Universal Studios/IOA Orlando: General Discussion

Discussion in 'Rest of the World Parks and Attractions' started by Alastair, 6th Aug 2012.

  1. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    This has made me want to work out how many major parks are there to do in central Florida. Some will probably need more than one day to visit properly of course.
    Disney
    Magic Kingdom
    Epcot
    Hollywood Studios
    Animal Kingdom
    Blizzard Beach
    Typhoon Lagoon
    Universal
    Studios
    Islands of Adventure
    Volcano Bay
    Seaworld parks
    Seaworld
    Aquatica
    Discovery Cove
    Busch Gardens Tampa
    Legoland

    That is fourteen major parks really. Although personally I don't bother with Legoland Florida and last trip we didn't do Aquatica or Blizzard Beach.
    But yes it is now hard to properly do all the major parks in a 14 day trip.
     
  2. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    It's definitely a lot of parks to do and sometimes i find myself prioritising some parks like when i next go to Florida, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and IOA and Studios will be my priorities and then probably the Disney parks because of the mass investment rate!
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    We’ve always prioritised certain parks over others when visiting Florida; we usually go for 10 days, so we definitely couldn’t fit it all in in one holiday!

    On our 2016 holiday, for example, we did Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, while on our 2019 holiday, we only did Disney. We’re thinking of possibly going back in 2022, and if we do, we’re going to do Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens again like we did in 2016.

    I should point out that out of the list that @jon81uk posted, I am still yet to visit Legoland Florida, Volcano Bay and Discovery Cove (although up-close animal experiences have never really been my cup of tea, so I doubt I’ll ever visit Discovery Cove), so it definitely is difficult to pack all of the area’s parks into one holiday! And when you add some of the more minor attractions too (the FunSpot parks are probably worth visiting just to ride the woodies; I’ve never been to the Orlando one to ride White Lightning, but Mine Blower at the Kissimmee park was great! There’s also a lot along International Drive), it really does make Florida one of the world’s ultimate tourist destinations, in my opinion!
     
  4. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I didn't visit Discovery Cove until my fifth trip to Florida, when I was more like your age the idea of swimming with fishes didn't appeal either. But then I did a boat trip on a different holiday and snorkelled in the ocean and that made me want to try it again, so 15 years after my first trip to Florida we did Discovery Cove. It also makes a big difference if you are over 21 as the price includes all your alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It was our most relaxed day of the trip, some snorkelling, some sitting back in the lazy river, feeding birds, sitting in the pool with a drink and just chilling out.

    I think on my first trip we did Disney (all six parks), both Universal parks and just Busch Gardens. Then on another trip we did Aquatica and Seaworld as well, but skipped one of the Disney water parks. The 2016 trip we did Discovery Cove but not Aquatica or Blizzard Beach. I don't think it is possible to do all the parks in a 14 night trip, but it feels easiest to skip some of the water parks.
     
  5. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Discovered recently that my local regional airport (DSA, just a 40 minute drive away) has flights to Orlando. Definitely hope to go one day! :)
    Not sure I'd cope with the heat though, can anyone give me a general Idea of what it's like?
     
  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Depends on the time of year. November is pretty nice, like an English summer, I was even cold some December evenings.
    I've also been in May/June and it was much more humid feeling and I got very very sweaty.

    But a lot of attractions are indoors and airconditioned or the queues are. The only time I was outside for a long period in the sun was watching the parades at Disney.
     
  7. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    I think all the parks are easily do-able over 14 days. Mainly because they're all open until 10pm and the close proximity means you can comfortably do 2 parks in a day.

    The only parks we spent a whole day at were Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Busch Gardens.
     
  8. Brad97

    Brad97 TowersStreet Member

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    The heat isn't too bad from my experience, though I've never been in the height of summer. I've been in February, April and May. February is pretty mild but can actually be cold sometimes. April/May is very nice, but it is more humid.

    Virtually everywhere has air con, and almost all queues are indoors or have a roof. The parks are designed around the heat, so I wouldn't worry.
     
  9. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Can anyone recommend doing the parks in a certain order like the Universal, Disney, SeaWorld Orlando and Tampa!?
     
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  10. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    I second this, and also how many days do people usually stay if doing Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld? I wouldn't do all the Disney parks tbh, Rise of the Resistance is probably the main reason for visiting WDW. I'd more be going for the other three.
     
