Family Holiday to Florida 

 
2 children (8 & 6), Parents and grandparents. 10-28 August 2010

Flight

This holiday was planned to happen in March but, because the BA flight was cancelled due to the industrial action by the Unite Union, we postponed it to August.  The postponement was fortunate as our homeward flights were cancelled due to the volcanic ash.  It appears to us that the Unite union is very anti family holidays.  Not only did they force the cancellation of flights over school Easter holidays, they also threatened to strike over the August bank holidays, which would have closed UK airports when families such as ours were due to return so that children/grandchildren could return to school at the correct time.

Miami Airport

Our flight arrived Miami on time in a downpour and temperature was in mid 90's.  The walk to immigration was a long way and the wait for US immigration was lengthy but the immigration officer was friendly and efficient, although it is a slow process.  Luggage was mostly off the plane when we arrived at the luggage hall but inevitably ours was last.  Customs were not interested in us.

Car Rental

We had hired a car from cheap car rental and walked out to the perimeter road expecting to see a Dollar/Thrifty shuttle bus.  In the event the shuttle bus (and there were lots around) was provided by the airport authority for all car rental companies and took us to another building which had all the usual car rental companies.  The car we were given was super with low mileage. The map we were provided by the car rental company was detailed but did not tell us where we were.  Once that was established we were on the right road and away.

Miami Hotel

Our Hotel at Miami initially said the had no rooms for us and had arranged a reservation in another Hotel.  We were tired (having been up for the last 17 hours) and disappointed at this news but found it was not true and miraculously they found two adjoining rooms.  Because of the heavy rain we felt a bit trapped in the hotel so bought snacks in the hotel at an exorbitant price.  The next morning was much better and we were able to go out for breakfast.  The beach was excellent and we enjoyed the morning swimming and relaxing on the beach.

Orlando

The drive to Orlando was easy and uneventful the tolls came to about $10.  We stayed at Best Western Lakeside which, as it was on the 192 which is the road that serves Disneyworld, was very convenient.

Disneyworld

To drive to Disneyworld took about 10 minutes and the car parking at Disneyworld was $14. We went to the Magic Kingdom which needs little explanation.  Our entry tickets (which we standard tickets avaialble to anyone, allowed us to use Fastpasses (a timed entry ticket)for several attractions which we used extensively and it worked very well. During the appointed period we just walked past to the front of the queue. Why people queued is beyond me. We did well over half of the attractions and saw the parade and left about 6pm tired, hot and very satisfied. We thought we would save fireworks for another day. Later in our holiday we went to Disney Hollywood studio.  If we give Magic KIngdom 10/10 we would give 5/10 to Disney Hollywood studios.  The later was quite good but nothing compared with Magic Kingdom and very expensive for what it was.

Kennedy Space Centre. (KSC)

The drive from Orlando to KSC took about an hour and we purchased the standard entry ticket ($40) which include use of a shuttle bus to a lookout, the Apollo Centre and the International Space Centre. There was also the rocket park, the Shuttle Imax Films,  lots of explanations and films at every point.  as the entry allowed a visit the following day at not extra charge some of us elected to return the next day to finish seeing everything.  We stayed overnight at Cocoa Beach (Comfort Inn) and timed our visit to see the launch of a rocket putting a satellite that the British will be using a bit of.  We watched from an island which we had been told offered the best views and so it did. At 07.04 there was a sudden bright white light and it shot steadily into the sky.  Moments later there was a thundering roar.  It was impressive and very memorable.

Florida's Gulf Coast.

We had been to this part of Florida on a few previous occasions so knew exactly what we wanted. We looked up on the internet for a house on a canal to the sea with a private pool and a boat and chose one at Gulf Harbour, Port Richey.it took 2 hours 40 minutes to drive from Cocoa Beach and was exactly as we wanted. We were able to use the boat to go for trips, say to a sand bar or Anclote Key or we could use it to go fishing (which in our case was just to feed the fish).  We also visited Weeki Wachi Mermaid show which was good and some also used the opportunity to use a sister attraction and go swimming at Buccaneer Bay.  This is a natural spring with water chutes and beach ( but they said the water was very cold). We also visited some of the many state parks and used some of the many golf facilities. We went on the boat several times to a sandbar and Anclote Island. wishing was quiet the first week and we were told by residents the sea was too hot and we would have to go deeper.  The second week was cooler and the fish started to take the bait.

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