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Orlando, Florida restaurant choices

CrayonCrayon TejasRegistered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, so my girlfriend and I are taking our real first vacation together and it's a pretty important one. I mean, we've taken small little trips to the lake house and hiking, but nothing like boarding a plane and going out of state. Not only are we going to Disney World which has, quite literally, been a dream of mine since I was six, but I view it as the trip that either cements us "future material" or bust.

She absolutely loves mac n' cheese, and I'm really looking for a place around the area that defines itself as having the best. I know this is a rather strange request, but yes...she enjoys it that much.

Amazing restaurants in general are appreciated also.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Orlando is packed to the gills with chains.
    Are you renting a car?

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  • CrayonCrayon TejasRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Orlando is packed to the gills with chains.
    Are you renting a car?

    Yes sir, we will have travel.

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  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User
    edited July 2010
    City Walk is a good place to go for food and drinks.

    I've heard good things about Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, last time I went Emeril's was fantastic.

    Oddly enough, Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is really good, on I-Drive.
    I-Drive has a lot of stuff as well.

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  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    i enjoyed Bahama Breeze. Theres a location on i-drive if i recall correctly.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I wholly reccomend Seasons 52, a very healthy and fucking amazing and quite affordable nice (Darden) restaurant. Then there is Crazy Buffet (aka VariAsian) which has an insane all you can eat buffet with everything from sushi to filet mignon.

    And yea, Wolfgang Puck's is bad ass.

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  • BlowfluBlowflu Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I don't really have too many specific recs. but I do have general advice on Orlando in general.


    First, plan on eating early. Like, 5pm early. The wait for most places skyrockets after 6pm, so you'll want to be prompt to avoid waiting hours for a table at a good place.

    Be aware that many of the dining options around the theme parks will be very pricy and often mediocre. I've found quite a few good resturants along International Drive. Also, there are some decent chain resturants in the Mall of Millenia, with some great shops to boot.

    Finally, something should be said about Orlando traffic. It's easily the worst in Florida: bumper to bumper traffic, and 80% of the people are tourists who don't have any idea where they are. Stay away from I-4 from 8-10:30AM and 3:30-6ish PM, especially on weekdays.

  • JNighthawkJNighthawk Registered User
    edited July 2010
    What price/classiness level are you looking for?

    Because it was a good portion of my diet in college, I'll recommend two pizza places: Papa Joe's (I know of one location at Waterford Lakes mall) and Hungry Howie's.

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  • CrayonCrayon TejasRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    JNighthawk wrote: »
    What price/classiness level are you looking for?

    Because it was a good portion of my diet in college, I'll recommend two pizza places: Papa Joe's (I know of one location at Waterford Lakes mall) and Hungry Howie's.

    Price isn't really an issue whatsoever, but classiness would just have to be just standard dress, no type of jacket required type places.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    JNighthawk wrote: »
    What price/classiness level are you looking for?

    Because it was a good portion of my diet in college, I'll recommend two pizza places: Papa Joe's (I know of one location at Waterford Lakes mall) and Hungry Howie's.

    Are you fucking kidding me? If you want Orlando pizza, which you really don't, you want Mellow Mushroom.

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  • VanityPantsVanityPants Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Emeril's restaurant, Tchoup Chop is absolutely amazing -- probably the best place I've ever eaten. Emeril's restaurant in City Walk I found to be awesome as well, but not quite as good as Tchoup Chop.

    And yeah, everyone else is right about Wolfgang Puck's. Check out his place in Downtown Disney!

  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
  • chupamiubrechupamiubre Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If you want classy look up Victoria and Albert's its very expensive though. To be honest seasons 52 and its complex have a number of very fine dining places. I can't name them all but if you find seasons 52 not to your enjoyment just walk 200ft to the next place. Other than that its a mostly chain big name places. :\

    Also STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM TOURISTS. Seriously the food at city walk/downtown disney are above average but unless you like eating next to a fat guy in shorts a fanny pack and who loves talking on his phone stay the FUCK away. I know saying hurr stay away from tourists in fl but nothing ruins a meal like some boob walking in with him family straight from the water park.

