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dioxide45
02-25-2012, 09:09 PM
We are going to Orlando in May for 6 nights after a cruise and have no park tickets. nothing for WDW, SeaWorld, or Universal. We will still likely hit DTD and CityWalk for the restaurants, just no park admissions.

We have done this before a couple times. We enjoy spending time at our offsite resorts (been to Grande Vista and Harbour Lake). This time it is Marriott's Lakeshore Reserve. We stayed there once for two nights a couple years ago, looking forward to being able to lounge around the pool some more this time around.

Anyone ever do this?. Obviously the big draws are the theme parks, but we enjoy are non park stays as much, sometimes even more.

dioxide45
03-03-2012, 10:10 PM
I guess no one goes to Orlando except to go for the parks?

Brian Noble
03-04-2012, 10:06 AM
We haven't. There are a lot of other nice places to visit that are more interesting as "destinations". I guess I could imagine doing it if I were a golfer, or just wanted to be in the sun for a week during the winter, but even then there are ways to fit in some attractions inexpensively. For example, the Universal 14-day ticket is only something like $180pp. One year we got Disney water park APs for a summer week, and that was fun. It was about $100 pp. You could add DQ to that (and we did) for another $30 or so. A two-day Sea World ticket is about $80 online, and so on.

If I were going to go this route, I'd do one of the mega-resorts: Orange Lake, or maybe Summer Bay, something like that.

bankr63
03-04-2012, 10:23 AM
I guess no one goes to Orlando except to go for the parks?

We've kind of tried this. Didn't work. Even when going without kids, DW and I found WAYYYY too much distraction - we went down without any plan; only to get a little R&R - yeahhhh, righhhht... I think we managed 1 day by the pool in the whole week. We "only" did two days at the Disney parks, but found a ton of other fun stuff to fill the rest of the days.

If the kids are with us, it is "Mach 2, with your hair on fire" the whole time. Orlando just supercharges us that way. We're heading to Cabo in 6 days to see if we actually CAN take a relaxing vacation...:laughing:

Detailor
03-04-2012, 10:30 AM
When generally go theme park-light when we go to Orlando - that usually means one or two days at the parks and the rest of the time at resort and/or going off to other things - shopping, state parks, mini-golf, visiting relatives, etc. Every few years we go up to Winter Park and take the narrated Scenic Boat tour around the lakes - a neat old-fashioned Florida attraction. We also like the river nature cruise that goes out of Blue Springs State Park up in Orange City (and the Spring attracts manatees during the cooler winter months). Sometimes we'll do a traveling mini-golf day and take in one of the area's Pirates Cove courses, one of the Congo Rivers and Disney's Fantasia course. We also like to spend some time at the BoardWalk complex - like DTD it has shops, restaurants and entertainment, as well as surrey bike rentals. And, when the weather's nice, we like to head to a beach - for us that usually means Fort de Soto beach in St. Petersburg or Cocoa beach in Cocoa Beach. If we're there during the holiday season, as we have been the last couple of years, we do a day of Disney resort hopping to take in the decorations. On every trip we try to find something we haven't done before so the list keeps on growing.

Dick Taylor

shalom
03-04-2012, 02:18 PM
We are going to Orlando in May for 6 nights after a cruise and have no park tickets. nothing for WDW, SeaWorld, or Universal. We will still likely hit DTF and CityWalk for the restaurants, just no park admissions.


We've planned to do this, but always ended up going to a park. :p If it was just hubby and I, though, we'd totally do it. Love the Charles Hosmer Morse museum, and there's a bunch of other stuff in Winter Park on our "get to sometime" list, also Leu Gardens and the chocolate parties at Ferris and Foster's, etc. etc. Although we'd also schedule it around what's in bloom instead of crowds in the parks.

Our 2 Princesses
03-04-2012, 03:41 PM
When generally go theme park-light when we go to Orlando - that usually means one or two days at the parks and the rest of the time at resort and/or going off to other things - shopping, state parks, mini-golf, visiting relatives, etc. Every few years we go up to Winter Park and take the narrated Scenic Boat tour around the lakes - a neat old-fashioned Florida attraction. We also like the river nature cruise that goes out of Blue Springs State Park up in Orange City (and the Spring attracts manatees during the cooler winter months). Sometimes we'll do a traveling mini-golf day and take in one of the area's Pirates Cove courses, one of the Congo Rivers and Disney's Fantasia course. We also like to spend some time at the BoardWalk complex - like DTD it has shops, restaurants and entertainment, as well as surrey bike rentals. And, when the weather's nice, we like to head to a beach - for us that usually means Fort de Soto beach in St. Petersburg or Cocoa beach in Cocoa Beach. If we're there during the holiday season, as we have been the last couple of years, we do a day of Disney resort hopping to take in the decorations. On every trip we try to find something we haven't done before so the list keeps on growing.

