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Old 06-30-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
rowan555
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Taking my 12 Year Old to Universal - How Many Days?

We took both our kids to Disney back in 2007, but this time around it's just me and my daughter - she's a thrill ride enthusiast, and my son couldn't care less, so we're doing a girls' trip in August. I'm trying to decide how many days to stay at an onsite hotel, and that will depend largely on how many days of Universal we want to do. I see the price for a 4 day pass isn't much more than a 2 day pass, but the hotel stay does add up.

I'm sure we'll want to do some of the rides multiple times, and we'll have Express Passes since we're staying on site. With that in mind, is it crazy to consider spending 4 days at the parks, factoring in afternoon breaks/swims each day? I want to enjoy the parks as much as possible, as this is likely a once in a lifetime trip for us - but I also don't want us to end up "bored", or to wish we'd done half the trip at Sea World, Disney, etc. For the price, spending 4 days at Universal would work out great for us, as long as there's enough to do to keep us occupied. Thoughts?

Our plan is to spend the 5th day of our time in FL in Downtown Disney to get a tiny Disney fix, then start driving home that evening and stay overnight on the way. Just a little aside...
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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if this is your once and only trip in a life time, do the 4 days as you mentioned.


stay onsite to get the total effect of what the parks have to offer.
do all the shows, the rides, explore the other hotels' pools/ stores/ lobby/ restaurants, city walk, mini golf.


you can take your time and breaks during the day as August does get hot.



you will have some crowds in the park until the last week of August.


onsite hotels rates usually do go down at the very end of the month/aug.


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Old 06-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #3
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I got a pretty good deal - $187 a night - for staying on site 4 nights. Prior to that I was considering getting the Flex Tickets and trying to squeeze in Sea World and Aquatica - but perhaps just sticking with Universal at a slower pace is the way to go. I just wasn't sure we could "fill" four days with that - simply since I've never been before. I'd rather enjoy ALL of Universal than feel we're rushing through to get to the next thing, though, you know?
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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if you decide you want to spend time at Sea World, the free bus shuttle from the darkside hotels is free to SW.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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if you decide you want to spend time at Sea World, the free bus shuttle from the darkside hotels is free to SW.

Do you think Sea World is worth the cost of a one day pass? It's hard for me to tell from the website. I'm thinking we might just spend a day at Disney Quest or Typhoon Lagoon with some unused plus passes we still have...but not sure yet. Too many decisions to make!
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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Do you think Sea World is worth the cost of a one day pass? It's hard for me to tell from the website. I'm thinking we might just spend a day at Disney Quest or Typhoon Lagoon with some unused plus passes we still have...but not sure yet. Too many decisions to make!
depends on which entertainment would be your favorite.

you know disney quest and typhoon lagoon since you have been to disney before.
not that you have done the two above, but you have more of an idea what they are about from the disney advertising.

read up on sea world.
check the SW forum and see if that place would be of interest to you both for a full day.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowan555 View Post
Do you think Sea World is worth the cost of a one day pass? It's hard for me to tell from the website. I'm thinking we might just spend a day at Disney Quest or Typhoon Lagoon with some unused plus passes we still have...but not sure yet. Too many decisions to make!
I think Sea World is worth it if you like shows and animals, plus there are two amazing coasters your daughter will love (plus some other good rides). I haven't been to Disney Quest in forever, but from what I've heard it hasn't been updated much in the past decade and appears kind of dated now.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:00 PM   #8
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Don't forget that Sea World has a fairly new water park that is supposed to be pretty nice too. Just another option.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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If I only had four days and it was my first visit, I would just stay only at UO. You have 2 parks, great pools and dining options, as well as shopping and mini-golf. And don't forget Blue Man Group and the theater if you want.

Lots to do and enjoy just onsite in four days. It is a much more relaxing and easy-going kind of vacation then WDW. You won't have to rush around, you can just enjoy all the little details that UO puts into the resorts and parks, and take your time.

I would not worry about being bored and going elsewhere. Just plan on taking your time and soaking it all in.

And maybe some mother-daughter spa time would be fun...
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for the thoughts. I just asked my daughter this morning if she'd like to rush around and do 4 parks in 4 days, or take it easy and do 4 days at the two parks, with lots of pool time, shopping (well, window shopping, lol) time, mini golf, naps here and there. She chose the latter option. I think it will be a win/win. We will get the most of our on site stay, and then we can still spend one of our 5 days at Downtown Disney - she wants to get her pin-trading fix in and loves the shops there, but she's not keen on visiting the parks this time. That will leave plenty of time as well to just explore Orlando the one day I have to get in my car and drive - and I'm sure we'll find some other low key things to do. She saw that the "biggest McDonald's in the world" is allegedly on I Drive, so she wants to check it out while we're there. Sigh...
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #11
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I normally do the 4 day and never remotely get bored. But 2 days will cover it. But I still feel rushed if I only do 2.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:00 PM   #12
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Thanks! It's so little money to buy a 4 day ticket instead of a 2 day, it just seems to make sense. We can always come and go from the parks and break up the day with other things.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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I agree that four days will make it a relaxing vacation. We usually go for three days and it is nice because we can go back and swim with just a short walk. We actually even sleep late sometimes! We would never be able to do that at Disney, but with Express Pass we don't have to rush to the park to get fast passes. we take it easy. It is a completely different type of vacation then when we go to Disney and hit parks at rope drop!
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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You may want to check, but for is, the upgrade to power pass from 4 day park to park was $0. Of you are a Fla. res, price to reg ap was about $30.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
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the power pass has black out dates.
check the website to see if it conflicts with your trip dates.

power pass is valid for one year.
also check to see what dates next year will be blocked.
next year parry hotter 2/jr will be opening.

expect to see block out dates when that happens.


if your plans this year are for 4 days only, just add on one day to the 3 days ticket.
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