Orlando | Family Vacation

I’m going to squeeze in a few personal posts of our family vacation to Orlando before busy wedding season kicks up.  We spent 13 awesome days in Orlando last month.  The weather was just perfect.  Not too hot yet and we didn’t get a drop of rain!  We hit all the Disney parks – Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, Disney Animal Kingdom and of course the Magic Kingdom.  We also took a day and drove out to Clearwater Beach on the gulf coast, which I loved.  We spent a day at Typhoon Lagoon getting our waterslide on.  We hit a Gospel brunch show at The House of Blues on Easter Sunday in Downtown Disney and one day the boys even dropped me off at the mall for an afternoon of shopping while they went to a movie.  Our final two days we spent at the Universal Studios parks which were amazing and we found some of our favorite rides there.

We had originally planned to spend the entire day at Epcot, but after a long previous day of traveling there was no way we could get up early.  So it ended up being a half day there.  We couldn’t see it all in half a day so we went back for more later in the week.  What an amazing park with so much to see!

Of course it’s so fun trying on crazy hats and I had to take a couple pictures of the interesting 3D glasses we wore for the various shows.

We saw so many different kinds of shows at all the parks.  They were all first class, so well done and we were truly surprised at the quality of everything we saw.

This was “Turtle Talk with Crush” at Epcot.  He actually interacted with the kids and spoke right to them.  Super cool.

Ah, Clearwater Beach.  It was great to get away from the city for a day and just relax at the beach.  This was the whitest and softest sand beaches I’ve ever seen!

We rented a bicycle for four and spent an hour riding around the boardwalk and town – so fun!

Just me and my shadow.

Ok, this picture may not look like much, but Luke and I became obsessed with ‘Hidden Mickeys’.  They are hidden everywhere in the Disney parks made out of everything from Cannon balls, like you see here, to ferry ropes and engraved bricks.  It is amazing how many there are when you start looking.  We were so excited whenever we found one!

Our longest day was here at the Magic Kingdom.  We spent 13 hours exploring the park, enjoying the rides, taking in the shows and we had to stay for the brilliant Electric Parade.

We watched the fireworks from the Ferry boat ride back to the parking lot.  It really was a magical day.  I have always heard that Disney is the happiest place on earth and thought whatever.  Now I’m a believer.  The ‘cast members’ are everywhere and so genuinely helpful and kind.  It’s the cleanest place I’ve ever seen.  We even saw a guy cleaning the garbage cans!  They don’t sell gum in the parks and you just don’t see trash on the ground.  Everything is run so smoothly and they are always happy!  Once we figured out the Fastpass system and followed the truly accurate touring guide plans out of the Unofficial Disneyworld guide we never waited more than 10-15 minutes in line.  The crowd calendar on that website was really helpful as well and we found our trip so enjoyable!  Stay tuned for one more post with the rest of the trip.