Florida, any hints & Tips? Must do's?

91
Found 11th Mar 2012
I am getting together peoples opinions on what to do whilst in Florida. We want to do as much as possible, and understand everybody has different tastes etc. Any tips would be brilliant, i've not been for years and that was as a single person, this time i will have a family and a 4 year old in tow. Dinner night must's? where to eat must's? Must trys etc etc, i know about the other site thats around for here, but i'd like to hear from you too
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OK "healthy" places to eat include crispers! there is a fantastic mexican on kirkman called el Potro!

I prefer Universal to Disney but I guess you'll be doing both:) I'd suggest doing a park every other day as it can get damn tiring If you like seeing different stuff then a drive up to Silver Springs could be fun and also the Sanford Zoo is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Shopping? well There's much choice:) Premium outlets end of I drive!

If you enjoy indian food i'd recommend a vegetarian indian up on orange blossom!
Weve not decided on Universal to be fair. Definites are all of Disney, and Seaword.
Also we don't want to drive, we are going to be going to expensive route of taxis and idrive lol.
One of the best things I did was an Airboat tour of the 'everglades' (not sure they can call it that but it's nearly there.) - Very fast and worth the relatively small expense.

Other must do's;

- Fantasmic at Hollywood studios
- Florida Mall
- The Golden Corral restaurant (every day if possible)
- A drive to Clearwater, very nice beach. Is about 100 miles but a very easy drive and gives a nice break from all of the hustle

There are loads of things and I'm v. jealous
Lulu'sMammy

Weve not decided on Universal to be fair. Definites are all of Disney, … Weve not decided on Universal to be fair. Definites are all of Disney, and Seaword. Also we don't want to drive, we are going to be going to expensive route of taxis and idrive lol.



We didnt drive either and were surprised how cheap you can get around!
I personally didnt rate seaworld at all (and i was really looking forward to it, but its a bit tired) I'd pick universal over that any day as you get a really full day out.
Also in regards to Disney's, all the parks are great but i enjoyed the animal kingdom the most (surprisingly) so dont dismiss it as a fallback. Also if you do go, go and see the bird show, one of the best things I've ever seen!!

Anyway have fun! We cant wait to go back!!
Edited by: "SpideyPunk" 11th Mar 2012
Sorry, just noticed you're not driving so clearwater is out.

I would recommend driving, It's incredibly easy and gives you much more freedom/time
Fantasmic is now on the list!
Golden Corral is already a to do.
Florida mall was a bit iffy because of no car? Is it achieveable?
I'd recommend driving too! if you are worried about getting lost then take a GPS with maps with you (don't rent one!!! it's cheaper to buy on out there than to rent one)
Wet and Wild is unbelievably good. River Country is awesome.
Lulu'sMammy

Florida mall was a bit iffy because of no car? Is it achieveable?



We took a cab to the florida mall from idrive for $19 e/w (15 min journey-pretty good when you compare what you'd get for that here! and all the money i spent!)

Then i went back again on the Lynx bus for $2! (45 mins) it can be done but for the heat alone id recommend the cab fare!


Edited by: "SpideyPunk" 11th Mar 2012
That being said, we actually found the Premium Outllets (the one at the top end of the map,and dont let the name put you off, it did us) to be the best shopping experience and value for money, we went for free on the itrolley pass on the last day as something to do and wish we had found it sooner (before we'd spent everything! ;))
Edited by: "SpideyPunk" 11th Mar 2012
Voucher books. (pick them up at news stands)

Edited by: "Toecutter" 11th Mar 2012
Ripleys believe it or not on i-drive is a good afternoon or evening thing to do, there are a few other places down that end as well.

Buy the i trolley passes, deffo worth the money.

I love the water parks in Disney. Infact I really love Disney. Trying to convince my other half we have to save up to go for my 30th in 3 years, lol.
Our kids (3 and 10) loved "the Rainforest Cafe" @ down town Disney and "Applebees" - but to be honest we didn't have a bad meal the whole time we were there! Clothes shopping was far more expensive than I thought it would be!

It's exhausting going to a park walking all day, but we did alternative days at a water park, where you could sit and sunbathe, swim and chill out then back the next day to the hard slog of going from ride to ride!

You'll have a great time - enjoy!
use i-trolley on I-drive
Sweet Tomatoes = great food
Universal = brilliant (but get FastPasses if busy)
Animal Kingdom = good
Magic Kingdom - gotta do it
Aquatica = good "beach" and cool water rides
WonderWorks is good for a few hours
Kennedy Space Centre is worth the trip
Bahama Breeze is a good restaurant if u want something abit different


Enjoy !!!
I always enjoy Chilis when I visit the states, there's one on International Drive.

