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Cassidy Travel Stories: Orlando

Here at Cassidy Travel, it is not just our customers who get to enjoy the world of travel. We love sending our team members on adventures with their loved ones and hearing all about it. Sarahjane from our Ilac Centre branch is recently back from a trip to Orlando with her family. Read about her experience here:

Dublin > Orlando:
The 9 hours across the Atlantic on an Aer Lingus Airbus 300 flew by with great entertainment and onboard wifi for only €7. We arrived at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and our bags were taken to our spacious rooms by the friendly staff.

orlando holidays

Day One
We kicked off the day with a large and varied breakfast in Amatista Cookhouse at the hotel. We were taken to CityWalk in Universal Studios by the hotel water taxi. This service is free when staying in any Universal hotel and runs every half an hour. We had the amazing opportunity to sample the ‘VIP Experience’ at Universal Studios. This meant we were personally escorted on a guided tour through the park as well as priority front-of-the-line access to rides and attractions during the tour.

We journeyed between the two parks on the Hogwarts Express before settling down for an evening meal in Cowfish on CityWalk. This restaurant offered a delicious combination of sushi and beef or even a sushi roll made with beef!

Day Two

We set off on foot to see the Universal Hotels. All of the hotels are in close proximity and very accessible. Each has poolside entertainment, free water taxi transportation and free access into CityWalk’s entertainment venues. The Universal characters pay a visit to each of the hotels. We had the pleasure of breakfast with Scooby and Shaggy one morning. If you want to go shopping, any purchases made throughout the resort can be delivered to your hotel room free of charge.

One of our favourite aspects of our stay was “Dive in Movie Time” where you can enjoy a Universal movie in the pool with light refreshments.

Other Universal Hotel Options

Cabanas Hotel 3* – Affordable 50s style hotel, beach style pool, bowling alley and one of the best gyms in the resort with a huge variety. Family rooms with a full view of the new Universal Park Vulcano bay.

Royal Pacific Hotel Resort 3* – Hawaiian themed with beach style pool, laid back and surrounded by palm trees. Poolside activities and games room.

Portofino Hotel 4* – Romantic Italian feel, active pool area with a Roman slide for the kids. All the pools are child-friendly, although most kids here spend their time at the active beach leaving the pool area for parents to relax. From the moment you disembark the water taxi, it feels like you are stepping into a tiny Italian town. This hotel boasted spa treatments and a sunset opera.

Hard Rock Hotel *4 – buzzing with the latest pop chart music from the moment you enter.

holidays to orlando

Night Two

We ate in NBC Sports Grill and Brew. There are TV screens everywhere in sight streaming all the live sports. The menu had plenty of dishes to choose from but a must order is the ‘Poutine’ consisting of fries, beef, gravy, and cheese. A great comfort food. That night we hit up karaoke in the ‘Rising Star’ and I was brave enough to get up and sing. They have a live band and backup singers. the only thing missing was Simon Cowell. The Americans get so into character when they have their chance to get up so you must visit even if you don’t sing.

Day Three

We headed back to Universal Studios for day three of our trip. You don’t have to be a thrillseeker to brave the rides in Universal. There are plenty of simulators and water rides to impress you without having to strap into a rollercoaster.

My Favourites:

1. Universal Island of Adventure
Jurassic Park River Adventure, be ready to get wet on this one. It takes you through the storyline of the movie and at the end the climax is a massive drop where you will get splashed.

2. The Incredible Hulk
Don’t get him annoyed or he might blast you into the air and turn you upside down instantly. I really enjoyed this experience and was so glad I got my chance to try it.

3. Revenge of the Mummy
This indoor roller coaster gets a 10/10 from me. I didn’t expect it to be so entertaining, taking us through a speeding black out experience while gripping on with fear from the creepy beetle noises and fire breathing mummies.

4. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
You’re guaranteed to get wet on this ride no one is safe from being untouched. We laughed our heads off, even on the second round. Yes, it was such fun we had to do it twice.

5. Diagon Alley
The detail that goes into this area of Harry Potter is unbelievable. You can have your wand chosen especially for you in Ollivanders. Get some money from the goblin bank, you don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to visit. Although I’m sure just like me you’ll want to come home and watch all the harry potters.Night Three 

On the last night, we ate in ‘the toothsome chocolate emporium’. I had an ice cream called may contain nuts. It was peanut butter ice-cream with Reece cup and was so yummy we all joined in and had a taste. It was so big it fed all 17 of us. Don’t be fooled by the name there is plenty more on the menu from savoury dishes to a large selection of Milkshakes and cocktails.

The Blue man Show
A must see. It was fun to watch the lads get up to lots of tricks while the hip music plays in the background. They added good humour to a performance that is completely child-friendly. At the end of the performance, everyone is in such good form and the lads finish off the show throwing large balloons and tissue rolls. Everyone is working together to keep the good times rolling.

It was sad to leave the gang in the end. Orlando was an amazing experience and I just want to thank Ivan Beakom and Dave Cole for the amazing opportunity to visit Universal Studios Orlando Via Aer Lingus.

Sarahjane Jones
Cassidy Travel
Ilac Centre

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