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keewee

'keewee and family visit the USA!' Cointest

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(Please forgive the brashness of this cointest, it is unusual, but when trying to think of ways to get good information for our trip I had an idea to do this! Hopefully the fantastic MODs will look kindly on this, and maybe even join in...)

 

Yes folks - you read correct. We (keewee, 'Mrs keewee', and rattusbaggus) have our tickets booked to venture to Orlando later this year...

 

Given none of us have been to the US before, I thought a great way to get information and helpful tips would be to hold a cointest. So I am putting 5 - yes 5 geocoins up for grabs as part of these cointests.

 

Read the following carefully.

 

The cointest is 2 fold:

Cointest #1 - guess the dates (and take off times) for our visit - 2 geocoins up for grabs

Cointest #2 - helpful ideas, information, tips and feedback - at least 3 geocoins up for grabs

 

Cointest #1 - guess the dates/take off times

 

There are 2 prizes here.

 

Firstly, one geocoin to the first person who correctly guesses the date (and take off time) we fly out from New Zealand (which incidentally will be the same date locally we land in Florida after flying and Stop Overs of over 31 hours)...

Secondly, one geocoin to the first person who correctly guesses the date and time we take off from Orlando to fly back to New Zealand...

 

Rules -

> Up to four guesses can be made per gc nick in every 24 hour period.

> In each 24 hour period you can guess either the inbound or outbound date 4 times (please state whether it is the inbound or outbound date), but NOT BOTH dates on a single guess. Each guess should be a separate thread posting and each can contain a idea/suggestion for Cointest #2 also (so you'd be doubling your chances to win a geocoin).

> You can guess times also, but I will announce when the correct date/s has/have been guessed to make things a bit easier... I will probably say nothing about times until the date has been got.

> The same person cannot win both inbound and outbound date/time guesses, but winners of these are still eligible to win a geocoin from Cointest #2.

> Judges decision is, as always, FINAL

> Cointest #1 will run over the next few days until both answers have been correctly guessed.

 

Suggest entry's are formatted something like

 

Guess 1

Inbound - April 5th, 3.10PM

Idea - Visit Kennedy Space Center, tours $112 per person

 

or

 

Guess 1

Outbound - April 1st, 17.40

Idea - great place to stay is the ???? Inn, on International Drive. We've stayed there before and it is a great, family friendly place with free Wireless internet and breakfast.

 

 

Cointest #2 - helpful ideas, information, tips and feedback

This cointest will run at the same time as the first competition and will continue after Cointest #1 has finished.

 

There are 3 geocoins to win here...

 

Rules -

> Suggestions can be made at the same time as the date/time guess.

> Multiple suggestions can be made in the same entry, but will only count as one draw.

> Up to four suggestions/ideas can be made (per gc nick) in every 24 hour period.

> Entries can contain ideas or suggestions on places to visit/see, activities to take part in, hints about getting the best value out of things, a great accommodation option, things good to know when visiting (climate/taxes/etc, etc). Quite a broad category really!

> You can ask questions about us to tailor your suggests :)

> Cointest #2 will be open for a little over 2 weeks, up until April 30th, 5pm NZST.

> The same person cannot win more than 1 geocoin in Cointest #2.

> The winners (Yes, winners - I will draw 3) will be chosen by random number generator against post number in the thread. Should the first number that comes out be a post by myself, a post by someone who has been disqualified or has already won a geocoin in Cointest #2, or a post that contains nothing useful (and irrelevant suggestion or no idea or suggestion at all), then the winner will be the very next qualifying post in this thread.

> Again, Judges decision is FINAL

 

The Prizes

OK, for each winner of Cointest #1 I have a lovely Canterbury New Zealand 11-11-11 Multi Event coin. These would be very hard to come by unless you were one of the people who took up the event organisers trading option.

 

The first winner of Cointest #2 will receive a keewee GeoTag geocoin, plus one other random geocoin.

The second and third winners of Cointest #2 will received one random geocoin.

 

All geocoin prizes are unactivated, and trackable on geocaching.com

 

People can still make suggestions once the cointests have officially closed - always open to 'em!

