3 or 4 Days? HS or Universal

I am debating between 3 and 4 day park tickets. I know the increase in cost is negligible in going the extra day but not sure exactly what to do. 5 of us going - kids 7B, 11G, 12G. Kids arent really into Disney characters at all so we arent beholden to that segment of Disney. Kids over 44 inches.

We will be there 7 days, but two of the days (bookends) will be half days as we have to travel. So really 5 full days. We are staying at a hotel on grounds but not Disney owned that offers a great water park/activities/area, kids club, and adult relaxation. I was thinking to just do a 3 day park pass and hit MK, Epcot and either AK or HS. The other two days would be at the pool/resort and Disney Springs and/or potentially Universal.

Any recommendations/thoughts as to doing Universal instead of AK or HS? Or doing it instead of both AK/HS? Which one would you skip if you had to pick between the 3? Which one would you skip if you had to pick just between AK and HS?

We are going first week of June.

Thank you.

Is it your first trip? Will you be going back someday? If it were me, I’ve been to all and will be going back. Personally speaking, I’d pick Islands of Adventure over AK or HS. Between the two, I’d pick AK over HS because of all the closures at HS and the new night time offerings at AK.

If the kids are Harry Potter fans, I might almost argue doing 2 days at the two Universal parks (with 2-park passes, so you can do the Hogworts Express) instead of both AK and HS. Just my opinion, though!

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hmm thanks.

Ive been to Disney World many times as a kid and only most recently as an adult about 4-5 years ago. My son is 7 and it will be his first trip, my daughter her second. I am not sure if we will get back again, but if we do it it will only be one more time when my son is older…maybe another 4-5 years.

Personally, Ive seen it all so its really not for me. My kids are not Harry Potter fans…they wouldnt care about it unless the rides/attractions are fun but wont add any “extra” fun it being HP stuff.

Thanks for your response.

I personally would never skip AK. Love that place.

I would skip HS

Thanks OBN…

Would you think the same if we skip the walking exhibits and only would concentrate on the attractions that are shows/rides? We have a large zoo near us…obviously not as nice as this one really is…but the animals themselves im not sure are a huge draw for us

Could you do both and get a park hopper for that day.

yeah, thought about that. Can you buy just a one day park hopper after you have purchased 3 day pass?

We are going next week. I FULLY support skipping some to go to UNIVERSAL.
Depends when you are going. NOW - I would SKIP HS as there is nothing there (although we are going - go figure)
I would however skip BOTH to go to UNIVERSAL - I would also recommend STAYING at UNIVERSAL for a night so you get FRONT OF LINE access

Take a look at UNDERCOVER tourist for the tickets. You can get 5 days for the cost of 4 - then you can just "mess in a park for an extra day and not feel bad if it is only for a few hours.

we already have our place we are staying so wont be staying at universal…but thanks for the hints and info…

I would save Universal for when your son is older. Seven can be a difficult age at Universal because many of the coolest attractions have a taller height requirement. I suggest looking at the attraction lists for each park so you will have an idea of what your son will enjoy and be able to do. That might point you in a direction that works for your family, even if it’s not what others might choose. For example, my boys are super excited to do Universal now that they are 9 & 12, but we decided to skip it when they were 7 & 10 because there were too many things the 7 year old couldn’t do.

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great info…are many of the ride height restrictions over 48 inches?

The tallest restriction at WDW is 48".

It looks like there are 3 things at Islands of Adventure that are taller, and one at Universal Studios. It’s not a lot, but it mattered to my kid.



thank you

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YMMV, but our 4 year old at the time (43 inches) had way more fun at Universal last fall than we ever imagined. Who knew he would LOVE Transformers, Gringotts, Men in Black, and shooting his brother with foam ball cannons for an hour? He wants to skip Disney next trip and go back to Uni!

If I were going for 5 full park days I think i’d opt for 4 park days and one rest day right in the middle. That way you’ve got enough time to see and do what you want. If you get park hopper and don’t like one park or another you can change. What kids are ‘into’ can change pretty drastically once they get in the gates, and those too cool kids can suddenly be 5 again lol.

Having said all that if I had to choose one to skip it would be Animal Kingdom. It’s always been a half day park for us and will probably change with new nighttime activities and once Avatar land opens up. Especially if you are going in a warmer month… that place is like an oven in the summer.

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Thanks for your thoughts.

IDK. We will be there a full 5 park days but Im not sure I/we want to spend 4/5 days in the parks. We are staying at FS and they offer alot there with a huge water park/island and other things for kids and adults. Im trying to balance the vacation as seeing Disney but also hanging at the pool a few days and some relaxation for wife and I. At the same time, spending all that money for hotel in orlando and not making the most of it really tugs at me…The problem with that is that 3rd day. We will do MK all day/night one day, Epcot, and then what park to do that 3rd day. Id also like to walk around Disney Springs one afternoon/dinner. AK feels like a huge zoo to me. We are more into the rides/shows than seeing animals that we can pretty see at home…espeically given all the walking that the park needs. That makes me lean towards HS or a day at Universal…or going back to MK another day if we cant fit it all in early in the trip. We will be there first week of June.

It sounds like you’ve answered your own question about AK. There are rides and shows, but the feature is the Kiliminjaro Safari and the animal viewing trails. I’m not a zoo person, but I do like seeing the animals in this wide habitat much better. Then there are rides, like Dinosaur, Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. And shows - Lion King and Nemo. But it is a lot of walking in a very closed space.

Then again, HS has so much that’s closed, so you have to decide whether it’s worth it to ride a coaster, play a really cool arcade game (TS) or do some Star Wars themed stuff. Again, they have shows and HS can be wonderful, but what are your interests?

We thought about doing Universal, but decided against it because one of my sons is not big on roller coasters. We might have enjoyed Universal, but I knew we’d enjoy Disney, so we opted for 4 Disney days instead. BTW, we did a day of HS and one of AK, but they were earlier days than MK and EPCOT. I was okay with that because there was more pool time. We took a shopping day break in the middle of our touring week, so we could relax. We even went to the Florida Mall, which was, ironically my anti-shopping son’s favourite thing to do (but he got cool wheels for his skateboard).

Your vacation dollar value is exactly what will make you happy. If 5 days of touring makes your family miserable and exhausted, it’s not money well spent. Do what’s going to make your family happy.

I always say each trip that we’re going to go slower and not spend as much time in the parks but we never do lol. I think I’d feel like I wasted time and money paying that much and not taking full advantage of it. I can always hit a water park or lay by a pool at home lol.

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good points…thx

Do UNIVERSAL!!! We were just there and it was AWESOME - especially with kids of that age. Harry Potter blows WDW away. I know you already have a hotel - but if you can swing a deluxe at Universal do it as you get express pass - well worth the money!!!