The first few days of our adventure have been very full on, as we have embarked on a long journey with Rach’s family to kick off with a stay in Orlando, Florida to go to Walt Disney World.
We started at Brisbane airport, on what would be a long plane ride to Los Angeles with Qantas. After saying our goodbyes and having some bloody mary’s for breakfast (never again), we found our way to our flight and settled in for the long haul ahead. The obvious attempts to sleep mostly failed, though the movies and food were pretty spot-on .
After a massive 13-hours we ended up in the smoggy city of LAX, where the fresh air is lacking! A not-so-quick transfer found us just making our flight on United that would last for 5 hours to allow us to reach our final destination – Orlando! After what seemed like eternity, we finally reached our hotel for the next 10 days – Disney’s All Star Sport Resort.
All-Star Sports resort is a part of 3 hotels next to one another, with the other two being Music and Movies. We would recommend the Sports version of the 3 as it is slightly closer to everything (noting that you’ll be catching buses to get to each park).
The jetlag kicked in on day 2 as we made our way to the Magic Kingdom for a full 12-hour day of rides, shows, and parades.
You really can’t fault Disney, it’s so much fun and the entertainment doesn’t just stop with the rides – the cast members put on some great shows and parades for the crowds as well.
Some of the highlights of the day would have to be some of the classic rides such as Space and Splash Mountain (where getting soaked going down a 50ft fall is the main goal), Pirates of the Caribbean, and the “it’s a small world” ride which despite being a bit slow was great as Rachel and I had never been on it before.
A final hint that helped to keep us awake during the day (damn jetlag) and piqued our interest was the treasure hunting we did (with maps!) in Adventureland. This was so much fun and by the time we had finished a couple of maps we received a free fast pass to Pirates of the Caribbean. After such a long day, we made our way back and crashed at the hotel.
Day 3 and we awoke nice and early (some of us still on Australia time) to get ready to hit Disney Springs – the shopping area close by. This was meant to be a relaxing day, so we all took it pretty easy and managed to get lost a few times in the massive Disney store they have set up there.
One of the main reasons for coming here was not only for the shopping, but to check out some of the restaurants that are on offer – one of which being the T-Rex Restaurant. This dinosaur themed (duh!) restaurant has gone all out, and includes multiple moving dinosaurs within the seated areas alongside regular ‘meteor showers’ where the diners get a light show along with their food. This place was fantastic and definitely worth it, though a reservation is recommended as it was packed out.
We left Disney Springs not long after to make our way into downtown Orlando, using the very cheap and reliable local bus service – Lynx. This took us to the Amway Centre for a preseason NBA game between the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks. One of the things Rach and I would definitely recommend in any American city is to try and see the local sporting team… it doesn’t matter if it’s basketball, soccer, football, ice hockey, baseball (the list goes on), they’re all American past times and they sure do know how to put on a good show.
With that being said, unfortunately the Magic couldn’t pull out a win this time around, despite it being a great game to watch. Being another late night, we all piled into an Uber to get us back safely to the resort in preparation for the next action-packed day to be had planned at Epcot.
Day 4 and Epcot was a little bit different than what we had seen or heard about the other parks. There is a definite emphasis on FOOD (which we both love) over the rides, though there are a few great experiences to keep everyone happy as well. We would recommend Test Track, Soarin’, and Mission: Space (though my stomach was churning after the spinning G forces of our space mission).
Beyond the rides, the rest of the day was spent focusing on the food of the world, as the park is shaped in a massive circle made up of different countries and the food and product offerings they have. The themes in each were spot-on as Rach and I found ourselves multiple times reminiscing over previous travels. We especially loved the France section, where the food at Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie was delicious (try the leek and potato soup in a bread bowl, and any of the sweets). Other recommendations would also include Morocco (can’t beat the baklava), and the United Kingdom and Germany for beer (delicious ale and dark beer).
With another day done and dusted, we took our weary feet to sleep it off once again. Whilst it has been a rushed yet exciting first few days for us nomads, there are many more adventures to come… next stop – Hollywood Studios!