There is no place in the world like Orlando. It is the happiest place on earth (yeah, we know that’s Disneyland, but let’s be honest—it’s really Walt Disney World); it’s the vacation capital of the world; it’s the Sunshine State, where the grass is green, the sky is blue, and the birds are always cheeping. So why do you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and not really in the mood to battle one more queue?
Fear not. Even the Day Three crash, when sleep deprivation from jet lag is at its most challenging and the initial excitement of actually being here again has begun to fade ever so slightly, there are simple things you can do that will take the pace down, mellow the over-stimulation, and let the child in you come out to play.
We know it’s scary to let that steely adult façade go, so we’ll build up slowly. Count backward with us as we tick off our Top Ten Ways to Feel Like a Kid Again:
10) Eat ice cream:It’s the simplest thing in the word if you’re a kid. Summer means ice cream, enjoyed with no thought for calories or the sticky mess it makes when it drips down your arm. If vanilla, chocolate or strawberry is the flavour of your childhood, get that. If you’ve yearned for Tutti Frutti or Rocky Road or Chocolate Fudge Ripple With Salted Caramel Swirl, get that. Want to go the whole hog (or, at least, feel like a hog)? Head to Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club resort for the massive Kitchen Sink ice cream challenge or to Sugar Factory at I-Drive 360 for a gigantic King Kong Sundae, an absolutely obscene assemblage of ice cream and a billion toppings, big enough to feed 12.
9) Play in the pool: You’ve planned for a year, you’ve paid thousands of pounds for flights and tickets, your finger has hovered over the Enter key waiting for the very second that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass+ booking can be made, and you’ve twisted yourself in knots arranging once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can post all over social media and make your friends weep silently with jealousy. You’re standing in the heart of the magic and the kids start in with “the mantra”. We know you’ve heard it, because they all say it: “When can we got back and play in the pool?”
What’s a grown-up to do? Easy. Take a deep, cleansing breath, put your iGadget, your beer, or your book down, and get yourself into that pool! Don’t lay on a lounger. Don’t top up your tan. Get in the pool and play with the kids. And have a hot dog for lunch.
8) Bang into something: We know there are times when you’d like to set your car to ‘ramming speed’ and take out your aggressions on other commuters, but in the ‘real world’ there are consequences for driving like a maniac. In Orlando, there are opportunities. No, not on I-4, but at places like Whirly Dome (bumper-car basketball and lacrosse), and the go-kart tracks at Fun Spot America and Magical Midway.
7) Cast a spell: Diagon Alley may win the award for the most realistic themed land in Orlando, but it’s also a great place to do something completely different, that doesn’t have to do with rushing to the next ride. Stop in at Olivanders, let ‘the wand choose the wizard’, and spend a few hours in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (just a short Hogwarts Express ride away) making magic happen. There are interactive elements all around both Harry Potter areas, and you will feel like a kid again when you cast the spell that makes them work.
6) Watch a Movie—Under the Stars! There are several locations around Orlando that show movies outdoors, and most are free. Many of the Disney resorts show their own movies, and anyone can attend, so grab some popcorn, throw a couple of beach towels on the ground, and enjoy! Go one better and attend the free Campfire Program at Disney’s Fort Wilderness’s Campfire Sing-Along, with Chip and Dale, a Disney movie, and marshmallow toasting over an open fire (for a small fee).
5) Get Wet! Do nothing but water rides at a park. Wear your swim costume and a tee-shirt, leave your car keys and your mobile phone in a locker, and spend an afternoon getting soaked to the skin. When you’re at a water park, don’t avoid the kid’s water play structure. Get right in there and let your inner child play!
5) Get your wacky-golf on: Sure, you’re happy to do this as an adult, but we’re acting like kids here, right? Kids aren’t restrained by ‘rules’, and mini golf is the perfect chance to break all the rules without damaging yourself or others. The rules say you should line up your putter and aim with skill. Kids say you should use your putter like a pool cue and shoot the ball in. Or putt between your legs while facing away from the hole. Or forget the putter and bowl the ball in. Play an entire round ‘wrong’. And bring your camera.
3)Try Something New: Kids are curious. Instead of shouting, “You’re not doing that!” at your inner child, say “Yes!” Try out one of those zippy little boats you can hire at Walt Disney World. Take a Master Builder class at Legoland. Sign up for a water skiing lesson at Orlando Watersports Complex. Learn to paddleboard or kayak at any one of dozens of places. Go indoor sky diving at iFly. Hire an ATV, Dune Buggy or Mucky Duck at Revolution Off Road and get filthy! Look adventure in the face and shout, “Let’s do it!”
2) Buy the Goofy hat: Or the Viking helmet with horns and braids. Or the bright yellow Minion hat with a giant googly eye. Or the sparkly tiara that didn’t cost a fortune but makes you feel like Cinderella. You know you’re not going to wear it once your holiday is over, we know you’re not going to wear it once your holiday is over, but you are going to wear it during your holiday, and there are few things that will make you feel more like a kid than dressing like a kid. And you’ll be amazed at how many adults smile at you while you’re wearing it.
1) Enter the Splash Zone: We’re not talking about the first 10 rows at Shamu Stadium here, we’re talking about those delightful splash pads kids can’t resist at Disney Springs, in Epcot, and in downtown Winter Garden. You know the ones; the squirty fountains that shoot up out of the pavement and beg you to run through them. Or sit on the spigot. Or dare your family members to put their face over the spigot and see who gets sprayed first. Worried you’ll look foolish running through the water with happiness written all over your face? Don’t. A kid wouldn’t care, and look at all the adults smiling at their joyful abandon. You deserve that kind of freedom, too.
These are the memories you’ll cherish forever. We promise.
What do you do to “feel like a kid again” when you’re on holiday in Orlando? Share in the comments, then join us on Attraction Tickets Direct’s discussion forums with all your questions, and all your answers!
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