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  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User
    edited July 2010
    If you want classy look up Victoria and Albert's its very expensive though. To be honest seasons 52 and its complex have a number of very fine dining places. I can't name them all but if you find seasons 52 not to your enjoyment just walk 200ft to the next place. Other than that its a mostly chain big name places. :\

    Also STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM TOURISTS. Seriously the food at city walk/downtown disney are above average but unless you like eating next to a fat guy in shorts a fanny pack and who loves talking on his phone stay the FUCK away. I know saying hurr stay away from tourists in fl but nothing ruins a meal like some boob walking in with him family straight from the water park.

    You can avoid that on city walk if you go at night (after 7).
    At that point most people are dressed for clubs.

    Someone mentioned waits, but really, if you go Friday-Sunday there will be a wait for any decent place. Circumvent that by calling ahead. You'd want reservations at the nicer places anyways. You won't need a jacket for most of the upper-scale places, but a polo and slacks will be fine for just about anywhere.

    A majority of the places understand that it's Florida, and tourists love fanny packs and "beach wear".
    I've only been rejected in my normal wear for clubs on city walk. Some there are pretty pretentious.

    Oh and for the mac and cheese part, I don't know if there are Boston Markets in Texas, but their mac and cheese always seems a cut (slice?) above the rest.

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  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    If you want some really good Chinese/dim sum, I recommend going to Chan's Chinese Cuisine. It's a great place that I go to whenever I go to Orlando.

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I returned from my Honeymoon in Orlando just a couple of weeks back (and am wishing I was still there rather than stuck in work) so should be able to help a bit. First up you might benefit from this:

    http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/708641/7-days-for-the-price-1-for-tickets-

    It's a UK deal but you may still be able to take advantage of it if you fancy checking out Universal as well as Disney.

    Secondly if you like rides and animals then take in Epcot too, I enjoyed it more than Animal Kingdom (though that was awesome too), it's a bit further away but worth the drive.

    Most food you can buy in the park(s) is naff, though there are some exceptions. Towards the start of the Disney Hollywood Studios park on the left there are a couple of really nice themed restaurants, though they really do book up later in the day so it's worth planning ahead. In the universal park (Islands of Adventure) nearby to Poseidon's Fury there's the Mythos Restaurant and that's won awards for it's theme and food for the last 5 years. You have to book in advance but it's really worth it.

    If you head to downtown Disney then the Planet Hollywood restaurant there is worth going to at least once and the other restaurants at Downtown are pretty nice too.

    Other than the parks the main road towards them (I192 is it?) is literally jam packed with places to eat. 'cos we're British we took in a fair few of the chains because we'd never been before; Bahama Breeze was nice, Cracker Barrell was lovely and we really really enjoyed Applebees, but I imagine these are spread all across America so you'll have taken them in before.

    We had one REALLY nice meal out at Winter Park, it wasn't cheap but it was worth the cost:

    http://www.lumaonpark.com/

    It's not far from Orlando and Disney (probably 30mins at most) and even if you don't like the look of the menu there are about 20 other independent restaurants down that street that looked lovely. It had a fantastic wine choice too if that kind of thing is to your taste.

    Where were you planning on stopping? We debated stopping in the Disney hotels but in the end settled on a villa, and it was definitely the right choice. We got our own private pool, massive house and great facilities. The privacy was worth it ;)

    Other general advice from a (UK) tourist:

    - As someone mentioned eat early. Or eat late. After 8:00pm most places have calmed down a bit so we tended to eat late and combine it with a couple of drinks. Then again we're British so like our alcohol ;)

    - Traffic got pretty bad at times but wasn't horrendous. If you've got GPS (we used TomTom) then I'd highly recommend taking it, it took the effort out of getting from A to B. Also I settled in to driving pretty well over there but be aware there are a lot of really unsure brits driving about and they can be quite dangerous!

    - Take advantage of the Quick Pass tickets in Disney, they're free and can save you a fair bit of time.

    - If you're in the other parks be sure to look at the queues before buying QuickPass tickets. We got to Epcot and assumed it would be busy, after the safari we went on there was a thunderstorm and everyone cleared out meaning later in the day we could just walk on the rides, so that was $120 wasted.

    - Get to shows you really want to see early, they pack out and it's hard to get a seat.

    - Go to the Fantasia show in Hollywood studios, it's absolutely fantastic but you need to turn up AT least an hour before to get a good view.

    - Be aware that at even the slightest hint of thunder and lightning a lot of the rides will shut down.

    - Car parking is about $15 but those tickets are interchangable, meaning if you want to go from Hollywood studios to Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom in a day (unlikely) then you don't pay again. I think the universal parking tickets may cover Sea World too but I could be mistaken.

