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Which do you want to visit this year?


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#21 Dianna

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Rex, I'm really excited about going to Universal this year. I got group tickets last year, but we didn't go. This year, we definitely plan to.


Warmly,

Dianna


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#22 Cristin Golden

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

We have luckily been to Diney about 10 times in as many years. Love it...pure family enjoyment, no matter what park!
I took my son to Universal last year and we literally spent the entire day doing Hogwarts...which is all he wanted :)
I've been to Seaworld 2x and love it. Kids love it, it has a great climbing area for all ages and the fireworks were beautiful.
I don't think you can loose on any of it...YOU make it what it is!
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#23 Kaye Franks Moshtael

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

Definitely all three!  Especially with the new Fantasyland opening in Disney.  We've done just about everything there is to do at Disney, except that.  Looking forward to the Universal educational tours, too.  DS loves Wizarding World. We had annual passes a couple of years ago, but haven't been able to go since then, so he's going into withdrawal. Are you setting up the SeaWorld field trip/group rate?  I came to the forum this morning to ask if you would be doing that, and found this thread.  We did that last year with another, very informal group.  It was really just one mom that put it together and said "Who wants to go?".  We had a great time, and couldn't believe the great price on the tickets! We really hope that we will be able to join you guys.  Just waiting on firm dates so we can check hubby's work schedule.



#24 Dianna

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

Hi Kaye,

 

Yes, I'll be doing the SeaWorld field trip, too. The discount is too good to pass up!

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#25 bless9ings

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

Disney is our favorite!  Haven't tried Universal.  The oldest four always wanted too, but now the oldest two are married.  Is it worth it with these ages: 19, 17, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2  Went to Sea World with the oldest four and would love to go again with the younger ones!  It has been so long what do you think are the "just right" ages to go to Sea World?



#26 Dianna

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:57 AM

Disney is our favorite!  Haven't tried Universal.  The oldest four always wanted too, but now the oldest two are married.  Is it worth it with these ages: 19, 17, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2  Went to Sea World with the oldest four and would love to go again with the younger ones!  It has been so long what do you think are the "just right" ages to go to Sea World?

 

For Universal, I think your oldest four would really enjoy the educational tours they're offering. The whole family would enjoy SeaWorld, so I wouldn't say there's a "just right" age for that one. Others may have different advice for you, though.

 

Warmly,

Dianna


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#27 Becky Pierce Petree

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Dianna, Have you heard anything from Disney about dates?  We want to go and my husband has to put in his dates asap.  Just checking I know you have been busy. Thanks for your hard work.



#28 Dianna

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:53 PM

Becky, they haven't confirmed yet. I'll nudge them again today. They've been swamped with spring break school groups.

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#29 Beth Schreiner van Duzer

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

I have only been to Disney once in my 41 years and it was by accident. I hadn't done any research and had no idea what to visit.

Last Feb we went to Universal and LOVED it. My 11-year-old loves dinosaurs and had a great time at the Jurrasic park related rides. She even got to go in the dinosaur nursery for a personal tour. To this day she believes it is real and wants to work there when she grows up.

We also did one day at Sea World. It was fun.

I want to do this trip because I think Disney could be amazing, if I knew what I was doing.
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#30 bless9ings

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:30 PM

Disney is our favorite!  Haven't tried Universal.  The oldest four always wanted too, but now the oldest two are married.  Is it worth it with these ages: 19, 17, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2  Went to Sea World with the oldest four and would love to go again with the younger ones!  It has been so long what do you think are the "just right" ages to go to Sea World?

Let me clarify the ages of the kids.  I am sorry on disboards I have in my signature all the ages of the kids. 
I guess this could kinda be a introduction. lol :rolleyes:   My husband and I have 9 "natural, all ours, no blended family" children.  We have been married 27 years in March.  We have homeschooled since the beginning of time, or so it seems!  The ages are 24, 22, 19, 17, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2.  I wanted a big family. (came from a big family)  My husband to be at the time said, "How many?"  I said only 4, because I didn't dare to say more. :mellow:   We met our quota of four and he was very happy so we stopped.  Seven years later, "surprise!"  The Lord changed both of our hearts and we have nine beautiful children. :) The oldest two (boys) are married.  We have two grandbabies and one more on the way in April! :D

 

So, when I said the four oldest I meant the true four oldest which I had only listed the seven youngest that are still in our house.  So with all that, Dianna or anyone else, are you referring to the 19, 17, 10 and 8 year old as the four oldest?



