May 28, 2011

The Florida Adventure: the Beginning

On our flight from Columbus to Orlando, Matt and I had a pleasant surprise: a free upgrade to first class!

We rented a house in Kissimmee--five bedrooms, three full baths, a pool & jacuzzi, game room, and a bbq grill. The cost for one week in the house saved us a ton of money versus staying in a hotel, and it allowed for us to save money on meals by stocking the kitchen and cooking for ourselves. The living room had a fair selection of board games, books, and dvds, and the house had secure WiFi available.

On Friday evening those of us who had arrived in Orlando went out to dinner. Megan and Aaron didn't arrive until Saturday evening.

At Bahama Breeze. Clockwise from top right: me, Matt, JJ, Dave, Jennie, and Jeannie
On Saturday, we drove east to Cocoa Beach for the day. It was gorgeous, albeit very hot. Afterwards, we visited the Ron Jon Surf Shop.

The boys spent nearly the entire time in the ocean.

On Sunday, we got an early start at Islands of Adventure. It's a separate park belonging to and located next to the Universal Studios theme park.

We headed straight for Harry Potter World, but tomorrow's post shall be devoted entirely to that amazing segment of our adventure, so I'll share none about that for now.

The atmosphere at the park is amazing. Visitors feel instantly transported to a different world. Each area is completely different than the next. Music and intricate details are all planned perfectly to make for a full circle experience.

Port of Entry:

The Lost Continent:

Jurassic Park:

The park was not overcrowded at all. In fact, for some rides, we only waited a few minutes tops to actually be seated on the ride. The longest wait for a ride was the Forbidden Journey ride in Harry Potter World, for which we waited maybe thirty minutes. By the time evening hit, the park had emptied out so much that we could walk up to most rides and have no wait at all!

JJ tests his strength.

The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show

Seuss Landing:

Megan, Aaron, Jennie, and JJ in front of us on the Seuss Trolley Train Ride

A view of the Incredible Hulk Coaster. We rode this twice in a row
since there was no wait!

From the trolley ride, there's a view of the Lost Continent area and Hogwarts Castle

Toon Lagoon:

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls log ride

Marvel Super Hero Island: 

It was a wonderful, exciting, jam-packed, tiring day!

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