On our trip to Orlando, we visited Walt Disney’s Magical Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, MGM Hollywood studios, Disney Springs, Universal Studios and Island of Adventure.
Staying at Emerald Island Resort in Kissimmee, we were only about a 20-minute drive from the parks. We parked in the car park (average parking) which was approximately £20. Disneyworld had a tram that ran every 5/10 minutes and it was very easy and accessible getting into the parks.
Disney’s Magical Kingdom
This is where we spent our first day. You cannot travel all the way to Florida and not see the Disney parade and fireworks! As this trip was sooo last minute (I booked on Wednesday and left on Friday) I hadn’t bought tickets yet for anything so paid on the door for a 3-day Disney park pass. I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to purchase these and go through as the queues were very minimal. My family paid less than me buying them in advance. I paid $346 so you shouldn’t expect to pay any more than this. As we were leaving, there were crowds of people arriving for a Halloween event in the evening so it is worth researching what is on while you’re there to make the most of your visit.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
This day was amazing from start to finish. After our day at the Magical Kingdom, we planned our day out more (well… my family did all the researching and I turned up). Half of our group had visited these parks before so had a good idea of what to expect and what we should see. We loved the musicals which we booked with the fast pass app and went on the safari. Pandora (from Avatar) was amazing and I loved the ride there. The light show on the water was also on at night so we stayed for that. I wouldn’t say this was very well advertised so it is certainly worth checking what is showing at night. As we exited the park, we watched another light show on the huge carved tree that has the Bugs Life in it. We thought crowds would be busy to get out but again, we were pleasantly surprised at the efficient layout.
MGM Hollywood Studios
Like all the parks, I loved the attention to detail in everything. I loved the Hollywood style streets in this park. We stayed for the Fantasia light/ water show at night and it was fabulous, would definitely recommend! Coming out of this show was the busiest it was in terms of crowds, but it is nothing more than you would expect.
Disney Springs is full of restaurants and shops. You do not need a ticket as it is just an open area. The shops are lovely- Sephora is here (!) as well as the Disney shops (such as Christmas store) that are in the parks but on a larger scale. Be sure to visit Sprinkles Cupcake ATM!
Universal Studios and Island of Adventure
Loved everything about here! You do not need a park ticket to access the shops and restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe and Voodoo Donuts if you fancied visiting these places on an additional evening or something. Anything past these obviously you are required to buy a ticket. To visit Hogwarts, there is Diagon Alley and some of the shops as part of Universal and then you get the Hogwarts express over to Islands of Adventures so you would be buying the two-park ticket. Unfortunately, it was quite stormy by the time we went over to Island of Adventure so some of the rides were closed. I loved the Harry Potter simulator/ rollercoaster and I think this was one of everyone’s favourite from the full trip. We attended these two parks in the one day but you could easily spend at least a day at each.
I will also be writing a blog about Florida in general- places to visit and where to eat!
Thanks for reading!
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