A Big Holiday Reveal! We Are Going To Orlando

This is a super exciting blog post for me to create. It’s been in the making I suppose for months and months. I’ve mentioned it on my social media but today is the day I can openly talk about it.

That’s the main reason I am writing this, I want to be completely transparent with you all ahead of this trip. This trip is heavily collaborative, meaning we are working with lots of different brands to make this happen. I will be working with lots of different brands which I’m going to discuss in this post but will also state it, as always, on individual content I create. I do not want this to come across as being boastful, I honestly just want to keep things very black and white.

We are heading off to Orlando in a few weeks on the trip of a lifetime which I am so excited about! Somehow we’ve managed to keep it a complete secret from our daughters and plan to until we fly. I created a video for this explanation, discussing exactly what this post is if you’d prefer watching instead of reading.

In case you are new here, I am a married mum of three daughters; Freya who is 10 years old and has autism, Eva who is 6 years and Elsa who is 4. We are going on this trip as a family of five, however, we have also decided to take my mum along too. It’ll mean we’ll have an adult to child ratio of 1:1 making it so much easier for all of us. It’ll also mean that Freya (who has been known to experience panic attacks) can stay with my mum if she doesn’t want to go on a ride. Who knows, Hubby and I may even get an evening out together?

Let’s get to the exciting parts where I can finally tell you exactly what we are getting up to and who we are working with on this. We are obviously kick starting the trip by flying from London Gatwick to Orlando with Virgin Atlantic. We have paid for our flights ourselves. We leave at lunch time in the UK and arrive in the early evening Orlando time. We did similar flight times back in 2016 and it really helped with jet lag as we kept the girls awake and went to bed at a normal-ish time.

We have a few hotels that are hosting us for stays during our time in Orlando. The first is Staybridge Suites Orlando at SeaWorld. This hotel is about 20 minutes away from the airport. They also offer guests complimentary scheduled transfers daily to SeaWorld, Disney, and Universal. It is an Official SeaWorld Hotel and guests receive benefits including free fast passes, discounts, and more. We have actually paid for one night ourselves with a media discount rate and then the further three are complimentary. 

Whilst we are staying at Staybridge we will be visiting Wonderworks. This is an indoor attraction a lot like the science museum here in the UK, it is an educational amusement park. It combines education and entertainment with more than 100 hands on exhibits. I’m very excited to visit and our entrance to Wonderworks has been gifted.

As Staybridge is an official SeaWorld hotel we are visiting SeaWorld and Aquatica. We are spending a day at each one. SeaWorld has always been one of my top places to visit on my bucket list. It’s a theme park with the added bonus of having close up animal encounters and shows. Aquatica is also a water theme park. We have never been to either of them. Our entrance is gifted. I really hoped to visit Discovery Cove but our itinerary is absolutely jam packed so sadly we won’t get to this time around.

After our stay at Staybridge Suites we are checking in to Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort hotel. I am so pumped to be staying with Universal again, it absolutely stole our hearts three years ago and my family have been desperate to reunite with our lovely tour guide Dawn. Cabana Bay is a 1950s/60s themed hotel with lots going on. We’ve never stayed at this hotel before but have seen amazing photos so we are very excited about it. We actually have six nights here which is awesome! We switch rooms half way through from a Family Suite to a 2-bedroom suite. We are extremely lucky and the girls are going to love it. Our stay has been generously gifted to us.

Whilst staying at Cabana Bay we have been booked on to experience a VIP tour. A VIP tour is a great way to make sure your family gets the most out of Universal and I’d highly recommend it if you are able to. They tailor the day for you and lunch is included during this day which is very useful.

Universal Orlando Resort have kindly organised for us to have 3-day 3 park tickets meaning we can visit Volcano Bay, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure as we please. We have pencilled into our itinerary to visit Volcano Bay on the second day of our stay. It’s a water park surrounding a huge volcano, very exciting!

During our Universal Orlando stay we have two dinners booked for us, one at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. They have freak shakes to die for with huge brownies on top! Then on my mum’s birthday we will be eating at a Mexican restaurant called Antojitos which we haven’t experienced before but I’ve checked the kid’s menu and there seems to be lots that the kids will like.

Leading on from food, Pirates Dinner Adventure have kindly invited us to experience the show. It’s an interactive theatre experience, sitting in a theatre with tables. I’m really excited about this one as we have invited Dawn (our VIP tour guide) along. Her son is actually one of the pirates in the show. It’s going to be a lovely evening!

We have been excitedly gifted entrance to Gatorland. It’s a half day attraction in Orlando, ultimately a zoo for alligators. I’m equally nervous and excited to visit Gatorland. They’ve given us a tour guide for our day and the chance to go on the Screamin’ Gator Zipline and the Stompin’ Off-Road. Hopefully I’ll survive the zipline without being eaten to be able to tell the story!

Then one of my husband’s biggest bucket list items for Orlando is to visit the Kennedy Space Center. I’m so pleased that they are gifting us entry. I loved learning about space as a child and the girls are in the middle of a space topic at school too so I’m hoping the girls will find it an incredible experience. It’s on the East Coast of Florida and will take over an hour to get to. We will be paying for the travel ourselves.

After checking out from Cabana Bay we head down to a hotel called Stay Sky Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa. We have actually paid for two nights ourselves and then they are hosting us for a further two. There’s a restaurant there, and the pool has a pirate ship in it. I have a spa treatment booked when we arrive, I’m having a facial.

Lake Buena Vista Resort is pretty much opposite to Disney World with a free shuttle service when you stay which is why we booked the extra two nights to cover our four days at Disney. Yup, we are heading to Disney! I am a complete Disney virgin and it has been a long-time dream to experience the magic. Disney have kindly gifted us 4-day park hopper tickets with extra fast passes as a fantastic enhancement. As we are staying off site we can’t purchase the dining plans so we will be paying for food and any extra items ourselves.

As we are Disney beginners, we have enlisted the help of a tour guide company called Michael’s VIP Tours. They are kindly gifting us the opportunity to have a tour guide for the full four days of our Disney trip. Michael’s VIP Tours take the hassle from planning a Disney trip away, they book your FastPasses for you and organise your day at the theme parks then provide a tour guide during our time at Disney. We are pretty excited about that as I was really concerned we wouldn’t get the most out of four days.

For our last two nights in Orlando we have been booked in to stay at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. It is literally steps from the ICON which is a big ferris wheel. We will be visiting it on our last days and also a museum called Skeletons. This will definitely be a calmer end to our extremely full on trip. Wyndham has two pools, dining options and a fitness center too. Our stay with Wyndham has been gifted.

We are flying back with Virgin again. It’s a night flight so I’m hoping that the girls will sleep just like they did three years ago. We were very strict and stopped them doing anything fun and pretty much bribed them to sleep. Our flight is early evening time in Orlando and arrives the following day rather early in the UK. So, with any luck we’ll get a nice night of sleep. I say through gritted teeth.

So, there you have it. As you can see it’s going to be an incredible, once in a life time trip. There are no words to explain how lucky I feel and how excited I am. In terms of the content I will be creating, there’s no other way to say it but that there’s going to be a lot!

Content will be heavy on my Instagram and Facebook. I want to create various videos like packing videos. We will be surprising the girls on the day that we fly so that will also be an exciting video to watch. I will be filming every single day of our trip and uploading them individually. Basically, there’s going to be a lot going on over here, my YouTube channel and my social media channels!

I hope you can join in with our excitement and I will see you all very soon!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative trip.

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