saturday. Staying at OKW. Best resort of the most spacious floor plan IMO and one of the cheapest if not the cheapest on DVC points. I think I might fake a late injury as I'm finishing the race so I can skip out on the park that day to watch the Saints play. However, we have reservations a Le Cell. The kids will be with the grandparents, so I may talk the wife into a after lunch nap.

Enjoy.I ran the Disney full marathon last year. Its a fun race. Not sure if you are a serious runner or not. If possible, send proof (or bring a copy) of your time in a previous race as you don't want to be stuck in the last corral. Lots of walkers back there apparently.
I submitted a time, but had no proof as the most I have done before is a 5K. They won't except that. I stuck to 3-4 miles of running before this, but my wife wanted to run in Disney, so we are trying the half. My wife is in corral #5 and I am in the last corral. I figured we will end about the same since my pace is 1 minute better a mile, but with all the walkers, I'm not so sure. I did get some tips on how to run to avoid the slower folks. Can't say I'm happy about it, but this is not a run for time, but for enjoyment. I'm going to run the crescent city classic next year and get a time on record. I will say that for those that run the Goofy are nuts. A half marathon and full marathon the next day? Crazy.
No doubt the people doing the goofy are nuts but I'm guessing I'll be one of those people in the next 5-8 years.There are ways to sneak into a corral in front if you are confident you'll run that pace. If you absolutely have to be in the last corral, try to get to the very front. Also, if you want to catch your wife, make sure you agree to both run on one side of the road. There are a ton of runners and if she's on the left and you are on the right, then forget it, you won't find her if you try in the first 4-5 miles. Your other option is to just have your wife move back to your corral. She can do that. (If I were you, I'd sneak into her corral. Just joining the people using the woods as a bathroom right before the race....admittedly I was in first corral, so it was rampant up there.)
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The other thing in DHS that is a must if you have little kids is the Disney Junior show. My kids love it

Has Mickey mouse clubhouse, Jake and The never land Pirates and Little Einsteins. The only bad thing is you have to sit on the floor for a half hour

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Leaving Thursday night for the half-marathon on Saturday. Staying at OKW. Best resort of the most spacious floor plan IMO and one of the cheapest if not the cheapest on DVC points. I think I might fake a late injury as I'm finishing the race so I can skip out on the park that day to watch the Saints play. However, we have reservations a Le Cell. The kids will be with the grandparents, so I may talk the wife into a after lunch nap.

Enjoy.I ran the Disney full marathon last year. Its a fun race. Not sure if you are a serious runner or not. If possible, send proof (or bring a copy) of your time in a previous race as you don't want to be stuck in the last corral. Lots of walkers back there apparently.
I submitted a time, but had no proof as the most I have done before is a 5K. They won't except that. I stuck to 3-4 miles of running before this, but my wife wanted to run in Disney, so we are trying the half. My wife is in corral #5 and I am in the last corral. I figured we will end about the same since my pace is 1 minute better a mile, but with all the walkers, I'm not so sure. I did get some tips on how to run to avoid the slower folks. Can't say I'm happy about it, but this is not a run for time, but for enjoyment. I'm going to run the crescent city classic next year and get a time on record. I will say that for those that run the Goofy are nuts. A half marathon and full marathon the next day? Crazy.
No doubt the people doing the goofy are nuts but I'm guessing I'll be one of those people in the next 5-8 years.There are ways to sneak into a corral in front if you are confident you'll run that pace. If you absolutely have to be in the last corral, try to get to the very front. Also, if you want to catch your wife, make sure you agree to both run on one side of the road. There are a ton of runners and if she's on the left and you are on the right, then forget it, you won't find her if you try in the first 4-5 miles. Your other option is to just have your wife move back to your corral. She can do that. (If I were you, I'd sneak into her corral. Just joining the people using the woods as a bathroom right before the race....admittedly I was in first corral, so it was rampant up there.)
Going by our mile pace. It is estimated that her my corral will be 15 minutes behind hers. That means we should finish around the same time. I'm certainly going to try to get up front. I'm not concerned about time as I'm already conceding the fact that I will not run my best race because of the shear number of walkers in this race. I'm doing it mostly for the scene. I heard people cheering you on is awesome in this race. Edited by ATC1
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The other thing in DHS that is a must if you have little kids is the Disney Junior show. My kids love itHas Mickey mouse clubhouse, Jake and The never land Pirates and Little Einsteins. The only bad thing is you have to sit on the floor for a half hour

