It's got lots of recommendations, complete with menus, etc. It may be of some help to you.
I sympathize with your dread. If I never went to another amusement park in my life, I'd be just fine. In fact, I'd be grateful. However, there are these grandchildren lurking about who will one day soon learn about Disneyland, Disneyworld, and everything in-between. On the other hand...perhaps you will tap into your "inner child" and like it more than you think you will. Fingers crossed
Joined: 08 Dec 2005 Posts: 224 Location: kingston, ny
Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:57 pm Post subject:
Having been to Disney World multiple times, I advise you to bring water bottles with you. Fill them up at the fountain or in your room before going out for the day and you will save massive amounts of money. As for gyms, most of the resorts have a workout room inside or the front desk can tell you where the nearest one is. All the resorts will definitely have a pool, although you'll probably have to compete with an insane number of people under 4 feet tall to get to it. If you dislike crowds and screaming children, save your sanity by developing a highly infectious disease right before you're supposed to leave. If this is not an option, bring a large bottle of asprin or painrelieve/headache medicine of your choice. Extra strength is better. Parents, in my experience, fail to realize that their 2 year old does not have the stamina that they do. Hence the screaming by completely exhausted toddlers and preschoolers at 11 PM.
As for ways around lines, both for rides and restaurants, try to find the FastPass machine near all the biggest/most popular rides and grab tickets. You swipe your admission ticket in the machine and you get a stub or a credit on your ticket (can't remember which) to come back later that day when you get to skip the massively long line (I've waited well over an hour on an "off" day) and take the shorter FastPass line directly to the front. As for restaurants, try your hardest to NOT eat at "normal" meal times, say 12 noon for lunch. Instead eat at 11:30 or 1, after the main rush is over. Many of the restaurants that I've seen are really trying to make an effort to accommodate dietary restrictions, so the safest bet for "healthy" food might end up being vegetarian. Remember, all the theme parks are oriented toward families used to eating Mickey D's and other "kid friendly food." Expect to see french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers in some form on every menu, even the ones in "ethnic" restaurants. Epcot has a large variety of restaurants in the park and downtown Disney has lots of options as well, and is geared to an adult crowd (not that there won't be lots of kids, but perhaps more grown up options).
My mom lives outside of Orlando, so I know that right outside of Disney on the main drags there's every conceivable dining option known to mankind. If you're going to have a rental car, this might be a great option for you guys. There should also be connections to Universal Studios' park, where you might be able to sneak off to their version of Downtown. Universal is definitely aimed at a slightly older crowd, and if you pick a day that's not a weekend, there will be less people around in general. Hope this helps some Jen!
Joined: 29 Oct 2006 Posts: 218 Location: Heaven, actually.
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:32 am Post subject:
Ohthankgawd for friends like you!
Woodstocker, you are an angel- hope for us in the winderness, no machete required!
Okay time to fess up...
My folks survived 50 years of marriage, two boring sons, one hellion of a daughter , a transatlantic move to the Middle East, a matched pair of open heart surgeries and grandchildren. Time to throw them a party, right? It was going to be held in Israel this past June, but the last conflict between Israel and Lebanon came too close to my brother's house in Hadera. We 86'ed the idea for Barcelona, London or Elsewhere.
My brother decided that grandkids need to go to Disney at least twelve times during the course of a normal childhood, so the family must congregate where they can frolic all together, grandparents and Aunt Jenny in attendance.
Judy- I, too was in Anaheim and could hear the Disney Tunes From Hell emanating from the Mickey Motel even whilst inside the Hilton lobby... I'd be a turd to not admit that I DID go to Disneyland for my 30th birthday and it was so-so. It sounds like I am going to have a fair time whether I want to or not. I will be bringing earplugs and a few bottles of Oregon wine, too...
The food thing sounds silly, but its important to us to keep eating like we usually do while on vacation. Having a gym, as Woodstocker mentioned, is a necessity- I am glad it came up. I put in a query to Disney about it.
So, do I really HAVE to put on the ridiculous Mickey Mouse teeshirt we all received in the mail and pose for a family picture? Can't I just wear a tiara instead? _________________ There is only one way to die- With a full stomach and a good tan.
Joined: 13 Nov 2004 Posts: 899 Location: Gold Coast Australia
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:23 am Post subject:
Well folks I'm sorry but I loved Disneyland. In 1987 we took our boys at ages 5 and 7 to the US to visit friends in Cleveland, Ohio. First stop was Disneyland after recovering from the long flight from NZ. We arrived at 8AM and left around 11PM after the parade. I insisted on stopping and resting with drink or food every two hours. The boys were perfectly behaved the entire day and we all had a wonderful time. We didn't even mind the queus as everyone was very friendly. The boys had the opportunity to chat to all sorts of different people. _________________ Barbara
I thought Disneyland was an absolute blast for about an hour. After that, the smiling princesses start to seem creepy. I lived within earshot of the place for a year and got my fill for sure.
