Need help strategizing a day trip to Magic Kingdom...

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by adg06, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. adg06

    adg06 Mouseketeer

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    We are booked on the Fantasy for a 7 day Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral on Sat 10/14, returning Sat 10/21. We are flying in to MCO on Fri 10/13, scheduled to land around 10:30 AM. We are flying home very early on Sun 10/22. We have a hotel in Cocoa Beach booked for the night before the cruise, and we were planning to relax on the beach, and we thought we would see some Orlando sights the day we got off the ship (not necessarily WDW). But now I'm trying to fit in a day trip to Magic Kingdom - but struggling with the logistics.

    1. Which day makes more sense to go? Fri 10/13 we would get a much later start, but could stay out later, as our PAT isn't until 11:30 AM. But this night, MK closes early for the Halloween Party - no need to attend since we will have that on the ship. Sat 10/22 we could get to MK earlier from the ship, but would need to call it a night sooner to get to MCO for early flight.

    2. Where to stay? We will literally need a room only to sleep, and I definitely don't want to pay premium prices for that. But considering transportation and logistics... it may make sense to stay on Disney property. We will have a rental car. But how much of a pain is it to drive and park for MK? And then get back to your car at the end of the day? Driving straight from airport or PC we would need to go straight to the park, as it would be too early to check in. Would it make more sense to go park the car at the resort and then hop on Disney transportation to the park, even though we can't check in yet? And if so, how does that work with getting Fast Passes or Magic Bands, etc? We might check in at 10 PM only to check out at 5 AM the next morning.

    I debated putting these questions on the WDW board, but I thought you guys might have done something similar and have insight for cramming a park day in before or after a cruise. All advice is appreciated, you guys are always helpful!
     
  2. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    Honestly? I wouldn't try to cram any of the parks into what's going to be less than a day. Much nicer to relax as you originally planned.

    Even driving yourself, you're not going to get to your resort much before 9:00, and then you still need to get to the park you've picked to visit that day. Most of the time, early arrivals can still check in, and they will let you know when your room is ready. Usually. Didn't work that way for us. But our bags were delivered to our room while we were in the park our first day. Personally, I prefer using Disney transportation around WDW. It's just easier than dealing with the traffic and parking/tram issues myself.
     
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  4. FigmentSpark

    FigmentSpark DIS Veteran

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    We went to MK after our cruise and then stayed at the Hyatt that night. So, if you do this, get off the ship, get a rental or have one waiting in the parkade for you and head out to MK. That evening, when you are done, head over to the Hyatt and rest before your trip. This way, you miss all the I4 traffic and travel time in the morning. You could also just take the Disney bus back to the Hyatt, do an early check in and leave your stuff, then rent a car from there. This would take more time, though.
     
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  5. adg06

    adg06 Mouseketeer

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    I know, right? But my daughter has recently discovered that Cinderella's castle exists and has her heart set on seeing it. And if I knew we would be back before she outgrows the princess stage, I would wait, but honestly it will probably be a few years before we can come back.

    This is great to know. We only used WDW transportation before, so I really don't have a grasp of how bad the traffic/parking is. This helps!

    Yes, I was also thinking about the Hyatt... how is the drive from WDW to there on a Saturday night vs a Sunday morning?
     
  6. FigmentSpark

    FigmentSpark DIS Veteran

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    I wouldn't think about the traffic the night before or the morning after. For me, it was about being able to sleep that night without stressing about getting breakfast, making it to the airport on time, checking our luggage and making it through security. We slept in a little later, went down with our tickets to check in, went for breakfast (we just did the food court) and then up to our rooms to get our bags and take them directly to drop off. Then through security. It just took some stress off.

    But if you have a really early flight, your drive isn't going to be horrible in the wee hours of the morning or you could take the ME instead of renting a car, I expect.
     
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  7. tinay

    tinay Earning My Ears

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    Just from experience... if you do MK on 10/13, then I would suggest to do MNSSHP (Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party). You can enter the park as early as 4pm and it is also slightly cheaper... Most of the rides are open, but there are some restaurants that are closed. The fireworks are amazing, but you do not have to do any of the event stuff. I don't know how the crowd will be in October, since I have only gone twice in September... once on a Tuesday (park felt empty) and on a Friday (much busier since it was the beginning of a weekend).

    I don't know about transportation from DW to port since I have never taken the ME from DW... I usually take it from the Hyatt. I have heard that the ME leaves much later from DW... usually around 11-12pm, so you won't arrive to port till maybe 2ish.
     
