Sunday, January 9, 2011

Orlando Redux

We arrived home from Orlando, late Friday night, having been indulged in being bumped to business class but passing up on all of the first class extras because of a sleepy child that was too wound up to get any shut eye.

That basically was the theme of our vacation. No, Hannah wasn't on a constant sugar rush or Minnie Mouse high but our trip seemed to be equal parts amazingness and exhaustion.

After 5 days and 4 nights in Orlando I came to the conclusion that travelling with a toddler is not a vacation but rather a trip. You go away, you enjoy, you make memories but you DO NOT rest. I guess that's what adult-only trips are for, not that I've had one in the past 2 years :)

So here's redux of our journey for those of you planning an upcoming trip to Orlando or the rest of you who just may be curious to hear how it went.

Hotel: We stayed at the amazing Sheraton Vistana Villas. We lucked out and got an amazing rate on a 1000 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa with full kitchen. Definite luxury and convenience. The resort boasts about 7 pools, numerous play areas and tight security. In my opinion, its only shortcoming is a lack of decent restaurants, but I guess there are enough of those in Orlando to go around.

First stop, of course, was the Magic Kingdom. We had a full 11 hour day with a character breakfast (Minnie, Donald, Goofy) at the Cape May cafe. A bit on the pricey side but well worth it. Then off to the big D for a day full of rides (Hannah's favourites were A Small World & Jungle Cruise), parades, shows and being called a Princess (me and her) every which way we went.

Other activities that I'd highly recommend are:

On a rainy day: The Orlando Science Centre. KidsTown is GREAT for toddlers with live animals (alligators, turtles), a kitchen play area, orange picking production exhibit, dinosaur bones and so much more.
To get outdoors and into nature, without the huge crowds head to the Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee. We rented a wagon and pulled Hannah around the farm during a 2.5 hour walking tour of all the animals. They had everything from ponies to zorses (a cross between a zebra & horse) to ostriches. Best part, was that we could actually walk into some of the pens and feed and hold the animals. I even got to milk a cow!

And lastly, here are some family-friendly, healthy & affordable restaurants that I would highly recommend:

So, like I started off saying, we had a ton of fun but I could use another getaway now. Maybe the trip was too short or we just packed in too much. Maybe the terrible twos are making meltdowns a bit more common. But I guess that's what family vacations are all about.

But one thing's for sure: there's no better place to make a kid happy than in Orlando!


  1. Wow, you are brave Lauren! Looks like a fun trip, I'll probably be in your shoes in a couple of years :-)

  2. I agree about the no rest part! You guys did a lot more activities than us. Happy you also found Sweet Tomatoes, I forgot my rx sunglasses so had some made at Lenscrafters and the girl there recommended it, so nice to have a veggie buffet!

  3. Thanks for the comments mommies!
    Disney is exhausting but well worth the constant smiles on your kids' faces :)