4 Days, 3 Theme Parks, Unlimited Fun

A visit to Orlando, Florida would not be complete without visiting a theme park or 3 - and that is exactly what we set out to do over the next 4 days. 

We kicked things off at Universal Adventure Island with some thrilling rides that seemed to leave us either legless or soaking wet. Our adrenalin eventually gave out around 4pm, and resembling drowned rats, we retreated to the comfort of Hooters to revive our spirits and fill our bellies. 

Day 2 saw us at Universal Studios, where we indulged in more thrilling rides and marvelled at the incredible stage sets and props for every 'land' within. Each of these themed areas had incredible attention to detail that made the whole experience so much more captivating and immersive - we felt (and probably acted) like big kids. 

The next day we mixed things up and visited Disneyworld Magic Kingdom (just 1 of the 6 parks!). Although definitely aimed at a younger demographic, it was no less impressive to see the characters and stories of our childhood brought to life with simply stunning accuracy. We ended the day with drinks in Downtown Disney, before dragging our exhausted bodies on the 4 legs of the journey back to the car - a mere ferry, bus, monorail and tram ride to get from one Disney world to another. 

With one day pass left we hit up both the Universal lands again, utilising the 'Hogwarts Express'' ride that connected the parks to literally get the best of both worlds. We went on all our favourite rides until the thrills could not be surpassed and our spirits were satisfied (and yes, adrenalin depleted). Mission accomplished.

The Reunion

What better way to spend a day of waiting than shopping at an outlet centre - or two. That is exactly what we did while we waited for Luke and Kelly to fly in that night, easily losing most of the day scouring for bargains and our 10th pair of Vans shoes (each). Battling thunderstorms and torrential rain, it was a quite a feat - but by 8pm, we were finally organised and ready to go to the airport.

Our first ever drive to an international airport in another country was a little terrifying but went surprisingly smoothly; we learned just how much we appreciate adequate signage, and our new familiarity with airports did not go astray. We waited excitedly but a little nervously at the arrivals lounge; Luke and Kelly were the first contact with home we had in over 6 months and the first opportunity for us to hang out with anyone but each other in a very long time. Then, before we knew it - there they were! 

We made it out of the airport and to our hotel in one piece, where we talked, drank beer and caught up until the early hours.  

 

Finish Line in Sight

Days: 39
Kilometres Travelled: 354
Total States Visited: 15
Total Kilometres: 10,057

The coastal drive got much more interesting the closer we got to Orlando, as the A1A took us through Ponte Vedra Beach - and we discovered the $$. It was 30 minutes of continuous luxury mansions, each bigger and fancier than the next, and 30 minutes of getting our minds blown. It felt like we were in an episode of Entourage.

After a brief (5hr) delay at an outlet shopping centre, we followed the A1A all the way through Daytona Beach - aka crazy town. Perhaps it was the national holiday, but there was a definite party atmosphere as we cruised the main street (we even caught a glimpse of the race track - phenomenally huge!).

Finally, we arrived in Orlando and saw the city (and Disneyland in the distance) by night. We had made it!