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Old Jan 2, 12, 4:29 am   #1
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Heading to Orlando in complete ignorance

I am going to be spending four days in Orlando and have the most ignorant possible questions.

I have not been there in 8 years, even then I did not fly in so I have no idea about MCO (and its distance from places of interest). I also have no idea of where to stay or what to do.

I am only going in order to break up an itinerary a bit without finding myself freezing in NYC between a stay in LAS and a flight out of TLV.

Should I stay somewhere close to the Mouse? Should I go downtown? If I take an airport hotel, how far would it be to whatever might be of interest in the city or any of the theme parks?

Is a car rental necessary or is public transport easily available?

In other words: HELP!
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Old Jan 2, 12, 6:29 am   #2
 
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Two questions:

1. When are you coming?

2. What do you like to do?

Lots of FTer's in the area. I am sure you'll get lots of advice!
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Old Jan 2, 12, 7:39 am   #3
 
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I think MoreMilesPlease is correct. We need to know why you are coming to Orlando and what you want to do. If it is to visit the parks, that is one thing. If it is just to relax, that is another. Give us some idea of interests and budget.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 7:55 am   #4
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I'm with everyone else... more info please

But I would pretty much say that a car rental is necessary
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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:14 am   #5
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I am arriving on Saturday, March 3, at 6:06 am, after spending a full week in Vegas and then getting on a 4 hour flight, very possibly in Economy (I am a Delta Gold on an M fare, so I would say I have only a small chance of an upgrade). In other words, I will probably arrive exhausted which is why I am not thrilled about driving.

I will remain there until Tuesday, March 6, at which time I will head to JFK and connect to TLV. (Fortunately, these flights will be in FC and Biz Elite.)

I am coming for the following reasons:

1. To give a decent memorial period to the money I am certain to lose in Vegas.

2. To avoid the freezing north (otherwise I would have gone to New York and spent a few days wandering through Manhattan).

3. To just relax a bit -- possibly to spend one day at a theme park.

(If any FTers are in the area and are willing to subject themselves to the torture of meeting me, it would be my great pleasure. This is especially true if they are beautiful women with truly atrocious taste in men.)

I really can't give you any more information because I don't have any. Until about an hour before I made that post I had no intention of going to MCO. I was going to spend those days in Atlanta (I will be there for three days before going to Vegas) but having been there several times in the past two years, I thought I would try someplace else (and someplace warmer) on the way back.

Last edited by Dovster; Jan 10, 12 at 9:05 pm.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:47 am   #6
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Hmmmm.

I would try to stay at the Hyatt right in the terminal to get some sleep and rest a bit. The hotel is very nice, and has many amentities you would enjoy. You will essentially get of the plane, take a quick tram ride, and take the escalator up to the hotel.

I'll give some more thought to where else you might like to stay

FWIW -there is a possiblity I'll be there around the same dates. I'll keep you posted.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:56 am   #7
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Hmmmm.

I would try to stay at the Hyatt right in the terminal to get some sleep and rest a bit. The hotel is very nice, and has many amentities you would enjoy. You will essentially get of the plane, take a quick tram ride, and take the escalator up to the hotel.

I'll give some more thought to where else you might like to stay

FWIW -there is a possiblity I'll be there around the same dates. I'll keep you posted.
Is there a Hilton you can suggest? (One that allows smoking.)

If I do stay in the airport area, how difficult would it be for me to get into the touristy section of the city and/or one of the parks?

I would, of course, be very happy to see you (assuming that this time you do not poison my salami sandwich).
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Old Jan 2, 12, 9:00 am   #8
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There is a Hilton near Disney that is pretty popular with alot of FTers. I generally stay at the Hyatts.

The Disney and Universal parks are about 30 minutes from the airport - maybe more if you're not as familiar with the area as we are. However, you would have to drive. There isn't any decent transportation to that area. The Hilton will provide shuttles to the parks if you're interested.

IF you stay at a Disney hotel, they provide transportation from the airport for free. But then you're "stuck" on disney property the entire time. There is a car rental that will pick you and and deliver the car on disney property if you'd like a car for a day. Disney has pretty decent internal transportation that will get you anywhere you want to go on their property.

I definitely would rent a car - particularly if you only have a few days.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 9:06 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
Is a car rental necessary or is public transport easily available?
There is a bus system that goes to a lot of places, but I think your hourly rate has to be pretty low before the bus is worthwhile.

I took it because I couldn't rent a car, my driving license having expired. As it happens, I took the bus to the state motor vehicle department.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 9:30 am   #10
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How convenient (to the Orlando Old City and either Universal or Disney) is Embassy Suites Orlando - International Drive/ Jamaican Court?

