How long is too long?


Earning My Ears
Mar 4, 2020
Hi everyone! Would love some advice and opinions. My husband and I come down to Florida in June every year with our grandson. Normally we do a split stay between Disney and Universal. My grandson is 8 now and Universal is his favorite of the 2. This year we are planning to skip Disney entirely and spend our entire 8 days at Universal. To be completely honest the reason being is that it has become so expensive to do Disney even for just a couple of days. So that leaves us 8 days at Universal. We plan to do a split stay between Cabana Bay and either Hard Rock or Portofino. We are 3 park annual pass holders so we will also be doing Volcano Bay. I just keep thinking 8 days at Universal is going to be too much and we will regret leaving Disney out of the equation. How long is too long when it comes to a Universal only vacation?


DIS Dad #856
Apr 6, 2014
We are doing 8 days this year as We have never been to U S O. I figure on hitting some of the other Orlando area things to do if we get tired of being on property all the time. It’s going to be strange not being in the Disney bubble but we are excited to see the “outside world“ in Orlando.


DIS Veteran
Mar 5, 2007
For me that’s awesome. We once did an 8 night trip to Disneyland, and we did the same with Universal. Alas my son and I had gotten stupidly sick before (he and I had a month long trip, starting with WDW for a rundisney event, then Daytona, then Uni, finishing with a cruise) and most of Uni was sleeping and recovering. But it would have been amazing if well!!!

I hope to be able to do it again, without the illness, someday.
  • Asnell

    May 30, 2013
    8 days would be too long for me at Universal if I were focusing on just the theme parks, but adding in some days by the pool and maybe exploring some of the other Orlando activities, it would be great!


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 23, 2019
    We have done 7 days a few times, the last time during HHNs. I think that there is sufficient to do in the parks but maybe look at some off site restaurants for the evenings. Also, have you considered Seaworld and/or Busch Gardens? If your Grandson likes thrill rides, he would enjoy those parks.


    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    May 15, 2007
    8 days will be fabulous!!!!

    You can do a couple of days at Volcano Bay as everyone raves about how good it is. I`ve never been but only ever see high praise for it.

    The rest of the time you can take your time going between the parks and enjoying some resort time. You can pool hop if you like which can be fun. With time you have more options.

    Citywalk while there`s not a lot to do has a wonderful 2 course mini golf to play. It`s a lot of fun, especially at night.

    We spend a lot of time offsite but we stay for longer periods of time, so do consider there are a lot of good food options close by too. Not sure if you have a car or not. Plenty of folks use Uber and similar and seem very happy with them.

    Look at other hotel restaurants too, many are worth a visit. Aventura has a roof top bar where you can see the Disney Fireworks and the views are lovely. Not a whole lot to see, but it is lovely to do once.

    Have a google to see what`s close by too, if you did fancy some offsite time. There are plenty of options, but you know what your family likes.

    8 days at Universal won`t be anywhere near too long......


    Proud Redhead
    Jan 1, 2001
    We've done 7 and it was awesome. There are lots of other things you can do in that time. You don't just have to visit Universal every day. Sea World is a nice distraction and great for 8 year olds. They have free transportation from Universal to Sea World and prices are very reasonable at Sea World.
  • mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Apr 10, 2012
    I did a week last summer with my daughter and her friend and it was fantastic - I could easily see staying an extra night...or two...or three! lol

    We did go offsite a little bit - one afternoon to Florida Mall and one evening to Disney Springs...both by Uber.

    The extra time was great to allow for re-riding favorites as well as for pool/chill out time - which was especially nice in the heat of August!


    Jul 14, 2009
    If you are commando-style theme park types like we used to be, 8 seems like an eternity. Our first trip was 5 days and we were at every rope drop and closing (without EPs), with a nap in the middle. While we had a blast, we were ready to be done by the time the trip ended.

    The next two trips were 4 days and 5 days, but at Deluxe Hotels. With EPs, we didn't rush to the parks in the morning, but got to ride more than the first rip. We actually spent some time at CityWalk, PBH and the pools. We could have easily added another couple of days if we went to Volcano Bay (we have not been yet) or Sea World. It was a completely different (and much more relaxing) experience...


    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Jan 20, 2003
    We are planning to do 7 with express pass and annual passes and no Volcano Bay (!!) ... but we do plan to do some pool hopping and relaxing since we have so many days.

