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Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

Lancashire, UK
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Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

Hi experts, it's about 10 years since I was in Orlando and have never stayed on I-Drive. Going for the Homewood suites near convention centre after great reviews on here.

Me and my girlfriend (big kid) are going for 2 wks from Manchester on 16th September. We pre-purchased 7-day Disney tickets and 5 park flextickets for Busch, Seaword, Universal etc. We have a car but I'm not planning to use it that much (just not enough saving from package not to have car).

Just got a few things to ask about before we go:

1. What is my best option for doing the disney nightime things, fireworks and downtown disney clubs?

2. If going to Busch Gardens, would midweek (Tuesday, wed, thu) be best (quietest)?

3. I have read about Universal's express pass. Do i need to purchase an add-on to my flexticket to get this option?

4. Eating out around the Homewood Suites on I-drive (convention centre). Any recommendations for this? We like steak, mexican, chinese, italian, seafood.

Thanks for any pointers.

Dan

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
llanelli
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1. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

stayed at this hotel couple years ago.very nice, free breakfast big bonus.manager special, ok in the evening for a couple of free drinks.bahama breeze right by suites well worth a visit.read good reviews about cafe tu tu tango.spoilt for choice on i drive.

universal express pass does cost extra,which i think should not have been allowed since fastpass at disney works just as well for free!

fantasmic at mgm is a must!as is wishes at MK.illuminations at epcot.this is what disney does best.Busch gardens is a must ,we were surprised last year how quiet it was,but cant remember what day best.Id just go when they open for longer ,big park need all day.make sure you try a free ice cold beer before you leave.

im afraid unless you use the car you will find a great deal of time wasted on waiting for buses etc.

know you will have a fab time.

ireland
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2. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

hi myself and mygirlfriend are just back from 2 weeks in orlando staying in homewood suites it is a lovely place to stay we are both 28 and had a blast here cant recommend it enough!!!!!!!!!! for disney night time check with the hotel when you arrive about shuttle buses to disney i know they do them during the day but i dont think they run at night i see you have a car best thing to do is drive down about 7 pm and head for downtown disney and park there its free driving is easy enough get on the i-4 at sand lake road and head west its well sign posted get all your maps at the visitors center located beside the hotel as your walking from your hotel enterance to i-drive itself its in on the right you cant miss it

busch gardens is great its big enough to spend a whole day in it if you have a 5 park flexiticket you can get the free shuttle bus it departs from the mercardo but you have to ring the night before to book a seat

yes you need to buy a universal fastpass even if you have your flexiticket its about 20 dollars each the best thing we found to do was go to the parks around 2pm and usually by 4 pm or so the parks get a bit quiter and the queues get shorter stay for the fire work show in universal its great best place to stand is directly accross from bettlejuice along the railings at the waters edge

checkout the dining guide here for the best places to eat and get yourself an i-ride trolley map its great for finding places even if your driving or walking as you can narrow down each place to the nearest trolley stop you have to try bahama breeze its behind your hotel for steak amigos for mexican 1-6-8 for chinese its on turkey lake road just off sand lake road you will have to drive to this its only a 5 minute drive from homewood they are my favourites but one thing i-drive has is plenty of dining options so you wont be stuck for somewhere to eat

homewood does a free breakfast in the morning 7am to 10 am and it does a free welcome home feast on monday to thursday with free beer and wine the only neagative we found was the sun goes off the pool around 4pm so if you want to lay around the pool in the sun get there early !!!!!

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Orlando
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london
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3. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

hi lagerlout,

we stayed here over christmas and new year last year and loved the suites

the free breakkfast is very good but get there early because from about 7.30 onwards it does get busy and difficult to get a table, but you can take breakfast back to your room

evening reception from 5.00 to 7.00pm for snacks and free wine, soft drinks and beer, menu is put on fridge door for a month so you can see what is for snacks that day

you will be spoiled for choice fo eating on i-drive every day, you can walk or take the i-hop bus from one end to another on the drive it is fun

the i-hop bus stops are just infront of the bahama breeze

good palce to eat

il think that the drive is a good place to walk in the eveings to walk of the eatings

lots to do in the day and eveings

univeral nightlife is good and not to far from the drive

the hotel gym is good

the hotel pool is a little in lthe shade but overall not bad

have a good time

pam

Lancashire, UK
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4. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

This is great. Getting excited here.