#31 Dianna

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

Blessings, I was referring to the four oldest you listed since I don't know your family and didn't know there were others. :)

 

Dianna



#32 Jessica M

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:33 PM

Hi,

I am new to the forum, but have stalked around on fb :P . We have been wanting to take our children, who will soon be 7 and 4, to Sea World and Disney. I am sure they will love Sea World as they love dolphins and all animals really! I am not sure about whats at the Disney sites that they might enjoy. They do not like rides. They do love princesses but scared of people dressed up as characters. I was wondering if anyone can give me some insight into what parks they might like. They are both very shy and not adventurous. I was thinking Animal Kingdom, but how much different is it from a zoo. I am from NC and we have some wonderful hands on small zoo's, where they have fed a zebra, yak and touched many other exotic animals. As well as, a very nice huge zoo in Asheboro, NC. I will be stalking around, as it seems so overwhelming with all the options of hotels, food and other additional things. THANK YOU! ;)



#33 Dianna

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

Hi Jessica! Welcome to our community!

 

My children aren't "thrill riders" either, and still enjoy Disney's attractions. Many aren't rides as much as they're attractions, where you can even bring an infant along. There are attractions at all the parks that would fit this description, and we can talk about specifics as we go along so you don't get overwhelmed with too much info too soon.

 

I don't think there are any petting zoo areas in Animal Kingdom, but I can say that it's different than a zoo in that it has attractions and thrill rides like the other Disney parks.

 

Our experience with the characters has been that, for the most part, if you don't do a character meal, and don't stand in line for photos with them, you're not as likely to see any of them. It's not hard (in my experience) to avoid them.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions as we go along. I look forward to you joining us!

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#34 Jennifer Berry

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

There is a petting zoo area in AK, actually, I'm pretty sure it's called The Affection Section or something, and it's up by Rafiki's Planet Watch.  We didn't make it there last time we visited, but I was just reading about it in my Disney guide book. ^_^

 

My recommendation, if you're not sure Disney would work for your kids, would be to buy The Unofficial Guide to Disney with Kids and give it a good read, then any rides or attractions you think your kids might be interested in (maybe the easy ones like Alladin's Magic Carpets, or Story Time with Belle), go to YouTube and see if you can find videos to watch.  I mean, it's feasible that your kids could have a blast at Disney just by enjoying the atmosphere, the live shows and parades, and some of the walk-through attractions.  In Epcot in particular there's a LOT to do that isn't ride-oriented at all.  But there's also a lot you'd be paying for and not taking advantage of, so it's hard to say if that would be a good choice for your family.  The best way to guage if your kids are interested, IMO, is to bust out the YouTube and just see what you and they think.



#35 Christy Johnson Brown

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Jessica, the first time we took our kids to Disney, they weren't fond of the characters either.  They eventually warmed up during a character interaction @ Crystal Palace with the "Winnie the Pooh" characters and were fine after that.  So there may be hope :)  Another thing we did when our kids were smaller was give them a very small light on a key chain for them to have in dark rides they were not familiar with.  It gave them a sense of security to be able to squeeze that light button and have a small ray of light to comfort them. 

 

If you have a CHASE Disney card (credit card), you can earn money for Disney Rewards while at Disney and there is usually a spot for those cardholders to do a photo opportunity with characters.  Last time it was @ Epcot, but you can check out their website for card perks.  I am not advocating getting a new credit card, I am just saying we have used it over the years to get some fun perks b/c we already had it.



#36 Dianna

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

It's been so long since I've been out to the Planet Watch area that I forgot about the interactive area there (it's a little more distant than the other attractions in Animal Kingdom). I think we're due for another visit there. It's rarely crowded because a lot of people forget about it. Someone just emailed me to say they were able to watch one of the animals getting a hysterectomy. How cool is that? (Well, maybe everyone wouldn't want to watch it, but I would have!)

 

