At the beginning of the month the Krieger family skipped town for an incredible trip to Universal Studios in Orlando.
This trip was the perfect late-winter getaway — a mix of sunshine, butter beer, and cousins. We saw dinosaurs, ate hot pretzels, and walked an average of 10 miles a day. By bedtime the kids were so tired they didn’t even have energy to complain about their brother stealing the covers.
We had such a fun time. We went with the extended Krieger family, which meant we faced the crowds and the lines with 14 people.
We broke the world record for most times saying “hurry up! keep walking! let’s catch up with the group!” within the first 10 minutes of day one.
These 14 people vary greatly in interests, stamina, and height. The height thing is usualy not even a topic of conversation, but it is very, very relevant in an amusement park. And even still, even though there was a decent group in the below 48″ demographic, another group above 48″, a group who never really wanted their feet to leave the ground thankyouverymuch, and yet another group who was happiest when upside down and on the verge of puking, EVEN STILL, we only split up to do different things a few times. That anecdote should tell you that these kids are happiest when they’re all together. That alone makes for a fantastic time, anytime, anywhere.
The moment we saw Hogwarts Thomas got into character as Malfoy. I spent the rest of the week regretting that we didn’t take him to Harry Potter World in costume.
How did we do it? How did we navigate three parks with 14 people, including ages children from ages 11 to 3? I don’t know. I have no idea. All I know is that we came home with everyone we left with, and with that as our bar we did great!
Speaking of rides and lines and keeping 14 people happy, I should point out that the Internet is positively swarming with helpful tips for visiting Orlando.
There are hundreds (NAY! Thousands!) of blog posts and probably TikToks on the subject. If that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for and Google’s algorithm sent you to this blog, I apologize. You have been lead astray. I have no tips.
If you know me at all you won’t be surprised to find out that I didn’t do one thing to prepare for our trip. Aside from checking the weather one time, and asking what time we need to walk out the door to be at the airport on time, I stayed far, far away from details.
I’m the kind of person who gets tired at the mere THOUGHT of planning, and never makes lists because they’re too constricting (if it’s important it’ll get done, ok?).
The great news is that God has gifted me a husband whose pulse quickens at the mere thought of 14 people, airline tickets, rental cars, hotels, park hours, and maximizing ride times.
For Tom, the best part of the trip was planning the trip.
That’s actually not true. Tom’s favorite part of the trip was probably seeing how absolutely crazy our 10-year-old went for roller coasters, or how our 8-year-old went down water slides for almost eight hours straight without taking any breaks. But a very, very close second was the hours he spent booking flights, rental cars, hotel rooms, tickets, carry-ons, and finagling which floats were the best for the lazy river.
My role is twofold — stay out of Tom’s way and do my best to keep up.
In fact, that might be my one tip: keep up with Tom, because he will leave you.