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Old 05-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
sportel
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Help needed with possible trip plan

I hope this is the right spot. I need feedback on our possible plans for our non-WDW trip.

Some background:
We (me, DH, DS 8 and DS 6) are doing a Disney Cruise Dec 28 -Jan 2. Arriving at MCO at 10:00 am on Dec 27. Departing early morning Jan 5.

Here's our potential plan:
Dec 27: land at MCO 10:00 am Check in at MCO Hyatt. Take taxi to Seaworld and spend the day there. More interested in the shows than rides - rides seem similar to what we have here at Marineland and we never do those rides.

Jan 2: disembark ship and return to Orlando area by about 10:00 am (hopefully). Go to Legoland for the day. Leave Legoland after we've done it all and check in at Universal on site hotel (TBD)

Jan 3 and 4: two full days at US/IOA, utilizing FOTL as we will stay on site.

I am concerned about not arriving at Seaworld/Legoland until later in the morning and managing crowds. Legoland is essential for us as the boys are Lego fanatics. Seaworld is optional, but it looks like a nice spot during the holidays. we did WDW during the same time of year last year, and arriving at RD was essential to minimizing our wait time.

We have never been to these parks and don't know what to expect. Are there any experienced visitors who can give me some feedback?

Many thanks!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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I, personally, would be leery about trying to do SeaWorld on your arrival day during the busy holiday season. Its a full-day park (and then some) even if you arrive at park opening. Then take into account that you will all be tired from your early morning flight. But that's just me . My first time somewhere, I wouldn't want to be rushed.

For an 8 and 5 year old, I would say they would enjoy SeaWorld much more than Universal Studios. Don't get me wrong, we loved US and IOA. But for your kids ages, I would say a full day at IOA and a full day at SeaWorld would be better than one day at US and one at IOA.

I can't comment on Legoland....that's one I haven't been to yet!

As for the rides at SeaWorld......let me assure you that Marineland and SeaWorld are in two totally different leagues. Not even comparable. From show quality to animal interaction, SeaWorld stands alone. If you have been to Marineland and were impressed in any way, you are going to have your socks blown off by SeaWorld.

What about Gatorland for your arrival day? Its more of a half-day park and might appeal to your kiddos.
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

Currently planning for 2015 -- May, October & Christmas Week

PTR: A Spring Fling on the Dark Side - 2 Muggles Celebrate in Diagon Alley http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=52945601
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:43 PM   #3
KBF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportel View Post
I hope this is the right spot. I need feedback on our possible plans for our non-WDW trip.

Some background:
We (me, DH, DS 8 and DS 6) are doing a Disney Cruise Dec 28 -Jan 2. Arriving at MCO at 10:00 am on Dec 27. Departing early morning Jan 5.

Here's our potential plan:
Dec 27: land at MCO 10:00 am Check in at MCO Hyatt. Take taxi to Seaworld and spend the day there. More interested in the shows than rides - rides seem similar to what we have here at Marineland and we never do those rides.

Jan 2: disembark ship and return to Orlando area by about 10:00 am (hopefully). Go to Legoland for the day. Leave Legoland after we've done it all and check in at Universal on site hotel (TBD)

Jan 3 and 4: two full days at US/IOA, utilizing FOTL as we will stay on site.

I am concerned about not arriving at Seaworld/Legoland until later in the morning and managing crowds. Legoland is essential for us as the boys are Lego fanatics. Seaworld is optional, but it looks like a nice spot during the holidays. we did WDW during the same time of year last year, and arriving at RD was essential to minimizing our wait time.

We have never been to these parks and don't know what to expect. Are there any experienced visitors who can give me some feedback?

Many thanks!
I would swap your Seaworld and Legoland days. The week after Christmas is the busiest week of the year for theme parks in central Florida. Legoland will be much less crowded than Seaworld will be. Since Legoland is the least popular of the major theme parks in the area, it's probably best to do the least crowded park during the busiest time of the year.

