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Old 09-14-2012, 08:30 PM   #91
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiankitten View Post
I am about halfway done reading your TR, and it is awesome to see another area of Orlando! Thanks for sharing. It's also nice to see another Canadian ^)^
Good to have you along! I hope you enjoyed it, right through to the end.
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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 09-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by papertraveller View Post
Hi Gina,

First, I'd like to say thanks for sharing your trip adventures -- and your great family -- with the rest of us. Love the pics, and your candid reviews of all you did.

Second, I'd like to say thanks for focusing on the Other Orlando beyond WDW. So many people travel down and get immediately seduced by the comfortable embrace of Disney that they don't realize what's out there.

I've picked up lots of ideas from your last two trip reports -- ironically, while we were there at the same time in that same WDW embrace. Looks like we have the same vacation pattern.

This Christmas, we will be staying for one night onsite at Universal due to your recommendation. You are very persuasive about the merits of the Express Pass access! We'll blitz the two parks in two days, and then retreat to Marriott's Grande Vista for a week.

From there we were going to tackle WDW for a few days (we have APs) and also try to get in a golf lesson for myself and DD. Now I'm going to add the Outta Control show to the itinerary, because it looks like a blast and I'm sure DD and DH will love it.

I would love to fit in Discovery Cove and Aquatica, but I suspect it'll have to wait another year. I know you did this in December last year, when the weather was relatively decent. But you still wore wetsuits, didn't you?

I'll watch for you at the Florida Mall at the post-Christmas sales!
Thanks papertraveller!! I am so glad you have found my reviews helpful. I have picked up such wonderful tips and ideas from other Disers, it is nice to give back finally!!!

You will love the onsite perks for the Universal portion of your Christmas trip. I can't imagine Universal at the holidays without the Express Pass...it just makes your visit to the parks so much more enjoyable. Which hotel did you choose for your one night's stay? And be sure to try the Butterbeer......oooooohhhhhhhhhh, its sooooooooo gooooooooooood (where's the drooling smilie when you need it?).

I am so glad you decided to book the Outta Control Dinner Show. What a fun night you will have. Be sure to get there early (at least 30 minutes ahead of time) to ge the best seats. It was no where near full when we were there, but probably Christmas will be much busier. Have a $100 bill in your wallet if you want to hopefully be chosen to go up on stage.

We visited Discovery Cove on New Years Day and we had fabulous, warm weather. We did wear the wetsuits because it was cool upon arrival in the early morning before the sun really warmed things up. Later that week, it did get pretty cold though....we wore winter coats on January 3rd and 4th at the Universal parks.....so our timing couldn't have been better. That's the worst of travelling in the winter. You just never know what the temperatures might be.

Your feedback on my non-Disney activities means more to me than you know! I always feel like many don't get much out of my trip reports as they haven't included Disney (don't get me wrong....we LOVED Disney on our 2009 trip.....but we have so many other places yet to explore). I am actually really looking forward to incorporating a little Disney into our Christmas trip, and seeing the resorts all decorated for the holidays.

One of the reasons we love Orlando is that there always still seems something new to explore. With all those must-do's on my list that we haven't crossed off yet, we'll just have to keep going back until they are all taken care of .
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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 09-15-2012, 08:15 AM   #93
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Thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed your adventures

I would like to know a little more about the Westgate Lakes and will be doing some research. Hope I can pop back any ask any questions!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #94
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Loved your trip report, Gina! I've booked Buena Vista Suites for a trip in Feb, but we usually stay in 2 bdrm condos with a full kitchen, so I'm not sure if this is where we will end up. Westgate Resort looked beautiful, would you mind sharing what website you used to get that great price?
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:28 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
You may have just talked me into doing a PTR after all . It might be a fun way to pass the time!!!
It is if people talk to you about it. My report has been pretty quiet online, but I have middle daughter at home chatting it up -- and currently nagging me to update.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
As for the carousel info.....you have an amazing memory.
Thank you. preens

Perhaps I should mention that, once my memory is jogged, I have been known to go back to where I first read about it before posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papertraveller View Post
So many people travel down and get immediately seduced by the comfortable embrace of Disney that they don't realize what's out there.

I've picked up lots of ideas from your last two trip reports
I started a thread (just the latest of many!) for Trip Reports of people staying offsite in the Orlando Attractions board -- just went through and added a post listing trip reports with pics of offsite attractions. Although Gina's are half of them! But the first and last should be new to you. I think there are some others; I'll have to go back and review the whole list sometime when I feel more ambitious.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....8#post46166048
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:18 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by pooksma View Post
Thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed your adventures

I would like to know a little more about the Westgate Lakes and will be doing some research. Hope I can pop back any ask any questions!
Sure....feel free to ask away! I have also posted a really, really detailed summary of the resort on the Orlando Hotels & Attractions board (specifically, on the Hotel & Accomodations Reviews sub-board) so you may want to check that out. You can find it here:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post46169756

Quote:
Originally Posted by FayeW View Post
Loved your trip report, Gina! I've booked Buena Vista Suites for a trip in Feb, but we usually stay in 2 bdrm condos with a full kitchen, so I'm not sure if this is where we will end up. Westgate Resort looked beautiful, would you mind sharing what website you used to get that great price?
Sure thing! Click on the link above (which will take you to my resort review on the Hotel & Accomodations Review sub-board) and check out post #10. It has all the details there .

