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  • [Question] Disney On A Dime? No way

    I've been planning my trip to Orlando for awhile and I realized, there's no way I can get my family there cheaply for less than $1000 for tickets alone if I want to visit both WDW and Universal. I will not stay on-site at WDW so I will rent a car.

    The sweet spot for Disney "Magic Your Way" tickets is between $200 to $300 for 3 to 10 days. Add more money for water parks. (I won't get the park hopping option.)

    Universal cost $90 for one park, but merely $130 for 2 parks with hopping.

    Thus, I can easily spend $400 per person. My eyes have bugged out!!!

    I can see why some people might decide to omit Universal from the equation and just go to WDW to save money, but times have changed. Why bother going to WDW?

    Since I live in Southern Cal, I can decide to skip the Magic Kingdom and the Studios Park. I will definitely visit Animal Kingdom, perhaps EPCOT, but I don't want to miss Typhoon Lagoon (the best water park I've been). I think buying a la cart tickets is probably the best choice for Disney. I don't want to miss Harry Potter at Universal.

    My trip will have to include Cape Canaveral since I once worked on the space program. Oh well, some things cost money, but I'm trying to keep costs low with the recession and all.

    Maybe some of you here have better ideas.

  • #2
    Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

    I think I would do the same as far as Disney park choices if I was trying to limit my days there. I definitely want to go to Universal on my next visit, and I always enjoy going to the Space Center.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

      If you spend $80 to visit Hollywood Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom, you may come away disappointed when you're done with the park by noon. I would definitely do Epcot because the park is unlike anything in California. Also, I would just do Islands of Adventure and not both parks. There's nothing at Universal Studios that's really worth the extra money, and you wouldn't have enough time to do both parks in one day anyway.

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      • #4
        Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

        I went to Animal Kingdom before. If you visit all the animal exhibits, shows and parades, along with rides, you can spend a decent amount of time there, but you will definitely be done by 4 or 5pm. I enjoyed my visit and I think my toddler will want to spend time looking at the animals and plant life.

        You might be right about Universal Studios; however, I heard the Mummy ride is superior there. In the end, I could skip it and only visit IOA.

        My ticket expense will drop $40 per person by omitting Universal Studios.

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        • #5
          Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

          I recommend Epcot over Animal Kingdom if you can't do both. It would be ashame to miss Expedition Everest, but frankly, the rest of the park isn't that interesting. (Pretty, though.) Epcot has a lot more to offer and is completely unlike Disneyland/DCA.

          Regarding Universal, I disagree with the above poster who said you can't do both parks in a day. We do both parks in one day all the time, BUT we've been enough to know what attractions we don't like (quite a lot of them, at both parks, honestly). At Universal, we really like MIB (like Buzz lightyear, but better) the Simpsons ride (used to be Back to the Future), ET, the Mummy, and the new rollercoaster where you choose your own music (can't think of it's name). They have a lot of stuff we don't like. But perhaps you've seen it all at the Universal in California? I haven't been there in twenty years so I don't know what they have. Of course Island of Adventure has Harry Potter, also a Dr. Seuss area, a couple of fantastic roller coasters, the Spiderman ride, some water rapid/flume rides; and quite a lot of other stuff that doesn't interest us. So for us, we gotta do both parks to make a full day out of it.

          Maybe you should take a good look at the websites for all the parks, pick the attractions that appeal to you and your family, and try to prioritize that way.

          I wish I had a great "you can save a lot of money if..." tip, but I just don't!

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          • #6
            Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

            Originally posted by ryno1986 View Post
            If you spend $80 to visit Hollywood Studios or Disney's Animal Kingdom, you may come away disappointed when you're done with the park by noon.
            Okay that opinion is so dated. Why are people still fixated on this idea that the Studios or DAK or both half day parks? What the hell?! Maybe on opening day, but we spend at least two days in both of those parks now! Come on guys. Things have changed you know.
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            • #7
              Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

              Originally posted by lily23 View Post
              It would be ashame to miss Expedition Everest, but frankly, the rest of the park isn't that interesting. (Pretty, though.)
              Again, opinions like this baffle me. I'm just gonna put it down to personal preferences. *mutters to self about how ridiculous it is that someone couldn't be interested in the rest of DAK*
              BACKPACKING REALNESS

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              • #8
                Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                Originally posted by Speedway View Post
                Again, opinions like this baffle me. I'm just gonna put it down to personal preferences. *mutters to self about how ridiculous it is that someone couldn't be interested in the rest of DAK*
                To your benefit, my wife, who knows nothing about WDW, has specifically asked to go to Animal Kingdom. I enjoyed it before so its decided... we won't miss Animal Kingdom.

