Bowl Disney Planning

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    Chris Williams - Publisher
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Is SeaWorld worth it if you don't want to fight the crowds and don't really care about the rides? Just looking for something to do for a day down there
Never done Seaworld so I’m no help there. We plan to hit up TopGolf and Andretti Go Karts (close to convention center area) and also enjoy some pool time.
 
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BCClone

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Sep 4, 2011
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Is SeaWorld worth it if you don't want to fight the crowds and don't really care about the rides? Just looking for something to do for a day down there

You looking to ride a killer whale or something, maybe a rickshaw in the parking lot? Have been to a couple seaworlds and never seen any rides at them.
 

CyTwins

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Jan 20, 2010
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You looking to ride a killer whale or something, maybe a rickshaw in the parking lot? Have been to a couple seaworlds and never seen any rides at them.
Lol no I don't care about rides like Disney or Universal will provide so is SeaWorld a good option since it will be less busy is what I meant
 

AlienClone5

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Sep 22, 2015
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Lol no I don't care about rides like Disney or Universal will provide so is SeaWorld a good option since it will be less busy is what I meant
We went to Seaworld back in 2016 (tied in with a Disney trip) and we enjoyed a full day there. My kids ages were 4, 6, and 8 at the time. Saw a couple of their shows, their penguin exhibit is one of the best I have seen (I have one kid that loves penguins and we have done pretty much all the zoos in the Midwest), and they did have rides. One of the best roller coasters I have ever rode was there.
 
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MeanDean

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Jan 5, 2009
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I'd ask some locals for a good airboat tour in a swampy bog that includes seeing alligators in the wild. Seriously. It was the most fun I've ever had in Orlando.
We did one about 20 miles West of Vero Beach. So that would be about 1:25 from Orlando (SE). Was definitely a fun thing. I'm sure there are others closer to Orlando but this one was pretty cool.

http://www.floridacrackerairboatride.com/Home.aspx
 

The_Architect

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Apr 11, 2006
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We just got back from 9 days there over Thanksgiving which is IIRC the second busiest time of the year. We had a baby in a stroller the entire time with no issues so I call BS to the poster who scoffed at it earlier. If you do have a baby, take advantage of the parent swap, it's great! One parent waits in line with the other kids while the other parent watches the baby. Once the first group is done, the second parent gets to go to the front of the line and take 2-3 more people with them. My two older kids got to do everything twice, even the ones that the line can take 2-3 hours like the new Star Wars millenium falcon ride and Avatar Flight of the Passage. Speaking of, the Avatar Flight of the Passage is the best and there's not even a close second.
 
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Chitowncy

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Jan 14, 2009
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Disneyworld is fun in general without kids. Not nearly as much crying that way :D

I'm with Gaffigan at 3:26. Hah! Went to Disney with our young children last year and it was magical seeing it through their eyes. As for the adults (singles and couples) waiting two hours to ride the Dumbo ride and gumming it up for the tiny kids, good Lord....
 

tec71

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Apr 11, 2006
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Would Christmas day be busy? I'm flying in the 23rd
Christmas Day at the Magic Kingdom is probably the busiest day of the year, at least one of the top 3 for sure. New Years day has picked up and while it may not go phased as early it does go farther into the phases. MK typically goes into phased closing very very early on Xmas morning, where they have criteria for you to get it. (https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/capacity-closures) The first phase is casual visitors so if you are driving up from off property to buy a ticket typically you'll get turned away at the parking turnstiles where you pay for parking. MK opens at 6 a.m. that day, which is an hour earlier than I've ever seen it open. That time was a relatively recent adjustment which means they are expecting huge crowds. If you are going go early, very very early.

This Christmas will be our sixth or seventh Christmas at WDW. The first year we made the mistake of going to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas morning. We got there early, and did some rides. Then about 10 a.m. we came out of a ride and it was like the park had exploded. Like shoulder to shoulder people everywhere, shuffling along because you can walk regular. The next year we went to Hollywood Studios on Christmas Morning. As we arrived at security, every bag inspection station was manned by two guards but there were hardly any guests going through. I asked the guard why they had so many open and he said "they just closed the Magic Kingdom." It was like 8:30 a.m. The next year we were riding the bus to a breakfast at the Contemporary. You had to at the time go through the parking payment turnstiles to get there. The line of cars was backed up two miles to get into the Magic Kingdom.

Honestly unless it's the only time you'll ever get your kids there I would consider avoiding it on Christmas Day. I would only go to the Magic Kingdom as an absolute last resort. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom haven't reached phased closing for seven or eight years I think.
 
