The Swigers at Universal, IOA, Loitering at WDW and other random Orlando Appearances!


It’s been a while since I’ve done a TR, but I look forward to sharing our little Orlando trip with you guys.

We took Mikie and his best friend to Universal and IOA for his 13th birthday in January and ended up having a problem at the end of the day with an employee, as a result we ended up with free tickets (the customer service there was really outstanding - we weren’t seeking any reimbursement. We simply wanted the situation fixed and the person reprimanded for the trouble that was caused and the result was above and beyond in my opinion!)

Anyway, we were originally going to go down and buy our passes at WDW and due to some different circumstances, ended up using our tickets to Universal/IOA instead.

We were only down for 2 nights/2 days and the overview is as follows:

Day 1: Monorail Madness
Loitering at TTC/MK
Random Orlando stuff

Day 2: Universal/IOA - including the premiere of the new Simpson’s ride!!!

Day 3: More randomness a la Orlando and going home.

I have some interesting observations about Universal and some pros/cons to both parks.


Yay!! Erin’s back with a TR!! I can’t wait to read more!!:wub:


Looking foward to reading the report and some pictures


OK, where did you go? I can’t wait for more!


Hold the phone…Mickie is 13!!! When did that happen?!? How old is Miss Caisley now…37?


:laugh: :laugh:

I don’t know when it happened, but I feel 37!!!

(Miss Caisley is 4!)

and you bought a house!!!

I think time should stop for whoever I am not in constant contact with.


I’m having a retarded time with photobucket.


We booked a budget-friendly hotel that would accommodate a family of 5 at the TraveLodge Orange Maingate or something like that.

The hotel is as simple as I expected, but despite mixed reviews on tripadvisor, I found it to be clean, the staff friendly, helpful (and prompt with extra towels, etc) and very calm and quiet.

We stayed here for one night before our vacation started last year and we were happy with it.

The room is a ‘suite’ (which means it has a fold-out couch making it sleep 6), a mini fridge and micro. We had a pool-side room by request.

There are no thrills, but if you’re looking for something inexpensive, clean, near Disney and can sleep a large family, this hotel IS a good choice.

Here are some pictures of our room, etc. for those interested.

The small alcove behind Sissy holds the fold out couch that Mikie inhabited during our stay. :laugh:

This is the Kiddie Pool. The grounds are extremely well kept. Very clean.

This is the Laundry Facility, which closes promptly at 10 with no exceptions. :ninja:

A playground that we never played on. It looked like it might give splinters.

The pool.


There was a hottub, too, but I guess I didn’t feel a picture was necessary.

The Giant Orange. I like to call it the Ghetto Orange. Don’t go in it unless you really enjoy being pressured to do a time-share.

I saw a hotel/resort called Seralago. I looked it up and also is inexpensive, has kid suites, etc and is nicer for around the same price. I think next time we are forced to stay offsite we’ll try that one, even though this one was just fine.


On Wednesday, the day we arrived, Miss Caisley was demanding some sort of ride. (She doesn’t get the concept of waiting or not getting her way…) So, we did what any good parents would do.

We went out to eat and then hijacked a monorail. (They are her favorite!)

We ate at Bruno’s, which is a small Italian restaurant right on 192 (Irlo Bronson). It’s small and you might miss it, but the food is really good.

It’s such a cute little Italian restaurant!! There really is a guy named Bruno, who is obviously in the mob.

I will post pictures tomorrow! I’m so off to bed!

Thanks for reading so far.


Love your TR so far.


Congratulations on your new home!
Enjoy it.
Nice intro to the TR and photo of the giant orange.


Love your report so far.


YAY! A Swiger trip report! I really missed these! :heart:


Looking forward to more of this TR.


Is that Miss Caisley with all the hair in that picture!!! I can’t wait to see new pictures of your kiddos…I don’t think I can wait so I am going to check out your myspace!


Thanks for the :heart: guys!! Bella - that is Miss Caisley with the hair! She finally grew some! LOL!


So, our first day we had to stop at the Orlando Harley dealership so Matt could spread his drool on the Orlando Harleys, too. (It’s not enough that his drool is on the exact same models in Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, right?!)

It’s a cool dealership, though. The people are very nice and apparently super accustomed to grown men drooling.

He did buy two Harley shirts, which was enough to keep him happy the entire time we were in Orlando. :laugh:

You can’t see it in the picture, but he is definitely drooling…


Wait a second. What happened to get you free tickets at IOA?


Then we went to Bruno’s for dinner as previously mentioned.

Bruno has definitely got to be affiliated in some way to the mob, but you can’t tell by just being a patron in his fine establishment. You have to talk to him.

He was all like “you come in’a and’a have-a the seat-a!”

“You order-a white pie, and you like-a wid de a spinach-a, yes?!”

It was very cool. I have a crush on him and may marry him some day.

Sissy and I did have the white pie with spinach and garlic. It was yum.

Matt, Mikie and Miss Caisley had Pepperoni and Salami Pizza.

Sissy and I also had tiramisu.

The prices are reasonable and the food was really good. Matt and Sissy also had ceasar salads, which came with homemade dressing. My tossed salad was better, though. Garlic rolls were also served. They were supah-good.

I didn’t get any pictures with Bruno, because I suspect he is in the witness protection program.