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One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

Yorktown, Virginia
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One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

Will be in Port Canaveral for one day in 2 weeks on a cruise from Baltimore. I have 2 teenage boys - 16 & 14. We are looking for something to do while in port & (for the first time ever) are considering Disney or Universal. We haven't been interested in the theme parks before since we live in southeast Virginia & spend LOTS of time at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. We are spoiled because we get there early, ride the coasters & usually leave before the place gets crazy crowded.

Now that we will be in the Orlando area & figure that we may never go to Disney or Universal if we don't do it now, I'm not sure which would be the best fit for my family.

My choices look like Disney's Magic Kingdom, Universal, SeaWorld, Island of Adventure, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Epcot.

Here's what I can tell you: they like coasters & the thrill rides, they don't like shows, aren't big movie watchers, & don't "love" Harry Potter (so that itself is not a draw for us).

Of course, I could just say forget it & spend the day at Cocoa Beach (which was my original plan).

Any suggestions out there? I'm looking to have to make a decision very soon!

Swansea, Wales
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1. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

I'd say a 1 day 2 park universal ticket to cover islands of adventure for the white knuckle rides and universal studios would be best suited for their ages.

Probably best to take a look at the rides at each of the parks and decide what you want to do. If you want the Disney experience though you could get a 1 day hopper to visit multiple parks on the day. Magic Kingdom (space mountain, thunder mountain, splash mountain), Hollywood Studios (rock n rollacoaster, tower of terror), Animal Kingdom (Everest), Epcot (mission space, test track, soarin)

Have fun!

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale, Miami
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2. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

IOA/Universal one day two park hands down...

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3. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

My first question would be how long is your port stop. It is at least an hour or a little more from the port to any of the parks. So factor your timing into that thought. Don't think you would have time for both Universal parks. Maybe just Islands of Adventure as that is where the big coasters are.

Altamonte Springs...
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4. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

As cruzncouple has said, how long is your port stop? That will determine if any park is feasible. Frankly, I have my doubts.

Here is what you can do in the area:

1. Brevard Zoo

2. A 2-hour boat ride on the Indian River Lagoon with Island Boat Lines http://www.islandboatlines.com/Home_Page.php

3. An airboat ride at Lone Cabbage Fish Camp http://www.twisterairboatrides.com/

4. Kennedy Space Center, as mentioned

5. Ron Jon's Surf Shop (for looking or buying).

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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5. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

Typically, there will be enough time to get over to Orlando and visit one of the parks. I would agree that teen boys would probably enjoy Universal most. Assuming that you arrive in port around 7, you could be at Universal by 8:30 or 9, and could stay until mid afternoon. Typically, calling Carnival ships sail around 5 and Norwegian ships later in the evening, and you need to be on board before that.

You should plan to be one of the first off the ship, and would probably want to rent a car to have control over your own schedule. The rental companies are all within 5-10 minutes of the Port Canaveal terminals: Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Enterprise/Alamo/National, Hertz, and Payless. There is no public bus transportation to Orlando, and taxi fare is prohibitively expensive, as it's over 50 miles.

The drive to Universal would take about an hour via the Beachline Expressway (SR528). Sometimes, the cruise line will offer its own excursion, usually at a higher cost than you could do it yourself.

If you decide to stay around Cocoa Beach, take surfing lessons, do some kayaking, air boating, or visit Kennedy Space Center -- all within 30 minutes of the port.

Orlando, FL
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6. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

If you decide to make the trip, I'd pick Islands of Adventure

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7. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

The thrill rides are at Islands of Adventure. Look at Photo Travels comments above and MAKE SURE that you know what time you are expected back on the ship. Since the kids are out for school in the summer, I would get to the theme parks as early (opening or before) as possible. Later, you will find the lines much longer.

8. Re: One day in Orlando (on Cruise Excursion) - need help...

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