Baby, it’s cold outside. And to think that a month ago I was in Florida! I’m going to have to post about that holiday just to keep warmed up.
Like a lot of families who go there, we put a substantial amount of thought into our Florida holiday because it’s not something we will be able to repeat in a hurry. I’ll post a bit more later about where we stayed and what we did, but before that, here are some general tips for anybody planning a family trip to Florida.
- October half term is a GREAT time to go
There’s always some sort of compromise when you are restricted to school holidays. Go in the summer time and you can stay longer but it’s unbearably hot. Easter isn’t so hot, but it is extremely busy. So we opted for October, which turned out to be a great combination of hot but not boiling weather, and relatively quiet parks. Yes the kids were exhausted when they got back to school but geez, they’d been to Florida, they just had to suck it up.
- You can get plenty done in a week – off season that is
Florida summer veterans told us that with queueing they would expect to get round about 4 rides per day, but we made it to at least 8. Most rides had no more than ten minute queues, and we usually just strolled straight on through. The most we ever queued was 30 minutes for the new Harry Potter ride and Universal’s Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – both well worth the wait.
- But be content that you won’t do everything
Although the Florida theme parks are close together they are all HUGE, and there’s a limit to what you can get round. Pick out the main highlights and focus on them. Either that or move to Orlando for six months.
- It’s OK not to like rollercoasters
I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the rides are actually motion simulators. This means that the car you’re in doesn’t move very much, even though large scale and 3D projections mean that it might look like it does. So you don’t get that pit of the stomach sick feeling, and if it all gets too much you can easily shut your eyes.
- Them Harry Potter rides are unpredictable
Though the Harry Potter rides at Universal Studios have been open for a while, the magic still doesn’t run entirely smoothly. The Forbidden Journey ride broke down whilst transporting half our family over Hogwarts. The newest Gringotts ride broke down repeatedly over several days. So whilst we were lucky enough to ride it once, we couldn’t get a second go. One family we met had queued for an hour and a half when the Gringotts ride broke down just as they were at the top of the queue. So if the Harry Potter rides are a priority for your family, visit them as early as possible in your trip.
Have you been to Florida with your family? What are your top tips?
PS Memefriends, I didn’t forget you. Dolly Sunscreen came along too. She’s a real princess now