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    Thread: Where to stay and what to see in Orlando?

    1. 02-17-2012 08:35 AM #1
      I am planning a trip to Orlando in may.
      And I am wondering if anybody have any experinces they want to share ? What to see and what to do? And what not to do?

      Any good hotels to recommend?

      What car to rent etc?

    2. Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      02-17-2012 12:19 PM #2
      - FL is the rental car capital of the world so I wouldn't worry about it.

      -I usually stay at the Rosen Centre. It's more corporate/convention like but still a nice stay. You'll have a myriad options and price points on I-drive north of Sandlake; south of Sandlake Dr. is quieter and the price will go up.

      -I would not recommend the dinner/entainment shows. I just could not enjoy eating a steak while watching horses running around...the one I went to was somewhere in Kissimee.

      - The Florida Mall - self expanatory.
      - Amway Centre - Orlando Magic - self explanatory

      -downtown Orlando is actually north of the I-drive/tourist mecca. Different vibe and worth a visit - look for Church Street Station.

      - Orange Blosson Trail - or OBT (as known to locals) has a litany of strip clubs, pawn shops and strangely enough....a Volkswagen dealership in the middle of it all.

      Orlando pretty much opens up at night when everyone is back from the theme parks. BTW, there's a Sonic on I-drive in case you've seen the commercials but the stores keep eluding you.
      Last edited by BetterByDesign; 02-17-2012 at 12:22 PM.

    3. 02-18-2012 02:32 PM #3
      Thanks for the info.

      Anyone else have recomendations?

      Also would like to know whats worth seeing in daytrip range around orlando ?

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      02-18-2012 04:02 PM #4
      There are a few local places that you could check out.
      Not very touristy. Or at least they haven't been. Meaning, they're a little off the beaten path.

      Here are a few I like to visit whenever I'm back in town.

      Wekiwa Springs

      Winter Park, FL. Lots of cool shops and restaurants. Also the home of Rollins College.

      If you like film, check out the Enzian. Good food, wine and a movie.

      That's just a few. If you like those, I've got a ton more that I could suggest.

    5. 02-20-2012 05:22 AM #5
      Was also thinking about what parks are worth seeing like universial , disney etc? Is a trip to NASA worth it ?

      Any high stared hotels with pool to recomend?

    6. 02-21-2012 09:23 PM #6
      Ive stayed at a hilton about 4 years ago. I enjoyed it. I live in tampa so dont really have a need for a hotel.Tampa is only an hour away. we have Busch Gardens which is a must. Hotels in orlando have begun sneaking in parking fees within the past few years usually around $15-20 extra per night so plan accordingly.

      If you are looking for good bars in Orlando, look up Church Street as already mentioned.

      Universal and universal islands of adventure can both be seen in the same day if you get there when the gates open.

      Seaworld is cool.

      Daytona beach is a few hours distance as well.

      Not sure what else to say. Keep asking questions.

    7. Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 09:57 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosscroft View Post
      Daytona beach is a few hours distance as well.
      I found heading to the coast and a couple of hours at Daytona's racetrack a welcome change from Orlando and the theme parks.

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      02-23-2012 12:34 PM #8
      Stayed in a home rental near Celebration, FL last year. There's a ton of Brits with property in the area that lease it out super-cheap.

      4 BR, 3 BA, pool, grill, foosball, billiards--$560 for 7 days. I went in March to see Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney. Clearwater Beach is an easy drive from there. Cocoa Beach is close on the Atlantic side if you prefer.

      I always like to eat at Roy's (Yamaguchi) when in Orlando.
      http://www.roysrestaurant.com/index.asp

      I cannot honestly think of any other places I would want to eat in Orlando. Maybe the place with all you can eat lobster or Perkin's for the hot waitresses...

    9. 02-24-2012 02:07 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by smittyATL View Post
      Stayed in a home rental near Celebration, FL last year. There's a ton of Brits with property in the area that lease it out super-cheap.
      Please, that is NOT Celebration. Sort of like a dump ex-Day's Inn at Old Town calling themselves Celebration Suites.

      I always like to eat at Roy's (Yamaguchi) when in Orlando.
      http://www.roysrestaurant.com/index.asp

      I cannot honestly think of any other places I would want to eat in Orlando. Maybe the place with all you can eat lobster or Perkin's for the hot waitresses...
      Roy's is Good, and anything near Roy's will be a lot better than Perkins, which I wasn't aware was known for having hot waitresses

    10. Member brickfrenzy's Avatar
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      03-02-2012 04:35 PM #10
      Kennedy, Lego Land and Busch Gardens in Tampa all make for excellent day trips. If you go to Kennedy, spring for the extra dough to do the Up-Close tour, if they're still allowing people into the Vehicle Assembly Building. That place is phenomenal.

      I went to Universal Studios on a Wednesday in January and the place was so empty as to be almost creepy. I was able to do the entire park in about 4 hours. Islands of Adventure will take longer, particularly if you're interested in the Harry Potter ride. However, IoA does a lot of "single rider" lines, so you can typically bypass many of the long waits if you and your party don't mind splitting up. In May, I don't think you'll be able to do both halves of Universal in 1 day and still experience everything.

