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Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?

Stanley, Falkland...
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Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?


I thought I'd ask the experts as I've hit an issue.

First a little background, initially when we were considering coming to Orlando the plan was to arrive Sunday Jan 5th and leave Tuesday 21st Jan. And I had a park plan more or less sorted stay at Disney for 5 nights first and then move to idrive and get flexiticket or similar to do the rest at our leisure plus a few additions (gatorland, space centre etc). Unfortunately or fortunately, the days we wanted to fly increased in price to over £1000 from the original at it is now cheaper to fly a week before and get accommodation.

So we now have our flights booked and because we didn't want to run changing hotels more than once decided that we base ourselves on I-drive the whole time at Enclave suites (it is a gamble but we will see how it goes). Those two things are now unmovable.

So what is the problem, well firstly we arrive at one of the busiest times so I'm wondering if I should just not go to the theme parks until after New year and do something else, opinions most welcome.

Secondly I don't want to compress all the theme park stuff in a small period and looking at ideas of how to stretch them out.

Other important info:

Family is Me, DW, DS(12), DD(10). We will be joined for the most part by my in-laws who will also be staying in enclave but won't visit everything with us.

We plan on using public transport a lot however we might hire a car for a short period to do various activities including space centre etc.

All I'm really doing is getting ideas of what we could do and how we might go about spreading out the excitement while getting some more relaxed days in as well.

Many thanks in advance.

Stanley, Falkland...
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692 posts
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1. Re: Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?

And of course I need to say that the new dates are 29th Dec 2013 to 22nd Jan 2014.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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2. Re: Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?

O.K., it's likely to be pretty crowded until the weekend of Jan 4th at least, but crowds will be diminshing after Jan 2nd at a progressive pace. The week between Xmas and NY is the #1 busiest week of the entire year in Orlando.

Having said that, I would concentrate on non-theme park activities until at least Jan 5th. Going to Kennedy Space Center would be good at this time if that's on your agenda. Also, if you have a beach trip and can find a warmer day in that interem, that would be a good idea as well. Of course, there's always the "after Xmas" shopping if you like.

Weather can be iffy that time of year, but if you have other outdoor activities like mini-golf, airboat rides, balloon rides, eco tours, wildlife watching excursions, etc., do those in those first few days as well.

There's also museums like the Science Center, Wonder Works, the Titanic Exhibit, and a few others you might enjoy.

Once you get past Saturday, Jan. 4th, the theme parks will quiet down significantly; then you can plan you visits according to your liking. Remember, you might want to avoid the days at Disney parks when they are having Extra Magic Hours at a given park, since you cannot participate, so check the Disney calendars and work around those days.

Vero Beach, Florida
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3. Re: Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?

Florida had a very mild December and January this season, but temperatures can fluctuate wildly, so it's useful to be flexible about the timing of outdoor activities. Winter is the dry season, and cold spells are always caused by masses of extremely dry arctic air.

Locally, last Saturday was distinctly hot (31º), Sunday brought violent weather to Orlando, and tonight will be a few degrees from freezing.

Orlando was a much smaller city before Disney appeared, but it has a lovely and rather wealthy older neighborhood in Winter Park, with Park Avenue as its busy high street.

Florida has an excellent system of state parks, and it could be worthwhile to look over their website. Blue Spring near Orlando is a warm-water refuge for manatees in the winter. The park also has "scrub" with scrub-jays, river swamp (Blue Spring should still have a daily tour boat), and south of Orlando, there's even dry prairie, flat to the horizon (Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park).

In the Cape Canaveral area, there's Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, both constituting part of the buffer for the Kennedy Space Center.

I think use of the public LYNX buses in the International Drive area will work well.

Edited: 28 March 2013, 03:01
4. Re: Orlando Dec 2013/Jan 2014 which parks when?

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