Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

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beserker
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Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by beserker » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:05 pm

Can anyone recommend an Orlando trip with grandparents and grandchildren for a short trip?

My children, 6 and 8 will be off on election Tuesday (11/6) and prior day Monday (11/5) and realizing I really don't have any photos of them with my parents who are 70 and 65, I am planning a short trip to Orlando Florida with them. It seems decent destination due to relatively short flight (2.5 hours vs 5 hours to west coast) and weather should be nicer there. Also I checked the crowd calendar, which was not so bad.

Essentially, it will be 2 1/2 day trip since it will be part Saturday (arriving at the airport at 9am), full Sunday and Monday, and return on Tuesday noon flight. Me and my parents have been to disney (magic kingdom, epcot), universal studio (both parks, but prior to Harry Potter) and seaworld about 17 years ago, but it appears a lot have changed since then.

So I read through some of the forum about Orlando in regard to the theme parks, and trying to make my children happy and my parents happy without exhausting them, I am coming to conclusion may be I should skip Disney and Universal Studio, although I am tempted due to crowd being much better than when we are typically able to go (I'm married to a teacher, so that sort of nails our vacation trips during school vacations, which is usually crowded or hot, etc.)

I asked my children where they want to go, Disney, Universal Studio, or Legoland, etc. They want to go to Legoland, but I don't think they understand what's at Disney parks and Universal studio. I'm not too excited about Legoland, but I think it might be good fit for my parents and my children as my mother has back issues from time to time and my younger one usually gets scared of any big kid rides like roller coasters, etc. I think there is also discount tickets available if I join some pta for school teachers or something.

So my current plan is may be go to Legoland on Saturday as it doesn't seem to be a large park. On Monday, go to Sea World (again, more of watching things, rather than riding things). Not sure on Sunday, may be go to a near by beach like clearwater beach, rest, or visit Disney springs or something.

The question I have is should I scrap that, and go for a splurge and take them to Disney parks (kind of sucks how they structured their ticket price, not much deals for 2 or 3 days). My understanding was that I should have planned Disney trips at least a month in advance. I think Universal Studio may be out of the question due to it being geared toward older kids, my younger one may not (most likely does not) want to ride those rides. Both of them do not know anything about Harry Potter.

I'm budgeting 3k or less. Airline ticket has been purchased through points. If I go to Disney, I would be spending close to that budget, if I choose the Legoland and Seaworld, that will be less than half that. Any recommendations or alternate suggestions? Did your kids enjoy legoland and seaworld? How about the grandparents?

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wabbajack
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by wabbajack » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:50 am

I have no idea what it's like with kids or grandparents, but I would say that a visit to Disney is worth it. Particularly since there's not going to be a large crowd.

I just came from Animal Kingdom last week. There weren't any roller-coaster rides that were the main attraction. The "one to do" was the Avatar (movie with blue people) flight simulator, where you strap onto a stationary bike and watch an IMAX movie. I felt it was worth doing and everyone can enjoy it. Given the amount of time you have, you'll probably only get the chance to do one park and I think AK should be it. If the kids are into Star Wars, Disney's Hollywood Studios may be a better bet.

Unless you have money to blow, I would skip Disney Springs. It's a very *very* nice area with upscale retailers and restaurants, but if you have a car/van, there's similar food within driving distance. The main reason I'm telling you to skip it is because (a) at night you can't appreciate 100% of how nice it is, and (b) you'll spend a hefty amount of that $3k taking a full family out for a night there. Personally, I loved it 8-)

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willthrill81
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:58 am

Yes, I grew up about a nine hour drive from WDW and highly recommend it, especially if you have children. Even one day can be a lot of fun. We're headed back down there in late January for our longest trip there yet.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

bob60014
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by bob60014 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:15 am

Is this a trip to more or less bond with the grandparents? If so, WDW, Legoland, U.S. etc would not be my choice, too many distractions. At ages 70 and 65 most that age are not interested in these places and more importantly, are your parents up to all the walking involved?

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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by smitcat » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:05 pm

Those dates 11/5 and 11/6 are not so crowded at WDW and we love it there.
You would need much more time to see all of WDW so decide ahead of time what exactly you want to see.
Always try to check the crowd calendar when you are going to the parks in Orlando.
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... mber-2018/
Have a great time...

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vineviz
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by vineviz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:22 pm

At those ages I strongly endorse Legoland.

