Travel Diary: Orlando

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Over the years i’ve been to Orlando on numerous occasions, I’d say it’s probably one of my favourite holiday destinations. So I thought instead of simply just doing a photo diary that I would write a full review of my favourite places to visit, hotels to stay at and restaurants to eat at. Hopefully it is somewhat helpful to my readers and if you have any other questions, please do get in touch.

Where to Stay

This year we done something a little different, we split our stay to two different hotels. For the first section of our trip we stayed at The Waldorf Astoria, which is situated on Lake Buena Vista (aka Disney) and then for the second part, we stayed at the Hard Rock, which is of course a Universal hotel.

Normally, we would stay on International drive, because as much as I love the parks, after a day at them I can get a little bored and want to move on to something different (probably shopping but not always!) However, because we were going with my family, we decided it might be better to stay on site so there was plenty for us all to do, without having to relay on each other.

The Waldorf was incredible, I loved everything about it, the rooms were gorgeous, the pool was beautiful and so quiet. Marble bathrooms and the most gorgeous lobby that even smelled like Byredo Blanche. The only thing that I could fault about the hotel was its location, it was pretty out of the way compared to where we usually stay but again thats personal preference and for many people it would be the perfect location as it has transport links to all Disney parks. I wouldn’t, however,  let me put me off staying there in future as everything else was incredible.

The Hard Rock was a totally different experience. Of course I know your thinking – what is she talking about? You seen the daily snapchats of how much I enjoyed my time there, but I’m going to be truthful and honest, because it’s only fair.

As you drive up, the surroundings are incredible, it’s the most beautiful building in a gorgeous setting, the fountain, the tiles and the amazing pool area. You get express passes for the rides, are minutes walking distance from the Universal parks and the gardens are literally so beautiful you feel like you are in Palm Springs. Despite the amazing atmosphere, dive in movie and all of the above, the inside of the hotel, as well as the service is certainly not worth what they charge for it.

I understand it’s about the atmosphere for most people, but for me the rooms and service were not to the standard of the Waldorf, which cost less than half the price per night. So if I were to go back, I doubt I would stay there again. In fact if I do go back next year, I imagine I would stay at the Hyatt Regency again, it’s one of my favourite places in Orlando.

Ok, enough ranting about the hotels, lets talk about what else to do whilst you are there.

Where to Eat

There’s lots of great places in Orlando, but one of my favourites would have to be STK, we went a number of times for the atmosphere as well as the food. The whole vibe is just great, sit on the terrace and enjoy the amazing playlist whilst eating. Another great new place at Disney springs would be Sprinkles, you need to go here and get a cupcake – delicious. 

Copper Canyon at Pointe Orlando is great too, it’s a scratch kitchen, so everything is fresh and tastes incredible. Shake Shack on international drive, great for those of us who don’t live near one, and if you are looking for something more special, the Bull and the Bear at the Waldorf Hotel it’s rated as one of the best restaurants in Orlando. 

What to do

Universal is obviously my number one place to visit. Go early to Diagon Alley and have pancakes at the Leaky Cauldron, or else go later at night and see everything lit up. You must also try a Cauldron Cake, especially if you’re a chocolate lover like me. 

Disney is literally magical, I always make it a point to go to the Magic Kingdom now, and after all those visits, it still never gets old. Try a Mickey ice cream & if you want in early book an 8am breakfast at Be our guest restaurant – a great breakfast and it’s pretty cool walking up to the castle with hardly anyone else around. 

Other than the parks, of course, theres’s shopping, and lots of it. Mall at Millenia is my go to – first stop by Godiva and get some of their soft serve or a chocolate dipped strawberry and just walk around the beautiful mall and enjoy all the luxury shops – Neiman Marcus is my favourite, it’s where I finally found my Chanel espadrilles.
The new Disney springs is a must visit – it’s not only beautiful but it now has a Sephora, Zara, Free People and many more! Another shop there I love is Francesca’s – the cutest boho style clothing and accessories.
We also love to go to Celebration Town, it’s so pretty I even enjoy the car journey just sitting taking in all the beautiful houses. Grab a coffee and walk around, they have lovely little stores and a Macaroon shop!

I can’t think of anything else to add just now, but if you are going and want to ask me anything, just tweet me @florals_corals or snap me @lucyflorals. 

Have a great week ahead!


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