I always thought we were the type of people that didn’t like to go back to the same place twice. It’s a very big world out there and I always used to think why go back to the same place when there’s so many other places to explore? That was until we went to Orlando.
Our first time in Orlando when I was 14 weeks pregnant with Wren.
I am probably going to sound ridiculously cheesy when I say this but to me Orlando feels a little bit like a second home. Sometimes I wonder how can that be when we have only just scratched the surface of what it has to offer? But it does and I have heard other people say that too, whether they have been once or whether they have been ten times. It’s the people. The atmosphere. The sense of family. It’s in the air and I don’t think it is possible not to fall in love with Orlando as a destination.
It’s the only holiday we have had where I have genuinely cried when we left, of course no one wants to leave a wonderful holiday behind, but when we left Orlando I got upset because I didn’t want there not to be a chance we wouldn’t go again. It’s that type of place that has an effect on you. It really is magic, seeing the looks of delight on your children’s faces, the happy laughs, the quality family time. I swear it captures a little part of you.
Our last time in Orlando with the whole family this time.
Today is ‘Blue Monday’ – apparently it’s the most depressing day of the year when we are are on a bit of a comedown from christmas and are feeling the strain of January being a long month. It’s also apparently when a lot of people are looking at booking holidays so they have something to look forward to later in the year, indeed I was having a chat with two of my friends yesterday who had both just booked a summer holiday. It is quite a gloomy day out there today, I woke up at 4am to the sound of our back gate swinging frantically in the wind, and I got drenched on the school run.
I thought it was the perfect time to take a little look back at our incredible memories of the most amazing family destination in the world and compile a little list of our top five reasons why we love Orlando (of course though let’s face it there are hundreds)….
The Family Time
Of course you go on holiday to have family time, but there is just something about Orlando that signifies family time to me. Whether it is splashing about in the pool, or screaming on the rides, to meeting your favourite Disney character, or carrying your tired, fast asleep 6 year old in your arms back to your hotel for the first time in years- Orlando couldn’t be more geared up to families. I swear that our children have grown up that little bit more after visiting Orlando, it’s the combination of our undivided attention for a week or the fact that so many people (whether it’s restaurant staff, Disney staff, or even just other holiday makers) stop to chat to them, but Orlando just brings out the best in all of us. It’s such a special place to spend time together as a family.
Oh the memories you make. I can genuinely say that Orlando is the only place that I can think back to some of the memories and get tears in my eyes, or where I will look at a photo and get goosebumps. It’s a destination where you make some of the best memories of your life. I can still so vividly remember spotting Cinderella’s castle for the first time, a place I had dreamed of seeing since I was a little girl, or I can remember Jon laughing at me as we were watching the fireworks and tears were rolling down my cheeks. There’s so many of our most special family memories that have been made there. I remember cycling along the West Orange Trail side by side with Jon in the sunshine with the children in the back of the trailer and saying to Jon that I couldn’t feel any happier. It’s a place where you will make memories that will last a life time.
It is impossible not to go to Orlando and completely get sucked into the magic of the place. I remember our first time at Disney where we cautiously queued up to see our first character, it was Pluto and the girls shyly walked up to him. From that second onwards they were hooked as he pulled them in for a hug. Disney is so incredibly magical, not only watching your children have the time of their life, but also even as an adult you can’t help but fall for the magic. On our first visit Jon categorically said he wasn’t going to wear a Disney top, by the end he was wearing a Mickey top and had completely lost his inhibitions. You can’t help but fall in love with a place that has magic in the air.
But it’s not just Disney. Whether it’s watching your child run around Diagon Alley in Universal with an interactive magic wand (I hope we can go back there one day now Maddie is obsessed with Harry Potter!), to watching the sunset over the lake in Winter Park- you will fall for the magic of Orlando and you will want to save every single penny you have to go back again.
As I sit here glugging my water and munching on an apple in order to try and give myself some well needed greens after the post Christmas ‘I will eat cheese, chocolate and biscuits for dinner every evening in December’, I find my mind wandering to Orlando’s food. Oh my goodness, think every single delight under the sun and Orlando will have it to offer. At Disney World it’s compulsory to eat things with Mickey’s face on, and every where you turn there is a restaurant serving up something delicious.
You definitely want to leave your calorie counting at home to indulge and enjoy all the gorgeous treats Orlando has to offer, but if you really want healthy there’s plenty of that in abundance too. What I wouldn’t give to have a Mickey waffle for breakfast right now?
They don’t call Orlando the theme park capital of the world for nothing. I can’t help but feel emotional when I think back to our times in Disney and Universal and the urge to book a holiday there this minute is so strong. Orlando is all about fun and it’s not just the theme parks. It might be heading out to Crayola World, or cycling together along the West Orange trail, or just simply cuddling up having some down time in your hotel room. Orlando really is the most fun place in the world and the best place for families of all ages. It’s amazing to see how our girls and their experiences change there as they grow. It’s got something for everyone.
That’s just a few of the reasons why we love Orlando. Like I said I would continue to go there every year because it quite simply is such a special place. I have never had anyone turn around to me and say ‘We didn’t like Orlando- we wouldn’t go back’. Because there is so much for everyone of all ages and we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what to do there.
It’s such a special place and we love it so much.
NB: Thanks to Visit Orlando for helping support our holiday to Orlando. All words, photos, videos and opinions are entirely my own and they haven’t asked me to write about anything- all content has been decided by me. You can follow them over on twitter, instagram and Facebook, plus download their amazing app to help you plan your trip here.10