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Old 03-09-2013, 08:36 AM
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Default Universal Studios or Busch Gardens in Flordia?

Mike and I were hoping to be able to go down to Disney World this week, but the numbers are just a bit too high for us, unfortunately, even with his mom pitching in some cash.

He is still hell bent on going down to Flordia, though, and is interested in either Universal Studios or Busch Gardens. I've never been to either and don't know what they offer for what ages, so I'm having a hard time deciding between the two.

The one perk that I can see about going to Universal is that they have the Harry Potter world. And I would kill to go there.

So, for those of you that have experienced either Universal Studios or Busch Gardens...which would you prefer? If we did Universal Studios, we'd be doing the Island of Adventure and the main park.

And how long would it take to explore the park(s)? (Wasn't sure how many days we'd be spending down there. I was planning at least three.)
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:00 AM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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I lived near Tampa and loved Busch Gardens. In the off times it wasn't too crowded, I used to go a few times a year. There is a good mixture of rides and 'zoo'. The rides are great, and it's not too expensive for a theme park.

I'm not the biggest fan of the Disney/Universal thing as it's often over crowded and the lines are sooooo long for one ride.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:17 AM
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Never been to Busch Gardens, but Universal is largely geared towards adults (moreso than Disney). If you like roller coasters and stuff, it's definitely a good choice, and even if you don't but still like cool stuff like old movies and live shows and things, it's fun.

I've never spent more than maybe 3 days tops there...two days is probably a good amount of time for two adults with the ability to spend the whole day at the parks without needing a nap to see everything there.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by crazedACD View Post
I lived near Tampa and loved Busch Gardens. In the off times it wasn't too crowded, I used to go a few times a year. There is a good mixture of rides and 'zoo'. The rides are great, and it's not too expensive for a theme park.

I'm not the biggest fan of the Disney/Universal thing as it's often over crowded and the lines are sooooo long for one ride.
I can't comment on Universal as i have only been there once and that was almost 15 years ago and during spring break (you aren't going to find anywhere that isn't crowded during spring break)

But with Fisney the crowds and long lines can be overcome with a little planning. For example, we go first week of December. Very low crowds as it is only a couple weeks before winter break so people aren't pulling their kids out of school two weeks before they will be off school for a couple weeks. You will encounter the very popular rides that seem to always be an hour wait or longer... Those rides also have fast passes available. Just grab one of those, go back to that ride at your specified time and you walk right on. We did not wait more than ten minutes for anything our entire last trip. In fact, we walked on almost everything and this was the week of the new fantasyland expansion and we still walked on everything. Hannah went on Dumbo three times in a row, walked on every time lol. We went to see minnie and daisy... We were the ONLY people in the que lol which was awesome because she got a ton of time with minnie with no one else waiting. It also happens that the lowest crowd times are also the cheapest lol so win win . We went to magic kingdom on a wednesday
Got there at park open (hannah had an appt at bippity boppity boutique first thing) and we went right to fantasyland and did everythig there first before the crowds made their way back. By the end of the day we had done every ride we wanted to do twice (sometimes three times) saw all the characters, ate meals, watched all the parades and the end of night fireworks at 7. We didn't rush either. So you can overcome crowds and wait times

I do not know if they have this fastpass option at universal so I can't really help you there but you will probably need at least two days at universal depending on when you go.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:28 AM
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I think we'll be going to Universal. Should be loads of fun.

We'll be heading down Monday, coming back Friday or Saturday. We plan to do the drive all in one go, so Tuesday morning will be our first day at the park.

I shall bring back tons of pictures!
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:31 AM
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I'd rather be at Disney
 
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Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
I think we'll be going to Universal. Should be loads of fun.

We'll be heading down Monday, coming back Friday or Saturday. We plan to do the drive all in one go, so Tuesday morning will be our first day at the park.

I shall bring back tons of pictures!
This Monday? Hopefully you can avoid any spring break crowds, I don't know when that starts lol. If it is before spring break you may luck out with the crowds
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:55 PM
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This Monday? Hopefully you can avoid any spring break crowds, I don't know when that starts lol. If it is before spring break you may luck out with the crowds
We're going over spring break. :P So I'm anticipating tons of crowds, unfortunately. But since we are both still in school, this was the only chance we have!

And we are actually leaving tomorrow morning. Nothing like planning a vacation in 12 hours. Oy vey
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:06 PM
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Sometimes those last minute vacations are the best! I have been to both Universal and Busch Gardens and I liked them both. Wasn't a big fan if Disney myself. If I had to choose between Universal and Busch it would be hard but I think I'd go with Universal. Enjoy!!!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:24 PM
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Sometimes those last minute vacations are the best! I have been to both Universal and Busch Gardens and I liked them both. Wasn't a big fan if Disney myself. If I had to choose between Universal and Busch it would be hard but I think I'd go with Universal. Enjoy!!!!
I had been planning to go down to Florida to Disney for a month or so now...but the money wasn't there so up until last night, I thought we'd be spending spring break at home with just some day trips to difference places. Last night, Mike said, "Hey, my mom is going to give us some money to help with our trip, still want to go to Florida?" Disney World was still outside of our price range for the time we wanted to spend down there, so we went to plan B. Then I was told just a little bit ago that Mike has to work Friday and Saturday, so we need to be back my Thursday. Which means leaving tomorrow.

*running around like a chicken with my head cut off*

So glad I did laundry yesterday!

The nice thing about leaving tomorrow, though, is that the hotel is giving us 30% off since we aren't booking on a "weekend". Which knocked about $200 off our total price. Sweet.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:25 PM
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I did like Universal Studios but for me, I would go to the beach and skip all the rest
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