  11. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    I live in Tampa, people overstate the heat, it’s really not that bad compared to places like Dubai. You’ll be just fine.
     
  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Last trip we stayed on Disney and rented a car just for the middle six days of a 14 night trip.

    Of the six days with a car,
    we had two days at Universal,
    one at Seaworld (with shopping at Premium Outlets after)
    One at Busch Gardens
    One at Discovery Cove (with Cirque du Soleil in the evening)
    One day at Florida Mall before returning the car and popping to the Magic Kingdom.

    of the remaining 8ish days we did a day at each main Disney park, a morning at Typhoon Lagoon, an evening at Mickeys Halloween party and some other half days at parks.
     
  13. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Got any recommendations for on site accommodation where to stay!?
     
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  14. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    We did 3 weeks in September 2018, the main reason being the (allegedly) cooler temperatures and the Halloween events. We did all the Disney theme and water parks, a couple of trips to Springs, both Universal parks a few times and Volcano Bay, SeaWorld twice, a day at Discovery Cove, Aquatica and a day and a half at Busch, as well as an evening at each Fun Spot and a day at Kennedy Space Center.

    We got plenty of time to do everything without rushing (we probably spent a day just chilling in Baseline Taphouse at Studios!), including Keys to the Kingdom and Busch’s behind the scenes tours and a few shows along the way. If I was going back I’m not sure if I’d do the full three weeks again. Probably 18 days or something. We rarely spent a full day at one park though. With the car it was easy enough to hop and make it up as we went. Half a day at AK, then head over to Universal for the afternoon and evening for example (then floor it to Cape Canaveral to watch an impromptu SpaceX launch!).

    It’s worth considering when deciding how long to go that you will effectively loose two days due to the traveling. When we arrived all we really felt like doing was hitting up Walmart to get supplies and then chill in our pool with a drink.

    I don’t cope well with heat at all and really struggled the first few days, but you do gradually acclimatise. Most of the time though I was jumping from AC’d space to AC’d space. Worth noting even some of the more open queuelines at Disney still have fans and AC ducts to make them a little more manageable, but I just found myself feeling sticky the whole time.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents, but we have wandered somewhat from the topic of Universal and IoA. If people want to discuss potential Florida plans and ideas please consider starting a thread in Trip Reports and Plans :)
     
  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    depends on your budget really. We stayed at Wilderness Lodge and loved it, but even back in 2016 it was £200 a night plus tickets etc (but we did get the free dining offer).
    We’ve stayed at All Star Movies, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Saratoga Springs and Wilderness Lodge at WDW.
    The only one I really wouldn’t recommend is Saratoga Springs, it was too sprawling and had no atmosphere, but it was nice to walk to Disney Springs. If you can afford it then Wilderness Lodge or Polynesian are great and close to Magic Kingdom. But overall I would always recommend Port Orleans as the boat ride to Disney Springs is nice and it’s a charming resort, just the right size and feel.

    but we are off topic
     
  16. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Rather than a set order I think the bigger consideration is what's likely to be busy and when, balanced off with which parks handle the big crowds better and what time periods your multi park tickets are valid for. So the order will likely depend on the day your holiday starts and what special events are on at parks.

    There are whole websites based around making the best of your stay, it can be like a military operation planning a Florida visit!
     
  17. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks!
     
  18. Danny

    Danny Leicester Melvin Rong

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    The pull-through appears to have been conducted yesterday:

     
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  19. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    There maybe 14 theme parks to visit but since my 2nd visit in 2007 to my last in 2016 the price of the tickets have rocketed.
    In 2007&2008 We brought Disney 14 day ticket and Orlando 5 park flex ticket.
    We did:
    Sea world 1 day
    Busch Gardens 1 day
    Universal 3 days
    Disney 6 days with 2 half days at the 2 water parks and then to downtown Disney for drinks and Disney Quest.
    In 2011 the prices had nearly doubled so we just brought Disney and Universal tickets but was a nicer break as we did 10 days at Disney and just 2 full days at Universal with a day shopping in between.
    In 2016 as my daughter was just under 1m we just did Disney.
    Was pricing up a rough price to hopefully go again in 2023 and the Universal tickets have really rocketed in price and for the 4 of us now for the tickets would cost me nearly £1000 now that’s expensive if like our previous trips I only use them 3 days.
     
  20. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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