School me on Disney World CGs

Discussion in 'Florida' started by skeetercampsintexas, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    We discovered that off season is whenever Florida schools are in session. We went to Disney two summers in a row (my parents live in Florida). We went to the Magic Kingdom on the same day of the week both years, but the second year was exactly one week later in August than the previous. That second year was about 40% less crowded than the previous. When we asked around, everyone told us that the difference was that Florida and Georgia schools were in session.

    I never would have thought, but locals have everything to do with crowd levels at Disney!
     
  2. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    Fort Wilderness seems nice. My parents took us there in the mid 70's and rented a permanent TT. We thought it was great.
    We spent a day at River Country (Disney's first water park, before "water park" was even a term).

    20 years ago, my wife and I were camping at Ft Myers Beach during spring break. While there, we decided to go to Epcot. We called Disney to see if they had a campsite available. The person I spoke to said yes and that it would be $84. I told the person that they didn't understand....we just have a small tent and we were looking just for somewhere to sleep at night. He said, "I understand. That will be $84, can I have your credit card number sir?" Back then, there was no way I was spending $84 on a tent campsite!

    My parents now live in Florida, but too far to drive back and forth to Disney unless we go up to Disney just for one day (they live in Venice). We always stay at a Disney resort for the perks, but we never really have time to enjoy the resort itself. Some people spend a lot of money and spend some "off days" not going into the park just to enjoy the resort. The resorts have nice pools, fake beaches, etc.. If I'm spending money just to relax in Florida, it will be at the real, beautiful ocean! My parents live in a gated golf community with a nice pool. And about a 10 minute drive to the beach.

    When we go to Disney, we DO DISNEY! We're not there to just relax....we will do our relaxing elsewhere in Florida where it is more beautiful and less expensive.

    I always thought that we would come back to the resort and relax, have lunch, hit the pool, etc. We've taken our son about 6 times now. But it takes so long to come out of the park and make it back, that we just see that as money being wasted. It's hours of our tickets not being used.....I HATE wasting money. We might park hop, but we never return to the resort until the parks close.

    That is also how I see Fort Wilderness. The money I would save making lunch or dinner at the campground is just money being wasted while our expensive park tickets are not being used. Both of us being teachers, we can only go during the Summer, which is just too hot for us to camp at Fort Wilderness. When we're at the parks all day, we want to come back to real AC. A popup AC is just not the same as a nice, cool Disney resort room.

    Our favorite resort is the French Quarter ("Moderate Resort'). But that price has gone up since our first stay. The last time we went, we stayed at PopCentury ("Value Resort"). We were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed PopCentury, especially for the price.

    If we could go to Disney during the Winter, it might be a different story.
    We love Disney. But camping at Disney during the summer is a "no" for us, regardless of how nice Fort Wilderness is.
     
  3. Jeepin Dad

    Jeepin Dad New Member

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    To the Fort Wilderness veterans, I was wondering how long it usually takes to get through check in? We are trying to finalize our plans for our arrival day. We are probably going to head over Magic Kingdom that evening, the boys (and me) are excited to hit the parks as soon as possible, and I want to make sure I have enough time scheduled so we can check in, set up, and get over there before our scheduled Fastpass times.

    Also, what are people's favorite things to do at the campground? Our last full day there we are planning on hanging at the campground, maybe heading over to Downtown Disney for some last minute souvenir purchases and we are doing Mickey's Backyard BBQ that evening (For Wendy's birthday dinner she will be dinning with Rodents), I'm looking for a fairly easy wind down day where I don't have to deal with the hustle of the parks before we make the 15 hour drive home the next day.

    Thanks
     
  4. travisma

    travisma New Member

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    Depends on what time you check in. They do allow early checkins....sometimes. If there's not a long line it takes about 15 minutes if everything goes smooth. Did you get magic bands in the mail? Have you linked your tickets to the bands?

    There's swimming biking, canoe rentals. You can rent power boats on the big lake. There's playgrounds and fishing.

    Downtown Disney has a lot of construction, and parking lots are closed, so your best bet is to take the buses over there.
     
  5. lvmycag

    lvmycag Member

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    DH and I went to Disney last September. We stayed at a moderate resort for 7 days with park hopper tickets. When staying at Disney during Sept you get the food plan free, which saved a bunch. We spent our honeymoon there and went back for our 28th. I think we had more fun without the kids. Love the Mouse!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. mamabean5

    mamabean5 Well-Known Member

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    We went to Disney with the kids the week before a holiday break. They missed a week of school, but had the entire following week when they were off at home, to make up the work! They returned to school all caught up! :)
     
  7. Jeepin Dad

    Jeepin Dad New Member

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    We aren't going until the end of March so we haven't gotten our Magic bands yet, I think they should come in late February. I believe I have everything linked, I can see our reservation, tickets, FP+ and dining reservations in My Disney Experience
     
  8. mkaczala

    mkaczala Member

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    We are planning on taking the kids this year for our 15th anniversary. Planning on going last week in July as this is our annual vacation week. Are we crazy for going to Disney in July with the crowds and the heat? We would probably staying at Caribean beach resort, not camping.
     
