Aer Lingus and Orlando Flexticket ran their seventh annual educational trip to Orlando recently. The group travelled direct from Dublin to Orlando having pre-cleared US Customs and Immigration at the CBP facilities in Dublin Airport’s T2.
All arrived safely in MCO Terminal A baggage hall and proceeded to the brand new Universal Resort hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which would accommodate the agents for the night. The hotel is ideal for families and facilities range from the expected to the not so expected – an on-property bowling alley! All reminiscent of a 1950s-style property, which is what the property is styled on.
The next day was spent at SeaWorld to see all the beautiful animals and sea life, including the fantastic ‘One Ocean’ show featuring some acrobatics by Orca whales and Blue Horizon where the dolphins took centre stage. Not forgetting Antarctica – Empire of the Penguins – a real treat for children.
Next stop was Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark where the group were able to rediscover their youth by getting on the waterslides from various heights, including the brand new Ihu’s Breakaway Falls.
Later that day the group relocated a short distance away to the Hard Rock Hotel – another of Universal’s onsite properties. This property is fantastic with music even playing underwater in the hotel pool, great for all the rock chicks and punks out there. That evening all were treated to a fantastic dining experience at the newly opened Cowfish Restaurant on Citywalk – a great combination of beef and fish meals. The evening was rounded off with a visit to the ever popular Blue Man Group performance.
The next day was spent at Universal Studios where Despicable Me, Shrek, Transformers and The Simpsons were among the attractions viewed by the group. The newly opened London and Kings Cross Station was where all were transported magically from Platform 9¾ to Hogsmeade – a real treat for the Harry Potter Fans.
The evening was spent having a fabulous meal in Citywalk’s Mexican Restaurant Antajito’s before finishing the night in Rising Star, a karaoke bar with a live backing band. SeaWorld’s Michaela Gray was able to sing with the best of the American Idol wannabes!
On Sunday the group headed south to Tampa and Busch Gardens where everyone got to feed giraffes and see some jungle animals, including tigers, cheetahs, gorillas and Orangutangs. Plus the obligatory themed roller coasters that run throughout the park. Falcon’s Fury is the new attraction and guaranteed to get the pulses racing.
The last morning, after some site inspections of the other Universal resort hotels (Royal Pacific Hotel and Portofino Bay Hotel), the trip was almost over but there was some obligatory shopping at Premium Outlets and Florida Mall before all were checked in on the direct Aer Lingus flight to Dublin to retell their story to the envy of their co-workers. Once again, the comment “Best Fam Ever” was a phrase mentioned by more than one of the agents onboard. All they had to do was partake in the booking incentive… and it could be YOU next time!
The trip was led by Ivan Beacom, Aer Lingus; Dave Cole, Universal; and Michaela Gray, SeaWorld.
Aer Lingus flies direct from Dublin to Orlando four times per week in summer 2015. Aer Lingus via JFK with Jetblue operates daily for alternate options from Dublin and Shannon.
Orlando Flexticket Plus includes unlimited access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Aquatica, Wet ’n’Wild and Busch Gardens for 14 days.