Been to a theme park recently or planning a trip? Tell us about it here or get some helpful tips for your next visit.
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Kirsty25

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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Kirsty25 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 pm

Owen wrote:Thanks everyone so far!

Any recommendations on excursions other than the main parks?


We visited a town called Christmas, which was a really quaint little place which had a Christmas tree up all year. Maybe worth a couple of hours.

JCP, I'm as entitled to contribute to a topic, regardless of how long ago I went as surely it is at the person reading it's discretion as to whether they take it or not. I can still recommend places I went while I was there.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:58 pm

Now now everyone, we can all give bits of advice!

It's honestly all helpful as I haven't got a clue what to do or anything, even down to things like how the metal detector/bag check works at Universal! :lol
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by mol7030 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:11 pm

Hey Owen, I hope you don't mind me jumping on to this topic with some questions of my own - let me know if there is a more appropriate topic to do so? Also, the answers may help plan your trip!

1) I wonder if anyone has had any experience of using the Busch Gardens Express Shuttle. If it departs at 8.30am from Universal, what time does it (approximately) arrive at Busch Gardens? This would be in late January, early February time if that makes a difference.

2) Montu has a long scheduled closure. Is this due to construction of the Cobra's Curse attraction or does this close for a similar length of time, the same time each year?

3) Finally, does anyone have an approximation as to how much a taxi would be - both ways - from Universal to Epcot?

Many thanks,

MO'L
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:18 pm

No it's fine!


I know the answer to you second question and Montu is closed only due to the Cobra's Curse construction, like the Aly Ride was with Cheetah Hunt :)
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Lee » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:51 am

mol7030 wrote:3) Finally, does anyone have an approximation as to how much a taxi would be - both ways - from Universal to Epcot?


Around $40-50 each way depending on which hotel you are staying at. There are generally some chauffeur cars (leather upholstery and the likes) that park outside the Universal hotels and can be flagged via concierge outside. They charge a fixed rate to each destination which can be a life saver if you hit Disney traffic - I believe it was about $50.

The most well known and respected taxi service in Orlando is a company called Mears. They've got a fare calculator here which should give you a better idea of approximate costs to all destinations. Their rates are set, so don't feel the need to book them in advance as they can be called via the hotels and there are plenty around the Disney parks at the end of the day, just follow the very magical 'TAXI' signs when leaving. If you're staying at a Universal Resort hotel, then Mears also do a return shuttle service to Disney for $20 per person which has to be booked 24 hours in advance. I've used this previously, but if there is a few of you it's far more convenient to use the taxi service door-to-door. Form my experience, the shuttle service generally only picks up at around 3 hotels and is a minibus service. You pick a return time too and just show the driver a yellow piece of card.

There are other taxi services and any bar or restaurant on International Drive will happily call one for you. However generally the tourist areas are well serviced and you can easily hail a cab. Just make sure they have the meter on and you're happy with the rate, but there are very few stories of taxis ripping people off in Orlando as it is so well policed.

I hope that this helps :)
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by mol7030 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:05 am

Hi Lee, thanks so much for this- that really helps. We would be looking to stay at Cabana Bay so that 20 dollars (for one way or return?) is sounding good. There's only two of us going.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:26 am

There are also bus services for around $2 as well.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by ponder » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:40 am

mol7030 wrote:Hey Owen, I hope you don't mind me jumping on to this topic with some questions of my own - let me know if there is a more appropriate topic to do so? Also, the answers may help plan your trip!

1) I wonder if anyone has had any experience of using the Busch Gardens Express Shuttle. If it departs at 8.30am from Universal, what time does it (approximately) arrive at Busch Gardens? This would be in late January, early February time if that makes a difference.


It takes around an hour. They run a LOT of buses too, so if you miss one, another will likely arrive a couple of minutes later. I counted 6 of them last time, so always plenty of room.

2) Montu has a long scheduled closure. Is this due to construction of the Cobra's Curse attraction or does this close for a similar length of time, the same time each year?


I believe it's due to the construction of Cobra's Curse, so should re-open in Spring.

3) Finally, does anyone have an approximation as to how much a taxi would be - both ways - from Universal to Epcot?


It won't be cheap. It might be worth trying to find out if any local hotels run a shuttle service, as they may allow you to hop on for a much smaller fee than a taxi would cost.

