Florida Park tips/advice?

Hey All,

So I'm going to be leaving here on February 29th to head south.
Stopping at SFOG for opening day (March 1st)to re-new my Season Pass and enjoy some coasters, then heading down to Florida when then park closes.
Here's where I could use some tips/advice, as I've never been to any parks in Florida.
I'm driving my Mom down to La Belle to visit my Aunt & Uncle. I'm dropping her off, and maybe staying the night there.

The next day I plan to get up and head out to ride some coasters!
We should arrive at my aunts house on the 2nd of March sometime. I have till March 8th to hit all of the parks and do whatever else I can squeeze in.

First of all, I'm not going to any of the Disney parks. I want to save those for a separate vacation when I can just stay on Disney property.

I would like to hit Boomers, Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Sea World, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure... depending on how much time I actually have, Boomers may get scratched off the list.

I would appreciate any help, tips, suggestions, or anything you think that I may need to know (i.e Hotels, Tickets, a certain order I should do the parks, or what days to visit them, etc...).
It will only be me and my roommate hitting the parks.

Thanks in advance,

GCI Coasters + Millennium Flyer Trains = Love!


WildStangAlex's avatar
Well, when we went to Busch Gardens we stayed at the Baymont, which is walking distance from the park entrance, saving on parking money. As for what to do there, It's totally up to you. Obviously hit up the "big 3" being Sheikra, Montu, Kumba. Then there is free beer at the hospitality house, and some fantastic water rides.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

Scratch Boomers! :(

They have the best Coaster in Florida! ;)

Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!

Definitely hit up both Universal Parks. IOA is probably the coolest "theme" parks I've ever been to. If price/time is of concern you can actually but a one day ticket good for both parks. I'm not saying you could get everything done at both in one day but you could definitely get to all the coasters, especially with their fast pass system (take advantage of that). Other than coasters make sure you see the Spiderman ride and if you like water rides, Jurrasic Park and Dudley Doo-Right's log ride are awesome.

As far as the old side of the resort, I really liked Men In Black (it's the coolest laser/target ride) as well as Terminator 3D. I haven't been since they built The Mummy, but it looks like a must ride.

Sounds like a cool trip though!

Make sure you research the Orlando Flex ticket. It'll get you unlimited to both Universal parks, Sea World, and Busch for about $225. Wet n Wild water park is included too.

Although I think if you can get a two park one day for both Universal parks for something like $80. Sea World and Busch have a two single day ticket deal for $100.

Both Universal parks *can* be done in one day if you start early, provided it's not too busy. I've never been there that time of year, someone else will have to address that.

There's not much at Cypress. You could do that in a few hours. I didn't see any deals on that when we were there last week.

It's long drive to Boomers, but it's a pretty good coaster. If you've got the time, go for it.

Good luck. There's a lot of information to be found on the area with some time on Google.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

Go to Busch Gardens, like said above the big three steels and Gwazi is actually pretty fun in the front of the train. You can also get a season pass for a few dollars more than the regular park tickets.

The best part is the park isnt ever very crowded and if it is, the 3 B&M master pieces there have amazing capacity and the lines are always moving. Plus Shiekra is my number one.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

March is the start of spring vacation season here in sunny florida. Granted it will be more crowded in April, but March is when it gets going. Crowds will be a little thicker for your visit.

The cool part of spring tourism is that almost nothing at any of the parks will be closed for rehab. If youve ever gone to IOA when something is closed- it really really sucks, because you start to realize just how little there actually is at IOA. (granted EVERYTHING that they have is top of the line)

Busch is a must for a coaster lover in Florida. You can stay at any number of hotels close to the park and walk as was mentioned above, but if money is not tight, I highly recomend the valet parking. No tram- I do it every time.

If you can spring for it, stay onsite at Universal, because in addition to being able to walk (or take a boat) to the gates you will also get an unlimited FOL access pass for 90% (and all the big) attractions at both parks.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Universal i day pass $80
Universal 2-7 day pass $89
Universal YEAR pass $129

I bought the year pass since i have friends that get a room a few times a year at the Royal Pacific. A free stay fro me.

So if you plain on going back to Universal even one more time in the next year buy the year pass online.

