I know its a litttttle late, but as promised here’s my recap on the Theme Parks we visited while we were in Florida earlier this month.
(See here for Part 1 of our Florida trip recap).
As we were only in Florida for a week we decided against doing Disney. Main reasons being it’s quite pricey and would make sense doing the week pass to really get value for your money. Tim’s never been so we’ll definitely make sure we go next time. In the end we decided on Universal for Harry Potter and because I absolutely love Busch Gardens and Seaworld those were a definite. Busch Gardens and Seaworld are owned by the same group which means they do a special deal and we got a 2 day park ticket for $99. We also ended up going for the unlimited food ticket so we didn’t have to worry about shelling out for food on the day. This was an extra $25 each so worked out at really good value. You can go to any of the restaurants listed and get a main as well as a side/ desert and a drink. Out of Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, we thought SeaWorld had the best selection to chose from and there was a variety of healthier bits too.
We went to Universal on the Monday after a weekend of chilling. It was an early start to travel across from St Pete’s to Orlando so were up at 6am. There was a bit of traffic on the way but we got there for when the park opened at 10. Don’t forget parking is an extra $25 so have your cash ready!
We started in Islands of Adventure so we could do the hulk ride without much of a queue. After Harry Potter this was definitely the best ride. We then made our way around the park. We decided to do the water ride next. The weather was a bit overcast which meant it took us a while to dry out. We were literally the only ones on that ride and got drenched! Oh well! When you’re in Florida you’ve got to do the water rides!
We tried our first corn dog for lunch and weren’t blown away… think I definitely prefer a battered sausage ☺️
We did islands of adventure fairly quickly as it wasn’t too busy. We got over to Harry Potter world at about 11:30. We’d loved The Wizarding World of Harry Potter when we were in LA and the Orlando version didn’t disappoint! Things did start getting quite busy as we got to this bit of the park and we waited about 40 mins to do the train across the parks. Worth it though! I absolutely love the detail in Harry Potter! ☺️
When we got to the other park the heavens opened which made Diagon Alley definitely look like London – quite fitting really!
We were a little disappointed that a lot of the rides in Universal were the same as in LA so decided to leave at 7ish and skipped out some of the rides we’d already done in LA. Men in Black is definitely a ride to go on! We had to wait about an hour to get on it but it was worth the wait.
To tide us over between dinner and lunch we grabbed a lard boy doughnut. We were a bit skeptical as they are massive and thought they might be a bit cakey but we were pleasantly surprised! We split the doughnut between us both and wolfed it down! I’d definitely have another and we nearly did if we hadn’t planned to go to Voodoo Donuts after. See my last post for more on those amazing doughnuts!
Busch Gardens has to be one of my favourite parks – it has amazing rides and all the animals… The park opened at 10am and the rides start at 10:30 so we started by going left in the park and saw the Kangaroos first before going onto Sheikra. The park was nice and empty so we managed to go on most rides at least twice – pros of going during the week and during term time!
The water rides (Stanley Falls and Congo River Rapids) at Busch Gardens were good fun – you get absolutely drenched but the weather was nice and hot so we managed to dry off nice and quickly.
We just missed out on Tigris as it wasn’t finished yet but it looks like it’ll be great! It was my first time on Scorpion which was good as well as Cheetah Hunt.
It was nice to be able to take a break from all the rides and see some animals. The Elephants were great (although a little smelly!) and we stood around watching them for a good half hour. The Serengeti Express was good as you get to go around the park and see a lot of the animals. It’s also a nice break from the sun and you can stay on it as long as you like.
View from the train
The last animals we saw were the Alligators and the Gorillas. The Alligators looked very calm but man do they creep me out!
Busch Gardens closes early during the week so we left just before 7pm and drove back to Madeira Beach to see the sunset. (See my last post here for more sunset pics!)
Here’s some more pics from the day:
Spot the tortoise
The final park we visited was Sea World which was Tim’s favourite. As it was in Orlando it was another early start but we managed to get there by opening time at 9am. Manta was by far the best ride of the whole trip so we went on it first a few times. So if you get a chance make sure to go on it!
The other best bit of Sea World is definitely the shows. As soon as we got there we planned our day around the shows to make sure we got fit everything in. They were all great and make sure you see Dolphin Days, One Ocean and Sea Lion High. If you do sit in the soak zone you will definitely get wet!
One Ocean and the Killer Whales
Had so many of these pics! So hard to pic the best!
Sea Lion High School was a good laugh with great slap stick comedy
Dolphin Days was just amazing! Took so many videos and managed to capture some great jumps…
One of the best bits of the day was stumbling across one of the dolphin training/ check-up sessions where we got to see the dolphins close up. I mean just look at these pics!
We literally couldn’t have gotten any closer – this was definitely one of the best bits of the day
LOVE Dolphins 💙
We also loved the Manatees and the Turtles. Both are so chilled you could watch them for ages which we did! Love how peaceful they are.
The food variety at SeaWorld was definitely better than at Busch Gardens. With the food pass we had the option to have food every hour. The grilled sandwiches at Yummy Yummy Nom Noms in the Food Trucks in Sesame Street were very tasty. They were the perfect size for lunch – proper British size lunch. We had the Italian Grilled Cheese and the Hawaiian Grilled Cheese. So gooooooddd!!!
The Spice Mill was also good. If you don’t want a full meal you can just grab a drink and a side/ dessert. A couple times I just grabbed some water and strawberries which were nice and refreshing.
At The Expedition Cafe we grabbed some Orange Chicken and the South Pole Pepper Steak along with a frozen slush drink. There’s something about Orange Chicken that I love! The frozen slush drink was so nice and cooled us down as it was quite a hot day in the sun.
Here’s a few final pics from Sea World…
Busch Gardens and Sea World will always be on our top theme parks list. It would be great to give Disney a go – I haven’t been for absolutely ages! I mean like at least 15 years… Maybe next time we get over we’ll get a chance to go…
Hope you enjoyed the above and all the pics! I know its been a little while since my Florida trip but work has just been way too busy and I’ve been working all hours (again!). Honestly it’s just ridiculous and I’m getting quite annoyed with it all. It’s not ideal and something needs to change. I’ve finally realised I’ve gotten to the point where I can only do what I can do and if that’s not good enough for some people they’ll have to deal with it.
I’ll try my best to getting back to blogging once a week because its something I really do enjoy!
Hopefully it won’t be so long until you next hear from me – It’s been ages since I’ve done a recap post so I’ll work on one of those and also writing up my latest long weekend in Copenhagen which was great fun. It was so colourful and think you’ll love it as much as I did.