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What to do in Orlando with small kids besides Disney?

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:39 pm
I'm taking my daughter and her 4 yr old daughter to Orlando. She's arranged everything - we're staying at a Disney Resort and we have two day passes to Magic Kingdom. We live 3000 miles apart and I want to spend time with my granddaughter, too, so kid stuff ideas would be fab. Any and all suggestions are welcome Smile
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:43 pm
@Mame,
Sea World!!!!

Also, Universal Studios is a fun theme park, but I'm not sure about how much they have for 4 yr olds.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:46 pm
@JPB,
thank you Smile Maybe Sea World... hmmm...
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:50 pm

I suggest that u MAXIMIZE Disneyworld.
Good quality time with them can also
be at meals there. I recommend the Victoria and Albert Restaurant
above the Grand Floridian Hotel.
(Call to reserve first; this can be IMPORTANT.)

Good food, good harpist.

If u sit near a window u can see
the fireworks go off over Disneyworld, at nite.




David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:55 pm

Also, don 't forget the Coral Reef Restaurant
and the BEAUTIFUL aquatic exhibition to which
it appertains.

Get a Disneyworld 2011 Guidebook
and study it carefully b4 u go.
Make plans for a tentative schedule.





David
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:57 pm
@Mame,
How long are you staying? With a 4 year old in tow in will take you a few days to see the Magic Kingdom, plus 4 year olds might want to do somethings twice.
Sea World is great if you have the an extra day.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 03:58 pm
@Mame,
My thoughts as someone who has been several times with small children...

Since you are staying at a Disney Resort, remember that you are a guest of Disney and entitled to all the benefits of any guest regardless of the quality of the room. One of my favorite tricks is to drive up to the Boardwalk 5 star hotel, let the valet park my car for free after I pull the strollers, etc out, walk through the hotel lobby to the man-made lake, stroll along the tree covered paths and enter Epcot via the secret side entrance. No hassles, no monster parking lot, no fussing children when the park closes if you stay that late.

One note for your daughter: If she buys a season pass for a few hundred dollars, Disney will knock around 50% off the room rate. That trick has saved me hundreds of dollars and a recent co-worker used it to save over $1000 at a premium resort. Plus a standard ticket will run you serious money so it's not that much more. Only the person making the reservation needs the pass.

If you only have two days in Orlando and you are paying the premium to stay at Disney, you should spend them both at Disney World instead of branching out. Disney just has an insane amount of stuff to do and as a guest of Disney, you get into selected parks early each day. If your ticket allows re-entry, consider going first thing in the morning, leaving at lunch for a nap and pool time and then going back in mid-afternoon. The parks are usually packed around lunch time and you can save some money eating outside the park. If your ticket allows park hopping, consider eating dinner at Epcot where the restaurants are excellent (if pricey). Make dinner reservations in advance.

If you still want to branch out, Sea World is the top pick. Universal Studios is great as well, but not so much for a four year old. For the same reason, skip MGM at Disney. The Disney area has waterparks you can pay for and some of the resorts there have excellent pools that you can use for free (see "guest of Disney").
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 04:06 pm
Ohhh, thank you guys for all this wonderful advice! I'm going to send it to my daughter!
OmSigDAVID
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 04:25 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:
Ohhh, thank you guys for all this wonderful advice!
I'm going to send it to my daughter!
There are also good gunnery ranges in Orlando
where for about $35, u can work out with many different kinds of submachineguns.
U just pay for the ammunition.

If u negotiate, maybe u can get a junior rate
for the 4 year old. (Give it a shot.)





David

Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 04:40 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
You were doing pretty good until this one. Considering a eight-year-old boy was recently killed by such entertainment, I doubt Mame will put it on her list of things to do.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 05:13 pm
@Mame,
Character breakfasts.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 07:59 pm
@Mame,
Tell us what parks you are going to and I can tell you which attractions you should go to and which to avoid. For example, whatever you do, do not take a four year old on Snow White.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 09:36 pm
I think the Kennedy Space Center is nearby. It's pretty cool, but maybe a little old for a 4 year old.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:08 am
My daughter has booked us for two days at Magic Kingdom Park and she has booked a breakfast with princesses - but I love all these ideas... we'll be there from Feb 27 to March 4th inclusive, and will only do Disney two days. I'm going to send her this link.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:09 pm
@Mame,
Y not Google entertainment in Orlando?
(Note that Disney is in Kissimee (sp?) not in Orlando.
Maybe visit an alligator farm? Thay have shows.

(If your family is pro-alligator.)
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 02:33 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

My daughter has booked us for two days at Magic Kingdom Park and she has booked a breakfast with princesses - but I love all these ideas... we'll be there from Feb 27 to March 4th inclusive, and will only do Disney two days. I'm going to send her this link.

If you are going to spend four full days at a Disney resort, I suggest adding a day at the Animal Kingdom. While there, do the Safari ride and the Lion King show. The Bugs Life show is mildly scary. It seems a shame to go all that way, stay in the resort and not maximize your time at Disney.

Learn about "Extra Magic Hours" for guests of Disney. Unfortunately, according to this schedule, the extra hour day during your trip for the Magic Kingdom is March 3. Unless there is a pressing reason to do otherwise, you should try everything possible to take advantage of this extra hour when you have a lot of the park to yourself. 3/2 is the day for the Animal Kingdom.

While in the Magic Kingdom, be sure to do It's a Small World and Winnie the Poo with a four year old. The Haunted Mansion is not all that scary and fine for children. As I said, avoid Snow White at all costs. (The name should be The Wicked Witch ride.) The Tiki Bird show is good. The Buzz Lightyear Ride is an all time favorite of children and adults of all ages. There are a lot of rides in Fantasyland that are just Disneyfied versions of what you see at county fairs, but little children like them. Get to the Magic Kingdom right when is opens. You can do a lot in the first hour before it gets crowded.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 02:58 pm
@engineer,
OMG, thank you for such EXCELLENT and thorough advice! I would be (and am a bit) totally confused without this help. I'm so glad I asked! I have forwarded this link to my daughter who is making notes Smile ha ha I will follow your advice, for sure - you seem to know your stuff inside out. Thanks again, engineer!
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 02:58 pm
@Mame,
Remember to see the laser lite show
on the EPCOT Geodesic Dome
at the end of the evening,
along with the FIREWORKS DISPLAY
with which thay end the nite.
(Its also fun to take one of the (free)
boats across the lake; (see Disney map).

If u r gonna have dinner in one
of the DisneyWorld restaurants, (maybe the French Bistro)
be sure to time it so that u 'll be out in time
to get a good place to see those 2 lite shows.

Thay r a lot of fun, and memorable.

DON 'T FORGET:
Before u leave home,
go to a decent bookstore and get a DISNEYWORLD GUIDEBOOK for 2011.
Then u can plan some of your fun while u r still at home.





David
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 03:00 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Thank you Smile We'll see how long Lucy can stay awake! Maybe they have babysitters at the hotels?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 03:00 pm
@Mame,
There's also the Fastpass. You go swipe your card at a kiosk, and then you can ride the ride later using the Fastpass line.

Some folks aren't aware, but you can use your Fastpass at any time after the listed time; you don't have to be on-the-spot at the time listed.
 

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