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Planning a trip to Orlando, Florida

La, la, la, la, la, l’America!

I love to plan and trip, and there is nowhere with more planning resources and forums available than for a trip to Orlando.

We have just booked a trip to a villa in Florida for next February (around half-term) with help from Jonathan Millar, Bryan Somers Travel. Until recently I was a great advocate of booking my own travel and accomodation, car hire etc – but when I got a great quote from Jonathan – meeting all our requirements and having the bonus of the entire trip being covered by ABTA/ATOL it was an easy decision.

We spent our honeymoon in Florida WAY BACK in 1992.

In January 2006 we returned to Florida with our 3 kids, our girls being 9 and 7, and our son being about 15 months.  Our daughters were definitely in the “princess” stage back then.


We focused on the Disney parks, and really enjoyed Sea World.

In February 2009 we took a 4 day break to DisneyLand Paris ……. seeing the parade in sleet and snow was definitely memorable (and freezing!!!).

And my son was a much better stage to appreciate the characters.

This time the kids are definitely at a different stage, so we plan to venture beyond the House of the Mouse to include Universal Studios, and beyond.  When I was at a blog conference in June I was chatting to representatives from Universal Studios and Visit Orlando, so am even more excited about this trip.

Here are a few things I am really looking forward to

  • A villa with a pool (heated!) (I know for some of you Florida in February can be relatively chilly but it’s all relative!)
  • Quite a bit of shopping –
  1. clothes (the kids love A&F, Hollister and Aeropostal …. and I love the prices),
  2. homeware shopping (Anthropology, Pottery Barn, The Pier etc …. not necessarily to buy, just to window shop!)
  3. supermarkets (I love wandering up and down supermarket ailses in other countries marvelling at the different products and flavours – Publix, Walmart, Target etc)
  4. makeup – Mac, Bobbi Brown etc – all much better value
  • Meeting up with bloggy friends – of course Elizabeth (who will be just about to relocate from Florida to Donegal!) and Kimberly too (assuming she is still living in Orlando then!)
  • Universal Studios – although most of us aren’t into the thrill rides, and the one who is probably isn’t quite tall enough (I hope – cos I’m not going on with him!)
  • Eating out – especially breakfast! We love Cracker Barrel and the like.

So, bloggy readers with experince of Florida, what have I missed out?  Any shops or restaurants you recommend?

If you have any recommendations – either of shops, restaurants, or just some aspect of American life you think we should experience during our trip – I am open to suggestions.

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  1. This post made me smile – bc one of my favorite things to do in other countries is visit the supermarkets also! Tesco is my favorite! I laugh bc we are packing up to move to your side and you will be flying over here!
    If the girls are into Harry potter or have read the books then you must visit Harry potter world – my girls loved it even at their age! Islands of adventure is a blast
    I’m old fashioned and my favorite disneypark is Epcot – b and I were actually tAlking about going over there one day before we move
    Downtown Disney is really cool too bc it’s all free – its all shops and restaurants that you can walk around in and a huge lake – no admission fees!
    Millennia mall in Orlando is also the bomb! I believe they have all the shops your girls like-
    We are thinking of where we can go for dinner – some place that you guys would like –

  2. Janine, is that you with long hair? On your honeymoon all that time ago, sweet. Don’t you look young.

  3. Hope you have a WONDERFUL time. Florida is my absolute favorite getaway! I’ve never had dinner in Orlando, though, so I am no help…sorry! I did hear that Teak was a great place to eat. Safe travels!

  4. Thank you for mentioning us in your blog, I have shared this on on facebook and twitter page x Bryan Somers Travel

  5. H, I live in Orlando,within a short walk of the Millenia Mall.Ihope you had a great trip.I’m marrying a guy from Belfast,who will be arriving in Orlando next month.It helps to find out someone likes it here.I was worried he wouldnt.After 6 months i”m going to go live in Belfast and am so excited.Everyone seems so kind.Anyhow,thank you for putting my mind to ease about Orlando.

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