How to have a Theme Park Holiday when you Hate Theme Parks

Considering how I’m always saying I’m not a theme park fan, I have spent a surprisingly large amount of time in Orlando going to, um, theme parks.  In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson says of James May “He’s the only man whose been to the North Pole who didn’t want to be there”.  This is basically me at Disneyworld.Magic KingdomI feel the pain of everyone who is dragged along to theme parks against their will – be it parents who accompany theme-park-mad-kids, long-suffering partners of theme-park-nuts, or the grandma sitting with the bags and coats. How do you have a good day in these circumstances? Continue reading

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Epcot : The Sequel

As the titles suggests, this was our second time visiting Epcot.  We really enjoyed it last time as it suited both of us, with a firework show in the evening, so this was a natural choice for my BF’s birthday in Orlando.

EpcotThe aim for this time was to spend more time in the world showcase, as we rushed that last time, as well as revisiting our fave rides – Test Track, and Soarin’. Continue reading

Becoming a “Minion” at Universal Studios!

The idea behind Universal Studios is that it is a film studio, so there is a mock-up of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, and an area themed like New York streets. Once again I was slightly sceptical about another Theme Park. But, I’m glad to report I actually enjoyed Universal Studios!

LA, Universal StudiosWe wandered through “LA”, and into a rather bizarre Simpsons Land. This was a bit contrived (as one might expect, being as it is a cartoon!), but if you want drink Duff Beer in Moe’s Bar Continue reading

Disney World : The Joy of Speed, at Epcot

After our previous exploits at Magic Kingdom my expectations weren’t high. Which is possibly why I enjoyed Epcot!  I enjoyed the fact there wasn’t as much of that tacky “theme-ing” everywhere. It was more of a basic theme park. That doesn’t make any sense does it?! What I mean is you could make your way around the park without having two ears of a mouse stuffed down your throat. There were floral displays of characters but you could easily ignore them or just look beyond, to see the pretty flowers.

Floral Duck - EpcotEPCOT stands for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Which in English means it’s a bit sciencey and is trying to be futuristic. Continue reading

Disney World: A Magic Kingdom this wasn’t

I feel that this is going to be very unpopular blog post! 🙂 But hear me out.

As background – I’ve never been to any of the Disney parks before – through choice. I find “themed” things quite grotesque. I don’t like many rides. I think the ticket prices are extortionate ($172 each for 2 parks). Ditto the parking ($14 per car per day). And I’ve never seen the attraction of hugging a 6 foot Mickey Mouse.

But I happen to have chosen a boyfriend for whom Orlando is his spiritual home. He went there on family holidays as a kid, and absolutely LOVES it!! He has fond memories of getting up at the crack of dawn and spending the day racing around the park from ride to ride. So I agreed to go with him. Compromise, right?! And I got a new T-shirt for the occasion.

Castle and Walt Disney, Magic KingdomWe went to the Magic Kingdom – I thought this was the same as “Disneyworld” or “Disneyland” but I am lectured that they are in fact different.  Continue reading

Celebrate Good Times Come On! (Celebration and Orlando)

None of my friends had ever heard of Celebration. The town I mean, we’re not having a party deficit. It’s a bizarre purpose-built town, built by Walt Disney. It’s meant to be The Ideal Town; some sort of utopia.

Well, The Ideal Town did not have The Ideal Signage, as we got lost several times and only found our way to the centre by sheer perseverance! However this meant we got a nice scenic tour of the suburbs of Celebration. These were Desperate-Housewives style mansions with white picket fences. It was pleasant but in a very purpose-built way, with none of the organic growth of normal towns.

Houses in CelebrationThe centre of Celebration revolves around a large lake which had signs saying “beware of the alligators”. Continue reading