My advice is to avoid Disney food at all costs. Not only is it expensive but bland, poorly put together and usually tepid from being construted assembly-line style, even in their supposedly "upscale" joints.
If you can reserve a hotel suite with a kitchenette and find a decent freshmarket nearby, you're golden.
Joined: 08 Dec 2005 Posts: 224 Location: kingston, ny
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:32 pm Post subject:
Disney is fun! I didn't mean to come off sounding like it isn't. I love the rides (Space Mtn is my favorite) but the crowds in August get to me some days. Believe it or not, Universal studios is the closest movie theatre to my mom so we do dinner and a movie night down there ($US22 for both). There's just something so other-worldly about Disney- you completely lose track of "real-life" when you're staying there. Almost like a time warp when you leave.
I love Disney World, and average about 6 trips a year. Yep, I'm a grownup. Nope, no kids.
Anyway, for healthy food you do have some choices in each park, without having to break the bank on food.
If you are in Epcot, go to The Land pavilion. The produce used in their salads, and some of their seafood, is grown right there in the greenhouses. I usually get two hardboiled eggs and some soy sauce for breakfast, or a flatbread or beet and goat cheese salad in the afternoon. Tokyo dining, in the Japan pavilion, is a great place for a healthy and light dinner. Epcot is actually the easiest park to eat in, I think. Whatever you do, avoid the Mexican sit down restaurant. It's way overpriced and not very good. If you want to splurge on some lovely food and wonderful service, go to Bistro de Paris and ask to have the charming and wonderful Damian from Paris as your waiter.
MGM is probably the hardest, because I rarely spend enough time in the park to have to eat anything. The ABC Commissary, though, usually has a few vegetarian selections.
At Animal Kingdom I would suggest you visit Pizzafari, but only eat there if a basic ceasar salad is your thing. The restaurant itself should be a tourist attraction. Each room is themed to a different set of animals with lovely and detailed wall murals. There's a night time room, an upside down room, a bug room, a room for animals that carry their houses with them, etc. When you need to actually eat, there is a great salad at the Flame Tree BBQ, and the Tusker House has just been refurbished as a buffet of African style foods, which is getting great reviews.
Finally, the Magic Kingdom, has a couple of options. If the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station is open, they have good, basic vegetable noodle bowl with tofu. Pinocchio Village Haus has a grilled turkey panini -- ask them to leave off the bacon. And the Columbia Harbor House has a salad with chicken, pecans, pineapple and feta.
These are only counter service places, when you hit a sit down place your options expand, but the prices go up.
A couple of things I have learned over the past years:
Don't be afraid to order the kids meals, especially if that is more appealing. Disney has recently redone their children's menus and the portions are the right size with choices of grapes and carrots on the side.
At a sit down restaurant, split the entree. For the most part, portion sizes are huge. I often just order a series of appetizers there.
Never buy water. You can walk up to any counter service place in the resort, and ask for a cup of ice water. There is no charge.
If you get a chance, eat at Boma in the Animal Kingdom lodge. It's an African Buffet, with some choices for timid palates. But I was recently at a Q&A with the Chef there, and most of the recipes on the buffet are actually family recipes of the African cast-members who staff the place. It's really very amazing for a buffet.
Long winded, but hopefully helpful... have a great time! (Oh, Remy and Emile are in the Animation Building at MGM, but not in France at Epcot yet.)
Joined: 29 Oct 2006 Posts: 218 Location: Heaven, actually.
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:43 am Post subject:
SBJ, we had tried to opt out of the craziness of a theme hotel but we got a group package. A kitchen and green market is surely the gateway to sanity (it worked well in New Orleans), but in the spirit of the occasion, we had to fall in like good campers. If we rented a car, we'd be all over that for sure.
Griffin, I like yo' style, Brothah! I was thinking of scrawling a copy of Kliban's cat cartoon of a feline playing banjo, singing, "Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat... Love them little tails, nibble they tiny feet." on the back of the shirt. Or an illustration of a mousetrap...
Zingor, I am totally grateful. I hope we can manage to get to Epcot at least once to say we did it and to dine somewhere fun, but the Boma thing sounds incredibly fab and fascinating- haven't had decent African food since Vegas in the 90's. Animal Kingdom is adjacent to our lodgings and might be our saving grace with a gym and some food options. All the Magic Kingdom food sounds perfect, too.
Barbara, I have heard all sorts of good things about Disney from colleagues at work- friendliness, cleanliness, efficiency and upbeat spirit of the crews. I am glad you and Zingor can report back to dorks like me with good tidings. I am a bit more comfortable.
I can whine all I wish, but you all know darned well I will wind up giggling madly as I chase the Beasties around (nieces, nephews) and get trounced upon as rugged aunties are equipped to do so. Four days is enough, with two family events planned (a luau kind of thing at Ohana and a banquet at Fulton's Fish House). I declined the tea with princesses thing, naturally- why should my nieces have to pay a total stranger when they can hang with Moi drinking Long Islands for free? _________________ There is only one way to die- With a full stomach and a good tan.
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