Travel + Leisure

Hello Sunny Orlando!

In March, my son and I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Orlando for a few days.We were excited to be invited by the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. I couldn’t have yes any faster.

The anticipation was building for weeks. My son was so excited. He talked about the trip every day. Several times a day. Actually he talked about it non-stop. I even bought him his very first suitcase which he packed himself.

We have been to Orlando before but this trip was different. The two or three times that we make it to Orlando each year, we go to Disney. We rarely make it anywhere else.

We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I even let my son pick some stuff out to munch on from the little shop by our gate. He brought his DS, some MadLibs, coloring books and was entertained the entire time. The plane ride was also very exciting because we go to sit in Business Class on AirTran. My son loved getting a Sprite before the plane even took off.

Upon arrival in Orlando, we were immediately taken the hotel. The Loews Royal Pacific Resort was absolutely amazing. We were immediately greeted with shell leis as we checked into our room. We then headed down to Jake’s American Bar for a  quick meet & greet for our group plus dinner. This hotel accommodates families better than any hotel I have stayed at so far. What an amazing place. Look for the full review soon.

The first day we headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a full day of fun. From the Tower of Terror to the Star Wars ride, there was something for everyone. Day two, while just as busy, took us to two different places. We spent the morning at Gatorland (see the picture above) where my son wrestled an alligator and then ended the day with a somewhat rainy yet still fun tour of Seaworld which included feeding the dolphins.

Monday came and we headed to Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure for a behind the scenes tour. When I say behind the scenes, I mean we were in areas that only employees get to go such a backlots, etc.  We got to see the fabulous Blue Man Group that evening which was a wonderful way to end such a great trip.

A quick plane flight home and we are left with some amazing memories. I have never had the chance to go on a trip with just my son and this was such a special time for us. I would love to do it again soon.

One of the best parts of this entire trip was coming to the realization that there is so much more to Orlando beyond Disney. Although the majority of my trips will probably still at least be a one day visit to Disney, this trip has really opened up my eyes to all of the possibilities that await in Orlando. There are so many places left to explore.

As a result, we are heading back to Orlando on August 9th for 9 or 10 more days but with my entire family this time. We cannot wait!

I am grateful and honored to have been chosen for this trip. I am even more honored to have shared this experience with my son. Thanks to the friends that we made and their wonderful children. Our gracious hosts and these woman made this such an amazing trip:

Amy Bellgardt from Mom Spark

Jill Berry from Musings From Me

Carol Cain from NYCityMama

Amy Clark from Mom Advice

Miranda Kuskie from Keeper of the Cheerios

Jamie Pearson from TravelSavvyMom

Melinda Roberts from The Mommy Blog

Stay Tuned for these upcoming posts in the Orlando Series:

The Fabulous Loews Pacific Royal Resort

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Gatorland

Seaworld

Universal Islands of Adventure

Universal Studios

Blue Man Group

We tweeted our adventures on Twitter by using the #OrlandoMom hashtag. Did you catch any of our Tweets?

DISCLOSURE: As a part of the Team Mom #OrlandoMom group, my travel expenses, hotel, attraction tickets, and meals are being covered by the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. All information shared about our trip is solely my own opinion as well as that of my son.

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Stacie

Stacie

Stacie Haight Connerty, a social media consultant, is the Editor's Pick for Most Influential Southern Blogger from Circle of Mom's one of Cision Media's Top 10 Most Influential Mommy Bloggers and one of the HERoic: 10 Mommy Bloggers Who Rule Social Media.

Stacie is the About.com Travel Expert for Vacation Rentals and Shares and a contributor to iBlog Magazine. Stacie founded Social Media Chicks, a collaborative social media consulting company and Georgia Social Media Moms, a group of 350+ social media/blogging experts in her home state.

An Atlanta resident and lifelong writer, Stacie is the mother of three children (11 & under), leader of two Girl Scout troops, an active PTA member and married to the love of her life. She is always planning the next epic travel adventure for her family.



6 Comments

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  1. May 28, 2010 at 1:05 am — Reply

    OHMAGOODNESS! That’s a real gator! You are one brave mommy! It looks like you really enjoyed your trip!
    BTW, I tagged you in a photo tag game, hope you can play along.
    http://ladyvdzine.com/2010/05/28/ally-ally-in-come-free/
    .-= Virginia from Lady V dZine´s last blog ..Vote for Hannah =-.

  2. Victoria
    June 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm — Reply

    It looks like you had an AWESOME time! I’ve always wanted to see the Blue Man Group :)

  3. June 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    That sounds fantastic. So happy you got to enjoy Orlando and all it has to offer.
    .-= Janna´s last blog ..Short Post =-.

  4. June 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm — Reply

    Take your child on a fun-filled learning adventure with free award-winning songs & song lyrics for kids, printable activities, worksheets, coloring pages & educational games. Lesson plan ideas for teachers, parents & home-school classrooms as well as free ESL, French and Spanish songs & activities for kids too!

  5. Wendy
    June 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    Hi There!

    Sorry about the comment above. I obviously cut and paste the wrong comment into the box! Silly me!

    This was the comment I meant to leave:

    I am sorry that this is a form letter :(

    However we spent days following everyone on the Simply Follow list, and out of 690 people, maybe only 10 followed us :(

    I don’t know if you joined our blog or not, but if you have a moment, could you PLEASE go over to http://www.kiboomu.blogspot.com and give us a quick follow?

    Again, sorry for this form letter, but I am going to to back to ALL 600+ people that we followed and leave this note. Hopefully we will get a great turnout now!

    BTW I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

    XOXOXO
    Wendy

  6. Eileen
    March 24, 2011 at 8:35 am — Reply

    I am backtracking to your travel posts…and this one pulled me right in. The whole neighborhood…heck, the whole TOWN is heading to sunny Florida next week. At least maybe if I READ about it, I can feel like am there. I had not heard of Gatorland before. Boy..we have lived a sheltered life with only one trip for our kids to Disney and Florida…once to SeaWorld. Wish we could afford to do more. How nice you got to spend some one on one with your son.