My daughter loved that show when she was in the Disney Jr demographic. At that time I often plotted the assassination of Dora The Explorer, but I kinda dug the Little Einsteins crew.On MegaTrip one of the recurring street shows at DHS was "Disney Channel Rocks". We thought this show would be a hit for my daughter since she's into Shake It Up, Good Luck Charlie, etc., but the music was mostly from the Camp Rock and High School Musical movies, so we were glad we didn't carve out a time to stop and watch it. We heard that show was slapped together to replace a dedicated High School Musical tribute show and the new setlist is still being tinkered with, so YMMV.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?

Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?

We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.

eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

Edited by moleculo
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Yeah, I still like the Great Movie Ride too. This used to be the anchor of the park. I remember when the line used to stretch outside the building. Then you would watch classic movie clips while winding through the queue. Now you fly through it in minutes.

On the whole Disney crushes Universal in overall theme park experience IMO, but stuff like GMR is one area where IMO Universal has a big advantage. I didn't dislike GMR and can see how it used to be the park anchor - there are many elements of DHS that were, shall we say, "inspired by" the Universal Studios theme parks.

The Extreme Stunt Show is probably my son's favorite attraction at DHS. It is pretty damn cool.

I'm open to revisiting my take on it. My first experience with it was mid-afternoon on a humid 95ish-degree day with no wind, so I might be jaded by that. It's definitely worth seeing once.

You'll probably want to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster more than once. It's a fun ride.

I still listen to old Aerosmith, so I love the theme. My daughter isn't into classic rock (yet?) but she thought the queue video with the band and their manager (IIRC, played by Ileana Douglas) was fun and liked how it set up the story of the ride. (It did amuse me to hear a tween spot Steven Tyler in the queue video and say "that's the guy from American Idol!", even if it made my feel a little older than I wanted to. It's right up there with my daughter thinking of Alan Rickman as Professor Snape instead of Hans Gruber.)

Toy Story Mania is impressive, but the one line regret I have from a week long trip was waiting an hour for that. FP highly recommended.

I think it would be fun for people who haven't seen the Toy Story movies because it is a series of midway games, but I'm a fan of the whole trilogy, so I might be biased. I took several pictures in the TSM queue; the kids' room/toybox theme is well-done. That said, we had just about as much fun using similar video shooting technology at the Pirates of the Caribbean simulator at DisneyQuest, and that had a 2-minute wait and could accommodate all three of us in the same experience.

Sounds Dangerous, which may or may not be open, is pretty spare. The little hands on area (Sound Works) next to it is pretty cool though. We always liked the darkened sound booth with the headphones.

Sounds Dangerous will close this spring. The rumor is the space will be converted into a Jedi Training Academy, an expanded version of the small stage thing they do with a few select kids on the platform by the Star Tours entrance.

The walk-through exhibit Walt Disney: One Man's Dream is worth checking out if you have a little time to kill.

I was bummed to discover the Narnia exhibit was gone, but with another studio taking over the franchise, I understand why.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

Yep, your best bet is going to be off property.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

Yep, your best bet is going to be off property.
Going to be at the ESPN Club 3 hours before kickoff Monday night.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

Not sure about bars outside site, but if you are staying at Pop there is a waterside bar in the 70's pool with TV's there that you can hang out and watch from there, and have a pool right next to you, while staying near the women and kids if they need you.
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Leaving Thursday night for the half-marathon on Saturday. Staying at OKW. Best resort of the most spacious floor plan IMO and one of the cheapest if not the cheapest on DVC points. I think I might fake a late injury as I'm finishing the race so I can skip out on the park that day to watch the Saints play. However, we have reservations a Le Cell. The kids will be with the grandparents, so I may talk the wife into a after lunch nap.

