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Old 09-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #46
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Arriving back at our cabana for a break, we found Joan had been by with a basket of snacks....



All that food, sunshine and water can sure make a person sleepy. Steve utilizes our cabana to the fullest and takes a short siesta. Now this is what vacation is all about.



And now Photobucket has frozen on me yet again...... . More to come!!
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #47
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One of the things we love about Discovery Cove is not having to have the day totally planned out before we get there. With no crowds, and everything included from food to activities, we can completely relax and just “go with the flow”. For us, in addition to the new Freshwater Oasis, our other favourite spot to spend time is the lazy river. It’s so warm, so beautiful and so peaceful, we could stay in there for hours. We love the way the depth changes in the various sections of the river, we love seeing the birds in the portion that runs through the free flying aviary, and we totally loved the kind fellow from the UK who helped find DH’s sunglasses after they disappeared under one of the waterfalls .









The only rain we saw all day was brief.....maybe 5 minutes long, and it occurred while we were checking out the birds in the aviary. The birds certainly didn’t seem to mind, and neither did we.





The rest of the day was sunny, beautiful, and just as relaxing as we had hoped. We had so much fun as a family and it really was just as perfect as I had planned. About 4 pm, we started to pack up all our goodies and begin to ready ourselves to head out. We were getting to the stage that it was hard to put one foot in front of the other so we knew we were “done”. We stopped to personally thank Joan for all her kind attention and give her a small tip in appreciation. We made our way to Adventure Photo, selected the picture we wanted for the free 6 x 8 that came with the cabana (got a great one of the three of us by the small waterfall in the Freshwater Oasis) and picked up our complimentary 6 x 8 family photo that was taken upon arrival at the entrance of the park.



Back to the resort to dry off and change. Then what?
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:48 PM   #48
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After DC, Jake declared that a little shopping was in order before dinner. You would think that at some point, this child would finally get shopped out, but when it comes to retail therapy he's like the Energizer Bunny. He was on a mission to fill those empty carry-ons and no one was quite ready to eat yet, so we were okay with a few stops along the way.

You know what they say about big shoes to fill..... :



After our short shopping expedition, we headed to MY favourite restaurant, TGI Fridays!



I have no idea what Steve had just said to Jake before he snapped this picture, but look at the look on Jake's face.

We love their food, we love their service, but we really, really, REALLY love their desserts. Steve has a thing for their vanilla bean cheesecake, so after his "perfect" steak, he was happy to see the final course arrive.



Jake and I are not cheesecake lovers. For me, cheese belongs on a pizza, not in dessert . We had our sights set elsewhere.....and we couldn't wait..........



The Reese's Peanut Butter Pie. Worth a trip to Orlando all on its own. Heaven on plate. Pardon me while I drool.



After dinner, it was back to the resort for a lengthy swim under the stars.....we had a million calories to burn after our indulgences at TGI Fridays .

Tomorrow was another full day of fun in the sun. Coming up, day 2 at Aquatica!
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:40 AM   #49
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Hey Gina. We stay at Marriott Grande Vista. About a block from Aquatica and Sea World. We always get a 2 bedroom unit. It's beautiful and we're booked for our 3rd time this March. We love Aquatica. It's a must every visit. And Roa Rapids is all of our favourite. So we have DC on the agenda this March. Kids really want to try it. Don't think we'll try a Disney Park again - it was insanely busy this past trip and with new Fantasyland it should be nuts.

Can't wait to hear more about the trip.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:22 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtmbyck View Post
Hey Gina. We stay at Marriott Grande Vista. About a block from Aquatica and Sea World. We always get a 2 bedroom unit. It's beautiful and we're booked for our 3rd time this March. We love Aquatica. It's a must every visit. And Roa Rapids is all of our favourite. So we have DC on the agenda this March. Kids really want to try it. Don't think we'll try a Disney Park again - it was insanely busy this past trip and with new Fantasyland it should be nuts.

Can't wait to hear more about the trip.
Oooohh, just looked up the Grande Vista and its gorgeous! Great location too (we are SeaWorld Parks lovers....so this is our "area of choice" for Orlando). Its not considered an "onsite" hote though, it is? (ie free Quick Queue?) I am wondering why not when its so close by.

