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Old 05-07-2013, 05:48 AM   #1
EnduringWone's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 81

Smile Planning for US/IOA, SW and BG trip

I hope this is okay to post here.

We are planning for a trip in early Dec. We are planning on spending Sun/Mon/Tues at US/IOA and then Wed/Thurs at SW and Friday at BG. But if the crowds would be too bad on a Sun we would have to do some rearranging.

We plan on arriving on a Saturday and just enjoying City Walk for that day. We usually go to Disney and on travel day we go to DTD. So we figured we would do the same here. It is about an eight hour drive for us coming from SC. We would stay off site this night.

We are contemplating staying on property for our time at US/IOA, either two days or three, to take advantage of "fast pass" and early entry. We do not ride the exciting rides except for Spiderman and DH wants to check out the Transformers and our daughter the Forbidden Journey ride at the HP section if it is not too scary. (She is 9, but weighs 47lbs and is 53 inches tall) but NO ROLLERCOASTERS. Are the pools heated? She does wear a short version of a wet suit but we will be there in Dec so I don't know if we will get to take advantage if the weather is too bad and/or the pools are not heated. Usually the weather is great to us that time of year. I don't know what hours the parks are open to at this time of year, I am assuming 9-9? We could leave in the middle of the day, lounge by the pool for a couple of hours? Or no?

We do need to be up early on the Harry Potter (IOA) day correct? Go to Ollivander's and then the Forbidden Journey ride or tour all the shops first? We figured US the first day and then IOA and then any faves on the third day.

With Disney I make reservations six months in advance for restaurants, do I need to do that with US/IOA and City Walk?

We plan to eat dinner at Bubba Gump the first night, Tchoup Chop, The Three Broomsticks and lunch one day at Mythos. Maybe make Broomsticks for lunch and try Finnegans? The Irish place, right?

Next would be SeaWorld for two days and we move to a free hotel (hotel points) for the rest of our stay. We were going to pay to do the penguin tour, the dolphin tour and the sea lions. Our daughter LOVES animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. We think she would really enjoy these encounters. We plan on eating one night at the Shark Underwater Grill and one night at Dinner with Shamu.

The final night we would go to Tampa and go to Busch Gardens, but if you are not roller coaster people is it worth it? Again, to say our daughter loves animals is an understatement. She goes to the Humane Society site weekly and makes a list of the animals that need to be adopted and prays for them and she collects newspapers from the neighbors to donate and donates a portion of her allowance to the local shelter. We were going to do the safari and the tour with the tigers and orangutans. We figured we would eat at the Crown Club.

We might add a couple more days if we get the 6 park pass. We will not do waterparks, our daughter gets too cold and gets sick.

Any advice or ideas on the order of the trip, tours to recommend, etc.?

Thanks so much.

Oh, we would arrive Dec 7th.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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i gave you some information in your other thread where you posted and will add on to you here.

the pools at the onsite hotels are heated.

i suggest you do the rides and show at parry hotter before you do the shops.

staying onsite, use the early entry so your line/show wait will be minimal.

if you are staying onsite for 2 nights, and you buy merch at the shops, tell the TM you want the stuff sent to your room.
this way you don't have to carry it around with you for the day.

you need to stay 2 nights on site for this free merch delivery service.
it is set up to be delivered directly to your room on the day after you make the purchase.

if you stay off site, or only one night onsite, you can still use this service.
any one in the park can do this too.

buy merch in any store at the studios or ioa, tell the TM you want it delivered to the front merch store.
it will be tagged and you will receive a claim ticket at this time.
it can take up to 3 hours for it to be inventoried into the holding store if the park is packed. if crowds are light, you can be told the merch will be available for your pick up in one hour.

if you are flying, tell the TM to wrap the merch for a flight.
it will have extra padding then.

i believe you are about to make a decision on staying onsite a few nights.
what you can do is use this service and either have it directed to your room or pick up the merch at the end of the day.
you can park hop (if you have P2P tickets) and pick up your belongings at the end of the night.
this saves you the cost of renting a locker in the front for the day.

you do not need to make your food reservations months out.
if you are going early december, the park will not be packed the entire time.

you can use www.opentable.com for advanced ressies, make a ressie once you are at city walk at the kiosk stand, or use your room key for a priority seating as a walk up to the eateries.

Bubba Gump does ressies for groups 6 or more.

finnegans is the only place i do advanced ressie as it is for the time period of hhn.
other than that, i decide on the day i am in the park or the day before if i am to make a ressie.

many times i do walk up.

a lot depends on the date of your trip to determine if months out reservations will be needed.

i forgot your other questions.
i may be back............
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