View Full Version : food/fun outside disney gates?

02-14-2008, 03:19 PM
We been going to for some time now, but we've always stayed on-site. In fact the only time we've been outside the big WDW gates are driving in from the airport and driving back to the airport.

For our next trip, we've decided to go check out universal, so we're staying offsite for a few nights before moving onsite for the rest of the trip.

So... any suggestions on what we been missing all these year? restaurant to try? things to do? shows to see?

02-14-2008, 04:26 PM
If you plan to go to Universal, I highly recommend staying at one of their onsite hotels. While WDW onsite hotels don't do much for me, at Universal I wouldn't have it any other way. Your room key works like an unlimited fast pass so you bypass all the lines. That key is so awesome. :cloud9:
Also the parks are only a 5-10 min walk or you can take a very relaxing water taxi. Even if you only book 1 nt. hotel, you can get the key early in the am the day you check in so you can get FOTL access that day and also all day after checking out so you end up having 2 full days w/ FOTL access. To me, that's magical! :wizard:
It's really so nice and all hotels are deluxe so keep that in mind when pricing. They do offer AAA discounts and it's cheaper for weekdays too.

We also really enjoyed Kennedy Space Center. Not something I need to keep doing but was really glad we went.
Sea World is really fun too.
Anyone who doesn't ever stray off WDW property is really missing out on a lot of FL fun imho.

Lisa P.
02-14-2008, 09:51 PM
If you'll be going to Universal during a fairly busy or very busy time, staying onsite (as described by ruadisneyfan2) will really enhance your visit to the Universal parks. If you'll be going in the offseason, you won't need it. But still consider wandering over to their hotels to look around. They're really nice, beautifully themed, each quite different.

Check out the Universal Theme Parks forums here on the DIS Boards. Very experienced regulars there, so willing to help with questions. Browse the "Sticky"'s and recent threads. We've really enjoyed our visits this year and they were made better by a little reading there, to help us prepare and set our expectations.

If you go to Universal's Islands of Adventure, eat lunch at Mythos. It's a nice sitdown restuarant with a unique atmosphere and good food! :)

02-15-2008, 03:57 AM
Have you considered renting a home? You can get plenty of space plus your own pool and hot tub for less than a hotel - they charge per home, not per guest.

02-25-2008, 04:50 PM
We stayed at Portofino Bay which is on site at Universal and it is very very nice! I totally recommend it. Universal is a lot of fun (haven't been in years but my husband and nephew went last summer).


03-01-2008, 06:59 PM
Check out Farris and Foster's family fun night if you will be there on a Monday night. Somebody on here recommended it last year and it was the most fun we had off site EVER. F&F is a chocolate factory about 25 minutes or so from Disney and a family of up to 6 can make chocolate (so yummy) for 2 hours and take a pound home for just $20. You can check out their website at Farrisandfosters.com. It was well worth the travel over there and we had so much fun! We can't wait to do it again!

03-01-2008, 07:06 PM
Forgot to mention that right near Universal is the #2 McDonald's in the world. Itr is 2 story and has a HUGE play area. They show it on the travel channel fairly often. My kids can't wait to go to Orlando again to go to McDonalds (?!?) and play. It might be worth checking out if you are looking for something to do.