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Orlando highlights (without Disney)

Banchory
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Orlando highlights (without Disney)

Just got back from a fantastic holiday in Orlando and thought I'd post the highlights - always found reading the forums very good, but not been much of a contributor. Hope some of the following is useful to someone...

We last went to Florida 8 years ago with young children and Disney was fab. But with teenagers we decided to skip Disney and go Universal, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Discovery Cove and Kennedy Space Centre. Good decision. That was more than enough for 2 weeks.

Universal - fantastic. At Studios we loved Rip ride rocket, Mummy, Simpsons. Despicable Me was good, but not worth a long wait. We did it when doors opened and the queue was 75mins within 10 mins. At IOA Harry Potter was great - Forbidden Journey awesome - worth doing first thing and then re-riding later using the singles queue. Kids loved hanging around in Hogmeade (but butter beer is gross and expensive). Liked Hulk too, and the 3 water rides - though we got absolutely soaked.

We always arrived at park opening, did the main rides with little queuing and left by lunchtime. Returned in the evening for shows.Otherwise we would have faced long lines, or an expensive express pass.

Busch Gardens excellent. Great coasters. Arrived for opening at 9am, first in line for Cheetah Run - queue was 75mins by time we had ridden. Then did other 4 big coasters (some twice) with very little queuing. Liked the animal stuff as well.

KSC - very good. Make sure you take the bus out to the Saturn 5 centre, it's worth the effort. Even the grumpy teens admitted they learnt a few things that day.

Seaworld. Did coasters first - excellent. Then worked our way through the shows. Enjoyable, but not my favourite day. Shows seemed a little old and cheesy. Evening show was quite good.

Discovery Cove - best (and most expensive) day. Everything is done just perfectly.Swimming with dolphins loved by the whole family.

Flight - Virgin from Gatwick. Not that impressed. Nice new plane, but service not as good as I expected and food and drink portions very small.

Villa - Windsor Hills. Nice villa, good location. Easy access to all the sites by car.

Overall, a really great holiday :)

Now back at work :(

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Wymondham, United...
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1. Re: Orlando highlights (without Disney)

Back to reality now then? Always the worst part of any holiday!

This year when we go we giving Disney a miss, although may go to AKL for the day, as last year we didnt really get to see much of it due to it being so HOT the day we picked to go there, and we are doing Universal, Busch Gardens, Sea World and Aquatica this time around.

I have done Discovery Cove on a previous visit and is a very memorable day, glad you enjoyed it too.

We love Sea World, shame you didnt find it that good ~ my OH loves the Manta and Kraken rides (i people watch whilst he enjoys himself as I dont do coasters), and we both loved the shows (even though I dont think they are as good as before the tragedy), but still reduced me to tears the first shows we watched.

Are you planning on return to FL in the next year or two?

Scotland
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2. Re: Orlando highlights (without Disney)

Good to hear that someone has done much the same as I am planning with two teenagers. Itinery much the same but we might also do the swimming with manatees and I only have 12 nights1! Glad to hear you had such a good time without doing Disney. We have never been before but I thought for a 15 and 17 year old, Universal, and all the Sea World parks plus wet and wild, aguatica, DC and KSC would be plenty.

3. Re: Orlando highlights (without Disney)

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