STAT Advice re: Theme Parks in Orlando

We were going to Orlando tomorrow for my brother's wedding. Well, now the wedding is off and we are left with a nonrefundable trip.
So we're going to have a short but nice family vacation instead.
Does anyone have advice about which parks are best for a 6 yr old and a 20 month old? We're thinking about Walt Disney World instead of the other parks- it seems like it has more things geared to younger kids. Any input?
We're also hitting the beach and maybe Kennedy Space Center (if I can talk my family into that one).
Any advice would be most appreciated.

Kennedy Space Center is very cool, well worth the trip. I haven't been to most of the Orlando parks, but I have been to SeaWorld & would recommend it. There's lots there that little ones would enjoy.

have fun!

We did Disney with my son (2yo at the time) and neice (14mo at the time). They both had a great time. Magic Kingdom is very good, and so is Animal Kingdom. There are playgrounds scattered around - they were their favorite part. There's a kid-oriented part in MK (I think) that has Mickey's house, Minnie's house, etc. I'm not so sure what a 6yo would like, although most things are excellent for that age.
They LOVED the parades. Don't miss them. Your toddler will get a lot of attention from the walking characters if they are right by the road.
Also, the character meals are great. I highly recommend the Crystal Palace in MK for lunch (not dinner - too $$$) or Donald's restaurant (can't remember name) in AK for breakfast. The characters will come to your table and play/interact with the kids. Great photo ops, and the food is good. You need to get reservations in advance. There's a number on the disney website. The best thing is that you already have all the pics with characters and you never have to wait in line to see them in the park!
Also, the fireworks were a big hit if your kids can stay awake that long.
Absolutely use FastPass! seriously! It will save you SO MUCH time standing in line.
Also, we kept our son in a frame backpack carrier (my hubby carried him) and it worked out really great. You can't take strollers in line, but you can keep the backpack. Keeps the little one from running away, poking people, etc and you don't have to hold them. He also napped in it. My hubby got a good workout!
Let me know if you have questions. Also, KSC is great - but I'm a NASA geek so I'm biased.

Magic Kingdom!

Magic Kingdom for sure…
Animal Kingdom was also a big hit!!!
Epcot is cool for the parades and some of the areas are really neat… the parades there are larger than life, which kids like… and I always like Living Sea and The Land at Epcot .
There is a Bear in the Big Blue House show and something else at the studios also (is it MGM? I can never remember)…
If you can get a pass for like 2-3 days and do the park hopping… you can go back and forth as much as you want.
Enjoy your trip!
My kids were 4 and 18 months when we went… (around that age)…

Oh, yeah! Definitely the Magic Kingdom! Animal Kingdom was also great when we went several years ago.
Hope you all have a blast laugh.gif

I agree with going to Disney. They put so much imagination into creating a “whole” experience for each event/ride. They even make standing in line enjoyable. After Disney, all other theme parks seem sub-par, merely a bunch of rides. When we were planning our honeymoon there, the book we read had this time of year as one of the better times to go because it’s not a common vacation time and the weather there is really nice this time of year.
Have fun!!

Just wanted to let you know about some discounts. If you have AAA, you can buy discounted tickets to the all the Orlando theme parks at any AAA office. Also, if you are there for a couple of days and want to see more than 1 park, you can buy a 2-3 day pass that will let you into all of them so you can pick and choose. You also get a discount if you’re a FL resident. (Not sure if that applies to you but thought I’d throw it in there since I used to be a FL resident).
I haven’t been to the theme parks in a long time so I’ve only been to Disney, EPCOT, and Universal Studios. I also did a field trip to Kennedy Space Center when I was in high school. That was fun. smile.gif Animal Kingdom and MGM are “new” to me b/c they weren’t around when I was growing up or were in the process of being built. For young kids, I think Disney would be the safest bet. If they were older, try EPCOT b/c it has rides but is also educational too.
I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

OK, depending on what days of the week you go here is something to think about.
Never go to the Parks on Tuesdays. They are always jammed. People arrive on Sunday, go out on Monday and slam the parks on Tuesday. Avoid Tuesday unless its in the middle of OCT-NOV right until Thanskgiving. If its during that time…parks are generally slow.
Sea World…a wonderful place. My wife and I had year long passes. The kids loved it and we had a great time everytime we went.
MK - having worked there for over 7 yrs I skip it, BUT for you I think its a must. They have added and deleted some old attractions and placed newer more relevant one’s in their place. No more Snow White’s Scary Adventures from what I gathered. or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Animal Kingdom…great park. Open at dawn, closes at dusk. the 6 yr old will have a great time there. Nice zoo like atmosphere and lots more.
definitely get the fast passes for all the rides you want to do. Why? You walk in and have a 3 min wait while the other schlubs stand there for 45min. You run around and get the passes for the rides you want and then just make your way around. You’ll get a time stamped on each pass so you know when to show up. DO this for all the heavy attractions. Saves time, effort and child frustration. "Mommy, when can we go on?"
Hope this helps.

Thanks for the advice, all!
We chose to go to the Magic Kingdom on Friday; the park closed early (6 pm) that day because of a Halloween party from 7-10 pm. It was an excellent choice, because there were NO lines for any rides and the park wasn’t very crowded. We got to enjoy ourselves and ride several rides twice. My favorite was the Buzz Lightyear ride! My son had a blast, and my daughter enjoyed looking at the - birds- yes, the birds. She is at that stage. wink.gif I agree that Disney means QUALITY- I’ve been to Sea Worlds and Six Flags and Fiesta Texas, but MK is BY FAR the classiest park! The staff was courteous and helpful and the rides were well-maintained; and there were so many little touches that added to the experience. We’re not typical tourists; we tend to be on the crunchy side of culture, but we really had a good time at MK.
Sat. we went to Melbourne Beach on the Atlantic coast and watched surfing and played in the sand, etc. Very fun, and very cool for our landlocked family. Sadly, we never made it to Kennedy. sad.gif Mom’s a geek, but we just didn’t have the time and we wanted to relax and not be rushed. Maybe next time.
Thanks again, everyone, for chipping in with your thoughts. smile.gif

No more Snow White's Scary Adventures from what I gathered. or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

No more Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?
That's terrible news!

yeah it is, the Disney Employees that worked there threw a major fit. There were protests in the company and from yearly pass holders. However, whatever they put in its place was probably a lot more up to date. The rides were near the Dumbo attraction and an entertainment stage for shows and character greetings.

Snow White is still there. As for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, I don't know what is there now. Maybe this 3D show that we didn't get to see?