Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fun Things To Do In Orlando

Hi, Sandra here.

Who all is going to RWA Nationals in Orlando?
Who likes to go early and check out the area, play, research, HAVE FUN?

Stay and see some of the amazing things there are to see in the area.

Win a copy of our own Florida Seeker, Cara Lynn James' debut novel, LOVE ON A DIME.

Enjoy the side table full of coffee with assorted flavors to add, an assortment of teas, hot chocolate, fresh squeezed Florida orange juice (Hey need to support Florida), and sparkling water.

For the hungry bunch, we have sliced Florida oranges, and the chef at the Disney World Dolphin Resort promised to stop by and set up a Disney buffet, a forerunner of what to expect at the conference. You can imagine what that will be so whatever you're hungry for, I'm saying you'll find it on that buffet. Just ask. Personally, I'm going for some fresh seafood from the Keys served with red rice and beans cooked in coconut milk.

Now that we have that taken care of lets go sightseeing.

To start with, there are many packages offered for Disney World. If you're staying at the resort, your hotel reservations have sent you a gazillion links for everything in the parks. Ruthy will be there with her mouse ears on so watch out. The link above though will connect you to some bargains.

Universal Orlando is the place to see movie themes. Great ticket prices on the link provided.
Spend the day at the resorts swimming pool. Read one of those books on your "To Do Pile" or if you want more adventure go to one of the water parks.

For those of you who have been to Disney or want something different check out the web page

This site offers package deals, Internet specials for tickets, etc.

There is the Cirque du Soleil.

And there are the sights of City Walk Orlando where there are many theme restaurants to choose from like Nascar cafe and one with rock memoralbilia.

One of the things I want to do is go to Cape Canaveral and visit the NASA Kennedy Space Center. It is only about 45 miles from Orlando and believe me, once there you will want to spend the whole day.

I really really really want to go again so if anyone wants to join me on Tuesday, I'm going to rent a car/van and head out for the day. Post your email addie and interest in going and I will contact you and make arrangements. We might even be able to go on a tour. If there's interest I'll check it out. Oh and you can arrange to have lunch with an astronaut while there. Now is that research expense or what???

Then there's always Daytona Beach. There are miles of beaches to enjoy, historical landmarks and sites, golf, scuba diving, etc. I could probably be talked into going there too. I'd just keep the car an extra day. But there is public transportation available.

So there you have it. Plenty to see and do in the area. If you have other information or know of other interesting things to see or do, post them please and share with us.

Winners of Cara's book will be announced in the weekend edition. Be sure and leave your email addie for that also if it isn't in your profile. Oh yes, I'll add a copy of my children's book too.

Check in again July 9th and find out things to do AT the conference. Hints on how to get the most out of this overwhelming experience.


Kaye Dacus said...

I was planning to go when it was going to be here in Nashville. Hopefully it'll come back here soon!

Lisa Jordan said...

I <3 Florida!

Interesting note...my family were evacuated from Magic Kingdom when the Twin Towers were hit. We spent 10 days in Disney and hit all the parks and water parks. Great memories in spite of our nation's tragedy.

If people want to stay a few extra days and head SW a bit, I highly recommend Sanibel Island, just past Ft. Myers. It's one of the top seashell buffets in the world. It's about 3 hours from Orlando, I think.

Have a great time at Nationals. Let us know all the scoop!

Walt M said...

I won't be there, though I may go later this year. There's a new Harry Potter attraction that just opened up and we're thinking of taking the kids.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ah, Sandra, I can't wait!!!

This will be so fun!!!!!!!


Had to get that out.

And I can't wait to go to Nashville again, either, I LOVE the Opryland Hotel and I've promised Dave a trip there sometime, probably not around a conference, just a trip to Nashville and fun stuff once it's back on its feet, but I will not miss this RWA for anything.


Just imagine:

Ruthy with The Mouse.

Ruthy at the Cape.

Ruthy in a Dining Hall. (Ruthy Loves Food)

Ruthy accidentally bumping into movers and shakers of the corporate publishing world... (Excuse me, have you any TP over there???? And btw, would you like to see this manuscript???)

Okay, KIND OF kidding on that last.


Can't wait, Sandra, and huge thank yous for the tips and links. Love 'em.

And the fresh juice. It tastes "sunny".

And when winter is your companion for six-plus months/year, we like a taste of SUNNY in WNY.



Kirsten Arnold said...

I won't be able to go this year, but I hope all of those going have a great time in the sun. Disney World is the happiest place on Earth! I went last year with a couple of friends and we took pictures with every character available. Good times. :o)

Janet Dean said...

Great tips for seeing the sights in the Orlando area, Sandra! And a fabulous buffet!

Our family visits Mickey fairly often, but I'm looking forward to doing the grown-up version of Disney during RWA. Planning to spend time in Epcot, getting a taste of different cultures, literally. :-)


Rose said...

I can't go this year because of a family wedding. : ( But I hope everyone who is going has a good time and does get to sight see.

Does anyone know where the conference is being held next year?


RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Kaye, We were crushed when they changed it from Nashville. Like Ruthy said, we were so looi=king forward to Opryland. We toured it the year ACFW was in Nashville and said then we were going to come stay there sometime. Thought this was our chance. Still saying prayers for the area.

Hey when they do have it in Nashville, we'll have you post Fun Things To Do Around Nashville.

Patty said...

Great post, Sandra. I love Disney World! Last year for my birthday, Dan asked me where I wanted to go for a get away and I picked Orlando! No kids, just us and we had a fantastic time!

And just another note--if you're one of the winners of Cara's new book, LUCKY YOU! I finished it in a day while on a cruise recently and LOVED IT! Congratulations, Cara!