I hear you on the business of the Disney parks .... that's why we won't consider a day at Disney for our Christmas trip. We have a character breakfast reservation at O'hana and a dinner ressie for T-Rex but other than some time in DTD and a tour of the deluxe resorts via monorail, that will probably be all we will need for our Disney fix. Unfortunately, with our DS in grade 11, we can only travel when he's not in school. And of course, that's always Disney's busy time!

This will a first DC trip for you guys? You won't be disappointed! There's so much to do but in such a relaxing kind of way (sounds weird, I know). The day goes by so fast. Will you do the dolphin swim or the day resort only? If the budget allows, I highly recommend the dolphin swim for a first time visitor. Its an awesome experience and so memorable.
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
Oooohh, just looked up the Grande Vista and its gorgeous! Great location too (we are SeaWorld Parks lovers....so this is our "area of choice" for Orlando). Its not considered an "onsite" hote though, it is? (ie free Quick Queue?) I am wondering why not when its so close by.

I hear you on the business of the Disney parks .... that's why we won't consider a day at Disney for our Christmas trip. We have a character breakfast reservation at O'hana and a dinner ressie for T-Rex but other than some time in DTD and a tour of the deluxe resorts via monorail, that will probably be all we will need for our Disney fix. Unfortunately, with our DS in grade 11, we can only travel when he's not in school. And of course, that's always Disney's busy time!

This will a first DC trip for you guys? You won't be disappointed! There's so much to do but in such a relaxing kind of way (sounds weird, I know). The day goes by so fast. Will you do the dolphin swim or the day resort only? If the budget allows, I highly recommend the dolphin swim for a first time visitor. Its an awesome experience and so memorable.

I dont' think you or I could be any more alike in our way of thinking!!! Roa's Rapids is my fav thing to do while there. I hang out there most of the day! I am a chicken when it comes to rides! We will be making our 4th visit to DC this March, with the discount I might even go twice, once the first week and once the 2nd week when all of our friends join us! We did Disney a few times, but Seaworld is def our "home" park feel! Love it! We are staying at Westgate Town Center for the first time this year, after having been at Cypress Pointe Grand villas the last 3 years, there prices have went way up! So something new is always a great thing! We are doing DC, SW, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens this trip. Only because we have 2 weeks, and we are taking our 21 year old niece that has never left Ontario with us, she has never flown, and has only been to Canada's wonderland as an amusement park! So we are doing all of the parks for her to see them. We may only do 1 full day in each, but who knows, because I really like having my quieter days as well! We tried Buffalo Wild wings for the first time last year and loved it! My kids are big fans of wings! We also love Sweet Tomatoes and of course Chili's is always a big hit. Love your trip report and am very much loving the pictures!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #52
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Hi Gina,

I just stumbled across your trip report and was like I know that person. Loved both trip reports. I'm always on these boards soaking up all the wealth of information that people provide. I'm also obsessed with planning our family vacations. I noticed you guys were at the Royal Pacific hotel in January. What did you think of the hotel..... was looking at booking for next May for a couple of nights after our cruise. We haven't visited Universal since Harry Potter opened and Melissa really wants to see it. Did you try both the frozen and not frozen Butterbeer? I see you guys are going to Orlando again at Christmas.... that's exciting!

Looking forward to that trip report!

Monica
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #53
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I dont' think you or I could be any more alike in our way of thinking!!! Roa's Rapids is my fav thing to do while there. I hang out there most of the day! I am a chicken when it comes to rides! We will be making our 4th visit to DC this March, with the discount I might even go twice, once the first week and once the 2nd week when all of our friends join us! We did Disney a few times, but Seaworld is def our "home" park feel! Love it! We are staying at Westgate Town Center for the first time this year, after having been at Cypress Pointe Grand villas the last 3 years, there prices have went way up! So something new is always a great thing! We are doing DC, SW, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens this trip. Only because we have 2 weeks, and we are taking our 21 year old niece that has never left Ontario with us, she has never flown, and has only been to Canada's wonderland as an amusement park! So we are doing all of the parks for her to see them. We may only do 1 full day in each, but who knows, because I really like having my quieter days as well! We tried Buffalo Wild wings for the first time last year and loved it! My kids are big fans of wings! We also love Sweet Tomatoes and of course Chili's is always a big hit. Love your trip report and am very much loving the pictures!
Glad to hear I'm not alone in my distaste for rides. I think that's one of the reasons I developed such a love of taking photos.....it gave me something fun to do (safely on the ground and not shaken or stirred ) while the other fear-seekers were getting their kicks!!

