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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Planning a Florida vacation, need some advice
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Planning a Florida vacation, need some advice
finkdaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2005-09-11 06:26 am   Permalink

We're thinking of packing up the family, all six of us, and driving down to Disney World next spring. A boss of mine owns a time share four miles from the front gates, and we can use it for the whole week.

I suppose my question is, how far is the Mai Kai from Disney World? Is it possible that I could drive down there, and return to the time share in the same evening? And is it a place you would even consider taking kids to?

Is there any other places nearby that would make the trip worthwhile? If we do go through with this, of course I'll be contacting other TCers about meeting up somewhere.

This is all still in the "We have to see what happens" stage, but I wanted to see how tiki I could make it. Mahalo!
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2005-09-11 06:57 am   Permalink


Orlando to Mai Kai - at least 3 hours.
Orlando to Lagoon Lounge - one hour.

Bring your uke and swimming trunks.
We're kid friendly.


 
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Dancin' Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 137
From: Manchester, WA
Posted: 2005-09-11 07:25 am   Permalink

We happen to be sitting in Orlando right now. I have a few suggestions for you and the family!

The Universal Studios area is just a fast drive from Disney Worls on I4. Find International Drive off of I4. There you will find a bunch of stuff that both you and the kids will enjoy.

There are at least 4 (maybe 5) Putt-Putt golf places on I-Drive. All of them are themed and are more than just 18 holes set out in a park. Two of them have tiki statues in them! Hawaiian Golf has the most tiki statues but is sparse with other decorations. Volcano Tiki Golf seems to have been a dinosaur theme golf park and they threw a few tiki statues in to go with the new name. I have heard that if you can make the volcano errupt you get a free game. Don't know if that is true or not.

On up I-Drive is Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Totally worth a look. The building looks like it's sinking into the ground on one corner. Inside there is a really good smattering of South Pacific tiki masks and don't forget the penis sheaths! A Kodak moment to be sure!!

Not too far from Ripleys is a museum that is in a upside down building. The kids are going to want to stop there for sure. Inside it is, apparently, an interactive hands-on museum. I've never been in so I'm not completely sure what's going on in there.

Now, on the other end of I-Drive is Festival Bay Mall. Inside the mall is Hilo Hatties with a great smattering of affordible tiki keychains, statues, wind chimes, shirts, dresses, candy and everything else that Hilo Hatties has to offer.

Also at the mall is Ron Jon Surf Shop with large tiki statues on the outside entrance of their store. On the inside entrance is a great Woodie on display.

Festival Bay also has the Outdoor World store. Not to miss! No tikis here but the amount of dead mounted things, the indoor waterfall, giant fish tank and bait vending machine ..... yeah, I said bait vending machine. Right next to the Coke machine. .... well, it's all a must see just to say that you did.

If I remember correctly on the entrance of Festival Bay there's a restaurant on one side that has a large gator on his hind legs outside. Another photo opportunity for the kids.

Now, if you have time go into Downtown Universal. You don't have to buy admission to the park to go here. There's a few tikis near Margaritaville as well as a sand beach bar and the Hemisphere Dancer plane.

Have a great time! We sure did.
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finkdaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2005-09-11 5:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-09-11 06:57, pablus wrote:

Orlando to Mai Kai - at least 3 hours.
Orlando to Lagoon Lounge - one hour.

Bring your uke and swimming trunks.
We're kid friendly.



Thanks Pablus! I just checked out the pics of your house and all I can say is, Holy Crap!! If we do get down there, it would be a crime not to spend time there. Consider your invitation accepted. That bar top is just gorgeous, wow.

Dancin' Lizard, thanks for the tips! This could turn out to be a pretty sweet trip.

Mahalo!

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Pomaika i
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 209
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2005-09-11 5:16 pm   Permalink

I also recommend the Mai Tiki Chinese restaurant on I-Drive. Great decorations and food....BAD drinks.

Also on I-Drive is Bad Ass Coffee. Excellent Kona coffee and the owners are really nice too.


 
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finkdaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2005-09-11 5:35 pm   Permalink

Thanks Pomaika i, my wahine is a Chinese food freak, so that would be great!

