Author Topic: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?  (Read 3249 times)

Dicey

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Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« on: October 10, 2013, 07:29:30 PM »
DH and I will be celebrating our first anniversary in Orlando the last week of October. We scored a great deal on a vacation condo at a charity auction and a cousin is providing buddy passes for airfare. Since we had a spur-of-the-moment wedding, this is our belated honeymoon.

Besides the obvious honeymoon-related activities ;-), we are looking for a couple of easy and inexpensive things to do. We do NOT have any desire to do Disney or Universal. I loved the Kennedy Space Center, so that one's not on the list either. More driving than we want to do this trip.

Any thoughts on Mustachian activities in and around Orlando that week? We're not planning on renting a car, but would be willing to for a day or two for a great opportunity.
 
Thanks for any suggestions!
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AustinKat

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 09:51:31 PM »
I lived in Orlando for many years. Much as I hate to say it, if you're going to be there a whole week, you pretty much need a vehicle, especially if the condo is down in Mouse Country (i.e. near Disney). The bus system is nearly nonexistent, and Orlando is a very sprawly place.

I lived near Leu Gardens (http://www.leugardens.org/), which is lovely and peaceful, although wow, looking at their site, admission has gone way up since I moved away (it used to be like $4, now it's $10).

Winter Park, just north of Orlando, has a central park that's nice to wander in. There's also the Morse Museum (http://www.morsemuseum.org/), which has an enormous collection of Tiffany windows.

I know you don't want to do the parks, but if you want to see the Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy live and in person, you could go to Downtown Disney (it's free) and wander around and tourist-watch. The World of Disney store is especially terrifying.

Late October is a glorious time to go to Florida. Have fun!

Hamster

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 10:06:24 PM »
You can hang out with all the pediatricians in town for their annual conference Oct 26-29. :-)

Dicey

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 02:28:56 PM »
Thanks, AustinKat! Yours were just the kind of suggestions I was looking for. The parks and the Morse Museum sound perfect.

I have been to Downtown Disney in Anaheim and once is enough. Good suggestion, but do not want to subject ourselves to Disney Affluenza. Our shots may not be current. Not worried about spending money ourselves, it just makes me unhappy to see others spending so wantonly. And all the overstimulated, overtired, crying kids. Oy vey!

I know Orlando's a sprawling place, alas. We may rent a car for just a couple of days, as most days I figure we'll just hang around the hotel and pools. I'd hate to pay for it and not use it. Sometimes it's still cheaper to rent for a week even if you don't use it, but I haven't shopped for rental cars yet.

Hamster, your comment made me laugh out loud! I used to work at Nordstrom in SF. We set our schedules by the convention calendar. We never wanted to be off when any kind of Doctor's group was in town. So thankful to be out of that universe.

We may plan our "field trips" for the days before and after they leave, so thanks for the tip!
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oldtoyota

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 08:04:38 PM »
If you like old timey strange attractions, the Citrus Tower may be worth a quick trip.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/4030

Note: I went about 15 years ago, and it looks a bit more touristy now than it was back then.


Dicey

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 08:34:43 PM »
Hi Oldtoyota - This one made me laugh. I grew up in Riverside, CA, the citrus capitol of the West. When I was in JrHi, my folks would let us ride our bikes to the Parent Navel Orange Tree. It was about 6 or 7 miles from home, so it was a big deal adventure in my pre-driving days. I'll pencil this one in. Thanks for the tip!
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oldtoyota

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 06:35:39 PM »
Hi Oldtoyota - This one made me laugh. I grew up in Riverside, CA, the citrus capitol of the West. When I was in JrHi, my folks would let us ride our bikes to the Parent Navel Orange Tree. It was about 6 or 7 miles from home, so it was a big deal adventure in my pre-driving days. I'll pencil this one in. Thanks for the tip!

Cool! I know it's a quirky suggestion. =-)

Loud Noises

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 11:42:34 AM »
A little late to the party but I would recommend Wekiva Springs State Park.  Some nice FL hiking, as well as canoeing/kayaking if you're into that.

elaine amj

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2013, 03:59:29 PM »
Chilling at your resort should be really nice.

We happen to have drank the Disney koolaid so we spend a lot of our time with the Mouse. The last time we were there I had a day or two of free time and we ended mostly still on Disney property - took our son cane pole fishing for $4 and my DD wanted to ride a surrey bike.

There are quite a number of nice parks, etc in the Orlando area. I understand some nice hiking, etc. Sadly, we haven't been to any.

I would recommend checking out the Lynx bus system. It really didn't look that bad when I checked it out. (Then again, I was focused on connections with theme parks).

As for a rental car, I was there for a short Disney cruise and it ended up being cheaper to keep the car and pay for parking instead of renting one way and then renting the other way. Orlando rental car prices are often pretty good. Just make sure you go on places like fatwallet to get rental car coupon codes. And don't despair because prices swing rather wildly and change quite frequently. It pays to keep checking and running different codes. While there are "better" codes, the "best" code seems to change all the time. Last time, the Costco Canada code worked the best for me - I think I was with Budget (I can't remember off the top of my head).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 04:11:37 PM by elaine amj »
My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

Dicey

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 03:12:47 PM »
So we made it back from Orlando with our wallets intact. Thanks to all who offered suggestions.

Trip highlights included two shops at Aldi (They're not in NorCal.) We also went to Costco to see what deals they had on local attractions. Decided to splurge on indoor skydiving via Costco discount tickets and had a blast at iFly. Enjoyed a stroll around Lake Eola, an amble through and picnic in Mead Garden (a random discovery). Went to WinterPark. Visited their Library, (Loved the Peace Trees, crefted with recycled water bottles by artist Dale Wayne.),  strolled through Kraft Azalea Garden, gawked at the waterfront mansions, watched the WPHS Homecoming Parade (an unexpected slice of Americana) and savored our time at the Morse Museum ($5 general/$4 seniors plus museum is totally self-supporting, no gov't funding.).

Our resort hotel room had a kitchenette, so we prepared all our own meals with good food from Aldi and Costco. We did rent a car, and got a nice deal through the airline. Didn't drive most days, but it was convenient to have and made grocery shopping easier. Gassed up at Costco prior to returning car and used GPS to avoid all tolls.

Didn't make it to the Citrus Tower or Wekiva Springs, but it was nice to know we had lots of options. (Most days we never left the hotel ;-)). Thanks to everyone who responded. We had an awesome, reasonably priced honeymoon that we will never forget.

P.S. Paid $3.11 for gas at Costco. Noticed that it was $4.67 outside of Disney World. Ouch!
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AustinKat

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Re: Orlando Vacation without Disney or Universal?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2013, 03:39:15 PM »
P.S. Paid $3.11 for gas at Costco. Noticed that it was $4.67 outside of Disney World. Ouch!
Ah, the fabled Mouse markup--I remember it well. Glad you made it up to the Morse! It sounds like you had a great time.