    - If you go to Universal the new Harry Potter ride is good fun but I wouldn't queue over an hour for it.

    That's about it for now!

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The Melting Pot is a fondue chain that can be a nice evening. You're guaranteed to be there for almost two hours eating some possibly good food (some of that is dependant on your "cooking" ability).
    I'd rather spend $75ish at Wolfgang Puck's or Emeril's though.

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  • Romanian My EscutcheonRomanian My Escutcheon Two of Forks Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Couple of tips...

    1)
    Spoiler:

    TL;DR, you're not going to go hungry.

    2)
    Spoiler:

    TL;DR, go to the parks early, try to leave before closing, and keep an eye on local traffic/weather reports.

    3) Ask about the park's bad weather policies; a lot of places around here do rain checks, and since the weather tends to be spectacularly shitty as the day goes on, it wouldn't hurt to make sure you know the park's policy before it starts pouring.

    Also, GET YOUR TICKETS FROM LEGITIMATE SOURCES. If you buy your ticket from a scalper or scam website, you'll either get kicked out, or you'll have to wait in an hour long line at Ticket Assistance to sort everything out.

    4) Remember to stay hydrated; the heat and humidity out here can be brutal, and if you don't stay hydrated, your day trip can get cut short quick, either because everybody wants to head home, or because somebody passed out.

    5) Bring more money than you think you'll need; between souvenirs, parking, quick queue passes, food, and a whole bunch of other bullshit, your cash will barely get a chance to burn that hole in your pocket before it's gone. Plan accordingly.

    6) Check out the local sights; if you leave the parks early, there's a ton to do nearby, if you have time to kill at the end of the day. There are mini-golf places, theaters, and a whole bunch of other stuff really close to the park that warrant a look, especially near Universal; Pointe Orlando has got a bunch of cool stores, and a huge-ass movie theater that's got plenty of seating. Fun Spot's also nearby, but that's more of a day trip than a post-park outing.

    7) Stay flexible. There's more to do out here than Disney and Universal; Sea World, Aquatica, Wet and Wild, Fun Spot... There's no shortage of parks to visit, so try to get in as much as you can. And if your plan for the day falls apart, no worries; there's other stuff to check out around here.

    That's pretty much it. I'm going to stop now before I sound even more like a brochure. :P

    Hope you have fun. :)

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  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Cracker Barrell was lovely and we really really enjoyed Applebees

    First time I think that's ever been said...ever.

    Generally, here in Florida we get afternoon showers as a kind of constant thing. You just get used to it. Summer is the busier season, but apparently business has been way down at the parks. As a result, Orlando has been a lot less crowded than normal for summer. This will mean you might be able to eat outside the park for a good lunch if you wish it. Parking at Universal is really nice actually. Disney is a bit more troublesome.

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  • TrillionGramsTrillionGrams Registered User
    edited July 2010
    rfalias wrote: »
    City Walk is a good place to go for food and drinks.

    I've heard good things about Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, last time I went Emeril's was fantastic.

    Oddly enough, Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is really good, on I-Drive.
    I-Drive has a lot of stuff as well.

    Do NOT go to Wolfgang. Eck.

    Texas de Brazil is always a good choice.

  • BlowfluBlowflu Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Something I forgot to mention earlier was the frequent showers you may run into while you're at the parks/shops/resturants. Florida summer showers usually pass within 30 min to an hour, unless there's some big storm front moving through. It's rained almost 40% of the time I've been to an Orlando park, but it passes pretty quickly and it has the added bonus of clearing the park of people who think the rain is going to last!

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    rfalias wrote: »
    City Walk is a good place to go for food and drinks.

    I've heard good things about Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, last time I went Emeril's was fantastic.

    Oddly enough, Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is really good, on I-Drive.
    I-Drive has a lot of stuff as well.

    Do NOT go to Wolfgang. Eck.

    Texas de Brazil is always a good choice.

    Wolfgang's is delicious, but good call on Texas de Brazil. All you can eat top notch meat? mmmm

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  • CrayonCrayon TejasRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Thanks a ton for the assist gentlemen. How about "romantic" spots, other than of course the Disney locations that are shared with hundreds of others. Are there any places in, or around, Florida where we can get in some romantic alone time to really make it seem more like a vacation than just constantly being busy with Disney and the like?

