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Author Topic: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?  (Read 666 times)

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Offline Al TeregoTopic starter

I know that asking for advice at the last possible moment is not the wisest thing to do, but we are going on a last-minute trip to Florida which kind of landed on us by surprise so here we are.

Accommodations and transportation are already arranged so the only thing left is deciding on the attractions, and since we will be leaving very soon, we have to order tickets for theme parks etc., tonight.

So my question is:
For kids aged 11,14,18 would you recommend Universal or Disney?  Assuming they have not been to either (or to any other theme park other than Canada's Wonderland) and will not likely to go again anytime soon.

Also, any other survival and/or money saving tips (Canadian dollar is really low, we're going to get shafted) would be appreciated!

Thank you!

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 11:38:23 AM »
If you have Harry Potter fans in the group, I suggest Universal.  My personal pick is Disney although I am bias.

Offline Al TeregoTopic starter

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 03:40:07 PM »
My personal pick is Disney although I am bias.

Would you care to elaborate?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2015, 03:47:54 PM »
When I was young, my family would go to Disneyland almost every Summer.  Now, when I go, it takes me back to that time.  Disneyland is not Disney World, but it would still be my choice over Universal.

Offline Al TeregoTopic starter

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 04:09:59 PM »
And they say that nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

Offline DudelRok

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 10:59:16 AM »
Not sure how useful this will be or not, seeing as it's been a couple days (not sure what 'last minute' is defined as) but as a born and raised Floridian, I can maybe help out a bit.


First one on that list would be Disney is mostly for younger kids. With older kids like that you'll want Universal. More rides. More interactions. Less photo ops, etc. It's more "action oriented" which would gear to an older kid.

Second, the main way to save money is to get a hotel as far away from Universal/Disney as possible. The closer you are the more you spend. Also don't eat on park property if you can avoid it (that's super expensive). We used to bring small snacks or bottled water, then maybe eat dinner on the way home (or hotel in your case) which would be off-property but still fairly thematic in nature because Orlando.

Also, this: Universal's Policies and Restrictions for Outside Food/Drink

Quote
Security and Restrictions

For your safety we have enhanced the security procedures at both theme parks and ask for your understanding and cooperation.

Please note the following restrictions:

    All bags, backpacks or packages will be inspected prior to entering the theme parks.
    We recommend you leave unnecessary articles in your car and secure valuables in your trunk.
    The following are additional items that are not permitted: any type of weapon, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, large duffle bags, folding chairs, and large umbrellas.


We offer a variety of fresh, delicious food for our guests to enjoy at restaurants and concession stands throughout our resort; however, we understand that guests may need to bring outside food and drink into our parks. Please note the following guidelines for bringing food and drink into our parks:

Acceptable items:

    Bottled water
    Small snacks that do not require heating
    Any food required for medical purposes and medically–indicated nutritional supplements
    Any food required for special dietary needs
    Baby food/baby formula
    Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5" wide x 6" high x 6" deep


Prohibited items:

    Picnic lunches
    Food that requires heating or refrigeration
    Alcohol and glass containers
    Hard-sided coolers
    Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5" wide x 6" high x 6" deep
    Coolers, suitcases, and bags with wheels
    Clothing with offensive language or content
    Clothing that represents someone as emergency personnel


Please be advised that all bags and personal items are subject to inspection.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 04:08:48 PM »
Get an all park multi-day pass with VIP passes to Universal you can hit Universal and bother Harry Potter Parks as you wish and get in an hour early if you stay on site before the rabble. And abuse the VIP if your kids want a wand at Ollivander's its a show you can get each one in first insist on it and many of the less popular attractions go right to the most popular attractions first before the rabble who come in at the regular time go in. In fact the VIP is amazing if expensive if your peeing away money might as well go around before the scum.

Offline Al TeregoTopic starter

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 10:12:41 PM »
Thanks DudelRok!

We already bought the tickets, but the rest of your advice is very helpful!

Offline Somnifera

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Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 10:55:39 PM »
Unless time is of the essence or you can't transport further out, try not to eat on the I-Drive strip that's out by Universal and the major Orlando area. Everything's overpriced for the quality, what you're really paying for is the convenience. Disney is way more fun for younger kids (but Universal Islands of Adventure recently combatted that with the addition of the Harry Potter area), but just a reminder, Universal Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure are two completely different parks and the first one is not all that exciting in the least.

Offline Al TeregoTopic starter

Re: Urgent plea for suggestions/advice for a last-minute trip to Florida?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 10:49:40 PM »
Thanks, Somnifera!

We ended up buying the "2 days + 2 free" tickets on underground tourist, which include both the studios and the island.
Visited the studios today, the kids had fun.
Will go to the adventure island tomorrow.