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Last minute Florida trip


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Everyone else has echoed my thoughts on the Fun Spot parks. I really like them, but you don't need more than 2 hours to experience everything. The first time I went to the Orlando location on a Saturday night after Universal closed, the coasters and go karts were 20-30 minute waits. But from future experiences and others, it seems like that was an anomaly.

 

If you have a full day at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, you'll have no issues riding everything. Manta gets its longest line immediately after opening, but it dies down by the afternoon. Then Journey and Antarctica can get decent waits in the afternoon, but on a cold day that may not happen. The only lines I've ever seen at Busch Gardens are for Cheetah Hunt (30-45 minutes), Cobra's Curse (20-40 minutes), and Sand Serpent (up to 30 minutes). Everything else has been no more than a 1-2 train wait. Since Cheetah Hunt is the first coaster by the entrance, you need to be there at rope drop to get one ride with no wait.

 

For food at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, do not miss the pretzel places. Get the Bacon Pretzel Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa. SeaWorld always mixes up their pretzel offerings. I've had things as crazy as a pretzel wrapped turkey leg there. These pretzels are better than the Auntie Anne's and Wetzel's Pretzels of the world. At SeaWorld, I also really like Dine with Shamu and Shark's, but I doubt either are on a meal plan.

 

For Universal, the single rider lines are an absolute godsend. They're offered on every major coaster and several of the dark rides. Usually they get me on the rides in under 10-15 minutes. The three single rider lines that can take a bit longer are Gringotts, Kong, and Rockit; I have had to wait 30-40 minutes with single rider in the past.

 

The major rides without single rider lines are the Simpson's Ride and the three water rides at IOA, though with cooler temperatures I suspect those lines won't be an issue. Make sure you pack a bathing suit for Popeye and Ripsaw Falls, they are complete drenches. Ironically enough, Jurassic Park keeps you mostly dry even though it looks the most soaking.

 

Damn, I've never seen waits like that at Fun Spot. Usually the park is so dead that there will be empty seats on every train... and sometimes I'm the only person on the train.

 

Busch gets very crowded very frequently. Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse easily get to two hours. But Monday-Thursday isn't too bad if its not in the summer or around the holidays. Unfortunately it closes so early that its hard for me to get to directly coming from work (I'm not going to waste PTO on my home park).

 

Universal just doesn't get crazy crowds in general. And yeah, I don't know why people ignore the single rider lines so much... I think they're awesome! I wish every ride had one.

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Hey! All sorts of good advice here. Not much to add, really. Fun Spot's late night deals start at 9 PM and save you $15. I don't know if I saw that explicitly written anywhere.

 

Only thing I would suggest and I don't necessarily know if it is in the cards with your current plan...On my arrival and departure days into Orlando I volunteered for six or so hours each day at Give Kids the World. It was such a lovely time and really humbling. Depending on your personalities, you can really get a ton out of the experience. You can request more appealing assignments like Carousel or Train operator, village shuttle driver, late night pizza delivery (they do shifts in evenings and early morning, so it could work out even for just a 6:30-9 AM/PM shift). It is a shameless plug, I know. I had a really nice time there and they always can use a lending hand even if it is just for a 2.5 or 3 hour shift. You can decide impulsively to go as well (just need to clear a quick background check, which you can do a day or two before or just do now if you think there is even a remote possibility of it). Have a great time!

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You’ll be at Universal, so why not hang out at CityWalk?

 

Can someone confirm if you can visit another park before Discovery Cove with that package? Remember to ride Sand Serpant on Saturday if you care.

 

Ok citywalk it is. And riding Sand Serpent is not a big deal to me.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Resent sorry.

 

Another Animal Experience that I didn't see already mentioned but is also super worth it is the Kangaroos at Busch Gardens. They've been doing a walkabout in the middle of the day for most of the last year where you can go inside the Kangaroo pen, feed the animals, pet the roos, and like, literally hug them if you want. And I think it was $7 dollars when I did it last June.

 

The Serengeti Safari is also excellent. The train ride around the Savannah accomplishes most of the same thing though, but if you're splurging you get to hand-feed giraffes and the guides will take extra time to find and stop near every animal they can on the savannah for photos. I do think All-Day Dining is a better value for "things to spend extra on".

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I don't have anything to add to this thread other than have fun. BGT, SWO and Funspot are all completely awesome. Hoping to do Discovery Cove next time we head down and this thread is continuing to sell me on it.

pet the roos, and like, literally hug them if you want.

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They also have an aviary where you can feed hungry little shits.

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Then again, you're from Michigan so you probably think that that's acceptable water park weather anyway because you people are certifiably insane.

 

 

About 20 years ago I jumped into a cold Lake Huron in 60 degree weather because the waves were enormous. Wasn't planning on it. Just wanted to walk the shore but saw the waves and I immediately stripped down to my underwear and jumped in! It was fun.. so yes, we are insane..

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Can someone confirm if you can visit another park before Discovery Cove with that package?.

 

You absolutely can. Before, after, or a combination of both. I've been able to go straight to the gate in the past with the voucher, but some documentation (not from the official site) says to go to guest services first...

 

"The personalized ID card you receive at Discovery Cove check in will serve as your 14-day unlimited admission ticket to the sister park(s) after the Discovery Cove reservation date. If you visit one of the sister parks BEFORE your reservation date, you must present your E-Ticket and a photo ID for each party member 18 years or older at the Guest Relations/Services window located at the front gate of the sister park (i.e. SeaWorld)."

 

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Oh and on the topic of Discovery Cove, I completely forgot I made this video 6 years ago... mostly of the otter exhibit... (unfortunately you do NOT swim with them because they would probably claw you to death with their scary little hands; there is glass between you)

 

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