 

About Us:

Just to give you some background information about us that might help with the suggestions/ideas/tip - and maybe help with the answers to flight dates a little... maybe... or not...

 

We are a family of 3 - me (Craig - aka keewee), my wife Kirstin, and our 10 year old son Michael (aka rattusbaggus). We are BIG Harry Potter fans, hence the desire to Visit Orlando and to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We would all be of moderate fitness (but we are not heavily into fitness, etc). Strolls we can handle - full on hikes are something else again! We definitely want to see some of the theme parks whilst there (Disney World, Universal, etc), we'd love to got to the Kennedy Space Center, and rattusbaggus really wants to visit Legoland. I'm thinking that a geocaching event is in order for our visit in the hope of meeting at least one or two of the names on here i have loosely become friends with. MY wife isn't big on geocaching, but I figure it might be a great opportunity to get us around and see some of the other sights. rattusbaggus and I are into things sciencie (I have a degree in Geology) - we love dinosaurs, occasional rock hounding, Myth Busters, etc. We are also both involved in Scouting. Kirstin likes museums, some arty type stuff, The Beatles,... I am also an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up!

 

And - we're not made of money, so please bare that in mind.

 

So that is a little about us.

 

We'd also like to take part in some real American experiences whilst there. (This part will be easier once the dates are revealed... he he)

 

Whilst in Orlando it would be awesome to get together with some locals and do a bit of geocaching (Kirstin will tolerate a certain amount of geocaching - as long as it is interesting)... so closer to the date I will publish an Event and post about it in here so that anyone interested in hooking up with us in Orlando could do so.... wonder if we could get it to Mega status?

 

rattusbaggus and I would probably also like to hook up with some Scouting people also, so if there is anyone from the Orlando area lurking here who is involved with Scouting, please make contact.

 

 

Now, I just wish I had the resources to have a geocoin made to celebrate this fantastic trip - but with what it is costing us to get there that is totally out of the question!!! :(

 

Right - go to it! :)

Edited by keewee

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Oh, and constructive discussion of suggestions is encouraged and welcomed as what works for one, may not work for others - but to us it is great to be fully informed.

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My 1st guess: Inbound May 12th 10:30am

 

The last couple of times we've visited Florida we've rented a condo/timeshare rather than doing a hotel. Having the full kitchen and laundry in the unit made things much easier. We've stayed at the WestGate Lakes and resort which is pretty close to Universal and SeaWorld and an easy drive to Disney. There are lots of options available -- search online for vacation rentals in Orlando.

 

At Harry Potter World you can't carry anything on many of the rides -- there are short term lockers available to drop your stuff. The ones near the castle almost always had a long line when we were there, but the ones near the Hogwarts Express almost never had a line. In addition to the ride in the castle there is also a walking tour that is separate. Ask the line attendant how to get to the walking tour of the castle, you don't have to wait in the ride line for it and you get to see parts of the castle the line doesn’t go through.

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2nd Guess: Outbound, May 23rd 4:00pm

 

Check the Kennedy Space Center website for launches during the time you'll be visiting. There are several Atlas V launches scheduled over the next few months and getting to see one is well worth it. Launches do get scrubbed and rescheduled with little warning (had one scrubbed while I was on the shuttle bus to the launch viewing area), so even with planning you may miss out.

 

There are several toll roads in the Orlando area, including all the major routes between Orlando and the Space Coast. Either plan ahead and have change/dollar bills for the tolls or ask your rental agency about getting a toll pass.

 

Plan for a visit to GC15RQB when you head out to the Space Coast.

Edited by NepoKama

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Cool cointest, though a lot to digest at once. :)

 

Being Norwegian, I can't help a lot with the USA stuff, but we actually visited Orlando last summer, did Disney World and Universal studios (HP! :)), etc. I have tons of experiences I could share. I'll post some bits for the cointest, but feel free to contact me for more information! Some of my useful experiences concern different ways of dealing with the summer heat. I'm not sure if that applies in this case, so I'll save them for later.

 

Guess 1

Outbound - October 1st, 8.30 AM

Idea - (or rather advice)... Plan your accommodation carefully. Cost is important, but so is convenience/comfort, especially on long, tiring theme park days.

 

We stayed at "Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista - Orlando".

