Tate's plan, I have questions and ideas I''d like your thoughts on please


#1

What are your thoughts on the following please?
Party is me, DH, DD9 & DD7, staying at the Beach Club for 8 nights and coming from Universal. Our last trip to WDW was in 2016. DH & I like quiet meals, and hate places with noisy or badly behaved kids/adults. Our girls generally aren’t fazed by noise and love a lively place with lots going on or things to see. We are on the DDP.

1 On our first day, Friday 5th April which is the 5K of the star wars marathon weekend. I expect we’ll spend a couple of hours in a Universal park and arrive at our resort around 11ish, current plan is to visit EP, we are very interested in the food booths, and the WS scavenger hunts. For our first night should we eat around WS, or have dinner at Cape May, Biergarten or Coral reef? Should I keep lunch flexible or make an ADR for 1ish?

2 At the Flower & Garden food booths I don’t want to queue for longer than 10 mins. Is 11am the only time this will be possible? Do they get steadily busier as the day progresses, or is there a lull mid afternoon, late evening?

3 On our last day I’m thinking HS or EP, should we have lunch at 50’s Prime time, Coral Reef, Biergarten, WS food booths or around the pool at Hurricane Hanah’s?

4 Can I get a bus from BC to a waterpark and then from the waterpark to AK? I’ve looked this up, and the answer is yes, but I keep reading that people had to go via Disney Springs. It’s not a big deal as we can always uber, I’m just curious. Can we take towels from our resort and then leave them at the water park?

5 Would you do FOP three times or twice & Navi once? We’ve never been on either.

6 If you are booking ADR’s with a fireworks view (Cali Grill & La Hacienda) what time would you try for? I’m thinking 7:45pm for La Hacienda, and 7:30pm for Cali Grill? At Cali Grill do you recommend watching from the viewing platform or your table, or is that totally dependant on which table you get?

7 Would you do Cali Grill or Rainforest café and Coral Reef?

8 On an EMH morning at HS can we sign up for jedi training and then ride SDD with under 30 min wait? TP says yes. I’m thinking we can as long as we are there early. I’m debating this now as that way I can forget about scoring a SDD FPP and I don’t need to leave HS to the end of the week.

9 I’ve heard rumors about the BC kids club closing for refurbishment, anyone know anything about this?

10 For our night without the kids I am fixated with Jellyrolls, plan is early dinner at Teppan Edo or WS food booths and then arrive shortly after 8pm so we can get a table. Should I forget this plan and do Cali Grill or La Hacienda instead?

11 On our last night would you suggest Biergarten or 50’s Prime time? Cali Grill and La Hacienda are possibilities too, but I think the girls would prefer the first 2. Another option is Tuskers, ROL and seeing Pandora at night?

12 On our last trip, visiting AKL & DS didn’t make the cut, I’m a bit sad that they haven’t this time either, but I’m OK with that because maybe next time we will stay at AKL or a DS resort. I could switch Tuskers for Boma? but the kids will enjoy the characters and Boma is an extra bus journey.

13 I had decided to drop Seaworld, however, I’m thinking about dropping the Kennedy Space Centre instead? The girls would prefer Seaworld, it’s cheaper, saves 3 hours of traveling, and the Space Centre will still be there the next time we visit, while the Killer whales might not be.

Turned out there were rather a lot of questions, any input greatly appreciated as my DH doesn’t like to have any involvement in Disney planning.


#2

Let me answer the waternpark question first. From BC to TL you need to go to DS then transfer. To B.B. you need to go to AK and transfer. A mini van or Lyft/Uber will save you a lot of time.

Flower and Garden: the booths do not get as busy as Food and Wine. I prefer Flower and Garden.


#3

Great list of questions. I can’t wait to see the answers.


#4

I can only answer number 5. (The others either confuse me or I don’t know and/or haven’t eaten at the listed places.)

I dearly love both rides in Pandora. My recommendation is do them both - do Na’vi River first though. :slight_smile:


#5

The childcare centers did close but there is this:


#6

I’ll try to answer some of your questions.
1–We like eating around the world. But sometimes it is nice to be able to sit and eat a meal. Eating around the world usually involves a lot of standing around while eating.
2–I think that with it being a Friday it will be busy in the evening. I think late morning and early afternoon should be okay.
3–Food booths unless you do that on day 1 and feel you’ve had enough of it. Love 50’s.
4–Wish I could help but we always have a car.
5–I think if you have never done Navi you should do that once. It’s not thrilling but it is beautiful.
6–I think your time suggestions are good. At CG watching the fireworks can be done from the table if you get one right by the window. We tend to go out to the balcony (just FYI there is back balcony that is much less crowded.)
7–CG definitely.
No idea about 8&9
10–My husband and I had such a fun time at Jellyrolls. It’s definitely a great adults only night. I personally wouldn’t give up CG for it.
11–I’d pick 50’s over Biergarten, but TH is great for a character meal and I think ROL is something you should see if you haven’t already. And Pandora at night is beautiful and worth seeing.
12–Boma is better food but it is a bit of a journey. We like TH.
13–I think I would let the girls make that choice.


