Sunday morning was a little more leisurely. We had breakfast and then made our way down to the pool where the boys were booked in to have a go at water walking. Both of the boys thought it was great fun, but were pretty tired out after their allotted 15 minute session.
We could have stayed at Kielder for a whole week and still had more to see and experience. We were amazed at the dark skies and the amount of stars that could be seen from the balcony of the lodge. The lodge really was a home from home with everything you could need including a washer, dryer, cooker, fridge freezer and a dishwasher. It really was an epic experience.
Disclosure: 7 nights accommodation in a Lodge at Leaplish Waterside park ranges from £349 a week. Special offers and discounts are available at certain times of year, see the Kielder Website for details. We received 2 nights free accommodation, free meals and activities for the purpose of this review. You can see more photos of our trip on Facebook.
Details: 7 nights accommodation in a Vivaldi Mobile Home at La Croix Du Vieux Pont, which sleeps 6 and Eurotunnel Crossing for one car costs £1214 for 2 adults and 3 children on August 17 2013. Special offers and discounts are available at certain times of year, see the Al Fresco website for details. We received free Eurotunnel crossing and accommodation for the purposes of this review. You can see more photos of our trip over on Facebook.
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How to enter
Our Top hints and Tips for Visiting Disneyland Orlando
Make sure you book a table for Dinner as the restaurants get busy
Always buy your tickets online. They’re usually cheaper and save you the headache you’ll get waiting to purchase at the gate
Download the free Disney Magic app – you can plan rides and check show times and once you’re inside the park it will let you check how long the lines are on different rides
Bring your own water bottles. It will save you time and money! If you don’t want to carry a water bottle, just ask for a cup of water at any food or drink vendor
Have your children look for Hidden Mickeys is a great way to keep them occupied especially when queuing
When the park opens at 9am, go first to Toy Story Midway Mania, which has the longest lines in the park, and FastPasses are usually gone for the day by noon.
Plan a show for the hottest part of the day, but be aware that the air conditioning can be fierce!
If it’s your first visit, get one of the “first time” badges from Guest Services
for getting the most out of Universal
Take some american stamps and postcards to use the owl post in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is where you can send a letter with a Hogsmeade postmark. You can buy usable Harry Potter stamps but they were rather overprices at $15 a pack especially when we only wanted to send three postcards.
Frozen Butterbeer is much nicer than regular Butterbear (which tasted like cream soda). If you want to get a souvenir cup with your butterbeer you can and ask for the butterbeer to be put in a regular cup so you do not have to wash out your tankard for putting in your bag. Also you can bypass the cart and buy it straight from The Three Broomsticks which is a lot faster.
The mixtures of movies and rides is fantastic. The Despicable me experience is fantastic, we loved being turned in to Minions. Oh and the fart gun does smell of bananas!
The temperature really hots up around lunch time, so make a beeline for the indoor rides like Despicable Me, The Mummy or Spiderman during this time. Alternately why not take a trip to Jurassic Park and be prepared to get VERY WET!
Take a refillable water bottle with you. You need to keep drinking as you can dehydrate really fast.
Check what rides your children can and can not go on before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Consider a Universal a Express Pass which costs around £30-40 per person, and allows you to go to the front of the line once on each ride, although you get this sort of ticket for free if you’re staying at a Universal hotel.
Make sure you arrive early for the park opening at 9 am. Rides open at 9.30 am
The park is 45 minutes from Downtown Tampa and the other Orlando Parks
You can exchange your own LEGO Mini Figure with any of the Model Citizen’s (LEGO Employees). They have theirs on their name badge. Also keep an eye out for the Mini Figure Ambassador as they have a shirt covered in Mini Figures.
Go to the back of the park either LEGO City or Technic first
If it your birthday, then collect a badge from a Model Citizen (A LEGO Employee) at Guest services at The Beginning
If you want to visit a show, try and turn up 30 minutes before the start time
Make sure you take plenty of sun cream and hats as it is much hotter and sunnier in Orlando that the UK. We actually purchased Maxi a pair of sunglasses and shorts strap in LEGOLAND
The park also has many attractions for children and adults that prefer gentle pace including Safari Trek and Duploland
Download a Park Map before visiting, it shows you all the height restrictions, so you can set expectations before visiting
There is a large selection of places to eat all catering for children, but you need to try the parks signature dish of Granny Smiths Apple Fries
It gets very hot in the middle of the day, so eat inside if possible as the restaurants are air conditioned
The LEGOLAND Florida water park reopens in March and you can upgrade your tickets for $12 each and this would be the perfect place to cool down
The park closes earlier than other parks around 5.30 each day
The Big Shop is the largest LEGO shop in the world
I have to admit that I was really skeptical about Seaworld. I was unsure about using animals in shows, however, I have to say that I was completely won over and we had an amazing day. First things first, there is no way you can see everything in a day (unless you opt for one of the excellent VIP tours, which cost from £172 per adult and child in addition to park admission and includes a freshly prepared lunch) . I would advise you to plan your must see’s before you get to the park.
Maxi and I are spending the half term holiday in Orlando, Florida thanks to Visit Orlando. This is perfect timing for us to explore it all prior to our family holiday there in November with my brother and his family.
We will be exploring the major attractions including including Walt Disney World, Sea World Parks and Universal Orlando Resort.
I have taken a look at the Orlando Holiday Planning tool, so I know that the weather is going to be great and have packed our swimming things and the sun cream and for the first time I will not be taking prescription sunglasses on holiday and I am looking forward to being able to see things from the top of any rides we go on and not worry about my specs falling off.