Orlando Journals

Disney World before the Holidays

A November 2003 trip to Orlando by Mika Nichole

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: What a great time of the year to visit Disney! You will miss the crowds and the weather is still great. You will find no shortage of activities, shopping, or eating all within a few mile radius of the timeshare.

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Vistana Resort"

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista/Orlando Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Disney World and all the other parks are a short drive away. There are endless choices of dining all right in the area. There are several outlet malls as well.Best Things About the Resort:Hmmm...for some girls size is what matters most and this is the place for you. I personally prefer to be pampered and will not be returning to this "resort" aka apartment complex.Resort Experience:What you see in the picture is not necesarily what you get. This large resort is set up like a giant apartment complex with units from the 70s, 80s, and recent additions. They are up to four stories without elevators. Bell service was not offered and ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

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

Giordano's Restaurant and Pizzeria

Restaurant | "Giordanos Pizza"

Quote:
By far the best pizza I've had in my life. When you walk through the airport you will be handed a tourist package with advertisements for local dining and activities, including a photo of the thickest pizza I've ever seen. We went to see if the pizza would really be like the photo, and it was. It is not a fast-food joint like Pizza Hut - it is higher class than that, but lower class than the Olive Garden. The salad was also great. It is good for splitting if you plan on pizza as well. You can find a $2.00-off coupon in the tourist booklets.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Giordano's Restaurant and Pizzeria
7866 W Irlo Bronsn MMRL Hwy
Orlando, Florida 34747
(407) 397-0044

Joe's Crab Shack

Restaurant

Quote:
This is a seafood chain that if you have dined in one, you have dined in them all.

The kids love the playground out front. But this will not be a quiet and relaxing dinner. Every so often, the music blares and all the waiters join together in the middle to dance.

The seafood is mediocre and a little pricey for what you get. The poor crab was boiled to mush. The waitress was embarrassed as she tried to show "how it was done" and it bent like a rubber band instead of snapping open.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

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

Thai Thani Restaurant Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Wonderfully authentic Thai food in a restraunt with great atmosphere. The moment you walk in you are greeted by a hostess dresses in a Thai dress. There are many decorations from Thailand to look at and buy. The meal could be romantic in a private wooden carved booth with candlelight.

They have entertainment on the weekends. It is also notable that the owner flys fresh tea in from Thailand on a regular basis. However, it is restaurant policy that you may not split a pot of tea, you pay per person. The meals are a little pricey, but worth it. Don't plan to split the portions. They are enough for one person.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Thai Thani Restaurant
11025 S International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 239-9733

Golden Corral

Restaurant

Quote:
The first word that comes to mind is YUCK! Corral isn't in the name for no reason - this is pig food. And overpriced pig food at that. We pulled in on the way to Disney expecting a cheap breakfast. They charge 5 dollars for a 3-year-old that I usually split with and 7 for an adult. So for 12 dollars, we picked at cold eggs and baked beans. They also serve a full selection of desserts for breakfast, if you want to get your Disney day started with a sugar high. Although we cooked breakfast in the room after this experience, I noticed the Sizzler breakfast buffet was just $3.99 for an adult, plus there was a 10%-off-your-check coupon. Also, the Perkins restaurant was offering a br...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Golden Corral
8302 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
+1 407 352 6606

Orlando Premium Outlets

Attraction | "Premium Outlet Mall"

Quote:
There are many outlet malls to choose from, and this was by far my favorite. It boasts deals for Armani, Fendi, Douney and Bourke, Burberry, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Anne Taylor, la perla, and Ralph Lauren, to name just a few. My favorite store is a trendy junior boutique called Papaya where stylish shirts start at $7 and skirts start at $10. This is the mall with the official Disney outlet, where you can get deals on Disney clothes, dolls, and pins, but the cotton candy is still $3. I bought a porcelain piglet figurine for half price of what I almost spent on it last time I was at Disney. Heed this advice: Do not waste your time in imitation Disney stores, such as the "Character Corner" you will drive...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Orlando Premium Outlets

Orlando, Florida
(407) 238-7787

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Attraction | "Animal Kingdom"

Walt Disney World Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
Do not go expecting the Magic Kingdom. It is a cross between a zoo and an amusement park. There is a section with a few rides, including an awesome, not-to-be-missed dinosaur ride for those without neck and back problems. But the main part of the park is dedicated to the animal viewing and the shows. They are excellent and not to be missed. Find a spot for the parade early. Its route will be marked on the map you are handed upon entry. There is no way to see everything in one day. The park closes early in the slow season before the holidays, but that is offset by the lack of crowds. There are practically no lines. Most children in the park are under school age.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Walt Disney World

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Walt Disney World Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
The "happiest place on earth" is the Disney park that brings back all those warm, fuzzy feelings of excitement from childhood. This was the best time to visit, before Thanksgiving, in my opinion. There were no lines longer than 10 minutes. Most rides you were able to walk right on. We found plenty of curbside seating for the daytime parade. The park fills up after 5pm, with everyone taking advantage of their park-hopping capabilities to watch the nighttime parade and excellent firework display. Most people watch the fireworks from in front of the castle, and it can be very crowded. To avoid the crowds, try watching them from Fantasyland behind the castle. You will have no one blocking your ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Walt Disney World
Interstate 4 At U.S. Highway 192
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 934 7639

Quote:
You will most likely pass this mall on your daily trips to Disney. It is, however, probably just like the outlet mall you have at home (if you have one). There is a generic listing of stores, only some of which are actually outlets while the others are overpriced tourist traps such as Character Corner. This is not an official Disney outlet and not worth your time. It contained rack after rack of old Disney 100 Year Celebration t-shirts, non-Disney items, the same key chains they sell at every Walgreens and Walmart in the area, and a strange selection of Disney dolls. Most were unrecognizable as Disney characters, however I did recognize the wicked witch from Sleeping Beauty and a horse th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 25, 2003

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores
15591 State Road 535
Orlando, Florida 32821
+1 407 238 9301

Pooh Bear Ears Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
After wasting our time in many imitation Disney stores, we happened upon two excellent places to save money on Disney souvenirs. The first place is Walmart, believe it or not. I ran in for a $10 stroller after renting one at Disney for $8, only to have the frustration of finding it in a sea of identical strollers after coming off a ride. Walmart had a huge Disney section right in front. T-shirts start at $5, sweatshirts start at $8, keychains start at $1.97, fuzzy Pooh or Mickey ears are $3.97. I got a pink Tinkerbell sweatsuit cheap, and matching Minnie shirts for my daughter and me. The second great store is the official Disney Outlet in the Premium Outlet Mall, where authentic Disne...Read More