Topic Wiki

Orlando Overview
Orlando is a magical place that's not too far from home and cheap to get to with miles. Obviously, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld are the main attractions, but there are other things to do as well. The theme parks are not just for families with kids; a couple can have an absolute blast as well!

Trip Reports:
@Yehuda's trip to Universal - Quick TR Summary, Detailed TR = 4 parts Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Getting there and getting around:

How long should I go for?
The length of your trip will likely be based on the number of parks you want to go to. Don't rush your day - give yourself a full day per park, walk around slowly, get engrossed in the magical worlds that are Disney and Universal, and wait on long lines all day :P . Some will say that you can do parks in less than a day, which may be true for certain ones, so then do a park and a night activity; don't squeeze in 2 parks in 1 day because you finished 1 park at 3PM.

Air:
MCO is Orlando's airport. You can fly directly from all New York airports. Flying business from NY will have just marginally better seats/service for double the price. The only useful benefit is getting more free checked bags, so if may be worth sending 1 person in your family in J so they can bring an extra bag. As of 1/15, Uber was not allowed at MCO due to an airport fee dispute, so the 2 ways to get an Uber are 1) Take a random hotel shuttle to a hotel and then call an Uber from there (suggested by @Uber on Twitter, but join the ethical discussion of using a shuttle if you're not staying at that hotel) and 2) Move the pin on your Uber map to a road outside the airport so that you can officially request a ride. Once a driver responds, call him and tell him you're actually in MCO and see if he'll agree to pick you up anyway. Below are the direct flight options with one-way Saver prices in Y/J.

HPN:
B6 - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight

EWR:
UA - 12.5K/25K
B6 - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight
WN - New non-stop flights beginning March 2016 - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight but if you're flying with your +1 and you have the Companion Pass, this can be your cheapest way to MCO

LGA:
DL - 12.5K/25K
B6 - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight

JFK:
AA/US - 12.5K/25K with AA miles | 7.5K/15K with BA miles
DL - 12.5K/25K
B6 - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight

ISP:
WN - miles vary based on the dollar cost of the flight but if you're flying with your +1 and you have the Companion Pass, this can be your cheapest way to MCO

Car:
A car is not absolutely necessary in Orlando, but it will definitely make things easier for you so you can be on your own schedule. Keep in mind, you'll have to pay parking fees at the parks each day. Many hotels have complimentary shuttles to the airport or the parks and some might even have both. If your hotel only has a parks shuttle, you can probably get a cab for the airport trips for cheaper than renting a car. If Minyan and going to the Kosher restaurants are on your radar, then you will likely need a car, although there are hotels that are both near those sites and have shuttles to the parks. See where your hotel is and decide if you need a car.


Where to stay:

Basically, your options are to stay at a hotel in the 10-15 minute range from the parks, at an official Disney or Universal Resort, or renting a private home in the greater Orlando area.

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Comfort Inn & Suites Universal Convention Center10-20 minutes from parksWebsiteNot the fanciest, but being a Choice property means there's a BRG possibility. Free shuttle to Universal and SeaWorld. 5 minute walk to Kosher Gourmet restaurant/grocery and 20 minute walk to Chabad.
HotelDisney ResortWebsiteSPG category X; X/night
HotelUniversal ResortWebsiteSPG category X; X/night
"Get your own place"Greater Orlando AreaAirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway, Florida Sandanavian/ Vacation Pool HomesRenting a private home can be great for a family. You'll get more for your money over a hotel - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, and if you look hard enough, you can find one that's enclosed for privacy. The downside is that they're usually not too close to the parks, which means you'll definitely need a car and have to pay for parking at the parks.


What to do:

Theme Parks:

With some searching you might find a travel/tourist website (like Musement) that may have a sale that you can use towards the tickets. For Universal Studios, the cheapest place to buy would be from Chabad of South Orlando or Orlando Torah Academy . Tickets are only sold for the upcoming "season". So in December, you'll be able to buy tickets for January break, but not for Pesach, and in the summer, you likely won't yet be able to get for the upcoming January.

Disney ParksComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom
Epcot
Hollywood StudiosFormerly MGM Studios.
Animal Kingdom

All Disney parks have airline style food at specific cafes. Not very good but at least it's a hot meal without leaving the park. You can see the list of cafes on Chabad's site here.

