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Old 02-20-2012, 01:58 PM   #76
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Originally Posted by BrerMama View Post
Very fun trip report! Love reading about the "other side" of Disney!
Thank you!!!

It was a grand time, and we can't wait to go back. I see you are staying at the Royal Pacific in June......you must be getting so excited!!! Are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on your do-visit list?
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #77
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Great trip report!!! Loved it and thank you for finishing it!! You seem to do a lot of the things we do! Instead of mainstreaming and gravitating to huge parks all the time, we take our down time, (and love it) do some shopping, do Seaworld for half a day, as we have AP's, Discovery Cove is one of our favourites, as it so relaxing! We used to do just 7 or 8 nights, now we are doing more like 12 or 13 just to have to down time!! Glad you had such an awesome vacation, and another coming up soon!
We leave in 18 days, my 2 girls are very excited, we only get to go once a year, but we always do a big summer vacation for a week as well, with some camping thrown in there to! Last summer Chicago, this summer we are heading to Myrtle Beach in August! So at least I have Florida right now, and will start with Myrtle when I get home!
I would *love* to get away for a more extended period, but alas, with our work schedules, my son's sports schedule, and our aging feline, usually 8 or 9 days is our max at one time. So that just means that we try to go a little more frequently . Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls is our summer camping trip 'cause I'm not one for the "real" outdoors (I love Niagara.....we try and get there every year, even if only for a few days).

Myrtle Beach is on my bucket list, as is Chicago. We did a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells two summers ago, and passed through Chicago en route. Someday I also want to visit California. I hope I live a long time 'cause my bucket list still has an awful lot on it, lol. So far, Jake has managed to visit Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, BC, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan by the age of 16. I think its so important for kids to see different regions and experience all the world has to offer. That's why we try and get to so many different things on our Florida trips. We hate to limit ourselves to the same things over and over (not to say some places aren't worth visiting more than once.....just that we like to sprinkle in some new stuff with the old fave's!).

My husband's family is from Holland. I would love to go there someday as well.

If I ever win the lottery, I'd sell the house and travel the world, one country at a time.

Glad you enjoyed reading my TR....hope to see some reports of your travels after you return from your adventures. I hope you have an AMAZING time!!!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
Thank you!!!

It was a grand time, and we can't wait to go back. I see you are staying at the Royal Pacific in June......you must be getting so excited!!! Are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on your do-visit list?
I am getting excited. Definitely doing Universal and IOA. I'm so much more excited about those two because they're new to us!
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:03 PM   #79
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I am getting excited. Definitely doing Universal and IOA. I'm so much more excited about those two because they're new to us!
Awesome!!!

You will love the front of the line passes that you get with your Royal Pacific stay. They are heavenly . You will never look at a theme park the same again! And early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a MUST. Be sure to have a glass of Butterbeer for me!!!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-20-2012, 03:37 PM   #80
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Brilliant trip report. I've been waiting soooo patiently (not) I'm really looking forward to our week on I-Drive - its been nice to have a non-Disney report. Thank you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:08 PM   #81
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Brilliant trip report. I've been waiting soooo patiently (not) I'm really looking forward to our week on I-Drive - its been nice to have a non-Disney report. Thank you.
Thank YOU for coming back to read the ending after such a long wait!

Best wishes to you and your fiance on your upcoming wedding. May you both have a wonderful holiday in Orlando, and a long and happy life together!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-21-2012, 12:36 PM   #82
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Thanks Gina and Clan. It was a fabulous trip! Great photos and your report kept moving right along. We get to go back a lot (we own 3 weeks of Timeshares in Orlando, but rarely use them ALL), but it never seems to be enough time to do everything we want to do! That especially holds true once you escape the hold of the Mouse, and discover everything else that Central Florida offers.

You definitely need to do the waterparks! The waves at Typhoon Lagoon are incredible, and the water coasters are really neat (unlike straight slides, they have sections where jets shoot you uphill).
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Last trip to WDW and US, March 8-17, 2013
Next trip planned for March 13-22 2015 - driving 1,500 miles on Friday the 13th


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Old 02-21-2012, 02:21 PM   #83
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You definitely need to do the waterparks! The waves at Typhoon Lagoon are incredible, and the water coasters are really neat (unlike straight slides, they have sections where jets shoot you uphill).
The plan on our August trip is to visit two......we're just having a hard time deciding on which ones to pick . We are nothing if not indecisive!

One will either bet Wet N Wild (they have a length of stay pass that's pretty reasonable) or Aquatica (they have a Weekday Pass that's also not a bad price). Then the other will be ???? (a one-day, one visit pass). Not sure if we will do W&W/Aquatica, W&W and a Disney waterpark, or Aquatica and a Disney waterpark. Ugh! Its easier to make up my mind when there aren't so many awesome possibilities.

Also, bankr63 , I was hoping I could pick your brain ... have you ever done an airboat tour on any of your trips? If so, is there one you would recommend over another?
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
The plan on our August trip is to visit two......we're just having a hard time deciding on which ones to pick . We are nothing if not indecisive!

One will either bet Wet N Wild (they have a length of stay pass that's pretty reasonable) or Aquatica (they have a Weekday Pass that's also not a bad price). Then the other will be ???? (a one-day, one visit pass). Not sure if we will do W&W/Aquatica, W&W and a Disney waterpark, or Aquatica and a Disney waterpark. Ugh! Its easier to make up my mind when there aren't so many awesome possibilities.