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Crayon wrote: »
    Thanks a ton for the assist gentlemen. How about "romantic" spots, other than of course the Disney locations that are shared with hundreds of others. Are there any places in, or around, Florida where we can get in some romantic alone time to really make it seem more like a vacation than just constantly being busy with Disney and the like?

    As for the restaurant part, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse on International Drive. There are a few locations but International Drive is kind of the go-to spot for everything in Orlando.

    How far are you willing to drive? If the answer is "roughly six hours from Orlando," and assuming there are no hurricanes on the way, do yourselves a favor and drive down to the Keys. Not Key West, mind you; it's the last one you'll hit and really feels far too touristy. But all the other Keys you'll hit on the way there are really nice and have that nice feeling of seclusion you want out of a vacation, I go down there a couple times a year myself to just unwind, I usually stay in Marathon and just bum around the beaches, go fishing, swimming, just stare out at the ocean.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Crayon wrote: »
    Thanks a ton for the assist gentlemen. How about "romantic" spots, other than of course the Disney locations that are shared with hundreds of others. Are there any places in, or around, Florida where we can get in some romantic alone time to really make it seem more like a vacation than just constantly being busy with Disney and the like?

    To do Disney right, you need to fucking commit to doing Disney.
    Your answer then is the firework display at Magic Kingdom.

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  • Romanian My EscutcheonRomanian My Escutcheon Two of Forks Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Crayon wrote: »
    Thanks a ton for the assist gentlemen. How about "romantic" spots, other than of course the Disney locations that are shared with hundreds of others. Are there any places in, or around, Florida where we can get in some romantic alone time to really make it seem more like a vacation than just constantly being busy with Disney and the like?

    To do Disney right, you need to fucking commit to doing Disney.
    Your answer then is the firework display at Magic Kingdom.

    Pretty much this.

    Outside the parks though, there aren't a lot of romantic spots; Orlando's built more as a family attraction, not a place for young couples.

    However, there are a bunch of spots scattered around the parks where you can just sit down, relax, and get in some private time. If you go to the original Universal park, the best romantic spot would probably be in mini-Central Park. It's nice and shady, and most guests tend to steer clear of it, so it's a good spot to hang out.

    But the most romantic thing I can think of is the fireworks show that Improvolone mentioned; the Disney fireworks shows are fantastic, and it's something that's best enjoyed by a couple. Not the most original scene, but it is a classic.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Universal Studios, there is a two story restaurant on your right when you walk from San Fransisco to Amity, right on the water, you can walk upstairs and hang out on the balcony. No one is ever up there.
    Bonus: There is a painting of a topless woman up there. The only nipples on property!

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  • seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Mac and cheese is all over the menus at WDW, but it's mostly on the kids side of things (if you do a buffet, you can feel free to hit the kids menu, but from what I remember, it's not much to write home about).

    It looks like there are 6 places with it for adults, and you probably would want reservations for the last 5 as they're all really good, very nice places:
    • Wolfgang Puck Express (counter service, Downtown Disney Marketplace) -- not terribly exciting, but if you're there and don't want to go to a sit-down restaurant, it's not a bad choice.
    • Le Cellier (sit-down, Epcot, Canadian pavilion) -- honestly one of my favorite restaurants at WDW. Great steaks, amazing cheese soup (I don't care if you're going there to get mac and cheese, get the cheese soup). They apparently have a baked mac and cheese side (never had it though).
    • Chefs de France (sit-down, Epcot, French pavilion) -- very fancy-style place, only been there once but it was very tasty. You're looking for macaroni au gratin (har har).
    • Bistro de Paris (sit-down, Epcot, French pavilion) -- the even fancier restaurant in the French pavilion (it actually has a dress code - business casual). A stuffed chicken breast comes with macaroni au gratin.
    • Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club resort -- between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, you can get a boat from either of those) -- I've heard good things about this place, but never been there myself. Another one of the fancier restaurants (business casual again). Has a Truffle mac and cheese side.
    • Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge - drive or get a bus from one of the parks) -- Another really good, business casual place. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a really cool place to poke around for a few hours, so this would give you an excuse. Apparently they serve their filet mignon over mac and cheese there (seriously).

    Outside of the mac and cheese quest, a couple of other romantic restaurants at WDW would be Artist Point or California Grill. The latter has the bonus of being on top of the Contemporary (near the Magic Kingdom) -- if you have a late dinner, they pipe in the fireworks music and you can watch from up there.

