Our Florida Adventure!
Let me just preface this post by saying that I hesitated going to Orlando in late June/early July. I am not a Disney person and I hate crowds. Vacations for me are all about trying and seeing something new...preferably without a lot of other people around! Lauren has been asking to go to Sea World for a few years now. I bit the bullet and got on the internet to see what I could find out.
We always stay at a Marriott because we are point people. Their point system is great! We use it for free rooms quite often and always get a high quality place to stay. I found the Sea World Marriott and it was adorable, offered free breakfast, and had a really nice pool. The bonus was free Quick Ques and transportation to all of the Sea World parks. Boom!
Discovery Cove looked very promising to me. First of all, they one sell a limited number of passes each day so it is never crowded. It's also all inclusive so I didn't have to worry about towels, meals, snacks, or anything really! If you bought a one day pass to Discovery Cove, you got an unlimited pass to Sea World and Aquatica. Aquatica is a water slide park. I don't know about you, but I thought that was a great deal!
We did Discovery Cove the morning after we drove to Orlando. It was a great way to kick off the vacation! This park was the whole family's favorite part of the trip. There were all of the exotic birds that we got to feed. They were flying around and landing on us. This huge lazy river goes through the aviary. There were otters and marmosets. They even met us at check in with a sloth!
We paid a little extra to do the dolphin swim. It was totally worth it! Still, we loved the snorkeling. There's this huge pool full of reefs that has rays and fish all over the place. You get in there and snorkel with them! It was the best experience. They practically had to kick us out at park closing - haha!
The unlimited pass to the other two parks was so nice. We could come and go as we wanted. A bus ran from the hotels to the parks and back on a regular schedule. Sea World had great animals, shows, and more rides than I expected. The Quick Ques sent us right to the front of the line. My favorite part...no waiting! We did some crazy roller coasters! Mike and Carter went to Tampa one night for a baseball game so Lauren and I went over to see the light show and eat dinner.
We only spent one day at Aquatica. Water parks just aren't really our thing. We did enjoy the rapids, the wave pool, and several water slides. The rest of the time, Mike and I laid in lawn chairs and let the kids run around! Ah, vacation!