Destination: Orlando

Pardon the RTW interruption! I haven’t had a chance to tell you about my super fun trip to Orlando!

Just before Christmas, I met up with fellow travel blogger Kristin Luna to once again experience the hallowed halls of Hogwart’s at Islands Of Adventure. Even after spending a week launching the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the summer of 2010, I was just as excited to go back.

As a side note, it’s best to get attraction tickets direct from a website or concierge before arriving at the park… something I’ve learned over the years.

Rain is a rotten addition to a theme park weekend, but we made it work

Kristin and I hatched the plan to have a girls’ weekend in Orlando when we were last in The Bahamas together in October. Though we’ve both been to Orlando more times than we could collectively remember, we planned to bring both of our little sisters and Mrs. Luna to experience O-town once again.

Breakfast of TriWizard champions – Butterbeer!

In addition to visiting Harry Potter’s stomping grounds again, RaeRae and I had another mission – to see Grinchmas! Growing up in Florida, you are inundated with advertising for every seasonal theme park event, and Grinchmas has always been something we wanted to go to but never had the chance. When I reminded Rae a few days prior to our visit that Grinchmas would be in full swing when we were there, she nearly cried. Really. We love the Grinch!

“If this goes on Facebook, I’m suing!” –The Grinch

The rain didn’t slow us down one bit and we rode every last ride – including, for some inexplicable reason, the log flumes. I’m far too vain to post the photo of Rae, Kristin and I after riding Ripsaw Falls, but our runny mascara made us look more like Halloween Horror Nights employees than sweet Southern ladies.

We rode The Hulk once on Saturday, then RaeRae and I went back and rode it three times in 15 minutes on Sunday. Then we rode the Dragon Challenge in Wizarding World – FOUR TIMES in a row. I can confirm I’m getting too old for that.

As a Floridian, I’ve stayed at almost every hotel on International Drive over the years – except one. I was supposed to stay at The Peabody Orlando my senior year of high school with my cohorts from Future Business Leaders of America, but our reservations were mixed up and we ended up at some junk place down the street. I guess you could say I was long overdue for a visit to the hotel with the ducks!

Our suite was gorgeous and I was impressed that we had 7 TVs for six people. It would have been perfect on a college football Saturday!

Before we left on Monday morning, RaeRae and I stopped in the lobby to watch the famous Peabody ducks parade down the red carpet and into the fountain. There are five ducks living in the Royal Duck Palace, a $100,000 penthouse at the property. Yes, $100,000. Every morning at 11 a.m., they come down their special duck elevator while John Philip Sousa’s King Cotton March plays triumphantly and spectators cheer.

Up next… Auckland!

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  • January 25, 2011

    Yay, Orlando! We’ll have to make this a semi-regular occurrence when–IF–you move back to the United States… 😉

    • January 28, 2011

      Yes, count me in for annual excursions =)

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