    There's not tons in the way of privacy at WDW, but take the boat out of the back door of Epcot or Hollywood Studios and wander around the Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk, Swan/Dolphin, or take the monorail from Magic Kingdom and poke around the resorts on there. Lots of fantastic areas to go hide out on and watch the lake, etc. (Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge are also gorgeous and cool to poke around but harder to get to.) In the parks, you always run the risk of there suddenly being a bazillion kids, but there are some nice areas in World Showcase in Epcot (gardens), you can occasionally get some quiet time walking behind the castle in Fantasyland or on the porches in Frontierland (also if you want someplace cool and air-conditioned to chill out for a while, the Columbia Harbour House restaurant is enormous and not too busy if you don't show up at lunch/dinner times), the New York street at Hollywood Studios tends to be fairly quiet if a nearby show isn't letting out, Animal Kingdom has tons of nice quiet shady benches.
    Something fun and relaxing I've also done is to rent a boat and ride around on Bay Lake (in front of the Magic Kingdom) for an hour or so. Easiest place to do that from is to go to the Contemporary and rent from there.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The French restaurants are actually quite good at Epcot.

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I still need to go to Epcot, hopefully soon since it's a paltry 30 minutes away

    I went when I was like eight, which is seriously the worst park in the world for a kid. I think I'd really dig it now.

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I still need to go to Epcot, hopefully soon since it's a paltry 30 minutes away

    I went when I was like eight, which is seriously the worst park in the world for a kid. I think I'd really dig it now.

    I'm 28 and I hated it!

    But then again I'm a big kid.

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  • SporkAndrewSporkAndrew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    seasleepy wrote: »
    Animal Kingdom has tons of nice quiet shady benches

    If you wander down any of the paths around the tree of life you're going to be completely alone. There's hundreds of the carved animals and little benches to find and everyone just blows straight past it on the way to the rides.

    The Pangani Trail is also quite quiet, and there's been times when I've wandered around the Maharajah Jungle Trek completely alone because the entrance is a little tucked away. So you'd get alone time with the girlfriend surrounded by tigers.

    The one about the fucking space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister. Lego. They're all made of fucking lego.
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The Moroccan restaurant in Epcot should still have belly dancing at night.

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  • SporkAndrewSporkAndrew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    The Moroccan restaurant in Epcot should still have belly dancing at night.

    Also very rarely fills up too, so you can just walk in 99% of the time, which is a real shame, because they serve some incredible stuff in there.

    The one about the fucking space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedal bin. His father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his sister. Lego. They're all made of fucking lego.
  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Crayon wrote: »
    Thanks a ton for the assist gentlemen. How about "romantic" spots, other than of course the Disney locations that are shared with hundreds of others. Are there any places in, or around, Florida where we can get in some romantic alone time to really make it seem more like a vacation than just constantly being busy with Disney and the like?

    Probably one of the most romantic places in Florida is in St. Augustine, which is the oldest European settlement in the United States. It's about a 2 hour drive from Orlando. Some beautiful buildings. Orlando is about a hour and a half from Tampa. Tampa is where I went to high school and my parents live there, so I have a pretty good knowledge of there. If you head to Clearwater or St. Petersburg, you can experience some of the best beaches in Florida. I have a lot of restaurant recs if you head out to the Tampa Bay Area.

    Being a transplanted California resident, I always liked Disneyland more than Magic Kingdom. Honestly, I've always felt Disney World is good for things like Epcot and Animal Kingdom. I always found MGM kind of boring. Islands of Adventure is something I would definitely recommend though. It might be crazy with Harry Potter land just opening now though.

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  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Thanks Gort! The Dream RealmRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    St. Augustine is nice, but avoid it this time of year. The collage kids are out and it's kinda a headache.

    Okay. seasleepy speaks much truth. If you stay inside Disney there are LOADs of resturants in the hotels there. Each of the major hotels has at least 1-2 major resturants. Sure it's touristy, but the food is good. If you are going to exit Disney then don't go much past Sand Lake Drive. Sure you CAN go into Orlando proper but you'll be sorry because of the traffic and mess that Orlando becomes in the evening.

    I would have suggested going to Rangestu of Orlando...but they closed it recently. The economy killed it. I'm going to cry now.

