6 Days in Olando Florida
Heart of I Drive hotel, Universal Road,Orlando

Having returned the RV rental to Cruise America we had 7 days before collecting our own RV in Phoenix. We took a taxi to the  I-Heart hotel on International Drive which ended up being the worst hotel we have ever stayed in 🙁  We had booked a budget hotel not expecting a great place but at least something reasonable to lay our heads at night whilst off enjoying the daytime adventures. The situation of the hotel meant we could use the public transport system from outside on International Drive to get everywhere. Not having acar was going to save us a lot of hassle and money. On arrival at the hotel we had hoped to check in a couple of hours early. That was the first problem as they had a fixed policy of not allowing anyone to check in before 15.00. So as we had 4 large suitcases there was no way we could go anywhere else. If you remember we had kitted out the rental with all the things you normally rent as extras ready for our own RV. The lobby then filled up with people arriving and the hotel desk just watching people., Then as soon as they decided at 15.ooi toi check in you could not move and on top of that they wanted a cash deposit from everyone for security which immediately caused problems for people not expecting this. It took ages to check in consequently. Then getting to our room it smelt if damp and was on the ground floor where there is no way you would want to leave your door and windows open for fresh air. The paint was peeling off the ceiling in the area outside the bathroom as well. I have looked back 5 years later on reviews and it still seems the same. We normally expect some bad reviews of hotels and have stayed in great places with bad reviews.

Before leaving Spain we had brought a Kennedy Space Centre ticket, Dolphin Cove with Sea World and a Universal 2 Park Bonus ticket which was for 14 days. So apart from our designated Dolphin Cove day we could go to Sea World another day and then spend the rest of our time in Universal Studies or Universal Islands of Adventure. So he needs a hotel when the parks stay open so long and there is lots to do! Universal Studios is connected to Universal Islands of adventure by the Hogworth’s Express. As you travel in the train they have created clever images on the internal windows to the corridor of Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione walking along the corridor talking next to you.

The photo on the right was not for a wet tee shirt competition, but a complete soaking at Universal. We at least had the sense to go on the  Popey and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges. In fact we went around twice once after the other as it was so much fun 🙂  People kept asking us afterwards where we got so wet.

 

The Discovery Cove ticket we brought included one day in Sea World which had shows and various aquariums.  There has been a lot of talk about the captivity of Killer Wales there and we were possibly were seeing some of the last shows done by them.

Discovery Cove day came and we were there for 06.45 the earliest check in time! We got a taxi from the hotel to make sure we made it then! You get a short wet suit to wear during the day and also a snorkel and goggles to keep (not as good as ours that we took with us). We had nice weather during the day which was great not too hot or cold.  there was so much to do and so much fun 🙂 Swimming with the rays as shown in the photo was indescribable as they swim over you and below you close up. we have some great videos we took with our underwater kodak camera. You have unlimited time swimming with the rays and other fish and at the same time you get to be over sharks that are behind a thick glass barrier giving the impression they are close.

Paying extra to swim with a dolphin was amazing. Having seen the divers experience that you could have paid extra fro as well we decided it was a good decision not to do that as we could see all that was going on through a glass underwater wall. Basically the people had old fashioned type divers suits on and they walked through a “tank” with fish about and safety guards next to them.

Part of Discovery Cove had a long float ring “canal” There was not any fish in it just fun to float around in the current 🙂

One of the best days we have ever had.

You just need someone  to spend it with :))

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