What an awesome thing you are doing for your niece . She must be sooooo excited about the trip!!! (which sounds awesome, by the way). Bet she's nervous, too......first time flying is always kind of stressful.

I would love to hear more about your Busch Gardens visit and your experience at Westgate Town Center. I am always on the look out for new parks to visit and new places to stay! And I'm interested to hear how the two Westgate properties compare.

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Hi Gina,

I just stumbled across your trip report and was like I know that person. Loved both trip reports. I'm always on these boards soaking up all the wealth of information that people provide. I'm also obsessed with planning our family vacations. I noticed you guys were at the Royal Pacific hotel in January. What did you think of the hotel..... was looking at booking for next May for a couple of nights after our cruise. We haven't visited Universal since Harry Potter opened and Melissa really wants to see it. Did you try both the frozen and not frozen Butterbeer? I see you guys are going to Orlando again at Christmas.... that's exciting!

Looking forward to that trip report!

Monica

Aw, thank you so much Monica!!!

We loved the Royal Pacific. It was a beautiful resort and the room finishings were top-notch. Loved the theme, loved the beach and pool, loved the water taxi to Universal. And we really loved the free Express Pass . The staff were very friendly as well.

AS for the Butterbeer......yup, we tried them both . Definitely preferred the non-frozen. But both were DIVINE!!!!!!!!!

More updates to come later tonight, Photobucket permitting!!!
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #54
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Thursday, August 30th: once again it was a bright, sunny, gorgeous morning. Today, it was also HOT….our DC day was also a very, very warm day, but we could tell early on that this one was going to be a scortcher. We were completely pumped to spend another full day at Aquatica’s amazing waterpark!

We anticipated higher crowds on today’s visit, simply because the temperatures were scheduled to soar. So, with that in mind, we wanted to keep breakfast plans quick and easy (so we could get to the park as early as possible) but still somewhere “fun”. By unanimous vote, we opted to enjoy our morning meal at the World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald’s and Playplace on Sand Lake Road.







Their Bistro menu allowed us to have something a little more refined that your standard Egg McMuffin. While we took the time to enjoy all the games and activities during our visit to this restaurant in January, today we opted to just eat, take a few pics, and dash. It was just too early in the morning for arcade games or bowling!



And what was that we heard in the distance? Oh yes, it was the waterslides calling our names……

We arrived at Aquatica shortly after 9 am (which was park opening) and there were already a reasonable selection of cars in the lot. Quite obviously other people had the same plan that we did! We moved quickly through the parking lot attendant’s station (enjoying another day of free vehicle parking thanks to our Aquatica annual pass) and we were on our way through the gates.



The first order of business was to check in for our cabana. We could already feel the sun’s piercing rays getting warmer and warmer so we knew it was going to be a great investment yet again. And today’s cabana was an absolute STEAL. A little background: both cabana rentals were reserved and paid for long in advance….’cause I’m weird like that. We received a 10% discount for being a passmember, so each cabana cost $89.99 plus tax ($95.84 total). That included the cabana, 8 towels (reg. $4 each), 12 bottles of Dasani water (about $3 each), and a large locker ($29.95 according to the website). When we checked in on day 1, they offered us the ability to book the Makahiki Luau or another cabana rental at half price for use anytime within the next 14 days. When I mentioned that we already had a cabana rental paid for two days from that time, she offered to credit us back the difference and gave me a receipt indicating $42.80 would be refunded to my credit card. Woot! But wait….it gets better. When we returned home and found the credit had not yet been processed, I called Aquatica to inquire. A brief wait on hold determined that the transaction had become “hung up” in their system. With their apologies, they expedited a $63.90 refund to my credit card so the entire second day’s rental (with the inclusions of the locker, towels, and water) cost us only $32.04. Happy dance!

