Universal was the highlight of my Orlando trip, and not just because I'm a huge Harry Potter fan ( but that was a big part of it). The whole atmosphere of Universal was amazing, wide streets made it feel like there were less people- and the buildings made it seem like an actual street. Characters stood on corners for pictures, and all the staff I spoke to were really helpful and nice. The food was actually really good, and pretty normal priced. And there were so many places to eat and rides to ride. There's no way you could fit a park-to-park trip in one day and get the whole thing done.
If you're looking for the best ride, my suggestion is to head into Diagon Alley and get on the Escape from Gringotts ride, the animations were amazing. Even if you aren't a big fan it is well worth the experience. And if you're into butterscotchy cream soda don't miss out on the butterbeer!
During my week in Orlando, that's right I went to Disney, i had the realization that a 30 minute cab ride with traffic is somewhere around $100. I ain't got that kind of money. So I tried using both services, in order to save as much as I could.
In signing up for Uber and Lyft, there are ways you can get FREE MONEY CREDITS. I signed up for Lyft with instagram code INSTA20, which gave me $20, which ended up being a round trip to Epcot from my hotel, about a 10-15 min drive. Then I referred a few friends and got additional credits. The same worked with Uber, though there was an automatic free ride with signing up, and more per referral. However there are a few things you need to know...
PROS: CHEAP, some really nice drivers. No cash needed as its all through the app-including tips. You can electronically split the bill for a carpool, making it really simple and kind of fun. Drivers and riders are rated by each other in order to keep everyone happy, if your driver score gets too low you are fired, and if your rider score gets too low you cant get rides, so be nice. The app lets you see the car approaching, and even tells you what car to look for and who is driving it. While driving, it shows you the route of the car!
CONS: There is no "meter" on the app, but you can download apps that guesstimate the expense if you keep them running during your trip, I use an app called Meter. The drivers can sometimes be sketchy or rude, despite the rankings. I had a first time driver, which was a little troubling. Luckily he turned out to be nice, but I wish there had been some sort of training period to make sure that he was qualified. He also did not know the rules about payment and toll roads, which customers are automatically charged for through the app. That led to a lot of confusion, and I wish Uber had better handled the training and initiation of new drivers. Also, I pre-ordered an Uber ride, and was given no updates about confirmation or any information until 5 minutes before my scheduled time, and then when my driver arrived it was his first day driving- plus he was new to the country, which was a little worrisome as he barely knew the area better than I did.
I can't say for certain which service is better, but I know a lot of it depends on your location. Some places have both, some have neither, If you're in a place with both, I'd recommend doing what I did and trying to get the most bang for your buck. Cost is pretty similar, and way cheaper than a cab.
I WENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL, which was cool in theory... but average in person. Yes, the food and drinks were awesome and the architecture "around the world" was gorgeous, but everything was extremely expensive and there was nothing to do except for eat unaffordable food. By noon the place had reached such a high capacity that I had to physically hide in order to eat my awesome Japanese Sushi roll.
I did love EPCOT, but there is just not enough to do for a days worth of activities, once you do one lap around the world you're pretty much done- and broke. But it's definitely a place you need to see at least once, but I'd say skip the festival and go during off season
Manassas Battlefield has beautiful trails that venture through all kinds of different scenery. On just one of the 6 mile trails you could walk through a dense forest, empty field, dirt road, or grassy valley. The trails are relatively flat, which makes for an easy day hike. Plus, there are so many trail options, all of which have historical plaques along the way narrating events that took place during the Civil War. Since its a historical park, the Visitor Center doubles as a museum, and along the trails there are a few really interesting houses and buildings from the time period.
Most importantly dogs love it!
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