A general update on some of our favourite places to visit in Florida and what you might find there in February.
Bok Tower Gardens – was in full bloom. Absolutely beautiful – the Azaleas were out, Orchids, Magnolias and bedding plants – colour as far as the eye could see. Beautiful. The cost is now $12 per adult (cheaper than parking a car at the theme parks!)
Blue Springs State Park – the manatees were in, there were approx 80 in the spring on the day we visited plus a couple of huge alligators, lots of birds, turtles, lizards – the price to enter is now $6 for the car and they have updated their gift and camp stores. The gift store now has a much larger range and the camp store provides supplies, including making up freshly made subs to order.
Strawberries – it is peak strawberry season and they are lovely and sweet – Plant City strawberries often sold at roadside, we bought some from the Zellwood farm when we visited Mount Dora.
Presidents Day – this means many things – a lot of people as it is a national holiday so the theme parks were really busy that weekend – we arrived at Hollywood Studios at opening and all the fast passes for the main rides were already for tea time hours and the stand by queues were already over 60 mins for Aerosmith, Tower of Terror and Toy Story – my worst value day @Waltdisneyworld to date. Presidents Day also means sales so many of the Malls and outlets have additional discounts and bonus offers on cosmetics etc.
NBA Allstars – this happened to be in Orlando this February and meant that an additional 50k tourists descended on Orlando. There was a special NBA Nike shoe release scheduled at midnight at the Florida Mall, people started camping out to make sure they were first in then there were concerns over the number of people attending so the released was postponed, leading to ‘disturbances’ at the Mall and riot police etc – we were not involved in the incident and watched it on TV but it was fascinating to us as Shoe releases don’t have this kind of following in the UK.
The weather was changeable but always better than the UK! The nights can be cooler so pack a hoodie/jacket and be prepared for an occasional shower – not a day passed when we didn’t see sunshine though.