How many days in each park ?Universal Orlando: Need advise for parks to visit with an 8 year old boy and how much time to spend in each park.
From Maria MatthewsThis website is fantastic but i am information overload! I am new to this.. So any help would be appreciated.
Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM
We are going to orlando later this month as a last minute trip before the schools go back.
My child is an adventurous 8 year old boy that loves rides and waterparks.
We have 10 days in Orlando.
Can you please advise how many days you would recommend in each park.
I was thinking of:
Both universal parks
I was going to skip the Disney water parks and Sea world, Busch gardens.
Looking forward to getting some advise
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Brandon TownsendHello. 10 days in Orlando at all those amusement parks sounds like a blast. Especially with an adventurous 8 year old.
Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
From your list of parks you want to visit, I would think only Magic Kingdom would necessitate a 2 day stay. One for each of the Universal's and one each for the rest would be plenty. And you will probably want at least one rest day in there somewhere.
A big help if you've never been to any of the parks is reading Robert's planning advice on each of the parks. (Click the "Park Guides" tab at the top left). Following his advice can save you lots of time and money and relieve some of the stress you may feel if you aren't familiar with the parks.
Have fun and enjoy!
From Russell MeyerA 10-day trip is our typical duration, but we've been to Orlando nearly a dozen times, so we typically skip attractions, and also normally visit during non-peak times of the year.
Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:03 AM
If this is your first time to Orlando, I would highly recommend the following strategy...
You will most likely need 3 days to properly visit and enjoy the two (2) Universal parks. In August, you can expect lines for most of the major attractions to exceed 60 minutes (Transformers has been running well over 2 hours most days since it opened). There's just a lot of things to see and do in the Universal parks, and there will undoubtedly be things you'll want to do again, so having that 3rd day is almost a must.
You didn't list Disney Hollywood Studios, but I assume you would plan on visiting all 4 Disney parks. I would plan at least 5 days for those. Animal Kingdom is probably the only one that can be done comfortably in a single day, while EPCOT (with an 8-year old) may also be accomplished in a single, albeit long, day depending on your interests. However, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are going to need a little more time, particularly with an 8-year old.
That leaves 2 days...Personally, I prefer Disney's waterparks to Wet 'N Wild (in fact I prefer Aquatica to Wet 'N Wild also), but you could probably combine a rest day with a waterpark day, leaving one day for Legoland. I've not yet been to Legoland (my son was not yet 3 when we last visited, so he wasn't big enough to warrant a visit), but from what I know of the park, it's pretty reasonable to be complete the park in a day.
So, in short, I would plan 3 days at Universal, 5 days at Disney, 1 day at Legoland, and 1 day at a waterpark and resting. Make sure you pay extra for park hoppers at Disney and get the 3-day 2-park pass for Universal. I'm not sure if Universal is still bundling Wet 'N Wild with their theme park tickets, so it may actually be more economical to go to one of the Disney waterparks, because it will be cheaper to add the waterpark and more option to your Disney tickets than buying a single day admission to Wet 'N Wild.
You should also consider staying on Universal property (Hard Rock, Portofino, or Royal Pacific) so you can get early entry and Universal Express. If you already have hotels booked, you might want to examine the financial ramifications of purchasing Universal Express as an add on to your tickets to make sure you see everything in those parks that you want.
At Disney, staying on property does not have the same perks, but the Extra Magic Hours can be helpful, assuming you can tolerate extremely long days (MK late Magic Hours can last past midnight in the summer). Again, it will depend if you have already booked hotels and what your financial situation is (Disney hotels generally cost 20-30% more than comperable off-site hotels, while Universal hotels cost 30-50% more, but have FOTL access that Disney hotels lack).
From Anthony MurphyUniversal (Both Parks): 3 Days
Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Wet n Wild: 1 Day
EPCOT: 2 Days
Magic Kingdom: 2.5 Days
Animal Kingdom: 1.5 Days
From Shannon NelsonSpeaking only for Universal I say 3 days. I would like to stay longer a lot of times, but I usually try to take a couple of trips per year and four nights and 3 days at the royal pacific is plenty for me to see everything multiple of times. I would recommend staying on-site at universal, can't beat unlimited express.
Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:55 AM
From TH CreativeUniversal - 1 Day
Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:42 AM
Islands of Adventure - 1 Day
Wet n Wild - Skip It. Typhoon Lagoon is better. I'd spend the day at Typhoon Lagoon until around 2 PM. Go back to the hotel, clean up and spend the evening at EPCOT (Outside of Soaring, Test Track and Mission: Space not much for an 8-year old [except the fireworks]) - Total 1 Day
Disney Hollywood Studios - 1 Day
Magic Kingdom - 1 Day
Animal Kingdom - Half Day. Spend second half at then Magic Kingdom - Total 1 Day
Legoland - 1 Say (because of the distance).
From Alan HiscuttI would really try and fit Hollywood Studios in, for an 8 year old, Star Wars, Toy Story, Indiana Jones show, Great Movie Ride, Muppets, Motors stunt show and maybe even the backlot tour would all be fun for a young child. As opposed to Epcot which I think is better appreciated by teens, although you do have the Mexico and Norway rides they may enjoy in addition to Journey into Imagination and Captain EO as well as the above mentioned rides.
Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM
From Andrew DoughertyAs a teen, I personally like EPCOT's history but the current EPCOT doesn't have a lot I like. I'd say EPCOT currently doesn't truly have a good target age group that it hits.
Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:08 AM
From Manny RodriguezDepends on how much you can do in a day
Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM
My family can do all disney parks in 4 days :3
From Tayler Ann MordenI agree with Alan about Hollywood studios. For an 8 year old this park is like sugar for the soul. Epcot is a wonderful park for adults but my experience is that it is the least fun for kids. Universal studios is so much fun that i actually feel like a kid when i am there. Dont underestimate how much there is to do and see. At universal orlando just the Coke Freestyle stations are worth the admission price on a hot hot day. https://www.google.ca/search?q=coke+freestyle+universal+orlando&safe=off&client=safari&hl=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Y5gCUpvoNcm7iwKz_YDIBg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAA&biw=1024&bih=672#biv=i%7C12%3Bd%7Cnfr3RBOPSIUwtM%3A
Posted August 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I advise the disney water parks for theming and experience over wet and wild.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive