We stayed in Orlando for 3 nights which gave us 2 full days here. We’d already planned for one of these to be a rest day to chill out around the pool, after 3 hectic days and 300 miles under our belt, we needed a reminder that this was in fact a holiday!
On the evening that we arrived in Orlando we simply wanted food, and so headed to a place called Coopers Hawk on International Drive just around the corner from our hotel (The Pointe) again being lead by reviews on Yelp! It was late so we were the last to be served and if I’d have known how big the starters were, I wouldn’t have ordered an entrée! The food was delicious too. We took a little drive around to see the new Orlando Eye on i-drive 360 and sat watching the lightening as the storm set in. There wasn’t any rain, but the thunder and lightening was spectacular!
The next morning we were up and out on the shuttle bus to Universal Studios before 9am. We’d pre-ordered our tickets online before the trip so there was no need to queue on arrival. I didn’t really know what to expect, so many people I know that have been here had told me it was amazing, not just for kids but for adults too yet I couldn’t help thinking they were over exaggerating!
How wrong could I be? Naomi isn’t one for roller coasters so I was thinking it would be a lonely day, I couldn’t NOT go on the rides could I? Luckily though it didn’t matter, we’d only been in the park for 10 minutes and we were BOTH on the front row of the humongous Hulk roller coaster!! I don’t think she’d fully woken up before she realised where she was. This was the best ride of the day in my opinion, maybe it was because I didn’t expect to ride it with Naomi, and best of all she loved it too.
The whole place is simply wonderful. I cannot imagine how overwhelming it is for the children lucky enough to go there. I would love to take my nephews they would LOVE it. Everything is just so real. The Harry Potter land feels like you’re in the movie and the ride makes you feel like you’re actually riding along in a broom with Harry himself. Truly amazing. The only limit is their imagination.
We almost didn’t come to Orlando when we were planning our road trip around Florida. I’m so glad we did though, Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure were one of the highlights of the whole holiday! I would love to come back here and see the other parks!
The following day which we had designated to rest, soon became a day of action as we found ourselves struggling to sit still after all of our adventuring. We spent the day shopping around the premium outlet stores before heading back to the poolside at the hotel for the last few hours of sunshine before dinner.
We also experienced our first American Walmart visit here in Orlando, I can’t believe how big they actually are!! They had everything that a huge supermarket would have and far more… A decorating centre, a garden centre and even a car tyre shop and motoring department! Everything we do, America does BIGGER! Like a bag of m&ms for example…
That night we grabbed pizza from a small place called Pizza Xtreme, one of the best rated food places around International Drive. It was really nice, and cheap too, which is what we needed after a day at the shops. We came to the conclusion that Orlando didn’t seem to have the best food but it certainly entertained!
It was time to say goodbye to the theme park capital of the world and head off to our next stop, but first we needed to fill up the car. Is it petrol or diesel? And how on earth do you get the pump to work? After (quite a few) minutes of trying to make these decisions whilst looking puzzled at the forecourt, a young guy came across to us… ‘Are you ok ladies? You’ve been here longer than I have, do you need any help?’ Ha ha as highly embarrassing as this was, we were so glad of the help. How was I supposed to know that gasoline just meant petrol?! Lol