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View Full Version : Is there enough to do for 6 nts/7days?


Monica20039
12-11-2008, 11:03 AM
We want to go to US/IOA for about 6 nights/7days. I am concerned that there won't be enough for us to do to warrant staying that long. Furthermore, unlike Disney, I don't think the US dining plan or meal ticket is all that great, so I am afraid we're going to spend a fortune on food.

We really want to go because we love theme parks and thrill rides, but I have some worries that hopefully you all can help me with.

We won't have a car nor do we want to rent one, so driving around is not an option.

lisareneeo
12-11-2008, 12:06 PM
We just went at the end of Oct/beg Nov for 6 nights/7 days. It is a lot of days for just US/IOA

On the day we arrived we got to US around noon and did almost everything we wanted to do by 5:00pm (We were staying at HRH and had front of the line and there were low crowds)

We did spend one day at Sea World and one day at Sea World's water park (Aquatica) and were able to take our time at US/IOA because of the length of stay.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't the best during our trip so we did not utilize the pool as much....if it was warmer we would have loved a day or two swimming. My kids did swim in the evening (they didn't care how chilly it was) but if it was nicer we would have had a pool day.

Sorry to ramble on....but my personal opinion is that 7 days is a lot of time for just the 2 parks. If you add some other things on and a pool day or two it would be fine. But it is not Disney, where 7 days is almost not enough (in my opinion)

Good luck and consider staying on property. We loved the Hard Rock!

damo
12-11-2008, 12:43 PM
It is a totally different vacation from 7 days at Disney. You will actually spend time sitting by the pool and doing non-park things. If you want to do a commando style vacation then it is probably too much. Remember that there is a free shuttle to Sea World from the Universal Hotels.

For meals, there are some excellent inexpensive eateries. Sal's deli at Portofino Bay Hotel has excellent pizzas and salads for a very low cost, just as one example. It is fun to make an event of it and time it for when the balcony singers are out. It is also fun to wander through the hotel and admire all the nooks and crannies. You can also pool hop and the pool is gorgeous.

rwdavis2
12-11-2008, 02:12 PM
No. You can do virtually everything in both parks in 2 days if they aren't too crowded. Three at the most.
BD

Kay1
12-11-2008, 03:29 PM
I guess if you stayed onsite you could take advantage of the whole resort experience. You don't say what time of year you plan to visit. If it's during the winter, it may be too cold to really count on swimming.

Of course, there's CityWalk and that can be a lot of fun, too. Personally, I would probably do it because I enjoy the mix of relaxation and excitement.

damo
12-11-2008, 03:42 PM
Furthermore, unlike Disney, I don't think the US dining plan or meal ticket is all that great, so I am afraid we're going to spend a fortune on food.



Remember that since you will be saving a lot of money on tickets (tickets for a 7 day Universal vacation are $94.99 each where tickets for 7 days at Disney are $242.00 -- non hopper) you can spend that extra $300 on food and still come out even.

Catrinabeach
12-11-2008, 03:48 PM
We like the longer stays so we can spend just a few hrs each day in the parks and then go shopping on international drive, try some of the restaurants on international drive (we don't drive we take a cab to International Dr and walk to where which stores we want and then grab a cab home when we are done), And then we also spend a day at the pool.

It's much more of a vacation than a trip to Disney. Disney is about trying to get as much done as possible in that time. Universal is about taking a break and a vacation. It's so much more laid back and relaxed but still being able to go on the rides you want to and as many times as you want to.

Our kids love to be able to go on their favorite rides as many times as they want !

swilshire
12-11-2008, 07:17 PM
We spent 6 nights/7 days there in October. We got there before opening every day and left when we got hungry for lunch (usually around 1ish). That let us ride a lot of rides before the lines got long. DS14 went back alone after lunch a couple of days for more rides.

I think I'd go a bit nutty without a car, but we didn't do a whole lot. It just let us make grocery runs (we mostly ate in our condo) and do a bit of shopping. We went to Haines City to the mousesurplus store.

