Monday, 4 May 2015

10 Things I Love About Orlando, Florida

We first visited Orlando on our honeymoon in 2002 and loved every minute of our stay. We've been twice since but had to put a stop to the long distance holidays when my husband and I quit our jobs and started our own business. Fast forward to now and our business is in it's 6th year, we're just about to open our 3rd computer/retail shop and things are going great!

Since having Elliot I always knew we'd return to Orlando - there is just so much to do for children and I couldn't wait to go to Walt Disney World again. We are booked up to go later on in the year and I really can't wait - Elliot is very excited about the prospect of seeing his favourite Disney characters in the flesh and he also exploded with excitement when I told him we'd see Minions at Universal Studios! A lot has changed at the parks since our last visit and for me personally, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal is what I'm looking forward to most. It looks pretty amazing!

 With an abundance of things to see and do, here is my top 10 of things I love about Orlando (in no particular order). (I'm not being paid to write this by the way, just inspired by my forthcoming holiday!)

1. Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure

This year will be our 4th visit to US and IoA and I can't wait! I love the retro rides in Universal Studios such as the ET Adventure and Jaws, although sadly Jaws is no longer there and has been removed to make way for newer rides. As mentioned before, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter looks AMAZING and I'm so excited about having a butterbeer and having a wander through Diagon Alley. Elliot might be a bit young for the Harry Potter side of things but there are so many things he'll love. Like most young boys he is obsessed with dinosaurs so I can't wait to take him to the Jurassic Park area in Islands of Adventure! 

2. Eating Out

We've always found there's a real variety of places to eat in Orlando and have never been stuck for anywhere to go. There's something for every budget and the portions, like most foody places in the US, are huge! 

3. International Drive

We've stayed on I-Drive several times and there's loads to do including Wet & Wild Waterpark, cinemas, bars, restaurants, crazy golf, an indoor skydiving tunnel, go kart tracks, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Seaworld and The Orlando Eye. There's also Wonderworks which is an upside house! It features over 100 interactive exhibits and from previous experience, it's a good place to go when it rains! 

4. Shopping

You'll be spoilt for choice with the shopping! There's the upmarket Mall at Millenia which is home to shops such as Tiffany & Co and Versace. More my scene is the Premium Outlets, I love a good bargain! 

5. Walt Disney World

WDW is what most tourists come to Orlando for and I couldn't not include it in my top 10. We first visited Walt Disney World on our honeymoon and I was just blown away by how much thought and effort Disney put into everything. I love the parades and seeing all the characters - I know Elliot is going to love this part too! 

6. The weather

Well it's not called The Sunshine State for nothing! Love the sunshine but I also love the warm balmy evenings. And I even love the storms - we saw some amazing lightning on our last trip. What I don't love however is the humidity and how it makes my hair go frizzy! 

7. The cheesy dinner shows....

Not everyone's cup of tea but I love a bit of cheese now and again, and some of the dinner shows are up there with the cheesiest! My favourite has to be Medieval Knights in Kissimmee. A 4 course meal, unlimited soft drinks and an impressive jousting tournament! 

8. Citywalk

Citywalk is actually part of Universal Studios but I felt it deserved a mention on it's own. Whenever we go to Orlando, we always have a couple of nights out at Citywalk. There's great bars and restaurants and it's brilliant for people watching! We love going to the Hard Rock Cafe (could spend ages looking at all the memorabilia) but another favourite place is Pat O'Brien's, home of the dueling pianos. Elliot's a bit young for bars (!) but we'll definitely be stopping by for a bite to eat and hopefully we can catch some songs on the dueling pianos before bedtime! 

9. Close proximity to the coast

Cocoa Beach is less than an hours drive from Orlando and is one of Florida's top 10 beaches. Just down the road is Kennedy Space Centre, my husband's favourite place to visit! I've been twice and it's not really for me but no doubt we'll end up there again this year, if only so my husband can buy Elliot a space suit. (yes really!)

10. Always something to do!

Orlando is a destination where you'll never ever be at a loss for something to do. As well as WDW and Universal Studios, there is Legoland, Seaworld, Discovery Cove, Gatorland and an abundance of waterparks. You will need another holiday to recover! 




You Baby Me Mummy

5 comments:

  1. I was so pleased to see that you hadn't included SeaWorld in your Top 10, and then noticed it made it in for a mention and photograph at the end. I do wish that people would stop supporting such a cruel "circus" :( Saying that - I bet Elliot is so excited and it must be so lovely to count down to your holiday together!

    #MummyMonday

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  2. So jealous :) Looks like a fab place. I went when I was younger but really want to take my son and daughter now. Not sure if my son would survive the long flight though? He's 5 and autistic. Longest flight so far has been 5 and a half hours. Hmm will have a think. Thanks for jogging my memory :)

    #mummymonday

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  3. I would love to take Baby, it looks so amazing. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

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  4. We saw Wizarding World and Diagon Alley for the first time last October - you will not be disappointed!! The Hogwarts Express that connects the 2 parks (need park hopping on tickets for that) is also really cool.

    The theming of it all is top class, they definitely give Disney a run for their money in the 'small details' with Harry Potter, that's for sure :)

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    1. I'm very excited about the Harry Potter bits! x

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