Pluses:

* One of the cheapest places we could find

* Free and frequent (hourly or so?) shuttle buses to Disney World and Downtown Disney

* Free wifi

* Spacious rooms with basic kitchen stuff

* Free dinner some (most?) of the days, not excellent meals, but the kids around seemed happy

* Pool (didn't try it)

 

Minuses:

* Right next to the highway = noisy... Does anyone in your party sleep lightly at night? Avoid such places.

* No transportation options to any of the non-Disney locations

* The Disney shuttle is fairly convenient, but with that + the internal Disney World transportation, you will spend substantial amounts of time travelling. The days will be long and tiring even without the travel time.

 

To summarize... You need your sleep. If anyone has problems sleeping in traffic noise, search carefully for somewhere away from the highway. If we were travelling with kids, and especially if we were to visit Disney on multiple days, we would spend the extra money and stay at one of the Disney resorts for the few "Disney Days", and move out to somewhere else for Universal etc days. With a 10-year-old you might be OK with the cheaper options such as this one.

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Guess 1

Outbound - December 12th, 8.30 AM

Idea - (or rather advice)... Disney shops have delivery service. If you buy souvenirs etc, don't take it with you, but have it sent to the front gate (for free, I think!). Pick it up when you leave the park. Or, if you stay at the disney resorts, have it delivered to your hotel. Just don't forget (easy to do when in a theme park rush... :anicute: ), it will be delivered to the front gate at the park where you bought it. If you do two parks in a day (i.e. Hollywood studios + Magic Kingdom), be careful... :)

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Guess 1!

 

Inbound (does this mean when you will go to USA?), June 26th, 2012. 9:00 AM.

 

Ideas etc... (that 's fot the Cointest #2 right?)

 

Unfortunatelly... I do not know much about USA because I have never visited them! I have only been abroad once in my life.. in spain.. so... :(

 

since I have a feeling that you will be there on July 4th... (I do not know why this stuck in my mind... strange...), here is a link I found to select celebrations for this day.... with parades, parties, fireworks.... I am sure you will like them...

 

http://orlando.about.com/od/seasonalevents/a/July4th_2.htm

 

a sugestion will be to see the fireworks from inside the disney world...select a theme park and...

 

when you visit disneyworld... do not forget to take as a souvenir some disney dollars! :) there are 1$, 5$, 10$... banknotes that are so pretty and I think they are legal tender inside the park.... :D

you will realise that they are (I hope my US friends will forgive me...) pretier than the real dollar notes! :laughing:

Hey.. keep one for me too! I have 3 notes of 1$ already.. and Iam trying ot collect the cheap ones.. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

 

Oh... about the coin you said.. that you wish you had the money to make.. I think there are michines inside disney world that you can create tokens that you like or maybe to turn small coins...cent, dimes... into oval tokens... so... you can make something to remember that trip... ;)

 

and in case someone says... disney world is only for kids... well.... we are all kids... and want to play... no matter of real age! ;)

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Outbound vs inbound is a good question, Gatoulis... :)

 

I think "outbound" means "flying out of". For the start of the vacation, I'm pretty sure it's "outbound", i.e. flying out of New Zealand. For the end of the vacation, I'm not so sure... We're supposed to guess the date and time of the flight out of the US, right? Would that be outbound too? I have no clue. I'll stick to outbound then. :)

Edited by mamoreb

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Guess 3

Outbound - September 30th, 8.30 AM

Idea - in the Harry Potter world, try the Butterbeer, it is really tasty! Though, I guess it has loads of calories, so perhaps you should stick to water for the rest of the day... :) You can order Butterbear with your meals at the inn etc, but if you buy it from the carriage (?) outside, near the entrance to the castle, you'll be able to bring the mug home. Nice souvenir for a Harry Potter fan.

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Leaving New Zealand July 1 8 am

 

Idea - visit downtown disney. Great place - lots of restaurants and clubs. Strongly recommend visit DisneyQuest - believe it is included if you have a park hopper pass. Great place for interactive games. Our kids love it. Air-conditioned which is very important if visiting Florida in the middle of the summer.

