Taking my 12 Year Old to Universal - How Many Days?

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by rowan555, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    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...
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    57,649
    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.


     
  4. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    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?
     
  5. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    57,649
    if you decide you want to spend time at Sea World, the free bus shuttle from the darkside hotels is free to SW.

     
  6. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    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!
     
  7. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    57,649
    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.
     
  8. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    754
    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.
     
  9. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2000
    Messages:
    42,657
    Don't forget that Sea World has a fairly new water park that is supposed to be pretty nice too. Just another option. ;)
     
  10. glocon

    glocon DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,418
    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...
     
  11. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    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...
     
  12. TheAviator

    TheAviator <font color=blue>I don't always live dangerously,

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,143
    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.
     
  13. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    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.
     
  14. stormer

    stormer DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,727
    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!
     
  15. rschaen

    rschaen Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    33
    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.
     
  16. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    57,649
    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.
     
  17. Siriusblack

    Siriusblack Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    192
    We alternate every other year Disney and Universal and always do 7 nights at Universal-I am still sad to leave! Your 4 day plan to include a 5 th day at DTD
    sounds great! I always wish we could squeeze in a little Disney on our Uni trips but a 1 day ticket is way too expensive. I like your idea.
     
  18. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    754
    Just warning you, that McDonald's is disgusting. I was dragged there a few weeks ago and the condiment bar was a mess. Just one of those places where everything feels dirty. Doesn't help that I contracted chicken pox there when I was child... :worried:

    What kinds of things are you and your daughter interested in? There are some neat parts of Orlando off the beaten path that are much more interesting than the tourist areas!
     
  19. agavegirl1

    agavegirl1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,650
    My last visit to Orlando with a teen and a tween was 5 nights. I thought we would need to go over to Seaworld for a day to keep it interesting but I was totally wrong. I let the kids be my guide and they wanted to stay at the Universal parks and the resort pool. Don't underestimate the power of the resort pool!
     
  20. rowan555

    rowan555 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    I was just reading this! We will stop in on our way into town so she can see it (and maybe that late at night it won't be as crowded/gross), but I'll encourage her to eat elsewhere, haha.

    She said she wants to "go to the mall" - Lord...typical tween...so is there a mall or outlet mall you'd recommend that we could check out on our Downtown Disney day? We'll also play some mini golf, which I see there is an abundance of just from looking at Google Earth, lol!
     
  21. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    754
    My favorite mall is the Mall at Millenia. It's really beautiful, although it might be too high end for a tween. There's also the Florida Mall, which is bigger and has a wider variety of stores but is also more touristy. Both of the outlet malls on I-Drive and Vineland Rd. are huge and outdoors. Again, extremely touristy and not my favorite places to go (usually very crowded), but it may appeal to a tween.
     

Share This Page