#7
  1. I have been told by several people that there is really no rush to sign up for Jedi training. I have not tested it myself (will do so in early Nov.) but I have been told that you can sign up easily during the AM and some a few people told me they were able to just walk in in the PM. Personally, I’ll go sign up (or try to) around about 10 AM; I think that should be safe.

#8

We had a 7:00 pm ADR for Cali Grill on a 9:00 fireworks night and we were just finishing our meal at FW time. We watched from our table, as it had a perfect view. Where you go depends a lot on your table.

Now, we were just the two adults so we lingered and had cocktails, appetizers, entree etc. However I couldn’t imagine being finished in less than an hour to an hour and a half. If you are finished too soon, you can always explore the hotel. Your receipt will allow you back up top to watch fireworks. I would think a 7:30 ADR would be perfect.

I would never go to Rainforest Cafe again in my life. Cali Grill over most restaurants in WDW.


#9

To bounce off of that, I have not been to Rainforest Café in WDW but I have been to the one in Downtown Disney at Disneyland and it was really overpriced and not good at all. The atmosphere was cool enough but I also would not go back.


#10

If you are referring to the Sandcastle Club, it was supposed to close permanently on July 31 or June 30… I believe that has happened (none of the links on the WDW website work). We used Lilo’s Playhouse at Poly in June and that was closing too. The pixar play zone is open at the CR I believe .


#11

For 9/10, I believe the Swan/Dolphin still has a kids club. Camp Dolphin? If that is still open it would fit in much better with your Epcot/Boardwalk visit as you could walk.


#12

I’m not much help as I haven’t done any of these things yet, but I think I would choose SeaWorld for all the reasons you listed.


#13

For 3/11, I love both 50’s Prime Time and Biergarten, but I would defer to scheduling your TP first over picking restaurants. Do you want to do HS/Epcot or vice versa? Or you seem to be tossing around MK and AK!


#14

Wow - that’s a lot of questions… I’ve never been during an EP “festival”, so it will be hard for me to answer those questions…

  1. If it were me, I’d do the booths as it’s different than the “usual” EP options - as long as BG was included somewhere in the plan.

  2. Can’t help here.

  3. Of the three options, BG is certainly my favorite; I think you need to decide on your park first, then plan your meal.

  4. Never done a water park, so I can’t help here.

  5. I haven’t been on either yet, but I would definitely do each one at least once.

  6. Being able to see FW from CG is a “guarantee”; if you don’t get a window table, you can go on the deck. LH is a crap-shoot for a very limited number of tables. I’ve never understood why people want to watch the shows while eating; to me they are separate events to be enjoyed on their own. In EP I always eat first and look for a spot to watch IllumiNations after. For CG I try to book 75-90 min before the scheduled show time; this gives me time for a drink, app and entrée before the show (which I watch from the deck) and then dessert and coffee after.

  7. CG, hands down.

  8. No experience with Jedi Training, sorry.

  9. No Kids.

  10. Jellyrolls is a lot of fun and is something you can only do without kids. I might recommend FF (or perhaps one of the Swan/Dolphin restaurants) for dinner as it is much closer to Jellyrolls than going into EP.

  11. If this would be your only “AK after dark” option, I would recommend that. TH is the only CM that I will go to voluntarily. It looks like you have other possible options for CG or BG.

  12. I know I’m the exception, but Boma really didn’t wow me as much as I was expecting it to; I would not make a trip to AKL just to eat there (I would, however, for Jiko or Sanaa). If you’re considering a stay at AKL on a future trip, I’d save it for that.

  13. Unless your girls are really into space exploration, I would recommend Sea World for all of the reasons that you cited. I think KSC would be more appreciated at an older age when they’ve studied more about the space program.


#15

All of this. And T-Rex is even worse…


#16

Thank you @bswan26 @Dreamer @PrincipalTinker @jflafond @gamusicman @melcort10 @NoCapes @lizzieanne771 I appreciate your thoughts.

