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christine fischer February 13th, 2004 10:24 PM

what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
We're staying in Lakleland, FL for three days pre-cruise and will have our 3 3/4 year old and 10 month old with us. We've taken our oldest to Disney's Magic Kingdom previously and loved it so we plan to spend one day there on this trip too. Any recommendations for good spots to hit with children this age? I've been reading up on other Disney parks, Seaworld, Busch Gardens, etc but can't find much info on taking toddlers. Anyone with experience? Help please, I'd hate to make a mistake and have a day of misery instead of fun. Thanks in advance.

Gatormama February 14th, 2004 03:20 PM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
My kids recommend Sea World and so do we. our kids are a bit older (9and4) but we have lived here for 4 years. Sea world is alot of fun and neat stuff. Only downfall is that you have to carry your little one through some exhibits( no strollers allowed inside) But, nicer than Busch Gardens. My kids also loved Universal due to Barney (up close and personal) and alot more stuff for little ones. We took our oldest to SeaWorld for the 1st time when he was 9mths old. He loved it.
Feel free to email me if you need anymore tips on the area

christine fischer February 16th, 2004 04:05 PM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
Anyone with an opinion on whether Disney's Animal Kingdom would be enjoyable with a 3 3/4 year old?

Luisa February 17th, 2004 10:47 AM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
I think Animal Kingdom is one of the best parks in Disney World for younger ones since little ones always enjoy seeing animals. Plus it's the most shaded for little ones with tender skin!
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor

claudia February 25th, 2004 04:40 PM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
Hi Christine:

Sea World is a great one day park. You might want to check into passes that include multiple parks like Sea WOrld, Wet & Wild etc. It might save you some money. Go to for more info about tickets etc.

Any Disney park is tought to do in one day. Animal Kingdom would probably be the easiest and it is very toddler friendly. What time of year are you going?


BJKeen March 9th, 2004 05:31 AM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
Lowry Park is a good place. The Florida Aquarium is right next to the ship.
Happy Sailing!

Triptakers March 9th, 2004 08:51 AM

Re: Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
I gotta give another thumbs up for Lowry Park - unlike SeaWorld and some of the other attractions, they don't try to get around the rules (as best I know) when it comes to capturing wild animals or how their animals are treated. They don't even keep captive dolphins! It's also one of the few manatee rehab centers around.

I'd much rather give my money to support an organization that isn't questionable in their treatment of animals just to make a quick buck.

Sorry if that came across as harsh. The more I'm learning, the more I realize how important it is to think about what my dollars are supporting. SeaWorld will not be seeing any of our money.

Kareen March 11th, 2004 06:36 PM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
Also, Tampa have MOSI-Musuem of Science and Industry across the street from USF(University of SouthFlorida on Fowler). It has been years since I took my son there so I don't know of the current activities that may appeal to a 4 y/o.

pkf4bucs March 13th, 2004 02:31 AM

Re: what to do w/ toddler precruise in tampa/orlando
Hope I'm not to late with comments but here goes...... I would rule out Bush Gardens with kids so young...alot of rides for bigger kids/adults. Lowery Park is nice, the zoo there is decent.... I'd pass on the Aquarium....if you've been to one they are pretty much the same....and not cheap. If you consider Animal Kingdom go first thing in the morning so that the heat of the day doesnt make the animals hide or sleep. As far as taking toddlers to Disney I think any park is pretty much safe. There are a few things that little kids cant do. MGM had a great show based on the morning shows, i.e. Bear, Rollie Pollie Ollie, Stanley, etc. Dont know if they still have it though. My child was 2 when we went and cant stop talking about it. Shes 4 now. Bit of advice on Disney Parks.....go straight to the stroller line...... you may have one, we did but opted for the one in the park and it was well worth it. They have double ones as well as single. Save your receipt because you can use it at another park on the same day to get another one. I would recommend the Rain Forest Cafe at Downtown Disney. Call ahead for reservations though. Theres not much to do in Tampa besides the malls, shopping and eating. Disney is going to be your best bet. I could go on for days about Disney, Heading down there on 3/21 for our cruise on SOS to the Bahamas. Going to the Magic Kingdom when we get back for a day. Anything else please ask. Could even give some good places to eat in Tampa. I used to live there.

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