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Not being facetious but can someone explain the appeal of disney, Orlando?

(52 Posts)
Talou1 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:00:28

Hi, what am I missing? It's expensive, hot and massive queues...isn't it? I've always wanted to visit Florida for the Keys and Everglades but feel I should visit at least the Magic Kingdom because everyone else does. 😆. I do like theme parks but in the UK I wouldn't spend 2 weeks going to Legoland, Chessington, Thorpe Park etc. So just wondering what I'm not getting? Is the Magical Kingdom (and rest of Disney) really magical and if so why? As I say, not being deliberately obtuse but for somewhere so expensive it seems so popular. Is it worth shelling out for? Any opinions much appreciated so I know how much money I should be saving for my Florida road trip 😂

OP’s posts: |
MirandaWest Sun 11-Aug-19 21:02:37

I’ve never really understood either.

Byorderofthepeakyblinders Sun 11-Aug-19 21:06:28

It's hot depending on the time of year, May for example is my preference. Unbearable in the height of summer. Queues are long yes, but fast pass system helps with some of that. A wee bit of planning is key.

It's just magical, the rides aren't like the ones here, it's hard to explain but they are just a better experience, theme, story rather than a simple rollercoaster.

The magic of it for me is the characters, the parade, the fireworks. It takes me back to my childhood.

But incase you haven't noticed, I am a sucker for disney magic and appreciate not everyone will feel this way.

Ithoughtyouwere Sun 11-Aug-19 21:12:17

It’s not like a theme park in the UK. It’s a completely different experience, but it obviously depends on how much you like Disney. It made me cry seeing the park open on our first day, though that may partly have been the jet lag! I loved it. It was amazing, and the rides are very manageable with Disney’s fast pass system providing you don’t visit in peak season. Yes it’s hot, but everywhere inside is air conditioned (including the indoor rides) so you just break it up. I can’t wait to go back when DD is old enough!

The universal parks in Florida are much more theme park intense rides with ‘themed’ areas. Harry Potter world is cool but not sure I’d visit the rest again.

Talou1 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:13:57

Thks Peaky. So do you think I should factor in a few days in Orlando? I'm just put off by the cost! Just one day at MK will cost about £500 for the 4 of us!

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Quartz2208 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:14:46

Theme Park here are nothing like Theme Parks in the US

And its not just the rides (they are better), the hours (they are open all day), the weather (is better) or the sheer amount of money spent (the fireworks are amazing). Its the theming - there are so many characters and its all done so well - Beast Castle for example is exactly how you would expect it to be everything is thought out from the moment you start queuing in the ride (Universal's Hogwarts castle queue is just amazing)

Talou1 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:20:16

But it all seems so confusing. Too many parks to choose from! 😱Would a base ticket to the MK let me stay till 10pm? Sorry for the questions, it just seems a minefield!

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Byorderofthepeakyblinders Sun 11-Aug-19 21:27:01

I would factor it in if you can afford it. If you are only going to do one park then absolutely stick with the magic kingdom, but the other Disney parks all have something to offer too. You have the 4 main ones there to choose from, then the 2 over at universal. My 2 favourites are Magic Kingdom and Universal studios with a park hopper ticket so I can get the Hogwarts express between there and Islands of adventure. One of my children though is a massive Harry Potter fan. Have a look at the websites and see which ones appeal most to your family

Ihatesundays Sun 11-Aug-19 21:27:24

I’ve been a few times. It’s not like the UK at all. People are also much more relaxed and pleasant, I’ve never encountered the big queues to be honest. There is air conditioning everywhere, even outside in some places. I like the food.

Byorderofthepeakyblinders Sun 11-Aug-19 21:28:58

Regarding opening hours they are on the website too so have a look, just keep an eye out for extra magic hours- this is specifically for guests staying in Disney hotels. But that aside Magic Kingdom has long opening hours

Talou1 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:34:16

Thk you everyone. My dd aged 9 loves Harry Potter! I'll have a think.

OP’s posts: |
Byorderofthepeakyblinders Sun 11-Aug-19 21:35:28

If he is a big fan and nobody is overly fussed for disney then I'd definitely consider Universal /islands of adventure instead!

Happy planning smile

namby Sun 11-Aug-19 21:45:45

If you can perhaps plan a trip to DLP, that'll give you an idea as to whether you buy into the Disney vibe or not, it can be done quite cheaply. We love it. The atmosphere, the characters. Disney fans. But it is a marmite thing and if you have to ask it may be that it's not your thing lol.

Quartz2208 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:52:16

The Harry Potter sections at Universal are amazing you can spend hours there. Universal can be done though I think in 3 days and has some really nice onsite hotels as a stopover in Orlando.

Its also considerably easier to do and plan!

IdaBWells Sun 11-Aug-19 21:54:00

Its HUGE so be prepared for lots of walking. Very different from Disneyland California or EuroDisney.

IdaBWells Sun 11-Aug-19 21:55:33

Yes my kids preferred HP at Universal. We stayed at a hotel outside Universal which I would choose over Disney.