                She also wants to enjoy a lazy river at a water park. That's why Typhoon Lagoon is on our itinerary.

                I guess EPCOT is an option that we can decide to take or eliminate. Not sure yet.

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                • #9
                  Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                  I missed your last post somehow. Ok, you heard the mummy is superior here? hmm, it ain't that great, I wouldn't go to extremes over it.

                  Toddler: well, the Finding Nemo ride and Talking with Crush thing and the whole aquarium there at Epcot would all be cool. They have some hands-on interactive stuff at Inoventions (nothing like the one at Disneyland). Spaceship Earth is pretty cool, Maelstrom is fun and weird, the ride in Mexico is OK, the Land ride etc. Plenty plenty to do for adults as well.

                  But hey, many people really like Animal Kingdom

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                    Originally posted by Speedway View Post
                    Again, opinions like this baffle me. I'm just gonna put it down to personal preferences. *mutters to self about how ridiculous it is that someone couldn't be interested in the rest of DAK*
                    (laughs) yeah, it just doesn't do it for me. It's OK. Definitely, we prefer Epcot. Just an opinion, of course!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                      Oh yeah, the water parks! Blizzard Beach has a lazy river too. They have a LARGE section for toddlers. I think it's better than Typhoon Lagoon, but hey, I'm the one who said skip AK, so don't listen to me

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                      • #12
                        Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                        The water parks are incredible.

                        It could be argued that you may have just as good a day at Universal as you could at Disney, but there is no one who could say there is a better water park in Florida than Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. World class.
                        BACKPACKING REALNESS

                        DISNEY TRIPS
                        October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
                        October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        October 2004 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        October 2007 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
                        July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
                        July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
                        July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
                        February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
                        February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

                        (VERY OLD!)
                        TRIP REPORTS

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                        • #13
                          Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                          Originally posted by Speedway View Post
                          The water parks are incredible.

                          It could be argued that you may have just as good a day at Universal as you could at Disney, but there is no one who could say there is a better water park in Florida than Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. World class.
                          Hooray! We agree

                          What time of year are you coming, StevenW? Could make a big difference regarding water parks. It can be bleepin cold in the middle of winter.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                            Jaws is a boat ride here in FL. Is there even a Men in Black in Hollywood? (I'm out of the loop there). And there's Rip Ride Rockit, such as it is.

                            If water parks are your thing, I might be tempted, the above paragraph notwithstanding, to remove USF from the itinerary and replace it with Blizzard Beach, so you're hitting BOTH water parks. I prefer TL myself, but BB's lazy river is nice and long, at least.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                              Come to think of it, Innoventions and the aquarium are probably reasons to avoid EPCOT. I felt Innoventions had some interesting exhibits, but ultimately they are time wasters. It will be hard to keep everyone together when one person or another has to see an particular exhibit. Usually in these cases, my wife will feel left out. I'll go off on my own, while my toddler has to see her things with my wife following her around. At around the half hour mark, my wife will want to leave.

                              The aquarium was the weak point at EPCOT. I've seen better exhibits before. The only thing good is how large it is. The fish variety is lacking, and its just a bunch of white walls.

                              DCA has Talking with Crush. Interesting show, but perhaps not comprehensible to a toddler.

                              I felt the tour around the world was nice, but mainly for eating. Okay, maybe EPCOT isn't so appropriate for my family.

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                              • #16
                                Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                                Originally posted by KevinYee View Post
                                Jaws is a boat ride here in FL. Is there even a Men in Black in Hollywood? (I'm out of the loop there). And there's Rip Ride Rockit, such as it is.
                                Hollywood (actually Universal City) doesn't have these rides, but we will soon have Transformers, which appears to be on the same technology as IOA's Spiderman.

                                If water parks are your thing, I might be tempted, the above paragraph notwithstanding, to remove USF from the itinerary and replace it with Blizzard Beach, so you're hitting BOTH water parks. I prefer TL myself, but BB's lazy river is nice and long, at least.
                                I guess I prefer the look of TL. I don't like looking at fake snow. My eyes get blinded from the whiteness of it all.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                                  Originally posted by StevenW View Post
                                  Come to think of it, Innoventions and the aquarium are probably reasons to avoid EPCOT. I felt Innoventions had some interesting exhibits, but ultimately they are time wasters. It will be hard to keep everyone together when one person or another has to see an particular exhibit. Usually in these cases, my wife will feel left out. I'll go off on my own, while my toddler has to see her things with my wife following her around. At around the half hour mark, my wife will want to leave.

