Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Florida - The First Week

On December 27, my entire family drove down to Florida.  It was a two day drive and it was not enjoyable.  We hit a fair amount of traffic and it took a lot longer than it should.  But finally, we arrived, and then it was awesome!

 We were staying in a house outside of Orlando.  It was great because we all had our own rooms, lots of space and our own pool and hot tub in the backyard.  We all had lots of fun in the pool, especially Parker!  We were lucky and got some pretty great weather while we were there.

We spent a day at Universal Studios and a day at the Magic Kingdom.  This is not the most economical way to do things as they are separate parks, so there's no money savings.  But I knew that I wanted to do the Magic Kingdom and I had to go to Harry Potter land if I was going to be in Florida!

First up was Universal.  It was amazing!  Walking into Hogsmeade was like stepping into the books.  First we walked up to Hogwarts and the ride that goes through the castle had a 180 min wait.  No way were we doing that.  So we rode the other rides in Harry Potter land and did the Olivanders wand shop experience.  By the time we left Harry Potter land the line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was longer than the staff had ever seen it.  (If it was 180 minutes before, it had to be 5 hours long by this point, that's insane!)  

The line ups at Universal were pretty bad.  In the whole day we only went  on 5 rides plus the Hogwarts express.  But they are quality rides and usually last at least 4 minutes.  Only my brother, his girlfriend and I payed for the park hopper pass so we got to go over to Diagon Alley, where we drank butter beer (so good!), bought wands (yes we are nerds), and went on the Gringott's ride (which was awesome!).  I have never felt like more of a geek than I did when I was in Harry Potter Land.  But I don't regret a single geeky line that was spoken.

Finally when we got back to the other Park the line up for the Hogwarts ride was "only" an hour and a half long.  The rest of the family had gotten VIP for it because someone saw them with Parker.  Lucky ducks.  Lucky for us they agreed to wait in line and go on it again. 

Later in the week, we went to the Magic Kingdom.  This is definitely a more kid friendly park!  But it's also enjoyable for adults because there is just a magic to Disney that you don't feel anywhere else.  Because we used our fastpasses smartly, we hardly waited in any lines at Disney.  (I am going to write a post with tips for anyone who is interested!)  Parker could also go on pretty much all of the rides, which made life a lot easier.

My biggest complaint about the trip was Orlando traffic.  Any time we had to drive through Orlando it was awful!  We decided to go to Downtown Disney (aka Disney Springs) for dinner one night and it made a 20 minute drive about an hour long.  Luckily dinner was delicious and we had the most expensive but most delicious sundaes afterwards and it made it worth it.

Ok that seems long enough for one post!  If you have made it this far, congratulations!  Next I will talk about the second week of our trip.

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