Florida with Younger dc (9,6,3) - which parks to drop?

(34 Posts)
flatmum Tue 23-Apr-13 12:51:33

Am currently planning a trip to Orlando for later in the year. 2 weeks. My natural tendencey is to try and cram everything in and do everything but I don't want to overdo it and exhaust everyone. DC will be nearly 9, just 6 and just 3. They are quite theme-park hardened as we have merlin passed to disney/chessignton etc and often go to Thomas Land.

Which parks are a must (first visit?) and which could we drop for a day by the pool? (Epcot?)

They are not massive disney types but do like the harry potter, star wars type stuff. They love waterparks. Medium on the science front ie think would enjoy keneendy space centre but not at expense of a waterpark. I'd liek to temper the comercialism a bit with some wildlife-y type days as well. Thanks MN Florida veterans!

EliotNess Sun 16-Jun-13 18:39:05

i thought the parade was dull

EliotNess Sun 16-Jun-13 18:39:30

we LOVED gatorland - as an antidote to the slickness of the parks

EliotNess Sun 16-Jun-13 18:40:20

agree with Ratty re walking - didnt bother me at all

FALSEdichotomy Mon 01-Jul-13 14:22:50

You'd need to check height ristrictions for Busch as from memory I think it's really a park for teens - happy to be corrected on that tho 😃

Kennedy is good - not an active space station any more but quite interesting - longish drive but also on a nature reserve.

Epcot is good. Universal has a good balance for your age range - happy potter is brilliant but you may need to parent share of a couple of those rides.

flatmum Thu 11-Jul-13 18:00:03

just resurrecting this thread as I have finally booked tickets so need to make plans! We are going in October for 13 nights. any tips welcome!

Groovee Sun 14-Jul-13 06:46:39

What tickets did you get?

I got free airboat tickets with our park tickets and would definitely recommend the Boggy Creek. It was something different.

BiddyPop Tue 16-Jul-13 12:11:47

We are just back from 10 days in Fl with DD (6). We had a 7 day pass for Disney, and used 6 days. In that, we went to all 4 main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) at least once (AK once, the others 2/3 times each), and both water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach). The water parks are both good - TL had a salt water pool to snorkel over lots of fish (including "friendly" sharks!!) which was good, while BB had a good "pre-teen" pool, both had good small child pools and plenty of seating around the parks.

We did a day at Kennedy Space Centre - the Atlantis is now open with a simulator as part of that exhibition. But we never got on the bus tour as we spent so long in the main part, so we will go back. But while DH and I were both interested, DD was less so here and we kinda felt that some of the Disney things were better than the Atlantis simulator.

We also did a morning canoeing, with Central Floorida Kayak Tours, down Rock Springs Creek. This was a lovely relaxed morning, gentle canoeing for a couple of hours and a picnic and swimming stop (including a Tarzan style rope swing into the river) at the end. DD was in a double with DH, and another boy was in a double with his Dad.

When you are in Disney, AK has a "Wilderness Explorer" badge book to fill in, Epcot has Kidcot to get stamps and flags from each country, and MK has a Pirate adventure map to follow (in Adventureland I think - the same section as the Pirates of the Carribbean ride). We didn't find anything in HS to follow, but we could have missed that. But DD found it fun to have something to look out for (and not having the long waits that there were for character photos/autographs).

We took breaks though, everyday, rather than spending all day in 1 park. We either changed park (taking our time for a rest as we moved), or went back to the hotel (apartment) for a swim before going back to the parks later. We did some shopping a couple of days too.

We stayed in the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa, which was blocks of self-catering apartments but with a hotel reception and you could get a cleaning service (extra fee) during the stay if you wanted. There was a reasonable sized pool with a pirate ship (including a water slide) and a smaller pool in another block, along with convenience store (which had a small Pizza Hut) and an Irish pub, games room, spa etc. VERY handy to get to Disney, and ok to get into the rest of Orlando too. Included a kitchen so we could do our own breakfast (Lani's Luau bar at pool also had brekkie items) and the occasional dinner, and keep snacks for parks in fridge.

We didn't do the other parks as we figured we'd be back again in a few years, and DD was too small for a lot of Universal rides (just over 44", so could do most Disney but a good few Universal have 48" limits, whereas only 2 Disney - lots of Disney are 44", 40" or 36/38", so check sites like Allears.net before you decide).

And bowling in Downtown Disney was good too, very well set up for smallies.

Groovee Tue 16-Jul-13 13:11:15

Glad you had a good time Biddy, we had a ball. Got back Saturday x

ContraryAndHairy Sat 14-Sep-13 18:53:55

Marking place as we are going in december

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