31 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2016 11:17 AM by bremere RSS

Orlando Recommendations, please!

razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

We are planning a brief trip to Orlando and I am looking for suggestions on where to stay and activities other than Disney.  We have been to Disney World a few times and I remember saying that "I wouldn't need to return" after we visited several years ago, so I'm looking for other destinations we would enjoy.  Recommendations for lodging, dining, etc. are also welcome.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Orlando, Florida,
  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    ericwynn Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am a Theme Park addict, and, if not Disney World, I would recommend Universal Studios. They have some wonderful hotels, and a great entertainment complex..

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    lindseyh Community Manager Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The last time I was in Orlando I took a day trip out to Kennedy Space Center, which was pretty neat! I also agree with ericwynn that Universal Studios is a ton of fun!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    ericwynn Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Other ideas would be Downtown Disney World, Now Disney Springs, I- Drive, Universal Studios and their Downtown Area, Kennedy Space Center is a bit of a drive but cool, the beaches, 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    phillyflyer30 Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    As far as places to stay - the complex of the JW Marriott, Ritz, and Lakeshore Reserve is really nice and good location.  If you are travelling with little kids - 3-8, Harbour Lake is a good choice. 

     

    Activities other than Disney - Medieval Times, City Walk at Universal, Gatorland

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Seen this one?  Family Vacay in Orlando: What are your top 5 local tips?

     

    I'd encourage you to consider the Grande Lakes property - lots more info here: Orlando World Center vs. JW Gande Lakes

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks, ss.  I had looked at those discussions earlier today.  We're planning to spend the first 2 nights at the JW.  We are looking forward to that stay.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    Jsucool76 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Disney has changed a lot most likely since the last time you've been there, with the addition of a few new star wars themed attractions too.

     

    Disney springs is fantastic, especially their newer restaurants. City Walk near Universal is also a cool place to hang out. A little more adult oriented.

     

    I haven't stayed at the Ritz or JW (yet, no plans on the JW though, no elite bennies) but there's a new delta hotel supposedly opening tomorrow that has agreed to honor full breakfast for elites as well as no resort fee.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      The Delta Hotel doesn't show that they are accepting reservations until January 1, 2016. It looks like a nice hotel.  Maybe they are having a soft opening tomorrow.

       

      I'm sure Disney has changed a lot since we were last there.  We think the last time we visited was in 2010.  If we decide to go to Disney, we would most likely choose Epcot.

       

      Is Disney Springs what used to be Downtown Disney?

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        Jsucool76 Gold
        Currently Being Moderated

        Yeah, I'm going up the 19th. Hoping they open up availability by then, but I'm tentatively booked into the castle hotel, and got upgraded to a tower room.

         

        Disney springs is the renamed (and much expanded/renovated) downtown disney. Jock Lindsey's hangar is amazing there (based off indiana jones) as is the boathouse. I'll be eating at the new morimoto there this weekend. Some of the best restaurants are in the disney resorts though. I absolutely love Jiko in the animal kingdom lodge.

         

         

        Epcot is definitely the best park. You just missed the food and wine festival though =/

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
          Jsucool76 Gold
          Currently Being Moderated

          Quick update. Apparently the delta is now opening Dec 28th. Little upsetting. Was hoping to get a stay in over there for opening weekend.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
            razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Thanks for the update.  Maybe they will change the opening date.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    AZDesertRat Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    We spent a week in late August this year, and the kids chose Universal Studios over Disney for the rides.  I admit I had a great time on the rides there - several roller coasters and the Harry Potter ride inside the castle were winners.  We did not pay extra for the express pass and found out we didn't need to.  Most of the rides have 4 or 5 seats across, or in a row, which leaves extra seats to fill when a family of 3 or 4 gets on.  To fill those "extra" seats, they bring people from the express line, especially "singles" to fill out the rows.  You can enter the express line as a "single", even when there are several in your group.  Even when 3 or 4 of us entered, we always walked quickly up to the boarding area and all went on the same turn.  If you do this, you may not sit next to each other every time, but you will probably be near, as they invariably have multiple seats to fill in.  Even with long (regular) lines we were able to go on several times, with almost no waiting.  One warning:  If you go on the water rides, be prepared to get soaking wet, from head to toe!  Many were wearing swim suits when we were there and others had plastic coveralls they bought.  We didn't care - it was so hot and humid we liked the relief.  Didn't eat there.  Enjoyed Bongo's Cuban Cafe (operated by Gloria Estefan's family) in Disney Downtown - good Cuban food at reasonable prices.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thank you for the recommendations, AZdesertrat,  I was wondering about the Express Pass.  We are more than willing to ride separately if it means less time waiting.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        Jsucool76 Gold
        Currently Being Moderated

        The single rider lines are great when travelling without small children.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Having just returned from Orlando, I'd advise staying away from the International Drive area. While there are many hotels and restaurants, traffic is a nightmare. Getting anywhere takes a long time. Besides, most of the restaurants are chains which can be found almost anywhere. Do yourself a favor and skip the entire area. Stay somewhere with less traffic and fewer headaches.

     

    I spent a couple nights at the Castle Hotel and found it comfortable, but not all that special. Because of my itinerary, I stayed the first night at the CY Vista Centre, which although an older property with fairly basic amenities, I actually preferred. Access to I-4 was easy, I got an upgrade to a roomy suite, and this CY offered a full buffet breakfast to all Elites (Silver and up). This last part was a temporary promotion, so it may not last, but I'm pretty sure Gold and Platinum members would be give breakfast vouchers even after this promotion ends. I'm not sure I'd recommend this CY, but for the price (found a $72 rate - breakfast for 2 would have cost ~$25), the value far exceeded what I got at the Castle (especially since I didn't spend much time at the hotel anyway).