Dick Taylor

May I ask which state park closest to Disney is your favorite? We are going to Orlando and for the first time staying off-site. We plan to only do the parks a couple days and thought walking in a state park would be fun. Thanks!

Detailor
03-04-2012, 05:48 PM
May I ask which state park closest to Disney is your favorite? We are going to Orlando and for the first time staying off-site. We plan to only do the parks a couple days and thought walking in a state park would be fun. Thanks!

Our favorite is Blue Spring State Park, particularly when the manatees are present, but there are a lot of them that are pretty nice. Wekiwa Springs is a little closer to Orlando and the wilderness hiking trail is quite long there. These places are great examples of what Old Florida looked like.

Dick Taylor

Upatnoon
03-05-2012, 01:07 AM
We are going to Orlando in May for 6 nights after a cruise and have no park tickets. nothing for WDW, SeaWorld, or Universal. We will still likely hit DTD and CityWalk for the restaurants, just no park admissions.

We have done this before a couple times. We enjoy spending time at our offsite resorts (been to Grande Vista and Harbour Lake). This time it is Marriott's Lakeshore Reserve. We stayed there once for two nights a couple years ago, looking forward to being able to lounge around the pool some more this time around.

Anyone ever do this?. Obviously the big draws are the theme parks, but we enjoy are non park stays as much, sometimes even more.
We always enjoy going to Ikea.

Winter Park is a great place to walk around and shop

The Mall at Millenia has lots of high-end stuff to look at.

There are several outlet malls to check out.

Old Town is interesting when they have the classic car show on the weekend.

You can drive to the beach in a little over an hour.

In addition to downtown disney, we love visting Fort Wilderness and the Boardwalk. You can also ride the boats and monorail around for free. Take a resort tour.

bankr63
03-05-2012, 11:46 AM
I guess no one goes to Orlando except to go for the parks?

In short, No. At least not to relax. In reading through the responses, all we are doing is suggesting things that you should do instead of lying by the pool. Orlando and Chillin' may be mutually exclusive. Or perhaps DISBoards only attacts the go-go-go types? :rotfl:

Heck even the guy (gal?) who doesn't get up til noon manages to cram it all in...

Our 2 Princesses
03-05-2012, 01:16 PM
Our favorite is Blue Spring State Park, particularly when the manatees are present, but there are a lot of them that are pretty nice. Wekiwa Springs is a little closer to Orlando and the wilderness hiking trail is quite long there. These places are great examples of what Old Florida looked like.

Dick Taylor

Thank you so much for your suggestions!

disneysteve
03-06-2012, 02:28 PM
This may be heresy around here, but I think I've gotten to a point where I'd be willing to do this but only if we could go more often and still get our theme park time in on another trip. As it is, we find ourselves spending more and more time exploring the area than we used to. In the past few years, we've gone to KSC, done the zipline safari, taken an airboat ride on Lake Toho, spent time at Gaylord Palms (just as visitors, not staying there), shopped at the Mall at Millenia, checked out downtown Kissimmee and various other things nearby. I do think that folks that do all Disney and nothing else are missing out on a lot of great area attractions though I totally understand why people do that, especially if they aren't able to go often.

So I say go for it and have a great time. Check out other area attractions. Find some good restaurants (not the same old chains that everybody frequents), stroll through downtown Kissimmee and browse the shops there. There is so much to do in Central Florida that is not Disney.

HeatherC
03-08-2012, 05:44 AM
Steve...where is the zipline safari? Did you like it? We are always looking for new ideas since our trips have slowly become more "Orlando" vacations than Disney as the kids get older.

Will also check out Ikea one time since the closest at home is almost two hours away.

disneysteve
03-08-2012, 07:45 AM
Steve...where is the zipline safari? Did you like it?

http://www.floridaecosafaris.com/ZiplineSafaris/

Here is the site for the zipline safari. We did it in August of 2010 and had a blast. None of us had ever ziplined (well, DD had once on a small line at camp but nothing like this). The guides were great and the experience was worth every penny. I highly recommend it. I think I posted a review when we got back. I'll see if I can find it and post a link.

Yep: Here it is.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2537185

HeatherC
03-08-2012, 09:14 AM
Thanks so much Steve. This looks great! Will definitely look into this. Kids would love it.