UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Benjsh

Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:18 am

I'm going on hooneymoon in 9 weeks and I have somehow managed to persuade my mrs to spend our first week of it in the parks. The subsequent 10 days I'll be on a carribean cruise. So I'm only going to have 5 - 6 days maximum of park time. Not too shabby!

Considering I haven't been back to Florida since 1996.......Which parks would people recommend in that short amount of time? Not really that fussed about Disney as we have already done all that both in Florida and Paris.

Also......as it will be a week after Easter Holidays have finished ( We are travelling on Sat 13th April ) What will the parks be like in terms of queues? From everything I have read......the weeks straight after Easter are usually pretty quiet and most rides have no longer than a 10-15 min wait. Is this correct?

Finally........I'm really hoping that we get lucky with the transformers ride and the new ride at Sea World too but I suspect we might be there a little too early for those ride openings. What are the chances of these attractions being open by mid- late April?

Cheers
 
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The Psychoaster
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Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:56 am

Short and sweet:

Day 1: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Day 2: Islands of Adventure
Day 3: Busch Gardens Tampa
Day 4: Universal Studios
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
Day 6: Take your choice - Animal Kingdom/SeaWorld

It is possible to cover these parks in a day, no matter why other people say. I've done it.
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:48 pm

I think Busch gardens, Sea World and both Univeral parks are definites tbh.

Still can't decide on the other two days. Magic Kingdom apparently hasn't changed all that much since I last went so I'm not so sure i'm guna bother. Hollywood Studios probably would be more enjoyable for me nowadays.
 
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The Psychoaster
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:31 pm

Benjsh wrote:
I think Busch gardens, Sea World and both Univeral parks are definites tbh.

Still can't decide on the other two days. Magic Kingdom apparently hasn't changed all that much since I last went so I'm not so sure i'm guna bother. Hollywood Studios probably would be more enjoyable for me nowadays.


It depends what you want. Magic Kingdom is certainly extremely popular but it's really all about the theming and the experience rather than the actual rides. If you're looking more for entertainment and thrills then Hollywood Studios is definitely the way to go. It's my favourite WDW park purely because of its immersiveness and variation - the Tower of Terror is incredible and alongside that you've got some incredible shows such as Indiana Jones and Fantasmic.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:36 pm

Benjsh wrote:
Still can't decide on the other two days. Magic Kingdom apparently hasn't changed all that much since I last went so I'm not so sure i'm guna bother. Hollywood Studios probably would be more enjoyable for me nowadays.


I'd suggest Animal Kingdom would probably be the best one to do. It has the best atmosphere besides Magic Kingdom, some very good recent investments (Dinosaur, Expedition Everest) and is a much broader and less stressful park than either Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. Epcot is good for educational purposes only - the thrill factor fails to exist.
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:53 pm

Thanks for the replys guys. Definitely given me food for thought. Animal Kingdom is an interesting one and one I hadn't considered. Never been so i suppose it would be worth it just to say I have done the whole set. Expo Everest  is rather tempting I must say.

What are the queues usually like Straight after Easter in Orlando? Anyone been during that period? I have heard that only Magic Kingdom might be really busy as it always is. The other parks could be VERY QUIET according to what I have been reading. I'd really love to go to Busch gardens and just basically walk on the coasters. Would be lovely.

Really hoping that I get to ride Transformers too at Universal. But with no offical opening date and rumours of late May I think we might be a little early. Shame because it looks epic.
 
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marita
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:44 pm

Congrats on the big day and getting the other half to agree to a theme park start to the honeymoon

Check this out:-
http://www.undercovertourist.com/planni ... ning-hours

it will show the anticipated business of the parks and help you make your decision before you spend a lot of cash on the tickets.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:37 pm

For 6 days:

1) Epcot Best Disney Park
2) Universal Studios
3) Islands of adventure
4) Sea World
5) Water park/Downtown Disney or shopping
6) Magic Kingdom
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:01 pm

Sea World is always the best park to start with
If you go down to the woods today
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:43 pm

Magic kingdoms just opened the new fantasy land area but depends what your into really.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:29 am

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
For 6 days:

1) Epcot Best Disney Park
2) Universal Studios
3) Islands of adventure
4) Sea World
5) Water park/Downtown Disney or shopping
6) Magic Kingdom


This is the itinerary I'd recommend personally.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:07 pm

You could always try the option of 4 Disney parks in 2 days - this is what me and my missus did when we had a week on Orlando 2 years ago (september - very quiet).

We started with Animal Kingdom on opening, did Lion King show, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Rapids, Tough to be a bug, Safari and the gorilla trail and tiger trail. After this we headed over to Hollywood studios about 2pm and did Great movie ride, tower of terror, Lights motors action show, Indiana jones show, tram tour and tower of terror followed by the late shoing of Fantasmic (we worked around the show times).

