We spent the last week in Florida and it was a busy week. Here is a recap and some highlights.
We flew in to Ft. Lauderdale and spent the weekend with my grandparents. My kids haven’t seen their great-grandparents for a while. Actually they hadn’t met my youngest yet. Four generations. My grandfather was born in 1920 and my youngest was born in 2010.
The kids were able to go to the beach. It started with walking on the beach, putting our feet in the water, next thing they were swimming in it. It was a little cold for me, but they enjoyed it.
We headed up to Orlando for the rest of the week. In my opinion, a trip to Disney/Universal requires some research and planning.
Day 1: Epcot
I picked Epcot first for a couple of reasons. The last time I was at Disney (34 years ago) there was only Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It was a bit nostalgic. Secondly, I thought it would be a good entry into the week.
We bought 2 day magic your way passes. With the passes we could pick fast passes for three rides 30 days in advance. (If you stay in teh park you can pick 60 days in advance, we opted for a condo 10 minutes away that had a kitchen, laundry, pool, movie theater…) Our three fast passes were Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Spaceship Earth. The fast pass was nice, but the lines in Epcot were low and we were able to ride other rides like Mission Space with no wait. By far, Test Track was our favorite. We rode 3 times. If you have a Hot Wheels fan, this is the ride. You are able to design a car within parameters and then you get in a car and it goes through performance tests. The last test is speed, which whips you around the outside of the building. The best part of The Seas with Nemo is the large aquarium, it was also a favorite. We ate in the World Showcase- lots of good food options. We added the fireworks/lasewr show as an additional fast pass. This gave us front row seats.
Day 2: Free Day
We headed out to Gatorland in the afternoon. This was only 20 minutes away, there was another gator place with airboats, but it was 45 minutes away. Gatorland have hundereds of gators, gator wrestling, ziplining over the gator “pond”, and so much more. We really enjoyed it.
Day 3: Universal Studios
Harry Potter, Transformers, Despicable Me, Rip Rocket, Men in Black, Shrek, Revenge of the Mummy. My 11 year old was all over this. He had a blast. Most of the rides on this side of the park were 3D/4D rides or indoor rollercoasters or a combination.
This one is sometimes hard to get a “smiley” picture from. Needless to say, we rode this ride 3 times. We did not get the fast passes for Universal. There were very little wait times for rides. I highly recommend the aps for both Disney and Universal. The aps have maps, wait times listed for rides, showtimes, and other great information.
Day 4: Universal Islands of Adventure
Harry Potter, Jurasic Park, Spiderman, X-men, Dr. Suess, Popeye. This side had a lot more amusement park type rides. Rollercoasters, log rides, free falls…
Harry Potter fans……this was soooooo much fun!
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
We had fast passes for Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and 7 Dwarfs Mine Ride. We did some classics like Peter Pan, Its a Small World and Pirates of the Carribean. The “kiddie” rides had long wait times. There were lots of strollers in the park. I am so glad I did not have anyone in diapers, in a stroller or needing naps.
What worked for us is timing the rides. We stood in line for 60 minutes to ride Space Mt, and then got right back on with our fast pass. We watched part of the parade at 9pm and then headed back to Thunder Mt and Splash Mt. There were no lines so we just kept getting back on.
We had a great week, lots of fun, great memories!