I started this summer in the States which I consider my second home! My parents have had a house in Orlando for as long as I can remember so every year it our first stop. There is always an endless list of different things we want to do every year and we always leave wanting to do more the next time!
Disney World is obviously a must when in Orlando but after the many years of going to the parks we have narrowed down the one best for our group as we are all older and usually go into Disney for lunch & dinners. One of our favourite locations is the Disney Boardwalk which is super chilled during the day, you can go for lunch and walk around the beautiful lake. New to Disney World this year was Disney Springs which was formerly know as Downtown Disney. The new additions have made it a really cool place for late night shopping with a huge Zara, Sephora and Free People which is amazing as it's only available online in Scotland! There are also new restaurants for dinner and drinks including STK and Morimoto Asia which both have a more sophisticated feel which is a change from the casual American grills. My favourite new addition has to be Sprinkles Cupcakes! After seeing their cupcake ATM's all over Instagram from their stores in LA and New York, I could not wait to try it out! The store was queued out the door and so was the ATM but it was well worth the wait! This is the only hole in the wall the world needs.
Another new experience this year was the Orlando City soccer game. This was one of my favourite nights, before the game we walked through the city where people were tailgating and I've never seen such a supportive and encouraging crowd which is the way it should be! If you follow me on Snapchat (@simonemcdowall) you will have seen me joining in with crowd chants!
We have our traditions too! Celebration Town is one of my favourite places ever. It's the most perfect little town with colourful buildings in the centre and traditional white american houses with white picket fences. We usually go for brunch and then stop at our favourite ice cream spot, it makes for the perfect Sunday! Another of my favourite places is the Mall at Millennia for all the best designer boutiques like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Bloomingdales which stock some of my favourite brands like Sandro and Maje. I much prefer the Florida Mall for high street stores like Zara and H&M, so two shopping days are completely necessary!