The kids had their last vacation 2 years ago, however the past year was definitely a year of transition. I felt like it was time to get out of the city and change our scenery for a weeklong vacation. My dilemma was how to get the best deals on airfare. Our destination was Orlando so my first search was Southwest and I found one way tickets for under $110 per ticket (allow 2 bags free) the only caveat was a 3 1/2 hour lay over in Pittsburgh. I was thinking it’s vacation and we are up for the challenges to save some cash. The layover in Pittsburgh was not bad, The kids were armed with some toys and were ready for the countdown. My other concern was hoping are flights were not delayed as it was the heat of the summer. Florida is susceptible to lightening and thunderstorms which equals flight delays. My fingers were crossed and we arrived in Orlando with a storm looming 3 miles away which caused a delay with our luggage being transported from plane to baggage claim. Although the kids were a bit grumpy and tired we went to pick up our rental car, from Advantage Rent a Car. I was able to get a week long rental for under $225 and as it turned out they were out of compact cars and gave me a Mazda 5. The car was perfect as it gave the kids plenty of room and even had a third row.
Since it’s a little pricey to stay inside of Disneyworld, I found a condo rental at VRBO.com. Kudos to my godmother for turning me on to this site last year. There are vacation rentals for every corner of the US. I was able to rent a 2 bedroom condo for less than $600 for the week. The condo was perfect, the kids room had two twin beds, DVD, flat screen tv. The living room also had a sleeper sofa and the master bedroom had a roomy king size bed for me. The king size bed had a trundle for an extra person to sleep. We were fortunate to have two bathrooms, piggy back washer and dryer and full equipped kitchen. The owners stocked the condo with everything needed for a weeklong stay. The location was perfect to local restaurants, retail mass-merchandisers, supermarket, . We were a 30 minute drive from the airport. Disneyworld was about only 15-20 minutes away. My little princess enjoyed Magic Kingdom especially when she took pictures with the princesses. Unfortunately we missed Princess Tiana, so definitely a must do when we return. We were rained out of Animal Kingdom but I made up for it when I purchased ice cream treats shaped like Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. These were a blast from the past.
Monday was a get acquainted with Kississmee and stock the kitchen. Tuesday we were scheduled for our day at Disneyworld. We started at Epcot, then Animal Kingdom and lastly Magic Kingdom.
The condo had a pool so the kids were able to enjoy this on Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday was our day at SeaWorld. The website Undercover Touristis a great site for discounts. For SeaWorld the park offered a better deal so I purchased the tickets directly at the gate. Our tickets were $59 per person for full admission after 3 plus an all you can eat meal voucher. On the days when we there was rain we rented movies. The 7 Eleven’s were plentiful with Red Box kiosks outside. On Thursday the kids met up with the Bryant kids for a few hours in the pool at their resort hotel in Downtown Disney. For our return flight I searched Priceline.com for deals on tickets, I found one way tickets on US Airways for under $99, the only stipulation was leaving at 6:00 AM for a direct flight. Also US Airways charges a baggage fee. The kids were dying for funnel cake so spent a few hours of our last night in Old Town which is part of Kississmme. It is like a mini carnival with different eateries, shops, arcade shops, and plenty of rides.
For our next trip, my plan is to stay inside of DisneyWorld at a resort which will eliminate the need for a rental car. DisneyWorld offers plenty of transportation via their shuttle buses and monorail. My favorite part of DisneyWorld was Magic Kingdom and our next trip must include Universal Studios. I think all and all the kids had a great getaway.