August 22, 2011
In September of 2010, my husband and I took our son on his first vacation to Orlando, Florida. My husband was sent to a conference at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and our 3 year old son and I tagged along for the trip.
It was my son’s first time on an airplane, and I packed a lot of little toys and snacks for the ride, but he was mostly content staring out the window. He loves airplanes and was so excited to fly on one. When we arrived at the hotel, I was thrilled with how beautiful it was; it has an Italian theme, so there are Vespa scooters all around that Jack liked to climb on, a water taxi to drive you to a shopping and theme park area, great Italian food and treats at the many restaurants, and a beautiful, lush beach pool area, complete with water slides. My son and I spent the days my husband had to work at a beautiful beach pool, playing in the sand, going down the slide, and enjoying the water. A kids’ pool coordinator was there during the day, and Jack got to join in on games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “Simon Says,” which he really enjoyed.
The Portofino Bay is a Universal Studios resort, and the water taxi takes you right from the hotel to the gates of the amusement park. We spent a day there, and we all had a great time. There was plenty for a 3-year-old to do: they have a huge Dr. Suess area, with lots of fun colorful kid rides, a Marvel comic area, where Jack got to meet his hero, Spiderman, and other caped crusaders, but Jack’s favorite part was the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster in the Harry Potter section. It was my son’s first roller coaster, and I wasn’t sure how he’d do, but he LOVED it. We rode it 16 times, which was possible because one of the perks of staying at a Universal resort is it gives you Express access at the park, putting you at the front of the line on most major rides. It was a huge benefit, and it enabled my husband and I to take turns trying some of the big roller coasters, since the other one didn’t have to wait long with our son.
Universal Studios is by an area called CityWalk, which is filled with fun restaurants like Hard Rock and Margaritaville, as well as lots of shops, games, and fun things to see and do. The water taxi stops there as well, so we took several trips to CityWalk, trying out different restaurants and exploring.
We spent five nights in Orlando, and it was a great trip. We really enjoyed the Loews Portofino Bay and would love to stay there again in the future. Jack is already asking to return to Orlando, and hopefully we will soon!