  9. mahoka

    mahoka Mmmm...Donuts

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    last time we went, we went the first of week of june - big mistake, a co-worker went in july - low crowds, fast lines. who knows - luck of the draw??? I think the earlier post had some wise advice - stay away from mk on Saturday if you can.
     
  10. Nixie

    Nixie New Member

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    Our first trip ever was the first two weeks of June. They had a freak heatwave that year and heat indexes were 105+ every day of our 12 day vacation. You need to prepare yourself for the heat. You are going during a busy time, but not as busy as the week of the 4th. Make sure you drink LOTS of water. Bring your own water bottles into the parks, so you aren't paying for drinks inside. Frogg Toggs can help keep you cool. So can those little mister fans.Get to the parks at rope drop (or even do the early morning hours), stay until lunch, and then leave! Go back to your resort and swim during the hottest part of the day which is usually from around 11AM - 4PM. Then either schedule a dinner for inside the park or eat at your resort and go back to the park for more rides and the nighttime parade and fireworks. Don't try and tour the World Showcase in Epcot during the afternoon hours. (We made that mistake. Made it to Norway, turned around, and went back to our hotel LOL.) Save that for the evening. Try and do Animal Kingdom on a "cooler" day. Most of it is outdoors with very few attractions indoors. Try stagger indoor/outdoor attractions. If you do one outdoors, try and make the next one indoors. If people start getting too hot, duck indoors and do some window shopping to cool off.
     
  11. IPAman

    IPAman New Member

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    All across the South schools starts back up in August. They also let out for summer break before Memorial Day. As a parent in Texas I'd much rather the kids be at school for the hottest weeks of the year(here that is latter part of August and early Sept.) than have the figure out how to keep them entertained indoors for days on end.

    As for the pricing, could you imagine the demand if it were the price of most campgrounds? I would also assume Disney's level of landscaping and maintenance to a 750 acre campground costs a pretty penny. The two nicest swimming pools that you'll find at any campground anywhere. Then add the cost of the transportation system to the parks. Plus there is an internal bus system within the campground due to how large it is with 788 campsites.

    Never go to the parks the week of Christmas to NY it is busiest week of the year.
     
  12. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    IPAman, as a faculty member of a Florida High School allow me to enlighten you just a little bit. Not every school here gets off / starts at the same time; it varies county to county. You would be right about us taking summer break before Memorial Day if we didn't have Spring Break but as it is our last day for Students is 4 June and Faculty is 5 June. The county where my DD goes to school (not the one I teach in) ends the following week. This year the students reported 13 Aug but last year it was 23 Aug so it varies depending on the whim of the county School Board.

    Disney relies on us locals to keep them running since tourism is fickle. We get special "Florida Resident" rates with some black out dates but w/o us they'd not be in business long. Your parents (and all the other retirees) don't spend enough time at the parks to make it worth the marketing money spent on them. We love you tourists, it is your visits that keep us, like you Texans, from having a State Income Tax. But don't knock us locals.
     
  13. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Here in Texas we have an 8.25% state sales tax. It SUCKS! One weekend a year, typically right before school begins, we have a "tax free weekend" which generates a LOT of revenue for stores and sales. Our state even has a presumptive value on vehicles. When titles are transferred you don't pay tax on what you bought it for, you pay tax on what they say its worth, unless you paid more than their presumptive value, and this is not a joke.

    I recently bought a beater to commute. I paid $200 for the car and a bit in parts. It cost me $415 to transfer the title, register and put new plates on it.
     
  14. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that, you're right it "SUCKS" ever thought about moving to FL? For Texans who speak fluent Spanish, I think we can help you out and if you don't we can take of you there as well.

    Great outdoor activities, sports and a Conservative Gov., oh and did I mention NO INCOME TAX and few other ones though you do get taxed on clothing and other things but it's a "Sales Tax".
     
  15. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    i to just took my dd to orlando she is attending ucf working on her bachlors now. We left her pa titled with her. Cost me over 400 bucks for plates and registration
     
  16. MikesRaleigh

    MikesRaleigh Member

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    Anyone know how it is getting around the campground if you dont rent a golf cart? We would be camping in our pup probably in one of the non-premium sites to save some cash. Can we drive to the pool, restaurant, beaches and boats in our car? I was looking at some pictures and I didnt see any parking near these places except for carts. We are looking into going the 2nd or 3rd week of September (I think this is considered "off" peak, right?)
     
  17. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    MikesRaleigh- we are camping there in less than three weeks. It is my understanding that within fort wilderness you cannot drive your personal vehicle to the fort wilderness store etc. You need bikes or golf carts. We are bringing our bikes.
     
  18. thegeorgefamily06

    thegeorgefamily06 Member

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    There are Disney buses running all through the campground so there is no need to drive. You can catch them at different stops throughout the CG and take them to the pool, near the beach or pretty much anywhere throughout WDW. One thing about it though is it can take a rather long time. Golf carts are much faster to get where you want to go. Either way, still a great time!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  19. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    A bus system?? How big is this campground? I'm thinking much larger than I initially thought!
     
  20. highside pup

    highside pup Active Member

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    huge....
     

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