This week has gone so quickly and it’s already time for my second Florida vlog. This is when it gets exciting. Gone are the long hours of travelling and it’s finally time for the fun to begin.
It was a jam-packed first day with early entry at Universal, Panda Express for lunch, a thorough exploration of the two pools at Cabana Bay, and a trip to the Florida Mall. No wonder we were tired at the end.
Have a watch of the vlog and then read the rest of this blog for the details. Let me know what you think!
Unlike other Universal hotels, Cabana Bay doesn’t offer guests front-of-line passes. However, they still allow everyone staying there to enter one of the two theme parks an hour before it opens to the public. As Universal Studios opens at 8am, we were allowed in from 7am and we really made the most of it. Walking around a deserted theme park before the sun had started to rise was almost spooky, especially with the Halloween Horror Nights props looming out of the darkness.
As well as being very cool, it meant that we got to do Escape from Gringotts twice without having to wait at all. After a trip to Ollivanders, we walked in the opposite direction to everyone else. As the park opened to the public, people came streaming into Diagon Alley but we were heading the other way. It saved us a lot of time.
Since the Florida Mall is closer to Universal than Disney, we decided to head here on day two. Our early entry meant that we had managed to do our favourite rides in Universal by lunchtime. As we had lots to do in Islands of Adventure the following day, we decided to head to the mall.
Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment. When I was younger we would come back with full wardrobes of new clothes because everything was so cheap. Those days are gone. Prices seem to have increased and the exchange rate is awful, so bargains are few and far between. Most of the clothes I found were either the same price as they would be back in the UK or more expensive, so I decided to save my money and go on a spree back home. You’ll see the bits that I picked up in the vlog, and I love wearing my new Hollister jeans now that I’m home.
I don’t know if I would visit the mall next time unless I had something specific that I wanted to buy.
UBER in Orlando
To get to and from the Florida Mall, we used UBER. Booking a taxi was really easy and they arrived quickly. The only hitch was that Alice’s free code wouldn’t work, but luckily my referral did so our trip back was free. The main difference between UBER in the UK and in Orlando was that the drivers seemed to be random people who had a few hours spare, while it’s more of a full-time job in London. One of our drivers spoke barely any English, but we put the directions into his system and we were back at Cabana Bay in no time.
Each way cost around $11, and getting one ride free made it a bit of a bargain.
I hope you liked day two, and don’t forget to check back next week for the next installment. We have an absolutely amazing day in Islands of Adventure in day three, including riding Reign of Kong for the first time.