If you read my wee catch up post you will already know I am going to Orlando next year! I am super excited and in exactly a year, myself and my love will be sunning it up, eating our body weight in food, queuing for fab rides, and spending faaaar too much money on Disney and Harry Potter merch! I am already so excited and of course, wanted to blog about my adventure!
As a very lucky goose, I have already been to WDW and Universal Orlando twice, in 2003 and 2007. These holidays were amazing but I already feel like I’m going to have a new found appreciation for the holiday in 2019! So much has changed since 2007 and I am so eager to explore new rides and restaurants! Especially all the Harry Potter stuff in Universal.
Ian and I have been saying we want to go to Orlando practically since we got together almost five years ago so we finally took the plunge and booked our dream, once in a lifetime (ha) holiday! We did a fair bit of research before booking because let’s face it, it is not a cheap destination.
After a lot of deliberation we opted to stay off site. I know a lot of people will disagree with this decision but we priced lots of different options and staying onsite at Disney just didn’t seem worth the extra cost at this point. Staying at Disney was going to cost us an additional £1500!!! I would much rather have that in extra spending money. Ian has never been to America so there are lots of restaurants we want to go to and therefore, we didn’t think we’d take full advantage of the meal plan that would be included. We were contemplating a moderate resort so it would have been snack credits and we wouldn’t have had any sit down, table service meals included anyway!
We want to cover most of the parks! We got a really good deal and have the 14-day 6-park Disney and 14-day 3-park Universal tickets included in our package which was a huge bonus! The hotel we have booked has shuttles to Disney and Universal! I’m sure I’m right in thinking that staying at Disney is great for the Disney parks but you’d need to make your own way to Universal which could end up being a bit of a hassle! …In no way am I saying it will be hassle free getting to and from all the parks but for us, it just wasn’t worth solely being on Disney property.
The hotel we’re staying at is just off International Drive which should be a great location. Although it’s not a self-catering apartment it does have a fridge in the room so we’re hoping to save some money by making packed lunches and having some breakfasts in the room! I got a picnic rucksack for my birthday (am I 23 or 53) and I am so excited to take it to the states!
The one downside about staying off site is booking fast passes and restaurant reservations. If you stay onsite you can book these 60 days in advance whereas we’ll have to make do with 30 days in advance. I’m hoping to be prepared and have a plan so we can still book the rides and restaurants we want! At the end of the day, I can’t see our holiday being ruined if we can’t get on Splash Mountain the exact date and time we fancy.
Our mind has not yet been made up regarding SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens. I have visited SeaWorld and Busch Gardens before and I did love them! But I currently face somewhat of a moral dilemma because of controversies and research that have come about in recent years. This decision definitely requires more research and speaking to people who have been recently to hear their opinions!
The countdown is on and I cannot wait to fly out in 358 days! We’re flying direct Glasgow to Orlando International and have private transfers booked to take us to our hotel. Get me on that plane now! I’m hoping to keep you all updated with our Orlando planning over the next year and of course, blog all about it when we’re there!
One day, I hope to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge but wow, is it pricey! For now, I am super happy to be spending two weeks in our four star hotel at I-Drive! I’m constantly researching things to do and places to go, things to buy to help with the holiday etc so please let me know all your best hints and tips for hitting Orlando!