An Orlando Florida Family Vacation!
As I got home from college, my mother sprang the news on me that we were going to Florida! I was very excited, as an upstate New Yorker, the winters bring us nothing but snow, and when we landed in Florida and saw the first palm trees, we were ecstatic!
We had flown into Orlando, and the next day we went to Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure Amusement Park, and our entire family was excited to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As huge fans of the book and movies, this was one of the highlights of the trip, as Hogsmeade and Hogwarts were recreated very carefully to match as closely to the movie versions as possible.
The rides were also fantastic, especially the Adventures of Spider Man, the Legend of Poseidon, and the Forbidden Journey of Hogwarts.
The next day we went to the Kennedy Space Center, a place designed for space enthusiasts, but tailored for everyone. With a blend of NASA's history and the science behind space shuttles, this inexpensive alternative to the theme parks of Orlando is a great idea!
The following day, we went to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World for New Year's Eve. I've never seen so many people in one place! However, with their Fast-Pass options, which allow you to get a ticket to the head of the line for later in the day (at no extra price), we were able to get on all the rides we had hoped to, and a couple of them, twice!
Getting from place to place wasn't as difficult as we had thought, as Disney had set up traffic style lanes throughout the whole park, along with traffic co-ordinators, to keep the park moving quickly and efficiently. The acclaimed fireworks show took place over Cinderella's Castle, as well as behind us and on both sides of Main Street, USA. The employees kept everyone orderly and moving quickly among the enormous crowds, and the firework show was truly unbelievable.
The next day we went to the beaches near Orlando, to relax, and while the weather wasn't perfect, it was the first day of 2012 and we spent it on the beach, making sand castles, throwing a football, and reading books.
The last and final day of our Florida vacation, we went to Disney's MGM Studios, which was one of my favorites. As a huge Pixar and Star Wars fan, the Toy Story ride and the Star Tours ride remained my favorites throughout the trip. With plenty of shows to see, if you just feel like sitting down, shows such as the Lights! Motors! Action! show and the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, allow you a sneak peek into the creation of Hollywood movies, and are highly entertaining.
Overall the trip to Orlando was a huge success for our family vacation in Florida and I had a fantastic time! Going to Orlando at other times of the year to avoid holiday season, is a great idea if you're looking to avoid the masses.
However, if you want to revel in the crowds and see the incredible fireworks display at Magic Kingdom, I can say from a first-hand experience, that they were truly magical! I would certainly recommend a vacation for a family to Orlando Florida!