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Old 02-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #91
MamaLema
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I LOVED your trip report. Your research and planning is awsome!

Thanks for sharing
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by MamaLema View Post
I LOVED your trip report. Your research and planning is awsome!

Thanks for sharing
Your kind comments are much appreciated .

So glad to have had you reading along. This trip report was so much fun to do .... the next best thing to "being there"!
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
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!
I agree that Dan does a wonderful job. So much information and great tips. I like him even more today. My name was chosen as the weekly contest winner! It was for a free subscription. SInce I was already a subscriber, Dan refunded my money. Looking forward to more of your contributions on the Orlando Informer.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:30 AM   #94
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My name was chosen as the weekly contest winner! It was for a free subscription.

Looking forward to more of your contributions on the Orlando Informer.
Woohoo!! Congratulations!!

And thanks .
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #95
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Great TR! Enjoyed looking at the sunny pictures as I hide in my house during this crappy winter weather!

Love the pictures you 3 looked like you had a blast! Now I am regretting not trying the butter beer!
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:34 PM   #96
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This was an awesome report....been to wdw 12 times and never once to Universal....this motivated me to check it out. My dd id 18 (a lonely only s well) and heading to Sheridan College this fall (degree in fine arts) and this would be a good "farwell trip". Thanks for the hotel info as well....glad you had an awesome family trip
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey30 View Post
Great TR! Enjoyed looking at the sunny pictures as I hide in my house during this crappy winter weather!

Love the pictures you 3 looked like you had a blast! Now I am regretting not trying the butter beer!
Thank you for the kind compliments!

As for the butter beer.....I could seriously go for a nice cold cup right now! Guess you'll just have to book another trip so you can try some .
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkitty View Post
This was an awesome report....been to wdw 12 times and never once to Universal....this motivated me to check it out. My dd id 18 (a lonely only s well) and heading to Sheridan College this fall (degree in fine arts) and this would be a good "farwell trip". Thanks for the hotel info as well....glad you had an awesome family trip
Thank you so much .

A farewell trip to Universal sounds like an awesome and amazing send-off to college. What a lucky girl your daughter is!!! I hope to do something similar for my boy when he completes high school. He's planning on a career in the Canadian Forces, so when he does "leave the nest", he's likely to be far from home. *sigh* ... it will all come too soon. One minute they are babies, the next they are moving away .
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 02-26-2012, 06:33 AM   #99
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Gina... you rock!!!
What a great TR. We're heading to Universal for the first time in just over a week and now I have a much better idea of what to expect.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:44 AM   #100
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Gina... you rock!!!
What a great TR. We're heading to Universal for the first time in just over a week and now I have a much better idea of what to expect.
Aw shucks......you made me blush!

Have an amazing, fantastic and incredible trip!!!!! Would love to read about your adventures when you return....hopefully you will have time to post a TR as well!
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 03-19-2012, 03:35 PM   #101
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Gina your report was excellent, it almost made me feel like i was there and part of the family as well. We are planning a trip in another year or two. Makes me kinda hesitant tho. The first time we were down there we missed a huge hurricane by 10 days and the day we left they started mandatory evacuations for another one. In fact our plane was the last plane to leave Orlando that day and when we went down in Dec 2010 they said it was the record low temperature in 26 years. I have a question or 2 for you. I am sure I read it somewhere but how did you book your trip with Hawthorn, thru wyndam website or call the hotel directly? We are planning on doing a Disney/ Universal trip with a few extras. Do you have any other tips that could help us out. Thanks again for the great report I really enjoyed it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:56 PM   #102
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Gina your report was excellent, it almost made me feel like i was there and part of the family as well. We are planning a trip in another year or two. Makes me kinda hesitant tho. The first time we were down there we missed a huge hurricane by 10 days and the day we left they started mandatory evacuations for another one. In fact our plane was the last plane to leave Orlando that day and when we went down in Dec 2010 they said it was the record low temperature in 26 years. I have a question or 2 for you. I am sure I read it somewhere but how did you book your trip with Hawthorn, thru wyndam website or call the hotel directly? We are planning on doing a Disney/ Universal trip with a few extras. Do you have any other tips that could help us out. Thanks again for the great report I really enjoyed it.
Thanks so much for your kind comments!

After dodging two hurricanes and some frosty temps, maybe your next trip would be the "perfect weather" vacation! lol, one person can only have so much bad timing, right?

For our trip, we booked our flight and hotel together through Expedia.ca. Rates were awesome and everything went smooth as could be. I would not hesitate to book through Expedia again (though our next getaway has been booked direct with both the airline and the resort....I'm all for going whatever way gets me the best price).

Other tips?? Sign up for Groupon and Livingsocial....they often offer some great deals on Orlando attractions. Consider Express Passes for your Universal visit (either via an onsite stay, where the Express Passes are included with your room rate, or by a stand-alone purchase). And take lots of pictures . 'Cause when all is said and done, then you've got some great memories to last forever!
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 03-24-2012, 08:51 AM   #103
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Loved your trip report.
Nice to read a non Disney report for a change.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:44 AM   #104
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Loved your trip report.
Nice to read a non Disney report for a change.
Thanks, Disney Mama! It was fun to have the chance to share our adventures with other Disers!
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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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 04-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #105
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Awesome job!

Thoroughly enjoyed your post! We're heading to Florida from Winnipeg in May for 7 nights. We're driving across the border as well and flying there from the US. We have Disney world (just MK, AK and HS), Seaworld, IOA, Kennedy Space Center and Jungle Adventures on the menu. Possibly squeeze in a trip to Cocoa Beach and an airboat ride if we can.

You mentioned your DH's family is from Holland so I had to mention that my DH is from Holland too - he moved here to Canada almost 13 years ago. So we've got a Europe trip planned down the road as well.

Anyway, as I said, great job - pics were awesome and I loved the commentary.
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