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Old 05-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
brendasol
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universal vs. seaworld

I need some advice!

During our next WDW trip we have one extra day to try a new park. I'm thinking either Universal's Islands of Adventure or Seaworld. It will be in December when all of the special holiday events will be taking place.


Which would you choose?
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brendasol View Post
I need some advice!

During our next WDW trip we have one extra day to try a new park. I'm thinking either Universal's Islands of Adventure or Seaworld. It will be in December when all of the special holiday events will be taking place.


Which would you choose?
Well, it all depends on what you're looking for.

Are you a fan of Harry Potter? They have the big Harry Potter World, which is pretty spectacular. And alot of other rides and big thrills there like the Hulk and Spiderman and Jurassic Park.

Do you want something more holiday themed? IMO, SeaWorld has the BEST Christmas Shows and decorations in the evening, and if that's what you are going for, given the time of year, I'd pick that. They also have Manta, Kraken , and JTA for some big thrills. (Manta is the best Roller Coaster in central florida, if you ask me). Plus all their normal daily animal interactions and what not.

Universal-big thrill rides
SeaWorld-animals and christmas shows

Depends on what you're looking for, for your experience.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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I'd LOVE to see the wizarding world of harry potter, but not all the kids can ride all the rides, and I'm concerned about the crowds at universal! I know they have passes you can buy that are similar to fast passes, but that can get very expensive x6! It would also be neat to ride the Hulk and meet the Grinch, and I think the kids would like Seuss Landing and spiderman. The price for one day at universal x6 is outrageous, plus transportation to get there, food & souveniers! Is it really worth this?

Seaworld is closer to Disney. I think the big kids would love the manta and kraken, and the polar express would be a neat experience for all. I think the kids would love seeing the animal shows too. I know we'd love seaworld.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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It seems like you're leaning towards Sea World.If you only have one day I would also maybe lean that way.Have you done Universal Studios before,Not Islands but the original park?If you had two days I would go to both Universal parks as you'll get the Macy's parade and Christmas village area at Universal,the Grinch show at Islands and maybe even a concert from a group like Mannheimer Steamroller on certain nights.If you however only have one day,then Sea World could be the better option,you'll see everything the park offers since they usually have pretty long hours this time of year and you'll get the Christmas shows as well.Last time I did Sea World for Christmas they had Wild Arctic converted to the Polar Express,they had an ice skating show,the trees on the lagoon show,some of the regular shows like the Shamu had special shows,there were fireworks at the end of the night as well as the Christmas village area where you can buy things like hot chocolate,roasted nuts etc...Then maybe another year you can try doing both Universal parks for Christmas.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by brendasol View Post
I'd LOVE to see the wizarding world of harry potter, but not all the kids can ride all the rides, and I'm concerned about the crowds at universal! I know they have passes you can buy that are similar to fast passes, but that can get very expensive x6! It would also be neat to ride the Hulk and meet the Grinch, and I think the kids would like Seuss Landing and spiderman. The price for one day at universal x6 is outrageous, plus transportation to get there, food & souveniers! Is it really worth this?

Seaworld is closer to Disney. I think the big kids would love the manta and kraken, and the polar express would be a neat experience for all. I think the kids would love seeing the animal shows too. I know we'd love seaworld.
Here is my take from Thanksgiving week 2010.

Universal IOA front of the line passes can only be used once per ride and not for all rides. My family felt that it wasn't worth it. Of course, we were there Thanksgiving Day, so VERY CROWDED. One point we couldn't even move in Harry Potter Land. It is more like a regular theme park, doesn't feel as special.
Could not even find enough to do to keep us there past supper time.

Sea World - we loved! We did Discovery Cove, so had 7 days passes at Sea World. Used the 1 the night after discovery Cove and saw most of the special shows. Went the next day and saw the rest of the park. The second day we stayed quite a while, but didn't close the park.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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If you have 6 people, staying at a Universal hotel makes more sense. That way you get unlimited express for all rides except the two rides that don't have express (Harry Potter ride and Rip Ride Rockit Rollercoaster.)

I went to both Sea World and Universal Studios at Christmas last year.

The Polar Express ride was good at Sea World. The O Wondrous night show was good too but you needed to get in line early for it (small auditorium.)

http://seaworldparks.com/en/christmas_promo/orlando


The Grinch show was excellent at Universal Studios. It's like a mini Broadway show.

The Macy's holiday show was cool too (but not as good as going to NY on Thanksgiving day to see it in person.)

I think either one are fun so I can't pick one over the other -- they're very different.

If you go to Discovery Cove, you get free admission to Sea World for the following week or two.

I didn't like any of the food on the all day dining at Universal Studios but I did like it at Sea World.

I like the food at the hotels at Universal Studios (just a short boat ride over to / from Universal Studios.)

The Express Pass is only good for one ride per day if you're not staying on site plus you need an express pass for each park -- very, very expensive even for one person never mind 6.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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The OP would need two rooms since they have 6 in their party but yes, it is soooo worth it to stay onsite! We don't do it any other way
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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Because there are 6 of us, staying in a hotel (like at universal) requires a 2 room ressie. That's the biggest reason we invested in the DVC (thank you Disney!). Now we can afford to travel more often because we don't pay cash for the rooms we stay in. I'm beginning to think that if we stayed for a week at Universal it would be worth the investment, but for just one day for us.......over $1000, I just can't justify it.

Sea World here we come!

Thanks everyone for the advice!
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