9/10 When you click on the sandcastle website link it takes you to the Dolphin Club, which now describes itself as jointly run by the Dolphin Hotel & Disney. I think we will use that or get a babysitter. I’ve ruled out the restaurants at the swan & dolphin because I can’t use the DDP there. Though for anyone that’s interested if you eat at one of those restaurants or use the spa you get 2 free hours at the Dolphin Club. I’m assuming it’s a 10 minute walk between Dolphin and BC, and 15 mins between Dolphin and EP?

8 That’s interesting to know that JSU doesn’t have to be done first thing.

I showed DD9 a youtube restaurant tour of AK and she loved the look of Rainforest cafe, but was less keen when I said the food wasn’t good. I think it’s fallen off the list and if we did go maybe we’d only share one meal and be very quick.

On our last day I had thought AK, then changed it to HS as that’s closer to the BC, now I’m thinking EP because we can walk and I’m not reliant on Disney transport to be on time for the ME to the airport. As I write this I’m thinking HS might be the compromise between close and exciting.

For the last night, all options I mentioned are on my to do list that week, I just can’t decide which restaurant would be best to finish on, it’s hard to find places that aren’t too noisy and have stuff happening. Last time Coral Reef and Ohana were perfect. Coral reef currently doesn’t make the cut but it’s the first reserve, and I didn’t consider Ohana because we’ve been before and it’s a bit of a trek.


#17

Is this a recent change due to TSL?


#18

Beach Club is a great choice! We have stayed there twice and loved the rooms, the pool area, and easy access to Epcot, HS, and the Boardwalk. If you are looking for a quiet place in Beach Club other than your room, there is a nice atrium area with comfy seating and tables and chairs near the market area. I definitely think you will enjoy your stay. Now to your questions:

  1. I would keep lunch flexible and then either plan to eat around the World or consider enjoying a fabulous meal at Trattoria al Forno (on the Boardwalk). If you don’t eat here on night one, definitely stop in during your stay. We have had great meals and service there!
  2. Not sure as Flower & Garden is still on my Disney Bucket List.
  3. What about lunch at Beaches and Cream or you could do a character breakfast at Garden Grill if you go to Epcot. I don’t get too fired up about meals at Hollywood Studios. My kids (11, 7, and 6) really liked Sci-Fi Diner, but for DH and I it was just okay.
  4. I have no direct knowledge of this.
  5. FOP twice and Na’vi once. I think Na’vi River is worth it to do at least once, but not necessarily more than that.
  6. La Hacienda has a great view! The downside to Cali Grill is that you can’t see the projections. If you go with La Hacienda, I would do at least an hour before fireworks.
  7. California Grill
  8. I’m a big fan of Shannon Albert, owner of WDW Prep School. On her recent podcast, she mentioned that she spoke to several HS cast members who said that on a busy day, Jedi Training is filling up by noon. They recommend going to TSL first and then doing Jedi sign-ups. My crew has always rope dropped HS and immediately signed up for Jedi training. It makes me nervous to deviate from this plan, but I trust Shannon’s research so we are planning to try this new strategy when we go in September.
  9. It was shut down.
  10. Love this idea! Especially eating at the WS food booths if the crowds aren’t too bad.
  11. Pandora at night! Pandora at night!
  12. We didn’t visit Disney Springs until our fourth visit and I really regret that. We loved DS and now visit it at least once during our trips. Still haven’t made it to AKL.
  13. My very first experience with Disney was at Disneyland. We went one day to Disneyland and then the next day to Seaworld. Seaworld was such a letdown after Disneyland.

I hope this helps! Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes!


#19

Thanks @Gnatjo

I’m leaning towards keeping our first day lunch flexible and I’ve checked out Trattoria al Forno which looks lovely. It would fit in well with an evening on the Broadwalk but what do I drop to make space for it? Maybe 50’s prime time. Sci Fi had originally been on my list as we enjoyed it last time, but DD9 wasn’t keen and we want to try new places. I would like to visit Beaches & Cream and Garden grill but there are too many other places we want to try more. In my one conversation with DH about restaurants he was keen on La Hacienda & Teppon Edo, there were others but they would be difficult to fit in, or not on the DDP. CRT is on the list as we haven’t been before and the next time we visit WDW my girls will definitely be past the princess stage. They already are now but I’m expecting it to come back once we are there. Other restaurants on the list are Cape May as we love seafood and staying at the BC, Tuskers for the dining package, characters and slightly different food. We can only do 8 TS meals. Pandora/Tuskers/ROL would be a good last night. I think I might need to drop Cali Grill if Disney springs goes back on the list, would you do that?


#20

Honestly I have no idea but it was indeed the explanation offered by a few people. I have no first-hand knowledge though so I am not sure at all how it will go. I will share my experience when I come back in November for sure.