Orlando Journals

Disney Area Timeshares and Restaurants

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A March 2001 trip to Orlando by Laura Z

Buzz Lightyear Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: We visit Disney World several times a year and have stayed at many timeshare resorts. Each is reviewed and compared below. I share special tips you can't find anywhere else too! In my journals, I compile all that I've researched about Orlando and combine it with my own experiences. Enjoy!

Disney Area Timeshares and Restaurants

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Overview

Buzz Lightyear Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
We go to Disney a few times a year. We’ve stayed in several different timeshares and compared them below. My overall favorite is Cypress Pointe and my least favorite is Sheraton's Vistana. We buy annual passes to the Disney parks and come and go as we please. If you spend more than eight days at a Disney park in a year, then it is worth it to buy the annual passes. Also, Sea world sometimes offers a second day free within a week's visit (check their web site). Universal also offer specials (check out RCI's travel pages). I think Universal is great for adults or teens. If you have young children, I would focus more on Disney and Sea World. We never run out of fu...Read More

Cypress Pointe Resort

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Hotel | "Cypress Pointe Grandvillas"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Disney is within minutes. Downtown Disney is the closest. There are loads of restaurants on the strip, including Joe's Crab Shack across the street. The location is the best in Orlando.Best Things About the Resort:Our unit was beautiful and clean. . . first floor facing the fountains. Really large screen TV, VCR, two Jacuzzis, and big showers too. Pool was great! Playground area was really nice for my toddler. This is a perfect home base if you want to get the most out of Disney. Grounds aren’t plush, but parking is right in front of your door and everything is close. The units are beautiful with nothing lacking.Resort Experience:T...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2002

Cypress Pointe Resort
8651 Treasure Cay Lane
Orlando, Florida 32830-2069
407-597-1929

Diamond Resorts Grand Beach

Hotel | "Embassy Vacation Resort at Grand Beach"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Close proximity to Disney (through Downtown Disney). Close enough to the other theme parks without driving for more than 20 minutes. Best Things About the Resort:The units in this resort are huge. The most comfortable king-sized bed I''ve ever slept in. Nice bathrooms. Upgraded fixtures. Large screened-in patio. All the supplies and linens you could want and replenished midweek. Resort Experience:We enjoyed building 4 (non-smoking) with parking beneath that is close to the main entrance and other guest areas. It was a great base from which to visit the attractions of Orlando. The pool is ridiculously small. I was told that they will be exp...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2002

Diamond Resorts Grand Beach
8317 Lake Bryan Beach Blvd
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 238-2500

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando

Hotel | "Sheraton''s Vistana Resort"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Close to Disney Downtown and parks. No more than 20 minutes drive to the other parks. One hour from Cocoa Beach. 20 minutes to the airport.Best Things About the Resort:The pools are the best thing about this timeshare. Very nice. The staff is friendly.Resort Experience:We requested Cascades, a two bedroom 1st floor unit by the pool. The unit wreaked of cigarettes. They changed us begrudgingly into a 3rd floor unit that was not close to the pool unit in Lakes. We stayed but I was not impressed. The front door didn''t lock, the master bedroom window screen was missing and dangerous (low windows opened all the way). The second bedroom was...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 16, 2002

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando
8800 Vistana Centre Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 239-3100

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando-Orange Lake Resort

Hotel | "Orange Lake Country Club"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Route 192 has several restaurants that are very good. Disney is close by. Other theme parks are further, almost 40 minutes away.Best Things About the Resort:Large, spacious units. Plentiful amenities and activities. Parking in front of the units. Well-kept grounds. Excellent service.Resort Experience:I found OLCC to be a first-class resort. From check-in to check-out, the staff was incredibly nice. I requested a North Village unit a week before. The day before, I called and was told that I was reserved into an older unit. I asked again for a North Village unit and when I arrived, a beautiful second-floor, two-bedroom unit was reserved, wit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2003

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando-Orange Lake Resort
8505 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Kissimmee, Florida 34747
(407) 239-0000

Summer Bay Resort

Hotel | "Houses at Summer Bay"

Summer Bay Resort Photo, Kissimmee, Florida
Quote:
We have stayed in several timeshares in Orlando: Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Cypress Pointe, Marriott’s Grande Vista, Sheraton Vistana, Orange Lake, Embassy Grand Beach, that we can use for comparison. Why it’s better than the rest:The Houses have their own garage. This is a great convenience to always have a parking pot inside your unit. It makes for easy transfer of luggage and groceries (no fighting for spots or carts). It is also large enough for a tall SUV. During those afternoon showers, we kept dry. We were given an electronic opener so there was no messing with keys to get in.The Houses have their own pool. My kids played in the pool every time we wer...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 1, 2006

Summer Bay Resort
17805 U.S. Highway 192
Kissimmee, Florida 34711
352/242-1100

Pirate's Dinner Adventure

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Attraction | "Pirates Dinner Adventure"

