Finding Your Own Magic
I honestly can’t believe I’m even writing a blog on Orlando as it’s a place I’ve wanted to revisit for so long.
When I was younger, my family and I used to go to Orlando and stay in Disney and Universal so we can enjoy the theme parks. I treasured those memories as they were really magical to me being so young, however I always wanted to go back as an adult and enjoy the other aspects of Orlando like the bars and shopping. This year I was able to do just that thanks to my new business and I feel incredibly lucky. I was only there for a week so I didn’t manage to get to do everything on my list, however that just gives me an excuse to go back..right?
The pool area in the complex.
The Magic Village
As there was a large group of us travelling (I would say around forty of us), we decided to stay in the same location which was only a five minute drive from the convention centre we needed to go to. The villa accommodation is called Magic Village and was perfect as could hold up to eight people per villa. The villa was roomy, with two double beds and two twin rooms, all of which had an ensuite plus a garden area with BBQ and dining table. There were loads of villas in this complex, with a stunning pool area and on-site restaurant, meaning it had everything we would need.
The complex has a private gate so it is completely safe, however when you get an Uber you will need to explain that there is two gates, as I am assuming recently they closed one side off due to our Uber drivers getting confused. The complex is a twelve minute drive away from Disney Parks and Disney Springs, and a half hour drive from Universal which didn’t cost much at all when you split with a group in an Uber.
Magic Kingdom fireworks.
While I was out in Orlando, I only had time to go to Magic Kingdom, however I have a few tips on the best advice I can give if you are visiting any of the Disney Parks:
- Once you have planned your Orlando trip, make sure to download the Disney World App and book your fast passes in advance. You can connect the fast passes with your Disney tickets and then scan your tickets outside each ride when the time is available. If you don’t do this then you could expect to be queueing for an hour or two for each ride.
- You can also book any shows or restaurants within the parks too via the App, again this will limit the queues and guarantee you will get in.
- During the whole of October, Disney have their Halloween decorations out and the special Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Nights featuring the Boo-To-You parade, you need tickets for this event as they only do the special events on certain nights so make sure to book in advance.
- If you want to ride the Peter Pan’s Flight ride, I would suggest booking this on FastTrack+ as the normal queues were insane. Unfortunately as I didn’t book this in advance I didn’t even manage to get on this ride throughout the day.
- The most popular photo opportunities are at the front of the Castle, however the best view would be to get photos from the back and by the ‘wishing well’ if you can find it.
- If you want to buy merchandise, I would recommend going to the shops as the park is closing as there is less people and the park stays open for around an hour after the fireworks display.
- If you are leaving the park straight after the fireworks, the quickest way would be by the boat. Everyone else usually runs to the monorail which means the boat is quieter too. It wont be as crammed as the monorail and it’s a stunning view to see the lights twinkle on the lake.
- This isn’t well known, but if you are in no rush after the fireworks to leave, stay behind to watch the ‘Kiss Goodnight’. This is when the castle twinkles and plays ‘When you wish upon a star’, it’s really pretty and perfect for photo opportunities as the crowds die down.
- The fireworks start at 9pm so I would suggest finding a good spot around forty five minutes before. If you can, get one of your group to stay in the spot while the rest grab snacks.
- Florida is known to shower all the time, these showers will only last a few minutes but are extremely heavy. I would suggest taking hoodies or buying ponchos as you don’t want to get caught in it.
My friends who are business partners and I outside City Walk in Universal.
As I was only there for a week and had the convention for a few days, I didn’t have time to go to Universal during the day, however I have learn’t a lot about it as I took a course which allows me to 50% off my park tickets for a year. Here are some information and tips:
- There are three main parks, Universal Studios, Island Of Adventure and the waterpark Volcano Bay.
- It would be a good idea to buy a park hopper ticket so you can travel on the Hogwarts Express between Hogsmeade in Island Of Adventure which features Hagrid’s new ride and Diagon Alley in Studios.
- There is an area called City Walk which is free to visit and has a variety of restaurants, bars, mini golf and a cinema making it perfect for a fun day or evening. We went to Antojitos which is a Mexican restaurant.
- Island of Adventure is where Jurassic Park is, making you feel like you’re on the actual set.
- Buy an express pass to avoid the lines for the rides.
- Download the Universal Resort app as you’ll have park maps, current wait times for rides, dining options, shows available and you can buy tickets from your phone.
- The best time to visit would be in September as all the schools are back so it’s quiet.
- You can use an option called ‘Child Swap’ which means that if your child does not want to go on a ride, you can stay in line and take it in turns for the adults to go on.
- Go to Harry Potter attractions in the afternoon. The first place most people run to when entering the parks are Harry Potter so your best bet is to wait until the afternoon when it will be quieter.
- Be sure to check out the Volcano Bay waterpark, with the iconic volcano making you feel like you’re sunbathing on a beautiful island.
Group photos from the convention
Let’s Talk Business
So if I wasn’t spending all my time in Orlando at the parks, what was I doing there? My travel business had a convention where we celebrate success and this was the first year for the UK team to join.
The convention was held at the Gaylord Convention centre, which by the way is stunning. It had a beautiful tropical garden inside complete with turtles.
The three days were mainly spent learning key strategies to create a successful business and create the right mindset, it was powerful and I am so thankful I was able to go. I met some incredible people through this week from all different places and backgrounds. We then spent the Saturday celebrating the awards being handed to the teams (the UK team collecting over half of these) and an eventful afterparty.
My business has allowed me to travel, meet amazing people, become more confident in myself and make an income. Even if working online is not your thing, I recommend once in your life to go to an event which includes mindset talks, you will come away inspired and ready to take on the world.
Me at the convention.
On the other days we had spare we ended up having a pool day within our villa complex and went shopping in one of the local malls. I recommend going to Orlando as there is something for everyone, from a large choice of restaurants, bars and shops, to all the theme parks, waterparks and activities. You can have chilled out days by a pool and beach or fun days out, the choices are endless. For anymore information on Orlando, feel free to send me a message.
Have you been to Orlando? which park is your favourite?