Sunday, August 2, 2015

Florida Trip Report Part 6: Airboat Ride and the Largest McDonald's Playland in the World

Florida Trip Report:

Travel Hacking a Trip to Florida
Vacation music video
Disney's Contemporary Resort Review
Hyatt Place Daytona Beach Review
Part 1: Getting There, Poolside and Chef Mickey's
Part 2: Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
Part 3: Reunion and Beaches and Cream
Part 4: 'Ohana Character Breakfast and Heading to the Beach
Part 5: Daytona Beach Shores

Part 6: Airboat Ride and the Largest McDonald's Playland in the World

Our last day of vacation. :( We ate breakfast at the Hyatt Place Daytona Beach and checked out by 9:00 a.m. Our flight didn't leave until 6:00 p.m., so we had almost a full day to have fun!

I had booked us a morning airboat ride in Christmas, Florida. There are several airboat companies in this town on the St. Johns River, and we picked this area since it is between Daytona Beach and the Orlando Airport. (There are also several airboat places closer to Disney World in Kissimee, but those would have been a longer drive for us). Based on Trip Advisor reviews, I booked a 1-hour ride with Airboat Rides at Midway.

My youngest fell asleep on the way there:

When we arrived at Midway, this pig was there to greet us. He walks back and forth between the parking lot and the store.

We had a few minutes to observe the animals in the store before we got called to board our boat. There were snakes, birds, turtles and bees. The company had several airboats parked in back.

Our boat had 3 rows of seats and a large fan motor in the back. It sounded like a race car with a loud muffler.

Our kids were thrilled with the headsets we all got to wear--like the ones you would wear on a helicopter ride. We could hear the captain, and he could hear all of us speak as well. Except our kids thought it was cool to hear their voices over the microphones, and we had to keep reminding them to stop singing so that we could all hear the captain.

The only photo of all 5 of us on this vacation:

The airboat ride was thrilling. There were times when we were in wide stretches of the river where we traveled at a high speed. We saw quite a few alligators in the water, and a few on the banks of the river.

We also sailed slowly into quieter, woodsy areas of the river. Our captain talked about the history of the area and the wildlife we saw. When it was over, my oldest said, "Can we go on this again?"

The airboat ride was something I've wanted to do for a few years, and I'm glad we had a chance to do it on this trip!

After our ride, the captain let everyone hold this baby alligator:

We went back to the store to check out the animals again before leaving.

By this point, it was lunchtime and we decided to drive to nearby Titusville for lunch. We were craving Mexican food and we ate at a forgettable Mexican restaurant. We had planned on playing at a park on the beach with a view of Kennedy Space Center, but of course right after lunch it started raining! We thought about going to the Orlando Science Center since we could get in for free with our Perot Museum membership, but we would have only had an hour or so to enjoy it. So instead, we drove to the largest McDonald's Playland in the world:

It's only 15 minutes away from the airport. That entire french fry building above is the play area.

It was sort of like a Chuck E. Cheese, except with McDonald's food. A good portion of the play area was devoted to video games.

It had a bowling alley:

And a large fish tank in the dining area.

And a moon that sings and plays the piano:

This McDonald's has food that most other McDonalds' do not have, like pizza, sandwiches, pasta, etc.

The kids each ordered some ice cream (they had many flavors available besides the standard vanilla).

Before we left, we posed by the giant McCafe.

My overall impression of this McDonald's that boasts having the largest Playland in the world is that it was crowded and a little dirty. But if you have a rental car and some time to kill before your flight, it's an option to burn some energy.

Our flight home was uneventful. And since this is my last blog entry about this trip, our vacation is really over. :(

A few closing remarks:

*  I'm so glad we had the chance to stay in a new (to us) Disney resort that is on the monorail loop!

*  I'm glad we got out of the "Disney bubble" and experienced other things in the Central Florida area. When I was a kid, we did non-Disney stuff all the time since we always stayed off-site. But now, with so many Disney resorts and the Magical Express that whisks you away from all the non-Disney stuff, it's a lot harder. There is a lot of cool stuff in Central Florida!

*  I wished that my husband and I could have had a date night without the kids on this trip. We looked into the kids' clubs at Disney World, but the price for 3 kids was just too much. Our trips next year will incorporate more couple time.

*  I'm thankful for this points and miles hobby, and the blogs I read to help me figure this stuff out, because using miles and points on this trip helped save us a significant amount of money. And it enabled us to go to our reunion, which is a priceless experience.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip.

Over and out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a ton for such a nice post. Orlando Airboats tours. This is really a good idea to enjoy holiday with family and friends.There is many exciting things to do. Specially airboat rides orlando. It's really fantastic.