The Happiest Place on Earth (Farewell U.S.A)
Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
32Trip End Dec 17, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Mostly from Seinfeld, I knew Florida was full of old people. I can definitely see the appeal of the place and understand why. It is a place of immense physical beauty and it has a more light hearted atmosphere than many other places here. Our first visit to McDonalds had a head count of 15 people and we would have been the only ones under 60. To continue the stereotype, there were actually 2 old guys talking about how expensive things were these days!
We bought a 9 day pass to Disneyworld
Not just because of the cost, but I was glad that we chose to stay outside Disneyworld. It was nice to get back to reality at the end of the day and see civilisation on the ‘outside’.
The parks were a lot of fun, but they are draining. The heat combined with the size of them means you are super tired by the end of the day. All up we went to the 6 parks we could have.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom was the traditional place with the castle and parades of Disney characters. We rode the Dumbo elephant ride amongst others. The rides there were more kid like so we didn’t spend heaps of time there.
Epcot had come highly recommended
We went to Animal Kingdom twice. We were able to get some great photos of the animals. This was probably my favourite park. The rides were great, including a great Mount Everest rollercoaster and wild rapid ride. It was like a theme park and zoo rolled into one.
The last major park was Hollywood Studios. After going to Epcot the day before, I was still a bit queasy so I avoided most of the good rides. Universal Studios at L.A was pretty good, so this was a bit of an anticlimax.
For $50 extra, we could get to the water parks
Probably the funniest thing about Disney World is that it is dubbed ‘the happiest place in the world’. Credit the employees who have to wear cheesy fake smiles all day. But the irony was that there were so many crying kids on the rides we couldn’t help feel the adults were having more fun than them. In fact, there were plenty of young couples around our age there as well.
I spent one day taking a drive to the West Coast of Florida. I had seen the Atlantic Ocean that flanks the East Coast but I headed to Tampa and went in the Gulf of Mexico. There was no sign of the oil spill and the water was beautiful, like a swimming pool. It was definitely the best beach I have seen here in the U.S.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a visit to a city without going to a basketball game
As I sit in the hotel at Raleigh Airport waiting for our flight to New York tomorrow and London the day after, I am really ready to leave the U.S, not because we haven’t had a blast but because we have done everything we had wanted to do which is nice to say. Fifteen states - New York, North Carolina, Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida along with the District of Columbia and even a day trip to Canada. We have seen so many landscapes - deserts, forests, snow, sun, coastline, rural farmland, winding roads and vast cityscapes.
Although I am nervous about language barriers and foreign lands, Europe will be a nice change. There will be plenty more to write about then!