Seaworld, International Drive, Longhorn, Premium Outlets (Vineland)
I was up at 4am due to jet lag and tried to get back to sleep but my body was having none of it I was wide awake. I just sat around the room for a few hours looking at opening times on the iPad waiting for Sam to wake up. Eventually we got ready and were off to reception to see if we can get parcels delivered to the hotel – Sam wanted to order something from the States while we were out there. You can get parcels delivered to the hotel but what they don’t tell you is that they charge you $10 as a receiving fee so it didn’t work out that much cheaper in the end.
Next stop Seaworld we had to ask at reception what the quickest route was to walk as we had no idea and I had read about a back gate somewhere. The hotel is so close to Seaworld there was no way we was paying $17 to park when it would only take us 10 minutes to walk there. You walk out the back gate and literally through the Seaworld car park and your there it was literally a 15 minute walk max maybe quicker. We arrived at Seaworld before opening time so we got in line to pick up our tickets. We heard the national anthem (they play this at opening every day) and exchanged our e-ticket for a physical ticket which was done quick and easy, now through the barrier with fingerprint scan and off to explore. We walk round and the park was not officially open as it was 8:55am and they had a rope up so you couldn’t walk any further. There were flamingos by the rope so we stood watching these until we could get through.
They dropped the rope at 9am and everyone was running for Manta, you can’t take anything on this ride so we had to put everything in a locker. Lockers are $1 but you need 4 quarters to put into the locker. We managed to ride Manta twice in 20 minutes the ride was brilliant and gave us a great start to 2 weeks of theme parks and rides. We watched the sting rays, dolphins, dolphin show, manatees, turtles and sea lions.
We then went on Empire of the Penguins, this was amazing I could have stood and watched the penguins for hours but it was freezing in there, the penguins are all in an open enclosure and you can get really close to them. We also did Kraken (this broke down just as we were about to ride so we had to come back later) and Journey to Atlantis which we got soaked on luckily the sun was out and dried us quickly.
We missed Shamu Ocean One show but we wasn’t bothered by this as we had seen it the last time we were here. We walked around the park for a while looking at all the animals.
We then walked back to hotel and decided to take a drive down International Drive it had been nearly 6 years since we were last here so we thought we would explore and see what had changed since the last time. We couldn’t believe how quiet it was nothing seemed like it was open, it really felt like it had gone downhill since we were last here. We went to TGI Fridays for a little snack and drink, we had 3 appetisers and 2 soft drinks which came to $23 inc tip.
We then went back to our hotel and had a look at the three pools and the gardens as we arrived in the dark so it was nice just to get our bearings. We went to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse which had been recommended to us before we left. I had fillet steak and Sam had ribs which were huge. I know we were in America but the portions were very generous and good quality. The meal, 1 soft drink and 1 strawberry daiquiri came to $63 inc tip.
Jet lag was still causing me trouble and I was close to falling asleep in my dinner at 7.30pm. We were trying so hard to stay awake, we knew we had to stay awake for as long as possible to get into American time. Does anyone else suffer like this or have any good tips to beat jet lag? Instead of going back to the hotel we had drove past the Premium Outlets on Vineland, so we then went to do a bit of shopping. The Outlets were literally a 2 minute drive from Longhorn which was perfect, if I spent any longer in the car I would have fallen asleep.
The Outlets were good, I got a Michael Kors clutch bag in black which I had wanted for ages so I was happy with that purchase. We didn’t buy much as it was only day two.
After a look around we decided to go back to the hotel. There was a slight mishap driving out of the Outlets, while following someone on way out they went down the wrong side of the road and we followed oops good job there was a security person at the end to stop us and make us all do a u-turn. The drive home was quick as it was not far at all, back to the room and then bed, tomorrow is Magic Kingdom 🙂 woohoo.