Dianna



#37 bless9ings

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

Jessica, Wow, it is hard to know what to say to you. I love Disney! But I have gone there since I was in 5th grade, so it is reminicent to me with many happy memories going with my grandparents! I love main street it is so beautiful, but I can't say your kids are going to appreciate it. I think they might still enjoy some attractions. Look into the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. I loved that as a child! I also remember Tom Sawyers island as being fun with my siblings and going on the boat over. I also loved 20,000 Leagues under the sea, but that went quite a while ago. One of the play parks I think has something like that or was that another park in NH I am thinking about? Well I was going to say you could walk onto what looked like a ship and look through the scope or what not to see what it looked like under sea. That reminds me, your kids would like over in Epcot the under the sea area (I would have to look up the actual name) They have some small tanks, aquariums, there is also a ride that is educational. There is also a restaurant, I haven't been, but everyone raves about being able to see divers in the big wall size tank in the restaruant while you eat. There are some educational things in epcot, that I think is very easy to miss. The showcase in Epcot is where you walk around seeing different countries and cultures. I love this area and it is fun to try the countries food. The girls that are now 19 and 17, two different years did a special mother daughter outing in the showcase. When kids go through the showcase they have a special mask on a stick that they get and they can color it, then as they go around to each country they can get a special colored paper that hangs from the mask unique to that country. They also can have their stick handle stamped or if they buy a special passport, they can have that stamped. Alot of people on the Disboards.com will make their own passport. Sometimes it is hard to find the thread, but their is a person who designed a passport and listed the link to print it off. They are very nice, but alot of ink! There are also great Disney journals to Journal your days at different parks to download(Disboards.com) and do. Back to what the girls and I did. First we started with the Epcot with kids program I was talking about, but that's not the only thing we did. At each country I had the girls talk to the college interns from their particular country at Epcot and had them write hello or thank you in their native language. We talked to them and asked questions. I liked to ask how close the food at Disney was to their native country. They said it was close, but not quite there. We had fun talking to them and taking pictures of the girls around the country and with the interns sometimes. One of the countries said to try on the native costumes that was for sale and then we could take a picture of them! I said really?!? She said sure! So we started doing that and have an awesome scrapbook of each girl in all 11 countries. We had our lunch at one of the countries. We also had a majority of our suppers in the different countries. One year we studied the 11 different countries in the showcase before we left. That is just a little of what we did. Mexico has a fun river boat ride inside. Each of the countries has something of interest to do or learn. Not all of them are as fun for the kids though. I think Disney Studios is mostly for older. Their is the cool play ground area from the movie Honey I shrunk the kids. If any of your kids are into race stunt cars the show in Disney Studios is great. Most of the tv show rides etc. were too scary for my kids, but it might have been 3 or under.( ie backstage pass or something) Also, my younger kids were scared of the Anastasia production and I didn't care for the wizadry even though it gets rave reviews. Parts of it are really neat, but the whole idea turns me off when you realize there is a good and bad Mickey and the bad is a wizard or spell or something. There are some other small kids things, I think Lego something was a riding cart, not a typical ride. Back to Magic Kingdom Its a Small World is very eye pleasing boat ride through different countries with all these really neat children natively dressed. That is quite an appealing ride with head turning everywhere! We have been three times in a row during low attendance. I really think your shy kids would enjoy eating at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and the others. It is the only restaurant that we have been twice to. The character interaction is fun. The characters do a parade that they can watch or join in on. The characters come around and are fun. They are great at respecting a small shy child or even getting them to come out of their shell. Alot of the character meals are the same, but that one stands out the most! My mother even liked the food as one of the best restaruants for buffet. And last but not least is the Animal Kingdom, which is fun! Alot to do! Their is also a childrens sticker program there too! Loved the Safari ride!! Its a highlight of the Animal Kingdom. Again, you can study the animals. The train ride is fun here and in Magic Kingdom seems how it shows a lot of landscape. I am sure I could think of more...there is always alot more than meets the eye at Disney then people ever anticipate or find!


Edited by bless9ings, 22 February 2013 - 05:23 PM.


#38 bless9ings

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

There is a petting zoo area in AK, actually, I'm pretty sure it's called The Affection Section or something, and it's up by Rafiki's Planet Watch.  We didn't make it there last time we visited, but I was just reading about it in my Disney guide book. ^_^

 

My recommendation, if you're not sure Disney would work for your kids, would be to buy The Unofficial Guide to Disney with Kids and give it a good read, then any rides or attractions you think your kids might be interested in (maybe the easy ones like Alladin's Magic Carpets, or Story Time with Belle), go to YouTube and see if you can find videos to watch.  I mean, it's feasible that your kids could have a blast at Disney just by enjoying the atmosphere, the live shows and parades, and some of the walk-through attractions.  In Epcot in particular there's a LOT to do that isn't ride-oriented at all.  But there's also a lot you'd be paying for and not taking advantage of, so it's hard to say if that would be a good choice for your family.  The best way to guage if your kids are interested, IMO, is to bust out the YouTube and just see what you and they think.

Yes there is that hands on area and then outside is a petting zoo with baby goats, I would have to look at my pictures again to remember exactly.  And I totally agree with her recommendation.  They do give some interesting right ups and different things to do.



#39 Jessica M

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

wow, thanks guys!  great info....seems like there is still a lot to do even if they dont like rides and characters.  I went to Disney when I was 6 and then again at 9 years old, 20+ yrs ago, but the only things I remember are the tea cup rides and its a small world.  We also went to Sea World, which I remember more about.  My oldest wants to visit "winter" the dolphin from Dolphin Tales, which is in Clearwater, FL.  I think thats a couple hrs away from Disney.  I think I will get the book that was suggested and read through it.  And keep checking back here for everyones favs!  Thanks!


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#40 Jennifer Berry

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

It is my favorite book bc the "mom" figure doesn't like wild rides and gives good recommendations based on that, and they also have a few kid contributors who chime in from time to time.
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