Orlando, Florida Vacation! New {Flashback Fridays} Series

Last summer we (my hubs, son and I) had the holiday of a (once in a) lifetime to Orlando, Florida, USA. We went for 3 awesome weeks, and it really was the best holiday ever!!  

You can read the intro below, or jump straight to the post index!


We both joined a UK Disney forum so we could find out as much as we could about what Orlando (and it’s theme parks!) has to offer, along with tips and ideas and must dos etc.  I wrote a trip report for each day we were out there and shared it with the forum. It was a great success…I loved writing it and sharing our trip with fellow, like minded readers.  I’m going to share that trip report over the coming weeks/months as part of my Flashback Fridays, so I hope you join me as I re-live our fantastic trip the Orlando! If you’re planning a trip to Florida, you might find my trip report of great use, as I tried my best to give as much detail as possible for first timers! If you have been many times, or are an American, you may find this trip report highly amusing as I get excited about going to regular stores, or buying products! All I hope, is that if you do read my trip report, you enjoy it!

In each of my posts on the forum,  I always did a quick update of who we were (as the forum has a lot of readers!) as well as links to all my photos (the forum limited us to 20 per post) and links to each day. This blog post will act as that index instead…you can always come back here and visit another day, read about what we did and look at all the photos that I so proudly took!

Speaking of photos, I took the majority of our holiday pics on my iPhone4. It was so handy to carry about, took some great shots and I was able to edit and upload whilst on holiday! Some days I did use one of the 3 Lumix cameras – the DMC-FZ18, the DMC-TZ18 and the waterproof DMC-FT2 – that we also took with us! Full sets from each day can be found on my Flickr. You can also follow my photos on Instagram – @cherry_o or if you don’t have an iPhone, online at Instagrid.

So here goes…the cast!

Me – Michelle, 34 years old (at the time!) and a plus size chick who is on the shrink, having lost 4 stone this year with another 2 off planned by the time we go. (I lost just over 5 by the time we went)  Have loved Disney since year dot and remember fondly watching all the movies growing up (and still watch them! My favourite movies are Robin Hood, The Fox & The Hound and Sleeping Beauty…who am I kidding? They’re all my favourites!) I have always wanted to visit Orlando, and nearly did in 2003, which sadly fell through due to finances and have been making plans (in my head!) to get there ever since.

Me at Hollywood Studios

Him – Steve, 38 years old (at the time!) and I think even more excited than me about going to Florida! Wants to try many American delicacies including catfish and corndogs (among other things!). My loving husband who made this whole trip possible!

Him at Disneyland Paris in 2011

The boy – Liam, my son and Steve’s step-son, 12 years old (at the time!)  and very excited about visiting Orlando. Whilst he seems to have grown out of Disney and I think will enjoy the Universal parks more, his face does light up when we watch the planning DVDs so keeping my fingers crossed that he loves the World as much as I am anticipating us all to!

The boy holding his Disney Ticket

Here are the posts to come in the following weeks (and months!)

Day 0 – To Gatwick & Beyond!
Day 1 – Up, Up & Away!
Day 2 – Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary: Downtown Disney and Paradiso 37 Restaurant
Day 3 – Our 1st Orlando Theme Park: Islands of Adventure and Mythos Restaurant
Day 4 – The Three Ps: Ponderosa, Publix and Pool
Day 5 – Universally Speaking: Universal Studios and Mel’s Drive In
Day 6 – It’s A Breeze!: Bahama Breeze, Super Target and Michaels
Day 7 – Monde de la Mer: SeaWorld and Shark’s Underwater Grill
Day 8 – Hooray for Hollywood!: Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine and Cracker Barrel
Day 9 – A Sonny Day at the Lake: Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, Dairy Queen and Lake Louisa State Park
Day 10 – The Circle of Life: Animal Kingdom and Tusker House Character Breakfast
Day 11 – Seafood & Shopping: Red Lobster, Factory Outlets and Premium Outlets
Day 12 – On Safari: Busch Gardens, Serengeti Safari Tour and Zambia Smokehouse
Day 13 – El Parque Acuático: Aquatica and Banana Beach Cookout
Day 14 – We Hop Downtown: IHop, Downtown Disney and Earl of Sandwich
Day 15 – The Giant Golf Ball!: Epcot and Teppan Edo
Day 16 – Another Adventure: Golden Corral and Islands of Adventure
Day 17 – Let’s Make some Magic!!: Magic Kingdom and Golden Corral
Day 18 – When Otters Meet: Bahama Breeze
Day 19 – The Sequel: Hollywood Studios Revisited and Pizza Planet
Day 20 – Swimming with Capricorn: Discovery Cove
Day 21 – Goodbye Mr. Mouse: Magic Kingdom, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café and Bahama Breeze
Day 22 – Going Home: Animal Kingdom, Rainforest Café and MCO-Gatwick
Home a Week – A first timers highs and not so highs

These were the titles of all my posts – they were written to help other forum members, especially first-timers to Orlando, and to share our experiences and thoughts about various theme parks, restaurants etc. I also provided a plus-size rider point of view, and this was very helpful to a lot of readers, of which I’m proud.  I’m still losing weight, and by the time we go next year (YES! We are going back…so much for once in a lifetime trip!) I hope to be a ‘normal sized person’ without having to worry what rides I can and can’t go on.

And with that, I’m off…I would like to get the first post written up today, but I’m busy with party planning so may not get the chance. I plan on sharing a day a week, on a Friday…so stay tuned!

I’m now also writing my pre-trip report for when we go back to the magic in Summer 2013, come join me as I plan that trip!

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