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Alwaysaniron 6:47 Wed Jul 5
Orlando and the theme parks
Right you cunts

I'm taking my beloved family wife and kids (7&10) to the States for the very first time this August. I could trawl through the million or so posts on Tripadvisor and get bored to death or ask you lot whats good and what to avoid. Any tips on where to eat etc. Staying in both Universal and Disney and a week outside so a real mix.

Over to you my learned brethren

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Infidel 12:58 Sun Jul 9
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
My advice: cancel the holiday in Orlando. It's absolutely dreadful there.

Obese Americans eating themselves to death with giant hot dogs and 2 litre buckets of Coca-Cola. And that's only their kids: the parents weigh more on their own than your entire family put together.

Take the kids to the Florida Keys instead. Thank me later.

Sarge 2:48 Fri Jul 7
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Mickey's Pharmonic in the Magic Kingdom is always good for a 20 minute 'sitting in a fridge experience'

If the kids don't mind going on their own - or you or the missus want to sneak off and try soething they don't fancy the try and make use of the single rider lines at Universal - you'll get a lot more done.

Worked really well for us second time round (kids 10 + 12) especially on the Dudley Do Right log flume + Spiderman rides.

Granted you miss out on some of the animation / distractions in the main queuing lines but you'll spend so much less time waiting it's worth it.

We had accomodation just off junction 58 of the I4 - walking distance to Chilli's...........

weststandboy 12:05 Fri Jul 7
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
best tip I can offer if you're not fast tracking rides is if you get to the park earlier enough head straight to the the back of the park and work your way forward that way you'll not get so much queue time as most will do it the conventional way.

Oh and you will get serious humidity so duck into any air conditioned area on a regular basis (we spent 20 minutes in a tiny cinema watching steaboat willy - disneys first ever cartoon just be cause it was so pleasantly cool!)

Northern Sold 11:43 Fri Jul 7
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Westside.... granted regarding Alamo straight to the garage.. an absolute godsend... Dollar do they same with their Express... regarding Satnav... we bought one off ebay fully loaded with US maps... £30-00... still going strong 5 years later... much cheaper than their rental option at the car hire companies.... regarding tolls... I just made sure you got some loose dollars... right hand land... 4 or 5 stops.. about $6-00... apart from going back to the airport you never see another toll road (well shouldn't do)

Westside 11:26 Fri Jul 7
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Car hire/driving tips.

Make sure you get a satnav. The sceptics call them GPS.

I use Alamo and you can "check in" long before you travel. This avoids all the admin at the (often very busy) car desk when you land. Just go straight to the garage (two minute walk). Select your car from the rows of cars (with keys in), of the class you have ordered ( compact, people carrier, SUV, mid size) etc. Drive to barrier, give clerk your print out, credit card etc and away you go. If you have ordered a a sat nav, they will give it to you then. Be sure to ask for it.

Loads of toll roads. Make sure you have the prepaid option (bit like the DART system at Dartford tunnel). Make sure you use the right lanes at the tolls.

peachy75 10:05 Fri Jul 7
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
i am also going end of july and into august and my inlaws have been to florida many times.
One thing i advise is you can fast track your rides now online so if i was you and you know what days you are going where then get on this asap

DaveT 11:49 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
As you are staying at the theme parks make use of the early starts they give you and split the day up, going back to your hotel for a while. Time of year you are there is seriously hot and humid. Go with the flow and try to get over to Tampa for Busch gardens and even a baseball game. Restaurant wise there are loads but are mainly chains, always like dennys for breakfast. Orlando is good for a night out some good bars but is a distance from the parks. International drive is ok but I think a bit dated nowadays. You'll enjoy the place but it will leave a huge dent in your wallet

MikeHammer 10:06 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
My kids (9, 11, 13) lived Epcot

Each to their own !

It is hard work and depends on individuals ... my kids are very diffierent!

Mine all loved the water parks, Epcot and Kennedy .. ahead of theme parks !!! ... they must be freaks but give them water parks every day!

A. Big hit was the Boggy experience...again over to you !

My biggest tip is planning your days. Kids get tired so follow up a full on park experience with a water park or something more relaxing

Make the most of it as unless you are on benefits you won't be able to afford it for a few years !!!

Eric Hitchmoe 9:25 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
I went for the first time 10 years ago. Been lucky enough to revisit plenty of times but none of those trips quite matched the excitement and anticipation of the first. I am very envious.

Beach tip - try doing Coco Beach rather than Datona; less Brits and a much nicer beach imo.

Northern Sold 11:52 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Woodford Green 11:25 Thu Jul 6
Yeah I imagine a load of the DIBB’ers have their own Villa’s… so probably makes sense them going once or twice a year…. Then again been going since 88 and I think this is our 12th visit to Florida… we always do a 2 centre stay… bit of Orlando and then hit the coast (normally Gulf Coast)… we started hitting the West Coast and have now done that side 4 times now… fantastic place/sights and beats Florida for me… but it’s a decent second!!