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CyTwins

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Christmas Day at the Magic Kingdom is probably the busiest day of the year, at least one of the top 3 for sure. New Years day has picked up and while it may not go phased as early it does go farther into the phases. MK typically goes into phased closing very very early on Xmas morning, where they have criteria for you to get it. (https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/capacity-closures) The first phase is casual visitors so if you are driving up from off property to buy a ticket typically you'll get turned away at the parking turnstiles where you pay for parking. MK opens at 6 a.m. that day, which is an hour earlier than I've ever seen it open. That time was a relatively recent adjustment which means they are expecting huge crowds. If you are going go early, very very early.

This Christmas will be our sixth or seventh Christmas at WDW. The first year we made the mistake of going to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas morning. We got there early, and did some rides. Then about 10 a.m. we came out of a ride and it was like the park had exploded. Like shoulder to shoulder people everywhere, shuffling along because you can walk regular. The next year we went to Hollywood Studios on Christmas Morning. As we arrived at security, every bag inspection station was manned by two guards but there were hardly any guests going through. I asked the guard why they had so many open and he said "they just closed the Magic Kingdom." It was like 8:30 a.m. The next year we were riding the bus to a breakfast at the Contemporary. You had to at the time go through the parking payment turnstiles to get there. The line of cars was backed up two miles to get into the Magic Kingdom.

Honestly unless it's the only time you'll ever get your kids there I would consider avoiding it on Christmas Day. I would only go to the Magic Kingdom as an absolute last resort. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom haven't reached phased closing for seven or eight years I think.
Do you think the 26th will be less busy than the 25th?
 

tec71

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
1,337
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Ankeny, Iowa
We just got back from 9 days there over Thanksgiving which is IIRC the second busiest time of the year. We had a baby in a stroller the entire time with no issues so I call BS to the poster who scoffed at it earlier. If you do have a baby, take advantage of the parent swap, it's great! One parent waits in line with the other kids while the other parent watches the baby. Once the first group is done, the second parent gets to go to the front of the line and take 2-3 more people with them. My two older kids got to do everything twice, even the ones that the line can take 2-3 hours like the new Star Wars millenium falcon ride and Avatar Flight of the Passage. Speaking of, the Avatar Flight of the Passage is the best and there's not even a close second.
On the stroller issue, I highly recommend a stroller. Although we don't need it anymore my preference especially during the busy time is an umbrella stroller. Easier to get around in the crowds. We took one until my kid was 7. Strollers usually fly free. We didn't actually use it the last two times we went. it's great to have just as a home base for your kid. Less likely to wander off. My theory is you'll never regret taking it even if you leave it in the hotel or take it into the park and just leave it somewhere. But you could regret not having it. When in try this. Go into your kids room tonight about two hours after they've fallen asleep. Pick them up and carry them around the block four times. If there's no risk that they will be tired at the end of a long day, or that's not any trouble then you don't need a stroller.


Do you think the 26th will be less busy than the 25th?
Yes but only in the sense that it won't likely reached phased closing I wouldn't think. It'll still be a 10 out of 10 on the crowd scale. It's just to me Xmas Day is more like a 12 out of 10. If you go when they open it may be manageable. The only problem is the park opens to the public at 8 a.m. that day, but opens to those staying at Disney hotels at 7 a.m. so if you aren't on property even coming early might not be that much of an advantage.
 
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tec71

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Apr 11, 2006
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Ankeny, Iowa
For those that might want to see what the crowds will look like I submit my brother's (jakemcilroy on CF) created planning tool. The crowd levels and park hours are accurate for the dates as of yesterday although those do change so I wouldn't rely on it without double checking (the park hours especially). I can't upload the excel version but I'm happy to share if someone wants a copy.
 

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Rogue52

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Oct 20, 2006
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I’m leaning towards going to Hollywood Studios on the 26th. I made a reservation at the Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge. Sounds like I need to be in line outside the park by 5 AM though. OUCH. Haven’t pulled the trigger on purchasing actual tickets yet.
 

TrueAndValiant

New Member
Sep 7, 2009
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I’m leaning towards going to Hollywood Studios on the 26th. I made a reservation at the Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge. Sounds like I need to be in line outside the park by 5 AM though. OUCH. Haven’t pulled the trigger on purchasing actual tickets yet.
The only reason you’d need to be there that early is to get a return time for RotR, which is still a good reason. I doubt it will be quite that early, though. At least lately 6:30 has been more than fine.
 
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