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Need Help With My Trip!

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Seattle
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Need Help With My Trip!

We have never been to Orlando and need some help planning our trip. It's part business and part personal trip. Here are 2 options for us:

Option 1:

My family to fly together to Orlando on a Sunday in May, I will be attending a conference Mon - Thurs. This means my family will go do stuff on their own until I am done with my conference at 4pm for 4 days. From Friday to Saturday, I will be with them.

Option 2:

I will fly in Sunday, but rest of my family will come separately on Wed. this leaves them 1 day of their own time instead of 4 days in option 1. From Friday to Saturday, I will be with them.

My wife does not like Option 1 because she doesn't think there's enough to do for her and our son for 4 days without me.

Questions:

1) I am reviewing "Things To Do" to pick what my wife and the son should do and what we do together. Any suggestion is appreciated.

2) We will have two days for 3 of us together. Is that too short? What are the 2 - 3 must visit attraction?

South Dakota
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1. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

One really important piece of information to know would be the age of your son, so people can suggest age-appropriate activities and/or parks. Huge difference between a 16 month old, a 6 year old and a 16 year old.

Option 1 is kind of a financial rip off for you if you're planning on doing theme parks. Since you won't be done with your conference until 4 and then will need travel time to reach a theme park, you might not arrive at a theme park until 5:00. Disney parks don't have a special evening admission rate, so you'll be paying a lot of money for just a few hours in a theme park. (Unless your family wants to cut their touring time short and be done with everything by 4:00 and then does alternative activities with you.) They would miss evening fireworks shows, lighted parades, Epcot's Illuminations, etc. if they ended their days at 4:00.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 02:32
pa
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2. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Where is the conference ? How old is your son ? Where would you be staying ?

Seattle
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3. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

My son is 11 and the conference is at Rosen Centre Hotel and that's where I will be staying, at least for the conference.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 05:31
South Dakota
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4. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

An eleven year old will enjoy pretty much any park you choose. Is 2-3 days enough? No. I'm a little puzzled by your wife wondering what she'd do for four days without you. An 11 year old who doesn't have special needs should be pretty easy to take to the parks and Orlando has so much to do that four days doesn't even begin to cover everything. You could spend a week just doing the four Disney Parks (some are so big, you can spend two days in them). There's also Sea World, the two Universal Parks and Busch Gardens down in Tampa. That being said, my family would never tackle all these in one trip. We go for about 5 days and do 2-3 things and then do different things on the next trip.

You'll just have to pick the parks that interest you. If your son likes animals, Sea World and Animal Kingdom are great. The Magic Kingdom is classic Disney and almost everyone makes it there at some point. Epcot has some neat science and cultural things. At 11, he'd also like Hollywood Studios and Universal. Busch Gardens has some of the best roller coasters in the world, but with such a short trip, I'd probably skip that one for now.

A good intro to Disney and Orlando is the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It also covers the Universal Parks. It's a thick book, but in my opinion, the reading is light and humorous and you can skip large sections if you already know where you're staying.

Tellico Plains...
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5. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

I would Choose option 1.

They will be plenty for mom and son to do at Disney World. Maybe she needs to spend quality time with him. They can have daily adventures and you can hear about the day when you get finished at 4. No two days will be the same unless you make them. You could spend weeks trying new things at Disney.

I am saying Disney World because it is the lower key as far as scary rides for mom. If she is wild and not afraid of rollercoaster try Universal on for size. They also have Harry Potter at Universal.

Enjoy all the time you can in the Sunshine State. It truly is Great!

Edinburgh...
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6. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Unless your son has special needs, I do not foresee ANY reasons why your wife would not beable to do things with him in Orlando.

It will be a bit of a raw deal for yourself but I would recommend they stay away from Disney parks until you're finished with your conference. What 3174 said is correct, that they do not do evening time deals so you would be paying $100 or so for yourself to have a few hours. Best to do Disney parks when you're all free.

Seaworld, Aquatica, or actually Animal Kingdom (Disney park) would be great options for them both.

Is it at all possible to extend your days at the end? I guess it's not due to work but if it is then I would then look at it all again.

Wyoming
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7. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Does he like Harry Potter? Our 9-14 year old grandchildren loved going to Universals Islands of Adventure which includes the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It would be a great day trip for the two of em, if you would not feel too left out!

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Definitely option 1, an 11 year old is a brilliant age in my opinion to get the most out of Orlando, he should enjoy Disney and be old enough to enjoy the thrill rides in the likes of universal etc!! My partner and I spent 15 nights there and didn't even get close to seeing and doing everything we wanted so were going back again for 15 nights in may and I still think there will be things we won't have time to do

Scunthorpe, United...
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9. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Option 1 is the way to go for me assuming your wife and son are happy to tour without you with them. Given she is happy to fly in on their own I guess this should not be a problem but it can be.

As for what is there to do:

Universal two parks, easy touring and great for the age of child you have. Probably easy to get to from your location but you would need to check that out.

Disney, 4 parks to choose from any of which would be excellent for them to do

Seaworld, depends on your preferences as less ride in here

Water parks - any number of choices here

Discovery Cove - great experience but would not want to miss this.

Add to that any number of other part day attraction locally, plus any number in the surrounding area.

So as long as happy to tour without you, drive or take transport I cannot see they would be bored

Must do's really come down to what your family prefer: 3 days is not enough but that restriction is really only for you if you can convince them to do option 1

Larger coasters simulators Universal is more that, however Disney holds major interest and great rides too, just not as concentrated.

Orlando
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10. Re: Need Help With My Trip!

Considering you are not staying that far from Universal, I don't know how option 1 would be a problem. You are only going to be an hour from the beach too. Make sure you rent a car, and they will have lots of options.