Enjoy.I ran the Disney full marathon last year. Its a fun race. Not sure if you are a serious runner or not. If possible, send proof (or bring a copy) of your time in a previous race as you don't want to be stuck in the last corral. Lots of walkers back there apparently.
I submitted a time, but had no proof as the most I have done before is a 5K. They won't except that. I stuck to 3-4 miles of running before this, but my wife wanted to run in Disney, so we are trying the half. My wife is in corral #5 and I am in the last corral. I figured we will end about the same since my pace is 1 minute better a mile, but with all the walkers, I'm not so sure. I did get some tips on how to run to avoid the slower folks. Can't say I'm happy about it, but this is not a run for time, but for enjoyment. I'm going to run the crescent city classic next year and get a time on record. I will say that for those that run the Goofy are nuts. A half marathon and full marathon the next day? Crazy.
No doubt the people doing the goofy are nuts but I'm guessing I'll be one of those people in the next 5-8 years.There are ways to sneak into a corral in front if you are confident you'll run that pace. If you absolutely have to be in the last corral, try to get to the very front. Also, if you want to catch your wife, make sure you agree to both run on one side of the road. There are a ton of runners and if she's on the left and you are on the right, then forget it, you won't find her if you try in the first 4-5 miles. Your other option is to just have your wife move back to your corral. She can do that. (If I were you, I'd sneak into her corral. Just joining the people using the woods as a bathroom right before the race....admittedly I was in first corral, so it was rampant up there.)
Going by our mile pace. It is estimated that her my corral will be 15 minutes behind hers. That means we should finish around the same time. I'm certainly going to try to get up front. I'm not concerned about time as I'm already conceding the fact that I will not run my best race because of the shear number of walkers in this race. I'm doing it mostly for the scene. I heard people cheering you on is awesome in this race.
Again, I did the marathon and it was fun and it was entertaining but the spectators are limited in 99% of the race. The places where its easy for your friends/family to get to will be busy but again, not much of the race has spectators. That being said, Disney does a great job with bands, cheerleaders, characters, etc that keep you entertained. If you like Disney, you'll like the race. Its fun to run up main street and through Cinderella's castle. Good luck and have fun.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

Not sure about bars outside site, but if you are staying at Pop there is a waterside bar in the 70's pool with TV's there that you can hang out and watch from there, and have a pool right next to you, while staying near the women and kids if they need you.
sounds good, but not sure how the weather will be and if we want to be sitting outside. That would certainly be the most convenient.
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Reading through some of this thread again, I think my favorite part is Tat saying he spent $4500 on 4 days of Disney. :lmao: Minnie must've been giving him handjobs for that money.

Then you haven't caught up to Jan 2010 yet, have you?
Nah was just scanning through. Is that the ham meltdown?
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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

Not at all. What do you need to know?
Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
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Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
:lol: Glad I'm not the only one who is confused by all of this. This thread has got me pumped for my first visit to Disney with my daughter. I will be studying the posts about FPs before we go for sure.
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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

Not at all. What do you need to know?
Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
A fast pass is a ticket you can get to bypass the line by returning at the arranged time on the ticket. On the more popular attractions they are a must. It's a 1-2 hour line for this ride. People get there early just to get a fast pass. One morning we got fast passes for Toy Story 40 minutes after the park opened and it was for around 1pm. The allotted fast passes for the ride usually run out in under 2 hours. So if you get there 2 hours after opening your fast pass will be for late in the evening. Edited by Battles
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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

Not at all. What do you need to know?
Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
The most popular rides in all the parks have a fast pass system where you can get a ticket to ride the ride later in the day without waiting in the longest lines in the complex. Some people make it into a MW3 scneario in getting the fast passes early in the morning. If you know the parks well, you know all the shortcuts, stands to go around, kioskes to go by and stuff like that.To me, it's not necessary. If you pick an off peak time of year to go, you will be fine getting a fast pass or an easy to manage line on just about every ride except Toy Story. And frankly, while it's a fun ride, it isn't worth the headache. You will find that when everyone runs to Toy Story in the morning to do what the above poster said, smart people like me were riding the new Star Wars ride 4 times in a row with no lines at all.You can make it annoyingly complex, or you can keep it simple. And everything in between.
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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

Not at all. What do you need to know?
Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
:lmao: Def dont need to strategize like that. Wing it and still have a boss time.
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Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

No. You will have an enjoyable visit with no strategy. The Disney staff really does make a big difference.