January 2nd, Seaworld will be absolutely dead. January 2nd begins one of the slowest times of the year for the central Florida theme parks. This will be a much better time to visit Seaworld since you will pretty much have the entire park to yourself.

Another problem you may face with your plan is if you plan to go to Legoland on January 2nd, it will probably be closed for the day. Legoland is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the slow time of the year, and January 2nd happens to be on a Wednesday so chances are the park may be closed. The park is open later on December 27th because it's busier. Legoland usually closes at 5:00pm during the slow season. So if Legoland IS open on January 2nd, you will only get until 5pm to visit the park. Keep in mind that Legoland is about 45 minutes to an hour away from Seaworld, IOA and Disney so if you plan to drive from your cruise to Orlando and then to Legoland, that means you will have about 3 hours worth of driving to deal with since your cruise dock is also about an hour from the 3 Orlando Parks. With your plan, you will probably arrive at Legoland around Noon which gives you about 5 hours to enjoy the park. If Legoland is the big "Must Do" on your trip, then I suggest switching your date for Legoland to the 27th when you'll have more time to enjoy the park.

I would definitely keep Seaworld in your itinerary. Seaworld is a great park especially for kids your sons ages. There are a ton of animal interactions and shows to keep you and your family entertained. Again, I would switch your Seaworld date to the 2nd of January. Seaworld is also right down the street from Universal/IOA. So if you're staying onsite at Universal/IOA that night then you won't have to travel far from Seaworld to get to your hotel for the night.

Last edited by KBF; 05-02-2012 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBF View Post
January 2nd, Seaworld will be absolutely dead. January 2nd begins one of the slowest times of the year for the central Florida theme parks. This will be a much better time to visit Seaworld since you will pretty much have the entire park to yourself.
We were at SeaWorld on January 2nd this year, and it was really quite busy. We purchased Quick Queue passes and were extremely glad we did. The park closed at 6 p.m. so we had to maximize what time we had available to us.

This year's trip to Orlando ran from December 31 - January 7th. Both IOA and US were crazy busy during our visit (and it was cold on the days we went.....even by my standards, and I'm used to Canadian winters ). Without the FOTL passes at those two parks (we stayed onsite at RPR) we would have been standing in lines for hours. It was a zoo. We had heard that things slow down considerably after New Years, so I'm not sure if this year was an anomaly or a "new normal". I know many, many Canadian schools did not resume classes until January 9th, so that was still part of our Christmas break.
__________________
Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

Currently planning for 2015 -- May, October & Christmas Week

PTR: A Spring Fling on the Dark Side - 2 Muggles Celebrate in Diagon Alley http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=52945601
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
KBF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
We were at SeaWorld on January 2nd this year, and it was really quite busy. We purchased Quick Queue passes and were extremely glad we did. The park closed at 6 p.m. so we had to maximize what time we had available to us.

This year's trip to Orlando ran from December 31 - January 7th. Both IOA and US were crazy busy during our visit (and it was cold on the days we went.....even by my standards, and I'm used to Canadian winters ). Without the FOTL passes at those two parks (we stayed onsite at RPR) we would have been standing in lines for hours. It was a zoo. We had heard that things slow down considerably after New Years, so I'm not sure if this year was an anomaly or a "new normal". I know many, many Canadian schools did not resume classes until January 9th, so that was still part of our Christmas break.
Last year January 2nd was on a Monday, and schools don't normally end winter break until atleast the first Tuesday of the month. So school was still on break on the 2nd. I would imagine that since the 2nd is on a Wednesday this year, that the 2nd will be the first day back for students since it's the middle of the week.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
axp233
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I would also use a full day at Sea World. I went with my cousin and her daughter (9) and me and my son (5) and we did a half day at SW and 2 full days at US and both kids wanted to go back to SW cause we didn't get to do everything we wanted to! We were able to see most of the attractions that we wanted to at US in a full day there. But we are also not huge ride fans. We did really enjoy the shows at US though.
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