Travel advise needed please :)

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    Sep 28, 2012 1:01 PM GMT
    Okay so I'm not sure when but I planned to do a trip to the U.S just because my sister went a couple of years ago and talked so much about the theme parks that I literally want to do a theme park holiday haha.
    Yes, I'm immature just for those who thought that immediately after reading that.

    I was just wondering what would be the best ones to go to and a recommended time to spend there.
    I'm plan to be there for at least 1 and a half to 2 months to make use of the trip since I don't see myself going overseas again (fear of planes lol, yes I already said I'm immature) so I figured I should do a long proper one rather than a short stint. It'll be a mix of site seeings, theme parks and then shopping lol yes I know it's a weird sounding holiday.

    Not sure when exactly, my sister wants to come with me actually (thank goodness, it was almost going to be a solo trip) but wants it by April, whereas I was thinking more along August.
    If you guys know which time is better to go as well, that'd be great.
    I am going to try do some google research but since there are sooooo many Americans here I figured you guys would know best lol.

    This is open for anyone to answer too, not just people living in the U.S. So for those who have travelled there, you're advice would be great also.

    Thanks in advance for any help given, it is grately appreciated.
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    Sep 28, 2012 1:48 PM GMT
    If you are into roller coasters, here's my 2 cents.

    Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH is considered roller coaster capital of the world... however Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ has the best coasters (in my opinion). It will take you a full day to drive between Jackson to Sandusky if you're afraid to fly.

    Six Flags is not open year-round, and I believe before Memorial Day Weekend (last weekend of May) the park is only open on weekends. I could be wrong though. I am not sure if Cedar Point is open year-round.

    http://www.cedarpoint.com/

    http://www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx
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    Sep 28, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    One last point, the best times to go to Six Flags Great Adventure is either in May (college and high school are still in session) or after Labor Day Weekend (first weekend of September, the unofficial end of the summer). By then, most kids will be back to school. Unfortunately, I believe the park is open on weekends only after Labor Day.
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    Sep 28, 2012 4:54 PM GMT
    Oh my goodness thank you so much for your info!
    Really super great, and thanks for the times.
    I wasn't really sure when the major holidays were over there so thanks heaps for that.

    I will take your 2 cents and invest it icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 28, 2012 4:57 PM GMT
    Go to Orlando Florida. Thats theme park central and their open 24/7

    Universal Studios- 2 theme parks about 2-3 days to complete them both
    Disney- At least a week to complete all their theme parks
    Then theres Sea World and Bush Gardens.

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    Sep 28, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    RadRTT saidGo to Orlando Florida. Thats theme park central and their open 24/7
    Universal Studios- 2 theme parks about 2-3 days to complete them both
    Disney- At least a week to complete all their theme parks
    Then theres Sea World and Bush Gardens.


    Hey thanks, will definitely look into that too.
    I just remembered too that I can't stay in the U.S longer than 31 days or else I need apply for a visa, so the holiday is going to have to be shortened to 4 and a bit weeks.

    So I'm really going to have to make a schedule.
    Thanks again icon_smile.gif
  • ohioguy12

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    Sep 28, 2012 6:59 PM GMT
    Yea if you want a theme park, your best bet is Cedar Point. You should also swing by Kings Island in Cincinnati, they are relatively close (4 hours or so).
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    Sep 28, 2012 7:26 PM GMT
    you should go to orlando/disneyworld (yay harry potter theme park) if you're on the east coast and/or disneyland/sixflags/california adventures if youre on the west coast!
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    Sep 28, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    You gotta see Las Vegas and Sedona, Arizona!!
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    Sep 28, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
    icon_biggrin.gif
    Thanks to all the replies!
    Seriously there seems like there's so much, I might have to make another trip there!
    I'm fully excited now!

    I will try see as many of the places as I can. Have to start planning an itinerary now. I might post it up and see what you guys think haha.
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    Sep 28, 2012 7:54 PM GMT
    Let me advice you...you must see Detroit.

