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Where to visit first - WDW or Universal?

When visiting Florida for a 3 week period begining in late July 2011, where would you visit first? Would you recommend taking visiting the magic of Disney first, leave it until last?

From Daniel Cernuschi
Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM
My family, from the UK, will be going to Florida for 3 weeks in the summer of 2011, leaving on the 25th July. We intend to go to all the major themeparks and water-parks during our visit so we have purchased the Orlando-flex ticket(including Busch Gardens) and a 14 Day WDW ticket. As these passes both last for 14 days, there will be an overlap in the second week of our stay.

However the question that I would like some advice on is which resort to visit first? When we visited in 2005, we went to WDW first and then to the rest of the Florida parks which are included on the flex ticket. However, with Harry Potter World and other new attractions, would you recommend visiting universal first this time around, or would the American holidays mean that Universal will be extremely busy towards the end of July?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From damond harris
Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM
Well, you have 3 whole weeks in Florida and that should get you plenty of time to do everything.

For me personally though, I would go to universals: islands of adventure first. Harry Potter is by far the best ride I have ever been on. It's truly an experience. Disney hasn't really changed much besides adding a few things(by time you guys get there they MIGHT have added some interactive stuff while you wait in line for one of the rides.) but otherwise it's still the same as when you all previously went.

If I were you, around the time your about to leave, look up when the weather forecast for everyday. On the hottest days you can find, that's when you should hit the water parks to cool down.

I hope you guys have fun!

From Tom Rigg
Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Personally, I think Disney is a great beginning or end to a trip. Honestly , for me, there isn't much but that in between either. I would look at some of the tour guides and look at which days are the heaviest crowds at which parks. And plan it as such. You have more than enough time to go to everything. I went to IOA, Universal, Epcot, and Busch Gardens in October and only spent 5 days down there. And one of those days didn't even include going to a park. So I would just look at what is going on at each park and like the post above says go to the water parks on the hottest days.

Two tips try and go to Animal Kingdom on the coolest or least humid days, it can be really awful there int he heat and humidity. Also, WEAR WATER SHOES at the Disney water parks. There are some surfaces at Typhoon Lagoon that get so hot they will blister your feet.

From Tony Duda
Posted January 13, 2011 at 2:17 PM
Daniel Daniel Daniel... sounds like you wanted to start an argument with the way you phrased that question. You have time to visit everything so what you go to first is not a real concern. If this is your first trip to the Orlando area for theme parks and have never visited such a place before elsewhere, ease yourself into the mad rush of activity.

I would say to go to Universal Islands of Adventure because it has the Potter area and is a smaller and more manageable trip. Universal has only one park complex with one parking area. Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks all separate from each other. Give yourself a little time to adjust to Orlando and then go to WDW. Have fun whatever you decide.

From Donna McKay
Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM
Personally, I always go to the Universal parks first- for 2 reasons:-

1. I'm also from the UK. For the first 2 or 3 days I struggle with the heat. I find Universal days are genrally shorter than Universal days and so save the long days for when I've got a bit more used to the FLorida heat
2. I'm a sentimental type. NOTHING compares to leaving MK late at night on the last day, having just taken in amazing fireworks

That's just my preferences though!

ps I am insanely jealous that you are headed there this year for 3 weeks . I last went in 2010 and wanted to go this year again but just can't get the cash together. Will be saving for next year :)

From Terri Pierce
Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:58 PM
I wouldnt have even thought about the heat until that last post. But yes PLEASE take the heat into account. Even the people that live in it 24/7 have problems in July-August. Make sure you don't pack your day too heavy and make sure to take some breaks and just enjoy the scenery. As for what to do first? I don't know that it would really matter to me. The Universal Hotels are far better in my mind, but the Disney Magic is one of a kind. Whatever you decide you won't regret.

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