Florida Family Easter Twin Centre

Florida Family Easter Twin Centre

On the 9th of April 2016, we embarked on our two week family holiday to Florida, with two extremely excited little girls aged 4 and 9 in tow.

We flew direct to Orlando and after a long journey made our way by hire to the Vista Cay Resort, in Orlando where we were upgraded from a two bedroom to a three bedroom deluxe apartment which was great location wise as we were on Universal Boulevard just parallel to International Drive.

After settling in to our accommodation our first day was planned for Disney’s Magic Kingdom. As you sometimes have to queue into the car park here, then get a mini-train and then a monorail then my best advice would be to allow an extra hour from when you reach the car park to get into the park! We arrived for our pre-booked character breakfast which the girls absolutely loved with Pooh Bear, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. It was a fabulous start to what proved to be a very long day, we did almost every ride we wanted to, watched the day time procession, many shows and the evening Spectromagic light show and left the park some 13 hours after we have arrived with two tired little girls.

The following day we had a few hours by the pool after the long journey and hectic day at Magic Kingdom and then we went to EPCOT for the afternoon and a wonderful Princess lunch at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway that the girls thought was great with Cinderella, Belle, Mulan, Ariel and Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty. We had the most amazing time and the girls made some wonderful memories with autographs and photos with the Disney Princesses. We also managed to get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy Duck and Goofy – as EPCOT was quieter than Magic Kingdom it was great to be able to have our photos taken with the characters and the girls meet them.

The following days we did Hollywood Studios, must do rides are Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster plus of course the “Frozen Sing-A-Along”. We spent eleven hours in Disney Hollywood studios and Freya (our 4 year old) was still on her feet as we left the park.

The next day was 9.5 hours in Animal Kingdom which the girls loved, especially the rapid ride and the safari trek and they became official Disney Wilderness Explorers after collecting every single badge/sticker in one day! This was followed by a well-deserved drink at the Rainforest face on the way out!

The day after we did Seaworld (another 9.5 hour day) which was fab – the shows, the animals and the rides especially. We went on Atlantis where we all got soaked and mummy and daddy were able to go on Kraken and Manta taking it in turns as there were hardly any queues! The dolphins, whales, sea lions, walruses, manatees and birds were all a hit with the girls who absolutely loved it!

The next day we had a wonderful more chilled out day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon waterpark, with waterslides for all ages, lazy rivers, and lots of tidal wave jumping fun in the main pool, a fab day which was a little bit more chilled out at last. Our final evening in Orlando was topped off with a lovely meal at the infamous “Maggiano’s” Italian restaurant at Pointe Orlando on International drive which was just great, a fabulous end to a fun but tiring week.

A week into our trip and we headed over to Naples, approximately 3.5 hour’s drive away, to stay at the 4* Naples Bay Resort in a two bedroom waterway suite. This is a fabulous marina-fronted accommodation of a very high standard.

On our first morning the girls woke us up to tell us there was a family of otters swimming in the water below our room, so we sat and watched them whilst having our “Al Fresco” breakfast – a great start to our week. I have to say Naples was a huge hit with us all – Lowdermilk park beach, Naples Pier Beach, Vanderbilt Beach, shopping in the malls, the Naples Bay resort water-taxi, plus we had two fabulous pool areas in our hotel to try and chill out at.

During our stay in Naples we also drove down to the Everglades about 45 mins away and did a breath-taking “airboat” ride where we had dolphins swim alongside the airboat and also managed to seek out some huge alligators. After the airboat ride we took a 15 minute drive to a nature trail picnic area with turtles, alligators, wonderful fish and birds. It was such a great spot to see all this wildlife in its natural habitats in one place. Post lunch that same day we drove back to Naples via Marco Island and spent the afternoon at the “infamous” Tigertail Beach where we saw baby Osprey nesting by the beach, miniature crabs that hid in the sand and then we waded across the saltwater lagoon to reach the beach on the Gulf coast with Cuba being the next stop across the ocean. We spent an amazing afternoon on the beach, collecting shells and padding in the sea.

We had some wonderful meals out at waterfront restaurants and also ate twice at “Bonefish” restaurant at our hotel which was hard to beat for quality of food and value for money too.

In terms of a beach resort Naples is breath-taking and has some hugely affluent areas and fabulous white sand beaches, it’s also a boat and car lover’s paradise too!

I would not hesitate to return to Naples or Marco Island again as a Florida beach resort again and again! 

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Emma Parry-Thorpe

Designer Travel Expert

0161 826 4786
0161 826 4786

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