Orlando – Disney and More!

When you have kids (or you are a kid-at-heart), a visit to Orlando is not complete unless you visit Disney.  But, Orlando is not just about theme parks. With proper planning, you can have a wonderful multi-activity vacation.  Here is what we were able to see and do with two kids in tow:

Day 1:  Arrived in Orlando and headed to the place where we were going to stay.  The evening was all about settling in and enjoying the pool and making sure all of the groceries needed were purchased.

Day 2: Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  We managed to cover both the parks because both kids were fairly young and we targeted the rides & shows according to their age and interests.

Day 3: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Here, we spent most of the day at the park.  The kids had a blast interacting with their favourite characters, watching the parade as well as  seeing all of the animals.  We did manage to check out Disney’s Hollywood Studios briefly in the evening.

Day 4:  Sea World – Spent the day at Sea World.  Shows, animal interactions, play areas and more… the kids were in heaven!

Day 5:  Chilled out by the pool in the morning and then headed to Cape Canaveral.  There we visited the Kennedy Space Center.  We booked our tickets ahead of time hoping to go close to the launch pad.  Unfortunately, due to their fuelling schedule we could not get too close.  However, exploring the campus on the guided tours was an amazing experience in-itself. 

Day 6: We headed towards Clearwater.  Once we got there, we headed straight to Caladesi Island State Park with a picnic lunch.  We had such an amazing time at the beach that, at the spur of the moment, we decided to stay back in Clearwater.  Luckily, we were able to find a room at an amazing resort in Clearwater.  After checking in, we headed back to the beach and had a wonderful time around Pier 60.

Day 7: Spent the morning by the beach and the resort pool before heading back to Orlando.  Chilled out the rest of the evening.

Day 8:  Travel Day – Back home!

 

Lessons Learnt

. Theme park ticket pre-purchase.  It is truly one of the most confusing aspects of planning.  The tickets are not cheap and when you are on a tight budget and limited on time, accuracy matters.  We were lucky in a way.  Our kids were fairly young and we were determined to go to the Kennedy Space Center and Clearwater also during the trip. So, we ended up getting the Park Hopper option for the Disney World tickets, which worked out really well.

.  Day 7 was scheduled to be an open day… theme park in Orlando or fun day at the beach.  So, after studying the park schedules and attractions, we ended up doing what we did.

.  Kennedy Space Center – If you are planning to attend a special event at the center, make sure you are up to date on the conditions at the center.

.  Clearwater – Amazing, amazing beaches.  If you have an opportunity, do spend a day or two.

.  Always carry extra clothes (not just for the kids)… you never know when you will make spur of the moment changes in you plans.

 

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