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Orlando - Disney and Universal or Just Disney?

(38 Posts)
theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Feb-13 17:48:06

Hi there - we are off to Orlando at Easter - can't wait !

General consensus seems to be we should do Disney only - DS will be 7, we're going for 13 nights and DH is also keen to go to Cape Kennedy.

Thing is I don't think DH is altogether keen on going and has said that he wants to do Univeral as well to get it out of the way.

Is it feasible to do the two parks in that time, and I know that its actually 5 for Disney plus 2 for Universal? I don't want to waste money on the Universal tickets if we don't use them, but also I don't want to have to pay walk up rates as I think it would be almost the same for one day as it is for two weeks bought in the UK.

Thanks for any advice.

Groovee Sun 17-Feb-13 22:11:18

We have 14 day ultimate tickets as they include golfing, disney quest and the water parks as well as being able to hop parks. We also have Universal tickets. Last time we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and would have a late morning then hit a disney park in the evening. But this will be our first time off site and we're going to miss the extra magic hours.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 17-Feb-13 20:21:09

Indeed ! Where are you staying?
We're at Fantasy Vacation villas which I think is quite close to Disney

morleylass Sun 17-Feb-13 19:14:08

Thanks theoriginal, think I'll stick with our original decision then...may see you there ; )

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 17-Feb-13 18:57:55

Morleylass I haven't been but the reason I started the thread is that a work friend went for a fortnight, only bought the Disney tickets and he said that they were more than occupied for the time as a lot of the parks take a couple of days to visit.

I guess it's horses for courses, it was only because DH said that he didn't plan to go back that we are doing Universal as well.

I think you will have enough to do particularly if your DCs are older as the water parks are meant to be fab.

morleylass Sun 17-Feb-13 18:38:25

This is interesting reading, we are going to Orlando for 2 weeks at Easter staying at Disney. We have just booked the Disney Ultimate ticket 14 Day Ticket and as we are doing Discovery Cove so get Seaworld and Aquatica for free. We thought that would keep us busy enough as our dc like the water. Do you think that would be enough? We are keen to have some down time as we will be spending the whole of the holidays away and go straight back to work/school on return.
Advice appreciated, never been before!!!

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 17-Feb-13 15:57:47

Groovee think there has been some movement on the whole IDL thing - I'm going to wait until start of March to send off the paperwork.

I don't know if I'm imagining it, but I seemed to read something somewhere that suggested that if we booked a Universal character breakfast we might get in early - or am I making that up?

Groovee Sun 17-Feb-13 15:54:09

I was miffed off to discover that only St James Centre does the IDL's! But we'll go in about June.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 15-Feb-13 13:30:01

Tickets ordered - I have put them on the credit card so we have a month to pay. Went for the Disney/Universal combo.

That sounds like a great idea Valentine, but I checked the prices and I don't think we can justify an extra hotel.

Dh is getting all the photocopies so we can send off for our IDLs through the AA as only one post office does it in the whole of Edinburgh apparently. What a piece of nonsense but for £8 pp I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Mummy I didn't realise that the water parks have beaches - perhaps I will come along.

Groovee Wed 13-Feb-13 15:22:42

Valentine, that's what me and dh would like to do if possible. Even just one night x

ValentineWiggins Wed 13-Feb-13 15:16:32

If you can bear to move hotels it is REALLY worth staying on site at Universal - you get into Harry Potter an hour before gates open - there are only about 3000 people staying on universal who can do this - compared to (I reckon) between 70 and 100,000 who get the Disney "extra magic hours" (add up the occupancy of the disney hotels and that's what you get) - which are NOT worth it at all!

We did HP world and had the place to ourselves - went 3 times round the ride without stopping/queuing by going in as the doors opened!

Groovee Wed 13-Feb-13 15:08:20

We bought our tickets from Attraction Tickets Direct (used them every time we've gone) and they allow you to pay £10 pp deposit and pay it up as you have the money.

The International Driving Licence Permit seems to be a sticky point for the moment. No one can clarify it as by florida Law your licence must be in English which the UK driving licence is. Even rental car companies are not sure but have said they've checked with the insurance companies who say it doesn't matter.

mummytime Wed 13-Feb-13 09:48:18

NASA is nothing like as tedious as you describe it, and has the biggest thrill ride in Florida in my opinion, the space shuttle simulation.

