My trip to OrlandoMonday, May 05, 2014
So if you follow me on twitter, you're probably bored of me going on about my holiday to Orlando. But hey I couldn't quite get away without doing a post about my time away could i? I mean what kind of blogger would I be? This wasn't the first time we've been to Orlando, we went back in 2012, where I wrote a in-depth post of what we got up to each day, and seeing as we did pretty much the same, you can read that post here. This time however, we did do all the Disney parks, last time we only did Magic Kingdom, but this time we did all of the parks including the water parks. It's hard to say which one was my favourite park as they all are obviously amazing. Magic Kingdom will always be a favourite, but then I also really enjoyed Hollywood Studios (the Star Tours ride and Toy Story's Midway Mania are incredible) and Epcot was fun too, with all the different countries. One of my favourite over heard quotes from the holiday was a woman saying ' my friends always ask why I've never got a passport, but I always say; I've been to Epcot why would I need a passport?' Facepalm.
The water parks were pretty cool too, my favourite out of the two was Blizzard Beach, being the wimp that I am, even I loved some of the rides there. Tilbrook falls which is the longest family raft ride was SO much fun, and the rapids flumes too. We also loved the wave pool with the inflatables. So much fun. What I would recommend is getting there for opening time and making sure you get a good sun lounger! Henry also recommended doing Summit Plummet first (if you're a dare devil like him) as you'll literally just walk on if you go on in the first half an hour. Typhoon Lagoon was pretty fun too, the wave pool there is huge with six foot waves! I didn't rate the rides as much as BB so I pretty much spent the day sunbathing, not that I'm complaining seeing as I am a sun baby!
The parks are probably the same as always, but they have introduced some new technological features, including a new app for your phones called My Disney Experience, on this you can arrange your fast pass for rides, you can only reserve three a day and they come in groups. What we'd recommend is to decide what rides you want to go on before you go or a few days in advance as the big rides fast pass go so quickly. So for example Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Rail Road we fast passed about four days in advance! Something worth doing as you only end up queueing for about 10/15 mins instead of the 45/60 minute wait. Sometimes you're on instantly! We all got the app and then connected so you can fast pass for the whole group. They've also introduced magic bands, so instead of having to swipe your ticket every day when going in and for fast passes, you can buy a magic band which is essentially a bracelet for like $12 or it may of been more and you just hold that to a sensor and then you're let in. To be honest I found it really cool, and you never had to worry about losing your ticket as your magic band was always on your wrist! It even works in the watermarks and is waterproof! Pretty darn cool.
Lowdown on the theme parks:
Best Rides: Dumbo (obviously) Tomorrow Land Speedway, Big Thunder Rail Road, Peter Pan's Flight
Food: We went to the diner in Tomorrowland which served burgers and chicken nuggets.
Tips: Reserve a space on the pavement for the fireworks at about 7pm, by 8pm all the good spaces have gone!
Best Rides: Star Tours, Midway Mania (Toy Story Ride) Tower of Terror (the boys loved it)
Food: I don't think we ate at Hollywood Studios, but there's lots of places!
Tips: Sometimes the single rider for Rock and Roller coaster is longer wait time than the actual queue! Also worth fast passing for Midway Mania (long wait times) and the lights and laser show in the evening. Definitely worth staying to watch.
Best Rides: Test Track, Mission Space (don't go on if you're claustrophobic though!) Soarin'
Food: Again we didn't eat there, but it all smelt so good, especially the Morocco section!
Tips: Reserving a space for the fireworks isn't too bad as you can see them all around the park! Fast pass for Soarin ( we waited for 60 mins for the ride) and Test Track (always have long wait times)
Best Rides: Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest,
Food: We didn't eat there again, haha did we ever eat?
Tips: Go on the safari first thing as that's when the animals are awake and it's not as warm outside. Fast pass for the safari if you can, and expedition Everest as that's the biggest ride. There's also quite a few rides in the dinoland section. We only needed a morning there as it's not very big.
Best Rides: Tilbrook Falls, Summit Plummet, The Rapids
Food: We had lunch there and it was really nice, slightly more pricey at $10 per meal. We also got a refillable drink for $9 which is all you can drink all day. Worth getting on a hot day when your bottles of water have gone all warm.
Tips: Get there nice and early to get a good sun lounger, go on Summit Plummet first thing.
Best Rides: Gangplank Falls *but you do get very very wet*
Food: We just got chicken nuggets and chips, same price as BB
Tips: get there nice and early, make sure you're a strong swimmer if you're in the wave pool!
Best Rides: The Simpsons Ride, Men in Black, The ET Ride, Transformers
Food: Loads of cool places to eat
Tips: Go to studios first thing as the queues are less. We never got to go on Despicable Me however as the queue was always 100 mins long. The fast pass prices depend on which day you go, for cheaper ones go on a weekday and get them after 4pm as they get slashed in price!
Universal Islands of Adventure:
Best Rides: Bilbo's Barges, The Hulk, The Forbidden Journey
Food: Again lots to choose from, we got pizza from the superhero cafe
Tips: Again same as above.
Money wise, you can eat pretty cheap out there. I would always recommend staying on International Drive as there is everything in walking distance there. We stayed on Kirkman road which is by Universal, this meant we had to drive everywhere, so just a little tip. International Drive is full of cheap places to eat. We ate at Denny's for breakfast every day which usually worked out at about $15 for two of us, and then the parks lunch would be more expensive at $8 per meal. Then in the evening you could go somewhere for takeaway which is cheap, or somewhere like Cici's on International drive, a all you can eat salad, pizza, pasta and dessert buffet for like $7 per head. We only had two slight more expensive meals in the evening when we went to Chilli's for dinner. Chilli's is a better version of TGI's and is amazing. The portions are huge! We paid about $40 for a dinner for two with drinks which we didn't think was too bad. We always had a big breakfast, a small lunch and then a big dinner. We went to the drugstore and bought bottles of water to take to the parks with us, but some days we couldn't resist with the refillable cups!
The weather was good out there, the first few days were cloudy but still really warm, we had one day when it was rainy so we went to the mall! The second week was so sunny and hot, about 28/30 degrees! I'd buy mini fans before going to take round the parks!
If you're into shopping, you need to visit one of the malls! We went to Florida Mall which is the biggest shopping centre I've ever seen! I may of almost combusted! The shops were amazing, and everything is so much cheaper out there! I may of made a naughty purchase of a Macbook Air but it was so much cheaper, I just had to get it!
I don't think there's much else to tell you, but if you have any other questions just tweet me and I can answer them :) we had such an amazing time in Florida and I'd go back in a heartbeat! If you want to see what we got up to, you can watch my vlogs on my Youtube channel :)