Interview With That Florida Guy and That Florida Girl
Social media makes it really easy to live vicariously through other theme park enthusiasts as they tour the parks in Orlando. Not only is it a fun thing to do between your own trips, it is also a good way to get dining recommendations and pick up on helpful travel tips.
Our UK friends Gary (That Florida Guy) and Becca (That Florida Girl) recently visited Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, and we eagerly followed along as they posted trip pics to Instagram and Twitter. We met Gary and Becca through social media and really enjoy watching their videos on YouTube.
We think they have a lot of fun information to share, so we got in touch with them when they got home to learn a little more about their recent trip and get tips that might be helpful for other overseas visitors.
Enjoy the interview!
How long have you been visiting Florida?
What is it about Florida that makes you choose that destination over others when you travel?
The magic of the theme parks. Our friends also make Florida a special place to visit.
Do you do anything special to prepare for a Florida trip?
We plan our trip vigorously. Every day is planned so we get the most out of our trip. We book ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations at Disney) in advance. Special events get booked early as well.
Do you prefer to stay at an on-site theme park hotel, an off-site hotel, or a vacation home?
We have always stayed off-site on International Drive. For 2017, we are planning to stay on-site at Universal Orlando Resort for the first time.
What is your favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World?
Becca likes to take in all the smells and sounds. As for me (Gary), I love a slow walk around Epcot with stops for drinks at the pavilions.
What is your favorite thing to do at Universal Orlando Resort?
Our absolute favorite thing to do at Universal Orlando is Halloween Horror Nights. We did five nights there in 2016! It would have been six, but Hurricane Matthew caused the park to close for a night.
Do you prefer visiting Florida during slow times or during special event times?
We always prefer September-October. Halloween Horror Nights is our favorite Universal event and Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is our favorite Disney event. We do the Food & Wine Festival and the rest of Epcot over 2-3 days.
What is the longest amount of time you have ever spent waiting in a ride queue? Was it worth it?
We waited 50 minutes for Soarin' at Epcot in Walt Disney World. It was our first time riding this attraction, and it was worth the wait. We loved it!
We waited 45 mins for Skull Island: Reign of Kong in Universal. Again, first time riding. The ride itself wasn't amazing, but worth queuing up to experience it. The Kong ride queue area is amazing!
Are there any other Orlando destinations that you like to visit outside of the two big theme parks?
Becca loves SeaWorld, and we visit Discovery Cove every year to do the dolphin swim and have a relaxing day. I'm a huge NFL fan, so I try to catch a game whilst there if I can.
Do you have a favorite meal from your last trip? What was it, and where did you get it?
Becca's favorite was LongHorn Steakhouse. She had a steak with mashed potatoes.
Mine was Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. I had fries and a Blue Plate Burger, which consists of a burger patty topped with grilled meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, sweet corn, and bordelaise sauce. I also had a chocolate stout to wash it down.
Do you have any packing tips for people who are planning a multi-week trip?
We always take an empty suitcase inside of our main suitcase so we have more room to bring things back. We also pay for an extra case on the way home.
Do you have any helpful theme park travel tips for people visiting from the UK?
Wear comfortable shoes! We made the bad shoe mistake our first year. Also be prepared for the heat. Us folks from the UK aren't used to the heat and humidity.
What is the one thing a first time theme park visitor should know before they get to the theme park?
It's important to research the park before you go so you're familiar with the layout. It helps to know where things are, especially if you're fast passing rides (at Disney) so you aren't running from one side of the park to the other.
Can you tell us a little bit about your YouTube Channel?
I initially started writing blogs about my trips on an Orlando Facebook page and got great feedback. A few readers suggested that I post video reports (vlogs) of my trips instead. It was a while until my next trip, but I decided to start the channel anyway. I began with video planning guides - tips, theme park overviews, etc. - anything I could do to help first timers or people with little knowledge. I missed out on so much during my first visit and don't want that to happen to others. I want people to fall in love with Florida just like I did.
Where can UO Fan Guide readers find you online?
You can always find us on social media:
Watch a Universal Studios Vlog From That Florida Guy
This video from That Florida Guy takes you on a trip to Universal Studios. For more videos like this, subscribe to That Florida Guy's channel on YouTube.