Florida 2017 *
So, here it is a brief memory of our time in Florida 2017. We weren’t Florida newbies BUT it’s the first time we’d booked and organised our own trip there. I’ll share some of our favourite parts and some planning hints and tips that will hopefully benefit you.
Before we did anything we did our research, when was cheapest to go, where we wanted to stay. Were our ESTA’s in date, if you do one thing before booking a trip, get an ESTA. They’re cheap, last 2 years and you can’t travel without one. Make sure you use the official site otherwise a 3rd party will charge you more. Click here for the official site.
So after lots of research and far too many hours trawling the “its Orlando time” Facebook page (a total invaluable source of all things Florida!) we decided to book everything separately. It was surprisingly easy to do; we flew with Virgin, used discount Florida car hire to hire a car and booked accommodation through air B&B! We stayed at Terrace Ridge because we’ve been before, we know the area and facilities and it’s fine for what we need but there’s thousands of different options and price points. We booked Disney and Universal tickets with Attraction Tickets Direct (linked the tickets we purchased) via Quidco for a little bit of cash back, because why not?!
The flight was pretty good as we’d found a fab deal on premium economy tickets. When we landed immigration didn’t take that long and it was off to pick up the car. We had paid for a Mid Size SUV but they gave us a free upgrade at the desk and instead we drove off in a brand new Ford Explorer. It’s worth noting they often tend to give you a free upgrade so personally I would never pay for one prior to collecting the car.
The accommodation was a condo with a shared pool and club house, gym and games room. It was very American decor so not to our personal taste but it was clean and comfortable with WiFi and air con. The pool was lovely, well maintained and had a fab jacuzzi too. This is where we spent most mornings before deciding the plans for the day.
Obviously my number 1 plan for every day was WALT DISNEY WORLD! Because how could it not be, but as we’d been before we weren’t going for the 14 days in the park kind of trip. So we went most days but not everyday. I think my favourite thing was the photo pass. It gave us so many wonderful photographs to treasure for nothing. I won’t go into great detail about all of the parks (unless you want me to?). So here a few of our favourite photos.
Universal studios, it’s not Disney, but it’s still fab. We didn’t go on many rides there this time, I think I still feel sick after the Simpson’s ride in 2014 but universal isn’t as busy as Disney and it’s surreal trotting between Spongebob, Barney, Springfield, Grimmauld place and Hogsmeade. We even stopped by the Lard Lad for a donut bigger than our head.
Food. Well I couldn’t write post without a mention of food could I? So I’ll keep it short(ish) and list some of our favourite places to eat.
1) Mannys chophouse – the Haines city is the original and best. The salad of absolute dreams, we could get through a couple of bowls.
2) Sweet Tomato’s – salad, soup, pasta, pizza breads. We are here a lot because it’s cheap and the amount of salad available was crazy and also delicious.
3) Giordannos – traditional deep dish cheesy pizza pie. Just brimming with cheesy goodness.
4) Jersey Mike’s – the Philly cheesesteak sub is to die for.
5) Olive Garden – again it’s about the salad. I wasn’t blown away by the menu itself but the salad is delicious.
6) Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney – the chicken Caesar wraps are delicious.
I could share a million photos of the trip but I won’t. Heres some of my other favourites.
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and learnt something. If you want more detail on Disney leave me a comment below.
* This post contains a refer a friend link, which means we both receive a small benefit if you sign up to Quidco.