Hey travel friends!
We are so excited – tomorrow is a BIG day!
Our family of 8 will be heading out to Orlando for a big a vacation adventure.
We will be attending the Family Forward 2017 event in Universal Studios Orlando August 8 – 12th. But we are going early and staying a little late to take in just a bit more of Orlando.
The Family Forward 2017 event is an event for bloggers and their families to enjoy a VIP trip to Universal Studios for a fraction of the cost. In fact, the trip is valued at $2k per person, but we only had to pay $350 per person (our 2.5 year old was free) for $2,800 total.
They have done this in years’ past, but this is the biggest year yet with the trip being valued much higher than years past due to the extras that were added this year.
We started this blog because we wanted to share our love of travel, specifically family travel, specifically theme park travel. Theme park travel can be done very affordably and to get the most out of your time and money.
We love sharing and so we are thrilled that we get to go to Orlando and experience Universal Studios from a whole new experience and come back with tips galore for you to make the most of your trip too!
We will be sharing our adventures live on our Facebook page HERE and on Instagram HERE.
Kiz is holding down the fort on the other side of the country, continuing to share as well, but we encourage you to join us on this journey and see where Cassie and family are going to be next!
Here’s the full schedule for Cassie and family:
Friday, August 4th, 2017:
- Cassie and family boards the local train to the airport at 8 pm MST.
- They will board a jet plane for a 10:50 flight from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Orlando airport. The flight arrives on Saturday at 5:50 am EST. We opted for red-eye tickets because we saved $210 per ticket, which was basically 50% off the daytime tickets. When you are travelling with 8 people, this saves is over $1600! We also used airline credits (from voluntarily being bumped from flights in the past) and skymiles to fly everyone over for cheap!
Saturday, August 5th, 2017:
- Disney’s Magical Express will be picking us up from the airport at 6 am EST. We already have our DME baggage tags!
- We will be bused to Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort.
- When we check-in, we will pick up our personalized Magic Bands. We are arriving super early, so we will not be able to go to our room for many hours, however, Disney will hold our luggage while we enjoy the amenities of the resort. You can bet we will be eating, swimming and lounging all day Saturday.
- Saturday night, we will be in Disney Springs for dinner and dessert.
- We will then head back to our room for an early bedtime, packing our emjoi bags for each child with their daily necessities like themed snacks, personal fan, hat, jacket.
Sunday, August 6th, 2017:
- We will be waking up early and heading out on the buses early. My 13-year daughter and I will be going to Disney’s Hollywood Studios around 7:15 am, to be towards the front of the opening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Extra Magic Hours at 8am. We will be running to the Hollywood Tower of Terror (have I ever mentioned this was my favorite ride at Disneyland before? I am pretty sure I have :)) and the Aerosmith Rockin’ Rollercoaster.
- In the meantime, Alex (my husband) will be loading up 5 kids and head to Epcot with a stroller and supplies. He will line up early for Epcot to open at 9am.
- My daughter and I will leave Hollywood Studios right before 9am and run the 1-mile to Epcot and enter through the “lesser known” entrance through the International Gateway. This drops us into the World Showcase, so we will jog around the World Showcase to meet Alex and the other 5 kids at Test Track in Future World for our Fast Pass time of 9:25.
- We will ride Soarin’ and hang around Future World for a couple of hours, including our next Fast Pass for The Seas: Nemo and Friends. We will then catch rides, attractions, lunch, free international sodas and sites until our Character meet and greet Fast Pass time of 1:30 pm. We will hang out in the World Showcase for the rest of the day, squeezing Frozen in there somewhere. We will attempt to get Fast Passes as soon as we are allowed for this, but worst case, our plan is to grab some food and hang out in line and “rest.”
- We will watch the IllumiNations:Reflections of Earth show at closing. We will all get on a bus and Alex and the 5 kids will head back to the resort while my 13-year old and I head to Animal Kingdom for the final 3-hours for the Extra Magic Hours and enjoy Pandora: The World of Avatar at night. We will be there live on Facebook until midnight.
- Then back to the hotel to sleep-in!
Monday, August 7th, 2017 (This is our 18th Anniversary too!!)
- The next day, we will swim and enjoy the Disney resort for as long as possible!
- We will checkout at the very last minute and have them store our luggage while we enjoy one last meal in Disney Springs or at the resort.
- We will take the Uber Family ride (for car seats) to Universal Studios resort: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
- We will check-in and enjoy the luxuries of the resort and the amazing pool area, the food and the sites.
- That night, Alex and I will be going to a nice dinner, just the two of us (kids being babysat) for our 18th Anniversary!
- We will tuck in for the evening, perhaps ending with the Dive-In Movies at the resort (watching movies pool side).
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017:
- We will sleep in again, swim, relax, eat, play…whatever our hearts desire.
- Starting at 4pm that day, our conference begins.
- Check out the screenshot of our schedule through the Family Forward event.
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017:
Thursday, August 10th, 2017:
Friday, August 11, 2017:
Saturday, August 12, 2017:
Sunday, August 13th, 2017:
- This will be our last day in Universal Studios Orlando. The tickets we receive will be for two days of visits after the event with express passes, so we will use our last day of tickets on this day!
Monday, August 14th, 2017:
- Sleep in and checkout at the last possible time.
- Head over to the airport via Uber Family.
- Board our plane early evening and home late evening.
It will be a whirlwind of 11-days of pure fun and excitement and we are so excited.
I have so many, many things I can’t wait to share with you, but for the next week, follow along with us on Social Media and experience it all with us!