As promised, this post is mainly just for sharing with you guys all the awesome stuff there is to do in Florida. Granted, we didn’t really do all there is to do in Florida (because, you know, morals) but we hit the important things like Universal, Disney World, CityWalk, and of course, our hotel.
So the resort we stayed at is called the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. It’s one of the coolest, and cheapest, hotels to stay at in Orlando and it’s located right there in Universal. This was our second time staying here and I absolutely loved it. The resort is 60’s themed, which you can kind of see in the picture.
In their Bayliner Diner they had four huge television screens playing old commercials in a loop. And most of the time 60’s cartoons are playing in a separate sitting area near the cafeteria, which we found is perfect for grabbing a cup of Starbucks coffee and relaxing. It’s seriously like going back to the 60’s! No to mention the three heated pools, fire pits, bowling alley, and super comfy beds.
Then there’s Disney. I had been there once before with the wind ensemble in college, but we all know that amusement parks are way more fun with a smaller group, or even just one other person. Ha, right! So we had originally bought three days worth of tickets to the Disney parks….and we only used one of them. Basically all we did all day was try to navigate around families (most of whom didn’t seem to know where they were going) and wait in line. I will say though, that Space Mountain and Splash Mountain were fun enough that we rode them twice. And we probably would have enjoyed the park better if we had gone in a less crowded month like February. But as it were, we nixed the two other days of Disney for an extra day in Universal and an extra rest day at the hotel.
Now for the main reason we went to Florida: Universal. Every time I visit their parks I’m in love. You can tell they put so much thought and work into making the Wizarding World look and feel real. The Hogwarts castle is amazing, especially with the light show they project onto it this time of year.
And I’m pretty sure each of us had at least two Butterbeers (that’s a non-alcoholic, cream soda-like drink, for you non-Harry Potter-ers) every day we were there. Like you can ride the Hogwarts Express from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios, and the line you wait in to get back is an accurate replica of King’s Cross! Ugh, I just love it. And Jurassic Park with their river ride, and Seuss Landing, which is like walking into one of Dr. Seuss’ books. We even got to see Mannheim Steamroller live! One thing I do not recommend, however, is riding the wettest water ride known to man on a fifty degree, cloudy day. It’s all fun and games until someone doesn’t have a change of clothes…
It’s okay though, the whole trip was a learning experience almost every day. Like the first night, when I listened to the GPS and added thirty minutes onto our ETA just driving around Orlando. Then we got into our unwanted handicap accessible where everything was about three feet off the floor. So we got all of our stuff in the room, decided to ask for a regular room, moved all of our stuff back down to the car, drove around to look for a parking spot, and moved everything back upstairs to the new room. Or the next day, when we got to the park, and my sister, bless her, left her ticket in our hotel room. Or the last day when we checked out of the parking lot and were mistakenly charged $527 just for parking. There was something there to stress us out just about every day it seemed, but it was still the best vacation ever!