2 girls, 1 week in a holiday villa Orlando

Yesterday we had a Disney day.  As an annual passholder I was able to get my friend a 1 day hopper ticket for $79 plus taxes.

We started at Magic Kingdom.  You can tell it is low season as the monorail was on a real go slow and as we arrived they announced it was going out of service.

Bag check and added security and then we were in.  All themed for Halloween the first spot was Snow White with no.line!  After a photo call we headed down the Main Street and arrange some fast passes.  We took a turn on the Tomorrowland transit, had lunch and then went on Its a Small World , Pirates of the Carribean and Buzz Lightyear.  After a little retail therapy we decided to head over to Epcot.

We had just arrived at Epcot when the afternoon storm broke – we decided to sit it out in the car lot and then headed in.  This time on the way in we had a photo opportunity with Daisy Duck! We 7were visiting for the Food & Wine festival rather than the rides, howe’ve,  there were very few lines – we could even have queued to see Anna & Elsa in only 20 minutes.


Throwback Thursday – Shuttle Launch at Kennedy Space Centre

Back in November 2009, my husband and I and a couple of friends were able to obtain tickets to view a Shuttle launch at Kennedy which coincided with our vacation.

We had a fantastic day – helped by the weather – you need good weather to launch a Shuttle.  The anticipation and build up to the launch was as good as the actual launch itself – which obviously is over quite quickly.  Memories include needing the toilet and not anticipating the miles and miles of no stopping as you entered the facility – even to this day we refer to needing the toilet as “Kennedy desperate?”

Kennedy Space Centre is located just off State Road 405 in Titusville.  The complex is 70 acres and open year round with the exception of Christmas Day.

Top attractions now include Space Shuttle Atlantis (which opened in 2013), the Shuttle Launch Experience, IMAX films, Astronaut Encounter and the KSC bus tours.  It has undergone huge redevelopment in recent years – when we attended the shuttle launch it was to view Atlantis take to the skies.

Although there are no more shuttle launches, the Kennedy Space Centre still have an active rocket launch programme.  Check out http://www.nasa.gov and http://www.spacecoastlaunches.com for all the details.

For more information about Kennedy Space Centre go to http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com

Throwback Thursday -Serengeti Safari, Busch Gardens

Back in 2008, my friend and I decided we would like to join the Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens Tampa so we could feed the giraffes.

As reservations were ‘encouraged’ we pre-booked online and back then it cost $33.99 on top of your entry ticket.

It was February so the temperatures were warm rather than Florida hot which worked in our favour as there were lots of animals out on the Serengeti Plain.  We checked in at the Serengeti Outpost in Nairobi and joined our tour.  Even before we left the Outpost we could see one cheeky giraffe poking her head over to see if the food truck was on it’s way.

This giraffe was Dolly – she was a lovely girl, 28 years old then I believe and not at all camera shy.  It probably sounds ridiculous but I had no idea just how big giraffes were.  You travel in the back of an open top truck while a guide tells you about the animals in the safari and then stopping to feed the giraffes.  We were exceptionally lucky as due to the cooler February temperatures we also got to see close up and feed the Bongos – which are usually nocturnal and very shy.

During our safari we also got to see zebra, rhinos (with calves) and ostriches.

It was an amazing experience, I absolutely fell in love with Dolly the Giraffe. Highly recommended.  Children must be 5 or over.

Happy Canada Day – Epcot

A few years ago we were at Epcot on Canada Day – it was wonderful to see all the Canadians celebrating their day – they were going around the World Showcase testing all the different beverages – it was all in good nature and was fun to see.

Canada in Epcot is very well staged.  It has O Canada a Circle Vision 360 film which lasts 14 minutes – once seen is enough – but it can be a nice break from the sun/heat!  Canada also has beautiful gardens – the Victoria Gardens which are based on the world famous Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island and Rocky Mountain staging plus a beautiful steakhouse called Le Cellier.

Le Cellier is one of the more expensive restaurants in Epcot and if you want to dine there you are well advised to book in advance (you can book up to 180 days in advance) as on the day bookings in peak holiday season are rarely available.  Offering great steaks, prime rib, seafood, chicken and some vegetarian dishes.  The cocktails, wines and beer are also very good.

There is also a resident band in Canada called Off Kilter – it is a rock/bagpipe band – that plays up to 5 times a day with their CDs also available in the Northwest Mercantile.