Watch the MINI vlog from our recent Orlando trip here!
Work took me to Orlando so of course, I had to bring Mike along! We stayed at Aloft Orlando Downtown (Marriott), which is only about 20 minutes from the airport and less than a 5-minute walk to the heart of the city and so close to other beautiful spots like Lake Eola.
I am not sure if the hotel is new but it looked pretty modern! Check in was a breeze and they have a cute spot across from the check-in desk with a ton of food, drinks, snacks (Halo ice cream and much more), and alcoholic beverages as well. There is an outside pool, which looked pretty nice, and a bar that was very popular in the evenings. The lounge area features a pool table, which Mike used for hours on one of the days I was working. I used the business center and was surprised to know that printing is free! I usually print things ahead of time on business trips but I had a few things to print so it was a nice surprise to know that I didn’t have to pay out of pocket for it.
FYI: Parking is only available through Valet. However, it’s a flat fee of $26 per day so it’s similar to a standard daily parking fee.
The room was nice and had huge windows. I love big windows, yay for natural sunlight! We received complimentary water bottles, in-room tea and coffee, and shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars. They had extra rolls of toilet paper in the room available. I know that sounds standard but you would be surprised how many hotels don’t provide complimentary water bottles or shampoo/conditioner. It’s always a gamble! I also hate having to call for extra toilet paper or towels so I am glad that the hotel room had plenty available. The only thing I did not like was that the bathroom door was a sliding door and had a slight gap between the door and the end wall. It can be just a tad awkward if you are sharing the room with anyone.
Dinner in Winter Park
We met up with my bestie at the Burger Fi in Winter Park. If you haven’t been to Burger Fi before, it’s a chain and there may be one near you. Prior to this trip, I had only tried their fries.
Mike, Jenny, and I all got the Beyond Burger. The burger patty is 100% plant-based from Beyond Meat. The toppings are the classic burger toppings like lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. We got loads of fries, a milkshake and a bottle of wine. If you go to Burger Fi, make sure to download their app to view their deals – especially if it’s your first time there…yay for freebies!
Who doesn’t love ice cream!? Especially when the shop is very Instagram-able! My friend recently visited the ice cream shop and recommended it to us. It offers handmade ice cream, including several vegan options.
I had 1 scoop of black ash coconut (vegan), which are coconut and activated charcoal and 1 scoop of Ube. I added caramel stroopwafel as a topping.
Mike had 1 scoop of black ash coconut and 1 scoop of a peanut butter flavor (I don’t remember the name).
The shop has non-vegan options as well and lots of toppings to pick from!
The area, in general, had a lot of cute shops and signs all around.
Travel Tip: when I travel I always check Groupon for the deals available in the area. I found a Groupon for two movie tickets at a The Cobb’s Plaza Cinema Café 12 movie theater that was less than a 5-minute walk from my hotel. After using a discount code the total for two tickets came out to $8! Watching a movie after 8+ hours of work was a perfect way to relax.
The movie theater had the couch/luxury seating (yay) and you picked your seat when purchasing your tickets. We usually don’t order food at the theater but the prices were actually decent so we ordered mozzarella sticks, tater tots, and a drink to share. I’ve never seen a theater provide a tray for your food that fits into your seat, which was pretty cool and convenient!
We watched Fighting with My Family, which is based on WWE’s Paige story. The movie was actually a lot better than what I thought it would be. Fun fact, because I watch reality shows I actually know a few wrestlers and their stories. I use to watch Hulk Hogan’s family reality show on VH1 (I think) and watched Total Bellas and Total Divas on the E!, so I knew of Paige. I didn’t fully know her debut story though so that was interesting. Mike said he had doubts about the movie pick in the first 10 minutes but by the end of it he actually enjoyed it and thought it was pretty good.
I noticed there was a Walhburger across from the movie theater so I suggested to Mike that he eat lunch there the next day while I was at a work thing. Mike is a Mark Walhburg fan and was pretty excited to eat there since we don’t have one in our area (I could be wrong). Mike has a super outgoing personality so he can make friends almost anywhere he goes. He befriended the waitress and hostess and got a few freebies added to this meal. He tried the Impossible burger for the first time and loved it. Best part? He brought me an Impossible burger and saved me a part of his Grilled Fluffanutta. What is a Gilled Fullanutta you ask? It’s a fresh sliced banana, peanut butter, fluff, and Nutella perfecting put into a dessert sandwich.
We decided to book an Airbnb for our last night in Orlando. We knew we wanted to fit in a little Disney in our trip so we wanted to be closer to the theme park area. We LOVED our Airbnb. So much that we started looking on Zillow to see how much the average price was in the neighborhood. We have a list of the places we usually stay in when we travel to Orlando and we will definitely be adding this place as our Airbnb option for Orlando.
We always to try to fit in a little walk through Disney Springs. Anyone else still wants to call it Downtown Disney sometimes? It’s always nice to see the new merch in the story and there are still so many food places I have tried there. We ordered a drink at Paradiso 37 since Mike had never been before. We then went to eat at The Polite Pig. Mike has been dying to eat there on our last few trips and we finally did! There was a bit of a wait but the food was so good. 10/10 recommend.
I’ve eaten at every Disney restaurant that offers character dining except Cinderella’s castle and Chef Mickey’s is definitely in my top 5 best picks. I lost count of the number of times I went there with family, friends, and while I was in The Disney College Program. Mike had never been and we love being able to interact with the classic characters. Should I make a blog post on my top Disney restaurant picks? Or maybe tips on how to get the most out of character interactions?
Watch the MINI vlog from our Orlando trip!