Argh, I just wrote out a MASSIVE reply then clicked the wrong button.
I'll try to remember everything...
I've been twice in the last few years and I'm planning a third trip for my honeymoon next year. We've been quite meticulous in how we've planned our trips and have generally found the following has worked well for us. It's just advice though, so take it how you wish Tickets:
Although the bundle deals seem attractive, you can usually work a better price if you shop around and look at the various options.
Disney - I would avoid the UK deals (14, 21 day passes etc) and instead shop for the US deals and specifically the 'Magic Your Way' passes. These start at $110 for a single day pass but drastically reduce with the more days you purchase, and once you get up to 4 days you'll receive a 5th day free, and so on. Taylor this to the number of days you plan to spend in Disney parks and you'll probably end up getting a better deal (I know we did!). You can also buy park-hopper tickets if you plan on visiting more than one park in a day. Probably not advisable if it's your first trip, as you'll need a day for each park, but a good option if it's a return visit.
Seaworld parks: Seaworld do a multi-park ticket that includes Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens. You can buy a 7, 14 or 21 day pass which runs consecutively from first day of use. It's also worth noting that Busch Gardens run buses from I-drive which are free if you have a multi-park ticket. You just have to book in advance via their website.
Universal: Universal do their own multi-park ticket which gives you access to both parks and boardwalk.
Now, weirdly, I've always found it cheaper to buy the Seaworld and Universal multi tickets instead of the Orlando flex ticket. Perhaps that's changed in the last 18 months, but just my experience.
I've not visited Legoland so can't comment. So if you can get a multi-park ticket that includes that as well, then that may be a better option.
Funspot and the other midway attractions will charge you per ride, or you can buy an unlimited pass. White Lightening is great and is definitely worth doing, but the other rides are fair ground style at best.Location:
I would always recommend staying on International Drive. It will be more cost effective and you're right in the middle of all the action. Seaworld, Universal, Aquatica, Funspot and all the mid-way attractions are easily accessible via the I-ride trolley (although you will have a 15 minute walk for Universal), as mentioned above, Busch run buses, and the majority of hotels will run shuttle buses to Epcot, from which you can reach any other Disney park via Disney's free on-site transportation network.
You also have plenty of shopping and restaurants, too.Queues:
September is off-season, and generally parks will be less busy. My previous visits were in May and October, so you'll probably experience similar visitor numbers.
Disney: Disney doesn't really have an 'off-season' sadly, it's either busy or super-busy. So you will find yourself in lengthy queues. However, familiarise yourself with the Fastpass system as you can save yourself some time. This will allow you to pre-book slots for 3 attractions per day. That being said, they're not silly, and you will only be able to book 1 headline attraction as part of those 3. Also bare in mind that people will pick their spots for the parades and fireworks 2-3 hours in advance, which is crazy.
Universal: Aside from the major Harry Potter attractions, you should find that queue times are fairly low. Universal tend to run a great operation on their rides, so they eat through queues quickly. I wouldn't anticipate you'll queue much more than 15-20 minutes for most rides, unless they experience break downs.
Seaworld: Contrary to other comments in the thread, I've never experienced big queues for the coasters at Seaworld. On both occasions I've been I've not queued longer than 15 minutes for Manta and have walked on to Kraken - even achieving 6 consecutive re-rides!
Busch Gardens: Again, out of season, it's unlikely to be too busy. They don't run as speedy an operation as Universal, but at the time of year you're going, you shouldn't experience large queues. As with the above, rides like SheiKra and Montu have been virtually walk-ons whenever I've been, with minimal queues for Kumba (due to break down) and Cheetah Hunt (as it's the nearest to the entrance). I'd also highly recommend the Serengeti Safari. It's an additional fee but a great experience.
Flight-wise, you'll be fine with Virgin standard seats. I'm 6ft, have long legs and generally despise long haul flights for this reason, but I've never had an issue flying Virgin to the states. The Thomson dreamliner would be even nicer though.
Finally, as a piece of general advice, plan in some chill-out days. The theme parks are huge amounts of fun, but you'll be doing long days with lots of walking which can be very tiring and the last thing you want to do is burn out. Give yourself a break every 2-3 days and you'll feel better for it. Soak up some rays by the pool, do a bit a shopping at the factory outlets etc.
Orlando is an amazing place and you'll have a great time - but planning your days can make a big difference
P.S. Be sure to eat at Texas Brazil at the north of I-drive. Pricey, but worth every cent.