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Everything posted by timfreeman

  1. I received a survey a while ago that included questions on ticket pricing. At that time I thought they were absurd and told them so in the survey. I log on to the site today to check out Disney alternatives (we normally go to Universal at least once a year), and they increased pricing by 70%!?!?!?!?! Not sure about everyone else, but no way I'm paying $170 for a 7 day ticket. I think they are taking the attendance due to the Harry Potter intro in the Spring a little too extreme. This doesn't even touch the Annual Pass increase of over $100. My kids love Universal, but it looks like they priced themselves off my list.
  2. Without kids and only on a 4 day trip, I'd not get the Deluxe. I'm guessing you have to have one of them to get the $750, so I would stick with the basic. If you don't want to do the character dining, stick with the 2 credit dinners. Someone already mentioned most, but they forgot the big one of Cinderella's Castle. Even though it's a character dinner, the atmosphere and decorations are great. You'll have to get lucky to get a reservation though. This plan will get you 3 dinner reservations, 12 counter meals, and 12 snacks. The snacks can be very useful, especially if you are going during the heat. You don't have to just get sodas. You can get Dole Whips and Smoothies in Magic Kingdom. The smoothie shop between Space Mountain and Indy by the Venus trade shop has orange/pineapple, pineapple/banana, or coffee smoothies and everyone knows where the Dole Whips are. Each park has a few good spots like these. The counter service meals will get you a breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, a biscuit, and a drink to fill you up and get energy before going to the parks. Every resort has this breakfast along with many other choices.
  3. I also use 1and1 for a personal site, but it doesn't seem as fast. Maybe it's the plan level, but I've always been a fan of smaller companies with personal support.
  4. Check out SpeedSpan.net A local company that I've used for years. Not sure on pricing, but the servers are reliable and kept up to date. Mention my name and it may get a deal, maybe not.
  5. While there are many things to see, not sure you'd accomplish much going across I-40 as none of them are there. There aren't many big must-dos on that route. Add to it that Las Vegas to Memphis is a good 24 hour drive (not counting stops, sleep, etc), and Memphis to Orlando is another 14 hours, you'd be better off flying to Memphis if it was a must stop on your trip, then flying to Orlando. It shouldn't add much to the cost, both are major hubs for airports.
  6. If you are going to WDW, Universal, & SeaWorld, and want to stay offsite, I'd recommend staying centrally like Hotel Plaza Blvd. It's right beside Downtown Disney and central to all the sites. All hotels in the area offer shuttles if you don't want to pay for parking everyday. I'd recommend the Hilton It's expensive but nice and literally right across the street from DD. There's also a DoubleTree within a half mile of DD. Think there are others, but those are the only two I've visited. Orange Lake is a very nice high end deal if that's your speed. Onsite Disney: Been to quite a few, depends on what you are looking for. Just a hotel room to sleep? Any resort will do. I'd recommend Pop Century as it seems to have more buses. For moderate, our favorite is Caribbean Beach. Don't stay often in the Deluxe, but Polynesian and Boardwalk fit our style. Onsite/Universal: Royal Pacific is our favorite with great theming. The Express Passes are worth at least 1 day stay, which actually gives you 2 days Express (day you checkin and the day you check out). I would have recommended the DoubleTree until they started charging for parking. We'd stay there and walk back and forth to the parks. Our favorite now is Homewood Suites. It's across the street from Wet and Wild. Again, all hotels offer shuttles, but we normally pay to park for the convenience.
  7. Thanks for the info. I actually got a call from the Director of Guest Services today regarding certain issues we had. Still doubt if we head that way in Apr, but may give it another shot in the Fall. Don't know if Philly/Disneyland are the only options, but still keeping them open at the moment. Checked into Disney cruises and they want $7k, so that's not going to happen.
  8. In that case, is there a recommendation on where to stay? Maybe we'll do that in Apr and plan a summer trip to Philly.
  9. - Favorite new coaster: Diamondback, simply because I wasn't expecting much and was greatly surprised - Favorite new ride: Tower of Terror - Most memorable park moment : Animal Kingdom after closing. We were at the back of the park taking our time. It had been raining off and on so the park was empty by this time. Finally got to the front and were trading pins with a cast member. Just then the park closing celebration pulled up. Was all the characters and about 20 of us at the most, very personal and one on one for the kids the whole time. - Least favorite coaster: The Dark Knight, SFGA - Can this even be considered a coaster? My son is a huge Batman fan so we waited in line 2 hours for this pile of manure. - Least favorite ride: Will add another coaster, Superman: Ultimate Flight, SFG The inverted, head first loop did me in. Never was that sick on any ride - Least favorite park: SFGA, nothing major about the park, we just were lucky enough to hit it on it's highest attendance day - The decade's biggest flop: SFKK, was one of the worst parks in the 90s and they did nothing to change it - The decade's biggest success: Have to be Disney, no other park can compete on shear scale - The best meal you've had at a park: Counting resorts, Ohana dinner...not counting resorts, Tusker House due to the friendliness of the hosts - The worst meal you've had at a park: Cosmic Rays always seem to be cold and over-cooked
  10. Just turned 2 on Dec 4th, but he's a monster. Already 36" inches and loves any ride that he can ride. I was thinking more of the water park for him and possibly the play area. May take 2 days to do just for the fact that only 1 adult can ride the big rides at a time.
  11. Thought about this one too, but April may not be the time. All three don't fully open until late May/June. We could upgrade our Kings Island Season Passes to Platinum and get into Dorney. There's also Sesame Place along with Hershey in the same region. This may be an option if we change the dates.
  12. This was actually my first thought, but wasn't sure the time factor. I've heard Legoland is really a 1 day visit and no clue on DL/CA. We could do the beach to fill out the other days. DL just seems so much more expensive as WDW. A 3 day package with tickets, minnie meal plan (for a character meal), and hotel prices at $1850. We just went for 10 days to WDW with dining and paid $2k. Add rental car, additional park tickets, extra hotel nights.......seems excessive on the price. Maybe there is better pricing of which I'm not aware?
  13. Hello all, looooooong time lurker in need of some help. We normally spend quite a bit of time in Orlando at the parks with the kids (ages 8, 6, & 2) with visits in April, October, and December. With recent events at WDW during our October and December trips, I'm not planning on going back anytime in the near future. Our other main attraction is Universal. However, with the planned opening of Potter in Spring, I don't want to hit it right when it opens due to crowds and if it's postponed, don't want to miss it completely. With that, I'm trying to find alternatives to visit in the Spring. The issue is really the 2 year old. The others are both over 52" and love roller coasters, but we don't want the toddler sitting in a stroller all day waiting with nothing to do. A week seems too long to spend at most parks I know, and I don't want to pay $300+ a day to go to different parks if I don't have to. We are based in the Cincinnati area and have season passes to Kings Island. Any suggestions on where to go?
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