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Guess #2 - Leaving New Zealand July 2 - 7 am

Idea - Visit MOSI (museum of science and industry) in Tampa, about a 1 to 1-1/2 hour drive from Orlando. Great place for kids with lots of hands on displays, science related. They have recently added a ropes course for kids outside. Very close to Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa.

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Guess 4

Leaving NZL - October 2nd, 8.30 AM

Idea - If you have the opportunity, leave room for some 'lower intensity' days between the amusement parks. Before we left for Orlando, we wanted to try 'everything' - Disney, Universal, Sea World, Busch Gardens... Of course that's not realistic, but even our final program was a bit too hectic. You might end up being too tired, feeling numb instead of enjoying everything fully. As seekersfamily mentioned, "Downtown Disney" is nice, and is suitable for a day in between amusement parks. Plan ahead how much money you want to spend, though. Much of "Downtown Disney" is geared towards shopping. Personally we enjoyed our visit there a lot, even though we only got one souvenir each. Bring your camera instead! And if you're remotely interested in performing arts/circus, consider the Cirque du Soleil show "La Nouba", which runs in Downtown Disney. Here is a trailer: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/lanouba/media/official-video.aspx We thought it was amazing!

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guess 2

 

Outbound July 9th, 2012, 14:00...

 

Tip... visit legoland... it is said that it is even nicer from Disneyworld! I have seen photos... WOW!! :D I love legos! :laughing: even if the ticket price has gone up... i think.. it worths it! and... at the end of May... I think a new park in the legoland will open... the waterpark!! :D Hmm..I am wondering if they have banknotes in legoland... like in california.. I think... :laughing:

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No guesses on times. I live about an hour noth of orlando. One of my favorite things to do there is the Sak comedy lab. About $15/person last time I went. Very funny and they go out of their way to keep it clean. If you get to the space coast I'm a wealth of information since I stole my wife from there. Look up the Merritt island wildlife refuge. Nice driving tours through there.

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Also on the space coast, Canaveral national seashore is what a FL beach is supposed to look like without all of the development. If you're interested in some real fl seafood, the Dixie crossroads is right on your way to the cape.

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Some great information already - thanks folks, I knew you wouldn't disappoint! :)

 

No one has the dates yet... but someone has mentioned the correct inbound month... :o

 

And to clarify (thanks for asking :))

INBOUND (traveling to the US) - the date and time we fly out of Christchurch (opps....)

OUTBOUND (traveling back home from the US) - the [local] date and time we fly out of Orlando

 

So it sounds like accommodation is the thing we need to be most cleaver about!

 

It is scary how the park tickets are potentially going to cost more than our accommodation!

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Today's Guess #1: Leaving NZ July 3rd, 8am.

 

Regarding Butterbeer at Harry Potter World -- In hot weather definitely try it "frozen" (actually a slush). But do not go on rides right afterward. The very sweet and cold butterbeer and motion rides do not mix well. If the lines for Butterbeer are long (and they often are) you will sometimes have staff coming up the line looking for folks paying with cash that want it in the souvenir mug.

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Today's guess #2: Leaving NZ July 4th, 7:30am

 

When you are at Disney try the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure at Epcot. It's an interactive GPS based game that takes you around the park solving crimes.

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guess 3

 

Traveling to USA.... June 16th, 11:00 am

 

Tip etc.. yes... as you saw too... the park tickets are very high!! I was scared too with these prices! and they are not only that... in some (like legoland) consider even the parking of the car that will go up to 15$ per day!

and who knows... maybe some of the games of them parks will cost more... I mean.. extra! huh!

 

if you want to visit all... it will cost you a fortune my friend! :(

you will probably have to choose where you really want to go...

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guess 4

 

Traveling to USA... May 29th, 14:30

 

Tip... do not forget to buy souvenirs if you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! their store has from costumes until T-shirts with the seal of the school.. or sweets etc.. but I believe their best will be the different magic wands they are selling in their boxes!!! amazing!!! Be careful.. they are not toys but exact replicas of the wands of the movies and they are fragile! you can choose which one you want from a big collection of different wands... from different heroes of the movie series! each price is... not very high I believe.. it is about 32$ but.. you will have something that is not a toy or a bad replica...

 

you can see from here and choose!

