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Old 01-31-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
1osfan
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Please help. First trip and limited time

Any advice you can give is much appreciated.

Traveling to FL for a wedding in Port Canaveral in March. Our family has taken several trips to WDW but have never done US. DD10 and I are huge Harry Potter fans so we are going to shoot over to IOA while in FL. It will be just the two of us and we have a little flexibility in time. WWOHP is a must and is the only part of US/IOA that must be done.

Here's the situation: wedding on cruise ship on Saturday March 23. Will be off the ship by 3:00 and have no plans after. We need to get to Orlando from Port Canaveral; we need a hotel; and we need to get to the airport.

We can visit a park on Saturday night or not. We can fly home Sunday night or sometime Monday. We can stay just the one night or could stay two. Airfare is $100 cheeper if we stay the second night and come home Monday.

Here are my thoughts. I see that there is a buy two days get one free ticket that we could use to visit IOA on Saturday night and get the lay of the land and get started. We could then spend all of Sunday touring IOA. (How much time should we expect to spend at WWOHP if we want to do it right.) We could then spend half of Monday in a park as well. Or, we could just spend all of Saturday touring and fly home Monday morning. We could spend Saturday night and half of Sunday touring and fly home Sunday night. All in all, we have no idea how much time we need in the park(s).

Money is certainly a concern. As I said before, we need to get to Orlando, we need park tickets, a hotel room, transportation to and from the park, and transportation to the airport. Visiting WDW, we have never had to deal with this. We have always flown into MCO, used DME, stayed onsite, and used Disney transportation for everything. Top it off with the fact that I have never traveled like this without DH who normally gets us around.

We would appreciate any advice you could give. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:59 AM   #2
Darcy03231
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We went in August when the crowds were higher than they would be in March and did all of IOA in a day (we had two days there and did all of US the next day).

Arrive at IOA (at the turnstiles about 15 min) before park opening and head right back to Harry Potter. Do Ollivanders first, it gets long lines. After that do Forbidden Journey. I would go through the regular line at least once to see the inside of the castle. We used the single rider lines after than and had only a 5-10 min wait. Wait times at Dragon's Challenge and Flight of the Hippograff were minimal throughout the day.

After Harry Potter we did the rest of IOA and were done by about 7 pm.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
Metro West
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1osfan View Post
Money is certainly a concern. As I said before, we need to get to Orlando, we need park tickets, a hotel room, transportation to and from the park, and transportation to the airport. Visiting WDW, we have never had to deal with this. We have always flown into MCO, used DME, stayed onsite, and used Disney transportation for everything. Top it off with the fact that I have never traveled like this without DH who normally gets us around.
Keep in mind Universal does not offer any discounts for one day tickets. You will have to pay full price for each person in your party which won't be cheap.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
Darcy03231
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WWOHP is a small portion of IOA. Even during high season my mom (who was 76) and I were through it by about 1 pm by arriving at the turnstiles about 15 min before park opening (and they were already letting people in). We did multiple rides on Forbidden Journey. We also waited in a long line for Ollivanders (because we didn't do that first - -and we should have).

I would say that if you get at the turnstiles before the official park opening time by 15-30 minutes and only want to do Harry Potter, you can do it in half a day, which would allow you to fly out on Sunday night.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
glocon
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The only other thing I want to add is that March is Spring Break time... keep those crowds in mind.

If you don't want a lot of driving, see if you can swing staying onsite, that way you could take a cab from the airport and not leave the parks until you take a cab back to the airport.

Or if you are driving, park at the UO resort of your choice, and not drive again until going back to join your party after your Universal vacation.

If you are staying onsite, you get early entry, unlimited express passes for most rides, and you can walk or take a boat to either park.

So if you can swing staying onsite, you would have unlimited express to beat the spring break crowds as well as the perk of not having to drive anywhere.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
finallygoing
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It seems that you will have to go through so much trouble and effort to get to and from the parks that you should take advantage of the full three day ticket and do a more relaxing, slower pace tour of them. We are also going for the first time in a few weeks and getting the same tickets and found them a few dollars cheaper at Official Ticket Center for $129, this includes all taxes and fees. They are located right in LBV on Apopka Vineland Rd. If you have the tickets sent to your hotel there is a $10 charge I think.

Have you looked into the price of renting a car after the wedding and dropping it off at the airport? This will give you the freedom to stay wherever you choose in the theme park area and there are a lot less expensive and fine hotels than those on site. The price of a taxi from CC to LBV is $135 on the Happy Limo site and then you still will have to pay to get from LBV to the airport, so the extra price of renting a car at CC and dropping it off at the airport may not be so crazy.

I must admit, you are a more dedicated Mom than I am. If my kids ever wanted me to go through this much aggrevation and expense so they could go to a theme park, I would just so forget it.
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