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Thread: Abit of advice for trip to America page 2

  1. #11
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    If your theme park tickets let you enter and leave the parks at will I'd suggest not eating inside the parks if you can help it. Theme park food is horrible. You would get an infinitely better meal at mcDonalds.

    Only tip at places that have you sit before you place your order with a server. If some guy at the hotel offers to help with your bag it's $5 a bag. You can avoid that by telling him you'll handle your own bags.

    I'm sorry you won't be seeing more of America. Our national parks are where the magic of the US is found. And Las Vegas is the perfect "theme park".
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  2. #12
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    I heartily second not underestimating driving distances. I'm from the States, and was amazed when we did a road trip through Nev/Arizona/Ca how we just drove and drove and drove.....endlessly. There's a lot of space in the States.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Our national parks are where the magic of the US is found. And Las Vegas is the perfect "theme park".
    This X5000

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeldingHank View Post
    This X5000
    Oh yes! Even if you just go to people-watch...Vegas is way too much fun.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    Well.... ummm, Orlando and Disney are not the best the US has to offer. Sorry. I understand why Europeans think the US is void of culture because they all seem to flock to what is basically a giant amusement park.
    Hollywood is America's most significant cultural export, and Walt Disney played a huge role in shaping the industry. Visiting America without every going to Disneyland/World would be like going to Egypt and skipping the pyramids.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    If your theme park tickets let you enter and leave the parks at will I'd suggest not eating inside the parks if you can help it. Theme park food is horrible. You would get an infinitely better meal at mcDonalds.
    Hey sb!

    I'm going to really disagree with you here... the last time I went to Disney in Orlando, there were plenty of places to eat that did freshly cooked food/from scratch stuff. Yeah, there are still lots of hot dogs and burgers and chicken nuggets and candy and stuff, but we stayed at the Polynesian Resort and we had all sorts of Asian dishes and steak and spanking fresh salads and all that. We were actually very well taken care of, and there is no way I would have traded that for Mickey D's! The food folks were more than accomodating towards my dairy-allergic celiac kid (very knowledgable about cross-contamination issues and cooked their gluten-free pancakes, for example, on a dedicated griddle). While I am not a fan of plasticky theme-parks like Disney, my Second never got sick nor hungered for anything our week there.

    Yeah, get out of the park a few times and eat real Floridian if you can find it, but you can still eat yourself silly there.

  7. #17
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    The traffic during rush hour is absolutely horrifying. I don't know what traffic is like in the UK, but in Orange County/LA area in California, my old commute was 2 hours each way for a 30 mile drive.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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  8. #18
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    I was born in Florida but have lived in Newcastle for the last 4 years. I go back once or twice a year to see my family (Thompson flies direct from Newcastle to Orlando for about 200 roundtrip! It's fab).

    This past April I went to Disney (for the first time since I was 10!). We stayed on International Drive. I would echo the earlier sentiments of not eating in the theme parks if you can help it. It is major crap food. Which, on the one hand could be okay since you're on holiday and sometimes you want that. I certainly enjoyed my Mickey-shaped chocolate covered rice krispie treat! But on the other hand, my personal feeling of eating while on holiday is that the more crap I eat, the worse I am going to feel and the less I am going to enjoy the trip.

    I am fairly certain that you can bring coolers into the park, so you could stock a small cooler full of primal foods to eat throughout the day. Also make sure you bring empty water bottles with you, because there are water fountains everywhere and you can continually fill them up over the course of the day. Otherwise a bottle of water from a vendor costs about $4. Also a good thing to stash in a bag if you can is an umbrella or some sort of lightweight, waterproof jacket with a hood. Florida is prone to sudden rain (not unlike England...) and when it happens in the parks, everyone scurries to the nearest available shelter (mainly the shops that line the walkways) and it gets very crowded and uncomfortable.

    Another non-food related tip for the parks; they have ticket machines for each ride that print out a specific time frame in which you can come back to that ride and bypass the line. DEFINITELY do that. It means you have to be at certain rides at certain times, but we never waited longer than 15 mins for a ride, whereas the regular lines were upwards of a 2 hour wait.

    On international drive, there are a lot of cheap fast food places like Dennys or IHOP that might appeal to you for their sheer American-ness. I really wanted to go to IHOP when I was there, just for the novelty. But after breakfast I felt like craaaaap. Wish I had just skipped it and got some eggs and bacon at a diner instead.
    There are also nicer restaurants that serve real food and it is easy to stay primal there. They are on the south end of Int'l Drive, starting around where Ripley's Believe It or Not is located. We spent an evening at the brick House Tavern having drinks on their outdoor patio which was lovely, as they had fire pits and a nice atmosphere. We also went to a place called Cattleman's Steakhouse and had a lovely meal of wedge salads and steak (and cocktails of course). Regarding tipping, everyone else has covered it already but 15-20% is standard at a sit-down place. One more thing I will mention on the subject of food is this; I am American and lived in America for 22 years. But after 4 years of living in the UK, holy crap was I shocked at the portion sizes I received while at 'home' again. I had forgotten how massive everything is. And how cheap the cost is in comparison. Don't get sucked into the mindset that 'you paid for it so you're going to get your money's worth'. Yes it's a shame for so much food to go to waste, but if it doesn't go to waste it will go to your waist. And make you feel like crap (my body was thrown way out of whack while I was there because of the sheer quantity of food we were eating every day).

    The space center is quite a long drive from Orlando. I think it took us about an hour and half, leaving from International Drive, to reach the kennedy space center. As long as you plan for the travel time, it is something I highly recommend. It was *fantastic* and so interesting! It's also air-conditioned and that was nice in the late-April heat

    Sorry this is so long! Hope something in this post has helped

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabbcakes View Post
    Hey sb!

    I'm going to really disagree with you here... the last time I went to Disney in Orlando, there were plenty of places to eat that did freshly cooked food/from scratch stuff. Yeah, there are still lots of hot dogs and burgers and chicken nuggets and candy and stuff, but we stayed at the Polynesian Resort and we had all sorts of Asian dishes and steak and spanking fresh salads and all that. We were actually very well taken care of, and there is no way I would have traded that for Mickey D's! The food folks were more than accomodating towards my dairy-allergic celiac kid (very knowledgable about cross-contamination issues and cooked their gluten-free pancakes, for example, on a dedicated griddle). While I am not a fan of plasticky theme-parks like Disney, my Second never got sick nor hungered for anything our week there.

    Yeah, get out of the park a few times and eat real Floridian if you can find it, but you can still eat yourself silly there.
    That's good to hear. I have only been to Disneyland, not Disneyworld. And I worked at Sea World in San Diego once upon a time. The food was atrocious in both places.

    If you are a tourist, never actually go to Hollywood. There's not really anything good there. And if you come to Santa Barbara, don't come in summer time unless you want to freeze to death in the gloomy fog. Come in the winter and leave seething with jealousy at our fabulous fall/winter weather.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 190 x 3

  10. #20
    kenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWBooth View Post
    Hollywood is America's most significant cultural export, and Walt Disney played a huge role in shaping the industry. Visiting America without every going to Disneyland/World would be like going to Egypt and skipping the pyramids.
    which pyramids?
    Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
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