Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

4 Day Orlando Parks Plan Help

We have 4 days in Orlando and are trying to make the most of it, please help us come up with the best plan possible.

From Ricardo Marmugi
Posted December 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM
I'll be going with my wife to Orlando arriving January 1st in the afternoon and leaving early morning on the 6th, so we have 4 days to do as much as possible, we are both in our late 20s and no kids yet, she's never been to Orlando and it's been 15 years since I was, so here's my 4 day park plan so far:

January 2nd: Magic Kingdom (only chance to go on Splash Mountain)

January 3rd: Hollywood Studios (last chance to see osborne family lights)

January 4th: Sea World (also maybe Cirque du Soleil at night)

January 5th: Universal and Islands Of Adventure with express pass

Precisely due to the time restraints we have left out of this trip both Epcot and Animal Kingdom, we'd love to go soon but I don't see it being possible on this trip, any suggestions otherwise are of course welcome.

I considered using the Sea World day to go to Busch Gardens instead, but considering the distance and my wife not being a big fan of thrill rides (I am) I think she'll have enough on the Universal Parks and have a better, calmer time at Sea World. I know both Universal parks in one day is a lot, but is it possible? I want these 4 days to be as varied and full of fun as possible. Thank you in advance for all your help and attention.


From Manny Barron
Posted December 21, 2010 at 2:44 PM
That seems like a good plan. If you follow the number 1 theme park rule and get to the park at opening time than you should see mostly everything worthwhile your first 3 days. I've never been to Orlando the first week of January but from what I've read, it is busy so hopefully someone who has been there at that time can chime in with some advice.

As for the Universal day, yeah you could do most everything in a day with the express pass for both parks. It is though very important to remember that the big new ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at IOA doesn't use express so get there early and line up for that. The rest of your day should be nice and smooth with express.

Have a fun and safe trip.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 21, 2010 at 2:48 PM
Where are you staying?

It might be too cold to go on Splash Mountain on the 2nd because I was there a couple of years ago and it was 38 degrees!

THe Seaworld/Cirque sounds like a good plan, but just make sure that Cirque is playing on that day!

EPCOT is just pure fun!

From Ricardo Marmugi
Posted December 21, 2010 at 2:52 PM
Hello thank you both very much. Yes I'm aware of the express park not working on harry potter so we'll be lining up for that 1st thing. I'm planning on opening all 4 parks, we'll sleep back home lol. Yes, Cirque will be performing on the 4th. Yeah the weather will be an issue for Splash Mountain but I love that ride, I'll get a poncho! And we'll be staying at International Drive not at any of the park resorts

From Nick Markham
Posted December 21, 2010 at 5:00 PM
^^Anthony, I like how 38 degrees is supposed to be cold. Yes, for those in Florida, it may be, but try living in Utah and your whole perspective on cold changes!

I actually rode Splash Mountain when I was there on January 1st as my last ride before I left from my vacation.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 22, 2010 at 12:43 AM
I live in Chicago so I know what cold is too :)

38 degrees and you are getting wet? That sounds like a bad combo. DLP does not have Splash Mountain for a reason!

From Samantha McCrae
Posted December 22, 2010 at 4:04 AM
If you can manage it, depending on how busy it is or how much you guys want to see, you could do two disney parks in one day? So you get to see all 4 - Like Magic and Animal on Day 1 then Epcot and Hollywood on day 2?

From Ricardo Marmugi
Posted December 22, 2010 at 2:39 PM
Yeah that would be great, I'll consider a park hopper option, but the cost is high and there will still be a lot of people at least on the 2nd.

Oh and I'll probably freeze but I'm getting on Splash Mountain. My wife is not so sure though hehehe

From Nick Markham
Posted December 22, 2010 at 3:59 PM
Anthony, when we were there, it wasn't quite that cold (60 degrees).

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 22, 2010 at 6:00 PM
I was there January 2 2008. Yeah, 38 degrees!

But I have been there other New Years and its been ok

From Ricardo Marmugi
Posted December 23, 2010 at 5:20 AM
My only real worry is being able to do both Universal parks on the 5th, even with a fastpass, it seems like there's so much to do, the only alternative would be giving up sea world and doing universal in 2 days

From Samantha McCrae
Posted December 23, 2010 at 12:37 PM
I was able to do both IOA and Universal in one day without a fastpass, so i think you should be fine..... :)

From Ricardo Marmugi
Posted December 23, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Thank you very much, I'll be looking forward to opening and closing each park, thank you all for your kind help

From Mike N
Posted December 28, 2010 at 3:10 PM
I'd take a serious look at Discovery Cove. It is more expensive, but it is the #1 thing to do in Orlando according to TripAdvisor, and there is A LOT of things to do in Orlando... It is all-inclusive, you can go cheaper and avoid the dolphin swim, and it includes admission to SeaWorld for your entire vacation.

On the 4th it is $229, but when you consider you don't have to spend any money on top of that day, plus admission to Sea World, the value is incredible.

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