Almost 18 years ago we went to Orlando for our honeymoon. We played like a couple kids by hopping amusement parks, lounging by the pool, going out to a dinner show and had such a great time. Our anniversary is next month and we thought it would be a fun idea to go back to Orlando and play.
This time around was much different than the last because instead of staying at a resort and taking a taxi everywhere (we weren’t old enough to rent cars 18 yrs ago) we brought our home and vehicle along for the ride. We stayed at our first Thousand Trails Encore park – Sherwood Forest, in Kissimmee, just 10 miles from the parks. We also decided that we would only visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure during this trip. We couldn’t believe how much the prices have jumped since our last visit, nearly double the cost for tickets. We also decided that it would be a good idea to pay the extra money for the fast pass tickets.
Back when we visited in 2001, we didn’t mind so much when we would wait in line for a ride for an hour or more. This trip we didn’t want to deal with that, and we are SO HAPPY we had those passes. Each day that we visited a park we were able to see all of the attractions that we wanted and ride all the rides, and still finish the day by 2pm to head home and take a nap if we wanted.
We picked the Universal parks because of Harry Potter. Korey is a huge fan and they did not disappoint. Islands of Adventure has changed a bit since our last visit, not as many big roller coasters, but we still enjoyed it. Universal Orlando was so much better than 18 yrs ago! The changes they have made is certainly for the better and we had such a blast!
Going this route is the way to go, it was so nice to sleep in our own bed, have our truck to explore the area, go out to dinner a couple times, and go shopping. This was a pretty quick trip. We drove down to Orlando from southern Georgia, stayed for a week and then left for our longest travel day yet. Kissimmee FL to Charleston SC. It was a nice drive but close to 400 miles (377….) We normally try to stick to 300, 320 tops. Driving while towing the beast sure adds a lot of extra time to our move and it can be tiring.
Next time we visit Florida we would like to stop in the Destin area and hit up the Keys. It may be a couple years, but when we make it back I hope it is during the time of year when the manatees are in the springs. This would also require a stop to check this out as well. We certainly enjoyed the warmer temps while in Florida after spending such a cold winter in Kentucky.
It was a fun vacation, even with the amount of time we spent on the road. Loving this life!!