garrylengthorn

26-Jul-12 Florida stage 2

In Blog, Personal, Travel on July 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

And here is stage 2 of our Florida trip as promised yesterday.

So to pick up the thread from my stage 1 blog, we have now negotiated the car navigation system, automatic car and highways to reach our villa and day 2 was all about sorting out our tickets for Disney and Universal. How difficult could this be?

Our plan (prepped in advance) was DIsney Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom over the first two days, a break day at Disney Blizzard Beach (is there such a thing) followed by Universal Islands Of Adventure and Studios on day four and five.

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In advance I had spent hours (literally) looking at and discussing our options on various web sites and through various folk at work (apologies to them now), only to conclude that it might be worth waiting until we arrived, as my understanding was that there were deals to be had! Considering I was looking at a cost of approximately £1,400, I thought it was worth a punt!

Well there are deals to be had, but it is a bit underhand. Basically you negotiate tickets with companies who are selling used tickets. Typically tickets that have unused days left on them! I’m actually surprised Disney and Universal cannot do anything about this, as there are countless permanent shops advertising and selling these!

I took the plunge, as the tickets for Disney were 100% guaranteed and it all seemed legit! It’s actually a bit bizarre, as the ticket machines scan your index finger when entering, so you kind of wonder why they do this, but we experienced no issues in using them.

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Universal was not so simple. There was probably a early clue. With the Disney tickets, cash was accepted up front. With Universal, the touts (is there any other name for them) took a copy of your credit card, as you only paid at the end of the two days!

There was one other issue (and this is where it sounds real dodgy) in that your tickets had names on them. By now, this was making us very nervous! Especially as the tickets contained 4 completely different surnames.

Well, as you have now probably guessed, it did not all go to plan. The tickets that my wife and son had worked fine, but not so simple for us and we were subsequently stopped from entering!

In fairness, the touts (I guess they were an agency) were pretty good and did not charge us for the failed tickets! It did not spoil our day, as we just paid the full cost at the gate.

Was it worth it? Well the 5 days were brilliant. Even the last two when Georgina was a bit under the weather. And I saved £300!

I have to say Disney and Universal was brilliant. No one does a theme park like Florida and the weather helps, as I would much rather queue in the sun than wait hours in the rain!

Highlights for me, as I dislike rides with a vengeance were the Slush Gusher in Blizzard Beach (did I really agree to do this?), ET (at Universal. How I love this film) and the firework display at the end of the day in the Magic Kingdom (how smart was Walt to create this legacy?).

I even got a chance to get a cuddle from my favour character from the Jungle Book.

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My advice. Don’t take the kids till they get older. My two (16 and 18) were like young children again and enjoyed everything about the magic and dreams of these parks. At the age they are, they will cherish these memories forever, as will me and my wife!

On our transfer day (day 7), we went to the Kennedy Space Centre, but I will save that for my stage 3 blog if you are not bored yet

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