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Two weeks in Orlando - What to do, and when?

What should I do, and when is best to do it?

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:31 PM
I'm going on holiday to Orlando Floirda! I will be arriving at 3pm local time on Sunday the 9th of September and leaving on the evening of Sunday 23rd of Sept.

What I would like to know is - What would you do if you were me, when/what day would you do it, and why?

We will be doing all the Disney Parks (Magic, Animal, Hollywood and Epcot.) Both Universal and IOA, and also Seaworld and Busch Garden Tampa. I'm curious if you could please give me a day by breakdown of what approach you would take? Which day you would go to each park, and why? Which order you would do them in, and what I should/could do on my rest/non park days!

Thanks a bunch in advance and i'm very interested to hear what you guys have to say!


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

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted August 22, 2012 at 1:39 AM
Hi Samantha - youre going at a great time.
If possible, leave your Universal attendance to the 2nd week and go to Halloween Horror Nights. Its a brilliant experience!
Be aware that from the UK you can get some good deals on Seaworld tickets (2 weeks unlimited access to 2 or 3 parks for not much more than one day's entry).
If you have booked with Virgin Holidays they also have a good deal on 2 days Universal access with free parking and early entry to Harry Potter (you can then purchase Halloween tickets seperately)

Are you staying on property at any of the parks? As Disney provide extra magic hours for onsite guests, on certain dates for certain parks. Universal hotels provide early entry, and Seaworld affiliated hotels can give you free quick queues (like fastpasses). You may not need these at this quiet time of year but they are worth having if they're free! :-)

And - I may walk right past you there, I go on 4th september for 2 weeks. :-)

From Duncan Henny
Posted August 22, 2012 at 2:30 AM
i agree great time to go 4 of us are going on the 15th sept for two weeks with virgin.

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted August 22, 2012 at 3:50 AM
I did just wonder if Horror Nights will actually start before you leave...it may be 27th Sept, worth checking Universal's website.

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 22, 2012 at 6:31 AM
I've already got all of my tickets and no, we're not staying on property, we're staying on International Drive :)
I was just curious which order I should do the parks in and why, and if anyone had any ideas of what we should do on our rest days. (I'm going with my Mum, Dad and Brother)
I REALLY wanna do the Halloween Horror nights but I doubt any of my family would wanna do them with me, because they're scardy cats :P

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:13 AM
Based on your profile, Samantha, looks like you'll probably be 21 by then. So above all, treat yourself to a drink!

From Dominick D
Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:23 AM
Mike, are you trying to get her drunk?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Wouldn't do me much good, since I ain't gonna be there. I'll actually be at Cedar Point and Kennywood during part of the time she'll be in the States.

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:18 AM
Bad luck Mike, i'm not 21 until March!
But don't worry, i'm already planning a 2014 trip in which I will DEFINATELY be taking pleasure in getting wasted in Florida! :D

Anyone else got any suggestions on which order to do all the parks in and why?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM
Well, I tried to do the math, Samantha. Profile said you joined TPI 9/23/10 and you were 19 at the time. So I figured two years from that date, you'd have already hit 21.

But math has never been my strong suit. Neither is geography, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish (and chips!)

Hope you have a GREAT time!

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:53 AM
I changed my age on my profile to say 19 when i turned 19 in 2011, so your maths was right, BUT i was only 18 when i joined :P

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Thanks. I feel better now. Now, if I could only settle the geography issue. I know Glasgow's in Scotland. That's in Asia, right? And Forrest Whitaker was the last king of that country, correct? ;)

From Karly Tenney
Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:51 PM
Uhhhh Mike I think you are correct ;)

From James Rao
Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM
What kind of tickets did you buy? How many days? Park hoppers? Are you planning to go to the water parks? Dinner in the parks our out? Are you renting a car? Just some questions to help us help you.

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:14 AM
Yer taking the piss right Mike? :P

In answer to your question, we have unlimited park hoppers for everywhere. So we can go anywhere, as many times as we want over that two week period.
We don't usually go to water parks but we would be open to suggestions?
Lunch in the parks, Dinner most likely outwith the parks probably, but again would be open to suggestions and no, we will be getting shuttle buses from the hotel - hope this helps with the picture of things? :)

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 24, 2012 at 6:07 AM
I'm not familiar with much UK slang, but if that means what I think it does, Samantha..then yes, absolutely :)

*EDIT*..It does, indeed.

From Marie-Eve Landry
Posted August 24, 2012 at 8:20 AM
Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Disney and I think it's amazing and really magic. BUT... Universal and Island of adventures have the most interesting attractions/rollercoasters (more thrill). So I'd start with Disney Parks and end it with Universal parks.

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:34 AM
Thanks guys, i'll work it out! Haha

From James Rao
Posted August 27, 2012 at 7:19 AM
Since you are not staying onsite at any of the resorts, I would probably save the Disney parks for your second week as the predicted crowds (while low at all the Orlando parks during your stay) are even lower your second week. Disney parks are best experienced when they are not so darned crowded!

So, if I had carte blanche for a two week visit, and I wanted to go to all the parks, I would do something like this:

09 – Arrive, unpack, relax at the resort
10 – Busch Gardens Tampa / Dinner at the Crown Colony Restaurant
11 – IOA / Dinner at Mythos
12 – SeaWorld Orlando / Dinner at Sharks Underwater Grill
13 – Universal Studios / Halloween Horror Nights
14 – Revisit your favorite between BGT, SeaWorld, or IOA
15/16 – Days off (go to the beach, visit a water park [Typhoon Lagoon is the best of the bunch], relax at the resort, shop at Downtown Disney, visit CityWalk)
17 – Epcot (Left side) / Get Dinner reservations for Via Napoli (upscale pizza)
18 – Magic Kingdom / Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
19 – Animal Kingdom / Get dinner reservations at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (Boma or Jiko)
20 – Epcot (right side) / Get dinner reservations for Tokyo Dining (sushi / tempura)
21 – Disney Hollywood Studios / Get dinner reservations at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe (comfort food)
22 – (Park hop to your favorite attractions at the Disney parks)
23 - Leave

Enjoy your time, and remember to take it slow and relax - it is a vacation!

From Samantha McCrae
Posted August 28, 2012 at 4:09 AM
Thanks alot James! That's definately helped.
I'm praying the Orlando weather improves before we get there! Damn you Mr. Tropical Strom/Hurricane! Haha :P

From James Rao
Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:52 AM
Yeah, September travel is always tricky in Orlando. But hey, you never know what a few prayers can accomplish! ;)

From Doug Jenkins
Posted August 30, 2012 at 8:01 PM
Busch Gardens Howl O Scream starts the 21st. Might be a good day to go there. Make sure you post about your trip, somehow, after you are done. I love Orlando, but don't know if I could do 2 weeks! And I live here!

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