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Old 3 Dec 17, 08:36 PM  
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#1
Milpston
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Park choices with a young family

I know there have probably been dozens of similar posts but would just like people's thoughts.

We have 3 weeks in Florida next October. We have kids that will be 16, almost 4 and 17 months.

We are doing a week onsite at Disney and have 14 day ultimates that I will likely upgrade to 21 days.

I am considering what other parks to do. My plan has always been to add SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica but I am having a wobble!


The 16 year old has been before with us and on that occasion we had flex tickets so did Universal and seaworld parks (she likes all the rides now but has not done Disney and will be happy either way). Forbidden journey was open but we have not seen Diagon Alley. We did Discovery Cove last time and have ruled that out because the youngest two will be too young and happy to save that for another year.

I'm now thinking it seems a shame not to see Universal with us being there for three weeks. Totally get that the youngest will only really be able to do the shows. Is there enough for a 4 year old there? It will cost us about 1k to add Universal and night in the hotel to get the passes. If I do it I will only do it with express passes so we can do some of the rides so the kids aren't just waiting around all day. From what I can see it will make a massive difference if the 4 year old reaches the 102cm mark. (it would make Spider-Man, transformers, minions accessible as well as 7DMT, Soarin, BTM and splash mountain at Disney). She is currently 92cm having grown from 82cm since we went to DLP in Feb. I really have no idea if she will make that mark. Are thick soled shoes an option if its tight or are they asked to take shoes off?

I've kind of ruled out VB as the height restrictions for most rides appear much higher and we will already have the other three water parks as options.

I'm thinking that the shows etc will be worthwhile at Seaworld although now a little concerned that she won't be tall enough for even the smallest rides other than Shamu Express. Would you do SeaWorld with kids that young and indeed Busch Gardens? If I do them I would probably get the express passes for me, DD and eldest daughter so we would have the options of the big coasters (we love all the rides).

Is there any other places you would recommend as well as or instead of these options? I know nothing about LEGOLAND gatorland etc...

Sorry for the rambling...
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Old 3 Dec 17, 08:55 PM  
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theriler
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The height barrier is a big thing. If your 4 year old is tall enough then id say its worth doing if you can budget for it as your 16 year old will probably love the days at Universal. We were never asked to take our toddlers shoes off when he was very close to the height restriction on a few occasions. As far as the 17 month old, youll probably be limited to the ET show and the kids area (providing Universal havent started demolishing it for the Nintendo Land by then) and the Hogwarts Express in Universal and Seuss Landing in IOA. I'd probably say around 16 years old is the perfect age for Universal if theyre into rides and particularly Harry Potter.

We didnt do Sea World or Busch Gardens as we felt the cost was too high for all parks and for what Sea World give you in shows, Disney more than make up for it elsewhere. The Rollercoasters would also be out of the question for your little ones. Busch Gardens is also very coaster heavy so it was an obvious miss for us. The way we looked at it with our toddler was we didnt try to cram in things that maybe werent quite right for their age or height or whatever and would do those things in future trips in years to come.

We tried Gatorland for the first time this year and it was quite a fun 2 or 3 hour trip. I probably wouldnt pay the entrance fee they ask but you can often find ticket companies throw them in as part of deals and if thats the case its well worth going for a quieter day walking around the swamps and enclosures.

EDIT: Volcano Bay - Really cool water park, but again youll probably spend most of your time in the tots area so maybe not worth too much extra expense if its not already part of any package you get. May as well just go to whichever Disney water park is open or Aquatica if thats included.

Edited at 08:57 PM.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 09:48 PM  
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Milpston
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Thank you.
I know what you mean about the costs. It will be 400 and odd for the seaworld parks for us and I was just thinking with the animals etc it will offer something different of interest to the kids.

Whilst Universal will cost us over 1000 (and I know it sounds ridiculous as I'm not made of money) in the grand scheme of a Florida holiday it's not a lot and will just find it but only if it's worth it.