                                  The aquarium was the weak point at EPCOT. I've seen better exhibits before. The only thing good is how large it is. The fish variety is lacking, and its just a bunch of white walls.

                                  DCA has Talking with Crush. Interesting show, but perhaps not comprehensible to a toddler.

                                  I felt the tour around the world was nice, but mainly for eating. Okay, maybe EPCOT isn't so appropriate for my family.
                                  There ya go. Sounds like you should skip it, especially if it helps the budget

                                  Originally posted by StevenW View Post
                                  Hollywood (actually Universal City) doesn't have these rides, but we will soon have Transformers, which appears to be on the same technology as IOA's Spiderman.
                                  You don't have Jaws? Thought I remembered it being there in the '70s/early '80s...

                                  Originally posted by StevenW View Post
                                  I guess I prefer the look of TL. I don't like looking at fake snow. My eyes get blinded from the whiteness of it all.
                                  ***wonders if should mention that WWofHarry Potter has fake snow***

                                  um, have you been to Blizzard Beach? If you have, ignore me. If not... it's a really fantastic park, tons of rides, big toddler area, long lazy river. Typhoon Lagoon has a better wave pool, but fewer rides. Can't remember what they have for little ones.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                                    Jaws is part of the tram ride rather than a separate boat ride. It is still there.

                                    I know the Harry Potter land has fake snow. I guess I'm just particular about the water park that has it.

                                    I will certainly look into Blizzard Beach a bit more from your advice. I have a toddler, but she will be 5 years old by the time of the trip.

                                    Since my decision is based on the budget, I think I will start with Universal and work my way to Disney. That way, we will get our fill initially and might not feel it is necessary to see more of Disney.

                                    I'm also seriously reconsidering visiting the Magic Kingdom instead of EPCOT. Although there are many similarities to Disneyland, there could be enough changes in the park to attract my kid, which is really the point of going.
                                    Last edited by StevenW; 02-10-2011, 11:29 AM.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                                      It's too bad that the Fantasyland Expansion won't be finished for at least another year (two at most) or otherwise the MK decision would be easy.

                                      I can give you some great reasons to visit either Epcot or DAK.

                                      Epcot: there's a lot more to do here than just Innoventions and the Aquarium. The World Showcase alone you can spend a day in. There's only two rides in this area (both dark boat rides) but they're still worth your time. There's also the American Adventure animatronic show and the Illuminations nightime show. Outside of World Showcase the biggest attractions are Test Track (our version of the upcoming RSR coming to DCA), Mission Space, and Spaceship Earth (the dark ride in the park icon) and of course Soarin. If you've already been on Soarin in DCA then skipping this will be a time saver cuz FPs run out rather quick and the wait time is 3 hrs after that. Get a FP for Test Track and save time the moment you enter the park. I would also try our Finding Nemo ride. There's not much to it but it's charming and preferable to the Submarine Lagoon (we use the same clamshell Omnimover cars that will be used for the upcoming TLM ride).

                                      DAK: as everyone said Expedition Everest, along with Dinosaur (uses Indiana Jones ride system), Kali River Rapids, and Kilomanjaro Safaris. The immersion of this park is so massive and amazing.

                                      Both parks are huge and will require a ton of walking just to warn you. And because both parks have few major attractions you would be waiting a long time for attractions (even with FP) depending on how crowds are when you go. If you cant decide between the two, get a parkhopper.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Disney On A Dime? No way

                                        I guess this is an issue of vacation habits and all, but, if you KNOW that you're making major sacrifices for the sake of saving a buck, why don't you just wait longer and save so that your trip doesn't have to be full of compromises?

                                        This isn't directly about you, per se, so don't take offense. I just hear these questions a lot. People can only afford one park on their vacation, don't buy park hopper, etc. Most of these people do seem really disappointed that they have to sacrifice those things.

                                        When you're on property, you know that these things you opted out of will be in your face the entire time. So why not save on the frustration and just go at a later time, once you've saved more money to afford these things?

                                        I know that certain people can only vacation at certain times and there are issues like that, but seriously, I hear this very very often.

                                        I also wanted to add that contrary to popular belief, staying at a value resort on-property, using Disney transportation, and using a shuttle to get to Universal, is substantially less than renting a car for your entire trip and staying off-property. You may think you have found a deal off property, but it adds up quickly. I've done the math many a time.

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