We played mini-golf at the resort a couple of days. Attended one of the kids' activities. Generally puttered around. Pretty relaxed.

Sheila

macraven
12-11-2008, 08:03 PM
We want to go to US/IOA for about 6 nights/7days. I am concerned that there won't be enough for us to do to warrant staying that long. Furthermore, unlike Disney, I don't think the US dining plan or meal ticket is all that great, so I am afraid we're going to spend a fortune on food.

We really want to go because we love theme parks and thrill rides, but I have some worries that hopefully you all can help me with.

We won't have a car nor do we want to rent one, so driving around is not an option.


in order for me to be more helpful with your questions, can you share what time period you plan to do the universal vacation? is this an adults only trip or will there be teens or young children with you?

also, are you planning to stay off site and take a shuttle or walk to the parks or, staying on site?

i spent the last few minutes typing up ways to spend your time at universal.
then i thought, my suggestions might not be the best for you if when you go the parks might close early or if you stay off site.

i'll be better able to help you if i know your dates and if you are staying off or on site and make up of your group.

no matter what season i go, my stays range from 4 nights/5 days up to 6 nights/7 days. i am coming from disney with an 8 night stay there before my universal portion of the vacation. i can't swing much more than the 15 night stay in orlando.

i spend a lot of time in the parks and take breaks back at the hotel.
i stay onsite so that is not a time issue for me.

i explore the 3 hotels, pool hop at all of them, and sometimes do a lunch there in the afternoon. on some occasions, i eat at city walk. during each stay, i have to eat at hard rock cafe.
if you are there in the afternoon, you can ask for the free tour that is not open to the public normally.

some times i stay at the park and eat there with no breaks going back to the hotel room.

i do spend time in the shops at city walk, some evenings take in a movie at the cineplex. other evenings if it is a weekend, watch the live entertainment at city walk.

i have taken my boys to the breakfast at IOA and dinners at the hotels for the magician performance. both of those took a chunk out of our time when we did that.

some evenings if the parks close early, i have done the dive in movies at the hotel pool.

the onsite hotels provides free transportation to sea world and wet and wild.
they also have transportation to busch gardens in tampa.

for me, i prefer a 5 night / 6 day stay onsite as i am now going solo on my trips. for a family of 2 or more people, i think you could stay entertained for 6 nights/7 days.

when i stay at disney, i get up early and don't go back to my resort room until the parks close down. bus transportation there does take a lot of time if you are park hopping or going to a resort restaruant. disney parks are more spread out including dtd.

then i move over to universal and take a slower pace to do everything.
universal is two parks that are maybe a short 5 minute walk to each other.
city walk not much of a down time for walking to also.

basically, if you are staying onsite, there isn't much down time to rush to get anywhere there. it's all close together.

if you are staying off site and using a hotel shuttle, probably only takes less than 15 minutes of your time to travel from park to hotel and vice versa.

you'll get lots of opinions on your question. many people enjoy the park in different ways. some are there strictly for the rides and never do the shows or wander away from the parks.
others make it a relaxing leisure trip and take in all the sights.

what ever you decide, i hope you have a great time at universal.

BrerMama
12-29-2008, 03:14 PM
We are thinking about going for a week in mid-June. We have 3 kids (ages 15, 13, and 9) and would be staying at the Hard Rock. We already have the 2 park/unlimited admission tickets. We bought them 2 years ago planning to go to US/IOA, then plans changed.

We generally vacation (several times a year) in Branson, where we will go to a theme park until noon, go back to the hotel for several hours, play in the pool, etc., and then either go back to a theme park or go out for the evening. I like relaxed. I like to sit and just enjoy the atmosphere at theme parks. My son (the 15 y.o.) is much like me. The older of my 2 daughters is a huge thrill seeker, like her dad. The youngest will ride some "adult" rides, and is more than tall enough, but is still a kid at heart.

Does a week at US sound like something we could do? I'm picturing lots of time by the pool. Possibly a trip to Sea World and/or Aquatica. If we do those two, we'll rent a vehicle. Is it possible to stay at US resorts for a week without a vehicle if we don't add the Sea World places?