     

    Next time I go, I'll probably stick with either one of the full service properties, a MVC location, or (if not during the busy season) one of the properties not too far from Disney World with easy access to the freeway. There are plenty of choices. Just make sure to factor in parking and/or resort fees when comparing prices.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    Jsucool76 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    There is also a new Towne place suites and Springhill suites opening in an area called flamingo crossings in January. This area is right next to the western entrance to wdw, near the wide world of sports.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    Platinum 28 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    razorbackfan

     

    Didn't know if you were aware that Los Angeles, in an attempt to keep up with Florida, has a replica of Universal Studios as well as a copy of Disneyland.

     

    The only elements missing is these "crude" copies is the absence of humidity and mosquitoes.  But I have been told that they have given up trying to recreate those factors.

     

    Letting you know in case you find it difficult to find a room in Orlando.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      My family visited Disneyland around 1960, I think.  I would like to return someday.  I could combine a visit with attending the Rose Bowl Parade and seeing "Dancing With the Stars" (about the only show I watch other than sports).

       

      I am so used to humidity and mosquitoes that I don't even think about it when we have been to Florida . We have 68 varieties of mosquitoes here in south Louisiana.  Unfortunately, it seldom gets cold enough for long enough, to get rid of them.

       

      There are so few hotels in the Orlando area that I am having difficulty finding a place to stay .  Actually, I'm having a difficult time making up my mind where to stay. 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        Platinum 28 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Would insure a "Royal Welcome" if and when you visit.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        Jsucool76 Gold
        Currently Being Moderated

        Depends what you're looking for. The JW, Ritz, and World Center Marriott always get rave reviews, but I dont like the no elite benefits stuff.

         

         

        The ritz is cheap sometimes so I might use a club level upgrade cert there someday.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    magicsneakers13 Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    We were just there at the end of October and we stayed at the Residence Inn Orlando at Sea world off of 4 on Westwood Blvd, it was in between Universal and Disney, in quiet area. was easy access to most places and airport. We had a 2 bedroom suite with kitchen, it had full buffet complimentary for breakfast with a lot of options. We will be staying here again next April when we come back from Cruise to Bahamas and we want to go to Epcot before flying home next day. We also enjoyed the Universal City Walk and had lunch at Margaritiville while there in October. They have the HULK roller coaster torn down for maintenance and wont be back in use until next year. That is the best roller coaster at Universal so disappointing. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      Jsucool76 Gold
      Currently Being Moderated

      Disney Florida is actually a copy of Disney in California.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        Platinum 28 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Jsucool76

         

        Really!  I didn't know that.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
        bigmrm Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        Eh, some attractions are more or less duplicates, but the two theme park complexes really don't compare much otherwise. For one thing, Disney World is FIFTY times larger and encompasses for theme parks.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
      AZDesertRat Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      That's a shame about the HULK.  I loved it, rode it 3 times and could feel the effects the next morning!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    mmca723 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've stayed at the JW Grande Lakes, and it was amazing--beautiful grounds, and so relaxing. Last time I went with family members (including kids), and we stayed at the Courtyard Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village (which offered shuttles to Disney). Universal is excellent, and many people prefer it to Disney. Seaworld was loads of fun for everyone, with lots of different activities. Kids loved Legoland. I enjoyed taking a little drive out to the sticks for a swamp tour--there are a number of places that will take you on airboats to see the native wildlife (including alligators) up close. There are several decent restaurants in Downtown Disney (Bongos Cuban Cafe is one), and Emeril's' Tchoup Chop is a great polynesian restaurant at Universal.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    ninabrackeen Platinum 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    LOVE Grande Lakes, always have a great experience there.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    vertol46 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    My favorite Orlando hotel is the Bohemian, in Celebration. It is a very relaxed place on a small, tranquil lake. There are walking/biking paths throughout the planned community of Celebration. I also enjoyed the Castle Hotel on International Drive. It's an exciting property right in the middle of tourist activity. And then there's the J.W. Marriott, Grande Lakes, which has an impressive pool and exterior glass elevator. (Downside to this property is the parking fee.) Or the Gaylord Palms, a complete indoor vacation all by itself. I've stayed at all of these, and would go back to any of them.

     

    For an Orlando restaurant, look into Le Coq au Vin.It's unpretentious, country French cooking. Delicious!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    gatilla007 Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    For anyone planning a visit to Central Florida (Orlando), Kennedy Space Center def a must! Epic value for your money, will learn a lot and you'll be making some great memories to last a lifetime! As far as hotels, what we recommend to our friends is to sleep at affordable places like Residence Inns where you can get free hot breakfast for the whole fam, and from there you can go spend your days at the many posh resorts in the area! Frugal way to experience a lovely time in Orlando!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    agbcpa Platinum 5 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    World Center for the size of the property and the available amenities is a good choice but if you are elite you may have to ask for benefits. Renaissance SeaWorld was a little worn the last time I stayed but it was typically a good deal for location

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Orlando Recommendations, please!
    bremere Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    The JW is by far my favorite facility in Orlando. Incredible staff, great rooms, and the views are incredible!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...