Vacation 2016 is officially over.
I’m in a bit of a funk. I don’t know if I should be happy that all the vacation prep is over or if I should be sad that all the hype is over. I’m very confused right now. I’m sure we will do another trip sometime this year, but right now it seems like I don’t have any vacation to look forward to. That’s always the hardest part of coming home.
Enough of my funk, let me tell you all about our trip!
Today I’m going to go into detail about Sea World and our stay at Buena Vista Suites. I’ll tell you all about Disney tomorrow. Full disclosure: I received 2 free media passes for both Sea World and Disney World. I also got a deal with Buena Vista Suites in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions are my own. I have to admit that being a blogger has it’s perks! It was really nice to be able to take a vacation without spending much money. If you are a blogger, you should always check websites for media contacts to see if you can get freebies too!
We are lucky enough to only live about 3 hours from Orlando. A short car ride made this trip super affordable. I love when we don’t have to pay for plane tickets.
Our first stop was Sea World.
I have to admit that I was worried I would hate it since I’ve heard so much negative stuff about the park, but I kind of loved it. I did have a few issues though. I was disappointed that they didn’t have more educational signs about the animals. They didn’t have any signs in the Arctic exhibit. As an educator, I think they missed a great opportunity to teach people about these animals.
I also didn’t love seeing the dolphins. Since we live in Florida, we see them in their natural habitat all the time. It was sad for me to see them in a tiny tank.
You’d think I would feel the same way about the Shamu show, right? Well, I didn’t. I loved it! I’ve seen one whale in the wild and barely remember it. Seeing the killer whales was really exciting. I’m glad I was able to see the show before they phase it out. I understand the reasoning for phasing it out though.
Sea World made it clear that they support wildlife conservation and research. It was on almost every sign and in every video. I like to think that they really do help with conservation and research. Then again, I saw Free Willy. I’m torn on my feelings for Sea World. As much as I thought I’d hate the treatment of the animals, I kind of enjoyed myself. I mean, I really had a good time.
I’m not the only one who enjoyed Sea World, these boys had a blast. Robert’s favorite part by far was the penguins.
At first I was pretty shocked by the price of the tickets, however after talking to Tom about it I realize that they are pretty reasonable when you compare them to the price of aquarium tickets. Check back next week for a post all about the best ways to save money at Sea World. I’ve got some great tips coming up.
That night we headed to our abode for the next two days, Buena Vista Suites, and had some much needed down time.
I don’t think I can say enough good things about our stay at Buena Vista Suites. When it comes to value for a suite, this is the best we have ever had. Hands down. And I’m not just talking about Orlando, I mean this is the best suite we have ever booked.
We actually enjoyed our room more that we enjoyed The Boardwalk in Walt Disney World. The last time we stayed on Disney property we were disappointed in the rooms. For the price you pay, they aren’t actually that nice.
I can confidently recommend Buena Vista Suites. I’m convinced it is the best budget friendly suites close to Disney. It’s only 1.5 miles away! And they offer transportation to the park. Huge bonus!
As soon as we got back from Sea World, the boys swam while I ordered dinner poolside.
The poolside bar and grill had actually just closed, but the friendly staff served us anyway. I really felt like the staff went above and beyond to make our stay amazing.
And the food! The food was fabulous. My salad was probably the best chopped salad I have ever had. It was fresh, and exactly what I needed after a long day in the sun. Tom’s steak burger was delicious too. I love that we had the option to eat in the hotel instead of taking the kids out to eat or ordering fast food.
After a full day of adventures at Sea World, Robert told us that the best part of his day was swimming with Daddy. I love that he constantly reminds us that kids are happiest when they are spending time with the ones they love. They don’t need much, just love and attention. #family #toddlerquotes #familytime #orlando #budgettravel
Continental breakfast is included in the cost of the room. While it wasn’t nearly as good as the dinner food, it was just what we needed to fuel us for a day at Disney. They serve scrambled eggs, a breakfast meat (rotates each day), hash browns, and a carb that also rotates each day, we had pancakes one day and biscuits and gravy the next. They also have cooked to order eggs, a wide selection of cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, fruit and pastries. The coffee was pretty tasty too!
Buena Vista Suites has great specials on their website, including 20% off for Florida residents. Make sure to check it out if you are looking for a good suite near Disney or Sea World.
Writing this is making me nostalgic already. I’m ready to go back on vacation!
Have you been to Sea World? What did you think? What’s your favorite suite near Disney?