My Orlando Holiday – A Recap – Part One

Unfortunately dear Reader, I am back from Orlando. Meaning I am back in the cold and gloom of Surrey, which, when compared to the heat and sun of Orlando, leaves a lot to be desired.

Nevertheless I am very much of the opinion that using photos and videos from your vacations, is a great and cathartic way to re-live all of the fun times that you may have had. And I personally, had a lot of fun!

If you’d like to see the holiday in 20-20 vision – check out my vlogs over on my YouTube channel, I vlogged every day of the holiday and am currently uploading them all onto my channel. However I am trying to space them out a bit, don’t want to overrun my channel with vlogs!

So here’s a little (pretty long let’s face it’s probably going to be a two-parter) post that’ll wrap up just about everything I did on my fantastic two-week vacation.

On day one we started out the right way by visiting the Virgin lounge at Gatwick, we got two courses of absolutely anything we wanted for breakfast, and there was a pancake-making machine which was absolutely fabulous, and very, very entertaining.

When we arrived at the Hard Rock in Orlando – which is the hotel we spent our vacation at – I did feel pretty bad for the bell boy having to tetris all of our suitcases on to one of those ‘Suite Life’ trollies . I think we ended up with about 14-15 suitcases between the 9 of us!! We had dinner at the pool bar, complete with some seriously good quesadillas, and it was off for an ‘early’ night.

The second day we spent in Universal Studios. I rode the Rip Ride Rockit which was 100% horrifying, but I’d do it again, probably only once a holiday though! We also had a go on the new Jimmy Fallon ride, which was good but honestly, nothing particularly to rave about. I don’t get the queuing system, and was very grateful for our fast passes for this one. You walk through a ‘hotel’ and end up in a large room projecting episodes of Jimmy’s show, and have to wait for your colour to be called, which did cause some confusion with the older members of our party, as this wasn’t explained to us at the entrance. I only knew about it because of a podcast I’d been listening to before the vacation. Bit weird, not great, and don’t sit in the front row because there’ll be a metal bar in front of the screen the whole time.

For lunch that day we went to the Simpsons cafeteria, which, once we got past the queuing system was pretty fantastic. There was something for everyone in our party to enjoy, raging from delicious salads to pizzas and even scampi and chips! I also got to try a flaming moe, which was delicious, a definite recommend. IMG_1711At dinnertime we went to the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium which was great, although the room we were in was FREEEEEEZING! And I do mean freaking cold AF. It got to the point where we even asked the waiter if they could turn the heating up, with a reply of ‘oh I’ll need to make a call and it’ll take about 30 minutes’ – to turn up the heating? We were all in strappy tops, and my friend Rachael and I ended up making cloaks out of everyones napkins. The food was pretty good, I ordered vegetarian alfredo pasta, which turned up with chicken in – so got that changed for one with no chicken. The desserts were an absolute delight, I’d been debating between a banana milkshake and a red velvet milkshake, and opted for banana. Rachel got the strawberry cheesecake milkshake – they were delicious, and as we couldn’t finish the whole thing we were allowed to take them back to our hotel to finish.

On the third day we made our way to Walmart. Annie and I spent hours perusing the candy and drinks aisles, picking out candy and bits and bobs to bring home. As well as a few treats for ourselves to have in our room!

We spent lunchtime and that afternoon lazing around the pool, eating quesadillas and swimming in the fantastic Hard Rock pool, which is never lacking in music or entertainment. IMG_1762That evening for dinner we went to the NBC Sports Bar and Grill, which was pretty good. I wasn’t super hungry so opted for a starter as my meal, which to be frank, could have easily been a main meal – a tomato and mozzarella flatbread which was really nice.

Our fourth day was spent at Epcot and it was a very long day! A solid 12 hour day spent wandering around different countries and trying different treats.  Dad and I shared our first experience of a funnel cake, which was delicious but huge, I  think it’d be great if they made personal sized ones, maybe the size of a doughnut. They are served on a plate, so would be difficult  to eat by yourself, but it was really delicious! IMG_1795We stopped for a light lunch in the America pavilion, as Dad and I’d both just downed the funnel cake, we opted for Kids meals. It was quite nice to see that they had a small variety of veggie options here too, for both adults and kids.

