Do you know how hard it is to come up with “W” words that go together? We are still in the throws of a four-alarm family vacation, however; we have finished up with our Orlando leg. I used to think that the people that bought those 10-day passes to the Disney parks were absolutely nuts…now, having crammed FOUR parks into FIVE days, I know that it’s me that’s NUTS. You need those ten days to spread it out!
You see, I have a cousin in Orlando that I wanted to see while we were passing through. So I buffered our time by about a day to include a visit with her. Our kiddos are old enough now to meet most of the height requirements (much to my dismay–I’m not a big fan of roller coasters) so we thought this trip was the perfect time to visit not only Disney, but also Universal Studios. We are all HUGE fans of the world renown Mr. Harry Potter, and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My plan was to spend two days at Universal Studios, one day at Magic Kingdom, one day at Sea World and then one day at Sea World’s water park called, Aquatica. That’s four parks in five days. No big deal, right? Wrong.
Do you know how BIG these places are? Do you know how many people they can hold? If you’ve never experienced an amusement park on this grand of a scale, please allow me to help you out: They are HUGE, and even your best Dr. Shoal’s won’t help you once you round out hour ten or eleven of walking the length and distance through the labyrinths that are these parks. And here’s another little news flash for you, my kids were not the only kids that were celebrating the end of the school year. Apparently school was out all across the country. And families from EVERYWHERE descended upon Orlando, FL for a little fun in the sun. In fact, the only one that didn’t really get the memo about Florida being the Sunshine State or THE place to be…was the SUN.
After I finally made it to Florida after driving through a massively horrific rainstorm that stretched from Louisiana to Florida; I was really hoping to see some blue skies and catch a glimpse of the sun. No dice. I seemed to have dragged the clouds with me. Our first day at Universal, we spent the latter half of the day running and splashing through a torrential downpour. I can’t say that it wasn’t fun, if I’m being completely honest…who doesn’t like to splash in puddles?!
Thankfully, the Harry Potter ride was indoors, so there wasn’t really a chance of that one getting closed! Potter fans will do some really goofy things for a Potter-sighting…like wait in a two-hour line, for example. I’ll have to say, it was totally worth it. I’m a Disney girl through and through–never thought anything could rival Cinderella’s castle, but walking through the Hogsmeade gates, I actually believed I was IN the village of Hogsmeade. It was wild. If it wasn’t for the hoards of people there, it would’ve been my new favorite place! Totally, 100% over the top, cool. But the thousands of “muggles” crowding the streets, made it almost unbearable.
We found Mainstreet, USA in the heart of Magic Kingdom much more peaceful. So much so, that we spent an unprecedented eleven hours at Magic Kingdom before calling it a day! We rode all of the “Mountains”…Splash, Thunder, and Space (I can now check that last one off of my bucket list). We hit the old favorites: It’s a Small World and Peter Pan. Saw the parade, and sat through the Hall of Presidents ( I HIGHLY recommend this!!).
Our visit to Sea World was nothing short of amazing! The things they got those animals to do was incredible. We all decided that we are adopting a Great Dane from the local animal shelter when we get home, after seeing the Pet Show! I figured the Great Dane was better than Shamu which was their first choice.
On our second to last day at the parks, we were all dragging some serious tail. We were exhausted and slightly sunburned. So what better way to spend the day, than at a water park?! Aquatica was totally awesome!! I live in Texas, and we have Schlitterbahn, a rockin’ cool and crazy water park. That doesn’t even come close to what Aquatica was! Anyone reading this, and planning a trip to Orlando–YOU MUST FIGURE TIME IN FOR AQUATICA!! You cannot miss it. We relaxed by the wave pool. Sent the kids off to slide. I’ve never seen CLEANER bathrooms in my life!! They have an ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT buffet. GO! GO! GO! We were rested, had a blast, and spent almost eight hours there without feeling completely drained and exhausted.
Now, we are resting with family, before we begin the last leg of our trip, which is the BEACH. I’m beat, but the kids are still going strong. Enjoy your summer!! let me hear from y’all!!
Here’s hoping your day is a SPLASHIN’ good time!!