Any suggestions? Comments?

macraven
12-29-2008, 03:36 PM
We are thinking about going for a week in mid-June. We have 3 kids (ages 15, 13, and 9) and would be staying at the Hard Rock. We already have the 2 park/unlimited admission tickets. We bought them 2 years ago planning to go to US/IOA, then plans changed.

We generally vacation (several times a year) in Branson, where we will go to a theme park until noon, go back to the hotel for several hours, play in the pool, etc., and then either go back to a theme park or go out for the evening. I like relaxed. I like to sit and just enjoy the atmosphere at theme parks. My son (the 15 y.o.) is much like me. The older of my 2 daughters is a huge thrill seeker, like her dad. The youngest will ride some "adult" rides, and is more than tall enough, but is still a kid at heart.

Does a week at US sound like something we could do? I'm picturing lots of time by the pool. Possibly a trip to Sea World and/or Aquatica. If we do those two, we'll rent a vehicle. Is it possible to stay at US resorts for a week without a vehicle if we don't add the Sea World places?

Any suggestions? Comments?

i have been to branson many many times and to six flags over mid america.
used to be a st louis gal........

those places are fun but universal is better for me. i'm sure your family would enjoy it.
glad you are going to try universal in the early summer.

if you stay onsite at universal, there are free shuttles to sea world and wet and wild.
some people don't like the scheduled runs for those places but they really aren't too bad. it would cost about $15 for a cab if you went to SW and decided to return before 4:30 to the hotel.

that is still cheaper than renting a car for that trip.
the loews hotels has a parking charge for those with cars staying at the hotel. if you can avoid a car rental and want to do SW, try the shuttle from the hotel.

i can easily stay a week at the onsite hotels and not get bored.
i go solo now and have the last 5 years to orlando.

the schedule you have followed for the st louis/branson area attractions can be used at universal also.
do the park, come back to the pool and hang out, return to the park late afternoon.

city walk has stores, resturants, some outdoor entertainment on the weekends and the cinema. i save those things for evening time when i am there.

there are pool games and entertainment at the hrh pool for everyone.
no boredom there.

you can check out the other 2 onsite hotels.
you can pool hop and try out the other pools for an afternoon.
towels are provided for all guests. just show your room key.
pool hopping is encouraged at the loews hotels.

universal trips that have a family stay for a week are very relaxing.
you don't have to rush to the parks or have much of a wait in line for rides and attractions. your room key allows the hotel guest FOTL at the parks.

damo
12-29-2008, 04:06 PM
We are thinking about going for a week in mid-June. We have 3 kids (ages 15, 13, and 9) and would be staying at the Hard Rock. We already have the 2 park/unlimited admission tickets. We bought them 2 years ago planning to go to US/IOA, then plans changed.

We generally vacation (several times a year) in Branson, where we will go to a theme park until noon, go back to the hotel for several hours, play in the pool, etc., and then either go back to a theme park or go out for the evening. I like relaxed. I like to sit and just enjoy the atmosphere at theme parks. My son (the 15 y.o.) is much like me. The older of my 2 daughters is a huge thrill seeker, like her dad. The youngest will ride some "adult" rides, and is more than tall enough, but is still a kid at heart.

Does a week at US sound like something we could do? I'm picturing lots of time by the pool. Possibly a trip to Sea World and/or Aquatica. If we do those two, we'll rent a vehicle. Is it possible to stay at US resorts for a week without a vehicle if we don't add the Sea World places?

Any suggestions? Comments?


