A beginner’s guide to booking Orlando

Can you imagine opening a present this Christmas and it’s one of the most magical gifts you’ve ever received? A surprise present from a loved one can feel like a fairy-tale. If you’re considering buying something unique for your loved one this holiday, a dream ticket to Orlando for 2019 serves as a great gift. Whether your special someone is a Princess, King, Queen, Disney fanatic or just loves to travel the world, taking them somewhere magical in 2019 would be a dream come true. 

Why Orlando? I visited this year and it’s a place that took me by surprise. In this blog post I will be sharing my experience and top tips for booking and staying in Orlando. I booked my tickets through Attraction Tickets Direct because it’s the leading destination for all Orlando attractions. It’s a website that you can trust. However, if Orlando doesn’t float your boat, they also have access to tickets to hundreds of attractions and experiences around the world. In New York, Rome, Paris, Dubai, Miami, California, Las Vegas, Spain and London. They made my journey a lot easier, cheaper and faster. It was just one destination to book it all, taking the stress and pressure off.

Booking Orlando 

Flights and accommodation 

I didn’t fly from London to Orlando. British Airways were offering a brilliant multi-trip package to New York, Miami and Orlando. I’d highly recommend this, it was great to visit different places in one holiday. Most of my time was spent in Orlando because there is so much to do. It cost £1,200 pp which is actually quite cheap considering all hotels, car hire and flights were included.

I’m a big kid at heart, but I didn’t want to stay where all the children were staying in Walt Disney World. I wanted some peace and adult time after leaving the parks, which is why I stayed at Shingle Creek. A beautiful adult only hotel with a very short drive to Disney World and other attractions. However if you really want to get stuck in Walt Disney World, then you should stay in the resort. I suggest booking through Attraction Tickets Direct, apparently, they are the cheapest Disney hotel, dining and ticket packages in the UK. 

Tickets 

You have to pre-book your theme park tickets. Do not chance it and try to find tickets when you’re there. I didn’t see many places that sold tickets around, so it isn’t worth travelling around trying to find them, when you can spend that time at the parks. Do your research before you go away. I had to do a lot, which is why I’m sharing this with you. 

To make life easier I opted for the Disney World and Universal combo ticket from Attraction Tickets Direct. Everything you need for access to Walt Disney World and Universal. The package includes a 14 day unlimited pass for Disney World and Universal. You have unlimited access to all 6 Disney parks; Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Park for up to 14 consecutive days. Unlimited access to all 3 Universal theme parks; Universal Studios Florida; Universal’s Islands of Adventure; Universal’s Volcano Bay and entertainment at Universal CityWalk. You can visit more than one park in the same day (but to be honest, the parks are so big I’m not sure how you’d do this). The FastPass+ system was the best! I didn’t have to queue for anything. I downloaded the Disney World and Universal apps, I pre-booked the rides and just scanned the card at the entrance. The queues were huge for normal entry, so I really recommend getting this, so you can enjoy your time. 

Admittedly the passes for the theme parks are not cheap. Some will say it’s pricey. Despite the cost, but it’s SO worth it. However you get value for your money getting a pass like the Disneyworld and Universal combo ticket, you get more for your money. 

When you’re there 

Create an itinerary before you go! This helped me so much because there’s so much to do and see.

Beginners guide to Walt Disney World

There are four theme parks, two water parks and two entertainment districts for restaurants and shops.

  1. Magical Kingdom– this is where the Castle is and where all the Disney princesses hang out. I’d do this on your first day to get into the Disney spirit. Please do hang around for the fireworks, they are spectacular.
  2. Animal Kingdom – this theme park is set up in countries i.e. Africa, India etc… it was amazing. Real life animals are in this park. You have to see the real life safari. It’s amazing! Check out my vlog to see it. I saw Rhinos, Elephants, Crocodiles. They also have great food and entertainment. Plus the rides are amazing!
  3. Epcot – this theme park is all about the future, featuring spaceships etc… 
  4. Hollywood studios – Home of Toy Story land.
  5. Thyphoon Lagoon – a great water park. 
  6. Blizzard beach – apparently this is the best water park out of the two, but you’ll have to find out for yourself. 
  7. Disney springs – restaurants, shops. Includes free parking. No admission fee. Bus transportation and water taxis.
  8. Disney’s Boardwalk – smaller entertainment place. Nightlife, dining and shopping designed to look like early 1900s.

Top tips for getting a cool picture in Walt Disney World

  • If you want a clear picture by the castle, get it whilst everyone is watching the Disney parade. 
  • If you’re staying at Walt Disney World, you can enter a little earlier when it opens. 
  • Make sure you download the Walt Disney World app, you can see where the Disney characters are for a picture.

Beginners guide to Universal

There are three parks; Universal Studios, Adventure Island and Volcano Bay. Universal has the best rides! They are multi-sensory and multi-dimensional. You feel as though you are riding with Harry Potter on a broomstick playing quidditch or with Spider Man fighting the bad guys. It’s amazing!

  1. Universal Adventure Island 
  • Harry Potter – the Harry Potter ride is incredible! 
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kon – the colossal ride. 
  • Marvel Superhero Island – incredible hulk, Spider Man. Loved the simulator inspired rides.
  • Toon Lagoon – Popeye, Betty Boop etc. It’s like stepping into a totally different world.
  • Jurassic Park – get a picture by the jeep and take the ride.
  • Universal Studios 
    • Hollywood – special effects. 
    • World expo – Simpsons Ride, Men in Black, Fear Factor live, Kang & Kodos.
    • San Fran – Fast & Furious.
  • Universal Volcano Bay 
    • A new water theme park.

Gatorland 

Gatorland is the Alligator Capital of the World and 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve in Florida. 

If you want to see and feed Alligators up close, then you need to visit here. I held a baby Alligator and had a Python snake wrapped around my neck. Never did I imagine I’d do that, but it was cool. They have live entertainment too. I’d really recommend going here. 

Shopping in Orlando

If you’re after a designer bargain, you HAVE to shop at the outlets in Orlando. Designer prices slashed. I visited a few different outlet parks because each have different shops. I got Converse trainers for my Mum at half price. I got a beautiful Guess bag for just $20 and a Michela Kors bag with 75% off. Watch my vlog to see what I bought. Seriously recommend a good shop, but make sure you leave room for luggage in your case.

I hope this blog post helped. You can view my experience on my vlog over on my YouTube channel. However if you have any questions at all, either DM me on Instagram, comment below or tweet me.

Watch my vlog

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