    164535-124703650862057-Mike-Stathis_orig
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    Sep 30, 2012 12:40 PM GMT
    Okay so we decided we are most likely going to fly in May and will be there til June which I believe will be the start of the major holiday season in the U.S.

    Sorry for the really annoying questions, but I wasn't sure how to google research this properly. Do you guys know of a chronological order of how one should visit the themeparks?
    Like if there are a few in a particular state, I'd prefer to see them during the stay there rather than going interstate all over the place.

    Regardless, I think even in the haphazard schedule (in the worse case scenario) I will still have loads of fun, I really can't wait.
    Are the locals generally nice? Silly question to ask since I'd be in different states but just wondering lol.
  • turtleneckjoc...

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    Sep 30, 2012 1:05 PM GMT
    RadRTT saidGo to Orlando Florida. Thats theme park central and their open 24/7

    Universal Studios- 2 theme parks about 2-3 days to complete them both
    Disney- At least a week to complete all their theme parks
    Then theres Sea World and Bush Gardens.



    Orlando here and as I used to be in the travel industry, I'm here to help!

    You were saying you wanted to go sometime next year, either in August or April. If you are leaning towards April and Orlando is your destination---you had better book NOW. April can be VERY busy here as many US schools and colleges schedule Spring/Easter breaks around that time. Hotel rooms here (and we have tons) can sell out very fast and those that wait too late (around the end of the year), forget it. Nothing can be had for miles of the theme parks. If you go in August, it will be really hot here, so if you can take high temperatures and humidity, go for it.

    I have to clarify something said before me: the theme parks here (Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios) are NOT open 24 hours a day. It has been done, but that is for a special, one-time only type event. Also, Busch Gardens is in Tampa, not in Orlando. Tampa is about a 60-90 minute drive from Orlando depending on traffic on I-4.

    If you decide on making Walt Disney World the focal point of your theme park vacation, stay "on property." That means bunking down at one of the Walt Disney World hotels. They are in all price ranges from "value" (Pop Century/Wide World Of Sports) to "high end" (Grand Floridian/Contemporary/Polynesian). The "Park Hopper" tickets are a MUST as you can get those for a minimum of 3 days and up to 7. One admission price gets you into all 4 parks on Disney property, so you can spend a half day at Epcot, then swing over to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day.

    Many people traveling to Orlando believe Universal Studios and Sea World are all connected within Walt Disney World and everyone is "one big happy family." NO! Disney does not provide transportation to SW or US and will not promote them. Theme parks are a business here and the competition will not be talked about or promoted. If you want to go to Sea World and you are staying on Disney property, you are on your own to get over there and back. The traveling public believes this and one does not help the other.

    If you decide to come here and need a break from the parks, great beaches are nearby and there really is a lot to do in Orlando without setting foot in a theme park.

    Let me know if you need some other Orlando insight....
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    Sep 30, 2012 1:27 PM GMT
    Wow thank you so much turtleneckjock!!
    Very helpful indeed, I will start planning the itinerary right now and looking at booking places.

    So Orlando has 3 major theme parks, awesome I will definitely look into that and will also definitely heed your advice about Disney World.
    I'll just book a place to stay inside and use it to see Disney World only, won't bother going out of it until our stay is finished.

    Apart from themeparks we mostly just wanted to so some of the site seeings, you know the famous landmarks etc, as well as shopping haha.
    So I will literally only bring like enough clothes for a week which I'll cycle through so that my luggage is as empty as it can be, I know I'll be bringing back heaps of stuff.

    I'd definitely appreciate all of your Orlando insight icon_biggrin.gif
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Sep 30, 2012 2:19 PM GMT
    BRoss saidOkay so we decided we are most likely going to fly in May and will be there til June which I believe will be the start of the major holiday season in the U.S.

    Sorry for the really annoying questions, but I wasn't sure how to google research this properly. Do you guys know of a chronological order of how one should visit the themeparks?
    Like if there are a few in a particular state, I'd prefer to see them during the stay there rather than going interstate all over the place.