 

http://www.universalorlando.com/Merchandise/Shop/Ollivanders_Wand_Shop/Collectibles.html

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Leave New Zealand on June 30th 6am

 

Idea - If you want an american experience - visit Daytona Speedway NASCAR - east on I-4 from Orlando. Usually can take a tour of the track - a lot of the tracks have museums with stock cars. If you happen to be in Florida the first week of July there is a race - The Coca Cola 400 at the track. Loud, fast cars racing in circles for hours and one of the drivers is Autralian - Marcos Ambrose #9.

 

Edited for spelling

Edited by seekerfamily

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Florida also has quite a few really nice artesian springs. You can swim, rent canoes etc. rock springs, manatee, juniper, alexander are just a few of them.

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Guess 1 -

Inbound - June 2 @ 8:22 am

 

Since we live on the west coast and have only been to Florida once about a zillion years ago, can't offer much in the way of advice for the visit. If we went to Florida now, we would absolutely visit Harry Potter's World 'cause we a HUGE fans!

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Guess 2 -

Outbound - June 16 @ 9:00 am

 

If you have time, you might want to consider visiting the Everglades National Park. We are much more inclined to see natural wonders than amusement parks (although we did our share of those when our kids were small). To quote from the National Park Service website, Everglades National Park is "The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, boasts rare and endangered species. It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, significant to all people of the world." Might not be quite as interesting for your son, but a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Edited by steben6

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Guess 1, April 13th:

Leaving Christchurch: December 13th, 11:00

 

Idea: Pay attention to the amusement parks' different systems of 'smart passes', intended for you to save time on queueing:

 

Disney's smart passes are free, and work nicely. It functions like this: Most big rides have smart pass systems, that let you save queueing time if you plan ahead. Check the brochure to learn exactly which rides have smart pass. You show up at the ride, and use a ticket machine to get a smart pass ticket. The ticket tells you when to come back and join the much shorter smart pass queue. So in example, if you get a smart pass ticket at 9:45, the ticket might tell you to enter the smart pass line between 10:25 and 11:25. What some people don't realise is that you can only WAIT for one smart pass at a time - but you can hold two. This means that at 10:25, you'll be able to get a smart pass for ANOTHER ride. AFTER that, you go back to queue up for using the first smart pass. On the other hand, if you decide to come for a smart pass at one of the most popular rides at peak hours, you might have to wait three hours from you get your smart pass till you can actually use it. This means no other smart passes in the meantime. I believe the current waiting times are displayed, though, so you can make informed decisions.

 

Universal's smart pass system is different ... and it costs a substantial amount of money. Their system will let you enter the shorter queue ONCE per ride - but it doesn't apply to all rides. Most importantly, it does not apply to the major Harry Potter ride. At several of the less popular rides, our experience was that the smart pass queue wasn't very much shorter than the regular line. In summary, if you are the types that need to try ALL the available rides before the park closes, I guess the smart pass might be worth it. If you don't need to try everything, and especially if you plan to spend much of your time in the HP area, I would not pay for the smart passes.

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Guess 2, April 13th:

Leaving Christchurch: October 3rd, 6:25

 

Idea: Pay attention to the grocery store opportunities nearby your accommodation.

 

You can probably save lots of money by cooking your meals yourselves. Something we didn't expect, was how hard it is to get to grocery stores without a car! There was a mall right next to our hotel - on the other side of the highway. There was absolutely NO way of crossing the highway (tunnels, bridges) except driving on it. There was also an area with grocery stores and smaller shop within walking distance (probably took us 20 minutes of slow walking due to the heat) ... but the area was obviously not planned for walking. There were no sidewalks, and some places barbed wire was hidden among the grass!

 

The options are probably: Rent a car for your stay (glad we didn't, we saw several tourists in accidents) - find accommodation very close to a grocery store - plan ahead and use a taxi to shop everything you'll need at once.

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I would guess depart on august 13th at 7:35 pm

 

For ideas I would say if you are coming in the summer be sure to bring a camel pack or something like that for water. You don't realize how dehydration can sneak up on you when you are standing in line all day.