Universal ParksComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
StudiosThe first of the 2 parks built, so it has some of the more classic rides like E.T. and The Mummy, while also featuring plenty of newer rides like Shrek, Minions, and Transformers. There are 1 or 2 roller coasters, and the rest of the rides are more like shows/3D/4D rides. Home to Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. If you have a park-to-park ticket, you can ride the Hogwarts Express train to connect to the HP World in Islands of Adventure. Only Kosher snacks are available here, no real food. As of 1/15, the mix for ButterBeer had a hechsher, but the topping did not, and they won't serve you without it. For a TR on the park, see here.
Islands of AdventureFeaturing rides like Jurassic Park and The Hulk, this park also has 1-2 roller coasters, while the rest of the rides are more of the show/3D/4D variety. Home to Harry Potter: Hogsmeade. If you have a park-to-park ticket, you can ride the Hogwarts Express train to connect to the HP World in Studios. Only Kosher snacks are available here, no real food. As of 1/15, the mix for ButterBeer had a hechsher, but the topping did not, and they won't serve you without it. For a TR on the park, see here.

Other ParksComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorldA very family friendly park, less packed than Disney and Universal. Cheap annual passes as well as combo discounts for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens (which is in Tampa, 1hr away).
LegoLandLocated in Winter Haven, the park is a bit of a distance from the Greater Orlando area - approx. 45- 55 min away from other Orlando parks. LegoLand has an amusement park as well as a water park. If you look online it looks like the 2 are often not open on the same day. Each park costs about as much as the Disney/Universal parks (~$80) and can be greatly enjoyed by children, but can be underwhelming for adults. All rides are "kiddie" rides, some don't even allow adults on. The park is missing the magic of Disney/Universal, but may be much emptier than those parks, so that's a plus. The life-size Lego statues around the park are cool, but their water damage shows that LegoLand just doesn't get the "magic" necessary for an Orlando park. Kids will love the mini coasters and rides, something they might not be able to experience too much in Universal and parts of Disney.
See here for cheaper tickets (~$100 total for 1 adult and 1 child ticket)


Other Attractions & Activities

NameMore InfoComments
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
WonderworksWebsite
Fun SpotWebsite
Titanic The ExperienceWebsiteGeared towards older kids / adults
Ripley's Believe it or notWebsite
Disney QuestWebsite
Cirque De SoleilWebsite
Orlando Science CenterWebsite
Kennedy Space Center - Visitor's ComplexWebsiteTour NASA's KSC. Now features Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Skeleton MuseumWebsite
Event & Family Photography - Chavi Photo Website


Shuls:

NameMore InfoComments
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Chabad of South OrlandoWebsiteDaily Minyanim - Shachris @ 8:00AM and 9:30AM on Shabbos. Mincha/Maariv is 10 minutes before Shkia, which can be difficult to make if you're spending the day in a park. During very peak seasons, they'll have an extra Maariv later at night.
Orlando Torah AcademyWebsiteLocal day school that has Shacharis @ 8:30AM Monday - Friday during the school year (but not week of the 27th - they're on Yeshiva break vacation. (2024) Orlando Torah Academy runs KosherOrlando.org, which organizes and opens shuls in the resorts during busy times; check out the website to signup and find out more about the various minyanim
Orlando Torah CenterWebsiteShachris @ 6:30AM weekdays, 8:00AM, Sunday 8:AM, 7:15AM (Hashkama) and 9:00AM Shabbos (Nusach Ashkenaz) as well as a separate Eidut Hamizrach at 9:AM. Mincha/Maariv is 1:30, and before/after Shkiah, which can be difficult to make if you're spending the day in a park. There's also a nightly 10PM Maariv

Food:

For Kosher food inside the theme parks, see the comments section of the specific park above.