Regarding Epcot

Have heard they are looking to spent $500m on a revamp to certain bits…. I still think it stands up well … I like the concept and think it works great… and as I said… drinking around the World cannot be beaten !!

ludo21 11:43 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
We liked Epcot but accept that it's not the best for younger children... excellent restaurant in the aquarium bit of Epcot with glass walls watching the sharks etc.. cruise by while eating. Best food we had as well (seafood restaurant, not surprisingly!)

Having said that we loved it all and I'm a convert (having resisted going there for years). Universal was easily the best park but enjoyed them all including Animal Kingdom and the water park.

We spent the first week in Florida on Anna Marie Island (Gulf coast) which was amazing, beautiful beaches and unspoilt and then the second week at the parks. We went late August a couple of years ago and hardly any queues... don't think I queued more than an hour for anything and that was only once or twice.

charleyfarley 11:38 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Took the kids twice, off the plane and hire car take your pick of any SUV, done all the main sites including Busch went to Daytona Beach no problem lugging bags on to the beach, just drive on.
Food is cheap and good quality, fuel is cheap. Universal was the best, pool in our villa, make sure you get good insurance, my youngest cut his arm you are greeted with a card machine where your card has to be validated before you are given any treatment, the bill was nearly $5000

Woodford Green 11:25 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Sold you have to admit that Epcot had aged quite badly. Disney are clearly not investing the sort of dollars it is on the other parks.

As others have said the dibb forums are an excellent source of info. I also find it quite funny how many of the posters on there at in their message signatures how many years they've been (some go year in year out for fucking decades) seeing it as some sort of badge of honour. Fucking crazy and a bit sad if you ask me.

For food you can't beat Denny's for breakfast and at least a couple of trips to the Olive Garden for dinner. Sweet Tomatoes is a really good buffet if you want to cut back on the meat for a night. The Yard House is a excellent too.

Northern Sold 11:16 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Dicko75…. You are joking…. Epcot shit??? It’s our fav…. I mean you not done Drinking Around the World (showcase)…. Have to have a drink in each of the countries….You’ve never lived….

Alwaysaniron….. biggest tip I can give to people doing the Disney Parks… Fastpass…. Get them set up for some of the bigger more popular rides… you can do it now from the UK 30 days before you go… you’d rather walk on with a Fastpass than queue up for an hour + (which you can do quite easily for some of their A Rides)… the new Avatar ride in Animal Kingdom did have queues up to 3 hours + not so long ago… then again there are NO fastpasses for that one at the moment… anyway enjoy like I said get over to the dibb.co.uk every answer to every question you’ll find on there….

Alwaysaniron 11:09 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Thanks everyone. All joking aside some really useful stuff. I'm sure it'll be an experience....

I'll make sure i invite you all for the 'slidshow' evening

Snatch Pasty 8:43 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Did Orlando and the parks twice when my kids were younger, and have actually booked to do this again next year.

The two best theme parks without a shadow of a doubt are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, which are located next door to each other.

The Disney parks I feel have more for the younger ones, but all parks have something for everyone.

Went out to Busch Gardens near Tampa only the once, but never felt the need to revisit this one - If you haven't done it before it's worth a look.

Others have mentioned Discovery Cove, we did that too, and you need to book this well in advance - numbers are limited each day, I don't think that you can just rock up on the day - unless that's changed. You'll only do this once!

Water parks are a good day too - and you need to build in 'rest days' - these are ideal for that. Wet & Wild is/was the poorest of these, but I think that this is closed down now, but a new park called Volcano Bay has just opened near to Universal which is meant to be the best now on offer. Typhoon Lagoon was good when we visited also..

Hope you have a great time!

ammerman 2:26 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
not that great
just go to the bar and grills

Dicko75 1:52 Thu Jul 6
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Kids are similar ages to yours. We loved...

Bushe gardens
Discovery cove
Any of the water parks
Magic kingdom
Island of adventures
Hollywood studios

Animal kingdom
Epcot (which my kids renamed epcrap)

Sarge 11:17 Wed Jul 5
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Went back for the second time at Easter.
Mine were 7 & 10 first time

You'll love it. it's all brilliant.

Cram in as much as you can

Kennedy was fascinating. Do the bus tour to the Saturn piece first

Boring practical tips
Get to the parks as early as possible and get done what you can early.-- freeze water bottles overnight.

wurzel 10:06 Wed Jul 5
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
It's the bollocks and you and the kids which are at a perfect age for it will have a great time.

That website the dibb is also very useful

Northern Sold 9:52 Wed Jul 5
Re: Orlando and the theme parks
Florida planning forum


Florida theme park forum


Orlando Food and Restaurant


Thank me later... Oh and see you out there in August

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