So….what can I say about our second day at Aquatica? Just that it was as awesome as the first and NO RAIN AT ALL. It was busier than Tuesday but the boys still never waited more than 15 minutes for a slide. Boy, was it hot though. Like standing-on-the-equator hot. We don’t know how people do theme parks in that kind of heat……at least we were wet and cool. It became so hot in the afternoon that it was impossible to walk on the pavement without water shoes. But it was the perfect day for waterparkin’ and the cabana was a lifesaver.







For lunch we enjoyed a great meal at the Waterstone Grill, again enjoying 10% off all purchases with our annual pass.





And we got some fun desserts too. The cookies and chocolate icing came in a souvenir life raft. The souvenir popcorn bucket was an awesome $4.39 tax included with the discount, and refills were 95 cents taxes in with the discount, and its good for all SeaWorld parks for the life of the bucket. Guess we’ll be packing this baby when we return for our Christmas trip! Oh yeah, and the bucket can double as a sandcastle maker thanks to the little bumps on the bottom. Now there’s value for you.



We even managed an hour’s snooze to re-energize us for the balance of the afternoon. Priceless.

We were baked by 4 pm and bid Aquatica and fond adieu. Great memories.

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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #55
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Back at the resort, we unloaded all our wet gear, I dried and straightened my hair yet again (I would fight the Florida humidity to the bitter end) and we relaxed for while before in the blessedly cool air conditioning. For supper, we enjoyed a hearty buffet at Golden Corral.



This is one of those good-value meals of each trip, with something for everyone and a ridiculously low price (considering hubby makes a good dent in their all-you-can-eat cooked to order steak). And the chocolate Wonderfall is heavenly...... .

After dinner, we shopped at the Premium Outlets on Vineland......a first for us! We had only been to the one on the north end of International Drive, and this location did not disappoint.





We headed back to the resort once again, enjoyed another leisurely swim in the Citrus Breeze pool, then sank into our beds for a good night's sleep. We had another full day planned for Friday, and the weatherman said the weather was going to be picture-perfect!
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #56
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great update and pics. Your 'boy' looks so happy in the waterpark.
he has such a nice smile.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #57
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great update and pics. Your 'boy' looks so happy in the waterpark.
he has such a nice smile.
Aw, 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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:57 PM   #58
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Friday, August 31st.....

We have learned, over the course of past family getaways, to build a “recuperation morning” into the latter part of our vacation. Without it, we seem to hit the melt-down stage when we least expect it. It makes for happier parents AND a happier teenager. We need it just as badly as the boy does (maybe more....man, are we getting old!!). So Friday was the pre-determined day to sleep in. We didn’t even have breakfast outside of the resort (which we generally enjoy). We picked up a couple of pizzas from Cici’s the night before, stuck them in the fridge in the villa, and enjoyed them mid-morning at our leisure. And boy, did we all ever feel better for it.

Rested and refreshed, we left the resort around 12:30 and stopped at Popeye’s for a quick lunch (love those biscuits!). Then we piled into the rental car and embarked on the short drive to Kissimmee.....Mom had another Groupon to use and today was the perfect day to do so!

Where were we headed? Several places, in fact. The first stop (the Groupon stop) was selected for my boys: Kissimmee Go-Karts!



Jake has his G1 and drives regularly here at home. He had been missing his opportunity to get behind the wheel over the course of this vacation and mentioned it multiple times. I also think men, by nature, seem to feel that “need for speed”. They definitely wasted no time in piling into their cars and zipping around the track. With the Groupon, each of them got 11 laps......and the course was pretty long, so it took a decent time for them to complete them all.







Our Groupon also included a supply of gator food to feed the alligators that were housed onsite in a little fenced in water area. Once the go-karting was complete, the boys traded in their vehicles for feeding poles as we dropped the gator nuggets to the waiting crowd below. It just wouldn’t be a trip to Florida without the chance to feed the gators, so I must say I enjoyed this part of the day immensely.











