Orlando, FL summer vacation tips?

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9,365
Location
USA
I'm going to go to Orlando, FL from 6/10-6/17. This will be my second trip to Orlando and to Florida. First trip, all I did was go to Disney world for four days and stopped by Daytona Beach on the way back to TN. Oh, I already booked tickets to Kennedy Space Center and to watch the space shuttle launch on 6/13/09. After researching for a few hours, I'm overwhelmed by all the tourist traps there. Any must sees while I'm there? I went to Universal and Sea World in California three years ago and ate at In and Out burger . So I'm assuming the Orlando versions of those theme parks are the same?
 
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5,948
Location
Texas Hill Country
We went to Orlando last june. We went to Universal Studios. I would say it isn't worth it. Overpriced tickets, overpriced parking, and the wait for any ride is 90+ minutes. Then they wanted to charge you more (on top of a $100 per person ticket) to make reservation times at the rides. They call it fast-pass or something. We drove to the beaches on the east coast of florida, we did not like cocoa beach at all. These guys from Ron Jon surf shop were bothering people on the beach non stop to get them to go to their "club" and their "hotel". Plus the beach was not that great either. Many of the areas in Orlando itself are very tourist trappy. We did go to the Central Florida Zoo, about a 20 minute drive from orlando. It was pretty decent, and a good value for the money. We drove to the West Coast of Florida, and found that to be a much nicer place. Saint Pete Beach, Tampa. Amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico, warm water, white sand. There are plenty of little privately owned restaurants that serve excellent food. I would consider a move to the Tampa area in a heartbeat. Orlando is way more touristy, and attracts more of a criminal element in a lot of areas.
 
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1,270
Location
Basehor, KS
We liked the Central Florida zoo, Homosassa Springs Park (manatees), and the New Smyrna beach because it was less crowded. Best memories are not from the commercial attractions. Because we were camping, we spent a lot of time in the Florida state parks, and enjoyed them, too.
 
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7,550
Location
North Alabama
Everything in Orlando is overpriced, but that's just the way it is. Do you have kids? If so, definitely go back to Walt Disney World. They always have something new. My family and I go to WDW every chance we get, and I don't regret a single over-priced trip. Heck, my wife and I would go to WDW if we didn't have kids. We even went there for our honeymoon in '00. We did an all-inclusive deal and stayed at the Grand Floridian. It was frickin' awesome! Seaworld is fun, too. They actually have a cool roller coaster.
 
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1,454
Location
Vermont
You couldn't pay me to go to Orlando theme parks in the summer. It has all the things I despise including oppressive heat, large crowds, long lines, and everything is overpriced. About four years ago we decided to do an "old school Florida vacation" so we loaded the kids into the family station wagon and headed north a little east of Tallahassee and spent several days just slowly tubing down the spring-fed Withlacootchee river. Then we stopped at Weeki-Watchee just north of Tampa and took in the sights and the mermaid show (it was like stepping back into the 60's). Here is a tip: The first two weeks of December are the absolute best time to visit Florida theme parks. The weather is great, no crowds, and sometimes you can just stay on a ride over and over again because there is no one in line. Just be sure to go in early December because once the kids get out of school for Christmas break the parks become much more crowded. Since you are already booked just make the best of it and have a great time. I may be biased, but if Orlando gets too hectic the beaches in the Sarasota/Bradenton area are not as touristy and are second to none.
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
All I can say is this: 1) enjoy yourself, and 2) be very careful. We have an old saying down here -- "go to Florida on vacation -- then go home on probation". Feel free to PM me if you're wondering. In my own defense, I am a defense lawyer myself. Though I've never made it onto probation myself (knock on wood), I'm not just blowing smoke. . . Please do enjoy your vacation -- and don't earn any probation. . . ;\)
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
 Originally Posted By: bigdreama
You couldn't pay me to go to Orlando theme parks in the summer. It has all the things I despise including oppressive heat, large crowds, long lines, and everything is overpriced. . . .
Ding, ding, ding!!!
 
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24,412
Location
Central Florida
 Quote:
Oh, I already booked tickets to Kennedy Space Center and to watch the space shuttle launch on 6/13/09.
I've seen it launch 7 times and its pretty awesome, just make sure you get there VERY early cause traffic get bad. And don't be surprised if the launch gets scrubbed due to poor weather or technical problems. Orlando is an OK place for a vacation, just way overprcied for practically any and every thing. Check out the following sites for more Mouse tips / discounts / offers. http://www.mousesavers.com http://www.wdwresource.com http://www.mouseplanet.com http://www.themouseforless.com http://www.insidemouse.com
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
Been there many times. Everything is overpriced. Universal is really nice but be sure to pay the upcharge so you don't have to stand in line for rides. WELL worth it (you're already paying for the overpriced experience in Orlando, what's another $25 per person?) I'm glad we did that last year with the family. We went on rides 2-3x. There are a couple rides that don't have the speed-pass lane, but nonetheless, worth it! For really good pizza, stop by the Pizzeria Uno off the Lake Buena Vista blvd exit. Giordano's is further down the street and also good. They're not the exact Chicago experience, but close...and GOOD. It's not Gino's East, but then again, nothing is. :) The Kennedy Space center is such a great place to go! Make it over to Ron-Jon's & Cocoa Beach for a more party-like beach experience. Boston Loberfest is a great place to go for LOTS of seafood, buffet style. It ain't cheap, but it's good. Nothing like that here in TN. Bahama Breeze restaurant has a some good dishes, I like their garlic potatoes. Get an Apple-Tini, too! 2 of those make dinner, well, more fun :)
 

Cutehumor

Thread starter
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
Thanks for the links! I agree, from what I have found so far, Orlando is overpriced. Everything is $50/ticket per person. I thought we were in a recession and prices be lowered? I think I spent almost $200 for my wife and I to go to the Kennedy space center, two IMAX tickets for star trek there, endeavor launch, and museum. It's only two days of entertainment so far. We don't have any kids btw. We weren't planning on staying the entire 7 days in Orlando if we couldn't find alot to do on a reasonable price. I hear you on all the crowds. My wife was talking about stopping by St. Augustine to see a light tower there. She sent me a couple of trip ideas. http://www.fountainofyouthflorida.com/ http://www.nps.gov/casa/ http://www.salvadordalimuseum.org/home.html Any Florida people seen those? I love baseball too. So we may see the Tampa Bay Devil Rays play. I heard tickets were easy to get there. Were definitely going to go to a beach while we are there. I did hear to watch my back while I'm in Orlando. I remember Enterprise rent a car took their "e" stickers off of their car so tourists wouldn't be targets. When I went back in 2003, some shady guy at a gas station came up to me to ask me if I wanted to buy cologne, he probably saw my TN tag.
 
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2,230
Location
Southern Ontario
We went last year for the first time . Our family enjoys waterparks and so we looked forward to the first year of "Aquatica" at Sea World. We also went to the Kennedy Space Center and Universal Studios...no time for any Disney.
 
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4,353
Location
FL
If you don't mind a 1.5 hour drive there is Busch Gardens here in Tampa and Clearwater beach in Clearwater. BTW the Devil Rays are just the Rays now.
 
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