My kid loved it when they were that young, in fact more than Disney . The new onsite hotel is great, the park is low-stress, and the whole thing is less exhausting for folks over 65.

The other Orlando parks are great, obviously, but your kids will enjoy those for many more years and they are more tiring for older guests, so I’d save them for future years.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

johnz1001
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by johnz1001 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:30 pm

vineviz wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:22 pm
At those ages I strongly endorse Legoland.

My kid loved it when they were that young, in fact more than Disney . The new onsite hotel is great, the park is low-stress, and the whole thing is less exhausting for folks over 65.

The other Orlando parks are great, obviously, but your kids will enjoy those for many more years and they are more tiring for older guests, so I’d save them for future years.
I live about a mile from Legoland. I've been to all the WDW parks, Disney Springs, Sea World, and Legoland. For grandparents and children of that age, I think Legoland is a good place to start. It's smaller, more intimate, and more fun things people can do together rather than standing in line and walking, walking, walking. Even at the age I went (56), I enjoyed it. There are a few rides there at Legoland; of course, not like Disney's but still the rides there can be exciting to kids 6 and 8. And Legoland has some interesting things to see. It's for children but it's not simply boring for adults. This is not a paid advertisement!

stan1
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by stan1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:38 pm

vineviz wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:22 pm
At those ages I strongly endorse Legoland.

My kid loved it when they were that young, in fact more than Disney . The new onsite hotel is great, the park is low-stress, and the whole thing is less exhausting for folks over 65.

The other Orlando parks are great, obviously, but your kids will enjoy those for many more years and they are more tiring for older guests, so I’d save them for future years.
I'd agree that Legoland is a great choice for 8 and 6 year olds. Park is really optimized for families with young children. Your kids are right at about the optimal age for Legoland, especially if they prefer not to be around big kid rides.

I think the grandparents will be happy anywhere the kids are happy but the smaller, less stressed out park should help them out too.

cutterinnj
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by cutterinnj » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:54 pm

smitcat wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:05 pm
Those dates 11/5 and 11/6 are not so crowded at WDW and we love it there.
You would need much more time to see all of WDW so decide ahead of time what exactly you want to see.
Always try to check the crowd calendar when you are going to the parks in Orlando.
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... mber-2018/
Have a great time...
I don’t know the specifics about lines, but it does fall in nj teacher's convention week.
I would have to guess that half of nj will be there

smitcat
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by smitcat » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:08 pm

cutterinnj wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:54 pm
smitcat wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:05 pm
Those dates 11/5 and 11/6 are not so crowded at WDW and we love it there.
You would need much more time to see all of WDW so decide ahead of time what exactly you want to see.
Always try to check the crowd calendar when you are going to the parks in Orlando.
https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlan ... mber-2018/
Have a great time...
I don’t know the specifics about lines, but it does fall in nj teacher's convention week.
I would have to guess that half of nj will be there
That is why I attached the crowd calendar (link) for your use - you can look it up and use actual data to make park decisions.

tnr
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by tnr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:49 pm

For a single day with kids that age and with grandparents, I would prefer a day at the beach versus WDW. That assumes of course that all of you like the beach. I think it will provide more opportunities for interactions between all of you. WDW is great and everyone would find something entertaining but its not really conducive to 1:1 interactions. My girls are older now and loved both the beach and WDW but seem to remember more details about our beach trips than our trips to the amusement parks.

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beserker
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by beserker » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:34 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies. It sounds like Legoland is a good for this trip, so I'll put that in my itinerary. Yes, my parents will enjoy my children more than the places we go. I may have to give more thoughts to Disney than I had intended. One thing I read was don't try to do theme park every day. So I guess it will have to be
Legoland + WDW or Legoland + Seaworld
And reserve one day for something other than theme park. At least it was good to know that Legoland will be a good fit.

researcher
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by researcher » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:21 am

beserker wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:34 pm
Thank you everyone for your replies. It sounds like Legoland is a good for this trip, so I'll put that in my itinerary. Yes, my parents will enjoy my children more than the places we go. I may have to give more thoughts to Disney than I had intended. One thing I read was don't try to do theme park every day. So I guess it will have to be
Legoland + WDW or Legoland + Seaworld
And reserve one day for something other than theme park. At least it was good to know that Legoland will be a good fit.
Since the primary reason for your trip is to allow your children and parents to bond, I vote for Legoland + Seaworld. Skip Disney this trip.
Legoland and Seaworld will be much more laid back and less stressful, with less walking and more time for casual interaction.
Save Disney for when it is just you and the kids. It takes much more time, planning and effort.

