Walt Disney World ICP - Day 69 to 71 - I'm finally on holiday! - 10th to 12th August 2013

10th Aug
I woke up to the realisation that it was all over. The college program was done. It was a bittersweet moment, but it also meant that today was the real beginning of my summer holiday.

To kick things of it was time for a visit to the beach. Yes, I’d been living in Florida for over two months and not once been to the beach. So the plan was to go to the best one in Florida, Clearwater Beach. I had booked us a hotel about twenty minutes away from the beach and we got there around midday. Check-in wasn’t until 3 o’clock but we thought we’d try and check anyway. Lo and behold the rooms weren’t ready but we were told that they would be in about an hour.

Photo: TripAdvisor

So, we made plans for the beach but only ten minutes into the journey I spotted a sign for Steak n Shake and we stopped off. After lunch we went back to hotel, checked in and then drove down to the beach.

We were at the beach for 4 or 5 hours which was nice but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay any longer. It was a nice change from the parks though. The sand was so white and the water was so warm...I’d never seen anything like it and we all declared it the best beach we’d ever been to. One advantage of being on the beach was that I could catch up with reading which is exactly which I did with Kingdom Keepers, a series based in Disney theme parks. It’s not a literary marvel but it is a fun read...so much fun that I easily got through 100 pages in a couple of hours. Dinner was at Applebee’s and it was interesting seeing how a local one was very different from one in Orlando - this one was more intimate, darker, smaller and themed better. I preferred the Orlando Applebee’s more anyway.

11th Aug
Today was the second day at the beach and there’s not much to report - it’s a beach at the end of the day. We checked out, headed to the beach and relaxed. I went for a walk along sea which was nice and popped into a few shops, including the very popular Ron’s Surf Shop which everyone seems to have a T-shirt from. I bought a Clearwater top and we went to get some souvenirs before driving back to Orlando.

12th Aug
We were meant to be at Universal at 9am. However, my family were clearly not as excited as I...nor did they believe me when I said the queues were horrendous at Universal. After driving in and exchanging their vouchers for tickets, we eventually got in Islands of Adventure at 9:35am. We dashed straight for Harry Potter to find the wait time posted at 90 minutes. I convinced my parents to wait in line to see the queue and they really enjoyed the inside of Hogwarts. It actually took 60 minutes to get to the front of the ride, instead of 90 minutes which was great.

The Phoenix at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The rest of the day we hit other popular rides such as Spiderman which everyone enjoyed and Hulk which I went on my own through single rider as my brother was too scared (there was not a single person in this line and I walked straight onto the ride with no wait!). We did the Seuss Landings rides but not Cat in the Hat as the wait was ridiculous. We also steered clear of the water rides as my brother didn’t want to get wet as he was wearing all-white clothes. Finally, we watched the Sindbad show which to be honest I can’t recommend. It wasn’t great.

We called it a day for a few hours and went over to check-in to our hotel by Universal. We were surprised at how close it was to Universal being only a 10-15 minute walk away or a couple of minutes’ drive.

We relaxed for a few hours and at night we went back. We only really had time to do one or two things before the nighttime show but I had already forewarned my parents that the show wasn’t great. We ventured over to Universal Studios and rode Revenge of the Mummy whilst my parents grabbed an ice-cream. Men in Black was also fun and we have a good family photo on there. My PhotoConnect card has definitely paid itself off with all the photos I've got over the past few months.

Inside the Men in Black queue line - so cool!

The Simpsons Ride was loved by my brother, but hated by my parents as they said it feels like a real rollercoaster - they have no idea. The fireworks and projection show didn’t really impress anyone so we walked out before it concluded looking back at the finale whilst leaving.

Next Post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 72 and 73 - Universal and Resort Hopping - 13th to 14th August 2013

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