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Trip Report Orlando with 7 and 9 yr old boys -

Thanks to everyone here who helped out immensely by offering tips on our trip, which ended today :-(.

First of all, we had wonderful weather - sunny and 60 at a min daytime and 80 max. My husband, my mother and 2 boys traveled by car from Virginia, staying a week at the Marriott timeshare Sabal Palms. The location is amazing and the pool at the large Marriott resort a 2 min walk away is HUGE -- the kids would have been content spending time at the pool :-) had we found it early in the week. My quick recap ...

Sunday - Discovery Cove - got there around 8 and spent all day swimming and lounging. The dolphin swim is definitely very controlled but the kids say it was the highlight of their trip! Gorgeous small resorty park with pretty good food and great service. It was overrun with Brits and Scandanavians trying to outrun the European winter :-). My husband is Dutch so we felt right at home. A HIT! And only 5 min from our place.

Monday - Sea World. Got free tix from our Discovery Cove "investment" and learned that Sun and Mon are huge days at Disney so decided to do this. Food not great but not the worst I've ever seen. TONS of South Americans, which we loved. We caught every single show and I cried (dork that I am) in all of them. The Shamu show was very moving - no matter how I personally feel about these animals being raised in captivity.

Tuesday - Universal Islands of Adventure. Our soul reason to visit here was Harry Potter, of course! So we got in line about 8:30 and when the gates opened, joined 100 of our closest new friends and made a beeline for Harry Potter world. Good thing we did - the wait for the wand shop was minimal and we got to ride the Harry Potter ride with just a 20 min wait. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and this part of the park was truly amazing - we were in there for hours!!! Ate at the Three Broomsticks (darn good food), drank (sickly sweet) Butterbeer, got some Bertie Bots Every Colored Beans, and rode rides. Oh and of course the boys used their money for wands. The Harry Potter ride is unbelievable ... and the lines show it. We only got to ride it once :-(. The rest of the park was fun and the kids loved it but Hogsmeade was my personal highlight.

Wed - Magic Kingdom ... well ... this was the low point for me. It was nice enough but swarmed with small kids and just seemed a bit dated. The food we ate was pretty bad and over priced but the Runaway Train was a hit for all. What a great little ride.

Thur - Bok Tower botanical gardens - about 45 min from where we stayed, this is still vying for 1st place with Universal! Put it this way - we spent 6 hours there and the kids never once asked to leave! It was an oasis away from the busy parks, a gorgeous setting with a wonderful history. Of course we loved the fact that he was Dutch! Oh and the cafe is lovely, as is the gift shop.

Fri - lounged by the pool and got a few rays. ahhh

I was dreading this trip (am not a theme park fan) but really had the time of my life. The kids had a ball and so did we old folks :-)

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