What a journey this has been! We spent the past week “Resort Hopping” around Orlando and words can not express how grateful we are for the time we spent together as a family. Resort Hopping is essentially experiencing more than one resort during one vacation. Sounds like a lot huh? Well, trust me, it’s easy as can be. For our vacation, we hopped to three (technically four) resorts. I had to attend a conference so we wanted to make it into a family vacation but wanted to do something we’ve never done before.
We enjoyed stays at some wonderful resorts and to aid us on our resort hopping adventure we traveled in style in the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE. Check out what arrived during our first day at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando!
Let’s discuss the 7 fun reasons to “Resort Hop” while in Orlando.
1. Gotta Get Around!
Before we begin, resort hopping can certainly work without the use of a vehicle because of the many transportation options available throughout the city. However, having a vehicle can make your resort hop easier. For this adventure, we were excited to experience the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE. The vehicle is a sporty and stylish Mid-size SUV with plenty of character and safety features. Speaking of style, the first thing we noticed was the front end, the 19-in multi-spoke alloy wheels, and the color which added to the overall look of the vehicle. The 2017 Toyota Highlander SE has plenty of trunk space with soft and subtle leather seating that made for a comfy ride. Now, we have visited the city many times, but we still tend to get lost, thankfully the Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation was easy to use. As we drove along seeing the sights of the city, my children noticed that they could hear my husband and me loud and clear. After a bit of searching, we figured it out, it was the Driver Easy Speak System. As we continued our drive, we arrived at stop lights and noticed that the vehicle would go quiet and then started back up with no hesitation, once the light turned green. It turns out it was the Stop and Start Engine System. Now that is a great feature. There were so many wonderful and shocking amenities that it made our entire adventure fun and enjoyable. Just look at it!!! Jealous yet?
We began our journey at The Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel. We spent maybe 5 hours at this hotel because of a delayed flight. Kudos to Renaissance, we were impressed with what we experienced. Now, onward to Universal Orlando!
3. Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
We arrived at the resort and were greeted by a wonderful valet named, Jim. He was friendly and personable and we figured if the rest of the staff was half as friendly as him, this was going to be a fun stay. We checked in and got our tickets and Express Passes. To be honest, there are so many steps to gaining possession of those Express Passes (surely there is an easier way). Having said that, we enjoyed the boat transportation, early entry, and the theme parks. I would definitely go back for another stay because the decor of the resort was inviting and stylish. We were in Tower 1 on the 3 floor (same floor as the lobby). This section of rooms was an easy walk to everything from the restaurants, the pool, the arcade and the boat transportation to the theme parks.
4. “ThemeParking” (Part 1) at Universal Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Whoa! What a fun time we had! We arrived at the parks and didn’t have to use our Express Passes for most of the rides because we took advantage of early entry. The theme parks are a little smaller than Walt Disney World, but they are certainly packed with plenty of attractions and was easy to maneuver. We were very impressed with the advanced technology they used especially on the motion simulation attractions. Some of our favorite attractions were: The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride 3-D, Harry Potter, and the Escape from Gringotts, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Jurassic Park River Adventure. Of course, some of my family braved Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and The Incredible Hulk Coaster (umm nope, I am too chicken). Not bad for our first time, huh? We will be back.
After our two night stay at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, we loaded up the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE and made our way to the third stop on our “Resort Hopping” adventure… Cabins!!! We packed all of our belongings and they fit with plenty of room to spare. Now that is trunk space!5. “Glamping” at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness ResortIt was time to go “glamping”. It had to be “glamping” because I am not fond of certain reptile “critters”, so having a cabin worked out perfectly. Our stay at The Cabins was so magical, we did not want to leave (seriously). The size of the cabin was more than adequate and the kitchen had every amenity you could think of (dishes, cooking utensils, etc.).
We bought groceries and even had a family sandwich night (fancy right?). The bedroom included a queen size bed and bunk beds. By the way, for larger families, the Cabins will hold 6 and includes two televisions (one of them was at least 50 inches). The bathroom is very rustic but up to date with a frosted window. There’s plenty of windows throughout and the sun just shines through. Before I forget, a golf cart is a must. In my opinion, it is a necessity especially when you want to explore and leave your car parked. We explored the entire property and enjoyed that time together.
6. Tranquil Stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
We arrived at the last resort of our resort hopping adventure, checked in, and explored the grounds in the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE. Even at night, the ride was wonderful because the headlights dimmed and brightened automatically based on where we were and what we came across. Also, we can not forget the available safety features that gave us peace of mind especially when it came to transporting my precious cargo.We are Disney Vacation Club members, but it has been about 7 years since our last stay at this resort. It’s a very quiet and tranquil resort that reminds you of an apartment community on a golf course (there really is a golf course, by the way). The property is lush and green with rooms that are the perfect size for a family of four and don’t forget the kitchenette. When we weren’t at the theme parks, we lounged while the kids went for a swim and watched DVDs on the DVD player that is included in the room. Sadly, part of my time was limited because I attended the BlogHer 2017 conference, but they had their dad to explore with.
7. “ThemeParking” (Part 2) at Walt Disney World Resort / Animal Kingdom Theme ParkDuring our visit, we experienced more than one theme park, but I definitely wanted to give my two cents as it relates to the Banshee! It was A-Ma-Zing!!!!! Guys, we rode a banshee on the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction. We loved the simulation because it was realistic and you truly felt like you were part of the actual Pandora – World of Avatar. The screen was huge and I would say it’s bigger than the screen for Soarin’. Every other park we visited was super fun (as usual) and Disney Springs was spectacular!!
When it is all said and done, it is important to make fun memories (big and small). There is nothing wrong with enjoying the same vacation destination, but make it a point to add something new to the itinerary, each time. At the end of the day, all you have is your loved ones and THEY are MY reasons to create those memories!
Special thank you to Toyota and Drive Shop for the use of the 2017 Toyota Highlander SE! All opinions are mine
Until Next Time!