Also, bankr63 , I was hoping I could pick your brain ... have you ever done an airboat tour on any of your trips? If so, is there one you would recommend over another?
For the water parks, I would suggest that if you are spending a couple of days in the Disney Parks that you add the WPFAM option to your tickets. This would get you into one or both waterparks, and into DisneyQuest as well for a pretty reasonable price. I have a feeling your boys might like to spend an evening playing at DQ, perhaps while you get your shoppin' on at DTD. (Okay that was sexist, for all I know you could be the video game queen)

We have never done the airboat tour, only the St Johns River boat tour out of Blue Springs State Park. It was amazing, but I would suggest you wait until a winter trip for that as the manatee overwinter in the Springs, and are not to be missed.

My tip would be to get the Unofficial Guide - Beyond Disney. They have a fairly good section on the various airboat outfits and which are the best. It is a short enough section that you can grab a Starbucks and a comfy chair at Chapters if you don't want to buy the whole book. Our local library has it too, but it is a couple versions old and the UG books are updated frequently.
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It's kind of fun to do the impossible. - Walt Disney

Last trip to WDW and US, March 8-17, 2013
Next trip planned for March 13-22 2015 - driving 1,500 miles on Friday the 13th


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Old 02-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #85
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Thanks for the great TR Gina! It was fun to see all the fun you guys had and I'm looking forward to your next TR in August!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #86
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Thanks for the great TR Gina! It was fun to see all the fun you guys had and I'm looking forward to your next TR in August!!
Thank you Sharon!

PS....love your daughter's name....it was on our short-list 16 years ago, till we found out that the little girl that we were sure we were having turned out to be male. Ironically, we ended up with a niece by the same name a few months later, but with a different spelling ("Savana"). Its just so pretty .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
For the water parks, I would suggest that if you are spending a couple of days in the Disney Parks that you add the WPFAM option to your tickets. This would get you into one or both waterparks, and into DisneyQuest as well for a pretty reasonable price. I have a feeling your boys might like to spend an evening playing at DQ, perhaps while you get your shoppin' on at DTD. (Okay that was sexist, for all I know you could be the video game queen)

We have never done the airboat tour, only the St Johns River boat tour out of Blue Springs State Park. It was amazing, but I would suggest you wait until a winter trip for that as the manatee overwinter in the Springs, and are not to be missed.

My tip would be to get the Unofficial Guide - Beyond Disney. They have a fairly good section on the various airboat outfits and which are the best. It is a short enough section that you can grab a Starbucks and a comfy chair at Chapters if you don't want to buy the whole book. Our local library has it too, but it is a couple versions old and the UG books are updated frequently.
No Disney (again! ) on this trip. I so wish you could buy a multi-day waterpark pass without having to buy a multi-day park pass. Alas, 'tis not the case.

The suggestion to pick up the Unofficial Guide - Beyond Disney is a great one. I love to read . And I really, REALLY love to read stuff that pertains to our upcoming adventures!! I will be off to Chapters this weekend!!! (but I'll take my book to-go.....I'm a Tim Hortons girl ... and its roll up the rim time! ).

And you were totally correct on your assumption......video game queen I am surely not!!! It's shopping all the way, baby!!!!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-22-2012, 12:56 PM   #88
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Thank you Sharon!

PS....love your daughter's name....it was on our short-list 16 years ago, till we found out that the little girl that we were sure we were having turned out to be male. Ironically, we ended up with a niece by the same name a few months later, but with a different spelling ("Savana"). Its just so pretty .
Thanks! She gets a lot of compliments on her name. I think it has become a little more popular over the last few years. I have to say though, I must give credit for her name to my DH. I had picked the name if it was a boy (Tristan). DH said "If it's a girl, I love the name Savannah". As soon as I heard it I loved it so it took us about 3 seconds to pick her name!
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:19 PM   #89
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I just found you trip report and imagine my surprise when I thought some of the pictures looked familiar. Then I remembered seeing them on the Orlando Informer website. You did a great job reviewing the hotel. We are staying at Royal Pacific for the first time in May. I hope we get a discount/upgrade like you did. I am excited about early entry and express pass. I am also worried since I am afraid that we will get spoiled and want to go there instead of Disney in the future.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #90
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I just found you trip report and imagine my surprise when I thought some of the pictures looked familiar. Then I remembered seeing them on the Orlando Informer website. You did a great job reviewing the hotel. We are staying at Royal Pacific for the first time in May. I hope we get a discount/upgrade like you did. I am excited about early entry and express pass. I am also worried since I am afraid that we will get spoiled and want to go there instead of Disney in the future.
Glad to have you along . And yes, that was my post on the Orlando Informer site (I am totally impressed that you linked this thread and that submission ).....its a great resource for non-Disney Orlando vacation planning, isn't it? Dan does a fab job and I was happy to be able to contribute to his website.

You will love love love the unlimited express passes. It is absolutely worth staying on site for. I will keep my fingers crossed that you receive a nice upgrade when you arrive. The Royal Pacific is so lovely, I am sure you will be happy with your stay!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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