Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Orlando '99: Your Complete Guide to All the Magic (Fodor's Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Seaworld (Fall Edition))
AbeBooks Seller Since August 3, 2006Quantity Available: 1
AbeBooks Seller Since August 3, 2006Quantity Available: 1
About this Item
Title: Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and ...
Publication Date: 1998
About this title
The most magical guide of all, hot off the press
Ratings of every attraction in all the major theme parks
The inside story on the new parks: Disney's Animal Kingdom and Universal's Islands of Adventure
Park strategies: How to do the most in the time you have
Top tips for parents -- including what's scary for kids
How to make a splash at the wild water parks
Sights to see in Orlando and side trips to Cocoa Beach
Where to stay and eat, no matter what your budget
Mealtime options from character breakfasts to dinner shows, candlelight suppers to 24-hour diners
Hotels, motels, resorts, and villas from cheap to posh
Fresh, thorough, practical -- from writers you can trust
Costs, hours, descriptions, and tips by the thousands
All reviews based on visits by savvy writer-residents
22 pages of maps -- and dozens of unique features
Important contacts, smart travel tips
Pleasures & Pastimes, don't-miss activities
New and Noteworthy
Pleasures and Pastimes
Although Orlando itself is landlocked, its central position on the Florida peninsula puts it in a unique position: almost equidistant from the Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches. Especially if you have children, the beaches make for a great day away from the hyperstimulation of the theme parks. From Orlando, it's less than an hour's drive east on the Beeline Expressway to Cocoa Beach. It's a slightly longer trip on I--4 east to Daytona Beach. Sun worshipers might find the presence of cars right on the beach a bit disconcerting (there's a $5 per day toll), but after a while, you'll find it very convenient to have your vehicle so handy. Just make sure to move your car out of harm's way before high tide. If you prefer a calmer beach experience, then point your car west on I--4 and head for Clearwater or St. Petersburg. Here you'll find sugar-white sand and waters warmed by the Gulf Stream. It takes about 45 minutes longer to get to the west coast, but if you're staying out near Walt Disney World instead of in t
he downtown Orlando area, you've already made up about a quarter of the distance -- you won't have to battle your way out of the Orlando traffic to get there.
Orlando is truly a boater's paradise. The Orlando area has one of the highest concentrations of lakes--both large and small--in the continental U.S. If you decide to tow your boat along, you won't be disappointed. On the other hand, rentals are easily available. One of the most popular -- and enduring -- tours in the Orlando area is the Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park. On this one-hour tour you'll get to see lifestyles of the rich and famous -- Central Florida style. The boat cruises by some of the area's most expensive waterfront homes. Another way to take advantage of the area's many waterways is right on Disney property itself. There's a huge network of lakes and rivers that run through WDW. You can rent all sorts of powerboats and Jet Skis at the various Disney resorts. One often overlooked possibility, however, is one of the best: pack a picnic, rent a low-speed pontoon boat for a few hours, and take a ride up a few lazy rivers at your own pace. It's a great way to unwind after you've been o
n Space Mountain one too many times. For boating of a different keel, rent a human-powered swan boat at downtown Orlando's Lake Eola and pedal around the lake yourself. It's a delightful way to sample the pleasures of downtown, without the throngs of tourists.
Orlando has been a mecca for professional golfers for decades, with some of the greats like Arnold Palmer establishing winter homes in the city, and some hometown Orlando boys, such as Payne Stewart, making it to national acclaim. Not surprisingly, the city offers some of the best golfing anywhere, including courses designed by PGA pros and by the elite of professional golf course designers, such as Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, and Robert Trent Jones.
It's only fitting that the world's number one tourist destination also offers excellent shopping. It wasn't always thus, however. Recent years have seen a building bonanza of both retail stores and factory outlets. Every year, it seems, a new mall is opening somewhere. For shopping with a more eclectic feel, the tony shops of Winter Park's Park Avenue are a must. This elegant little street is home to a number of boutiques as well as the usual assortment of chains: the Gap, Banana Republic, et al. But the real charm here is the shops tucked away in the area's tiny nooks and crannies. It's de rigueur to stop for a drink or a bite to eat at one of Park Avenue's bistros.
For a culture that's car-centered, this might seem a rather odd pastime. But rest assured, there's plenty to explore in Orlando on foot. Downtown Orlando itself is home to Lake Eola, which just a few short years ago was a haven for the city's transients. Now spiffed up and renovated, there's a walkway around the lake's circumference that invites strolling. A delightful playground anchors one end of the park. Just a few steps away from downtown's tourist meccas are delightful residential neighborhoods with brick-paved streets and live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. Urban pioneers have done their best Bob Vila numbers on 1920s-style bungalow homes, turning them into showplaces that are a delight to behold. A stroll just off Winter Park's Park Avenue will yield a glimpse of elegant lakefront mansions.
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