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Orlando if you're not going to theme parks?

(12 Posts)
SienaSun Fri 26-Aug-16 22:41:52

Trying to decide where to go on holiday early summer next year, me, husband and 4yo boy.
I like the idea of Florida. I'd like to go to the space centre, the beaches on the gulf coast and the aquariums in Tampa and Sarasota. And maybe some kids stuff like a pirate cruise or dinner show, maybe at Disney (can you do that if you're not staying there??)
We don't want to go to Magic Kingdom. Are any of the other theme parks worth it with small children?
Where's best to stay - was thinking staying in Orlando and doing day trips rather than 2 centre but is it too far for day trips to Tampa Bay Area?
We would want a hotel with a nice pool and splash park - any suggestions very welcome! smile

SienaSun Sun 28-Aug-16 15:32:50


milkjetmum Sun 28-Aug-16 15:36:59

Do it the other way round maybe? Tampa has busch gardens for a theme park day or 2. Then day trip to Orlando? Space centre probably a bit too long for a day trip from tampa though.

SienaSun Sun 28-Aug-16 15:50:42

Thanks Milkjet
Maybe I need to do a bit more research. confused

milkjetmum Sun 28-Aug-16 16:19:25

Just remember speeds limits are much lower in us so what seems like a nice day trip on UK roads is a long drive in the us. Best to meander around one area than try to 'do it all' ifswim

HermioneWeasley Sun 28-Aug-16 16:22:39

Not sure why you'd stay in Orlando and not do the parks? Lots of other lovely parts of Florida (or the world) I'd go to if it wasn't about the parks

SienaSun Sun 28-Aug-16 16:37:41

I was thinking about staying in Orlando because it's in the middle of the places we want to go, close to the airport and has lots of hotels with nice pools and splash parks. By "nice" pools I mean a 4 yo idea of a nice pool with slides, pirate ships etc.
i was looking at the Disney hotels as they have the themed pools, character dining and movies under the stars etc but is it crazy to stay in Disney world and not go to the parks??
Also I think it may be too much driving to have several day trips to the coast.

NicknameUsed Sun 28-Aug-16 20:24:54

"Just remember speeds limits are much lower in us"

I drove to Cape Kennedy from Orlando last month and was pleasantly surprised to see that they have increased the speed limit on the freeways to 70 mph outside the cities.

Average speeds in Orlando are another thing though. The traffic is very, very busy, and the waits at traffic lights are incredibly long. The car I hired had a computer that recorded my average speed during our stay. I drove from near Universal to the Disney parks, Boggy Creek and Cape Kennedy and still only managed an average speed of 26 mph over the 11 days.

Unless you intend to do any of the theme parks I really wouldn't stay in Orlando.

Loletta Sun 04-Sep-16 20:26:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PoptartPoptart Sun 04-Sep-16 22:26:32

Nickname - can I ask how long it took you to drive from Orlando to Kennedy Space Centre?
OP - is there a particular reason you don't want to go to the Magic Kingdom? I'd say your 4 year old would really enjoy it. It's the tamest of all the Disney parks in terms of rides and is really focused on younger guests and families. There are also lots of character meet & greets, parades etc. Surely you can't go all the way to Florida and NOT do MK, even if just for a day!

SienaSun Tue 06-Sep-16 16:49:34

It has to be Orlando. We have to see family in Florida while we are there.
poptart I am sort of considering magic kingdom. I've never been and never wanted to as a child and it's so expensive to go for 1 day! But I kind of agree with you. I doubt we'll go back to Florida so maybe we should just do it. confused

tumpymummy Mon 12-Sep-16 17:32:30

Magic Kingdom with a 4 year old would be great! I'm not a fan of theme parks as I hate rollercoasters etc. but I love Magic Kingdom because the rides are so well done and imaginative. I'd say that the perfect age for Magic Kingdom is about 7 or 8 years, but there's still plenty your 4 year old would enjoy.

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