If yes (1), be there at rope drop (2), and bumrush it (3) to the Pixar section (4). There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks (5) that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers (6). Have your fastest runner (7) hit the FP (8) kiosk with everyone's tickets (9) while the second fastest runner (10) gets in the standby line. (11) That's your best chance at riding TSM (12) without tying up your FP privileges (13) for two hours. (14)

I don't even know what any of this means.
Thanks for speaking up. I added some footnotes below.(1) "yes" was the answer to the question "Do you want to ride Toy Story Mania (TSM)", an extremely popular ride at Disney Hollywood Studios (DHS). This attraction is so much more popular than everything else at DHS, it affects the flow of the park and parkgoers. TSM is a fun and unique ride. You wear 3-D glasses and are carted around to a series of video screens where you play a series of virtual carnival midway games featuring the characters from the Toy Story movies. The ride itself is fun enough, but the games are also fun and delivered in an unusual way. Because of the ride's unique nature and the theme of the phenomenally popular Toy Story characters, the line for TSM gets very long in a big hurry. Wait times of over an hour are frequent, and I saw posted wait times in the 80-100 minute range when I was there the week before Christmas. (2) "rope drop" refers to when the park officially opens. At the Disney Parks, they let you through the front gates at least a half hour before the park officially opens - the rides aren't boarding passengers and the stores aren't open, but you can walk around some parts of the park. The restricted areas are roped off. When the rides open, the ropes roping off the restricted areas are dropped. Hence the term "rope drop".(3) "bumrush it" refers to running quickly with purpose. Since the TSM ride is popular and the whole family can ride it, there's high demand to ride it and a lot of people run right to it when the park opens ("rope drop", see #2).(4) Pixar is a movie studio owned by Disney. Pixar has produced several animated movies that are among the most popular in the history of animation. One section of DHS is devoted to the Pixar movies and characters. Toy Story Mania is inspired by the Toy Story trilogy, a series of three extraordinarily popular animated movies produced by Pixar. So the TSM ride is located in the Pixar section of the park. If I recall correctly (IIRC), DHS is the smallest of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World (WDW), but it's still a bit of a hike from the nearest rope to the Pixar section, you have to go past the Sorceror's Hat (a) to the right of it, then turn down a path behind the Sorceror's Hat to the Pixar section of the park.(a) The Sorceror's Hat is the centerpiece of the park. It's modeled after the hat Mickey Mouse wore in a famous scene of the Disney animated movie Fantasia.(5) In addition to rides, shows, restaurants, and retail stores, DHS has several street carts and kiosks along the walking areas to give the park more of a "walking around in big-city Hollywood" feel. The first hour the park is open most parkgoers want to ride the rides, so the street carts and kiosks aren't all open right away. After the park has been open for a while, these street carts and kiosks sell stuff - usually food, drinks, and/or souvenirs.(6) Since WDW is a popular tourist destination for families with small children, you will encounter many families in the parks. Since there's a lot of walking involved at the theme parks, many families use strollers to transport young children around the parks. Some stroller drivers will try to use the stroller to establish position and prevent other people from getting in their way. Since many strollers, especially the strollers Disney rents to parkgoers at the front gate, cannot fit in the space between the street carts and the far sidewalk/fences, those spaces tend to have less traffic and can give a person travelling on foot without a stroller an opportunity to avoid traffic jams and erratic stroller drivers, shortening the time it takes to get to TSM and reducing risk of an injury or incident with another parkgoer.(7) Probably your wife, you tubby #####(8) "FP" = "FastPass". Most of the rides at WDW have a FastPass system available to all parkgoers for no additional charge. At a popular attraction like TSM, there are two line queues: a "standby" entrance that anyone can enter if they are willing to wait, and a "FastPass Return" entrance for people redeeming FastPasses. A FastPass is a pre-assigned time to return to the attraction to experience it without having to stand in a long line for an hour. Near the entrance of each attraction in the FP system has a series of FP distribution machines. You insert your park ticket into one, and out comes your FastPass, a slip of paper that lists an assigned time window to return to the attraction with a shorter wait. Since Disney limits the number of FastPasses distributed for each attraction and have time limitations on when they can be used, the lines in the FastPass Return queue are shorter than the standby queue. FP tip: your FastPass will say something like "return any time from 11:30 to 12:30". The line attendants are strict about the first time listed, but are lenient about the second time. In the example listed here, the attendant won't let you in the FastPass Return queue at 11:29, but will let you through after 12:30, even hours afterwards. (9) The FastPass distribution machines are available to anyone with a park ticket. Each rider in the FastPass Return queue needs a FastPass, but one person from the group is allowed to get FastPasses for the group. So when your wife runs to the FP kiosk for you, she can take her park ticket, yours, and the kids' tickets, and get FastPasses for each ticket. Each park ticket has to be inserted into a distribution machine individually and separately, but a single person is allowed to get FastPasses for multiple tickets when they use one of the machines.(10) Probably your oldest kid, or one of your relatives if you go with extended family(11) The standby line is the "regular" queue that anyone can enter. Since the FastPass Return times are always at least 45 minutes from distribution times (and often longer at the more popular rides), the standby queue is the only open line right when the park opens. Many groups deploy this strategy to ride TSM twice: once through the standby queue when the park opens, and again through the FastPass Return queue after their FastPass times come up.(12) "TSM" = "Toy Story Mania", the most popular attraction at DHS by a wide margin.(13) While the FastPasses are at no additional charge, there are limitations. Once you use your park ticket to get a FastPass, you cannot get another one anywhere in the park until your current one is eligible to be used. (b) So if you get a FP © at 10:00 for 11:30-12:30, you can't get another FP until 11:30. (b) There is an exception to this in Magic Kingdom ("MK"). The FastPasses for the Winnie The Pooh ride are distributed in machines located in front of the PhilharMagic theater. When you insert your park ticket into that machine, you will get a FP for Winnie The Pooh and a "bonus FastPass" for PhilharMagic.© when I say "you" I mean it in the royal sense; not "you" specifically, but one of your relatives with more foot speed and/or stamina(14) At each FP kiosk, the current FastPass Return times are posted (d). If the FastPass Return time is more than two hours forward, it doesn't lock up your FP eligibility until the FP Return time. You can get another FastPass in two hours.(d) if you are a Verizon smartphone customer, you can see the listed standby wait times and FP Return times for every attraction in the park using the Disney Parks "Mobile Magic" smartphone app
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The most popular rides in all the parks have a fast pass system where you can get a ticket to ride the ride later in the day without waiting in the longest lines in the complex. Some people make it into a MW3 scneario in getting the fast passes early in the morning. If you know the parks well, you know all the shortcuts, stands to go around, kioskes to go by and stuff like that.To me, it's not necessary. If you pick an off peak time of year to go, you will be fine getting a fast pass or an easy to manage line on just about every ride except Toy Story. And frankly, while it's a fun ride, it isn't worth the headache. You will find that when everyone runs to Toy Story in the morning to do what the above poster said, smart people like me were riding the new Star Wars ride 4 times in a row with no lines at all.You can make it annoyingly complex, or you can keep it simple. And everything in between.