I like Hard Rock Cafe at Universal and Planet Hollywood at Disney, both do great burgers.

Had some nice ribs at the Blues restaurant in Downtown Disney.

All food inside the Disney parks is really dire, just have large breakfast and a quick bite at lunch and save the main meal for outside the parks.
Brill info, keep it coming!
Aquatica or Wet and wild? (also im sure Disney waterparks are included in our tickets, these worth a go?)
The ribs thing is a BIG factor for the hubby, i don't eat meat so have wrote these down for him.
Are we to get Universal tickets then? worthwhile money wise for our 4 year old?

Not heard of some of the restaurants so am going to google and have a mooch. Thanks for that.
Not too Interested in Kennedy, Busch, or Gatorland, unless somebody changes my mind?
Any dinner nights? I done Arabian nights, but think my girls a bit young for that? Any others.
And really dont want to do the driving this time, i have before.
The Dibb is a mine for this type of info thedibb.co.uk/for…ms/

But you will enjoy it far more if you pluck up the courage to drive you wuss !

Soz, i guess you already know about the dibb.

Anyway, we always go to Tony Roma's (one on i-drive) on our last night. fantastio for steak and rib combo's. And the onion loaf....

Universal Studios is great for the family because they have a dedicated section for kids which I found better than any of the Disney areas, in particular there's a water play area which my Son spent hours in while I went on all the grown up rides. Islands of Adventure doesn't really have much for young children though. I went round all the rides on my own again while my partner took our Son back across to the main Universal park to play in the water area again.

This set up works great for the dad as you can go on all the rides as a single rider without really queing.
Not being a wuss, just wanna be pampered, and stick my thumb out when i wanna go anywhere. I know about the dibb, i've seen you on there.
Am soooooooo blimming excited, hubby home, moving house, and Florida all in one month...wooooosh!
master_chief

Universal Studios is great for the family because they have a dedicated … Universal Studios is great for the family because they have a dedicated section for kids which I found better than any of the Disney areas, in particular there's a water play area which my Son spent hours in while I went on all the grown up rides. Islands of Adventure doesn't really have much for young children though. I went round all the rides on my own again while my partner took our Son back across to the main Universal park to play in the water area again.This set up works great for the dad as you can go on all the rides as a single rider without really queing.




This is priceless info for me, thanks. I was going to rule universal out all together but will see if i can just do the one park now then? just off to google!
Lulu'sMammy

Not being a wuss, just wanna be pampered, and stick my thumb out when i … Not being a wuss, just wanna be pampered, and stick my thumb out when i wanna go anywhere. I know about the dibb, i've seen you on there. Am soooooooo blimming excited, hubby home, moving house, and Florida all in one month...wooooosh!



In case you missed my edit:

Anyway, we always go to Tony Roma's (one on i-drive) on our last night. fantastio for steak and rib combo's. And the onion loaf....
As I've stated before about the Dibb, it's a great resource if you can put up with all the ""DD, DS, DH, X X X X X X X, Darl, Hun, X X X X X X" etc. Drives me crazy.
master_chief

As I've stated before about the Dibb, it's a great resource if you can … As I've stated before about the Dibb, it's a great resource if you can put up with all the ""DD, DS, DH, X X X X X X X, Darl, Hun, X X X X X X" etc. Drives me crazy.



Lol, yeah. It's vile.
master_chief

As I've stated before about the Dibb, it's a great resource if you can … As I've stated before about the Dibb, it's a great resource if you can put up with all the ""DD, DS, DH, X X X X X X X, Darl, Hun, X X X X X X" etc. Drives me crazy.


Thats the problem i've got on there, i don't understand all the abbreviations! I'm making do with google lol and here.
My kids thought Gatorland was pants.
deek72

In case you missed my edit:Anyway, we always go to Tony Roma's (one on … In case you missed my edit:Anyway, we always go to Tony Roma's (one on i-drive) on our last night. fantastio for steak and rib combo's. And the onion loaf....


Onion loaf sounds DELISH!!
bump.....!
Decided to drive yet?

I should imagine there are buses which go to Florida mall, I thought it was worth going

When you go to any Disney park remember to tell them It's your birthday/anniversary etc. (if it is) - literally every member of staff will then say happy birthday/anniversary to you, which I thought was nice

Edit - they will give you a badge so they know, It's not some sort of 6th sense
Edited by: "sancho1983" 12th Mar 2012
Hahah, nah not persuaded to drive yet. I've heard of the celebration pins already.