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guess 1 for April 13th

 

Inbound - June 22, 10:00 am

 

tip..how about visiting SeaWorld them park in Orlando? it is quite nice.. with dolphins, Orca whales, beluga whales... and you can spent time playing there too.. in altantis...and other attractions :)

 

http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/

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guess 2, April 13

 

Inbound - June 7, 14:30

 

Tip... I forgot to add something about Seaworld! there is a special program for scouts...!!! it is for groups.. but.. you never know!! and the participans will receive an exclusive seaworld program scout patch!! not bad.. right??

 

for more info I beleive you can email them... if something can be done for 1 only... or if your son can enter in a group...with the help of the seaworld or the scouts in orlando...

 

check here the page of the seaworld about this program..

 

http://www.seaworld.org/education-programs/swf/scout/index.htm#bs

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guess 3, april 13

 

inbound - October 16, 18:30

 

Tip... do not forget that you can not have with you liquid things, creams etc... on the airplanes... ;)

in case of medicines... you will better have to ask... I think they will say ok only if you have the doctor's paper saying that it is for you...

We had a problem with the medicines of my mother... and they checked her medical papers to allow as the medicines! and that happent here in greece... imagine in USA that suffered from terrorists......

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Guess 4, april 13

 

inbound - October 24, 17:00

 

tip... check weather etc.. and how things are expected in weather...... if October is spring (I think) in NZ... it is not in USA... so... you surelly do not want to face unpleasant situations.. with bad weather, storms, harricanes etc.. I think they hit Florida.. but.. I do not know a lot....

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Inbound June 29th - 6 am

 

Suggestion - Use the disney transportation system. The monorails travel between the different parks and some hotels. The buses travel to all parks and hotels. Parking at most parks will run an extra $10-15 or more daily.

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Inbound - July 6 @ 10:00 am

 

On of the things we do remember from our first and only visit to Florida was that sudden thunder and lightning storms are common. They don't last long and don't tend to get real cold, but you can get really wet! We ended up rushing into a shop at Disney World to buy some of those light-weight foldable rain ponchos. They were highly overpriced, but cute with Mickey on them. So, I would suggest that, before you leave home, you invest in easily carried rain ponchos that you can carry in your pocket or pack. The storms come up really fast and can dump a lot of rain and those ponchos sure help preventing the day from being miserable 'cause you are soaking wet!

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Outbound - July 20 @ 4:30 pm

 

We enjoyed all the theme parks (of course, Harry Potter wasn't built way back then), but we really loved EPCOT Center. It's like taking a ride in each of the countries represented - the culture and cuisine of each of the countries. They have cool rides, too! They use Smart Passes there, as well.

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First guess for 4/14 -

 

Leaving NZ on June 28th at 7 am

 

Idea - visit the the lego store at Downtown Disney. This is by no means the same as legoland but a large lego store. Has blocks to build lego different things outside. Lots of lego made characters outside on the sidewalk and in the water.

 

A great cache here is a Wherigo (if you have a garmin that can do Wherigo cartridges) - M&M Melteds Wherigo where I Can't Downtown disney which takes you on a tour of the downtown disney area the final in is Celebration a planned community by disney.

 

FYI - There are no physical caches allowed on Disney properties but there are some virtual caches - 2 at EPCOT and one at each of the other parks. They only take a minute and can get a smiley while in the parks.

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guess 1 for april 14

 

Inbound - july 10, 9:00 am

 

if you like..you can visit the.... Ripley's Believe It or Not museum...

 

look what I found....

 

You better believe this is the most bizarre museum you'll ever set foot in. From the minute you walk up to the "Odditorium", which looks like it's falling into a Florida sinkhole, prepare for some wacky surprises. Explore an unbelievable variety of artifacts, exhibits, and displays in 16 unique galleries devoted to the peculiar. Among the tons of displays, you'll see an actual human shrunken head, an Egyptian mummy, a two-headed calf, and a Rolls Royce made from more than one million match sticks. Oh, and the most recent addition? A 14-foot portrait of The Last Supper... made entirely from dryer lint (you may have seen it featured on Good Morning America).

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guess 2 , april 14

 

inbound - October 12, 10:00am

 

an other interesting museum maybe is... Dinosaur World

 

I found about it... this...

