Orlando is More than Disney

Southern Momma’s received the below items or tickets for free in order to publish this post. However, all opinions are 100% her own.

When you hear Orlando, I am sure you think of Disney. I know I do. Did you know, Orlando is more than JUST Disney?  On our recent trip to Orlando, we did some super fun things other than just Disney World! We honestly had the best trip of our life. This vacation was truly the best our little family has ever taken. We made it all about our almost-four-year-old son. Everything this trip was for him, and seeing his excitement or hearing him say over and over again “this is the best day ever” was priceless.

Hotels

When you are a Marriott Reward member you can use your points for different things, including a hotel.

  • Redeem points for hotel nights either for a staycation in your hometown or as you travel.
  • Pursue your passions by redeeming points for truly amazing experiences and master classes exclusively available on our Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms. It could be surfing with Laird Hamilton, dinner at Michelin rated restaurants, scuba diving with a Cousteau, cooking class with Eric Ripert in the Cayman Islands, batting practice with Yankee legend Paul O’Neil, or one of thousands of other experiences we offer across sports, food, music, and lifestyle.
  • Give points to a charity
  • Transfer points for airline flights. Marriott Rewards / SPG

Having Marriott/SPG points came in handy for our trip! We ended up getting to leave early and spend the night in Pensacola. My son loved being able to just swim in the pool and it was the perfect break between our hometown and Orlando! We also got to use our points during our stay in Orlando. We used some points for a Marriott (in Pensacola) and the other for an SPG (in Orlando).

Both hotels were very nice, however, I loved the perks of the SPG. At our Sheraton Hotel, we got 500 points when we turned down cleaning services each night. That was a pretty cool perk, and an easy way to score some extra points.

TownePlace Suites Pensacola

TownePlace Suites by Marriott® Pensacola is an all-suite hotel with superior service that is central to some of the most desirable businesses, shopping, dining and entertainment in the area, including University Town Plaza, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Sacred Heart Health System, University of West Florida. TownePlace Suites Pensacola is a different kind of hotel, created by Marriott especially for the “upbeat realist” extended stay guest. Every room is a suite with functional space for living and working, and each hotel specializes in delivering service that helps guests settle into the local area. Our hotel offers a full hot breakfast, an outdoor saltwater pool, BBQ area, guest laundry facility, and onsite fitness center.

We loved this Hotel. Although we didn’t get out and about, it was a beautiful area. The room itself was very nice. We got a King size bed, bathroom, kitchen, and desk area! We really loved the comp breakfast, it was delicious and perfect so we didn’t have to stop once we got on the road.

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort

Enjoy the flexibility of accommodating the entire family, with your choice of one king or two queen Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience beds. Rooms with a king bed also feature a sleeper sofa for convenient comfort. Whether getting ready for bed or starting the day, spacious bathrooms with a combined bathtub and shower with Shine for Sheraton™ bath amenities invite a refreshing experience

We were overall pretty pleased with the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. The only complaint was, I wish we have a small kitchen of some sort. Other than that, It was honestly perfect. The service was great, the pool was fantastic, and the room was stunning. I loved how much space we had in our room, plus the pool view was beautiful.

We didn’t get to spend much time at the pool, but the little time we did spend there was a blast! The pools were stunning and were set up great for kids. Including a slide, basketball goal, volleyball net, and some sprinklers.

The location was great! Walt Disney World Friendly since they have the free shuttles to bring you to and from Disney. They also had tons of places to eat and shop that were within walking distance.

Legoland

I have heard about LEGOLAND but have never had the chance to go until recently. On our vacation, I really wanted to see what was in Orlando besides just Disney. When it came to places to visit LEGOLAND kept popping up.

We went right around opening time and I am so glad we did. The park was much bigger than I expected. It was perfect for my LEGO loving toddler. They had so many rides that really catered to his age. He got to even ride his first real roller coaster.

LEGOLAND had lots of things to do other than rides. They had LEGO areas to build and play, and also games to win prizes!

If you are planning to attend LEGOLAND, be sure to get the tickets for the water park as well. My son enjoyed himself more than I could have ever expected. The water park was perfect during this hot summer, getting to cool off in the middle of the day is exactly what we needed.

Another thing about LEGOLAND is that you need to bring mini figures. All of the workers have them in there ID, and you can trade! My son loved being able to trade and bring home a new mini-figure!

Sea World

I visited sea world years ago, so long ago that I didn’t remember it at all. I remembered was the whale show. I was excited to take my son and get to see what it was all about!

We visited sea world on our first day in Orlando. It was bigger than I remembered, and had much more to do! My son really wanted to touch a dolphin, he got his Mommas love for dolphins! Unfortunately, with the rain, our experience got canceled.

However, There was a ton of other fun things to do! We rode rides and got to watch a few great shows! My son’s favorite was the Sea Lion show. It was so adorable getting to see all the kids laugh.

My son did get to pet stingrays, which he thought was pretty cool! We saw a few animals we weren’t able to see at our local aquarium, my son was excited about that.

As soon as we left my son knocked out. He had so much fun he was exhausted! Getting to see his facial expression throughout the day of how excited he was, was priceless!

Vineland Outlets

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets® is regarded as one of the country’s most upscale outlet centers. A true shopping destination, the center is a must do for tourists and locals. Shop more than 160 outlet designer and name-brand outlet stores including Armani Outlet, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Calvin Klein, kate spade new york, Old Navy Outlet, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Tory Burch and Tommy Hilfiger. Enjoy exceptional brands at extraordinary savings of 25-65% every day for shopping that’s always worth the trip.

Another Must! SHOPPING. If you have ever been to Orlando in the summer, you are aware of the rain. With the weather going crazy, the rain on and off, Shopping is the perfect thing to do. On the Friday, we hit the outlet mall. I was shocked to see how big and packed it was! We could hardly find a parking spot, we actually did valet.

We went to a few places, but PUMA was our favorite. The prices were shocking, and the customer service was the best I have ever seen. The entire staff was so friendly and helpful. They made sure my fiance and I both found the perfect pair of shoes, which we did!

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sport lifestyle companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel, and accessories. It is committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting Creativity, SAFE Sustainability, and Peace, and by staying true to the principles of being Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport Performance and Lifestyle labels include categories such as Football, Running, Motorsports, Golf, and Sailing. Sport Fashion features collaborations with renowned designer labels such as Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and Tretorn. The company, which was founded in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs about 11,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in Herzogenaurach/Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com

Is there anything else you recommend doing in Orlando?