So for theme park fans who need to check it out, sure thing - but the Magic Kingdom is still the Magic Kingdom, and although I visit and enjoy both parks at Universal, Harry Potter isn't enough to get me to spend that much more time there than I already would. It's a game-changer in terms of vacationers who may have skipped Universal otherwise, so I have no doubt it will be a huge boost to Universal's revenue, but as a theme park fan, one new ride isn't enough to drastically change how I visit/view a park.
My biggest problem with Universal parks is that they just dont' ahve the "magic" that a trip to Disney managed to create. I can't put my finger on it but there really is something special about Disney parks, especially after dark
I still feel MK is the crown jewel of Orlando and Disney in general is just a cut above everything else, period. That doesn't mean I am putting down USF, IOA, or SW as they all are great attractions.
Nobody is going to come here on vacation and only visit one park. I do think FJ on its own will change the overall dynamic of family vacations this year in Orlando, but find it hard to believe anybody will travel here just to visit IOA.
However, I can totally see the draw of IOA, and I know my husband is itching to get there. Neither of us are big fans of standing in line for hours, though, so it'll be a while. Thank goodness we live in Central FL!
If it were me and only me, I'd pick EPCOT (and perhaps go back in time to when it first opened - I truly miss World of Motion). And I'd go for Oct/Nov - for the F&W Festival!
As for Universal, my season tickets expired last year and I'll probably renew them next year after the rush is over. I never did get to Rip Ride Rockit either, since the it was closed the 6 different times I went. (Although I've heard it's more reliable now.)
I have no interest to see Harry Potter right now! I thought they took the strongest portion of the park and changed it into Harry Potter. Love the books, love the movies, but I am not going to lose my mind and change everything to see, as mentioned above, one ride with a bunch of new shops in front of it.
I've spent pieces, if not all, of about 54 or 55 days there this year since the end of January. I love it.
World showcase is just beautiful. I love talking with cast members from around the REAL world in each countries pavillion. The attention to detail is quite spectacular, and with a little bit of imagination, you really can lose yourself in some of the pavillions, Moraco being one of those for me, with it's maze of streets in its market place. For adults, drinking around the world is a fun challenge if you pace yourself, and all of the restaurant options as well as shops with authentic merchandise imported from the countries are excellent. Again, I'd love to see a show stopper added to this section of the park, but really that's not what this area is about. I would settle for a few more countries added though. There are still several plots of land which they can build on. Then the day is concluded with what I believe to be the most impressive pyrotechnic show I've ever seen, in Illuminations. Truly an amazing show to see, I guess you could make the argument that Illuminations IS the show stopper of World Showcase.
MK would be #2.
and then have lunch in Mexico, a snack in Morocco, and dinner in France.
Or lunch in Canada, a snack in Japan, and dinner in China.
Or lunch in Germany, a snack in America, and dinner in Norway...
You get the idea. And don't forget the "Drinks Around the World" option...!!!
I love IOA and USF minus the Hairy Potty. I don't know why USF bought into the dying franchise.
And the SeaWorld Entertainment parks offer family friendly entertainment, great food, and easy access, too!
If I really loved theme parks (and I do) and hated snow (and I do) and loved seafood (and I do), I'd probably live in central Florida. But wait -- been there, done that, and still have lots of the T-shirts. On the whole, I found, paradise has more bugs than become immediately apparent in a two-week visit, and I'm happier in the "Midwest." But I still love to visit, and will be doing so this year.
And I'll spend at least two days in Epcot, having lunch in Mexico, a snack in Morocco, and dinner in France.
Or, maybe I'll have lunch in Canada, a snack in Japan, and dinner in China...
There's something indescribably magical about Epcot, especially considering its stance as the least magical Disney park.
I could critique it to death. I could write a five- to eight-hundred page (yes, page) essay or report comparing it to other parks, but I'd be wasting my (and others') time.
I will note this, though. Epcot is one of the few parks immune to the four hour tours. When I get tired of the crowds and lines of the sensational overload that is Future World, I simply head to World Showcase for an afternoon of strolling, live entertainment, and great food and drink.
That's all I'll say. Far and away, my favorite park.
Universal Studios Florida (not IOA) is a close second, though, but for completely different reasons.
BTW, Disney is pulling nearly 50% of the vote...
But geez, even BEFORE RRR and Harry Potter-- both Universal parks have slammed it down for me. I bow down to you Mr. Universal Resort for your use of technology, great movies, and bringing the movies to life. For your shows, rides, and walkthroughs.
i have made a USO/IOA altar
After Epcot and USF, DAK is probably my favorite park. I had an absolutely perfect day there on my last visit. The broken yeti, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama could all use some TLC (or, in the latter land's case, complete destruction), but the park provides an overall excellent experience. Every attraction excluding those in the aforementioned lands is worthy of a visit. It's a high quality park with beautiful theming and fantastic attractions. I would complain about the food, but Jiko and Boma are nearby.
SeaWorld is a completely different experience altogether. If you attack the park properly, all your queueing, which should be minimal, will be done by mid-morning. After that, it's a matter of strolling through the park and experiencing some beautiful exhibits at a leisurely pace. I'm not very fond of the animal shows, but they seem to be very crowd-pleasing for general audiences.