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  • DoraBDoraB Registered User
    edited July 2010
    Congrats on your trip! We spend our anniversary in Orlando every October for Halloween Horror Nights/Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so here's some of our favourite places in the Disney/Universal area.

    (Before I forget, if this is your first time at Disney and you want to see everything, please take one of those lame Disney Vacation Club tours. There are kiosks EVERYWHERE. Basically what happens is they pick you up one morning, you tour a very fancy hotel and get free breakfast, listen to a half hour no-pressure sales pitch, and then they give you ice cream and personally drop you off at whatever park you want. But the best part is that you also get a keycard that gives you an instant fast pass good for any three rides at any park, letting you bypass the hour wait time you typically get with most fast pass tickets. It can also be used at different parks too.)

    Disclaimer: Most of these places are at hotels, but most hotels will validate parking if you're there to dine and not a guest. Just make sure you call in advance. Usually it's about as simple as asking your server and handing over your parking token.

    Sal's at Portofino Bay hotel next to Universal is a tiny little italian place with AMAZING pizza. Apparently the gelato and paninis are good, but I don't know because the pizza is fantastic and that's all we ever get. A large pizza is about fourteen bucks, and they have a variety of beer, wine, and coffee. Great for lunch or a quick dinner.

    The California Grill atop Disney's Contemporary Resort is a little bit pricey (for two people, probably upwards of about a hundred dollars if you both have three courses) but it's amazing at night. It has its own special observation deck for the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, which is in a fantastic location; they dim the lights for the fireworks and pump in the music, and the fireworks seem like they're so close to you. Even if you don't stay to eat (it has great food), stop by the attached bar and hang out for the fireworks. The staff is always great, the drinks are tasty, and my husband swears the sushi they make is the best he's ever had.

    The Kitchen, which is the restaurant attached to the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel, apparently makes amazing mac and cheese. My husband and I stay there every year for our anniversary and every single server whenever we have eaten there has tried to push it on us. (Neither of us are much for baked mac.) Similarly, other guests are always asking OMG DID YOU HAVE THE MAC AND CHEESE?!

    Downtown Disney has a ton of great restaurants. I really recommend the Irish pub (whose name escapes me. I suck) and House of Blues. Neither has terribly UNIQUE food, but it's all very good, and the former has great beer and mixed drinks and homey food (stew, fish and chips, etc), while the latter tends to have a very fun atmosphere and great burgers. Admission to Downtown Disney is free, only parking costs money. (Maybe.)

    The most romantic (and the most expensive) place I've been to in Orlando is Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney. Expect to drop between three and four hundred dollars for a meal for two people, but it's seven courses of FANTASTIC food (each course has several options), they give the lady a rose, you get personalised menus, and for an extra fourty-five dollars (I think) you get a wine pairing with each course. We went there on our honeymoon, and I definitely recommend it if you're ever really looking for something special/to obliterate your wallet.

    Within the Disney parks themselves, try Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom, the tequila bar in Mexico at the World Showcase in Epcot (I can't remember the name, but it's the only one inside the big temple) which also serves great appetizers, and Sunshine Seasons in Epcot.

    Sorry for the barrage of text, you caught me in the middle of planning our own trip. :D Disney is great no matter how old you are, especially if you don't have kids. I really hope you guys have a great time. Feel free to drop me a PM if you want anymore information; we live an hour from Orlando so we go there all the time.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    House of Blues is a really nice atmosphere for concerts, standing room only, flat ticket price, and pretty intimate all said and done. Check their calendar to see if they have a show that sounds good.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Thanks Gort! The Dream RealmRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    House of Blues is a really nice atmosphere for concerts, standing room only, flat ticket price, and pretty intimate all said and done. Check their calendar to see if they have a show that sounds good.

    The House of Blues is also a great place to go have lunch at. The prices are fair, and the food very good.

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  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The Earl of Sandwich place in downtown Disney is really good for a quick sandwich.

    Our best fancy meal while we were at Disney was at Fulton's Crab House, it was really romantic, the service was great, and the food was fantastic, but I've read that people have variable experiences there.

  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    I hate to recommend this, because it is cliche and expensive, but the Hard Rock Cafe (there is one located in Orlando) really does have the best mac and cheese I've been able to find in a restaurant... and I love me some mac and cheese. Everything else there is kind of "meh" and the drinks are stupid expensive, though.

    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
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