NameMore InfoComments
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kosher GourmetWebsiteA classic deli with slightly pricey/reasonable prices, unlimited fountain soda refills, and mostly-friendly service. You may be able to find discounted gift cards at GreatKosherDeals.com. Next to the restaurant is also a Kosher grocery. The restaurant will give you a bag to go shopping with and you'll bring your purchases back to the restaurant to pay. Mostly (only?) non-perishables sold here. (Certified by the RCF)
Kosher GrillWebsiteReview from shiframeir - Got takeout from here (place was packed and crazy for Yeshiva week), and the food was actually very good though understandably not cheap. Shwarma on baguette was great - even though they threw in this cabbage salad that scared me, it actually went great with the shwarma. Burgers were thick with flavor and decent shoe string fries. Caesar salad with chicken was what it is everywhere but with a real flame grilled piece of chicken. Stir fry wasn't fantastic, but is a nice alternative option on the menu that we enjoyed. Chili wings didn't really have much sauce flavor, but maybe they're better when you don't take it to go.
Review from yeki89 (when this store was a food truck called Kosher on Wheels) - Falafel & fries was very good with large portions and fair prices.
(Certified by the RCF)
Kosher EateryWebsite Dairy and Meat Kosher Restaurant (Certified by the RCF)
Erin McKenna's BakeryWebsitePareve and Gluten Free. Oat products are not Pas Yisroel. Ice Cream is NOT certified Kosher. (Certified by Florida K/Rabbi Sholom Dubov)
Catering by Motti / Motti's BistroWebsiteTakeout food available for Shabbos. Bistro restaurant only open during Yeshiva week
Winn DixieStore LocatorLocated on Apopka Vineland (yes, that's a street name), this supermarket carries Cholov Yisroel milk and many other Kosher products.

« Last edited by sprint on January 12, 2024, 12:06:49 PM »

Author Topic: Orlando Master Thread  (Read 532946 times)

Offline glasses dude

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #200 on: May 29, 2013, 09:14:25 AM »
Thanks!!
you could get kosher airline style meals in one resteraunt in any of the Disney Parks

Offline glasses dude

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #201 on: May 29, 2013, 09:16:42 AM »
Also may as well get the Disney debit card from chase its free and has a few cute perks like free 5x7 picture with characters

Offline Ellgee79

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #202 on: May 31, 2013, 09:00:29 AM »
Thanks!

Offline Let3

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #203 on: May 31, 2013, 11:28:23 AM »
Anyone stayed at Disney Swan or Dolphin in Orlando, they are category 4 on SPG? I am also looking Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort.

Please let me know your thoughts
I stayed in one of them like 4 years ago (think it was the dolphin) and had a great time!

Offline glasses dude

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #204 on: May 31, 2013, 12:05:53 PM »
Anyone stayed at Disney Swan or Dolphin in Orlando, they are category 4 on SPG? I am also looking Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort.

Please let me know your thoughts
I stayed at lake Buena vista not fancy but very nice and practical

ohsleepy1

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #205 on: June 10, 2013, 03:35:33 AM »
Hi, we're visiting orlando for a conference for 3 days. I need cholov yisroel milk for my baby but can't seem to find correct info on where to get it. chabad's website says at winn dixie in altamonte, but apparently that's 30+ min drive from the parks. On some other website I found that I can get cholov yisroel milk at the whole foods on turkey lake road. Does anyone know for sure?

Also, does anyone know if cohen's deli is open? their website says they're reopening soon but that's been there for months!
Is kosher culinary a grocery store run by chabad that isn't open anymore? People on diff websites said they got cholov yisroel milk from there. the chabad website lists kosher gourmet but no website.

Thanks!

Offline Ergel

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #206 on: June 10, 2013, 07:20:09 AM »
Why not just freeze milk and put it in a cooler?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline dovidmeirmiller

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #207 on: June 10, 2013, 08:46:59 PM »
Does anyone know what the best (and most cost efficient) park to go to for a family of teens and twenties is?

Offline avadah

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #208 on: June 11, 2013, 04:13:50 PM »
Where's closest minyan to Disneyworld? Any chance of putting together minyanim there over the summer?

Offline ShmuliT

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #209 on: June 11, 2013, 04:59:58 PM »
Where's closest minyan to Disneyworld? Any chance of putting together minyanim there over the summer?
When I was there during bein hazmanim vacation there was a jam packed shachris at Chabad (overflowed into restaurant next door) and there was more than one Mincha/Mariv in the park.