But personally, I would only do one park, instead of cramming two theme parks into a 2 day vacation...
- Sat: Stay at a nice resort with a big pool area. Relax/hang out at the resort. Disney Springs for dinner, ride the amphicars, go bowling, ect.
- Sun: Theme park day. I would pick Seaworld...allows more interaction b/w kids and grandparents, much closer to the airport/Disney Springs/other attractions, they have both sit-down shows and thrill rides.
- Mon: Either hang out at the resort again or do maybe a partial day at Discovery Cove, Aquatica or other Disney Springs activities.
- Tues: Leave for airport in AM

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vineviz
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by vineviz » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:33 am

beserker wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:34 pm
Thank you everyone for your replies. It sounds like Legoland is a good for this trip, so I'll put that in my itinerary. Yes, my parents will enjoy my children more than the places we go. I may have to give more thoughts to Disney than I had intended. One thing I read was don't try to do theme park every day. So I guess it will have to be
Legoland + WDW or Legoland + Seaworld
And reserve one day for something other than theme park. At least it was good to know that Legoland will be a good fit.
When my kids were this age, about a half-day at Disney was as much as they really enjoyed: by 1pm or so they would have much preferred to be back at the hotel swimming pool than doing more walking around a crowded theme park. YMMV, but we found that two half-days was preferable to one full day for them.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

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rob
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by rob » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:41 am

Most of those parks have electric chairs... Look into hiring/reserving those as will make the experience much better for parents... I also would pick one and do something lower key for the other but depends on kids/parents. Another thought since you mention photos... look for a local photg to get some better shots with the family - maybe sunset on beach or whatever - really is worth it for the future rather than cell phone snaps... Have fun.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

Texanbybirth
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:47 am

For a slightly different perspective, our 3.5 and 2 year old had a blast spending all day at Epcot this summer. We haven't taken them to Legoland, but I imagine your kids' ages are perfect to visit Legoland. I'd try to visit a Disney park on Sunday. Of course, your kids will probably get the Disney "bug" and you'll be planning (budgeting) for your next trip back as soon as your get home. :D

(Know that driving from Orlando to Tampa/Clearwater can take over 2 hours one-way easily. If you're going to try to squeeze in a beach trip one day, plan to spend a lot of time in the car that day, too. We've made this drive MANY times [tons of family in Orlando area], and it's not a super fun day trip. I-4 can be a real beast.)
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by galectin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:48 am

Have your parents or you been to the Kennedy Space Center? It is a one hour drive to the east of Orlando.

I will be in Orlando this spring for a wedding at Disney and my wife and I plan to go there for a day. We are the same age as your parents and remember the moon landing and flights preceding it. I have been told that there is bus transportation between spots for the tour of the Space Center so walking is less of an issue than going around Walt Disney World.

You will have to assess the interest your kids might have in this.

28fe6
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by 28fe6 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:09 pm

Skip Disney completely, period.

My kids enjoyed the Crayola Experience to a surprising extent. SeaWorld is good. So is the Orlando Science Museum.
Last edited by 28fe6 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

28fe6
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by 28fe6 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:10 pm

duplicate

Topic Author
beserker
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by beserker » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:17 pm

Just to update on our trip, we went to Legoland the first day we arrived which was a letdown, followed by Magic Kingdom which was a disaster, so we skipped all the theme park the third day and just did Madam Toussand or something due to Groupon availability and then hit the arcade, which kids enjoyed much better.

I was skeptical about people saying kids will enjoy the pool better, now I know. They had more "happier" times at the pool and spending time with their grandparents at the hotel than Legoland and Magic Kingdom.

Legoland was right for their age, but some of the staffs were not well trained, they looked like they hated being there, some will talk to you in almost angry shouting tone. Sometimes lines won't move for awhile due to people with fastpass or something similar, keep cutting in, and the regular lines wouldn't even move for awhile. At least at Disney, there were separate lines that kept moving. Fortunately, I joined Florida PTA, and purchased a much discounted ticket, which saved a ton of money. Btw, no check for PTA membership, the ticket you purchase online is an actual ticket, which I knew about, but I joined anyway.

