In April, my family and I took a wonderful trip to Orlando, Florida for a week of vacation. I’ve already told you about what not to miss at Universal Studios, the comfiest shoes ever that I lived in all week, and a few of my outfits from the trip like this blue striped dress, this happy yellow dress, and these super soft shorts. Even though we didn’t go to Disney this time, I also have a post on how to stay sane as an adult at Disney.
Although we had a fantastic time, we spent a lot of hours researching, deliberating, and trying to figure out what to do and where to eat. So, I wanted to give you an overview of our week and share a few of our hits and misses to help you navigate through your own Orlando vacation.
To give you an overview, for the first few days of our trip, my mom was at a conference, so my littlest sister (Lexi) and I hung out and did some low key (did I use that the right way, haha?) things. Once the conference was over and my other sister (Alyssa) made her way down to Florida, we spent the second half of vacation at the Universal Orlando Resort.
On the first day, I took a Pure Barre class and then we headed to explore the Florida Mall. It was packed and we were tired from traveling the day before, so we didn’t stay long, but I definitely would have loved more time to walk around. My sister got the biggest kick out of finding these “Dragon Breath” things. They taste kind of like Fruity Pebbles and when you put one in your mouth, smoke is supposed to come out, hence the name “Dragon Breath”. It worked for my sister, but apparently I’m not cool enough to have dragon breathing powers because they didn’t work on me.
On day two, Lexi and I headed to Aquatica, Sea World’s waterpark. We were craving a good breakfast, so on our way there, we found Keke’s Breakfast Cafe. It was so delicious! I got a huge chocolate chip banana pancake that was incredible. A big breakfast maybe wasn’t the best idea before a waterpark, but we had a lot of fun going around the lazy river over and over again and also really enjoyed the “Dolphin Plunge”, which slides you in an enclosed tube through a pool with a playful pod of dolphins.
Day three ended up being really rainy. When looking for things to do, we came across WonderWorks, which presents itself as “an amusement park for the mind with 35,000 square feet of ‘edu-tainment'”. I wish I could say I would recommend this place to you, but I’m hesitant. If you’re thinking about going to WonderWorks and would like to know about our experience, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll reply back with some specifics! After our WonderWorks flop, we did end up going to Disney Springs, which is always fun with tons of shops, restaurants, and dessert spots. We ate at Planet Hollywood (I’m obsessed with their crunch chicken) and then had scrumptious sundaes at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. TIP: On the store side of Ghirardelli, there’s always someone walking around giving out chocolate samples – you’re welcome.
By day four, I needed to fit in some yoga. I found Elevate Yoga Center and dropped in for an aerial yoga class. The gentle swinging motion of the silks makes a class like this extra relaxing and the teacher, Niki, was so kind! When I got back to the room, we packed our stuff up to switch over to the Hard Rock Hotel, which I cannot say enough good things about. When we were inside the hotel, I felt like a rockstar, and when we were outside of it, it had such a resort feel. I enjoyed that it was family friendly but didn’t scream like it was meant for kids. They even had yoga mats you could borrow for your stay! Everything was very clean and the staff members were all so pleasant.
Unlike Disney, if you stay at one of the Universal Resorts, everything is within walking distance (there’s even a little boat to take you back and forth, too!). In the mornings, I would go for a run around our hotel and the beautiful Portofino Bay resort that has an Italian seaside village inspired design. The ambiance of both properties fulfilled the charming travel vibes that my heart craves! One morning, after running, I walked over to Voodoo Donuts, which is part of Universal’s CityWalk and brought them back for my fam. TIP: Because of their deliciousness, there’s often a long wait around the time when the parks close because that’s when a lot of people are hanging out at CityWalk, but if you get your donuts in the morning when people are more concerned with getting into the parks, the line is a lot shorter!
This post is already getting long, so I’m going to cut it off there. But, if you’d like more Orlando recommendations or have any questions, just let me know in the comments and I’ll promptly reply back to you. If you’ve been to Orlando, let me know that, too!
If you want more on my favorite rides and attractions at the Universal Orlando theme parks, head over to this post/video.