We have booked the terrace dessert party for the wishes in Magic Kingdom.
Anything else we should get booked? What about a character dinner etc?
We managed just fine without driving. We just used the Lynx buses to get everywhere. Didn't bother using the I Drive trolley bus as we just bought weekly passes for the Lynx bus, because they went everywhere the trolley went and more.

Whereabouts are you staying? I wouldn't necessarily recommend using the bus to get to Disney from I Drive with a 4 year old, it is a long way and can be tiring after a long day at the park. Taxis can work out expensive although cheaper than here.

I would thoroughly recommend you check out the forum on Trip Advisor, if Scan60 is still on there he will give you detailed info on all the Lynx buses.
Aquatica was our waterpark of choice. Great for all ages
Wet'n'Wild was shabby and toilets/changing area were minging but they are opening a new kids' area this summer.
Staying on I drive near wet n wild. we have free shuttle to universal (which we have not yet bought) and then they put on a paid service to disney.
The first time we went we stayed at The Rodeway Inn, which is just by Wet n Wild. It is considered to be the slightly tacky side of I Drive but we thought it was fine. Loads of restaurants nearby and lots of crazy golf, my kids loved them. They are a cheap and fun way to spend an evening. There is an amusement park right opposite although it will mostly be too old for your 4 year old. We loved looking out the window and seeing people going on that slingshot ride, you would never catch me on that!
Oh lord we went on that in Ibiza, never EVER again! Should see the video, YouTube would have a right laugh at it! Scared was an understatement! Keep the tips coming x
Lulu'sMammy

Onion loaf sounds DELISH!!


http://i1031.photobucket.com/albums/y373/cerebrix97/Tony%20Romas%20Santiago/bN3cmuTlCr35X-eJe7bPyt-tony-romas-640x480.jpg
We didn't bother driving last time, just used buses and taxis. Really wished we had hired a car though. The buses are great from I Drive but there wasn't one to Universal Studios, 1st time we got off on I drive and walked down to it and it was a lot further than it looked on the map. 2nd time we found the hotels did their own bus service but you're restricted to their times. Driving would give you a lot more freedom and flexibility.
master_chief

We didn't bother driving last time, just used buses and taxis. Really … We didn't bother driving last time, just used buses and taxis. Really wished we had hired a car though. The buses are great from I Drive but there wasn't one to Universal Studios, 1st time we got off on I drive and walked down to it and it was a lot further than it looked on the map. 2nd time we found the hotels did their own bus service but you're restricted to their times. Driving would give you a lot more freedom and flexibility.



Yeah, takes about 20-25 mins to walk from W&W to Universal. Maybe a little longer with little 'uns in tow.
deek72

Yeah, takes about 20-25 mins to walk from W&W to Universal. Maybe a … Yeah, takes about 20-25 mins to walk from W&W to Universal. Maybe a little longer with little 'uns in tow.




Felt like twice as long with my Son on my shoulders, especially over the epic flyover.
There was a Taco Bell over the road from our hotel that on the first night we said to ourselves we would visit some time over the fortnight. It seemed madness to drive but crossing 8 lanes of traffic didn't look much fun either. So we didn't go

I don't paticularly enjoy driving in areas i'm unsure of and hate driving around cities over here. It really is easy though, they drive incredibly slowly and the lanes are really clearly marked. I asked at reception if they could do me a route plan for getting to Clearwater, she said "Drive west until you get to the beach" - and that's what we did. Easy peasy
sancho1983

There was a Taco Bell over the road from our hotel that on the first … There was a Taco Bell over the road from our hotel that on the first night we said to ourselves we would visit some time over the fortnight. It seemed madness to drive but crossing 8 lanes of traffic didn't look much fun either. So we didn't goI don't paticularly enjoy driving in areas i'm unsure of and hate driving around cities over here. It really is easy though, they drive incredibly slowly and the lanes are really clearly marked. I asked at reception if they could do me a route plan for getting to Clearwater, she said "Drive west until you get to the beach" - and that's what we did. Easy peasy




Still never eaten at Taco Bell. I hear it's one of the lowest class of eaterie over there though.

That reminds me, I found I-Hop to be very overrated. I didn't actually go in Florida, went another time in North Carolina, but the pancakes weren't anything more special than the all you can eat breakfast buffets down I-Drive.
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