Also make sure you check the hours of the parks. Universal parks and Busch Gardens have rather early closing times during slower periods of the season. Cypress Gardens is often packed if there is a concert going on that day.
The season pass for all Busch Parks is like 140.. Sea World is not a whole day and Universal is not all that, but go with the 2 day pass.. since it's 9 bucks more and Mummy will be worth that. Universal if it has a lot of people.. it's a long day of waiting. BGA is a must and Cypress I believe is a must. You sure are going to do alot of driving and fork out some mad cash. You are doing the right thing not worrying about Disney on this trip.

No I don't have a kid, but I still want to ride!

^Sea World is a full day if you see the shows, and they really are fantastic. Be sure to stick around for the night shows too.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

^ I don't know if there will be any night shows, as they close at 7:00 the whole week that I'm in Florida. Unless they do them before dark?
I do still want to check out some of the other shows though.

GCI Coasters + Millennium Flyer Trains = Love!


Bring a wheel chair and no need to wait in line.

I travel with a handicapped person (he can't walk) and my wife and I get in with him at the Universal parks with out waiting.
but if you do Universal in January early Feb lines are almost walkon anyway

^Maybe if I actually needed a wheel chair.

Having a handicapped Dad (RIP), I know how it is when people take advantage of the system... which in turn screws the people over who actually need it.

People like that piss me off!

GCI Coasters + Millennium Flyer Trains = Love!


rollergator's avatar
Since I don't see it mentioned anywhere yet, consider taking advantage of single-rider lines at Universal (MiB, Mummy, Hulk, Dr. Doom). Most people prefer to take the *inaugural lap* with friends/family, but they are a fantastic way to get quick re-rides while some party members are off eating or visiting restrooms, etc.

If you want to ride Pteranodon Flyers (who doesn't) and don't have a child, DO get to the park at opening and head directly back to the ride. Stopping anywhere to do any other rides, shows, or attractions just may cost you that opportunity. WOW do I wish they'd take note of LC's capacity expansion on Ghost Hunt...doubling capacity of PF would make it infinitely more reasonable - as it is, it's plain painful.

I am a huge Universal Orlando fan! I I've done all the major parks in Florida with some smaller parks thrown in there as well. Universal is the place to be! I wouldn't try to fit both Universal parks in one days as there is much to do and explore.

I would recommend starting a day at the Universal Resort with Pteranodon Flyers right at opening as that is a fun ride which you wouldn't be able to ride later. Also getting to both parks at opening is ideal as they are dead for the first couple of hours. Try to knock off the major rides in the first couple hours of park opening then spend time exploring.

Don't be afraid to get lost in Camp Jurassic theres lots to see and do inside. If you don't mind getting wet and like a little competition there is a water gun battle area in Camp Jurassic that you could waste a whole day it, I know I have (many days). Try to figure out your full gun range from the top and the bottom as well as areas to protect yourself. Not to mention finding the secret sprayers....

Don't over look Suess landing as well. Try to take in as many of those rides as possible. It is a fun little area full of surprises.

Many people over look Studios with such a great park like IOA right next to it. Try not to do that. Studios has a lot to offer as well. Many of their attraction are not like traditional theme park attractions and offer a unique experience. The mummy is a fantastic ride and shouldn't be missed! Try to get around to each of the attractions.

If you have time to pack in a show the horror makeup show at Studios is horrifyingly funny. Our group was glad we stumbled into that show because it was a riot.

A great way to wind down the day would be seeing the Blue Man Group which is just in between the two parks. It is a great show and not like most show experiences you are used to. It is always a great time. You can get a great price on a 2 park ticket as well as a ticket to Blue Man Group (if you go to blue man be sure to stop in the bathroom for the bathroom song). And if your into nightlife theres plenty at city walk. Most combo Universal tickets will get you into the popular bars and clubs without having to pay the cover.

Every time I go to Florida my amount of time at other parks decreases and my amount of time at Universal Orlando Resort dramatically increases (my fun increases as well). I've experienced the rest of the parks and its worth the experience, but they don't really do much to bring me back. Universal on the other had I can't be away from.

Try to budget as much time at the Universal Resort as possible, you wont be disappointed! Perhaps the best advice would be to knock off the Disney parks on this trip, they can be done pretty quickly, and save your vacation for Universal.

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