I love Orlando! Living in a tourist area isn’t as bad as it seems. In fact, it’s pretty awesome because there’s always something to do. Summer is obviously the busiest months here because schools out and people are taking their vacations now. Fair warning to those who have never been: It’s also the hottest time of the year here! While I’ve living in Florida all my life, the heat still gets me.
When you’re planning a trip to one of the theme parks it’s important to be fully prepared! If you’re not used to Florida weather, packing the essentials for the day is crucial. I recommend:
- Sunscreen. An all over body (a spray or mouse are my two personal favorites) and a good face SPF.
- Water bottle. The water bottles that have the filters are great for any theme park trip! I’m not the biggest fan of the water fountains at Disney. The water tastes a little weird to me so having the filtered bottles are the best if you’re looking to refill at the fountains. Remember most of the lines are long so if you’re in a pinch, waiting for water at a restaurant can seem like a 2 hour task.
- A portable fan. I can’t go to to any theme park with a fan, especially one that can mist water. Those are the best! Try and buy one before going, the ones in the park are always overpriced.
- A facial mist. I always carry Evian water spray with me even when I’m not hitting up the theme parks. It helps freshen up my make up and it just feels good on the skin! If you don’t like facial mists, there’s also some great freshening wipes as well!
- Blister Balm and/or band aids. Orlando vacations= lots of walking. It’s unavoidable, you’ll be walking so much and chances are you’ll get blisters. It’s especially important to bring these with you if you’re wearing new(er) shoes. Although I do advise NOT wearing shoes you haven’t properly broken in because you’ll definitely blister!
- A rain poncho. Summer in Florida means rain…lots of rain. The ponchos they sell at the parks are WAY overpriced. You can pick out cheaper ones online, so order ahead and stock up.
There are other things you can bring but those are items I believe people tend to overlook but they are super important, in my opinion at least, to have.
Because Orlando is such a touristy area there are a TON of places to stay out if you’re headed this way for a summer vacation. And likely for us locals that also means there are some stellar staycation options for us as well! Westgate Vacation Villas is a great option, as it’s affordable and as everything you could want/need. I mean rooms with fully equipped kitchens and washer and dryers, you feel like you’re at home! There’s also transportation available to the theme parks for easier travel.
The grounds are beautiful and there are a TON of amenities available to you. You literally don’t have to leave (unless you’re headed to the theme park!). With heated pools and hot tubs, to the Ship Wrecked Island water park, you can spend all day soaking up some rays and working on that summer glow 😉
If splashing around in water isn’t your thing don’t fret! There are basketball courts, volleyball courts, a fully loaded game room, and a 24-hour fitness center… just to name a few…WHOA.
Westgate Town Center Resort and Spa is another great place to stay as well. Similar to the Westgate Vacation Villas, it has everything you could need but Westgate Town Center Resort and Spa boast an extra few amenities that may be a bit more attractive.
You can check out various Orlando vacation packages, you’ll be sure to find one that fits your needs.
One of my favorite places to visit is Disney Springs. As a local, I find it a fun place to visit. It feels like being away from home without actually being away. The main reason I love Disney Springs so much though is honestly the restaurants (the shopping is second!). Plus it’s just so beautiful there! #photogoals
My picks for good eats at Disney Springs:
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ :Definitely my go to when at Disney Springs. The food is out of this world tasty! It’s just classic, home cooked style food that hits you right in the heart.
2. Frontera Cocina: I like Frontera Cocina for their sandwiches and salads. But one thing I ALWAYS have to get when I’m there is their spicy guac because hmm, well it’s life!
3. Ragland Road Irish Pub: Ragland is such a fun place to go! Not only is the food good, but the atmosphere is lively and engaging! They have live Irish dancers and musicians. It’s a great place for families, kids and adults can enjoy the entertainment together 🙂
4. Sprinkles: I mean hello, it’s Sprinkles Cupcakes! The mother of the cupcake trend. It’s pretty much THE original cupcake shop. I’m obsessed with the seasonal s’mores cupcake but all of the cupcakes are delicious! Whenever I’m there though I always get some ice cream because walking around gets super hot and it’s just nice treat.
Have you ever been to a Westgate resort? How about Disney Springs? What are some thing you’d like to do in Orlando? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,
**this post does contain affiliate links. The Westgate pictures were taken from the Westgate website, all other photos are my own. This post was sponsored by Westgate, all opinions are my own.