Orlando


Orlando with eight and nine year olds (not Disney) 17

Can you believe that it is nearly a year since we all went on holiday to Orlando.  We spent 2.5 weeks in Florida with my Brother, Sister in Law and Niece and I just realised that I never actually shared anything about our holiday! We had an amazing time and the boys loved every minute of it.  So what apart from Disney did we do!


Looking after your feet in Florida

We are five days in to our once in a lifetime holiday in Florida and I wanted to share my initial observations and thoughts with you. Firstly the flight was fine with the boys.  We stayed overnight in Manchester the night before, so we didn’t have to worry about travel hold ups.  This meant that the we started the holiday without stress and worry and on the right foot. The one thing that you do need in Florida is comfortable shoes.   Even if you are on your feet all day in the UK, it is very different being on your feet and all the walking you will do in the more »


Encouraging writing in Boys – Scrapbooking holiday memories 6

We are really focussing on trying to encourage our boys to move away from the electronic and take up more tactile pursuits! I gave you some ideas for encouraging writing earlier in the week, but I wanted to concentrate on recording holiday memories this time. When I was younger one of the most exciting aspects of any family holiday was receiving the developed film back from the chemist and putting together an album of the photographs and writing the name of the holiday in the inside page.

In todays digital world I find that my images stay on my PC, phone and on the digital photo frame we have and that made me sad, so I decided to encourage Maxi to make a scrapbook of our recent Orlando visit. This was made even easier as we were gifted a whole host of scrapbooking things in a travel theme from

Whilst we were in Orlando Maxi made sure that he took maps, leaflets and keep all his tickets in to the theme parks, so in addition to any pictures I printed out he could also keep all this memorabilia and have a wonderful physical memory of our holiday.

Firstly we sat at the PC and decided which images to print. In future I think that I would send them off to an online provider to print, that way we could have a better quality print.

Then we cut all the photographs out using the guillotine and then I let Maxi lose with the glue and a pen!

As much as I wanted everything to be neat and in a certain way, I knew that it was best that I just stayed on the sideline and let him fill the scrapbook in how he wanted it to be. Afterall this is his holiday memories we are recording.


Top tips for getting the most out of Universal Orlando 1

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.


LEGOLAND Florida – perfect for mini thrill seekers 4

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


Seaworld Orlando 6

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.


Half Term in Orlando 6

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.




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