On our trip to Florida whilst staying in Sebastian, the boys decided to visit a waterpark in Orlando. Even though I love swimming I’m not a fan of waterparks, so I found an opportunity to spend a day shopping by myself.
Before making the decision to shop till I drop, I realised that a shopping day meant that I would have to brave it and drive in Orlando. I usually do not like to drive overseas but you cannot really get anywhere without a car in the States. It went great by the way.
So, after dropping the boys off, I steered the car towards the Orlando International Premium Outlets.
I’ve been to the Orlando Vineland Outlets two years ago and would say those are very similar to the International Premium Outlets. In my opinion, if you visit one outlet, then you really do not have any reason to go to another one.
It is an outdoors type of mall with corridors such as below one after another. You will find all kinds of brands there like Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Adidas, Vans, Converse and so on. If you get hungry, there’s a food court, Starbucks and other restaurants to choose from. I managed the outlets with just a Sierra and an apple, as my plan was to have lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. More on that in a coming up post.
Most of the shoe stores had deals that if you buy one pair, you will get another with 50% discount. If I were buying shoes for the whole family I guess this would be a good deal but as I was only interested in getting my son one pair so I gave it a pass.
When you go, you have to realise that these certainly are outlet stores. Which means that you will not find all styles there you might be wishing to buy. I’m really lousy at finding anything at sales and it seems that the same goes for me and outlets. I did find some make-up bags for my daughter from Victoria’s Secret and a Kate Spade bag for myself.
If you really are into branded stuff and want to get Hilfiger, Gant, etc. cheaper than in Europe, then do go. I saw people dragging suitcases into which they packed their shopping. So you could say that some people really do take their outlet shopping seriously. However, next time I will give these a miss.
After some time of visiting shops and coming out empty-handed – I jumped in my car and drove to The Mall at Millenia.
There is a huge carpark but it was already quite full. It was interesting to see security cars with blinking lights driving around. How awesome, security cars are something we certainly don’t have in Finland. Wouldn’t you rather park your car somewhere where you know someone will be keeping an eye on it?
I was quite impressed with the mall and regretted not coming earlier. It seemed that all the stores I would’ve ever wanted to find were here. Later, I felt sorry that I did not buy a pair of glittery Vans for myself, those were so cool. Macy’s had some great bag sales.
Christmas was still very present in the decorations.
There are all kinds of restaurants and a huge food court.
Unfortunately my phone rang way too soon and the boys informed me that they were ready and I should come pick them up. I grabbed a quick coffee-to-go and went on my way.
Our last shopping destination for the day was Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). Disney Springs is Disney’s restaurant, retail and entertainment venue. It has free entrance and parking. The area is undergoing expansion so not everything is ready yet.
I cannot say this is my favourite place. Unfortunately I did not realise I had already been there till I’d wandered around quite a bit. I then remembered that las time I’d decided it wasn’t worth visiting again.
Disney Springs is very crowded and expensive. A big beer would’ve cost 15 US dollars. What.
There are many busy restaurants to choose from.
You can even have a T-Rex experience while you dine. I actually wouldn’t mind having my dinner with dinos. Yet, don’t think you can just pop in. On their webpage, it says that reservations are recommended to be made 180 days prior to your visit. Woah!
We came here to visit the huge Disney store but there’s a Lego store too.
The Disney store is called World of Disney and it really has everything you would desire. Disney jewellery, luggage, clothes, tableware… the merchandise is endless and so is the store. There’s 12 rooms and it is the biggest Disney store on this planet. This store is my favourite part of Disney Springs and you can easily spend hours there.
There was even a beauty salon for little girls behind these curtains called Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. A “fairy-godmother” gives your child a princess make-over. These packages (hair, make-up, photos..) cost from 60 US dollars up to 200 US dollars. Boys can get a knight make-over too. Oh my.
I love these pink caps!
We walked all the way to the other side of Disney Springs and suddenly felt way too exhausted to walk back. Thank goodness there was a little boat that takes you across. It’s very slow though – you have to queue for a long time for it to first arrive and then to board and leave.
You won’t find any Disney characters at Disney Springs – you just have to visit Disney World for all that. Disney Springs is purely for you to spend, spend, spend.
It takes around 1,5 hours to drive to Orlando from Sebastian. At the end of the evening, I gladly let my husband drive back.
What’s your favourite shopping destination in Orlando?