The final component of the Groupon was 80 tokens to use at the onsite arcade. By the time we had go-karted and fed the gators, I swear we had partly melted to the pavement (it was H-O-T outside!) so I was looking forward to some indoor activity in the air conditioning. Turned out it was still pretty steamy inside too .... I am sure there was supposed to be air, but it obviously wasn’t working very well. Despite the sticky temps, we all had fun in the arcade which was virtually empty, save for a couple of other visitors. One little fellow (maybe 5 years old) was pretty happy to benefit from the redemption tickets that we had accumulated (Steve gave them to him as we departed), and it was fun to do a little random act of kindness.





After Kissimmee go-karts, we decided to explore the area as we had never ventured to Kissimmee on either of our prior trips. This place was hard to miss:





Eli’s Orange World is a paradise for Florida orange enthusiasts. Of course, we had to enjoy some fresh Florida OJ while we were there....’cause you know it would have been wrong not to.



They had a wide array of orange souvenirs, from orange marmalade to orange candies. They also had some rather interesting items for the hard-to-buy for people back home:



Betcha can’t get that at your local corner store.

We ended up purchasing a few novel orange treats for Steve’s parents and grandfather, then decided it was time for a mid-afternoon snack. Such a hot day deserved something cool.......Dippin Dots store, anyone?
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-11-2012, 07:29 AM   #59
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Just a stone's throw away from Eli's Orange World was a stand-alone Dippin Dots store. Now while that may not be an "attraction" per se, let me assure you that my boys are HUGE lovers of this frosty treat, and we rarely ever indulge (it tends to be a theme park only food......thankfully for my hips, we don't get to theme parks on a "regular" basis ) so this was an exciting find.



Considering it was hot enought outside by mid afternoon that it felt like we were standing on the equator, it was the perfect day to cool off. And Mom had her first Dippin Dots experience.....yes, before that day, I was a Dippin Dots virgin.

Steve had a float. Jake enjoyed his in a Blue Jays baseball hat, and was super impressed to find his favourite baseball team's sports memorabilia was available so far south.



Our Dippin Dots experience behind us, we had one more item on the itinerary. Following a very productive stop at the stand-alone Nike Factory Outlet Store ($4.19 Nike t-shirts.....holy crap!!! ), we bid goodbye to Kissimmee and headed "home" to Westgate to enjoy some of the amenities at the resort.
Our activity of choice....the Pirate themed mini golf, conveniently located right beside our building .





Not sure how the shark fit into the theme, but Jake enjoyed hamming it up next to Big Mouth.



This was a fun course and it looked brand new. I have no idea how old it is, but it was in immaculate shape. The holes were challenging, the theming was awesome, and best of all…..it was FREE. I love free. We had a VIP card from Westgate that entitled us to complimentary access to all the extras at the resort, such as the mini golf, paddle boats, sports equipment rentals, bicycles, etc.







All I have to say is thank goodness there was a breeze, ‘cause it was hotter than blazes as we wrapped up our game about 6 pm. We learned quickly that the evening hours don’t bring the same cooling down that we experience here at home.





After catching our breath in the air conditioning, we decided to tend to our rumbly tumblies and embark on our highly anticipated dinner plans. My two “scoundrels” were hungry, and it was a good thing......we were off to Wonderworks on International Drive for all-you-can-eat pizza, salad, popcorn and cake at the Outta Control Comedy and Dinner Show. This is going to be fun........!!!!
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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! PTR in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 09-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #60
Practically_Perfect
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
Steve had a float. Jake enjoyed his in a Blue Jays baseball hat, and was super impressed to find his favourite baseball team's sports memorabilia was available so far south.

I remember those "hat bowls"!! I used to get ice cream in them at the games (prior to Rogers taking over SkyDome).

I guess it's not all that surprising that there's Jays memorabilia - their Spring Training is in Dunedin, FL if I'm not mistaken, so there's bound to be some Jays fans in the area(ish).
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