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Nick Soapdish

Disney and Other Theme Parks aka PB's fairgrounds for young girls

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Cheers Herbie, that's a big help. Feeling a bit out of my depth so no idea if I'm going to be overpaying or of there are certain things we really need to do. I like the idea of the separate hotel for Universal though. Universal is on the list, as is Sea World.

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Your budget seems about right for a family of 5 for 2 weeks.

 

We actually under-spent - but I had budgeted way too much spending money; around ‚ā¨6-7k. We spent <‚ā¨4k.

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On the topic of theme park food, there's this snackfood that I've only ever found in two places: the (now closed) cinema in my old town, and a stall at Alton Towers. Both many, many years ago.

 

They were called "grits," but weren't the things that Americans eat for breakfast (based on my experience of watching Crocodile Dundee).

 

They were more like a puffier version of Quavers (only less curly, and unflavoured), and were cooked on-site, served in card/paper scoops from the kind of large glass case you'd normally see filled with popcorn.

 

Now, does anyone have the faintest idea what I'm talking about, and whether these things are better known by a different name? I can't understand why they appear to be so rare, as they're perfect for both occasions described.

I used to get them at Telford Ice Rink and Wolverhampton's bowling alley.

 

They do bacon flavour ones called Krax at some bars. sound similar to these

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This is all good stuff, and I'll definitely check out the podcast.

 

With regard to the magic bands, does anyone know if that's just a Disney thing or if they do it at Universal too? I was planning on paying on a card for everything as I always hate carrying cash. If I don't even need my card, then even better  :thumbsup:

Edit: double-post.

Just Disney for now. No plans for a Universal one just yet, well not in the same way anyway

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Cheers Herbie, that's a big help. Feeling a bit out of my depth so no idea if I'm going to be overpaying or of there are certain things we really need to do. I like the idea of the separate hotel for Universal though. Universal is on the list, as is Sea World.

Join this FB group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ORLANDOTIME/

 

They can answer all of your detailed questions & give you advice on both Disney & Universal parks. A lot of people from the UK there. Also keep in mind that everyone thinks the way they do it is the best way. Just take all the advice on board, weigh up the pros & cons, & see what works for you & your family.

 

One thing to keep in mind too, would be that if you flew from Dublin, you can pre-clear US immigration. A lot of UK people do this. Get a cheap Ryanair flight over to Dublin that morning (the Dublin > Orlando flight leaves at 2:10pm, so plenty of time to do it that morning). The last thing people want after a 9 hr flight and exhausted kids, is to join a long queue with a few hundred people in it. We just breezed straight through and straight onto the Disney coach.

Edited by herbie747

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Get the FastPass (or equivalent) package for the rides ... really worth it! :)  If you're planning on going off-site, be sure you know where you want to go & research the easiest route if you're taking a taxi; not saying you may get ripped off, but first-timers anywhere in the USA can be vulnerable to unscrupulous taxi drivers.  Better still, rent a good sized car & get yourself there; driving really is a piece of piss.

Depending on the on site hotel express passes are complementary.

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Out of interest, if you're having a car & want to have more independence, rent a villa in the Davenport area; they mostly come with private pools & AC, plus they're almost always near a good size supermarket & varying other shops.  The one we rented last July was 20 mins drive to Disney, 40 mins to Universal & 70 mins to Tampa/St Pete Beach.

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I'm thinking of taking the wife and our three kids to Orlando next year. I've never been to America and it's always been my dream holiday. I've priced it up and we're looking at about £12k for 2 weeks, staying on site with car rental, park passes etc. Is it worth doing the food deal? The one I'd priced up is 2 buffet meals a day, a snack and drinks. It adds about a grand on but is it worth it?

Any other tip[s on how to reduce costs as I'm thinking they'll want loads of spending money too. Who are the best folks to book through?

