Best Vaca Ever!
What's better than an Orlando, Florida vacation? How about being surprised at the airport with a magical 6 day Florida Vaca?!
YESSSSSS, that's right! We somehow managed to plan, pack & keep our vacation a secret from our 3 kids (for months). I told the kids we had to shoot some paid ad content at the airport. And to make it look real I had their backpacks filled with stuff & we had some luggage too. They were SO excited just to be at the airport & see planes! Keep reading to see their reactions & all the amazing places we visited while in Orlando.
When we landed in Orlando the kids were still pretty hyped up even though it was almost 9pm (surprise vacation & first time on a plane will do that to kids). We grabbed our rented double stroller & headed to Enterprise to pickup our van! They were so helpful & told us we could pick any van we wanted....so naturally the kids had to checkout at least 5 before deciding on the "perfect" one. Be sure to grab a Sun Pass for tolls before exiting the double doors. There's kiosks' conveniently located by all the rental car counters. I know a mini van might not very glamorous, but boy, is it spacious! It easily fit our family of 5, a double stroller, two large pieces of luggage & 5 backpacks with room to spare! My kids loved how the doors would close themselves with a gentle push of a button. By the end of our trip they were all begging for a mini van.
Magic Village Views
The fun continued when we arrived at Magic Village Views to check-in at our hotel. This is like no hotel you've ever been at...or at least not like one I've ever been to. As soon as we walked in the kids started to squeal with excitement. We walked into a huge kitchen with an open floor plan to the living room & straight out to the private patio (complete with table, grill, jacuzzi & full outdoor couch). The kids quickly ran upstairs to snag their own rooms. Yes, the villa had four rooms that EACH had their own full bath! Athena tried to take the master bedroom but I convinced her to take the room next to her sister. They absolutely loved having a whole room & bathroom all to themselves & wasted no time organizing their rooms with their toys.
As a mom of three I can honestly say one of my favorite parts of the whole house was the laundry room! I have now vowed to never go on vacation without a washer & dryer. It was so convenient and we could have brought so much less stuff. Going home with all clean clothes was such a game changer! And after a trip to the beach or the amazing pool on site we could just throw our towels in the washer or dryer for the next day. SO convenient! If you're ever in Orlando, you need to stay at Magic Village Views.
Universal Studios Orlando!
On our first full day in Orlando, we went BIG! We visited Universal Studios Orlando for an adventure filled day & the fun continued all week long. If you're a Harry Potter fan like my son and I, then you NEED to checkout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando. Every night I read the Harry Potter series to my son, Ryder. So we were so excited to see Diagon Alley, drink Butter-Beer & pick out a wand from Olivander's. All my childhood dreams were coming true walking through the stores I had read in the books & seen in the movies, seeing Gringott's Bank & using our interactive wand to cast spells. Another special memory we will keep is when the Night Bus driver came out to chat with Ryder. We had recently read that part with the Night Bus in The Prisoner of Azkaban so it was fresh in his mind.
If you're not a HP fan, don't worry! There are plenty of other things to do, see & ride at Universal Studios Orlando! My kids loved seeing the character from Despicable Me (and riding their interactive ride). We met Bumblebee from Transformers & got a chance to take a photo. Ate lots of food & enjoyed refilling our cup over and over. Pro Tip: Get the refillable cup! Just do it. It's totally worth it & is a nice souvenir. Aria ended the day by chatting with "Donkey" from Shrek. After just riding the interactive Shrek ride it put the biggest smile on her face. We all left with plenty of memories & not much energy. All the kids were asleep before hitting the highway.
My kids take after me in most things...to include, my candy addiction. My husband wants meat & potatoes, while I want sugar, carbs & cereal. So naturally we just had to visit The Sugar Factory while we were in the area! It did NOT disappoint. The atmosphere is like no other dining experience I've ever been to. It feels more like a party than dinner (but with much better food & drinks). Music, dancing, singing & endless celebrations. If you have something to celebrate, do it at Sugar Factory! We had so many delicious drinks, burgers, milkshakes & the most amazing dessert! I don't think I've ever seen Ryder smile as big as he did when the servers came out dancing & singing with the Celebration Dessert (it serves 12 & comes out with sparklers).
Ryder knew immediately that he wanted the celebration dessert. With all the excitement & music I didn't realize how big it was until it came out! Watch the clip to see the amazing energy from the whole restaurant!
Sea World Orlando!
When I was younger my grandparents took me to Sea World. The only thing I remember was the Dolphin & Orca shows (because they were my favorite). It was such a full circle moment to be at Sea World again, but this time with my children. My kids all loved the Dolphin show so much! Athena kept saying "we need to go get a seat" so that she could watch it again. I had to peel her away from the Dolphin exhibit. In addition to the shows, they have fun rides for the kids, roller coasters, a beer festival, halloween photo opportunities, trick or treating & my kids absolute favorite....Sesame Street Land!
We had so much fun at Sea World & highly suggest visiting any chance you get! And if you have little kids be sure to bring a bathing suit or change of clothes. The kids had a blast in the splash pad. It was so nice to cool off after another hot Florida day. We didn't bring swimsuits but had extra clothes so it worked out well. They do have Sesame Street swimsuits for purchase at the store directly across from the splash pad. If you don't want to cool off in the water there's plenty of rides for the kids in Sesame Street Land perfect for little kids.
After 6 amazing days having fun in the sun, we finally packed up to go home. I'm still amazed at how much we packed into 6 days. In addition to all this, we also went to the beach, Medieval Times & Disney! We can't thank Visit Orlando enough for helping us plan our incredible trip & hosting us at Magic Village Views, Sea World, Sugar Factory, Universal Studios Orlando & getting us a great rental van from Enterprise! Everyone deserves to visit Orlando, Florida.