Pirate's Dinner Adventure Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The Pirates Adventure is solely for kids. If you don't have any, don't waste your time. If you do have young children, then this can be a fun time. Don't pay full price. It isn't worth it. Go on ebay and bid on a restaurant.com restaurant certificate. You can get two-for-one prices and pay half the price for the same seats as anyone else. If you don't do this, then don't go. It isn't worth paying more. The pirates do their best to make you have a good time. They interact with the kids and adults. They first offer a free buffet (chips, veggies, salads) in the main room. You have to purchase your own drinks here. The homemade sangria is good, but potent! They have small shows, a few exhib...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 14, 2004

Pirate's Dinner Adventure
6400 Carrier Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
+1 407 248 0590

Joe's Crab Shack

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Restaurant

Joe's Crab Shack Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Joe's is the one place I don't miss when I am in Orlando. The crab is excellent, the servers are the nicest in all of Florida, and the atmosphere is fun. Sip a margarita from their huge plastic tumblers and take home an instant margarita maker souvenir. They also offer beers and other fun party-type drinks. Try the clam chowder or lobster bisque soup (it's incredible) with big chunks of lobster (my mouth is watering thinking about it). I also like the crab popper appetizers. For dinner, enjoy the snow-crab legs (or any other variety of crab: Dungess, Alaskan, etc.). You can have your crab cooked the way you like it with different seasonings (garlic, Old Bay, barbecue, etc.) I've tried a few wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 3, 2003

Joe's Crab Shack
4601 South Semoran Blvd
Orlando, Florida 32822
(407) 658-9299

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

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Restaurant | "Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant"

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
LOCATION: The Sci Fi Restaurant is located in the heart of MGM Studios on Commissary Lane, next to the ABC Commissary and directly behind Sounds Dangerous. If you walk directly down the main street, it is behind and to the left of the Mickey Wizard hat. There are benches outside in front of the entrance and an old car where you can get a few fun photos. RESERVATIONS: If you call ahead with a priority seating at the Sci Fi (407-wdw-dine), then you are put into a "car" with a view of the movie screen (as if you are sitting at a drive-in theater). The films are pretty funny old horror flicks, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes kind of stuff as well as black and white cartoons and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2003

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World, Florida 32830
(407) 939-3463

'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort

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Restaurant | "'Ohana"

Quote:
ALOHA! 'Ohana is in the Polynesian Resort at Disney World. They offer special show nights (luaus) and regular dining with light entertainment from 5pm-10pm. 'Ohana is a place for family fun, laughter and good food. . . Hawaiian-style! They provide a family-interactive show and cater to special occasions, with everyone being called "Cousin". For example, the children were given brooms to race pushing coconuts around the room. The Hawaiian singer has fun with the guys and offers a mini hula lesson and a hula-hoop competition. Birthdays are extra special. Your waiter will first serve you hot pineapple bread followed by your meal from three-foot skewers cooked on the 16-foot open f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2003

'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort
1600 Seven Seas Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32820-1000
(407) 824 2000

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney

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Restaurant | "Rainforest Cafe"

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Rainforest Cafe® is A Wild Place to Shop and Eat®! Walk to the end of Downtown Disney or to the entrance of the Animal Kingdom and you surely cannot miss the Rainforest Cafe with its elephants, giraffes, and monkeys larger than life. Parrots squawk at the tourists as tourists gawk at the parrots. It's entertainment in and of itself! The restaurant bills itself as an adventure with guests going on a sort of safari through a tropical rainforest. The animations and atmosphere are quite elaborate and a neat gimmick. It's definitely worth a look if you've never been. Inspired by Mexican, Italian, Cajun, or Caribbean flavors, the Rainforest Cafe's menu offers a good selection. The...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 3, 2003

Rainforest Cafe Downtown Disney
Disney Marketplace
Orlando, Florida
(407) WDW-DINE

EPCOT Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
From my many visits in the last few years, here are my "words of wisdom". . . 1. I usually spend the whole day at one park, but intersperse rides with shows and snacks. Getting a Fastpass every time you can (either after using one or within an hour of when you can use one--the pass will tell you when you can) guarantees that you'll go on the rides you want while avoiding waiting in long lines. Decide ahead of time which Fastpass rides are "must do" and get those passes early in the day. 2. Animal Kingdom closes early. Make that park the day you want to go to dinner outside Disney. I suggest Columbia's in Celebration (you get to see the Disney-engineered "perfect" town and have a reall...Read More
Quote:
If you're considering staying at an Orlando timeshare, below is a comparison of the resorts I've had the pleasure of staying in. Different resorts are better suited for different types of vacation experiences. I've stayed at Cypress Pointe, Sheraton's Vistana, Orange Lake Country Club, and Embassy Grand Beach. I rate Cypress Pointe as the top resort, as it has both beautiful units and nice amenities. The pools are larger than hotel pools, though not as opulent as some resorts. Embassy Grand Beach and Orange Lake tie for second. Embassy's unit was more spacious than Orange Lake’s, but Orange Lake far exceeded Embassy's activities and amenities. The master bedroom suites ...Read More