Florida must sees

(53 Posts)
chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 19:32:51

We're going for the first time later this year. Kids are 13,10 & 8.

Staying near universal for first 10days then in a beach house last 5.

All advice gratefully received smile

chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 19:36:28

Have been onto Dibb but it's all a tad overwhelming.

This is likely to be a once in a lifetime so whilst I don't want a regimented/planned visit it would be nice not to miss anything smile

PlugUgly Sun 07-Aug-16 19:39:11

On arrival at a park, always go straight to the rear of any park and work backwards
A lot of rides don't look much from the outside but are actually the most fun, so try not to miss anything
If you are going to pick one water park go for blizzard beach and get there early as there is a cut off point if too many guests
Don't take beers to have on the beach like we do in Europe (we got a telling off)
I am droning on so will shut up now
Have a great time !smile
If going to animal kingdom it is essential to go straight to that ride as early as you can get there , the animals are most active and visible first thing,
Hope you have a wonderful time

PlugUgly Sun 07-Aug-16 19:44:39

Ooh and take advantage of the free Fast pass system they have at Disney for the most popular rides, do it as soon as you get in even if there is a queue (it only gets longer and the best time slots will go otherwise ) ....Then you can plan your day round your 'must do rides'

chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 20:15:13

Thanks plainugly it's all a tad overwhelming! Hence the 5 days downtime before we head home!!

chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 20:15:47

Sorry Plugugly!! Stupid autocorrect blushblushblush

BaconAndAvocado Sun 07-Aug-16 21:59:20

The Harry Potter areas at Universal and Island of Adventures are definite must sees. We were blown away by it.

Magic Kingdom because it's the biggest Disney nostalgia fix.

Epcot for Test Track and Teppan Edo (a fab Japanese restaurant)

It's all downright amazing tbh, we've booked to go,again next year!

chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 23:21:52

Thanks Bacon. This will be a one off for us so it's great to hear what people recommend smile

Thingvellir Sun 07-Aug-16 23:28:05

Definitely do the fast passes it makes such a difference. I think you book them 2 months before. Get to the parks when they open in the morning as there's a 'golden hour' when it's quieter.

Download the apps for Disney and universal on your phone - so useful when you're in the park to see queue times.

We really hate queuing, the above things kept us sane when we went at Easter!

chocoLit Sun 07-Aug-16 23:46:55

Oooh 2months before? I'd better have a wee look see then, thank you!

hetty74 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:48:17

Chocolit , we are looking to do similar to you with the two centres but I too am getting overwhelmed with it all . Like you it'll be a once in a lifetime trip for us so I want to do and see as much as poss but also want some rest and relaxation. Can I ask who you booked with please ?

chocoLit Mon 08-Aug-16 21:12:42

Hi Hetty74, I'm going to admit I did it all myself blush It's the only way we could afford it.

Flights in the BA sale. Watched the sites for a decent hotel deal and booked through one site where it's free cancellation - in case a better deal comes up. I think it's booking.com but I'd have to check.

We haven't hired a car whilst we're at the hotel but will do to head to the beach - I found and booked the house through airbnb.

Haven't even looked at park tickets yet - it's all been a tad hectic/fraught at work so until I'm in a better head space I keep avoiding it as am rather overwhelmed by it all.

Naturally I have purchased many books which remain unopened and keep looking at the DIBB forum which I find confusing and worrying - everyone seems to know everything lol

hetty74 Tue 09-Aug-16 16:55:11

Thanks, yes lots of info out there , too much I think . Well done on sorting it all yourself but I think that's a bridge too far for me . Have a great time .

NicknameUsed Wed 10-Aug-16 07:31:24

"Definitely do the fast passes it makes such a difference. I think you book them 2 months before."

It really isn't necessary. We just used the fast pass kiosks in the park because my online fast pass selections didn't work. Just go to a fast pass kiosk as soon as you get into the park that day. We were there a couple of weeks ago so it was pretty busy, but still managed to do everything we wanted.

If you are staying near Universal you really do need a car for the Disney parks. Orlando is much bigger than you think and I'm not sure how good or frequent the buses are. There weren't any buses to Disney from our hotel

Which hotel are you staying in? We stayed at the Cabana Bay.

Also, if you are keeping an eye on the pennies eating at the resorts/in the hotels is pretty expensive so you will need a car to drive to cheaper eating places/get to Walmart etc. The place is not geared up to the non driver, and people don't tend to walk about the streets.

chocoLit Wed 10-Aug-16 07:52:09

Nicknameused we're staying at cabana bay too so thanks for tip re car. I had hoped only to get one for last half at the beach but should maybe look at one for whole time then confused

NicknameUsed Wed 10-Aug-16 13:39:18

OK. The shuttle buses to Universal were great and very regular. The food in the hotel is expensive and not that great. I didn't like the dining area at all. You will need a car to find local places to eat out. People just don't walk around. It isn't unsafe but too hot and everything is so spread out.

There is a shuttle bus but it costs 20 dollars per person, so for 5 of you that is 100 dollars a day for each Disney Park you visit. Parking is 20 dollars per day if you hire a car.

RakeMeHomeCountryToads Wed 10-Aug-16 13:41:31

Where is the beach house choco?

Thingvellir Wed 10-Aug-16 14:03:55

Possibly it depends on when you go and what you are fast passing nickname. We went at Easter (admittedly the busiest 2 weeks in the year) and found even booking online 2 months before that many things were already fully booked up for when we wanted them. (Propel staying st the park hotels get to do it even earlier). We didn't have any issue with what we'd booked as everything was recorded on our app before we went

chocoLit Wed 10-Aug-16 18:16:58

Is it still extremely hot in Oct? I'm deluding myself I know grin

Beach house is in Treasure Island smile

RakeMeHomeCountryToads Wed 10-Aug-16 19:09:16

October will be very warm and sunny but not as baking hot as July/August. I think October is a great time to go. We've been twice in October.

I've not been to Treasure Island, but if it's anything like Anna Maria Island it'll be lovely!

chocoLit Wed 10-Aug-16 19:14:16

I hope so RakemeHome. Dd3 has skin issues in the sun so we've avoided 'sunshine' holidays till she's had investigations done and we're desperately hoping it'll be ok for this.

And I can't wait till the beach house. It's the part I'm looking forward to most

fryingtoday Wed 10-Aug-16 19:16:26

Take a ride on the swamps. On those boats with huge motors aka James Bond - can't remember the name! You'll see alligators, loads of native wildlife etc and is thoroughly enjoyable. Just ensure you really slap on the sun cream and cover up-!! Is it hydrofoil?

NicknameUsed Wed 10-Aug-16 19:36:23

We did an airboat ride while we were there. We just drove down to Boggy Creek. You don't need to book, just turn up. We didn't see any alligators in the water because it was too hot, but they had a baby alligator for people to look at and pick up if they wanted.

The airboats are really noisy, but they provide ear defenders for all the passengers.

NicknameUsed Wed 10-Aug-16 19:37:36

Also, don't even think about doing it without sunglasses/glasses as they go really fast and the wind in your eyes is rather uncomfortable.

chocoLit Thu 11-Aug-16 19:42:11

Not sure that's my thing - the DH and DCs might love it but if I see any kind of gator/snake I'll faint <pathetic I know>

DD3 would love to swim with a dolphin but I'm not a fan of the seaworld centres etc Has anyone done this anywhere??

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