We hope you are enjoying a peaceful and restful public holiday today.
I'm an English guy living in Germany, and I am going to Orlando for a few days with my girlfriend from June 28th to July 2nd. We'll be heading down to Miami afterwards for the 4th of July weekend.
We wanted to make the most of our relatively short time in Orlando, by checking out the best theme parks and best rides in those parks. I have been twice before as a kid and so has my girlfriend in the mid 1990s. So we’ve had a little experience of it all but we're sure its changed a lot since then!
We were thinking of planning something along the lines of the following:
1. DAY 1 - We are flying into Orlando at midday on Monday 28th, so we were thinking of picking up our car and spending the day checking out the non-theme park related things in and around Orlando (we're still researching this!)
2. DAY 2/3. Use a 2 day Magic Your Way hopper pass to check out as much of the Disney parks as possible.
I've read its nice to go to Epcot in the evenings, for the fireworks and dinner, which leaves the daytime on the 2 days open for Hollywood Studios/Animal Kingdom.
3. DAY 4. We were thinking of using this day to check out Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure (both in one day). We've read elsewhere that it is possible to do this if you plan ahead and stick to the main attractions.
4. DAY 5 - Planning on starting the drive down to Miami around midday on Friday 2nd.
We are both quite young, fit and thrill seeking type people with no kids so this is why we thought it would be possible to do this kind of plan without sacrificing the good time or unnecessarily rushing around.
I suppose my questions are as follows:
1. Does our plan of action sound feasible and realistic or are we just way off the mark?
2. Is there any value in staying on of the Disney/Universal resort hotels considering we are there for 4 nights? The benefits we've read about include extra park hours and free public transportation around the resort/theme parks. We are not overly fussed with staying anywhere too luxurious as we will be out most of the day, as long as its comfortable. Thinking of budgeting around $60 to $100 a night maximum.
3. Disney Dining Plan - Is this also "worth it". We were looking at the "Quick" Plan as a possibilty. Are Disney restaurants that expensiv`? We both eat absolutely everything and part of our trip we want to be able to try different cuisines.
4. Is there anything you can suggest that we do non theme-park related in and around Orlando. We've heard of Coco Beach and some nearby lakes but thats all so far.
Apologies for the huge list of questions! We've read some past questions and you guys seem really helpful and give really detailed responses so would love to get even a smidgen of that!
Look forward to hearing what you guys think!
Juan & Sitalina
DAY 1: Arrival :
Upon arrival, take your care or shuttle or which ever way you choose to get around Florida down to your hotel. If money is not an issue, go with Disney's Grand Floridian, but if it might be, I would go with Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Whichever way you go, staying onsite at Disney will give you free transportation to the parks without having to worry about parking, as well as extra magic hours, where certain parks stay open a little later for guests.
DAY 2: Here is where you decide. Magic Kingdom has extra Morning Hours, EPCOT has Exptra Evening Hours. If you want the day relaxed, choose EPCOT. If you can handle a bit more action, choose the Magic Kingdom. And if you are okay with a very fast paced day, go to Magic Kingdom in the morning and EPCOT in the evening. It can work, and I can explain how if you reply that you would like to do this, otherwise choose between the two parks.
Day 3: The same as day two. For a more relaxed day, Animal Kingdom, for a mildly fast paced day, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and for an all out fun yet very fast paced day, both. Animal Kingdom has the extra morning hours and DHS has the evening hours.
Day 4: Universal Studios Florida/Islands of Adventure: Obtain Express Passes immediately, you will need them! Make sure you also have a one day park to park ticket so that you can jump between parks. Start off your day at Universal Studios Florida, you should be able to wrap that up by maybe 2 or 3. Immediately get to Islands of Adventure and do everything up until Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Save that for last, as all of the hotel guests should be out by the end of the day.
Day 5: This is where my help ends. This is someone elses territory, I am not familiar with Miami!
EDIT: I'll actually put my edit in my double post: If the couple is okay with not choosing WDW, I would definitely go with Universal Orlando for the two days and then Busch Gardens Africa or Sea world Orlando as David had said.
Plus you can get sea world and bush gardens tickets online for $99.00 per person for 14 days of usage.. getting to bush garden is by bus and provided with your ticket.
here are a couple links to check out.
to seaworld for tickets.. $99.95 adults at kids price.. it a deal.. for sure.
Transporation to Bush Gardens info.
Look on bottom right of page and see Bush Gardens info.. They have pickup points around the area you can get to for the bus..
either way have a fun trip and Welcome to the colonies if this is your first time here..
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood