Orlando - 4 days. Need advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by throwthedice, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. throwthedice, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    throwthedice macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    #1
    Managed to get a couple of days off from work and will be traveling to Orlando with the wife. We will arrive around noon on the 14th of Jan (Sat) and Depart around noon on 18th (wed). We have never been to Orlando and would like to get the touristy stuff off our list.

    From the thread about Universal Studios, I got a scale of what to expect and it looks like these 4 days would not be enough to do everything. What I plan on is to visit Disney, Universal and Kennedy Space Center for one day each. This I feel might give us a cursory first hand idea of what to expect from these locations and we can probably come back some other time for more. Does this sound reasonable?

    What do you folks feel is the place where we can stay? Should we stay in the theme parks themselves or are there more reasonably priced options nearby? Is there something we will gain/miss significantly with either options?

    Are reservations required for all these places or can we just walk up to the counter and get the tickets? Not sure how crowded it will be considering its the MLK weekend.

    Edit: Any recommendations for things to do outside of those listed above?
     
  2. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #2
    The onsite resorts - especially in Universal - are beautiful, pretty convenient (centrally located and quick access to I4), and for Universal/Studio/IIOA, you get early access, plus (mostly importantly) Fast Passes, which are a super nice perk. There are cheaper options, but if you enjoy hanging by the pool, and a super nice hotel experience (with some nice dining options, plus the City Walk area in the case of Universal, 5 minutes away by walking or boat).

    Personally, I'd commit to Disney _or_ Universal, with all the getting into the park (especially Disney), out, parking, you're barely even going to get a full day - plus your last day is a 1/3 day, so it's really just a travel day.

    I'd Stay at Universal, do one side the first day, chill by the pool or at a nice bar in the evening, hit up a good hotel or City Walk restaurant, hit up the second park early the next day, do the Space Center on the 3rd.
     
  3. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #3
    For Disney, staying in the park = convienence + lots of $$$. Disney offers a variety of off site All Star Resorts that are reasonably priced, with transportation to the parks, however, if you are going to multiple attractions, I'd find a centrally located hotel at a reasonable price. Personally I would do no more than 1 or 2 attractions. You could easily spend 3 days at Disney. I've been to the California one, but not been to the Orlando Universal Studios, but I imagine something similar there.
     
  4. tardman91 macrumors 6502a

    tardman91

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tampa Area, FL
    #4
    This is a solid plan. At Disney you'll stand in line all day too. With a fast pass at Universal you'll be golden. In my opinion Universal is more fun for adults too, unless you're the Disney loving type.
     
  5. throwthedice thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    #5
    Thanks a lot for your responses guys, I looked up all the parks/attractions and definitely think Universal should be prioritized. Unfortunately the resorts at these places are a tad overpriced for me, so I will be booking a hotel nearby.
    Car rentals from On Airport locations seem very very cheap (as compared to NY/NJ). Wonder if there's any catch with that.

    @tardman91 @Huntn @D.T.
     
  6. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #6
    No catch as far as I know, a lot of cars to rent, supply and demand.
     
  7. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #7
    The new Cabana Bay has cheaper rates, you do get early admission, but not Fast Passes. There's a shuttle, but lots of folks say it's an easy walk to the parks (it's close for sure). Walking is one reason we like the Royal Pacific or Hard Rock, they're a 5 minute walk to the parks, no need to wait for a boat, quick to get back to the room if you need something, etc.

    Speaking of Fast Passes: they do give you much quicker access on many rides, so get to do much more. If you have any inclination about buying those, factor that price in vs. the onsite hotels that include them, it starts getting really close - plus no parking, no driving, etc.

    We're actually going next week :D
     
  8. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    If you've never been to Disney and you're deciding between Disney and Universal, go with Disney. The whole operation is just 100x better. Universal is great, but it's no Disney.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Agreed, whether you're talking about how the parks are maintained, or how the CMs (Cast Members) treat you. I found Disney to be a notch above everyone.
     
  10. D.T., Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017

    D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #10
    This doesn't need to turn into a Disney vs Universal, but it really depends on your interests, you know, the properties you really like, the type of rides (coasters!), the park layout/access and accessibility to your resort, if you like to have an adult beverage (regardless of the park you're in - Disney has loosened up, but it's not as liberal as Universal).

    Our 8-3/4 little G is totally over princesses, she's into Harry Potter, BIG coasters, loves the Simpsons and Sponge Bob (lots of opps to meet and greet those characters), we don't really have any connection (for lack of better terms) to "classic disney", so all those old Magic Kingdom rides (Pan, Small World ...), were just sort of tedious for us.

    If you've never been to Disney (you have to go at least once!), have very small kids, are into Disney properties (Snow White, etc.), want more (Disney) character meet and greets, want some Star Wars experience, it'll be fun.

    If you're into Marvel, Potter, like major coasters, want things a little more compact/walk-able, have very small kids ( :D ... for areas like Suess / Dino parks without having to travel), and enjoy an adult bev, Universal will be fun.

    I think each appeals more to a particular personality type too, same as any sort of subjective experience like movies, TV, music, other activities and interests.

    I find both parks to be clean, family friendly, well managed (been to both over 50 times in the last decade :) )
    --- Post Merged, Jan 1, 2017 ---
    Additional tip for the OP: avoid cafeteria style restaurants, they're awful in either park.

    At Universal, exit either park into City Walk (directly accessible to either park by walking) and go to Hard Rock, NBC Sports Grill - solid bar/grill, microbrews, good friendly service, NBC has a nice open air design. If you're in the Studio park, try Finnegan's, sit down, full service pub.

    Secret tip: on the Islands side, go to Confisco's, but sit in the bar (avoid normal lunch time), and you can order from the full menu, it's quieter, more cozy, the bartenders are terrific.
     

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