 

12k sounds a hell of a lot. Last time we went, pre kids (2010), we did 3 weeks, Disney's Pop Century for one week, Hilton Doubletree Suite on Idrive for a week and Hilton at Clearwater beach. Did park tickets for WDW and Universal/seaworld, and car hire, for about £3500 total! We did or own dining. We would eat a big(ish) breakfast in the morning, maybe a lunch time snack and dinner. Found with the heat we drank more then we ate. I don't rate the dining plans, but they are good for budgeting. Also, the dining plans are great if you are not going to other parks. But say for example you want to go to SeaWorld (1 day park really) and Universal (2-3 day park minimum). That's 4 days you will have to pay for food anyway. If you are willing to drive, Idrive have lots of cheap hotels and getting to Disney takes around 20minutes (parking is extra though), though most hotels will lay on shuttles as well (which get busy) but will bring the costs down considerably. I drive have lots of places you may have heard in films and TV shows but never been to so I like going to Wendy's (which I did used to go to in the UK) and Popeye's Chicken. Their Taco Bell's are quite different to ours as well. KFC I don't rate there though so avoid. Cheap places to eat though on a budget.

 

Package deals are good options, but if you are willing to book separate there are great deals. Norwegian Air for example were doing UK to Orlando return for £300 each a few weeks back. You can buy park tickets over here too cheaper then US.

 

I reckon you should be able to do that, easily, for around £6k. Ask an independent Travel agent like Holiday Hamster for a quote as well

 

 

Cheers Herbie, that's a big help. Feeling a bit out of my depth so no idea if I'm going to be overpaying or of there are certain things we really need to do. I like the idea of the separate hotel for Universal though. Universal is on the list, as is Sea World.

I also recommend Discovery Cove. Swimming with Dolphins, abeit not for long, is magical, and the whole day out there is fun

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Nick/ Herbs, you're both stars, cheers. Going to look in to Dublin flights and Holiday Hamster now!

While all US-bound flights from Dublin (and Shannon) will pre-clear US immigration, Aer Lingus are the only ones that fly direct to Orlando. 

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Alton Towers. Must've been about 7. The Gladiators were on park. I remember being on a ride (might've been Corkscrew), with Rhino and Saracen who were in front of me, both closed their eyes the whole way round and when someone said "Put your hands up Rhino" he let out a girly "Nooo!" Immense memory

 

I should get my wife to post here. She's a fright nights actor at Thorpe Park and has some EXCELLENT stories.

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On a school trip to Denmark many years ago. We went to Lego Land there. I believe it's the original park. Have find memories of that. Especially the driving school.

Have always wanted to do the Disney parks. Never managed it. From what I'm reading here it seems very expensive. Is it worth those prices?

Went to Universal LA whilst at WM 21. Really enjoyed that. Remember keeping my eyes closed on the Mummy 2 ride. I was denied entry to a Nickelodeon section. It had this awesome space rocket water fountain thing, that I wanted to take a picture with.

Would really like to do the Orlando parks one day.

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Disney parks can be done on a budget. Depends how you look and book. For example last year on Expedia I got 4 nights at Disneys Hotel Santa Fa, tickets and breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids under 4 for £186! Eurostar returns (2 adult tickets as under 4's can sit on laps) for £144 so less then £500 for a 5 day holiday to Disneyland Paris.

 

America is a different beast but again can be done for under £4K easy if you stay off site. Less if no kids like.

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On a school trip to Denmark many years ago. We went to Lego Land there. I believe it's the original park. Have find memories of that. Especially the driving school.

Have always wanted to do the Disney parks. Never managed it. From what I'm reading here it seems very expensive. Is it worth those prices?

Went to Universal LA whilst at WM 21. Really enjoyed that. Remember keeping my eyes closed on the Mummy 2 ride. I was denied entry to a Nickelodeon section. It had this awesome space rocket water fountain thing, that I wanted to take a picture with.

Would really like to do the Orlando parks one day.

Also the Orlando parks are much bigger then the California ones. Both Disney and Universal Edited by Nick Soapdish

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I went to Disney Paris when I was younger. All my memories of it are great, yet it always makes me feel very sad and loathe myself when I think about it.

 

Either I've repressed being molested by some French bloke dressed as Goofy or I just can't handle nice things.

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