    Regardless, I think even in the haphazard schedule (in the worse case scenario) I will still have loads of fun, I really can't wait.
    Are the locals generally nice? Silly question to ask since I'd be in different states but just wondering lol.


    Which themeparks are you planning on visiting.
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    Sep 30, 2012 2:21 PM GMT
    BRoss saidOkay so we decided we are most likely going to fly in May and will be there til June which I believe will be the start of the major holiday season in the U.S.

    Sorry for the really annoying questions, but I wasn't sure how to google research this properly. Do you guys know of a chronological order of how one should visit the themeparks?
    Like if there are a few in a particular state, I'd prefer to see them during the stay there rather than going interstate all over the place.

    Regardless, I think even in the haphazard schedule (in the worse case scenario) I will still have loads of fun, I really can't wait.
    Are the locals generally nice? Silly question to ask since I'd be in different states but just wondering lol.

    The theme parks are at their most crowded with families & children May through August because of the US school break for summer. It's also the best weather for much of the US, although Orlando and southern California have warm weather year-round (Florida heat in July & August can be brutal, though, and sudden thunderstorms can dampen the fun, not to mention getting into hurricane season).

    As mentioned above the US theme park capitol is Orlando, and you can spend your entire month there and not see them all in their entirety. If you stay at an on-site hotel (which can be very expensive during the summer season) you don't even need a rental car. You can use the park's own transportation to get around, and Disney is very good with that, using things like their monorail train.

    I've stayed at Disney for up to 2 weeks, and for shorter periods, and split my time between camping in my own tent at Fort Wilderness (which is also an attraction) and at one of their hotels. If you have the money a Disney hotel can be part of the experience, since those on the immediate grounds each have a unique resort theme, rather than just being a bland generic building.

    If early June Orlando has its Gay Days, when it's traditional to wear red shirts at the theme parks, and you'll see PDAs. A theme park can quickly become very expensive, so you have to watch your spending carefully if you're on a budget. My first time at Disney World in 1975 I was spending over $1000 USD a day, even with the relatively cheap cost of tenting off my motorcycle at Fort Wilderness (cycles have been subsequently banned there and readmitted over the years, not sure the policy now).

    I have no idea what $1000 would be almost 40 years later with inflation, but not being super wealthy I was much more frugal and disciplined in my later visits. Just be prepared to find yourself spending money faster than you realize.

    I'm very excited for you, and if your destination is indeed Orlando perhaps we can meet. We're only 200 miles to the south, and were in Orlando just 2 months ago. My partner has been after me to go to Disney during June's Gay Days, so maybe that will be our plan. I love Australians, and would drive up there for the special pleasure of meeting you and your sister. Wish you a wonderful time, whatever you do.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Sep 30, 2012 2:47 PM GMT
    BRoss saidWow thank you so much turtleneckjock!!
    Very helpful indeed, I will start planning the itinerary right now and looking at booking places.

    So Orlando has 3 major theme parks, awesome I will definitely look into that and will also definitely heed your advice about Disney World.
    I'll just book a place to stay inside and use it to see Disney World only, won't bother going out of it until our stay is finished.

    Apart from themeparks we mostly just wanted to so some of the site seeings, you know the famous landmarks etc, as well as shopping haha.
    So I will literally only bring like enough clothes for a week which I'll cycle through so that my luggage is as empty as it can be, I know I'll be bringing back heaps of stuff.

    I'd definitely appreciate all of your Orlando insight icon_biggrin.gif


    You are most welcome, BRoss!! Here are some websites for you to check out (and please excuse the fact I do not know how to do an exact link from here...)

    This site has everything you need to know about Walt Disney World, oh...one more thing to tell you....if you can get the Disney Dining Plan with your hotel reservations, do it! Dining is and can be expensive there. The Dining Plan is a wise investment and your meals are loaded onto your room card, so all you have to do is swipe the card through a card reader to pay for your food---and that is also your admission into the 4 theme parks. Neat, huh??