Pam - Thanks for the breakfast tip, although i think i'll need to reset all the clocks to get the girlfriend up before 7.30!

Picking up on the nightlife, what was your favourite things in universal at night? Also, is it worth me staying very sober to drive to dowtown disney for the night out there?

Dentalnurse - Would you recommend booking a meal at a disney restaurant prior to watching fireworks display?

As for car use, only problem might be girlfriend's map skills. No offence meant to womankind here but she's very dizzy when it comes to things like spatial awareness. Right and left can be a big problem!!

Louthmale - Did you do all the firework shows? What about "La Nouba" cirque du soleil show? Anyone done that?

Everyone's input welcome here. Just gathering experience.

Lancashire, UK
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5. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

Done a bit more research and I'm wondering about the fantasmic show, is it free to get in? I only ask because I've read up on the fantasmic dinner package which seems good for queue dodging. In the terms and conditions though it says if the show is cancelled due to weather then there will be no refund and no replacement booking. Which i guess is only fair if the show is free to watch (as long as you queue early).

ireland
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6. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

hi again we did go to la nouba in downtown disney and to be honest we where very dissapointed it is a very long drawn out show with little or no new acts you havent seen done before and frankly a lot better maybe we where too old for it it seemed to be geared towards teenagers (we are both 28) there was a long section with bmx tricks and roller blades and acrobats and you need to be sitting right in the center line of the stage as everything is geared towards here we where in section 2 on the left of the stage and felt completely left out of the performance

we did most of the firework shows the best one we found was in epcot what we did was when we entered the park that day we headed straight for the world showcase section and we booked a table in the rose and crown british pub for 8.30pm on the balcony (make sure you say you want to sit on the balcony) and we had a lovely meal watching the fireworks which start at 9pm

llanelli
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7. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

hi Dan

hard rock cafe in universal worth a visit.was disappointed in downtown disney when i went last year,seemed much quieter than previous visits.

fantasmic is a must!! i find no need to book dinner for this because the outdoor arena it is held in allows good views,as long as you get there early.we normally enjoy a turkey leg and beer while we wait.it finishes the day off nicely in MGM.

make the most of your wetnwild entrance,coz pool is quite small and no sun,pm.

Lancashire, UK
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8. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

Louth - Good tip for fireworks, thanks. But are there any other restaurants with similar balcony view? Not really up for British Pub Grub.

Dentalnurse - How early did you start queueing for fantasmic?

I'm getting the feeling (from this forum) that for out and out thrill rides then Islands of Adventure is best (scariest). So probably best to save that one until second week so that the other parks don't seem weak? Here's my first stab at an itinerary:

Day1 Sat - arrive, eat, sleep.

Sun - Animal Kingdom

Mon - Universal Studios

Tue - MK (if not too tired - water park/shopping otherwise)

Wed - rest day if didn't rest Tue, Sea World otherwise

Thu - Epcot

Fri - Chill Day (water park or shopping)

Sat - Islands of Adventure

Sun - MGM

Mon -

Tue - Busch Gardens

Wed - Disney water park, Nouba show

Thu - DIscovery Cove

Fri - shopping

Phew, gonna need another holiday after this lot.

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ireland
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9. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

dont worry the rose and crown in epcot is more of a family style restaurant / steakhouse its not just pie and chips !!!! also i wouldnt bother with animal kingdom busch gardens is a far better experiance and its included in the flexi ticket you already have so why pay for the same thing twice!! oh and if i was you id throw i a couple more rest days doing all those parks your going to need them !!

llanelli
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10. Re: Final planning for stay at Homewood Suites, I-Drive

im off next week,so will let you know about times for fantasmic.usually we sit for an hour before,just chilling with a beer. i think when we are there, it starts at 8.30.so make sure you pace youself to last all day.

make sure you visit premium outlet mall by seaworld.the I ride trolley ,stops there.

we've also booked the california grill at the contemporey.hoping to get a good view of 'wishes'.