So 3 weeks in Florida, what would you do? Split between parks and beaches etc?

(13 Posts)
Portofino Thu 12-Sep-13 19:59:54

I just priced up our "plan" for next summer which was a week on a canal boat plus 2 weeks in a mobile home in the Languedoc. This costs £5000 self catering! When I look at Virgin/Thomson we could have 3 weeks in Florida for much less, depending on where you stay. I know I have to add in theme park tickets but dd would love to do Cape Kennedy as first choice and I like a beach. We have to do some of the parks. It seems churlish not to. But no one likes roller coasters, I think Epcot/universal studios more dd's thing, but Dh says you can't do Orlando without going to Disney. Well I could but don't know if I am right....dd will be 10.

MinniesMate Fri 13-Sep-13 13:16:51

If you've never been to Florida before then IMO Disney Magic Kingdom is a must do, especially with a 10 year old.

Would also recommend time on the Gulf Coast for some relaxation - lovely beaches and some very varied resorts.

mummymeister Fri 13-Sep-13 16:20:13

Fly into Miami, stay in Florida keys for a week do a couple of nights in Tampa and then the rest in Orlando. would try and break the orlando time up

fridgealwaysfull Fri 13-Sep-13 16:22:13

I would do a week theme parks, and then spend some time in the Everglades (crocodiles!) and then head down to the Florida Keys, great beaches and tons of things to do with kids

SoupDragon Fri 13-Sep-13 16:24:33

Sanibel Island [happy sigh]

I would look at a 2 centre break for instance Orlando first and the coast, somewhere like Sanibel, St Petes or Clearwater. If you do this you may want to consider flying direct into Tampa. However, only BA operate such a service from London Gatwick. BA and Virgin fly direct into Orlando airport and would suggest you compare their costs before booking.

Florida is a vast state. It would take at least 4 hours to drive between Orlando and Miami. You could add on another hour or so to just arrive at the start of the Florida Keys.

Avoid Miami airport at all costs; its a right dump of a place and it can take a very long time to clear both immigration and customs.

Kennedy Space Centre is situated about an hours drive east of Orlando.

(At 10 your child will also be charged adult admission prices for the parks).

Portofino Fri 13-Sep-13 18:02:36

Thanks - some great ideas! Yes I noticed the adult prices start at 10! Damn for not going earlier ;-). Dd likes science vs Disney princesses so I am not all convinced about paying £800 for 3 x week/2 week Disney passes. I was thinking that the flexi pass for Uni Studios, Island of Adventure, Seaworld, etc etc was plenty, plus there is Gatorland and the zoo, Cape Kennedy etc. That is probably my queuing quota for one trip. I am old wink

Portofino Fri 13-Sep-13 18:05:03

Plus my friend was talking on FB today on how she spent her 2 weeks there this summer. She was getting up at 7am to get to parks at opening time. I don't go on holiday to get up early! I am scared of heights and hate queuing.....is this even a good idea?

Fluffy1234 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:54:21

Slightly of subject but when I went to California with DC we just did 2 days at Disney (they are happy to have gone to Disney in America) and the rest of the time doing/seeing other stuff. I just think it's everyone's holiday and DH so you have to try and get a balance. I do think three weeks in Florida with park tickets will end up costing more than the trip you had planned to France. Only book it if you all want to go not just DD.

Portofino Fri 13-Sep-13 19:09:02

She wants to go to the Kennedy Space Centre really. She went to space camp here in Belgium last year and is totally mad on space stuff. Hence my query about not doing Disney. I think she would like Epcot (which IS disney though) and some of the Universal/animal/water park stuff....it all sounds quite exhausting.

holidaybug Sat 14-Sep-13 21:36:19

You get sea turtles coming in to nest on the Atlantic coast in summer.

Florida Keys is not renowned for its beaches - we spent a few days there which was great (Turtle Hospital and Dolphin sanctuary) and great sunsets. If you're looking for beaches though, I'd go elsewhere.

cathers Sun 15-Sep-13 07:28:05

I found it quite exhausting too! We went two summers ago- it is very humid and has regular noon downpours, therefore it minimise the time spent queuing in heat and to make up for the 2 hour rain at lunch,we too took to getting up very early on a park day.

I was also disappoimted in the beaches though we did only go to cocoa beach ( very touristy ) and some of the keys. Perhaps look at a hotel with a good pool instead? It will reduce your travelling and enable you to rest more?

SoupDragon Sun 15-Sep-13 08:15:19

If you want beaches, the Gulf Coast (Sanibel, St Petes) is what you want.

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