My 4 day visit to Orlando
Or how I spent my summer vacation
By Shelley Stepanek
I have just returned from a summer adventure in Orlando and I did it in four days.
Starting at Universal Studios, you could spend a full two days, but with only 12 hours from opening until closing, one must be fast, fleet of foot, and have the park well mapped out. Opening at 10 a.m., get swift passes, which allow you to get a time stamp for a certain ride and return so there is little to no waiting in line. Transformers-3, Jurassic Park the Ride, House of Blues and Water World have very long lines. Don’t miss the Studio Tour. Finish up with a giant fireworks display!
Moving on to day two, Epcot was a repeat for me. Yes, I had been there at least five times before, so covering ground here was easy. Epcot is mainly for adults, and seeing the countries of the world surrounded by a giant lake is always fascinating. Including Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico, China, and Norway; each only hires employees that are native. All restaurants are authentic and gift shops, magical tours and scenery depict the countries. The surround cinema in Canada has always been a magical sight, and the boat tour of Mexico is cute and whimsical. Many of the rides are in boats, such as seeing the fish farming, and hydroponic displays. There is always an outstanding fireworks display. Get to a railing and hold your place as probably 50,000 people are fighting to be in the front lines. A giant lighted globe floats to the center of the lake, and unveils historic events around the world as it opens up petal by petal as if a flower.
Get a good night’s sleep and start over again, with Sea World and the terrific shows they feature. A smaller and more manageable park, shows such as Shamu Rocks, along with Pets Ahoy, Sea Lions, and Antarctica-Empire of the Penguins, will make all of the children happy. Prepare to get wet at any of the shows if you are in seated in the first 10 rows. After the 9 p.m. final performance, which is a spoof of all the other shows at the park, the 5,000 seat arena is the backdrop for another fireworks display.
Day four, take an early morning trip to Animal Safari, view the habitats of Africa, Asia and around the world, and take the conga train around the park to see elephants, giraffes and mountain gorillas. Jump on one of the trams or the multitude of buses that ferry people between parks and scurry on over to Disneyland. They are in the midst of building the world’s biggest roller coaster, which will open in the summer of 2015, with the theme of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It might even put Space Mountain to shame.
And the last but not least is Disney Studios, with Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Studio Back-lot Tours, American Idol Auditions, Beauty and the Beast, the Tower of Terror, and the numerous parades throughout the day.
You can finish your last night by going to Downtown Disney, where Cirque’s La Nouba is playing and every restaurant imaginable is featuring the finest of food. Did I remember to say, don’t forget the most comfortable of shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses!