As a new traveller who has recently caught the bug of exploration, my boyfriend (who has been to many other places) decided to treat me to the full on "theme park extravaganza" that is Orlando, Florida for my birthday. We visited Animal and Magical Kingdom, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We plan to go back to visit the ones we didn't get to go to (eg. Epcot).
This was a wonderful trip, made even better by the lovely hotel we stayed in. The Radisson is clean and well kept, the staff is friendly and full of tips about getting around International Drive and the general Orlando area and what to do for fun. We had the majority of our trip planned out, but their friendliness was appreciated. It took a while for one of the shuttles to arrive, but we later found out it was because they had some unexpected vehicle trouble. They also have a nice little area where you can print things - this came in handy for printing our tickets to one of the parks.
The only thing I would warn people about is avoid asking for a driver - call one of the cab companies. We asked for a driver to take us to an Outback that was near and it was $25 for the short trip. When we called him to come back we had to wait about 45 minutes to an hour and it was another $25. Definitely go with the cab option and try to purchase a GPS device on your first day as well so that you don't get ripped off by the taxi drivers. We found out the location of every place we needed to go and typed it into the GPS to ensure our drivers were taking the best/fastest routes. We bought a Garmin and it came it extremely handy! There's also an IHOP about 10-15 minutes away from the hotel depending on how fast you walk. It was my first time to an IHOP and it was amazing!
Some of the food in the restaurant was okay, we didn't eat there often we mostly went out to eat - a lot of restaurants are well within walking distance. I would opt out of the hotel breakfast unless you're in a rush or you're up early and need to get to a theme park. If you want something "light". So is a Dave & Busters which was great! I walked around the hotel once, found the pool - it was nice and in a quiet area, also found a little game room which was unexpected but a nice touch. The majority of our trip was spent outside the hotel room, but when we were there it was lovely. My boyfriend and I prefer pillow top beds as opposed to Sleep Number, but other than that everything was great. The towels were replaced often, the beds were made and we never once worried about any of our things being stolen. The free WIFI was great as well. There is also a really great restaurant right out front the Radisson that serves a mean shephard's pie. I absolutely loved it!
Also! If you're a bit of an adrenaline junkie like he is and like I've become you'll definitely want to walk down to Magical Midway and go on the Slingshot. It was crazy! And definitely go for the option to record a video and get the USB and get the t-shirts so that you can forever watch your expressions!
We would definitely stay at the Radisson again!
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