On MegaTrip we experienced the whole spectrum from wide open spaces in the parks to packed in like sardines. Some days we scripted with the complexity and precision of a Bill Walsh offensive gameplan. Other days we made up as we went along. We found the times we enjoyed most were when the parks weren't as crowded. It's fun for my wife and daughter to say they've had Christmas breakfast inside Cinderella's castle, but we doubt we will ever go to a Disney park on Christmas day again. Early December? Sure. Christmas Day? Don't need to do that again.On our second day at DHS, we decided TSM wasn't worth the hassle. We got through the front gates as the rope dropped, and had fun watching the stampede to TSM as we made a right towards Rock 'N' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. We hit those two very fun rides with little wait time and had FastPasses to spare at the end of the day.
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ok, I've got a tricky question which might be better answered by the locals. I'm going do Disney the weekend of the superbowl with my wife & kids and two other couples and their kids. Obviously, the guys will want to watch the game. I understand that the only real sports bar on property is the ESPN club, and my understanding is that someone needs to be there about 3 hours early to secure a table...screw that. Any other bars there that would have TV's?Are there any other sports bars in the area that we could take a taxi to?We are all staying at the pop-century resort, if that matters.eta: n/m. Just google mapped it, and there's an Ale House, Hooters, and Buffalo Wild Wings all within walking distance of each other. That should be doable.