Day 2 started at Epcot, did Test track, spaceship earth, Captain EO, Soarin and walked around the lake looking at all the countries. In the afternoon we went to Magic Kingdom and did as much as we could before the fireworks show. I think we managed about 10 rides in MK, including Pirates, space mountain and my favs - Philharmagic and Monster Inc laugh floor.

They were 2 long days, but we managed it and fit pretty much all we wanted to do in. You have to plan it all though, be there around opening time and be prepared to go, go, go. Only food we ate was quick service places.

From what I have kept up with you won't be going on Transformers or Antartica unless you get very lucky. Transformers isn't as good as Spiderman anyway.

Sounds like you are into the thrill rides more, so I would go for a 2 days at Universal and probably BG, plus Sea World if you have a 6th day. Could also try Nasa too - not sure, but they might have the shuttle on display then.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:19 am

For me, the two essential parks are Busch Gardens and Islands of Adventure. For the other 4, pick based on what you enjoy. I'd probably go Seaworld, Hollywood Studios, Universal and Epcot.
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:36 am

Benjsh wrote:
What are the queues usually like Straight after Easter in Orlando? Anyone been during that period?


I went last year at Easter, it was REALLY busy.  The saving grace was the free Disney Fastpass which lets you book your slot in line and come back at a specified time.  Queue times were alot worse in the second week of Easter. 

All major rides were a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours in some cases.  Both Universal parks were longer queues than Disney, we ended up buying fast-track passes at Universal as all queues were 2 hours.  Fast-track tickets were pretty expensive, with 4 of us we just bought 2 fast track and kept swapping.  There are also single riders queues which are hit and miss, I walked literally straight onto Hulk at IOA when the main que was over 1 hour.  Fast-track cannot be used on Harry Potter, which means the single riders for this is long.

I personally preferred the Universal Parks, both have a great mix, my highlights here were Harry Potter (2 hour que and worth it), Hulk, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Simpsons and Spiderman.

I didn't rate Busch Gardens as it was the busiest park, we waited 2 hours 20 mins for Cheetah Hunt (same ride as Rita with 3 launches).  The wait ruined the day as we didn't even see around one quarter of the park.

If you are just going for the rides and have tickets that let you in Seaworld go for the morning and do the major rides, Manta (same ride as Air but much bigger) is amazing when you compare it to air.  We went on Krakken 3 times first thing in the morning as there was nobody waiting to get on.

At the disney parks use the free fastpass system wisely, get there for opening, get a fastpass for a major ride then ride one of the other major rides.  Then go back with the fastpass and repeat, you can do the big rides in 2 disney parks in one day.
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Mogga wrote:
Benjsh wrote:
What are the queues usually like Straight after Easter in Orlando? Anyone been during that period?


I went last year at Easter, it was REALLY busy.  The saving grace was the free Disney Fastpass which lets you book your slot in line and come back at a specified time.  Queue times were alot worse in the second week of Easter. 



Thanks for the reply.

I'm hoping we're a bit luckier than you were as when we get there most kids in America and UK are back at school I think. Plus with two of those parks having new attractions that aren't quite ready to open that might put off some people going.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:56 pm

The Psychoaster wrote:
Short and sweet:

Day 1: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Day 2: Islands of Adventure
Day 3: Busch Gardens Tampa
Day 4: Universal Studios
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
Day 6: Take your choice - Animal Kingdom/SeaWorld

It is possible to cover these parks in a day, no matter why other people say. I've done it.


It's very possible in a day, big tip for Hollywood Studios is go in early get a Toy Story fastpass, go on Tower of Terror and you've basically done the rides. Shows are okay but I wouldn't hang around too long as its the first park to shut it's doors (first time I went we did it in a morning and spent the rest of the day at Animal Kingdom, and I had two weeks of parks, every single day!)
Alton Towers, Animal Kingdom (WDW), Blizard Beach (WDW), Chessington World of Adventures, Epcot (WDW), Hollywood Studios (WDW), Legoland, Magic Kingdom (WDW), PortAventura, Seaworld (Orlando), Thorpe Park, Typhoon Lagoon (WDW), Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:17 am

I don't like the idea of trying to do more than 1 park in a day personally. I prefer to have a leisurely walk and take in EVERYTHING. When you're planning everything strategically.....it takes away the fun for me. Not been to Florida since 96 so A LOT has changed since I was last there.

I go in just over a week's time so I'll be sure to fill you all in on how it went when I get back. I'll try to upload some pics.

We've now decided on our intinerary. I have consulted easyWDW and undercovertourist and tried to pick the right days to visit each park.

Day 1: Hollywood Studios
Day 2: Sea world
Day 3: Universal
Day 4: Magic Kingdom
Day 5: IOA
Day 6: Busch Gardens

We toyed with the idea of Epcot or Animal Kingdom over Hollywood Studios but TOT and RNR are just too good to miss for us.