My concern is that being there for 22 nights Disney just won't be enough. I can't see DHS being more than two half days, perhaps a day or two at epcot, 2 days at Animal kingdom, 2-3 days at MK and half a day each at BB and TL. So with 8-9 days filled, even with plenty of chill out days I think we may be a little light on parks

If I can keep shopping trips below an hour for the whole holiday I'll be happy

May have a night / 2 days at the gulf coast at some point.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:26 PM  
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Button17
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Not done Universal/IoA as we have two princesses and even though I'd live to do the Harry Potter stuff, jyst couldn't justify it.

Could your 16 year old and one adult go, whilst the 2 tiddlers and other adult have a nice chilling time, or day of Princesses.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:53 PM  
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DisneyBride08
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We added on universal for us and our 7 and 3 (98 cm ish) year old were dragged along

I'm glad we did it as we really wanted to see Harry Potter. As there was no evening shows we took advantage of earlier nights whilst there.

We found IOA better for our little lady as she went on all the Suess things and the flying dinosaur thing.

In Universal she went in Minions (static seat) and on ET. She dragged me into the wand shop for the show and we watched the parade.

She did keep asking when it was her turn to go on rides when we were waiting for my DH and her brother to come off of things.

We really run out of time as they needed a break in the day and we were there for two and a half days. We didn't see any of the shows or go in any of the playgrounds. I think we all enjoyed it. I'm slowly walking my way through our TR Vlogs.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:53 PM  
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Legoland for your little ones.
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Old 3 Dec 17, 10:57 PM  
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DisneyBride08
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Originally Posted by Milpston View Post
My concern is that being there for 22 nights Disney just won't be enough. I can't see DHS being more than two half days, perhaps a day or two at epcot, 2 days at Animal kingdom, 2-3 days at MK and half a day each at BB and TL. So with 8-9 days filled, even with plenty of chill out days I think we may be a little light on parks
We had 14 nights at Disney, 2 of those at universal and we didn't have enough time. We were at a park every day. Taking it at a slower pace for the children we really did notice a difference. I missed chill out days, they were planned and didn't happen. We didn't even do water parks
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Old 4 Dec 17, 04:58 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by Button17 View Post
Not done Universal/IoA as we have two princesses and even though I'd live to do the Harry Potter stuff, jyst couldn't justify it.

Could your 16 year old and one adult go, whilst the 2 tiddlers and other adult have a nice chilling time, or day of Princesses.
I have cast a vote and nobody really wants to split up. I liked the ide haha.

Really jealous of your countdown!
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Old 4 Dec 17, 05:03 PM  
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Milpston
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Originally Posted by DisneyBride08 View Post
We had 14 nights at Disney, 2 of those at universal and we didn't have enough time. We were at a park every day. Taking it at a slower pace for the children we really did notice a difference. I missed chill out days, they were planned and didn't happen. We didn't even do water parks
Thank you.
Having never really done Disney properly I'm finding it really difficult to work out hoe much time we'll spend in the parks. I may be underestimating it as we Managed about 4 full on days in DLP. my little girl is Disney and princess (especially Frozen? mad at the moment!

If you had just had your youngest would you say Universal was worth it? I have a feeling our little girl will probably end up being the about the same height.
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Old 4 Dec 17, 05:22 PM  
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DisneyBride08
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Originally Posted by Milpston View Post
Thank you.
If you had just had your youngest would you say Universal was worth it? I have a feeling our little girl will probably end up being the about the same height.
I don't think we would had but this was the 4th time my DH would have been without spending time at Universal. It was a must for him. She loved the Harry Potter areas and looking around. I think if we only had her we would have gone to the shows, playgrounds etc. She had to wait for her brother to go on the rides and she kept saying 'when is it my turn'. She loved Islands of Adventure as there was more for her to go on. I'm slowly making my way through our vlogs but haven't looked at the universal footage yet.

I loved the break from Disney as the fast pass system was new to us and I felt it made it hard work. Disney was also very busy. So was Universal too though. Universal doesn't have that magic though.

We are going to Paris in February and I'm so looking forward to the laid back approach.
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