Florida without Disney

With only 6 weeks left til we go to Florida I need to start planning.

We knew when we booked it we wouldn’t be able to afford going to Disney. Tickets for just the 6 Disney parks are around £360 each so for our family of 5 we are looking around £1,800! Given we went 18 months ago I can’t justify spending this as that’s enough for another holiday!

There are so many places to visit it doesn’t all have to be about Disney. We are going for 11 nights and so far we have £1,800 on flights and £800 on accommodation. We did get some bad news a few weeks ago, they have changed our flight coming home so now we have an 8 hour flight at the airport in Canada!!! We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it but I have some ideas to easy the pain. 

We thought about doing Legoland as we have our Merlin passes and we would get 50% off gate prices. I’ve researched it and people have said it is much smaller than Windsor and not as good. Given we practically live at Legoland, I feel we would be disappointed and it would still be costing us around £200. There is a waterpark but it is only open the weekends in October and shuts in November plus people say the water is really cold so doesn’t sound a good deal to me. 

So we’ve purchased tickets for Seaworld. I know a lot of people are very anti there but to be honest as a child I was more desperate to go there than Disney. I am not particularly an animal lover but I’ve always had a thing for dolphins.

The tickets are £105 for adults and £99 for children for a 14 day ticket from Floridatix. The current offer includes free parking which is massive as usually parks cost $20 a day. It also includes 14 day access to Aquatica waterpark and Busch Gardens so we will have plenty of things to see and do for 11 days especially with it being Halloween and all 3 parks putting on extra events. 
Busch gardens has some amazing rollercoasters. It’s rides are actually better than Disney so as a theme park family I think we are going to enjoy it there. Lottie and Romeo are tall enough for most rides and Xavier is only going to miss a few.

I really wanted to do Discovery Cove as Lottie is desperate to swim with Dolphins but you need to be 6 to do it so the boys would be left out. It would cost another £310 for her and Steff to swim and me and the boys to go for the day so I decided it was too much. Instead for £80 I have booked the Dolphin Encounter at Seaworld. This is a 10 minute session for all 5 of us to feed and stroke the Dolphins. Xavier is old enough to do it and we don’t have to get in the water which I was concerned about with Lottie. This is the girl that joined Pet Club at school but then ran and stood on the table because they brought a puppy into the room. 

We plan to go to Universal Citywalk and Disney Springs for lunch and dinner. I’ve booked the T. rex restaurant as we all enjoyed that last time.

Last time I found the holiday tiring trying to fit as much in as possible. I don’t know how people do it trying to do Universal as well as Disney and then Seaworld too all in one holiday. I’m hoping this time we have more time to ourselves as we aren’t trying to do as much but we should have enough to keep us entertained. We are staying the same hotel that also has a pool so we can just relax around there.

So we have spent £3,400 which also includes car hire for the 11 days. We do still have to pay for food out there…I’m not sure how regimented I’m going to be yet! I’m quite pleased with that price for 5 people in school holidays.

I’m hoping we’ll be going back and get different tickets so maybe next time do Universal when the kids are all tall enough to go on the rides. 


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