Not too shabby I'm sure you'll agree. Can't wait. I'm like a kid at Christmas and I'll soon be 28.
 
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Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Admittedly it would be difficult if it were busy, however when we went to Hollywood Studios we arrived at 9am and had seen and done everything by 2pm meaning we then headed off to another park.

On another day we went to Typhoon Lagoon which is highly recommend, spent the majority of the day there, spent late afternoon in Downtown Disney and then the evening at Magic Kingdom. We weren't rushed for time at any point of our holiday, we just enjoyed the ability to hop on the WDW transport and head off somewhere else. There was no advanced planning involved we just went with the flow.
Alton Towers, Animal Kingdom (WDW), Blizard Beach (WDW), Chessington World of Adventures, Epcot (WDW), Hollywood Studios (WDW), Legoland, Magic Kingdom (WDW), PortAventura, Seaworld (Orlando), Thorpe Park, Typhoon Lagoon (WDW), Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:11 pm

Hey Guys..........Flew back home early this morning from Orlando. I thought I'd give a trip report a go. My first one on here so don't expect too much. I'll try to upload some pics at some point too, probably some time next week.

*Please also bare in mind this was my first time in Florida since 1996 (17 years ago to be exact) so as you will expect A LOT has changed since I last visited.

Anyway......here goes nothing.


DAY 1 - Magic Kingdom

We didn't really want to do Magic Kingdom on our first full day due to jet lag mainly but as we were meeting up with friends who live in Florida with small kids, it was the park everyone wanted to do, so we happily accepted and went along.

We arrived at around 10 ish and we weren't too surprised to see how busy it was. It was absolutely rammed as was expected. We knew we were in for some lengthy wait times but we were excited all the same. Most importantly the sun was shining so we were happy.  The park hadn't changed all that much from my memory 17 years ago in fairness. Of course there were some new rides and others that had been updated slighly but on the whole it wasn't all that different. The new fantasyland area is a nice addition and was popular amongst the young kids of our friends. The seven dwarf ride coming in 2014 also looks absolutely stunning. Shame we were a year too early for that one.

My only minor gripe (one in which I was already aware of) was the Alien Encounter ride being replaced by the monstrosity known as Stitch's Great Escape. AE was one of my favourite attractions from my first visit to florida back in the 90's. I'd have loved another experience of it but I knew it wasn't there any longer anyway so it wasn't an unexpected blow.

We just about fought off our jet lag to hang around for the parade and fireworks. A great end to a great day. I'm not really a "Disney guy" in all honesty but I dare anyone to go there and not have a great time. It would be very difficult.

Crowd Levels: A solid 8 or 9. It was very busy.

Staff: Are they even human? Incredibly polite and helpful. Don't know how on earth they keep it up. 10/10.

Ride Count: About 10 or so. We managed one ride each on the three "mountain" attractions due to long wait times and we also did most of the other major / iconic rides in the park.

Fav Ride: Splash Mountain. Stunning ride.  :D



Day 2 - Busch Gardens to follow soon.........
 
Benjsh

Re: Florida Trip April 2013

Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:43 pm

Day 2 - Busch Gardens

After a LONG day at Magic Kingdom on the sunday, we were invited to go and stay at our friends house just outside Tampa who came to Disney with us. We had a hotel for the week but their house is huge and they live 10 mins from Bush Gardens. It was too good to turn down. And boy was it a good idea.

We arrived at 9.30. It was a monday in School term time so we kinda expected it to be quiet. But not as quiet as it turned out to be. Hardly anyone there all day. Walked on the coasters all day long. And it was hot. Total Bliss.

We decided to start things off on Gwazi after being recommended from our friends the previous night. We got on the first train of the day and shared it with only two other people. Great fun. We liked it so much that we had a couple of goes before moving on elsewhere.

We then made our way around the park doing EVERYTHING, most more than once. I think it's a record for the amount of rides we did that day. I did Cheetah Hunt at least 5 times. Absolutely breath taking coaster. Special Mentions to Sheikra and Montu as well. We whored them for a good 30 mins each. Kumba twice as it was a lot rougher than last time. Still fun though.

We rode literally everything open and left the park before closing time around 5ish. I love Busch Gardens. I had a think to myself bout how busy it would be if it were in Orlando. Glad it isn't.

Crowd Level: 1 or 2. Dead.

Staff: Fantastic. Very pleasant and helpful.

Ride Count: Far too many ;) Seriously though a stupid amount. I went a bit ride crazy that day taking advantage of the non-queues.

Fav ride: Cheetah Hunt without question. Stunning to look at. Awesome to ride. LOVVVED IT !!!




Day 3 - Universal Studios to follow soon


(I'll upload some pics some time this week of the entire trip)

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