    Minerva Mouse

    DIS Veteran
    Jul 16, 2012
    I defiantly recommend staying at Cabana Bay, it's probably the "funnest" resort for an 8 year old with lots of room to wander around, plus 2 pools, and a lazy river. That said, remember you can visit any of the other resorts easily and or should have full access to the other resort pools. If you have your own transportation I recommend a day trip to Busch Gardens, Sea World, Gatorland or the Beach.

    You will also be close to I-drive, where you can find things like putt putt golf, The Fun Spot, Pirates Dinner Theater, The Orlando Eye (or whatever they call it these days) the Wax museum, an Aquarium (it's small, but really nice) Ripley's Believe it or not, and a ton of places to grab a bite to eat. So the good news is if you do burn out on the parks, you can easily venture off park to find something else to do. You can always park at Disney Springs too, and take a bus to one of their new hotels, or one that's on the skyliner route and ride the Skyliner around, or resort hop at Disney.

    Oh, but if you do decided to stay in the Universal parks, ask to do some of the tours, they are super fun and will help eat up some of your day.
    MIB has an "Immigration Tour"
    Mummy has a "Production Tour"
    I've heard they started one at Kong too, but I've never done it. And I feel like I'm missing one... anyone?
  • bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi I could stay a couple of weeks there and not get bored. We love the parks and take our time. The resorts are great. Cabana Bay is our favorite then Portofino. We usually do a split stay. We do go off site once or twice to for other things. We did Discovery Cove one year and Sea World. I think you will find that it is a great amount of time. We do like resort time and I think Universal has some of the best ones.

    Take your time and enjoy your trip!!


    DIS Veteran
    May 22, 2003
    I do 8-10 days 2 to 3 times a year and skipped Disney for the last few years
    It just much more relaxing and you can enjoy the pools etc..
    The hotels at Universal are also much better value for money IMO

    May sure you look at Annual passes as they may be cheaper than tickets - keep in mind the least expensive AP has blackout dates.

    Being based at Universal you could also do other things - they have a bus to SeaWorld and I have also done the trip to NASA - they pick you up at the Universal Bus hub


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 12, 2015
    For us we like to do 7 days. 4 park days and 3 resort/relax/shop days.

    It's the perfect mix for us between high thrills of the parks and time enough on our vacation to get some relaxation in as well.


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 9, 2010
    A year might be too long... lol. Doing just the theme parks I would say 3-5 days. But add in pool time. Going other places. Eight is perfect. My son was only lured to Disney this year because of Galaxy’s Edge. Otherwise, we’d be spending 10 days at Universal.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 19, 2019
    We tried to skip Disney last year, we kept seeing the mickey power lines and started feeling sad. So we went to a after hours party and felt much better.
    I think a week at the studios would be awesome


    DIS Veteran
    May 28, 2010
    Does the 8 days include travelling? If so I'd class that as 6 full days, and I could easily fill those. 4 park days (1 full day at each theme park, 2 days to ride favourites) 1 volcano bay/pool day and 1 day spare for whatever you want to do.

    Honestly I love Universal now as it's so relaxing, we mix 6 days of the parks in amongst our WDW days to try and limit the crazy stress of those days, but I could easily do a 10 day Universal only trip. Stopping to relax, smell the roses, watch the people (don't get those mixed up) and riding anything I wanted when I wanted. With EP it becomes more a resort holiday and less a theme park one - but that just means it's the best of both worlds imo.


    Proud Redhead
    Apr 21, 2003
    I’m of no help for your question
    I am staying onsite for ten nights this fall

    Going solo and hope I have enough time to do the parks and 5 nights of hhn

    I treat my yearly fall trip like a vacation and have no plans set up in advance for a daily plan

    I sleep as long as I want and enjoy the hotel and all that UO has to offer me

    I take it slow and easy and relax
    It’s the one time I don’t live by the clock


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 19, 2013
    With EP, 3-4 park days (not counting Volcano Bay, we haven't done that yet) is plenty for us.

    We don't tour 'commando' style, but we do try to get as many hours in the park as we can. We stay on site and use the extra hour each morning, do a mid-day break back at the hotel, then head back out for late afternoon/evening park hours and dinner.

    More days than that just wouldn't fit our style.


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