Planning A Trip To Orlando Florida From UK

We are planning our 2nd trip to Orlando Florida. Two weeks at Universal Studios and two weeks at Disney World have been booked for summer 2024.

Watch over our shoulder as we plan our holiday of a lifetime to Florida, get the best deals and make sure things go smoothly, so that there is zero stress.  

Planning A Trip To Orlando From UK

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Our Orlando Plan Started In January 2023

Yes, really. More than 18 months before we go to Orlando, we started the process of the plan.

We knew we would go at some point during 2024…but we didn’t know when. Just that we would want more than 2 weeks in Orlando therefore it must either fit around the easter break or the summer break.

We also knew that to make the most out of the trip we would go for a minimum of 3 weeks but preferred 3.5 weeks.

We also knew that we wanted to do half our time at Disney World and stay onsite and then do the other time at Universal and also stay on site.

We then checked out a few hotels and browsed through Virgin Holidays, and TUI. Preference was to TUI as we just love premium seating that they offer and generally they are cheaper than other airlines for the same holiday.

We now had a general idea of what we wanted. Which if you are booking through a travel agent like we are doing, then this is essential.

We then heard on Facebook that we shouldn’t book now and wait until Disneyworld starts their offer and then milk the offer to the fullest.

So, we sat and waited. Got excited and then forgot about it for a while as time passes.

Then would you believe it, there I am drinking a cocktail by a pool at The Moon Palace Grand in Mexico when I learn that the Disney deals are just a week away being announced.

Blue Electric Cocktail at The Moon Palace Grand
I think this was a blue electric though it was my first of the day so I was still of sound mind to do some Disney planning!

What this meant is that in a week Disney would say what special offer people would get by booking Disney early.

I was halfway through my Mexican holiday so when we arrived back in the UK, I would be onto my travel agent to put our idea into a plan and be straight onto it.

Disney Deal Is Announced Across Social Media

Like a kid in a sweet shop, all of us wannabe Orlando visitors waited and waited for the news and then it finally came in.

The 2024 early Disney booking deal was in!

This is the deal we had (well a modified version of it) when we originally visited Disney World in 2012. They change it up each year, but its worth waiting for and can save you a small fortune.

For 2024 the Disney deal is:

  • 14 day ticket for the price of 7
  • $200 Disney Gift Voucher
  • $50, $100, or $150 per night to spend on food or merchandise for your holiday

The last one is my favourite. So lets say you are going to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. As the luxury resort you would get $150 extra per night so a 14 night holiday would get you $2100. Or if staying at a cheaper value resort that is $700.

Combine this with the extra gift voucher and the reduced park tickets, this deal is worth waiting for.

Then I had to wait a little longer. Even though it was announced you couldn’t book it until the 20th April 2023.

So, I got an official quote from my travel agents. That way I was on the ball and ready to rock and roll when the time came.

I wanted to do:

  • 10nts Cabana Bay – Universal Studios
  • 14nts Pop Century – Disney World

We had agreed that 3 weeks was not quite long enough especially if we wanted to do Discovery Cove and Seaworld Orlando.

Our amazing travel agent came back to us and said that the only way to do 24nts was through Virgin Holidays and it cost £4000+ more than TUI and that we should go with TUI for 28 nights.

No brainer really! Extra 4 nights and £4,000 saving.

So we adjusted and went with 28 nights instead and then the plan was to now do:

  • 13nts Cabana Bay – Universal Studios
  • 15nts Pop Century – Disney World

Our reasoning over the nights is that we didn’t want to do more at Disney because we only had 14 nights access.

In the same booking we also have a 3 park hopper for Universal Studios giving us 14 night access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay.

That means we have all the parks of Disney World plus these extra 3 at Universal for the 4 week holiday.

Then on the 20th April at 7am in the morning our travel agent was onto it and by 9am when the Disney website crashed because everyone was booking we were at the point of choosing our seats.

Choosing Seats For TUI To Orlando
This photo is of the screenshots going between me and my travel agent as she chose the seats that I wanted.
Disney Website Crashes For Early Bird Offer
Meanwhile this was people accessing the Disney website as it crashed with so many people wanting the perfect dates.

It felt so good that we were organised, our travel agent was organised and we were all booked and could relax.

What’s Next?

We now have our accommodation, our flights and our park tickets booked. We will now wait for Black Friday to book our Discovery Cove tickets, also book our travel insurance and then after this we will be starting a daily park plan and waiting for the time to come to reserve restaurants.

But because we are early bird customers, we do have quite a bit of free time before the next steps need to be done.

Now Your Turn To Plan Your Orlando Holiday

The three first decisions you need to make are:

  • How long do you want to visit Orlando for?
  • Which hotels do you want to stay at?
  • What park tickets do you want?

To help you decide the second question I always recommend you go with what you can comfortably afford. I also recommend staying at value resorts because you are spending most of your time in parks, so it feels like a waste of money to stay at a deluxe Disney resort.

I would also recommend a combo of a Universal hotel and a Disney hotel. We are also flying in from the UK and are going to be tired so we start at Universal. The other logic to start at Universal is that its less busy and then if we arrive at Disney when the US goes back to school, then it wont be quite as busy.

Then for park tickets we want to do all the Universal and all the Disney + Discovery + Seaworld + Aquatica. And this can be done via 3 tickets to keep the price down. Then by booking it all at the same time there is not much to worry about.

Then after you have decided which parks, add them all up and imagine 1 day at each, then add 5 days. Then your extra 7 days cover a bad weather day, 2 rest days and extra visits to your 4 favourite places.

Pin Planning An Orlando Holiday For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your Orlando holiday then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board or days out board on Pinterest.

Planning Our Second Holiday To Orlando

Planning A Trip To Orlando Behind The Scenes
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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