I'm not sure if you know but there is a free shuttle from Universal to Sea World. You don't realy need a vehicle.

nymomof3
12-29-2008, 07:10 PM
this is just my opinion but when we go to us/ioa we always stay at least 6 nights cause its also our once a year vacation..we go in july and untilize the pools all day and some mornings my dh would take the kids just on the water rides and then meet me back at the pool..the kids loved that cause there was hardly any lines..

we then take showers and get cleaned up and eat a early dinner around 5ish and enjoy all the parks have to offer..we dont rush cause we know we have plenty of time...the food by the pool at rpr is not expensive and it isnt that bad either...

these are just some ideas but its up to you if you want to spend the extra money on staying on site...for extra nights

AlexandNessa
12-29-2008, 07:50 PM
Don't forget there is a $10 shuttle from Universal to Busch Gardens Tampa as well.

BuckeyeGuy28
12-29-2008, 10:30 PM
Think of it this way:

Universal wouldn't offer a week-long ticket if they thought you couldn't use it, because they wouldn't make money selling something totally worthless;)
You can spend a couple days at Citywalk, one shopping, one seeing movies, both clubbing, maybe. You could easily spend three days in the parks, and then you have a day at the hotel. You could go to SeaWorld or Aquatica...and you don't have to do theme parks. Drive down I-Drive for lots of fun stuff or go catch a show downtown and do stuff like that that you would do if you were vacationing in a non-theme park capital. Also, there's a good number of activities to do at the Hard Rock, and if you ever get bored, something extra is always going on inside the parks--if you take the time to explore each one outside the high-traffic ride areas, you can find neat little surprises (a perfect example, I once spent hours in the Curious George ball playground after literally stumbling to it) I hope you have lots of fun!:banana:

damo
12-29-2008, 10:50 PM
Think of it this way:

Universal wouldn't offer a week-long ticket if they thought you couldn't use it, because they wouldn't make money selling something totally worthless;)
You can spend a couple days at Citywalk, one shopping, one seeing movies, both clubbing, maybe. You could easily spend three days in the parks, and then you have a day at the hotel. You could go to SeaWorld or Aquatica...and you don't have to do theme parks. Drive down I-Drive for lots of fun stuff or go catch a show downtown and do stuff like that that you would do if you were vacationing in a non-theme park capital. Also, there's a good number of activities to do at the Hard Rock, and if you ever get bored, something extra is always going on inside the parks--if you take the time to explore each one outside the high-traffic ride areas, you can find neat little surprises (a perfect example, I once spent hours in the Curious George ball playground after literally stumbling to it) I hope you have lots of fun!:banana:

Me Ship the Olive is a lot of fun when you are wet too. Those slides become somewhat of a dangerous ride...not for the lighthearted.

ksdave
12-29-2008, 11:20 PM
We spent a full week there a few years ago. It was awesome. We got to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. One day my wife and I decided to just relax at the pub at Confisco Grill for a couple of hours while my kids rode Hulk 12 times in a row. Another afternoon, my wife shopped all of the shops in IOA while I walked the entire park with my complete 35mm camera set and shot 8 rolls of film. We had another day of just hanging at the Beach Pool at Portofino and doing dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop that night. After dinner, we explored the Royal Pacific and tried all of their pubs. One night we did Citywalk until closing and slept in the next day. If you can relax and take your time, you'll actually come home more rested than when you left, which NEVER happened to us with a WDW trip!

damo
12-30-2008, 07:57 AM
You can take one day and just see the shows. This is something that most people leave out of their trip but there are so many little shows that should not be missed.

Beetlejuice, Blues Brothers, Horror Makeup, the Magic Show across the street from Horrow Makeup, Shrek and Donkey, etc.

BrerMama
12-30-2008, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the responses. My 13 year old was giving us some grief over this idea (we have Disney booked, but switching to US/IOA only would be 1/3 the cost), but she's coming around to it. I think the idea of spending a day lying by the pool sounds heavenly. I think this is what we'll end up doing. Just waiting on my dh to firm up his vacation dates at work.

macraven
12-30-2008, 09:51 AM
your teen will really enjoy the games and activites that are held around the pool.



hula hoop anyone?

Planogirl
12-31-2008, 03:45 PM
I think I could do this because I can easily spend four days at the Universal parks themselves and then it's pretty easy to get to Seaworld or Wet 'n Wild. Hanging out by the pools sounds pretty good right now too. :)