Pablus, any chance of another Uke Jam happening during the first week of April? (I'm crossing my fingers )

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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2005-09-11 7:09 pm   Permalink

The Mai Kai IS a Florida vacation, in my book. Nothing else compares, or ever has. It is simply the best.

 
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2005-09-11 8:50 pm   Permalink


Did someone say "ukejam?"
April, ehhh? Sounds good. We'll get Hot Lava and some of the other ohana over here.
Even the Haole Kats - if we have to and all, those jerks and their 'skills' and their 'talent.'

Let's take those particular plans to PM and announce it as it closes in.

Sounds like a good party.





 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-09-12 05:05 am   Permalink

Finkdaddy,
Welcome to Florida.. Orlando and Tampa-St Pete, Both have enough entertainment to keep the family going for a few weeks.

The MaiKai is definitely a Family destination as kidz of All ages enjoy the shows. I live in Port Saint lucy, right in the middle, between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. There is NOTHING to see here but me.
Miami also has many sights to see that are worthwhile.

How long did you say you were coming for? 3 or 4 weeks? thats about right. Ha have fun.
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Palama Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 01, 2005
Posts: 349
From: Lake Wales, Florida
Posted: 2005-09-12 05:31 am   Permalink

Fink: PM me when you're on your way; we'll get together! i live an hour south of Orlando.

 
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Philot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 04, 2003
Posts: 196
From: The armpit of Florida
Posted: 2005-09-12 07:12 am   Permalink

Ron Jon's in Orlando?!!! Puhleeeze!

I don't know what the Orlando one is like, but the real one is on Daytona beach. You can hit it on the drive down / up.


I enjoyed Gatorland, but then I like the old-style Florida tourist traps once in a while. Be warned, it can get a bit hot out there a the right time of year, and they don't have any air-conditioning to speak of.


Hitting the Mai Kai from a base in Orlando might be possible, but it'll take up most of the day, and you'll get back to the time share quite late. I guess whether this is feasible depends on how badly you want to do it, and how much energy you have.


[ This Message was edited by: Philot 2005-09-12 07:15 ]


 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2141
From: So FL
Posted: 2005-09-12 08:55 am   Permalink

Be advised - Disney during Spring Break is a nightmare! I did it this year with my 2 kids. They had great time but I was sick of standing in hour-long lines, cramped shuttles and dealing with obnoxious pre/teenagers.

If you go - mix it up a little and try some of the other parks. Universal is my favorite and the kids love the Magic Kingdom, while my wife likes Busch Gardens in Tampa. It all depends on your kids: if they like roller coasters and thrill rides go to Universal Islands of Adventure or Busch Gardens (you can drink at these parks!), if they are young then definatley do everything at Disney especially the Magic Kingdom and MGM (not Epcot). Check out a Dinner Show - we enjoyed the Pirate Feast just off I-Drive.

I love theme parks but I can only handle a fews days at a time. There's alot to see in Florida thats not in Orlando, so do a little research befor committing. If your coming for week I would schedule something else to do BEFORE hitting Disney/Universal. This will keep the kids interested and makes for a great finale. Have fun and let me know if have any questions.


 
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Jawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 225
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2005-09-12 1:03 pm   Permalink

Hey finkdaddy!

Here is a link to the Wai Tiki Retro Lounge and Restaurant in Orlando:

http://www.wallstplaza.net/homepage.html

I have not had a chance to go yet, maybe some of the Orlando ohana can give you some tips on the place!

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[ This Message was edited by: Jawa 2005-09-12 13:10 ]


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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2005-09-12 5:00 pm   Permalink

I like to recommend Silver Spring, located about an hour and a half or so north of Orlando. It's been around for over 100 years, with glass bottom boat rides, and for the kiddies you get to see crocodiles and alligators and other wild animals up close. It is a more relaxing vibe than most everything in the Orlando area.

Vern


 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2005-09-12 5:37 pm   Permalink

MaiKai is definitley kid friendly.

Make reservations in advance; they will tell you what times thay have sdeatings for their show on the night you are going.

I'd spring for a motel and stay over.

As BK said, the Mai Kai is the last, best, and only remaining Tiki spot of it's kind. It is the last of a great breed that has just about become extinct.

Fortunately, the owners are committed to keeping it open.

What you get there, you can't get anywhere else.
So go there.
Make the effort.



 
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