We so smartly booked a 6am bus ride to Orlando from Miami from Miami411, picked up directly from the hostel. It is a 4 hour ride after the bus has picked up every passenger, I didn’t know how long that took since Anna told me I passed out pretty early on, I woke up with about 40 minutes left to our destination. Anyone who has gone on holidays with me will know I am a winning sleeper, I sleep anywhere, so quickly too. We got dropped off at some Orlando Mall and were really concerned about how we were going to get to our hotel, it was about 20-25minutes away from where we got dropped off, and we decided not to rent a car, as it was too expensive and a hassle to drop it off where we wanted – they need you to drop the car off at 5pm, we’re at THEMEPARKS ALL DAY – HOW!! Shuttle buses and cabs it is!
The most dangerous thing Anna and I will ever do in our lives
Anyway, when we got there, all these people kept asking us if we needed a taxi, we were pretty desperate, or at least I was, Anna had her warning signs flashing (actually, so did I, but I chose to ignore them, not smart), but we went and did the most dangerous thing we’ve ever done on this trip – we hopped into a big black car with a random woman who offered to drive us to our hotel for $30 – we are fine, obviously, since I am blogging, but I highly recommend getting the numbers of all the Orlando Cab services before you arrive, or renting a car – that is probably the one and only dangerous thing we will do. The driver was a middle aged woman, and I demanded to see her licence after Anna expressed her concern (not that her licence even means anything), we avoided the African American guys offering to drive us??? (Yes, I am kind of racist when I am overseas, I generally like them, but not when you want to drive me in a black car in a country I am unfamiliar with)… turns out the lady didn’t have a visa and blah blah blah, I was tracking where we were driving the entire time she was driving us on my iPhone, ready to pull open the door and scream for dear life if she wasn’t driving where I expected her to. Lucky lucky, but don’t test your luck kiddies, don’t hop into big black cars with strangers.
Clarion Hotel Lake Buena Vista
Orlando is a gigantic hole. Think of it as the M4 or M5, but EVERYWHERE, there isn’t a city centre I don’t think and you really need a car to go everywhere unless you want to blow all your money on cabs. FYI, we spent about $90 on cabs today between the both of us.
We got to Clarion at 11am, and check-in wasn’t until 4pm, the hotel was filled to capacity so we couldn’t check in until about 3:30pm or so. So we sat in the lobby for 4.5 hours, whaddup? Who knew we were so patient – though we had free wi-fi, so that helped. We also ate a sad lunch there from the deli, I felt kind of homeless. We watched Casino Royale, Flight Plan, and some real life murder mystery that we didn’t get to finish, Anna and I discovered one more thing we have in common: we are suckers for that shit. I will google what that show was and find out what happened! Anyway, their luggage storage sucks, they have a room that you store your luggage but people walk in and out easy, and they claim to hold no responsibility for your items on the front door, so that’s it, if your things are stolen, your fault. We bought our theme park tickets today too! $138 for a 1 day Disney Park Hopper Ticket and $150 for a 2 day Universal Studios Park-to-Park ticket, we initially wanted the Universal ticket for 1 day, but it was $140 and the lady at the desk convinced us to go to Universal Studios today and make the most of it for $10 more – we missed the scheduled shuttle bus, so we ended up cabbing it for $30 to Universal. Wise woman she is, we enjoyed our 4 hour trip to Universal Studios Island of Adventure immensely. I recommend everyone get the 2 day pass.
Anyway, we checked in before all of this and our room is so very far away from the main lobby. The door is also a bit screwed, it just opens whenever it feels like it, and not when I put my card in, it took about 3-4 tries the first time we went into our room, and about 30-40 tries when we came back home from Universal – it seriously just opens whenever it wants, the door sucks. The rooms are pretty nice for what you pay though ($60pn), the Clarion cleaners are notorious for stealing your shit, so we’ve locked everything up – and I mean everything. We are about 2 minutes from the pool, but haven’t had the luxury of trying it yet. OUR BATHROOM DOOR LOCKS, FOR ONCE – BUT NOW WE’RE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH OUR FRONT DOOR, WHY!!! WHY!!! I would recommend this place if you’re looking to go to Disney World, it’s so so close.
8442 Palm Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
We have a solid plan. We did part of Universal Studios Island of Adventure today, which includes the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WIN WIN WIN, we travelled across the Pacific Ocean to get to this small attraction). The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is amazing, VERY small, but any crazy fan would appreciate the lengths they went through to make it resemble the movies – they only have Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, but it’s so cool. There are only 3 rides in the WWoHP, the Flight of the Hippogriff (a 5 min wait for us), the Dragons Challenge (a 10 min wait for us), and the Forbidden Journey (a 1hr+ wait for us). The Flight of the Hippogriff is a kiddy ride, Dragons Challenge was fun, there was only a small drop in the beginning and then loads of loops, the Forbidden Journey was INSANELY FUN, with LONG LONG lines, you walk through Hogwarts for a little bit and then go onto the ride, I won’t spoil it, but it’s tremendously fun, well worth the 1 hr wait. It was 7:15pm by the time the ride was over and we had missed the free shuttle bus (I hope we don’t frequently do this).
We took a nice stroll to the other areas of the Island of Adventure and Anna saw big green roller coaster she was keen on (the Hulk!), anyone who knows me will know I am a chicken shit, though my fear of missing out overrides my actual fear – to paint you a pretty picture of just how chicken shit I am, a 15 year old had to console me on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, yes, a 15 year old from Orlando had to console me, a 23 year old. ANYWAY, the Hulk was super fun, and not at all as scary as I thought it would be, also loads of head banging because of the twists and turns and only one dip/butterfly feeling thing. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall pulls you up and then drop you down and does it 2 more times, it’s not very high but I don’t like those funny butterfly feelings – Anna does though. We left shortly after that because our feet were killinggggg. Taxi ride home was $30!
Tomorrow we’re going to Disney World – Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, SO EXCITED – I get to buy yet another one of those Minnie Mouse ears (I think I have 2 already from Japan from 2 separate trips), and we get to go on the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror again – one of my favourite rides ever, they built this huge old hotel looking thing and you walk through the lobby and through the hotel to the ride, it’s so fun, won’t spoil it though. More on that tomorrow.
3 days worth of blogging done in 1-2 hours, I really should do this daily so I don’t forget things. :X
It feels so good to be in a private hotel room with our own bathroom and 2 double beds with proper pillows – I HAS 4 PILLOWS TO MYSELF, I AM IN PILLOW HEAVEN 😀