Help with plans for 5 days in Orlando

Universal Orlando: Three aussies travelling to Orlando with no clue...

From Zoe ONeill
Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Hey, I'm 23 and will be visiting Orlando with some friends in end of Oct/ early Nov for 5 days.
My current plans are;
Day 1 - Harry Potter World, and then staying for Halloween Horror Nights.
Day 2 - Islands of Adventure
Day 3 - Universal Studios
Day 4 - A water park, possibly Wet n' Wild?
Day 5 - Magic Kingdom

-We're massive Harry Potter fans, which is why we're happy to spend a whole day there, just hanging out.
-I'm not really sure if the skip the line passes for everywhere are worth it?
-Is 2 days for the rest of Universal too much? Or should we switch it up and do 2 days at Disney instead? I'm just worried Disney is aimed towards younger kids?
-Does anyone have any suggestions for the best water park? Or is Wet 'n Wild pretty good?

Any thoughts / suggestions / ideas would be appreciated :)


From Bryce McGibeny
Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM
First things first, "Harry Potter World" is just a land in Islands of Adventure. Not sure if you knew that or not. Or maybe you did, and you're only planning to spend a short time in IOA only for Potter, before HHN starts(?)

So like you mentioned, you're massive HP fans. I'm sure you could spend a good two hours in there, but I think spending more than that would get a little bit tiresome.

From Brian Emery
Posted September 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM
First I wanted to say Thanks for vacationing in the USA…

Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just one area in IOA, and if you want to spend a whole day there; it’s your vacation and do what you want and enjoy… The Butter Beer is Fantastic!!!

I like Aquatica for a water park.

The End of October is not busy, so you can save the money and skip the line passes…

The Magic Kingdome is nice but does cater to younger folks… You should go see it, but there are alternatives… I like Animal Kingdome better… Just my preference.

You could spend two days exploring Universal and two days at two different Disney Parks…

Either way, have a great Vacation…

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM
Hi Zoe, I am so keen to get to Australia and here you are visiting my go-to place :-)

I would say if you did want to try Magic Kingdom, you could buy tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. This is held in the Magic Kingdom, is less than the cost of a one day ticket and has the best Disney Parade ever - Boo To You (get a spot early). Usually you are allowed into the park from 4pm and the major attractions are usually open. (Can someone correct me if I am wrong there this year please)

That gives you the possibility of opening a day up there, if you went to a water park earlier in the day and then hit the Magic Kingdom later on.
Can't really recommend Wet n Wild or Aquatica as I have never been. I have enjoyed Typhoon Lagoon (Disney water park) though.

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:38 AM
Ps. If you're a Potter fan and ever in London, go to the Warner Bros Studio Tour - it was amazing.

From Ashleigh Noad
Posted September 28, 2013 at 7:09 AM
Hi Zoe! I think a whole day for WWOHP is a stretch, even for die-hard Potter fans! I can spend a couple of leisurely hours there, but once it gets crowded etc (the stores which are amazingly detailed get incredibily difficult to navigate through) you will probably be done before lunch time. I would suggest to consider doing some other IOA attractions that day too - and use the other IOA day to revisit your favourites and visit the attractions you missed at both USF and IOA.

Hope you have a great trip!

From Niamh Murphy
Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:03 AM
A full day at Harry Potter area is too much. There's not a whole lot to it. Little Hogsmeade street area and the castle where the ride is... That's kind of it! But you'll see yourself when you get there whether or not you'll get more than a couple of hours out of it.
Disneyland - DO IT!!!!!! That'd be my advice anyway. I'm 30 and noting beat the Magic Kingdom for me, out of everywhere. We went to all the Disney parks, and loved every bit of them!!
Have a great time!!

From Tony Duda
Posted September 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM
While I agree with the idea that a whole day at WWoHP seems too much, if you want to see and do EVERYTHING that may be reasonable. There are 4 rides- Forbidden Journey, Hippogriff coaster, two Dragon Challenge coasters. Three shows- Olivander's Wand Shop, frog choir, Triwizard Spirit Rally. You may want to see or do these multiple times. You will also spend at least an hour for each meal time at the Three Broomsticks. Breakfast is great and lunch and dinner are also good. Just shopping/looking could take 2 hours. So, even though a whole day may be too much to devote to just WWoHP, there are enough things to see and do especially if you want to re-ride Forbidden Journey many times.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted September 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Sorry for beating a dead horse, but Harry Potter is only going to take, at most, three hours to see. I would suggest going right when the park opens. I would say that two days at the Universal Parks is enough.

Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party is alot of fun, especially if you are doing HHN. It is a nice comparison of how the parks do the holidays. There will be kids, but with the park being open past midnight, you will see them disappear.

I know you are not going to believe me, but Disney as not as kiddie as you think. You are already going to the Magic Kingdom, which I feel is the most kid friendly park. I would suggest checking out Animal Kingdom if you are turning one of those Universal days into a Disney day! Nice animals, attractions are geared mostly ages 10 and up, and the shows are some of Disney's best!

From Neal Porter
Posted October 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I like to think I'm a pretty hardcore Potter fan. Half of my honeymoon was spent in Orlando back in April 2012. We hit up Island of Adventure first. Stupidly Marvel captivated us, and we turned left to walk around the park to Potter, not right (the faster way). I really think it would be hard to spend a whole day in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But if you guys want, I say go for it! It is amazing.

As for Magic Kingdom, my wife pushed for us to go, and I had never been. I expected to have some fun, but all I could think about was Potter. I ended up having so much fun at Magic Kingdom. I had no expectations for loving as much as I did. So keep in mind, the power of Disney is pretty powerful!

With that said, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is the future of parks. They infused traditional dark ride style adventures, with todays newest technology, and it is truly incredible, you guys will have a blast!

Maybe we'll run into you guys, as the wife and I are also headed back the last week of October into November! Have fun!

From TH Creative
Posted October 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Typhoon Lagoon is hands down, bar none, absolutely THE BEST water park in Orlando.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM
I agree with TH. I've only been to Typhoon Lagoon once, and it was a private surf expo event. It took place during night, and it was AMAZING. No other water park really compares.

From Russell Meyer
Posted October 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM
Typhoon Lagoon is pretty amazing. I do like that Blizard Beach has the ski-lift to the upper slides that saves a lot of stair climbing. However, the setting and the salt-water snorkeling lagoon will always draw me back to TL. I think Aquatica is pretty good too, but is not quite as picturesque or well-themed.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:22 PM
You can't go wrong with a Disney Water park. TL and BB have their advantages, but I like TL for their variety of things to do. BB, however, is the greatest concept for a water park. The ski resort, as strange as it sounds, works perfect for a water park. You can also get excellent doughnuts and hot chocolate (and that is not a joke, doughnuts on the beach? what?)

From Zoe ONeill
Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:50 AM
Hey Guys!
Thanks heaps for all of your responses! I've decided to go with 2 days at Universal + HHN, and 3 days at Disney. You all totally had me sold on TL for a water park - but it closes for renovations a few days before I get to Orlando :( So BB it is!

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