If you want decent quality food at a fair price, excellent beer prices, and a ton of TVs showing every game, look no further than the Ale House. They do get crowded, so it wouldn't hurt you to show up a bit early, but I've never really had an issue getting a table, worst case scenario was usually a 15 minute wait at the bar.ETA: Just FYI, they almost always have an open bar/buffet special going on for the SB, if that interests you. Last year, they had unlimited premium open bar (no shots) for 5 hours and an appetizer buffet (standard bar grub - wings, potato skins, nachos, etc) for about $50 a head. Edited by Evilgrin 72
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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

Not at all. What do you need to know?
Is this type of strategy required for an enjoyable visit:

If yes, be there at rope drop, and bumrush it to the Pixar section. There will be running room behind the street carts and kiosks that aren't open yet - it's a great way to avoid maniac stroller drivers. Have your fastest runner hit the FP kiosk with everyone's tickets while the second fastest runner gets in the standby line. That's your best chance at riding TSM without tying up your FP privileges for two hours.

I don't even know what any of this means.
I popped into a Disney forum before our Disneyland trip and had the same reaction. Someone would write a 10,000 word essay about their dinner and still felt the need to save a few keystrokes by coding their daughter as DLF (Disney little fairy) or some crap like that. I was embarrassed for myself and the authors.
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It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can show up on draft day, pick a team, set a lineup every week, be done with it, and have a perfectly enjoyable experience with minimal effort. Or you can do what the idiots in the Shark Pool do.

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It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can show up on draft day, pick a team, set a lineup every week, be done with it, and have a perfectly enjoyable experience with minimal effort. Or you can do what the idiots in the Shark Pool do.

:goodposting: except I am an idiot shark pooler :unsure:
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It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can show up on draft day, pick a team, set a lineup every week, be done with it, and have a perfectly enjoyable experience with minimal effort. Or you can do what the idiots in the Shark Pool do.

:goodposting: except I am an idiot shark pooler :unsure:
That's OK, GB. So are/were most of the people here. It doesn't make you any better or worse than the non-Shark Poolers. Well, maybe a little worse, but that's not really the point. There's nothing wrong with hours of planning and discussion and maximizing opportunities to do a million different things and learning all the FP, DLP, MK, TSM, VBD, and DVDA BS. But you can choose to skip all that without feeling like you're missing something. I came into this thread for the first time in 2010 and was completely overwhelmed, and I think it was only something like 30 pages then. I read a bunch of this crap, took a lot out of it all, and had a great trip with the family that was definitely better for having spent some time in here. And I STILL didn't follow about 20% of what SFB was posting while he was in Orlando.
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It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can show up on draft day, pick a team, set a lineup every week, be done with it, and have a perfectly enjoyable experience with minimal effort. Or you can do what the idiots in the Shark Pool do.

Apologies to anyone confused or intimidated by my postings over the past few weeks. I should have been clearer about the POV of my posts.I love being around people and going to theme parks, have an abnormally high level of intellectual curiosity, like to get the most for my money, and have an intense case of ADD and some minor claustrophobic tendencies. We knew it might be a long time before we return to WDW, especially at Christmas time. We found that if we did a lot of advance planning, we would have more fun since we knew what we were getting into, we could get more out of the parks since they don't charge per attraction, as well as minimize the risk of me having to drop out of a ride line or leave the park because of my disorders. Most families will have a great time at WDW without following any of the advice I've given in this thread. Quite frankly, some will have more fun ignoring my advice than they would trying to follow it. Why be on a schedule if you're on vacation? I totally get that. It wasn't my intent to come off as if my suggestions are the only way to experience Disney, and I can't express strongly enough how sorry I am if I've come off that way.Some of my posts during MegaTrip were a coping mechanism while we were in line for rides, shows, meals, or character greetings. Without medication, I can't handle the wait at the non-express checkout line at the grocery store, so I'm in the same risk category as a young child when it comes to long wait times in ride lines. Avoiding long lines or least having a plan of how we would handle them was a priority for us. I should have been clearer about all that from the get-go.
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shuke/worm, here's what you want to know at a minimum, imo:

1. If you have little girls who are into the Princess thing (or I guess any of the other Disney characters. We just had to worry about princesses), spend some time finding out about meals you can have with characters and decide if you want to do any of that kind of stuff, as it can book up REALLY early. If having breakfast in Cinderella's castle with Cinderella would mean something to your daughter, put some planning into trying to make that happen. There are some people here who can help you figure that stuff out. Ask questions.