We got a taxi back from Magic Kingdom to our hotel on I Drive (not far from Universal), as we were staying late for the fireworks and would miss our shuttle. That cost about $45 if I remember rightly, and that was from a hotel staff member.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by mol7030 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:20 pm

Thank you. Have any of you had experience of using Uber? It is currently quoting me this: uberX $11-15 for one way as a fare estimate.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Lee » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:24 pm

mol7030 wrote:Thank you. Have any of you had experience of using Uber? It is currently quoting me this: uberX $11-15 for one way as a fare estimate.


Uber is quite common in American tourist spots and is known for being ridiculously cheap. I can't see why they would be any different in Orlando and a quick Google search seems to suggest they have positive reviews. Just watch out for their surge pricing when they are busy and you should be fine.

Maybe use them on a day you're not bothered if you arrive at the park a little later in case of a non show. Definitely worth a punt at that price though!
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:49 pm

Has anyone got any suggestions on any Disney attractions that may not be the first thought for riding (eg. Not Towers of Terror, Rock n Roller or Expedition Everest) that are worth trying out - because honestly Disney isn't a huge draw for me right now! :lol
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Danny » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:00 am

Magic Kingdom:
Monsters Inc Laughing Floor
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
BT Mountain
Pirates of the Carribean

Animal Kingdom:
Dinosaur (incredible dark ride)
Kilamanjaro safari's (incredible)
It's tough to be a bug 4D show in the tree of life theatre
Finding Nemo Musical
And all the animal enclosures are a must to get around.

Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story Mania
Fantasmic
Star Tours
The obvious ones you've named
There's a film about Walt Disney's life but I can't for the life of me remember the name.
I know there is a lot of work going on at HS so I'm not sure if all of these will be available on your visit.

Epcot:
Soarin
Test Track
Mission Space
Spending some time in each country is always good fun and what I knew as Kim Possible was exciting it makes you feel like such a big kid!

The parades and fireworks are fantastic in all the parks, so make sure you save some time for them!

I'm sure I've forgotten some as its been a few years since my last visit, but I love Disney and there is certainly enough in each park to warrant a visit. I think the Disney experience is unlike any other park, and you'll feel 10 years younger :)
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Master_feedback » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:34 pm

One place that no one has mentioned unill now is Kennedy space center again about an hrs drive away so its a full day out but well worth a visit if thats your kind of thing

I would also agree that you wil need days off so if you're going for say 15 days then that's more like 11 park days maybe 10 the time flys

Downtown Disney and the universal equivalent are good to do on off days

I hird a car seam to recall it was about $500 for 10 days gave us the freedom to come and go as we wanted
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:33 pm

We are actually thinking of the Kennedy Space Centre as an excursion, and I wasn't really family with what Disney Springs and Universal City Walk are?

Are they just a shopping area?
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by ponder » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:26 pm

Universal City Walk is an entertainment boardwalk. A mixture of shops, restaurants, clubs, cinema etc.

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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by abigsmurf » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:35 am

If you really want to minimise driving time and are planning on spending a big chunk of your time in the Disney parks, it may be worth considering a Disney hotel. You pay a premium over normal hotels (about 30-50% more) but the excellent bus system can make it worthwhile, especially as you save on parking charges.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:33 am

Well our hotel is booked at this point, and I must say it looks much nicer than the Disney Hotel! :lol

Also we are likely going to be spending the most part of our time in Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens - because we're not huge Disney fans! Although we will definitely be allocating at least 4 days to the Disney parks.

In terms of buses, we can get a bus to all the parks for around $2 and our hotel actually comes with a complimentary bus service to Universal!

Does anyone have an tips on which order to go to parks? We were thinking of possibly going to SeaWorld or The Magic Kingdom first but of course we aren't 100% sure.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Alex » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:49 pm

It doesn't really matter too much on the order although I'd check opening times for the Disney parks as they can vary a bit depending on the nights the parks have their evening shows.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by Owen » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:40 pm

mol7030 wrote:2) Montu has a long scheduled closure. Is this due to construction of the Cobra's Curse attraction or does this close for a similar length of time, the same time each year?

I have found that Montu is also getting a repaint ready for the Egypt area to look fresh for Cobra's Curse opening.
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Re: Orlando & Tampa Trip Help

by mol7030 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:03 pm

Awesome! Thanks Owen!
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