    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/


    Nearby shopping: The outlet malls are not far (you will need to get a taxi for all of this). There is also upscale shopping at the Mall of Millenia and our very own tourist mall (I do not shop there anymore---hee hee), Florida Mall.

    http://www.premiumoutlets.com/

    http://www.mallatmillenia.com/ (nice website)

    http://www.simon.com/mall/?id=139

    Famous landmarks? I would say head to downtown Orlando and see Lake Eola park, then a short walk over to the trendy neighborhood of Thornton Park to have lunch at Dexter's. Maybe a visit to Winter Park is in order??

    http://www.cityoforlando.net/fpr/html/parks/lakeeola.htm

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34515-d292254-Reviews-Lake_Eola_Park-Orlando_Florida.html

    http://www.dexwine.com/index2.php?v=v1

    (cool music on the site--check out the Thornton Park menu--there is also a Dexter's in Winter Park, and in Lake Mary--Lake Mary is really far out)

    http://www.visitflorida.com/Winter_Park

    (Winter Park is nice--it's "old money" and the stroll up and down Park Avenue is great)

    Hope this helps you. Anything else, let me know.



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    Oct 01, 2012 1:30 PM GMT
    Oh man thank you Art_Deco and turtleneckjock.
    So me and my sister were planning to go spend maybe about 1 and a half weeks in Orlando so we probably won't get to do all the theme parks or at least the entire park. She said we'd skip all the "kiddy rides" hahaha lol so we could do it.

    Apart from that, we were going to head to L.A to visit relatives, go Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon, and also go New York and Hawaii.
    I don't know in which order yet, she compiled a schedule and she is going to email it to me.
    Also, I researched and found that Australia gets automatic tourist visa because we are "allies" haha so I can stay there up to a max of 3 months before I need some kind of visa.

    My sister needs to go back in a month's time for her studies so I'm not sure if I'll just spend an extra week doing little things like shopping a tad bit more (lol) or do more of the sites since I originally planned to stay 6-7 weeks.

    If in that time I do stay, I can do the whole gay day with you Art_Deco and your partner in June if I do end up staying a bit longer after my sister leaves at the Walt Disney World. Really depends on how much money I can get saved and how much money I'll have at the initial holiday with my sister haha. I'm a bit of a crazy shopper sometimes so I'll really have to practice some self control.
    We were thinking of just making our own lunch for some of the days to help save money. Thankfully my sister made a lot of friends on her last trip and so they are keen to take us around again since they haven't met me yet, or so she says haha.

    I think we are deciding to go early May because we are going to try catch the theme parks whilst everyone is still nearing the end of their school holidays, but not on it yet.
    Oh man, it's starting to sound sooo packed but I like it haha I've never had a holiday so we'll see how it goes.

    ohioguy12 - sorry, I missed your question. We aren't sure yet since we don't know if we'll do all four or just pick 2 or 3 max of the four theme parks.

    THANKS you guys for all your amazing help, really do appreciate it!!
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    Oct 02, 2012 2:11 PM GMT
    Alright sorry for the random late reply but

    ----------------------------- UPDATE-----------------------------

    The flights are booked in, we are going early May and leaving early June! It's pretty packed out with heaps of stuff because my sister can't stay any longer, so most likely I'll be spending maybe an extra week there after she goes depending on money left over and if there were things I wasn't able to do during the trip with her due to the hectic time schedule.

    So far we have 4 days accomodation in L.A as part of the flight package we bought, and then we have relatives and family friends there that we are going to stay with.
    We are heading to New York as well since my sister spoke so much about it, and then Orlando as well for the theme parks.

    The only thing left really to research and book is the schedule in Orlando, so I'm going to do some more research on that site you gave me turtleneckjock

    Sorry yo_mamali, I totally forgot to try factor in six flags in NJ, if I'm money savvy I might try do that in the extra week I may stay in U.S and that's also if I can rope my cousins into coming with me so I don't go on the rides solo haha.