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Pasanda

Orlando 2018 and NYC any tips

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I've started booking bits and bobs of our holiday next year. July 6th to July 31st.

6-23rd in Orlando. 23rd to 31 NYC. 

Booked the flights out to Orlando, booked travel insurance and booked our NYC accommodation at the Doubletree Hilton Metropolitan.

We were looking at Airbnb for NYC, and we could have had move sqft for our bucks, but the Hilton was comparable in price and gave us a bit of extra security from being a well know chain.

Still looking to book accom for 18 night in Orlando, car hire in orlando and the internal flight to NYC on the 23rd.

We've also not yet booked attraction tickets in Orlando. Honestly shocked at the prices. A 9 park ticket for the 3 of us would be around £2000.

The things we really want to do are:

  • One of the disney parks (for a day only). I've been told that the magical kingdom might be a bit babyish for Fin, and he wasn't that enamoured with Disneyland Paris. So i was thinking of Disney Hollywood.
  • Universal.
  • Kennedy 
  • Discovery Cove

I can't find a decent way to get tickets for these outside of paying for the 9 park, or buying them all separately. so if anyone has experience here, that would be great.

Accommodation - Airbnb seems really good value. Looking at 2 bedroom places for around $70 per night.

Car hire - it seems that one needs to be really careful about the extras and top ups. I understand you can go with Alamo Gold that is all inclusive, but literally twice the price of everyone else. Is that really just how it is?

Any other tips? Fin will be 8.5 by then and is not currently an adrenaline junkie. Nor a Harry Potter fan, although he might be by then. What we really need is Minecraft-land.

 

 

 

Edited by Pasanda

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If you go to Disney, stay at Disney.  They really treat you right.  Depending on the airline you take, you can put the magic pass on your luggage.  They will pick up your luggage at the airport and transport you to your hotel.  Really nice.

Disney also has a rental cars on their property and will shuttle you free to there.  Disney is its own complex, complete with transportation, shopping and restaurants.  Its a good experience, but as you stated, you pay for it. 

Disney tickets are expensive.  No way around that.  I wouldn't get fast passes.  Open an account at:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/login/

Use that account to manage everything.  If you stay at Disney, they give you a wrist band, which will get you into the park, into your room, allow you to pay for everything ... very convenient.

I know you aren't beach people, but consider spending a few days in Cocoa Beach especially if you are doing Kennedy.  You don't have to go to the beach.  Check their website for launch dates, maybe you will get lucky.  Don't plan around it though, they always get delayed.  Mainly Lobster is excellent, I love their chowder.

8 1/2 ... depending on his height, the universal parks are great.  Islands of adventure and Universal are fun.  Sea World is meh.  It has the potential to be very hot when you go, so I'd mix in some water parks.

That is a loooooong time in Orlando.  You sure about that?  Especially if hes not a Disney fan.  Personally, I'd go nuts in Orlando if I was there that long.  Maybe mix in a week in DC?

Car hire - does that mean you are hiring a driver?  Or just renting a car?  If its just a car rental, opt for the cheapest.  Get the sun pass, its worth it.

If you go to Epcot, you can play around the world :)

AroundTheWorld.thumb.jpg.e4cc12d42accdefdf89b2cd34799d32a.jpg

Lasraik likes this

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Orlando is miserable in late July.  Been there, done that.  90+ degrees (F) with 90+% humidity.  When we went, we just melted being that we're used to much cooler temperatures.  The highlight of our trip was a day at Kennedy Space Center.  If you go, don't be cheap ... pay for the extra tours; it's worth it.

 

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Universal Studios is WAY better than anything Disney has to offer IMO.  Chartering a boat for some snorkeling or some sail-fishing is an experience no one will ever forget.  The space center like Elovia said is also top notch. 

In fact, I might even look into a space camp for Fin to give you and the missus some time to yourselves.  I have heard a lot of good things about the experience.  https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/camps-and-education/camp-kennedy-space-center

If you do go to a Disney resort to stay, don't let the kid go swimming.  Alligators are all over down there.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/us/alligator-attacks-child-disney-florida/index.html

 

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Thanks all. Love those photos Dunnar. More!!! Very useful tips. we don't like the heat, but going early July made a fair bit of difference in flight costs, as it's outside UK school dates.

We're looking at around 8 days in the parks and resorts and about 8-9 days doing other stuff. The Universal ticket gives access to 3 parks over 1 week. With that Universal ticket, Discovery cove, Kennedy and Legoland, i think that's plenty. We're now thinking of canning Disney altogether. It's so expensive and fin's not in love with it. But thanks for the tips Dunnar. The beer alone makes it worthwhile...

Yes car rental, not hire (not rich enough to hire a driver - one day...). I've done the hire now. Went with budget for 17 days. Seemed quite reasonable and, i think, include all the top up insurances LDW + theft and LIS. 

We've booked accommodation at Regal Oaks  in Kissimee. Seemed nice. Self catering town houses only though.

Only thing left are the park tickets.

Looking for fun things to do in NYC too.

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We spent 4 or 5 days at Disney Orlando last year.  The Epcot park seemed to be more for adults than children, so was more enjoyable to me; technology on display.  And as mentioned above, the heat was brutal and every square inch of shade was occupied.  Epcot has a 'round the world area, and IIRC Germany was half way around ... the cold beer was incredible when we got there, although I can't recall what it tasted like ... I suspect it just evaporated on the way in due to heat and thirst.  Honestly, as a person who doesn't really care much for Disney, the crowds of people and the heat summed up to Disney Hell.  The best part of our Disney trip ended up being the pool back at the hotel.  I do concur with Dunnar that Disney really does take good care of their customers (at a price) and their whole operation is based around making sure you don't know how much money you're spending while there.  They keep a tight ecosystem.  And it isn't all for kids.  Epcot, as mentioned, is more adult oriented, as is the African Safari park.  There is also a place called Disney Springs (or something like that) which is a night entertainment spot for adults and big kids ... lots of shops and pubs, music and street attractions, etc.

We didn't do any of the other theme parks, so no comment there. 

Kennedy Space Center (and Cocoa Beach) is roughly an hour drive east pending weather and traffic.  The route is fairly straight and easy right out of Orlando, and there are toll roads along the way so, as Dunnar suggested, make sure your car rental includes payment for them.  I suggest to plan a whole day just there, especially since I recall you and Fin had a recent rocket project, and I'm sure he might get a big kick out of it; lots of full size rockets to see as well as the Mercury capsule and the space shuttle Atlantis (?) ... the real deal, not a mock up.  It's the stuff that brings a smile to the face of engineer nerds (redundant, I suppose, but I mean it's for the guys/gals that nerdy engineers consider nerds - the far end of the spectrum).  Right up my alley. :)

No personal experience with NYC, either.  I consider that a new kind of hell.  But I suppose it would be a nice place from which to leave. :)

 

Edited by Elovia

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