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      03-10-2012 12:12 AM #11
      Good Places to Eat:

      BJ's Brew Pub in Kissimmee has the best pizza that I know. They have other good things to eat too and their own, very excellent beer that they truck in from one of their other locations. They are several miles south of Orlando, just off the John Young Parkway that runs N-S.

      The best Italian food place for us is Macaroni Grill on Hwy 192. I like the chicken marsala and their own house brand of wine. They give you fresh baked bread to dip in a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesian cheese. I could eat only that and wash it down with the wine. They will put the bottle on the table and you can refill your glass yourself which I do, to the top.

      Orlando Ale House on International Drive is very good too. They have other locations in the area.

      There is an ice cream stand on 192, looks like a big ice cream cone. They have frozen custard as good as any here in Wisconsin.


      Things to do when you are done with the main tourist attractions:

      Drive up and down I-Drive and see the sights.

      Drive on Hwy 192 from Hwy 27 to St. Cloud or go the other way. Hwy 192 is loaded with motels, trailer resorts, gas stations, restaurants, flea markets, shlock shops (souvenir stores), taverns and more. You can live it up by buying a gallon (or a quart) of orange juice at the big orange place on 192. I-Drive, if you can follow a couple of turns, becomes I-Drive South and connects with Hwy 192.

      Park your car free at Disney's Boardwalk and check out the shops there and take a walk around Crescent Lake (correction, not Lake Buena Vista). You may need to get your car past a guard which is no problem if you don't look like or drive trash. Just tell him if he asks, that you want to eat at the brew pub.

      Check out Downtown Disney at night just off Lake Buena Vista Drive. Parking is free. It's a relaxing place to slow down and catch your breath after working hard as a tourist during the day. They have various shops including Disney souvenirs, McDonalds, Wolfgang Puck restaurant, a Ghiradelli chocolate and ice cream store and more.

      If you like flea markets, there is a really big one under cover in Sanford. It is open during weekends. There is a smaller one that we like too, in St. Cloud also open on weekends.

      Check out Old Town at night but daytime is ok too. Old Town is loaded with souvenir shops, restaurants and carnival rides (some are quite unusual) and no vehicle traffic on the main street. Parking is free. Check their web site to see which is bike night and which is car night. Old Town is on Hwy 192.

      Ride around in Celebration to see how some of the 1% live. You will need a GPS to find your way out. They have some shops and restaurants to check out.

      Be on the lookout for an Orlando & Kissimmee Guide Map for free. It will have a partially orange colored cover. Some places have them or you might find one where there is a cluster of outdoor windowed, hinged door boxes with free visitor literature.

      If we didn't have a dog, we'd stay in an Extended Stay where you get cooking facilities and pretty good rates. There is one a few blocks off of I-Drive but there are more in the area.
      Last edited by Tinker Toy; 03-11-2012 at 05:42 PM.

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      03-10-2012 01:10 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Teigas View Post
      Was also thinking about what parks are worth seeing like universial , disney etc? Is a trip to NASA worth it ?
      Yes, all of these things are worth seeing at least once. We have been to Disney at least 3 times and Epcot, a few more than that. We went to Universal Studios once shortly after they first opened and not again. NASA was good too but only once; same with Sea World. NASA does not change a little like Epcot can and does. Tastes differ and I can't say what you will like. I do not regret seeing what we did see only once. It has to be done so you can say that you did it. We have friends who completely disliked Disney. I feel sorry for them in that they can not let themselves be taken back for even a few moments to their childhood. All of these things must be a shared experience.

    13. 03-10-2012 02:44 AM #13
      Thanks for all the info, its great to her from people who have been there and have good recomandations.

      We are 3 people, and I think I have found the place to stay:
      http://offers.floridaysresortorlando...rade-floridays

      Any one have any experinces with theese?

      Looks nice, because we get a bed room each, and for the same price that you will get a hotel room with 2 double beds.

    14. Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      03-22-2012 03:07 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Toy View Post
      Good Places to Eat:

      Ride around in Celebration to see how some of the 1% live. You will need a GPS to find your way out. They have some shops and restaurants to check out.
      I thought it was just me.

    15. 03-22-2012 04:04 PM #15
      celebration scared the sh*t out of me!......we went there for dinner at the italian place by the lake
      the place has 'pre-fab planned community" all over it

      I expected the stepford wives to be at their doorsteps...........

      and yes we couldn't find our way out of the spooky place

      and a 1 mile away is that tourist getto..........

    16. Member FLY-GTI1's Avatar
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      03-23-2012 09:02 AM #16
      I own a 2bdrm/2bath unit in Bahama Bay Resort & Spa (www.bahamabay.com). Close to theme parks but a nice break from the in your face Disney feel of many other places. My unit is in a perfect location within the resort (screened in porch overlooks pond, 30 second walk to pool/jacuzzi/fishing dock on lake/restaurant). Anyway, IM me if you want a price (prob around $70/night) and actual pics. NOT a timeshare resort so you won't waste a half day listening to that nonsense once you arrive.
      '92 500E, '91 Ranger
      Disney villa in Bahama Bay Resort & Spa - rent directly from me - 2bd/2bth - sleeps 6 - will beat rate from resort, orbitz, etc and you'll get my unit in BEST spot within resort. I use on-site mgmt company so pay upon check-in....easy peasy. IM for detailed pics.

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