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Taking on Orlando – Three Florida theme parks in 3-days

After finishing 3-months at a summer camp we were exhausted and wanted to sleep for a month, but why sleep when we could have two weeks exploring Florida – from Orlando all the way down the Keys to Key West. So the plan was set, our flights to Orlando were booked, and five camp crazy girls were headed to Florida.

When you think of Orlando, Florida you think theme parks and as a first-time visitor that’s what I wanted to do, take them all on. So a challenge was set for us – three Orlando, Florida theme parks in three days. Challenge accepted!

The Simpson's Ride at Universal Studios Orlando, Florida

Day 1 – Universal Studios

Universal Studios is where movie magic happens. The rides, shows, attractions, and events center around different Universal movies, from a showcase depicting scenes of Twister, to The Simpsons simulator ride through Krustyland, or the fast paced Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster.

Top Picks

If you’re a fan of The Mummy series or roller coasters then look no further than taking a ride on the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster which takes you at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour through near darkness. With twists and turns, scarabs, and fire this ride will keep your adrenaline pumping and wanting you to come back for more.

For the younger, and younger at heart, the Shrek 4D movie is great to take part in. This cinema experience is totally in your face as the story tale comes to life through an extra dimension – reality – but I’m not going to spoil the surprises the show has to offer! With additional speakers conveniently placed in front of you, you will be able to make the most of every experience that the show throws at you. This attraction often has long queues so try to get there during lunchtime, or early or late in the day.

Tickets

Single park admission is US$85 for one-day, and park-to-park admission is US$120, with additional days for you to explore the park properly available.
For more information check the Universal Studios website or click here to buy Universal Studio Tickets for Florida.

Worth it?

Universal Studios Orlando is fun for any age though I believe movie loving adults, who will make the most of the shows and behind the scenes experiences, or young children, who will love the Curious George play areas and a Day in the Park with Barney. Though there is plenty of things for teens including the roller coasters including the Hollywood Rip & Ride Rock It roller coaster allowing you to choose your own beat whilst taking you through some crazy loops.

For more information on Universal Studios Florida check out their website

Cinderella's Castle in Disney Worlds The Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida

Day 2 – Disney World – The Magic Kingdom

Disney is always a crowd pleaser and with the biggest Disney park right on our doorstep we couldn’t help but spend a day at one of the parks, but which of the four to choose from? In the end we settled on The Magic Kingdom as it contained a little bit of everything and we wanted rides and roller coasters not exhibits and animals, which is what some of the other parks offer.

Top Picks

For the big kids, a trip to Tomorrowland  to take on Space Mountain is a must. As the biggest and fastest roller coaster the park currently has to offer the lines can be intense but get a Fast Pass and cut the queue times significantly. Hurtling through the darkness the choice of two tracks takes you through a series of fast-paced loops and drops before delivering you safely back to ground. For those seeking more roller coaster thrills then  Splash Mountain would be my second pick but beware – you WILL get wet!

For those who prefer a more gentle cruise then Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is my choice. The ride takes you on an alien-blasting mission which will, at most, spin your car around to face more robot targets; and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor comedy show will have you in giggles regardless of age.

Tickets

There are a variety of ticket options for Walt Disney World including single park or park hopper options. For all the latest information and ticket specials check out the Tickets & Passes website. Single park passes start at US$84 for children between 3 to 9-years-0ld and US$90.50 for those who are 10 years or older.

Worth it?

The child in everyone comes out to play when you’re surrounded by Micky, Cinderella, and the host of other Disney characters that you have grown up with. This theme park does have activities for people of all ages whether it be a gentle ride through It’s a Small World to the thrills of Space Mountain.
The Magic Kingdom definitely have more rides catering to the child crowd, that is those ages between 5 and 12, however, there are still a number of faster-paced attractions.
If you have young children this is definitely the park you need to visit!

For more information on Disney World or the Magic Kingdom check out their website.

Universal's Islands of Adventures - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade

Day 3 – Universal’s Island of Adventure

Universal’s newest theme park, Universals Island of Adventure, was opened in 1999 and has since become a hit. This park is all about thrills and fast-paced action with Seuss Landing, featuring rides based on the popular authors books and movies, a Super Hero themed area with the best roller coasters and giant drops, and of course the most popular area of the park, Harry Potter’s Wizarding World.