  8. FigmentSpark

    FigmentSpark DIS Veteran

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    That's also a great option and you'd get to see the castle without as much stress.
     
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  9. dcassetta

    dcassetta DIS Veteran

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    I would also recommend that you think about attending MNSSHP on the 13th. On that day after you arrive, you can check in at the resort, maybe spend a little time at Disney springs, and head over to the Magic Kingdom at 4 PM. That will give you a solid eight hours in the park. And the prices for the party are $74 versus $125 for a one day ticket to the Magic Kingdom.

    Then on the morning of the 14th, you can use Disney transfers to get to the port, or if you have a rental car drive yourselves over. That will allow for a leisurely relaxed morning. We have done this exact thing for the last three years and will be doing it again this October. On your return date you could spend some time enjoy in Cocoa Beach, or come over to Orlando and resort hop or spend a little more time at Disney springs.
     
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  10. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    What I would choose is going to MK Halloween Party, since you don't land till mid morning you wont make it to he park during the day to really enjoy it.
    The Party starts later and the cost of the ticket is a bit less than a day pass. *Usually less people are there for the party, but who really knows these days how many tickets they actually sell. Anyway, If I wanted to do the park, I would go this route. The Halloween Parade and fireworks are so nice and of course the rides. It will be a different experience than what the ship has, IMO.
     
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  11. adg06

    adg06 Mouseketeer

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    This is why I love this board, full of ideas I didn't even think of!! So you can buy just the MNSSHP tickets without also having a full day park ticket? And are the character events going on during the party too? Enchanted Tales with Belle is high on our list. We will probably spend our entire time in Fantasyland.
     
  12. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    So many events go to the website and look at everything
    Have fun
     
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  13. dcassetta

    dcassetta DIS Veteran

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    From 4 PM to about 7, you would expect all of the regular events going on in the park. After 7 is when the Halloween party begins. Info about party events https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/
     
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  14. FigmentSpark

    FigmentSpark DIS Veteran

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    Remember, you will get a chance to do a lot of character events on the ship, so don't waste your park time doing too many of those. If you want to do Enchanted Tales with Belle, then do it, but don't make the circuit of meet and greets at the park. You should be able to meet Mickey and the princesses on the ship.
     
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  15. elvispursley

    elvispursley Mouseketeer

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    There are amazing character opportunities for MNSSHP--they have characters out that generally aren't out during the year. We were very excited to see Queen of hearts, Alice in Wonderland, and Mad Hatter together. We went on actual Halloween night and compared to a regular day at MK, found that lines were actually not too bad, even for the 7 dwarfs' mine train. I'd personally look at staying at a WDW resort (they often have really good offers that time of year) and either take Disney transport to the cruise terminal or rent a car a drive to PC. @FigmentSpark is right, there are lots of character opportunities on board (Belle has been on ever cruise I've sailed, but obviously, "no guarantee"). Have fun!
     
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  16. WeLoveDisneyAlways

    WeLoveDisneyAlways DIS Veteran

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    I agree with others I would go to the party when will you ever trick or treat at the magic kingdom again! We went when DD was 2 and hope to do it again someday but it just doesn't fit in with school. I would stay at a WDW resort spend the early afternoon swimming, get ready for the party and then head to MK for the 4pm early entry. You could also skip the park head over to 1900 park fare for dinner with Cinderella and family and you can see the castle and take a ride on the monorail this option saves quite a bit of money and still gives a bit of Disney magic. You can also view the fireworks if you time it right. Staying at WDW allows you to use Disney shuttle to the port as well they will even deliver your luggage
     
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  17. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    For a cost. Unlike Magical Express (free shuttle to/from MCO to WDW resorts), DCL transfers cost $35.00 per person.
     
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  18. jliehr

    jliehr Mouseketeer

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    I would vote before, we did a sandwich at the parks around a cruise and it really was a struggle after the cruise, we were all dragging at HS on our day before we flew out. We had a car and went straight to AKL, bus to Hollywood Studios and only made it about 4-5 hours before we were spent and just went back to AKL for the night.
     
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  19. elvispursley

    elvispursley Mouseketeer

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    I also vote before!
     
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  20. adg06

    adg06 Mouseketeer

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    The more I research the MNSSHP for the day before our cruise, the better it sounds! Tickets costs less than regular park admission, shorter lines, extra party events going on, it's before the cruise when we're super excited and not exhausted yet... and we can stay out late since we can sleep in the morning we board the ship. After we disembark, we can spend a day just relaxing or whatever we want to do. I am SOLD and did I mention I love this board?? :yay::disrocks:
     

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