A Travellerspoint blog

Orlando

Hitting the parks

After the strains of the corporate sell yesterday morning we had a quiet afternoon relaxing by the hotel pool, and had an early night ready to hit the parks in the morning. Our hotel is located very close to the two Universal Resorts, The Islands of Adventures & The Universal Studios, so close that we actually walked the mile to them. Our hotel does have a courtesy bus service that runs to all of the main attractions, it is just that it isn’t very frequent, both going to and returning from the parks, so we made the decision to walk - Uber prices as you can imagine go sky high around the times that the parks open and close. We had seen no end of smart looking buses in the vicinity of our hotel emblazoned with the sights of the Universal Resorts on their livery, so I assumed that the bus service would be fairly comfortable and straight forward to use when the need arose!

So after a short walk we arrived in the Islands of Adventures all ready to hit the rides, now the only time we have been to Orlando before was in 1999, when Tom was eight & Georgie was six, my mum was also in tow & Diane and I were in our early/mid thirties. My recollection from then is that we able to go on most rides together but there were one or two of the big roller coasters that the kids couldn’t go on and my mum didn’t want to go on, so she looked after T & G whilst Diane and I went on the odd ride together. I would also add that neither Diane or I have ridden any serious roller coasters for a number of years, so after we mounted the first massive ride appropriately named “The Hulk” I think we both had that slight feeling of dread and fear for what we had let ourselves in for - and we went to be disappointed as we were hurtled around through various loops at break neck speed, when we dismounted I felt positively sick, and Diane appeared a bit wobbly and shaken! Perhaps we will have to accede to our age and only partake the gentler rides - absolutely no way!! So the challenge had been set and we bravely took on all that The Islands of Adventures had to throw at us, highlight without doubt was Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure, a roller coaster where the carts are a motorbike and side car, for sheer fright the Velocicoaster from Jurrasic Park World. The section of the park that is dedicated to Harry Potter is really something, even for two non Harry Potter fans, complete with Hogwarts as the backdrop to the area.
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The following day we arranged to catch the bus to Disney’s Magic Kindgom, our passes allow us to enter all four of Disney’s parks over two days so we started at Epcot and then finished the day at the Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately, rather in keeping with our hotel, which I think it would be fair to say is in need of a bit of modernisation/refurbishment/ our transport to the park and back was not to be one of the shiny new blue buses we had frequently seen at the neighbouring hotel but a rather old jalopy that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Mumbai, Newcastle or Sheffield, spluttered up to the front of the hotel, it did the job, even though the air con was a bit hit and miss. I should say that although the hotel may have seen better days all the staff that we have interacted with, particularly those on the front desk have been incredibly helpful, friendly and accommodating.
After two long days on our feet, we decided to take it easy on Saturday and have a day around the hotel pool enjoying the warm weather and peace and quiet, although the pool area wasn’t too busy, through force of habit Diane thought it best to reserve our sun loungers when we went for lunch lest we should lose our spots.IMG_2215.jpegIMG_2216.jpeg
We had a quick bite to eat, got some provisions and returned to the pool. Thank goodness Diane had had the foresight to save our spots.
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Our intention tomorrow is to spend the day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom then spend our final day at Universal Studios before we see The Eagles on Monday evening, then it is an early start as we have a four hour drive down to Miami and the car has to be back by 1pm, can’t believe holiday is nearly over!
I hadn’t been aware that Disney’s first theme park was called Disneyland and is located in California, where their head offices were located, it was opened in 1955. It wasn’t until 10 years later that Disney announced plans to build was is now known as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, having discreetly bought up large tracks of land. Sadly Disney died the following year before construction was started on the project, which didn’t open until 1971. Today it is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average yearly attendance of 58 million people, the whole of Walt Disney World is some 44 square miles, which is the size of the city of San Francisco and twice the size of Manhattan Island in the city of New York.

Posted by Rortours 21:37

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