View Full Version : Other things to do in Orkando besides WDW?

07-11-2004, 02:48 PM
We are going to Orlando in the fall. We have been to WDW several times with DD already and she loves it. But this trip we were thinking perhaps a little less Disney.

Has anyone been to Seaworld? What is it like? She loves animals, so I am thinking it will be a hit, but it is shockingly expensive (not that WDW isn't.....).

We will also be going to one of the Disney water parks (we have unused options from old Disney ticket passes, so those are "free" this trip).

And other recommendations for an alsmot 3 year old?

07-12-2004, 08:41 AM
I have an almost 3 year old and we just came back from a Disney vacation.

SeaWorld is terrific in my opinion. I've been to the San Diego SeaWorld and the San Antonio SeaWorld, but Orlando is the nicest and I felt, the cleanest. I've had the Lunch with Shamo where you have a meal right around the whale's 'pool'. It's a once in a lifetime thing so we spent the money. In the past, I have done the dolphin encounter. We very much enjoyed it. It is not something that you can do with a little one, but we look forward to the day we can bring her back and do it with her. We've done most of the behind the scenes tours which I found really great. In general, our experiences at SeaWorld have just that, great. If I lived closer I would buy a season pass.

On the other hand, if you are a thrill ride seeker, you might find it boring. Not us, we enjoy the stroll and seeing the penguins, etc.

There are sooo many ways to get discounts on Sea World tickets. So many places have promotions or coupons, etc.: Southwest Airlines, Pepsi, Wendy's, Entertainment Book, Florida residents get discount, AAA, AAARP, etc.

If there is a chance you could return within a year, the Sea World Fun Card is a good deal. Just a few dollars more than a single day's admission and it is offered at the Sea World ticket counter or on line.

There is the 2nd Day of Fun ...
Guests with a paid admission can go to the window marked "2nd Day Fun" and show their ticket(s). There they will have their picture taken and be given a pass to return for a second day FREE within seven days of the first visit.

Their are legit on-line brokers with cheaper tickets. Ticket Mania - http://www.ticketmania.com/discounttickets.shtml offers discounted tickets to Disney, SeaWorld, Universal, etc. Also we use the Orlando Visitor and Convention Center for all our tickets: http://www.orlandoinfo.com/tickets/41.cfm. Sometimes it is a little bit cheaper, sometimes it is alot cheaper, depending on the park. They have coupon books in their office and lots of info on things to do in Orlando; it is worth the visit.

By the way, if you are staying in Disney, the cheapest transportation to Sea World is to take a bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center. From there you can take a city bus straight to Sea World. It is about a 20 minute ride. The cost is $1.25 each way. I think it is bus #50 and just ask the driver to drop you off at the front gate of Sea World.

Also, we visited the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. If you are interested in that type of thing, it is low key, I loved the food at the cafe, the people are very nice and it is informational. My daughter loved the animals (though very few) and was even given a hug by some of the biblical characters. Coming home telling people she was actually hugged by Jesus was a joy for her and a hoot for us.

Hope this info helps. Enjoy your time in Orlando.

PS: The cheapest buffet in Disney is Fort Wilderness. Breakfast and dinner were both great. My daughter loved the food. It makes a nice low-key time for the family to go over to the Fort and hang out pre-post meal. They often offer kids movies played outdoors - free. Bring you own chairs, blanket type of thing. You can also see some of the parks' fireworks from over there in the evening.