Hello, hello! I had thought I’d be able to get this post up sooner than today, but it just didn’t work out! Ah, well, no time like the present 😉 We are back from our trip to sunny Florida, and I am so excited to share all about it with you! Kyle and I have basically been planning this trip since we went to Florida 6 (six, how?!) years ago, and now it has come and gone. In case you’re new around these parts, my dad lives in Florida (and I was born there) so it’s always nice to have a little extra excuse to travel there (even though we’ve only been the two times). We knew we wanted to go again, so we’ve been saving our Southwest credit card points, and we decided to go this month for a couple of reasons. 1) Abe was not quite 3 (Sunday was his birthday!) so he could still get into all the theme parks for free (as could Eliza, obviously), and our kids would be old enough to have fun, even if they don’t remember it in a few years. And 2) it was Steven’s spring break (Steven is my dad’s husband) so it would be easy for them to meet us and spend time with us.
I suppose our trip really starts on Sunday, when we packed up our car and drove the 2.5 hours down to my in-laws house, to stay overnight. I had been making lists upon lists and upon lists for the past few months, so it was so nice to finally put those lists into action and actually pack our bags!
Our flight on Monday was in the early afternoon, so it was nice to not have to rush to get ready since my in-laws only live about 20 minutes or so from the airport. We got all ready to go, and my FIL dropped us off. We looked a little crazy with 2 suitcases, a pack n play, 2 carseats, plus our double stroller and diaper bag/carry on, but we got through checking our bags and security fairly quickly. And then it was on to our flights! We flew from SLC to Denver (about a 1.5 hour flight) then stayed on the same plane (about an hour) to fly to Orlando (about a 4 hour flight). We flew the same route on the way back, but had an actual layover where we got off the plane in Denver, and we preferred that over staying on the plane, but I digress. Our kids actually did really well, and they both took naps during the second half of the flight to Orlando.
The Orlando airport was nuts, and we honestly waited for our suitcases for a good 30 minutes, plus another 30 minutes for our other “oversized” luggage. Then it was on to the car rental desk, which was another loooong wait. I think our flight got in around 8 or 8:30, and we didn’t hit the road to our rental home until around 10 or 10:30. Not too fun for us or the kids — bribing with suckers was definitely involved.
We opted to stay in a VRBO with my dad and Steven during the week, which turned out so nice! They had one room, Kyle and I had another, Abe was in the third room, and we actually stuck Eliza’s pack n play in the laundry room so she had her own space, too. I love utilizing VRBO or Air BnB when we travel, because it’s nice to have your own space, including a kitchen and living area. We had a great time. (We stayed at this property, in case you’re interested, we highly recommend it!)
After a late night, we woke up on Tuesday morning, got ready, and headed over to SeaWorld, and we had a really fun day! SeaWorld Orlando has some amazing rollercoasters, so that was really fun for Kyle and I. We also were able to see the dolphin and whales shows, the rays, the penguins, the manatees and sea turtles, and the sharks. It started off pretty chilly that morning, but warmed up a bit by the afternoon.
Abe checking out the manatees and sea turtles.
Eliza really liked the penguins!
SeaWorld had a fun kids area, too, that Abe really enjoyed. He was able to ride the carousel, “drive” the train, and go on the spinning “cups”. It was so cute to see him so excited for rides — things he’d never done before! All in all, our day at SeaWorld was a huge success. I know a lot of people dislike SeaWorld right now, or think it’s a boring park, but we honestly love it! And like I mentioned earlier, it has some of the best rollercoasters I have ever been on, so that’s a major plus 😉
The next day, Wednesday, was our Magic Kingdom day. When we were planning on trip, Kyle and I spent a lot of time studying all the different theme parks in the Orlando area, trying to decide which ones we should do, depending on our kids and our budget. Overall, we decided to only do one day at Disney World this time around, choosing Magic Kingdom (of course!) for Abe and Eliza’s first experience at a Disney park.
Our experience that day was interesting and a little lacking. First of all, it was COLD. Just as a little FYI, if you haven’t been to Magic Kingdom before, you should know that getting there is very different than going to Disneyland. You park in the parking lot, ride a tram to the ticket area, get your tickets, and then wait to ride either the monorail or the ferry over to Magic Kingdom, where you then get your bag checked, etc., before heading in to the actual park. So riding the tram, getting our tickets, waiting for the ferry, and riding the ferry all took a while, and we were freezing! Luckily it did warm up somewhat during the afternoon. Second of all, it was SO BUSY. This week wasn’t supposed to be peak time, and we went on a weekday, but it was insanity. Most of the rides had at least a 60 minute wait all day, and some even had a 180 minute wait time. THAT IS THREE HOURS PEOPLE. Insanity, I tell you. Kyle and I have been to both Disney World and Disneyland a handful of times, and we agree that this is the busiest we’d ever seen it. It was even busier than when we went to Disneyland in December on a weekend! So busy, guys.
We made the most of our day though, and got to go on a few rides and attractions. We walked through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, went to the Tiki Room, road the raft/boat over to Tom Sawyer’s Island, went to the Carousel of Progress, and rode the train around the park. Kyle and I had reserved our Fast Passes the week before, so we were able to take Abe on the Buzz Lightyear ride once, and we each took him on the Tomorrow Land Speedway, which he LOVED. Then Kyle and I left the kids with my dad and Steven while we used our Space Mountain Fast Pass.
So our Disney day was kind of a bummer, but overall, we still had a good time, and I’m glad we went. Next time we won’t go any time in March 😉 And, spoiler alert for the next post: our Universal days were awesome and more than made up for our bummer day at Disney.