Offline ShmuliT

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #210 on: June 11, 2013, 05:07:31 PM »
Plus we made our own food instead of overpaying for bad food at the local eateries.
I imagine my parents used self-clean cycle on the oven and brought along a grill or something.
As a kid I'm sure it was great having home made food each day. But from the parents side this may not be such a vacation if they are out all day then need to start cooking.
OTOH preparing in advance or throwing some meat on the BBQ are great options.

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #211 on: June 11, 2013, 05:11:32 PM »
Meh.
So bring cooked food and reheat it as I've done on several trips to places without kosher food.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline avadah

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #212 on: June 11, 2013, 05:16:13 PM »
When I was there during bein hazmanim vacation there was a jam packed shachris at Chabad (overflowed into restaurant next door) and there was more than one Mincha/Mariv in the park.
Chabad's not so close to Disney. There's no way to put together a minyan in one of the park hotels?

Offline dd321

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #213 on: June 11, 2013, 07:08:01 PM »
I'm looking to rent a villa with a private pool in Orlando but there are so many options i don't know where to start.
could anyone post a link of a house that they rented and where happy looking on spending up to $150 per night.
Thanks
bump

Offline KK

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #214 on: June 12, 2013, 02:16:06 PM »
Does anyone know what the best (and most cost efficient) park to go to for a family of teens and twenties is?

If you're referring to a Disney park, I would say Epcot or Hollywood Studios.

Offline ausome

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #215 on: June 12, 2013, 04:40:37 PM »
Hi, we're visiting orlando for a conference for 3 days. I need cholov yisroel milk for my baby but can't seem to find correct info on where to get it. chabad's website says at winn dixie in altamonte, but apparently that's 30+ min drive from the parks. On some other website I found that I can get cholov yisroel milk at the whole foods on turkey lake road. Does anyone know for sure?

Also, does anyone know if cohen's deli is open? their website says they're reopening soon but that's been there for months!
Is kosher culinary a grocery store run by chabad that isn't open anymore? People on diff websites said they got cholov yisroel milk from there. the chabad website lists kosher gourmet but no website.

Thanks!
I was in orlando this past january and we bought cholov yisroel milk from the resturant next to the chabad center for about $7

ohsleepy1

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #216 on: June 24, 2013, 12:06:36 AM »
We just came back from Orlando last week. The mashgiach at the Chabad restaurant, Kosher Gourmet (which used to be Kosher Culinary) said the only place to get CY milk close to Orlando is ordering online or Wynn Dixie in Altamonte. Their fleishig food was pretty good & a little pricey.

We also went to Kosher on Wheels, a kosher food truck that we got felafel in a pita & fries & it was very good with large portions & fair prices but you eat outside which is VERY hot in June.

There's another restaurant, Lower East Side which is fleishigs & much closer to the parks and a milchig restaurant called Milk & Honey (I believe) but the mashgiach at the Chabad restaurant told us (off the record) that they don't hold by their hechsherim (no mashgiach ever visits the milchig one & the fleishig one rarely has a mashgiach.)

Hope this helps others going to Orlando soon!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:24:20 AM by ohsleepy1 »

Offline Yeki89

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #217 on: June 24, 2013, 12:08:30 AM »
We just came back from Orlando last week. The mashgiach at the Chabad restaurant, Kosher Gourmet (which used to be Kosher Culinary) said the only place to get CY milk close to Orlando is orderling online or Wynn Dixie in Altamonte. Their fleishig food was pretty good & a little pricey.

We also went to Kosher on Wheels, a kosher food truck that we got felafel in a pita & fried & it was very good with large portions & fair prices but you eat outside which is VERY hot in June.

There's another restaurant, Lower East Side which is fleishigs & much closer to the parks and a milchig restaurant called Milk & Honey (I believe) but the mashgiach at the Chabad restaurant told us (off the record) that they don't hold by their hechsherim (no mashgiach ever visits the milchig one & the fleishig one rarely has a mashgiach.)

Hope this helps others going to Orlando soon!
I added to wiki with the date.

ohsleepy1

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #218 on: June 24, 2013, 12:23:08 AM »
Thanks!

Offline aviz

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Re: Orlando Master Thread
« Reply #219 on: June 26, 2013, 03:36:42 PM »
i heard there is some pizza place ... but its out of some chabbad guys condo ? anyone know what i'm talking about ?
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