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To borrow AIBU's high traffic to query Universal Theme Park tickets?

(27 Posts)
Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 19:00:49

Asking here for the very high traffic, but please ignore me if it's totally the wrong thing to do

My disabled son is going to Orlando for his 30th birthday at the end of March. He'll have a carer going along, and we're fine with sorting out the flights and accommodation. Thing is, he wants to do some of the theme parks (not Disney as he's already been) and the ticket complexities are frying my mind - so I'm here hoping for help from those who've done all this before

They'll be there for 7 nights and he wants to do the Universal Parks (Universal Studios, Volcano Bay and Islands of Adventure) and also Sea World with a dolphin swim if possible

Ideally he could do with tickets which allow him to visit at any point during the 7 days, but I can't work out from the endless sites whether this is possible without paying insane amounts - it's bad enough as it is with it being easter, but he really wants to be there for his birthday

I also had some idea that the parks do "companion tickets" for those with disabilities, but can't seem to find anything about them online

As I said, I'm struggling with this at the moment and would be very, very grateful if anyone can help with the best way to approach it all

Athome77 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:06:01

Not sure bout the companion bit.

This year the three park ticket for an adult was about £214, this was for 14 days, but was cheaper than buying a few days.

Might be cheaper to buy it with a universal hotel booking as you then have transport frequently (then you don’t have to pay $20 to park). We didn’t stay in a universal hotel and had to pay parking- it added up.

We also liked to go first thing, back to our hotel for a swim and then back around 4pm. Car park ticket lasted all day so we weren’t paying it twice

Athome77 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:06:55

Have you tried the dibb site? Someone there might know about companion tickets

Nquartz Fri 10-Nov-17 19:09:48

I second going on www.dibb.com there is oodles of info on there & loads of helpful people

ilovegin112 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:10:13

Vist the dibb and ask, there are plenty of people on the site who will know all about this

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 19:34:39

Very many thanks ... you've been massively helpful already as I'd never even heard of the "dibb site"

Am off to look now ...

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 19:36:30

Oops ... my laptop won't even let me access the "dibb" site ... it says the connection isn't private??

JingleBellTime Fri 10-Nov-17 19:40:54

thedibb.co.uk

WiseUpJanetWeiss Fri 10-Nov-17 21:29:03

Definitely the DIBB, but you can get 14 days unlimited US 3 parks for about £220. He’ll also need a Discovery Cove ticket to swim with Dolphins (you can’t swim with dolphins at the normal Sea World park), although IIRC you get 7 days free SW with your DC ticket.

Easter will be busy, although it will get quieter after Easter Monday. The DIBB has a busy day guide and forecaster which is essential to use avoid the worst of the crowds if he really must go over the Easter holiday.

Dixiechickonhols Fri 10-Nov-17 21:37:39

thedibb.co.uk

There is a tickets section and a special needs section

Universal tickets the Uk ones are 14 days access to Universal/islands of Adventure and the water park volcano bay

For seaworld look for the blue friday deals (Black Friday) they do special offers, you can pre register your email to get notification. If you buy a uk discovery cove ticket it includes seaworld.

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 21:42:11

Again, I really appreciate everyone's help ... already I've learned from the DIBB that there are no "companion tickets", but he can get an "access pass" from Guest Relations which apparently helps with the queues

I'm a bit confused about the Seaworld tickets too, as the price seems to change at different times of year, but any ticket sold is valid for the next 12 months. So if he bought them in, say, January, would those tickets be accepted at the gate at easter, or would they start saying they wanted more?

LoniceraJaponica Fri 10-Nov-17 21:45:50

Would he be allowed to swim with dolphins if he is disabled?

As an aside, we stayed at a Universal hotel last year and used the free shuttle buses, which were very frequent. They are brilliant with people with disabilities and always prioritise them. I was really impressed with the way they looked after them.

I hope your son has a brilliant holiday.

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 21:49:07

Would he be allowed to swim with dolphins if he is disabled?

I was wondering that myself, but the site's not very clear about it ... will ask again on "the Dibb"!!