Top Picks

Thrill rides are the big players here with The Incredible Hulk coaster being the biggest and the baddest. From zero to 40 miles per hour in 2seconds, a weightless zero-G roll, and a steep plummet below ground level will be sure to leave your heart pounding and running back for more.

Harry Potter’s Wizarding World is the other big draw card to the park as you enter Hogsmeade with Hogwarts castle towering nearby. Try butter beer and pumpkin juice, shop in Olivander’s Wand shop, and see the Hogwarts Express train as well as taking part in some wild roller coasters, The Dragon Challenge, or the tamer Flight of the Hippogryph.

Tickets

Single park admission is US$85 for one-day, and park-to-park admission is US$120, with additional days for you to explore the park properly available.
For more information check the Universal Studios website.

Worth it?

Universal’s Island of Adventure is a big kids heaven. There are attractions for the younger in the crowd, including a Doctor Seuss themed area, but that aside big kids rule the park. With plenty of fast paced roller coasters and thrill rides being the main attraction to this park, the Harry Potter’s Wizarding World opens up to fans of the novels and movies, but some of the rides could be considered scary for younger children due to darkness and supernatural creatures present in many of the attractions.

For more information on Universal’s Island of Adventure check out their website.

Three amigos taking on three florida theme parks in three days

Final words

Taking on three theme parks in three days was hard work and I would definitely recommend that you slow you visit down to include breaks in between each visit. Due to my love of roller coasters and thrill rides by the end of the three days I was suffering really bad headaches and neck tension from being thrown around by the rides, as well as to make the most of each park you really do need two days and we had to cram everything into a single day due to our schedule. This meant many early mornings and super late nights leaving us tired and irritable. So break it down and enjoy a week in Orlando because there is plenty to see and do other than just theme parks!

Which theme park would you go to? Would you recommend visiting another of Orlando’s theme parks?

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    May 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I love Islands of Adventure! I need to go back to see the Harry Potter part!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Hope you get there soon Rachel! Harry Potter’s Wizarding World is great fun. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindseu
    May 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Sounds like it was hectic but worth it! I can’t wait to get to Disney World. Where did you stay while you visited the parks?

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Hey Lindseu,
      We stayed at the Quality Suites Universal South and they were able to arrange cheap transport for us to all of the theme parks. It has average reviews but we found it cheap, basic, but provided everything we wanted (including a waffle maker for breakfast!)

      Enjoy Disney World and can’t wait to hear what you think of some of the other parks. 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly
    May 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is hands down the greatest ride I’ve ever been on. I did 6 parks in 6 days – 4 Disney Parks, Islands of Adventure and Kennedy Space Centre. It nearly killed us, but the exhaustion was totally worth it.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Wow! That’s a little bit hectic. Glad to know it was worth it though. 🙂

      What’s the Kennedy Space Centre like? I want to visit this summer!

      • Reply
        Holly
        May 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        Kennedy was really cool, I’d highly recommend it.

        I also want to put it out there that The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World is an absolute must have investment for anyone tackling WDW/Universal. Written by statisticians, saved us hours of queuing in Thanksgiving Week (ie. Super Busy Week).

  • Reply
    Becki | @backpackerbecki
    May 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I’ve never been to Disney World – mainly as I have never been a Disney child so figured I wouldn’t like it… or get most of it. But I am a bit of a thrill seeker and a sucker for fast rides, so it’s making me think I might love it!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      May 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      I think it’s worth visiting at least one Disneyland/Disneyworld just for the experience. I’ve visited four with plans to visit the rest soon 😉

      If you’re after thrills and fast rides you Universal may be more your pace, particularly the Islands of Adventure.

      Hope you get to Disney soon!

  • Reply
    http://bittenbythetravelbug.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Thumbnail_GeekTravel_GeekGirl.jpg
    May 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm

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  • Reply
    maillot psg
    June 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    maillot psg…

    I would like this!!!…

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