What kind of an area is it in?
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Old Jan 2, 12, 9:53 am   #11
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Orlando Old City is in the opposite direction, and I would think about a 30 minute drive from the Embassy Suites and are also a bit closer to Universal. But generally speaking, I would consider it convenient to both attractions.

International Drive is the old "main drag" in the area. There are hotels of all varieties, some nicer than others. The area is closest to the convention center, so you may have a good number of business people around. However, I would have to check a map to see exactly where it is.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 11:48 am   #12
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Okay, I have made a reservation there (which can be cancelled). I also got a good deal from Sixt -- a five day rental for $138.78 with all insurance, fees, and taxes.

Seeing as the official check in time is 4 pm, and I will be half asleep by the time I arrive at 8 am, I may wind up spending the day asleep in the car.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 10:16 pm   #13
 
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Dov, everything is about 20-30 minutes from everything else. Traffic on I_drive & I-4 can be maddening.
Read all the stuff below and let me know if you have questions. I am there quite often. Also, you may want to hang out at the pool the day of arrival. Or pick a hotel with a bar.

If you do end up staying at that Embassy Suites, there is a collection of shops and restaurants within walking distance called the Pointe.

Point Orlando: This complex has a host of restaurants, clubs, comedy, movie, and shops. It is located on International Drive. While it does not have a hotel attached, International Drive does have dozens of hotels and a trolley that goes up and down the entire length of the drive. http://www.pointeorlando.com/. Improv Comedy Club, B.B. King’s Blues, and a great selection of restaurants. Restaurant list: http://www.pointeorlando.com/dining/

More information on International Drive, aka I-Drive:

http://www.internationaldriveorlando...todo/index.asp
50 activities on I-Drive: http://www.internationaldriveorlando...ways/index.asp

A couple other ideas of things to do:
Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island – Downtown Disney has Cirque de Soleil and House of Blues. Pleasure Island is currently undergoing renovations. Not sure when it will be completed. Downtown Disney can be interesting. If you are there on Sunday, a nice day is the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues, hang out a bit, then see Cirque de Soleil. More information can be found at the bottom of this page: http://www.wdwinfo.com/downtown/pi/

Universal’s CityWalk: Lots of nightlife options, many consider this better than Downtown Disney.
http://www.universalorlando.com/Nightlife/Citywalk-Nightlife.aspx

Downtown Orlando – While not an organized location, Church Street (formerly home of Church Street Station) and Orange Ave host dozens of restaurants and bars. Some can be found here: http://www.downtownorlando.com/fun/nightlife and here: http://www.churchstreetbars.com/

Gatorland: At 110- acres, Gatorland provides affordable-priced family fun with thousands of alligators & crocodiles to see, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, award-winning gift shop and one-of-a-kind reptilian shows including the Gator Wrestlin' Show, Gator Jumparoo and the Up-close Encounters Show. http://www.gatorland.com/

AirBoat Rides:

Various places:
http://www.bcairboats.com/tours.shtml
http://www.kissimmeeswamptours.com/
http://www.bigtohoairboatrides.com/
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Old Jan 2, 12, 10:31 pm   #14
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Thanks, that sounds pretty good.

In the end, because Hilton gives Elites a discount on award stays of 4 days or longer, it only cost me 4,000 points more to rent the room at Embassy Suites from the day before I arrive. That way, when I get there about 8 am, I can have breakfast and then go straight to bed for a few hours.

If you are in the area when I am there (March 3 through 6), let me know and we can get together for a few drinks and solve any of the world's problems that we have not yet settled on Omni/PR.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 11:12 pm   #15
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Hi Dov,

Welcome to Florida... I thought you were never going to fly to the US again?

The International Drive (I Drive) area is a good place to stay, just like all cities, you have to be aware of your surroundings. It's an area of restaurants, shops and touristy gimmick attractions (not all bad). You probably do want a car unless you want to stay in just one area, like I-Drive, Disney, etc.

Another thing to do in Orlando that no one has yet mentioned is Outlet Mall Shopping, there are 2 big outlet malls near that area. There are also 2 other big malls nearby - Mall of Millenia near Ikea and the Florida Mall, this area starts to get dicey but I go there during the day.

Why don't you set up a small do/meet or mention it in the Community Forums? As someone else mentioned there are a bunch of FT'ers from the area and maybe we can get together? I am not yet sure if I am here that weekend, but if I am I'd love to get together although I'm not too keen on visiting at Universal Studios only because I've been there a few times recently.

Places to be aware of are:

Pine Hills
Kirkman Drive North of Universal (I used to live in this area and it was lovely at one time)
The Cirtus Bowl area
South Orange Blossom Trail (OBT)
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