Tatum1234 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:59:03

We weren’t impressed by Disney at all, much preferred Universal as did our four children. Thought Disney seemed old and tired in comparison and far too busy for us.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 11-Aug-19 22:01:09

This was me last year. Dh was determined to treat the dcs to the theme parks. I was really nervous, anticipating long queues in crowded hot theme parks.

I was wrong.

It was bloody awesome. The place has to be seen to be believed. The Harry Potter bit in Universal is like a life sized village. Hogsmeade is separated from Diagon Alley by the Hogwarts Express ride. All the shops from the books are there, they are interactive and the Gringotts bank has a life-sized fire breathing dragon on its roof.

There’s also the worlds biggest Hard Rock Cafe which was amazing. I’d never been to one before. Full of memorabilia from famous pop and rock stars with a real Cadillac spinning round above the bar and dancing waitresses. We even saw a marriage proposal while we were there.

There are separate themed areas for all ages. My dd loved the Marvel area with the superhero’s. Then there’s Jurassic Park, King Kong, Men in Black, a hideously scary Mummy roller coaster situated in what looks like the actual Cairo museum.

The place is just enormous. There really is something for everyone.

The Disney parks are good too. Magic Kingdom is iconic, even if you’re not a massive Disney fan. The main parade with all the characters from stories you grew up with is just lovely. There’s some awesome rides there too. Animal Kingdon has the Avatar ride. We did queue for that but only because we couldn’t get the fast pass for it. Even the queue is amazing, the bit where it goes through the laboratory with a life-sized Avatar floating in a tank is impressive.

I could take or leave Hollywood Studios, it was ok. I think it’s got a new Star Wars bit now.

Epcot is lovely. Quite science and earth based but some really interesting areas. The walk around all the countries with their themed shops and stuff around the enormous lake is a lovely afternoons stroll. And the Soarin’ ride is brilliant. Google it.

There’s a Facebook page dedicated to this called It’s Orlando Time. Have a look through the posts on there to get a feel of the place.

I was really apprehensive before we went. I can’t wait to go again. I’ll look forward to it properly this time.

Expressedways Sun 11-Aug-19 22:09:56

Personally I don’t like theme parks or Disney stuff and for us Florida is close enough to go anytime so I’ve done the Everglades, Miami, The Keys and have never felt the lure of Disney. It’s absolutely not a necessary part of a great FL trip. However, if your 9YO loves Harry Potter and you like theme parks then I’d strongly consider adding at least a Universal to your itinerary as it sounds like you might enjoy it.

IdaBWells Mon 12-Aug-19 00:02:47

You can drive to beautiful beaches with white sand in Florida, definitely don't just do the theme parks and nothing else.

Pol16 Mon 12-Aug-19 06:08:38

We took our four children to Florida when they were in Years 4, 6, 8 and 10. I can only say that we had the holiday of a lifetime and the children remember it as being the most amazing holiday of their lives. We went at Easter which was perfect. We didn’t do the Keys or Everglades, we simply did all the theme parks, water parks plus Space Centre. The quality of everything was superb and can not be compared to an English theme park. For example, they put on shortened versions of productions like the ‘Lion King’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ that we thought were of an equal standard to the West End. Street performances from singing groups were again of an incredibly high standard as were the processions, firework displays etc. This was almost 20 years ago and I would think it’s even better now. We will hopefully return one day with our grandchildren to give them the same experience. You must plan carefully though, make sure you arrive as early as possible to avoid queues. If you take a packed lunch, they have lockers where you can store your lunch until needed and all parks are well equipped to deal with this. The parks are exceptionally clean and tidy, evidently there are miles of tunnels beneath each park where a lot of work goes on to ensure that each park is kept beautifully. Disney work really hard to make your experience a magical one and I thought it was out of this world.

Talou1 Mon 12-Aug-19 10:04:13

Wow, thank you everyone. It sounds like it's something to be seen then! The Kennedy Space Centre is defo something I want to see so we will be near Orlando anyway. I don't usually do package deals, I usually book direct, so any tips on where to buy the tickets for Universal and Disney. Do I just go on their websites? Thks for all your help everyone.

OP’s posts: |
MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 12-Aug-19 11:01:24

There are companies that sell park tickets, probably best to google for the best ones. We had a package that covered all four Disney parks, the two water parks and the two Universal parks and it was roughly £2,400 for the four of us for two weeks.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 12-Aug-19 11:03:05

I don't get the Magic Kingdom either. Loved Epcot and places like NASA but not the Magic Kingdom.

GlamGiraffe Mon 12-Aug-19 11:06:25

We went and took DS then aged 12 who really wanted to go to some of the theme parks.
Absolutely abysmal experience. Nothing magical, I love magic and am a massive kid at heart, also like theme parks but saw no redeeming features. We just didn't set any of it.
And the entire area around the parks where you need to stay to visit is just dire. Couldn't get a decent meal that wasn't a fat laden cheese coated blob the whole time. Never ever again!!

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