Owl Post

IMG_9714Emma’s birthday trip, like many young witches and wizards turning eleven on or before September 1, was to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Emma and I were both super excited about our trip; I booked the trip in January and a stuffed owl soon apparated from the depths of Emma’s closet.  Emma insisted on communicating by hand-written notes tied onto the owl’s leg until we flew to Orlando in early March.

I was nervous flying without Joel; I usually tease him quite a bit because he goes over each procedure and facet of the agenda repeatedly while we are traveling.  Every tibit of information is organized in his email on his phone/iPad and stashed in the suitcase in hard copy format as well.  I managed to check into our flights the night before through the Allegiant app, got us through security and boarding, hailed a taxi, and scored a room upgrade.

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They asked the reason for our visit, and when they learned we were celebrating Emma’s birthday she got a room upgrade, party hat, and birthday treat voucher!

Pros:
Enjoyed our stay at Cabana Bay; fantastic pools and outdoor activities, early park entry, ability to walk or shuttle bus.  So many magical details at Harry Potter attractions.  Intrigued by the animation + vestibular components in many of the rides – allowed me to enjoy the rides without getting motion sickness and anxiety.  Starbucks onsite @ Cabana Bay and the park.  Decent eating options at Cabana Bay.  Lifeguards and towel service.  Superb staff and attention throughout the resort.  Very little wait time for attractions.  Great iPhone app for the parks.

Cons:

I had forgotten how every ride exits through the gift shop.  Emma seemed way more interested in souvenir shopping than experiencing the magic at times.  Could not figure out how to get from one pool complex to the other without walking through the lobby; pretty embarrassed about that one, but I had to have some sort of constructive feedback 🙂  Early AM flight on Sunday back home.  Long cab ride from Sanford to Universal – I really should have researched that better and considered my options.