I am utterly worn out, happily so, though if I don’t see another ride for a while that’s fine with me. Orlando 15 years on is arguably more fun than the first time –
- the children are now too big to carry
- if an alligator eats them it’s not my fault
- everyone likes burgers
Six parks in as many days with mini golf and American breakfast to round it all off – and round I certainly am after all that food. It was great.
Going there has nothing to do with life in Bermuda, other than it is slightly closer, 4 hours to Orlando rather than the 8 from Gatwick. I was relying on a dose of Bermuda – sun to ward off the post-holiday-blues, but yesterday when I spoke with my son it was the same temperature here as in Bristol, both significantly less than Florida last week 😦
I think it was a good time of year to go, just missed Spring break and Easter holidays so parks not over-full and weather not over-hot. Last time we went in November, before the days of fines for taking children out of school during term time; it was very hot then. Our flight to Miami from Bermuda was less than half-full so I am jolly glad we didn’t spend the money on first class seats – 2-economy > 1-first class. Miami to Orlando busier but that one is less than an hour.
We hired a car large enough for our 3 adult offspring and us, but even so it was one of the smaller vehicles on the roads. We hadn’t been off island for three months so driving along the freeway was as scary as any ride: fast, wide and on the wrong side. Previously we had downloaded the iPad App “GPS Navigation SatNav by skobbler” and I must say, were impressed. It doesn’t work too well on Bermuda as it doesn’t recognise the traffic lights or roundabouts or even the junctions (!) but in Florida she performed well, confusing us once or twice with “slight right” meaning straight on but not left, but able to adapt to our mis-turns promptly. Talking of apps I would also recommend the ones that give you latest queuing times for the rides – there are several, all seemed pretty accurate and helped with decision making in the parks.
Of course we went to Universal Islands of Adventure for the Harry Potter Experience – the Hogwarts ride is amazing (no spoilers) – be prepared for a 90 minute queue and leave your bags in the lockers by the train, don’t wait till the queue reaches the lockers for this ride: after patiently waddling single file for miles of zig-zag sudden pandemonium as you get to the locker area – I can only presume they did not expect the queues to be so long and the lockers were supposed to be the start of the line, not half way round. This was my only grouse all day and a glass of Butterbeer brought back a smile. Not sure just what is in Butterbeer, it is non-alcoholic of course, it does have stimulant effect on the susceptible akin to chocolate and coke (cola) in one glass.
My favourite rides?
- Minions in Universal Studios – 3D simulator, no idea what the storyline was
- Space cadet ride in Epcot – I did the gentler option but the family did the other one, twice!
- Harry Potter (of course) – don’t wear flip-flops
- Dumbo – this one overwhelmed my 37 year old self, maybe over 50 = adventurous
- Teacups (Mad Hatter) in Magic Kingdom – who doesn’t like spinning round and round
Hints and tips?
- Take or buy a waterproof poncho – $8 from any park
- Stay for the fireworks at Magic Kingdom – 10pm approx
- Accept you will have a week without vegetables on your plate
- IHOP does large breakfasts
- For a family of 5 renting a house is probably cheaper than the Disney resorts
- Actually, cheap does not apply, try not to worry about it.