I am currently in the early phases of planning a trip to Florida for spring 2017 (looking at late April to mid May). While I am not yet 100% sure I'll be doing the trip (that will be determined in Jan/Feb), I'd like to start making some tentative plans and getting a budget together. As I've never been to Florida before, I thought it might be helpful to solicit advice from those who have.
At the moment, I am expecting to have 7 or 8 days for the trip, likely from a Saturday to the following Saturday or Sunday. Due to flight schedules, I probably won't be able to do much on my arrival day, but I should have a morning and afternoon to do something on departure day. As this is my first trip, I'm looking to do more of an overview of everything, with special priority given to anything that has the potential to close in the near future. Future trips will focus on the things I like the best, as well as anything I miss on this trip.
The following are the parks I consider must visit on this trip:
-All four Walt Disney World Theme Parks
-Both Universal Orlando Theme Parks
-Busch Gardens Tampa
-Fun Spot America (Orlando location)
If time permits, I would also like to visit:
I'm also interested in going to the Kennedy Space Center. However, I am fine skipping that or any of the above parks if it would compromise time at one of the must visit parks.
My main question at this time is the following: How should I divide up my time to get the most enjoyment out of everything without feeling like I missed something? In other words, how much time should I spend at each of the parks? To help, here are a few guidelines and notes:
-When visiting a theme park, I usually arrive at opening and stay until closing, with the only breaks being for meals.
-At theme parks, I usually try to do all dark rides, flume rides, roller coasters, and any other rides that are unique to the park. I am fine skipping more common attractions, such as flat rides. With the exception of roller coasters and unique thrill rides, I rarely re-ride attractions on a single visit.
-I typically try to see all nighttime spectaculars and continuously running shows. For shows that only play at designated times, unless the performance is particularly notable I'll see them if the schedule works out and skip them otherwise.
-Unless a restaurant is somewhat special, I usually opt for quick service dining inside a theme park in order to allow more time for rides.
-While accommodations have yet to be determined, it is likely I will be staying off property to save money.
-I will have my own rental car for the duration of this trip.
-I have no problem visiting multiple parks in the same day (even if they aren't adjacent), and I have no problem splitting a single full-day park over multiple partial days as long as it won't increase the ticket cost.
-I live in Southern California, and as a result I visit the Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, and SeaWorld San Diego regularly. I am fine skipping anything that is a near duplicate of something offered at those parks.
I think that's about it. For now, I'm mostly concerned with the trip as a whole, and I'll probably post another thread with more specific park questions at a time closer to the trip. I welcome any input and suggestions anyone has, and I only ask that you don't offer advice if you haven't visited Florida yourself.Tweet
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