Disney waiting was ridiculous. A line to get into the park, a line for a shuttle, a line for bag check, a line for metal detector, line for ticket purchase, a line either for monorail or ferry, a line to scan your ticket, followed by even much longer lines for every rides. It wasn't the Disney I remembered like 20 years ago. Fortunately, we got to ride 3 or 4 rides thanks to fastpass application, but it had its faults as when a ride is closed, fastpass app didn't notify us, only after I got back to the hotel, they "emailed" the notification which indicated I can substitute that fastpass for other rides, ouch. We went back for the magical firework after spending sometime at the pool, only to have rain ruin it before 10 minutes it was to start (which btw, it started after 15 minute delay, but by then, we were already in line for monorail).

Overall, at least kids know what Orlando, Disney is like, now they don't ask me to take them to Disney World anymore. :)

researcher
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by researcher » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:24 pm

beserker wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:17 pm
Just to update on our trip, we went to Legoland the first day we arrived which was a letdown, followed by Magic Kingdom which was a disaster, so we skipped all the theme park the third day and just did Madam Toussand or something...

I was skeptical about people saying kids will enjoy the pool better, now I know. They had more "happier" times at the pool and spending time with their grandparents at the hotel than Legoland and Magic Kingdom.

Disney waiting was ridiculous.

I tried to warn you...
Since the primary reason for your trip is to allow your children and parents to bond, I vote for Legoland + Seaworld. Skip Disney this trip.
Save Disney for when it is just you and the kids. It takes much more time, planning and effort.

But personally, I would only do one park, instead of cramming two theme parks into a 2 day vacation...
- Sat: Stay at a nice resort with a big pool area. Relax/hang out at the resort. Disney Springs for dinner, ride the amphicars, go bowling, ect.
- Sun: Theme park day. I would pick Seaworld...allows more interaction b/w kids and grandparents...
- Mon: Either hang out at the resort again or do maybe a partial day at Discovery Cove, Aquatica or other Disney Springs activities.

JBTX
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by JBTX » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:37 pm

Been to Disney multiple times, grew up reasonably near parks. Since then tool kids several times. Hope to never have to do it again.

Lines are almost always bad. There are really on a half dozen rides/attractions kids enjoy. There is a best way to do it, as to when to get there, where to go in, which way to go and which rides to do first and last. You have about 1-2 hours with reasonable lines then after is just miserable until night. Our kid is special needs so that did help us (get a pass) get in and out better.

Last time we got a multi park pass and hit them all in one day.

renue74
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by renue74 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:50 pm

Wow. I took our boys to Disney about 10 years ago when they were 7 and 5. We did it over Thanksgiving holiday and we loved it. It was busy, but not really that bad. I think we did Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and MGM....in 4 days.

I remember it being one of our better family vacations when the kids were smaller.

Maybe we just hit it on a good week. But, we'll never go back. My kids have grown out of that.

I have an employee who takes his girlfriend every year or so. It's the strangest thing. I would NEVER vacation in Orlando as an adult w/o kids. Too many other places to be.

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KSOC
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by KSOC » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:33 pm

FYI to future visitors - best beach to go to from Orlando is Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side. Straight shot on SR 528 (Beach Line) takes about an hour & little traffic, unless there's a rocket launch. As a poster pointed out Kennedy Space Center - outstanding. Another good day trip is Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. About 1.5 hours NW of Orlando & fascinating real look at live Florida creatures big & small. Also a good look at life in Florida beyond theme parks & bustling big cities. I've been there twice, & also nearby Cross Creek (between Gainesville & Ocala), home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings of The Yearling fame.
Too soon old, too late smart.

Darth Poppy
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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by Darth Poppy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:58 pm

My family and I are Disney fanatics. We live in Kentucky, have annual passes and visited 6 times in 2018 (all driving). Disney is hard to do without a lot of planning. We have friends who say “we went to magic kingdom and hated it”..... without careful planning I can see how it would seem like a wasted day of waiting and just standing in line. We always suggest to everyone to plan ahead, plan ahead and plan ahead. I realize couldn’t in your case, but just for other readers.

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Re: Short trip to Orlando with my parents and children

Post by RudyS » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:37 am

A number of years ago we did an intergenerational trip like OP. Our son, DIL and 3 kids. Plus my DW and I. Plus DIL's parents. That's 9 of us. We did Disney World. Others have described wait times, etc, etc. But I have one good suggestion. When we went, after 20 min., someone needed a restroom. Another 20 minutes, someone else needed to go. At that point, I established a policy:" when one goes, everyone goes." That helped a lot to reduce dead time.

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