 

The world's largest dinosaur attraction is the perfect place for children to roam a pre-historic earth. This outdoor museum setting features over 150 life-size dinosaurs and provides endless opportunities for fun and learning. Sift through sand in search of authentic fossils at Fossil Dig, ride a triceratops on the playground, or eat lunch picnic-style in the Caves. After walking through the Skeleton Garden, make sure you stop in the gift shop to pick-up some unique souvenirs, like fossils and dinosaur eggs.

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Guess 1, April 14th:

Leaving Christchurch: September 29th, 8:05

 

Idea: One of our best solutions for dealing with the heat when out on long days: Bring a small towel in a plastic bag. Wet the towel at the bathrooms. You can even ask the restaurants (or similar) for ice cubes. At least for Disney World, we read that many people do this, and we had success with the place where we asked. The plastic bag/towel will be nice and cold for a long time.

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Guess 2, April 14th:

Leaving Christchurch: September 30th, 8:05

 

Idea: There are two parks at Universal Studios. You can buy tickets for one of them, or you can get the more expensive tickets that cover both.

 

Your interests seem to be a bit like ours... Harry Potter was our main priority, so we spent quite a lot of time looking around and queuing up there. Jurassic park was also important - lots of opportunities for photos, a cool dinosaur ride, etc. Not being American we weren't that familiar with the stories of the other areas, but some of the rides were a lot of fun.

 

All in all, we had no problem spending a full day only in the park that is called "Islands of Adventure". I'm not sure what's in the other park, but if there isn't anything you MUST see there, I'd say that IoA is sufficient for a day of great fun.

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OK... here is a couple of clues:

- the correct inbound month has been mentioned a few times now

- but the outbound month hasn't been mentioned at all!

- and someone has mentioned a date very, very close to the inbound date as their outbound guess!! :o

 

In fairness to those who've posted today already, everyone can post again a few more times... :)

Edited by keewee

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Guess #2 April 14th

 

Leaving NZ October 25 at 7 am

 

Idea - If you will be here during halloweeen check activities at amusement parks. Disney has Mickey's not so scary halloween with special theme not scary. Universal has Halloween Horror Nights - multiple area done up as haunted houses - not so good for younger kids.

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guess 3 for april 14

 

inbound July 19, 10:00 am...

 

I have the feeling that this is inside the harricane season in Florida... please check this to be sure....

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Guess 4, april 14

 

Inbound july 21, 18:00

 

idea..

 

you can go for a hot air ballon ride!!! iti s an amazing experiense!!!

 

see whatr I found... here..

 

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Florida/Orlando-764037/Things_To_Do-Orlando-Hot_Air_Balloon_Ride-BR-1.html

 

edit for time... sorry!

Edited by GATOULIS

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Guess #3 4/14

 

Leaving NZ - Sept 29th 7 am

 

Idea - If staying at a Disney hotel recommend take advantage of extended hours at parks - one of the Disney parks will open one hour early or close one hour later for guests of Disney hotels but not available to general public - get extra time when not quite as crowded. Also use Disney transportation to get to parks.

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Guess #4 -

 

Leaving NZ Sept 28th at 7 am

 

Idea - Caching - if you want to pick up a lot of caches in one day there are a lot of power runs within 1-2 hours of Orlando - these runs have 50-100 plus caches along a single road. They are park & grabs but can increase your numbers quickly.

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guess1 for april 15

 

Inbound - May 24, 9:00 am

 

tip: For older children and adults, Universal Studios is usually the most popular. There are lots of thrill rides there and the rides are based on films they will have seen such as ET, Terminator, Spiderman, The Hulk, The Mummy, Back to the Future, Jaws etc. Universal is split into 2 parks and you can get special tickets to cover it plus other parks. This is called a Flexi ticket. It allows 14 days access from day of first use to: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World and Wet and Wild Water Park). You should also visit Universal in the evening as the City Walk, is full of restaurants, bars with live music and shops, and is great fun to walk around in the warm evenings. If you are visiting in October, Universal does the best Halloween Fright Night I have ever seen. It is worth travelling in October just to go to this.

 

Taken from here: http://www.lastminutevillas.net/vacation_home_article/11/tips-for-first-timers-to-orlando.html

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