And yes, I was confused because the care staff told me that Discovery Cove is actually an attraction within Sea World ... isn't this so then?

KayElleBee Fri 10-Nov-17 22:09:16

If you're on Facebook, I've found the group 'Disney And Orlando For The Brits' is a good place to ask questions.

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 22:11:42

Many thanks, Kay - I'll definitely try that

Voice0fReason Fri 10-Nov-17 23:22:50

Discovery Cove isn't within SeaWorld, it's part of the SeaWorld group.
Yes he will be able to swim with dolphins if he is disabled. Let them know and they will do anything they can to support him.

Is he a wheelchair user? Depending on his type of disability, Universal may be a waste of time.

Puzzledandpissedoff Fri 10-Nov-17 23:34:55

Not a wheelchair user, Reason - he's partially sighted and has learning difficulties - but I'll certainly try to contact them to check suitability

Thanks, too, for explaining "who owns what" since it sounds as if the care staff have got it a bit mixed up; I'll be doing a lot more research around the tickets they've said he'll need to buy too!!

Voice0fReason Fri 10-Nov-17 23:40:13

He'll be fine then.
The Dibb is definitely the best place for information.

VodkaKnockers Fri 10-Nov-17 23:48:47

I can recommend a few tickets sites that I have used for Orlando tixkets:

Floridatix.co.uk

Attraction-Tickects-Direct.co.uk

Both site do combo tickets for all the parks and are usually similarly priced.

geekone Sat 11-Nov-17 00:01:28

Ok we went in February and did all of the things you mention. Queues should be ok if he is avoiding actual Easter. Discovery cove is near seaworld and owned by seaworld and a brilliant and relaxing day. The staff are fantastic and there were disabled kids there while we were everywhere is very disability friendly in Florida. Get a universal hotel this will get you fast track tickets though we stayed in international drive and just took the bus everyday however if you stay in universal you should be able to book seaworld and discovery cove through them and get a bus their. We got a taxi and a complimentary bus back it was fine? Though no SN to consider. Best thing is to relax and enjoy don't do to much it's a lovely place to visit just email discovery cove when we booked it we got a water park and seaworld week ticket as part of the deal.

geekone Sat 11-Nov-17 00:02:32

Use magic tickets for your tickets they are great with advice too and stopped
Me doing too much while there.

Chrys2017 Sat 11-Nov-17 00:12:36

Before you decide to give your custom and money to SeaWorld, you might want to look into their record on animal abuse and think about the ethics of keeping marine animals in swimming pools.
www.thesun.co.uk/news/4282062/ex-seaworld-trainer-slams-park-for-keeping-killer-whales-in-house-of-horrors-after-third-orca-in-one-year-dies/

Chrys2017 Sat 11-Nov-17 00:16:19

Also please read what the Humane Society has to say about swimming with dolphins.
www.humanesociety.org/issues/captive_marine/facts/swim_dolphins.html

RosemaryHoight Sat 11-Nov-17 00:19:38

Universal hotels give free express tickets to avoid queues. Brilliant.
I'm not sure about the Sea World, we have been but I have serious misgivings about the ethics.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sat 11-Nov-17 12:49:40

Warmest thanks yet again, everyone flowers

It now appears that Thomson were trying to sell the care staff very expensive fastpass park tickets ... which he won't need, as it seems that Guest Relations issue an "Access Pass" to the disabled which allows for either quicker access or a timed return if the queues get really bad

Unfortunately he will be there at easter, actually from 29 March to 5 April - the point being his birthday falls in those dates and he's emphatic he wants to be there for it - which is why I'm trying to get him the most I can for his money

Thomson also suggested a hire car as they were pushing a hotel in Celebration ... ridiculous, as the Quality Inn on I Drive charges half the price and he could just get the hotel's free shuttle (has anyone stayed there to know what it's like, please?) They also offer a free hot breakfast, which is a meal cost saved too

And yes, I'm very aware of the humane issues around the dolphins; indeed I've tried to explain this to DS, but he lacks the understanding to take it fully on board, and since they're hardly going to stop the activity on my say-so I'm a bit hesitant to stamp all over something he's dreamed of for so very long

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