We spent two weeks just doing Disney, and didn't manage to get to Universal. We did spend at least 2 days at Epcot, but we loved the secret agent interactive game. We got tickets available only to people from the UK and Ireland which gave 2 weeks for the price of 7 days. The waterparks are also more than just water flukes, and have their own beaches. There are also the pools at your villa or hotel.

I've done Gatorland twice and we enjoyed it, but missed it this time, we spent more time just chilling.

MOSagain Wed 13-Feb-13 09:24:11

OP and anyone else going to Florida, please read the thread I've just started with important information ref change in laws

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 12-Feb-13 22:16:05

Thanks grovee I have ordered the brits guide.
I will be getting tickets for Disney and Universal as soon as funds allow.

Hulababy Tue 12-Feb-13 20:31:25

IME there is lots for little ones at the Universal parks. DD was only 2y the first time and she had a great time, going on rides and in all the water play areas. Every time we have been since she can go on more and more.

The websites all tell you the height limits.

Groovee Tue 12-Feb-13 20:21:54

Get the brits guide too as it's very helpful, Mine is hidden as the kids don't know yet.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Feb-13 22:30:33

Thanks, some useful tips. For the shopping the resort we are staying at offers a free shuttle bus service to one of the malls, as DH will be taking DS to waterpark, that's probably the one I will end up going to.

I have my unofficial guide to disney which also does a wee bit on Universal so I will check on the height restrictions. As long as DS can do a few things, it will be fine.

StrawberrytallCAKE Mon 11-Feb-13 21:17:12

I didn't rate universal much (last year) but at the time dd was 3 and apart from dr Seuss world, which could be completed in less than an hour there wasn't much for her. I do remember thinking it would be much better for older children though and I would take her back when she's 13+.

If you fancy some fireworks at night I would absolutely recommend Hollywood studios as you can sit down and rest while watching rather than stand for hours like at the magic kingdom. The show is also just as spectacular but in a different way.

We quite enjoyed Florida premium outlet stores which have a huge gap, guess, Levi's, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, tommy hilfiger, sunglasses hut, y2 and Barneys so loads not too crazy expensive.

Groovee Mon 11-Feb-13 20:21:35

We've been recommended the alamonte mall for shopping.

Hulababy Mon 11-Feb-13 19:31:03

Yes - we are not shoppers either, never see any decent offers tbh. But we half a half day to look around. DD is getting a bit older now - she's nearly 11, so it won;t be long til she might want to shop!

Never done gatorland. TBH if you drive to the space centre you see plenty by the side of the motorway anyway!

This time next week I'll be in our second park of the week - Islands of Adventure, for Harry Potter, I think. DD has it all planned based on the crowd calendars from the site I linked to!

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Feb-13 18:58:52

I'm more of a lower end shopper I suspect - have never been particularly wowed by US clothing offerings before when I have been, but I guess the novelty of being a 8/10 will make the experience enjoyable enough grin

Yes Gatorland would make me want to knaw my own arm off too.

Suspect DH will want to bring us to natural springs outside of Disney for "rest" days. I wouldn't mind a day at the beach though.

CockBollocks Mon 11-Feb-13 18:50:21

Oooooh the Mall at Millenia, I bought a pair of Jimmy Choos & a Gucci handbag there before the children sucked all the money dry.

Universal Studios is great, some of they disney parks are half days tbh - I wasn't that keen on Epcot.

DP really wants to take the kids to Gatorland - I would rather feed myself to the gators than go through that again!!

Hulababy Mon 11-Feb-13 18:44:30

I also hate water parks! The advantage of the hopper tickets means you don't ind doing a half day in a park after you've been forced to the water ones! But have to say that DH and DD love them.

The park tickets are expensive but once they are bought that is all your entertainment for the fortnight.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Feb-13 18:42:31

Hula - thats a good idea re the half day at the water parks - I was reckoning a full day and I really hate water parks, so a half day with something else sounds much better.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Feb-13 18:41:05

Hi we are there for a fortnight. Disney tickets are coming out at £250 for the fortnight so £350 per adult for both sets (gulp). Parents were meant to be buying Disney tickets as Christmas present but bizarrely bought me clingfilm instead hmm

DS is scraping 122cm ( DH had a bit of a altrication with the tree tops people at Centre Parcs at teh weekend so I'm hoping to avoid that situation again.

Attila - good tip about the shopping. It's my birthday when we are there and I hate water parks, so have asked DH if he can take DS to one of the Disney water parks for the day and I can do some shopping. Knowing DH though he will want to come too grin he doesn't like to miss out.

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