A Week in Florida

Orlando, 08/21/2016

Today we flew to Orlando,

We checked out of the hotel and walked down to the subway station on Market Street.

Today we finally got it right and took the direct route not heading down the stinky streets; we went straight down Post and down Powell as we should have been doing. Certainly didn’t miss the urine smell that the other streets had to offer.

Caught the Subway and once we were aboard it was announced that there was track maintenance and we had to get off at Daly City for a bus transfer to the next stop. No biggie as we had plenty of time and it added to the adventure.

Arrived at the airport in plenty of time, made our way through security to the gate where we stopped and had some food at the food court and found a small pub where we had a couple of beers.

It was good to get priority boarding as they actually have separate lines in the US for this our flight was over fill so they were looking for volunteers to go on other flights, we were not keen.

The flight was pretty comfortable and we arrived in Orlando in the evening, I could see the theme parks lit up as we descended to the airport.

At the shuttle service they had a strange set up you “checked in” at a counter and got a buzzer and they buzz you when the shuttle arrives, I wondered what the heck this was all about, until we walked outside into the heat and fully understood.

No one would be keen to simply wait by where the shuttle came it was just too damn hot. So we popped back into the air conditioned airport and awaited our bus.

It was a 40 Minute drive to the hotel so it was nearing midnight when we arrived; we were still on San Francisco time so it didn’t feel that late to us.

Arrived marvelled at the amazing Hotel checked in looked around a bit then headed off to bed. So hot here.




22 August 2016

Day 1 in Orlando, the weather here is amazing, so warm and yet not sticky hot. We went to Universal Studios and enjoyed a few rides Minion Mayhem being our first experience but just basically went to orientate ourselves.

After exploring Universal a bit it was back to the hotel to make use of the awesome pool around lunchtime.

The pool bar at the hotel was brilliant and it was great to sit back and relax at the bar, we didn’t end up going back to the theme parks as it was such a great day by the pool.

We had quite a few cocktails and some great cigars called acid blondes.

Later in the day we walked up to Walgreens and grabbed some food and beers to make the stay at Hard Rock a little more inexpensive,

we stopped in at the local McDonald’s for dinner before heading back to the hotel.

It was hard case walking the streets of Orlando carrying a box of Corona’s.

Cracked open a few more beers at the hotel it was a great night bunch of laughs with a good mate.

23 August 2016

Poor Matt, he is feeling a bit worse for wear after last night and I can see it’s a mission for him to come on some of these rides, He spilled his breakfast cereal all over himself what a laugh, glad I got that on film.

Off to both Universal parks today, using the early admission to head for the Harry Potter attraction.

Hulk was a great roller coaster and the Harry Potter castle was out of this world, getting used to using the fast pass, saves on al that queuing.

A quiet night bit of TV and an early night at the hotel.

24 August 2016

Up and at it early today so we can take advantage of the early admission and see Harry Potter before the mad crowds. Hoping also to get to see the new King Kong ride.

Got on board the free boat to Universal at around 7.30 AM we were nearly the only ones on it at that time of morning

Walked past Poseidon pretty impressive looking Atlantis type ruins


First stop the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmede, the first thing we saw in there was the Hogwarts Express which we will be riding later on looks amazing.

What a fantastic place every little detail is included even the tiniest shop display. We went on the Harry potter rides which took us through the castle, which looks exactly like the movies. Past the Tellers, which were robotic but looked eerily real and down into the vaults for the ride.

Next was the Hulk our first real roller coaster, it was awesome, it is at this point that both Matt and I became hooked on coasters and wanted bigger and faster and higher ones.

The Log Flume was great fun, we got soaked and then wasted our time trying the people dryers afterward but really they did bugger all and we dried out more walking around in the heat, still bit of a laugh two hulking great lads trying to dry off in an oversized hairdryer.



About Midday we got on the Hogwarts express back to Universal studios. What a cool ride, really felt like being on the train with Harry and his mates roaming around the hallways.

From there we wandered back to the Hotel for swim and recharge, we then headed back to City-walk to grab something to eat, had lunch at the NBC Sports Bar and Grill.

In the evening we went to the Hard Rock Live venue, fantastic small venue for a concert, lights and lasers were amazing.

The Aussie Pink Floyd experience was great felt very much like a big venue rock concert, the music was right on the money sounded like the real thing.

One drunk guy took a flying leap off the top stairs while Matt was waiting in the line to go to the toilet, I went later and fortunately there was no line and the guy was still being seen by the paramedics.

The concert obviously made an impression on Matt as he was keen to get the Pink Floyd catalogue from me afterward.

After the concert we went to CityWalk for a while had some margaritas at Margaretville’s and watched the nightlife go by.

Got a snack at the “CityWalk Hotdog Hall of Fame” a cool hotdog place in CityWalk which has hotdogs in the style of all the ballparks around the USA.

It even has a cool little replica stand for you to sit and eat them in.



25 August 2016

Matt made a spoon for his breakfast this morning, he was very proud of his ingenious use of some of the hotel items to fashion a make shift spoon, me I just ate my cereal with my fingers grubby but effective.

Today we went to Wet ‘n Wild Caught a cab from the hotel and off we go for some fun in the water park.

The rides were all pretty good, I managed to lose my sun glasses on one of the first rides, and amazingly when I went to information they arranged to send some divers to recover them, they said to come back later and collect them, how cool is that.

We went on most of the rides and they were all way better than anything we have back in NZ some of them were really high and I got a little scared of heights as we climbed up some of them particularly the one near the road.

The wave pool was a bit lame and really packed so we didn’t go near it, I guess its hard to compete with Piha lol.

Lunch time and the Thunder storm came, Orlando has them like clockwork in the afternoon, and the good thing is they pass in about 10 minutes and its back to sunshine.

We timed it perfectly as we had just headed to lunch as it started bucketing down.

We stayed at the waterpark most of the day and headed back to the hotel at about 3PM

26 August 2016

I love Florida, seriously this is like heaven, the hotel is great the weather is great, the bars are great, only one thing could be improved, less whinging English :)

So we are off to Tampa today to go to Busch Gardens, we have to get across to the Bus Stop, which means we get to see the car park where the locals come to Universal Studios

Quite funny to be heading against the flow of people walking as we head out of CityWalk, we head up to the car park level and there are the massive long people movers, which are basically flat escalator type things.

From there we get on board our bus to Busch Gardens, it’s a fairly long drive to Tampa and we are on the bus for nearly an hour and a

half, very comfortable bus though.

The rides at Busch gardens are the best I love the roller coasters at this place and there are so many great ones, I would head straight here if I ever come to Orlando.

Fantastic Theme park so spread out and such a great mix of Zoo and Roller Coasters. With a train that gets you from place to place if you get sick of walking the distances between the various parts of the park.

23,268 Steps today according to SHealth so yeah quite a bit of walking involved.

Rides like Cheetah Hunt, Montu, Kumba River Rapids,

Antonito’s Mexican for Dinner, bit of a disappointment this one, the entrance of the live Mexican band was pretty cool but it went downhill after that they were pretty lame.


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