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalom View Post
It is if people talk to you about it. My report has been pretty quiet online, but I have middle daughter at home chatting it up -- and currently nagging me to update.
I will be sure to drop by and join in this week . I am finally getting caught up and "back to normal" (as normal as I ever get, anyway ) so that means more time for the Disboards. Woot!
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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 09-15-2012, 09:18 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
]here:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post46169756



Sure thing! Click on the link above (which will take you to my resort review on the Hotel & Accomodations Review sub-board) and check out post #10. It has all the details there
Thanks Gina. That was a great price and well worth your morning! I won't try to get that deal this time, though, as we are only staying 6 nights, and with only 5 full days I won't spend any time for a timeshare tour. I did get a fantastic rate from a private owner at Windsor Hills today, $500 for the 6 nights, including tax and cleaning. I have stayed at Windsor Hills before and we loved it, but we rented through a management company. I am a little nervous booking directly with the owner.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:06 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by FayeW View Post
Thanks Gina. That was a great price and well worth your morning! I won't try to get that deal this time, though, as we are only staying 6 nights, and with only 5 full days I won't spend any time for a timeshare tour. I did get a fantastic rate from a private owner at Windsor Hills today, $500 for the 6 nights, including tax and cleaning. I have stayed at Windsor Hills before and we loved it, but we rented through a management company. I am a little nervous booking directly with the owner.
That's a great rate!! I have heard wonderful things about Windsor Hills....its somewhere I could see myself trying someday. I hope you have a fantastic trip!!!
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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 09-18-2012, 03:57 PM   #99
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Gina, I really enjoyed reading your trip report. You've left me wanting a summer trip to Florida! I will be sooooo happy if my boys grow into young men who appreciate a good cross-border shipping trip like your son! Right now we plan all shopping trips by proximity to a good pool, and I dash around the shops while the boys swim!

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:52 PM   #100
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Loved the trip report, already looking forward to your December one. Got a kick again out of the pictures in Watertown, we were right at Friendly's back in July. Always a must stop when we go back. Looking forward to hitting the Friendlys in Orlando this November. This will be out first trip to Discovery Cove and Aquatica so your pictures got us even more excited.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:05 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by sportel View Post
Gina, I really enjoyed reading your trip report. You've left me wanting a summer trip to Florida! I will be sooooo happy if my boys grow into young men who appreciate a good cross-border shipping trip like your son! Right now we plan all shopping trips by proximity to a good pool, and I dash around the shops while the boys swim!

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Aw, thanks!

My son was the same as your boys when he was younger.......family trips were definitely all about the swimming . He was about 11 or 12 when clothing and sportswear started to become important. I must admit I enjoy his affinity for shopping.....he is such a clone of my husband in every other way, and I'll never have a daughter, so I treasure this side of my athletic and rough-and-tumble boy . And I hope along the way I'm teaching him how to be fiscally responsible......he's a fantastic saver, has great money sense, and can seek out a deal as well as I can......which are all good life skills too.

The summer trip was definitely VERY different from our winter getaways. Equally as fun and amazing, but a totally different feel. I am so glad we have had a chance to experience both the summer and winter seasons in Orlando. We are super excited to be there for the Christmas season this year too . Someday, I want to visit at Halloween as well......I love the pics of the Disney decorations in October!!!!
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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 09-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #102
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I love love your trip report ..... i am going to read it a second time to see what I have missed.. but I have a question for ... where you go to that orange juice type place. you mention a nike store

Following a very productive stop at the stand-alone Nike Factory Outlet Store

where is this place ..would love to know. thanks.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #103
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I love love your trip report ..... i am going to read it a second time to see what I have missed.. but I have a question for ... where you go to that orange juice type place. you mention a nike store

Following a very productive stop at the stand-alone Nike Factory Outlet Store

where is this place ..would love to know. thanks.
Hi there disneyred ,

The orange store is called Eli's Orange World.....here is a link to their website:

http://www.orangeworld192.com/

The Nike Factory Outlet Store is very, very close by. Both are located on W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Kissimmee. The store doesn't have a website but I did find some information here:

https://foursquare.com/v/nike-factor...64a520e7b43ce3

The two places are literally only 3 minutes apart by car ....I Mapquested it for you, so let's see if this works:

http://maps.google.ca/maps?saddr=Eli...ra=ls&t=m&z=15

Some of the best deals of our trip were found as this Nike clearance store. DH got a gorgeous pair of size 15 Nike trainers for $25 (regularly +$100). My boys each picked up Nike Dri-Fit Florida Gators t-shirts for $8 (and DH's was a 3XL....they had a ton of harder-to-find sizes). Women's t-shirts were as low as $4.19 each. We have marked this outlet store as our FIRST stop on our December shopping trip.....because by the time we found this little gem, our suitcases were already bulging at the seams!!

Let me know if you have any other questions! And thanks so much for the kind comments on my trip report....I am so glad to have you share in our 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 09-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #104
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Golden Coral

Hi Gina
Do you remember how much it was to eat at the Golden Corral? I'm looking for alternate ways to feed a family of 5 in Orlando, after doing the Disney Dining Plan for 5 years, I'm wondering if it would be cheaper to pay out of pocket (except during free dining of course).
thanks
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #105
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Hi Gina
Do you remember how much it was to eat at the Golden Corral? I'm looking for alternate ways to feed a family of 5 in Orlando, after doing the Disney Dining Plan for 5 years, I'm wondering if it would be cheaper to pay out of pocket (except during free dining of course).
thanks
We used the coupons found here:

http://www.iloveorlando.com/document...Web-lowres.pdf

and paid $10.49 pp for dinner, and $7.29 pp for breakfast.

Breakfast includes your drinks in the buffet price, dinner does not (you can get water at no charge).
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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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