Last month, my wife and I were fortunate enough to travel for ten days to Florida with our four children and my in-laws. We drove from Connecticut in a 12-passenger van and, in all, the drive went remarkably well. Our time spent in Florida, which we had envisioned as long days of relaxing and hanging around the pool, quickly morphed into a non-stop, jam-packed trip we won’t soon forget.
Instead of sitting around and relaxing, we actually had the chance to visit several theme parks in central Florida, Disney World and SeaWorld among them. After our experience, I’ve come up with three guidelines to help you out, should you find yourself bound for Florida’s theme parks in the dead of summer.
Three Great Tips for Visiting Central Florida
- It’s hot – like, really hot. Harper Lee, one of my favorite authors, would call the Floridian heat in August “powerful warm.” It gets hot in the Northeast in July and August, but nothing like central Florida. Pack a lot of light clothes, spray bottles, and those little misting fans. And consider yourself lucky that basically every square foot inside is air conditioned.
- The parks are going to be more expensive than you thought possible – and you’re going to go anyway. Why? Maybe it’s a once in a lifetime experience for you and your family. Maybe once a year. My kids are fortunate to have already gone a few times in their short lives. As a parent, you know nothing replaces the memories you’ll make in the parks those days. From the shows, to the rides, to meeting their favorite characters, your children will absolutely love it. The looks on their faces are priceless. Just trust me and don’t forget a decent camera.
- Lastly, you’re not going to pay full price. How? Because you’re going to buy your theme park tickets from Kissimmee Guest Services (KGS) in Celebration. KGS is an authorized Walt Disney World ticket seller, so they can get you tickets to all the Disney parks. Additionally, KGS is the one place you need to go for tickets to Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, Legoland Florida, as well as several area dinner shows. KGS saves you money on your park tickets AND valuable time at the entry gate the morning of your visit. That latter perk may just sound like a fringe benefit, but it’s a real thing. Those ticket window lines, especially at Disney World, can be significant. Then, add in four amped up children running small circles around you and everyone else in line and…you see where I’m going with this. Just go to KGS.
On a particularly tropical day, we took our tickets from KGS and decided to enjoy Disney’s Magic Kingdom. As the park name would imply, everybody had a magical day, especially our 18 month old son who was visiting Disney for the first time. My daughters were excited to meet Elsa and Anna, and my wife was amazed to discover that Mickey Mouse now talks! Of course, the rides are excellent, too. The whole experience makes for a really memorable day, so take my advice and once you’ve accepted that a day at Disney is pricey (but you’re going anyway), call KGS for tickets!