The let down of the day for me was the Japan pavilion, which I’d been so looking forward to as I love Pokemon and Hello Kitty. I remembered the walls being stocked full of march last time, whereas this time, the ‘kids’ section kind of felt like the back of a charity shop. It wasn’t the same, whether they were remodelling or something, I’m not sure, but it wasn’t great and not up to what Disney standards usually are. There was a room kind of off to the back lined with anime and manga themed clothing, and toys, but it was just kind of skeezy looking. I ended up back in the main part, picking up a small Eevee, as well as some mochi and a couple of pairs of chopsticks. IMG_1821For dinner we made a rush to the China pavilion after our fast pass on Sorin’, and had a pretty good meal. I had a tofu stir fry, the tofu wasn’t crispy and I believe it was more of a silken variety – it was pretty good although it would have been better crispy. They didn’t have a huge variety of veggie choices here, the tofu being the only veggie main.IMG_1831 We stayed to watch the firework show from the bridge between France and England, which was beautiful, then headed home through Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel.

On our fifth day we went shopping, Mum, my Aunt and I went to the Mall at Millennia. We stopped in at Sephora and a variety of other shops, I did quite a bit of damage…oops! We were dropped off outside the Cheesecake Factory, so naturally that sparked our interest for lunch. I ordered the mozzarella arancini and then some form of peanut butter caramel cheesecake which was ridiculously decadent. IMG_1848I do wish I’d ordered the original with cherries though…next time Steff…next time!

That evening the adults went to The Palm at the Hard Rock for dinner, so the girls and I got to spend the evening doing whatever we wanted! We started by stopping at The Kitchen in the Hard Rock for dinner, Annie had pizza, Rachael had some spectacular looking fried shrimp tacos, and I had a caesar salad. The star of this meal though was the bread plate they brought out for us beforehand. IMG_1856Three large, warm pretzel sticks and a small skillet of rosemary corn bread. Rachael and I weren’t fans of the corn bread, but the warm pretzel sticks and butter were a hit all-round.IMG_1872We made our way out onto City Walk and did a bit of shopping, before stopping in at Cold Stone Creamery to create our own custom ice-cream. The details of which you can see here as I for the life of me can’t remember what the others got. I got pistachio with rainbow sprinkles and it was fab!

Day six Annie, my Aunt and I headed for Animal Kingdom. We started the day with ‘It’s tough to be a bug’ and ended the day on the Kilimanjaro Safari. We managed to catch the Lion King show at 11am which was absolutely fantastic, especially as we snagged seats in the third row so got to see it all really close up! IMG_1917Annie met Baloo and King Louie and we took our pre-booked fast passes on Expedition Everest, which is one of the best Disney rides in my opinion. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the Dinosaur ride, but there’s always a next time. IMG_1899For lunch I’d booked us a table at the Rainforest Cafe, which is located at the entrance of the park, and was brilliant. I had the Rainforest Natural Burger which was hands down one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten in my life! It was delicious!!! IMG_1957On the seventh day my family and I went into Islands of Adventure for the morning, whilst Annie, Rachael and her parents went shopping and went to the pool. It was a pretty short day for me as I apparently had decided to catch a cold/flu on day five and felt 100% crap by day seven. But we did manage to catch the new King Kong ride, which is spectacular , and a definite recommend.  I spent the afternoon and evening in the hotel room, feeling shit and eating room service. I had a grilled cheese for lunch, which I dipped in Ranch dressing, and then mac and cheese for dinner with long stem broccoli…100% yum!

As this post has been so long, I’m going to split it into two posts, just because it’s loooong right? And I want to tell you guys the most I can! I’ll also be adding in a couple of restaurant reviews, and I am going to be trying to make some of my favourite meals and treats that I had on this holiday Vegan, and post the recipes here! So stay tuned!!

I have all of the vlogs that correspond with this post uploaded on my YouTube, go check it out!

– Steff

XOXO

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