Two full weeks to enjoy all the parks covered by the Orlando 6 Park FlexiTicket seems like plenty of time, but there is a lot to pack in, especially if you’d like to experience them at a comfortable pace. If you’re staying onsite at Universal Orlando, you’ve already got a jump on things with Early Entry into the Harry Potter areas of each park, and Universal Express Front of the Queue privileges if you’re staying at one of Universal’s deluxe resorts. With Front of the Queue, you can take each Universal park at your leisure. Without it, you’re going to need a plan.
Here is what we recommend to get the maximum enjoyment with minimum stress out of your stay:
Day One: The transatlantic flight is over, you’ve navigated the airport and the drive to your accommodation, and your reward is a chilled-out evening to rest up and be ready to hit the ground running tomorrow. Grab a bite of dinner, splash in your pool for an hour, and remember, you’ll be up by 5am due to the time change. And that’s a good thing!
Day Two: You’re awake with the sunrise, and that means you’ll be ahead of the majority when you enter Islands of Adventure today. The first two hours of the day are your new best friend; take advantage of them by riding The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey before 11am. Make Skull Island: Reign of Kong your next attraction, then pick and choose from the remaining attractions that appeal to you most. You’ll return here later in your holiday, so don’t try to fit it all in today. Take a mid-day break if you need it, or make an early night of it as you adjust to jet lag. You can catch the night time entertainment during your next visit.
Day Three: With time still left on your jet lag meter, make another early start today and hit Universal Studios. Head straight to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, then Transformers: The Ride 3D, stopping to get a return time for Fast & Furious: Supercharged before riding Escape from Gringotts. Spend some time enjoying Diagon Alley (be sure to snap a photo when the dragon breathes fire!), then check the wait times for Men in Black Alien Attack and The Simpsons Ride. Your second visit here will include more of the “biggies” so enjoy some of the minor attractions this afternoon. It is unlikely you’ll have the stamina to stay on for the night-time show, so save it for your next visit.
Day Four: It’s a water park kind of day! Take a break from the theme-park pace with a visit to Universal’s Volcano Bay. Unlike traditional water parks, this one requires you to schedule your rides one at a time, so you’ll want to decide in advance which rides you most want to try. You’ll receive a TapuTapu band upon entry, which you’ll tap on a scanner at each ride to schedule your time. Be sure to make Krakatau Water Coaster one of your early selections, and if you’re brave, try for Ko’Okiri Body Plunge, with its 70 degree drop. Between rides, relax at Waturi Beach or float along Kopiki Wai Winding River.
Day Five: By now you need a break, even if you think you don’t need a break. You’re not at the half-way point yet, but jet lag has probably caught up with you. This is a great day to venture out for some shopping at Premium Outlets or Mall at Millenia, then enjoy your pool and make an early night of it so you’re ready for more thrills tomorrow.
Day Six: Hop in your hire car or catch the free shuttle from SeaWorld, because you’re heading to Busch Gardens Tampa today! It’s the undisputed “king of coasters” park, but don’t worry if you’re not a thrill ride fan, there is plenty to do without ever facing your fears. If you do want a coaster-filled day, Cheetah Hunt,Cobra’s Curse, SheiKra and Montu should be your prime targets. Give yourself a break with a few shows, add Falcon’s Fury if you’re brave, and, if today is hot, make Congo River Rapids your mid-day cool-down.
Day Seven: After yesterday’s thrills, today can be taken at an ultra-leisurely pace in Orlando’s most laid-back theme park, SeaWorld. It’s all about the shows, so consult your park map and choose the ones you’ll most enjoy, making sure you also visit Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin early in the day, and Infinity Falls mid-day if it’s hot. If you have the stamina for more thrills, aim for Manta, Mako and Kraken, in that order, early in the day or during the last two hours before closing. You’ll return to SeaWorld again, so don’t try to fit all the shows in today.
Day Eight: Continue yesterday’s watery theme with a visit to Aquatica. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are enormous parks, so give your feet a break today with time on a beach lounger, sprinkle a few water slides in, and don’t miss one of the best “lazy rivers” in Orlando with several turns around the surprisingly NOT lazy Roa’s Rapids. Thrill-seekers in your group? See if they’re brave enough for the heart-pounding drop-away floors at Ihu’s Breakaway Falls.
Day Nine:Return to Universal Studios today to catch the attractions you didn’t have time for during your first visit, or re-visit your favourites. If you need a lie-in, have one, and stay until closing tonight. Aim for Revenge of the Mummy when you arrive, stopping for a return time for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon along the way, then pop over for some “alien time” on the E.T. Adventure. If you haven’t done Rip Ride Rockit or Shrek 4D yet, early evening is a good time for shorter queues.
Day Ten: It’s time for a mini holiday within your holiday. If you have a car, consider a visit to pretty Winter Park for some shopping, dining, and the fab boat tour, or visit some of the minor attractions along International Drive. Hot day? A return visit to Volcano Bay may be just the thing, followed by dinner at one of CityWalk’s terrific restaurants.
Day Eleven: Roll on up to Islands of Adventure after a long lie-in and a hearty breakfast. Late morning is a good time to explore the Hogsmeade area, perhaps making a round-trip on Hogwarts Express for lunch at Leaky Cauldron before returning for more time in IoA. Mid-afternoon is a great time for Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges, followed by Jurassic Park River Adventure and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls while you’re still wet. Want another ride on The Hulk or Reign of Kong? Visit during the last hour before closing.
Day Twelve: If you have a hire car or you don’t mind an early start for the shuttle, return to Busch Gardens for a second chance at SheiKra or Falcon’s Fury—especially if you chickened out the first time! Take in more of the animal attractions, too, including the fascinating Animal Care Center. You may even see a surgical procedure in progress. If you’d like to discover more about the animals that make their home here, sign up for a backstage tour. The Serengeti Safari and Penguin Insider are two of the best.
Day Thirteen: It’s been a fantastic holiday so far, and a busy one, so take the pace down a notch with a second visit to SeaWorld. Ride Journey to Atlantis andInfinity Falls if you need a mid-day refresher, or stay dry while you cool down with a visit to Turtle Trek. This is a good day to hang out at the Dolphin Nursery,Dolphin Cove, Manta Aquarium, Manatee Rehabilitation Area, Stingray Lagoon and Pacific Point Preserve. They’re fabulous experiences that show what SeaWorld is really all about.
Day Fourteen: Today is your last day in Orlando, but it’s also a Flexi kind of day, giving you the freedom to choose a return visit to Aquatica for some more watery fun, hit the shops at Florida Mall, or simply relax and enjoy your accommodation before your return flight home. If you’d like something completely Floridian, Gatorland makes a terrific 3-4 hour stop on your way to the airport. Sad to be leaving? We understand. But don’t worry…you WILL be back!
Best way to beat those post-holiday blues once you’re home again? Start planning your next Orlando holiday!
OK, now tell us YOUR idea of the perfect 14-Day Universal/SeaWorld Parks holiday on the Attraction Tickets Direct forums.
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