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 :(