2. There are calendars that can tell you high traffic dates in the parks. If you want to avoid crowds and can make your trip during one of those off-peak times, your life will be easier.

3. If you're like many of us and stuck with kids in school who can only do these things a couple of times a year, a little extra planning can make your life a little easier while you're in the parks. This is where you're going to want to know about Fast Passes, which can be used on a limited basis to make wait times shorter on some rides (for free) and Magic Hours (which allow you early or late access to parks if you're staying at a Disney hotel).

4. Schedule a dinner at Ohana while you're there, even if it has to be at an off-peak time. You'll want to do that early, as well, as they'll book quickly. It's a restaurant in a Disney property called The Polynesian. It's a good time and good food.

5. People will tell you about getting to the parks early, running for fast passes, etc. Personally, I prefered the Magic Kingdom late. Be a bastard and keep your kid up 'til 2am. Leave the park in the afternoon when it's crowded and have them nap if that's what it takes. Because after the fireworks, that place clears out and you can walk onto most any ride you want. There are exceptions, obvously, but to me that's the best time to be in the park.

Beyond that, you can learn everything or nothing about WDW, and it won't matter much. The rest will be like planning almost any vacation you'd take. Figure out your budget, decide what kind of hotel you think you want to stay at, and then come here to ask specific questions about things like the different hotels, restaurants, and what ticket package looks best for what you're planning, etc. That's where there's value in this thread.

ETA: I'm sure there are other things that should be in that list and things I'm forgetting, but that's the minimum that comes immediately to mind for me in an attempt to not overwhelm.

Edited by Bob Sacamano
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It's kind of like playing fantasy football. You can show up on draft day, pick a team, set a lineup every week, be done with it, and have a perfectly enjoyable experience with minimal effort. Or you can do what the idiots in the Shark Pool do.

Apologies to anyone confused or intimidated by my postings over the past few weeks. I should have been clearer about the POV of my posts.

I love being around people and going to theme parks, have an abnormally high level of intellectual curiosity, like to get the most for my money, and have an intense case of ADD and some minor claustrophobic tendencies. We knew it might be a long time before we return to WDW, especially at Christmas time. We found that if we did a lot of advance planning, we would have more fun since we knew what we were getting into, we could get more out of the parks since they don't charge per attraction, as well as minimize the risk of me having to drop out of a ride line or leave the park because of my disorders.

Most families will have a great time at WDW without following any of the advice I've given in this thread. Quite frankly, some will have more fun ignoring my advice than they would trying to follow it. Why be on a schedule if you're on vacation? I totally get that. It wasn't my intent to come off as if my suggestions are the only way to experience Disney, and I can't express strongly enough how sorry I am if I've come off that way.

Some of my posts during MegaTrip were a coping mechanism while we were in line for rides, shows, meals, or character greetings. Without medication, I can't handle the wait at the non-express checkout line at the grocery store, so I'm in the same risk category as a young child when it comes to long wait times in ride lines. Avoiding long lines or least having a plan of how we would handle them was a priority for us. I should have been clearer about all that from the get-go.

Don't be ridiculous. I don't think apologies are necessary at all. I doubt it was your posts in particular. It's the amount of knowledge the people in this thread have and share that gets overwhelming if you have no idea WTF they're talking about. I think a lot of us enjoyed reading your posts. But the people who do Disney often and know it so well throw out things that make the rest of us go :whoosh: frequently. You just happened to be the most recent.
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Big question for me is the pefect age for the kids. My kids are 7 and 2. Trying to determine when to go so my son isn't too old to enjoy it and my daughter is old enough to know what the hell is going on. Next year (8 and 3) or following year (9 and 4)?

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Was contemplating taking the family to Disney, but just reading the last couple pages of this thread make it sound really really complicated.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
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