Have a great time at Nationals!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Lisa, thanks for the tip on Sanibel island. I always love checking out new places.

What a memory tied with the Magic Kingdom. I'm glad you have kept the good ones.

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, man, how I wish I were going!!! You guys are gonna have SO much fun with the Mouse! :)

Take LOTS of pictures ...


Pam Hillman said...

I'm sorry to miss seeing everyone at RWA. I know you'll have a ball. But I'll see most of you in September at ACFW!

Can't wait.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for all the info, Sandra! I'll be hitting Epcot on Tuesday. My roomie has never been before, so we're really excited!

Now, Sandra, if you get that lunch with an astronaut, you'll have to promise us you won't try to stow away on a ship and miss the whole conference!


Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Walt, Yes, there is a new section on Harry Potter. Looks interesting and fun.

It is actually part of the Universal Studio package.

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, Ruthy, I can so picture you handing over a mss as a thank you for the toilet paper!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Sorry folks. I was trying to post the link for Walt and you know me and the techno stuff. Okay Walt, I think I got it this time. I forgot one silly symbol. A big no no for the techno world.

Harry Potter

And Lisa, Here's a link to info about Sanibel Island. Check out that beach.

Sanibel Island

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ruthy and Missy, I know the two of you are going to enjoy the Disney experience. You're both kids at heart. smile

I can hardly wait to see you. Should be fun.

And Missy, I'm not promising I won't stow away with an astronaut. That would rate with Ruthy joining the Mickey Mouse club. (slipping manuscripts under doors Hey she could do that as a mouse)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Kirsten and Rose we'll miss you.

Rose, the conference is in New York next year. It will be at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Janet, You'll be there too. How fun. Epcot is really nice. It was my hubby's and my favorite theme park when there. Of course Ed is a science/math major so of course he would love it.

I am so excited to see you too. Hooray. There will be some Seekers there. Any other Seeker fans going?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Patty, Isn't LOVE ON A DIME the best? I loved it too.

Of course I love all the Seeker books. We have some great authors. Must be the island atmosphere. Gets us in romantic moods.

Pam and Jules, I'll see you at ACFW I hope. I'm still debating about going there.

Pam is going to give us info about it later this week. She'll probably talk me into it. smile

Melanie Dickerson said...

I feel really bad that I've never taken my kids to Disney World. They complain that all their friends have gone multiple times. It makes me feel like a bad mother. I decided I wasn't going to another conference until I could afford to take my kids to Disney, but, with my first book coming out in time for the conference ... Let's just say, I need to take my kids soon! So think of me when you're gadding about Mickey Mouseland.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Wow, that comment didn't make any sense! My book is coming out TOO LATE for the RWA conference, but just in time for the ACFW conference. Which is why I'm not going to RWA but I am going to ACFW. In Indianapolis. But soon I will (Lord willing and with a slight Reversal of Fortune) take my kids to Disney.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Trying to hold back the tears here! Sniff. Disney in Orlando is my favourite place on earth! I've been there twice with the kids, and even though they're now almost 14 and 17, we'd all love to go back. (Have to buy that Lotto Ticket.)

Sadly I won't be there. One year I WILL get to a National Conference.

The Dolphin resort is absolutely gorgeous. We had dinner there one night and the kids were thrilled when the Disney characters arrived and came to our table. Such fun!

Hope you all have a great time. We'll have to live vicariously through you!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Melanie, How exciting that your book will be out by ACFW conference. You will be at the author table sighing books. Hooray.

I used to take students to Disneyland in California when I was teaching and believe me taking students took away the glamour. LOL. Oh they were cute and had a blast, but chaperoning??? Here was the schedule
Teach all day
Get on bus at midnight
Drive 8 hours to LA from Phoenix (supposedly sleeping) at least they rented nice cruise buses.
Arrive 8:00 am at Disneyland. Eat a school breakfast in the parking lot.
Spend day at Disneyland
Get back on bus at midnight.
Drive back to Phoenix and arrive at 8:00 am.
Make sure all kids picked up etc.
Go home and crash for two days.

Now when I was in my twenties that wasn't so bad. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Susan, I'm so glad you have fun memories with your children there. Its always fun to have goals so your desire to get back there will keep you going. smile

And your desire to get to Nationals. I'm sure that will happen too. It is quite an experience.

Those of you coming be sure and rest up beforehand and plan for a rest after. It is soooo huge and overwhelming and add to that DisneyWorld. Oh my.

Mary Connealy said...

Lunch with an astronaut?
Why am I brainstorming a book right now in my head?

Astronauts and cowboys...wasn't there a movie called Space Cowboys a few years ago?

Mary Connealy said...

Mel, tell your kids to get a job and when they can afford it (after college) they can take themselves to Disney.

It's just one way to go with the whole parenting thing.

Karen Witemeyer said...

I'll be attending RWA for the first time this year and am looking forward to it. It's good to know there may be a handful of familiar faces there.

I wasn't originally planning to go, but when they changed to Orlando, I couldn't say no. We'd been promising the kids (8, 10, 12) a trip to Disney World, expecting to do it next summer, but tacking it on to RWA allows us to write off a big chunk of the travel expenses, so we bumped it up.

Hope to see some of you there.
Oh, and I'd love a chance to win Love on a Dime. That cover is gorgeous!!!

kwitemeyer [at] hotmail [dot] com

Angela Bell said...

I used to live in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. I wish I could go back for a visit. I really miss the beautiful white sand. :(


Holly said...

The Space Center is not to be missed, especially now that they've added a ride that simulates shuttle take off. And since you're that close to the beach, hit up Ron Jon's Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, very touristy, but it's the original site for the chain, so it's a must see for visitors. Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar has amazing food, and if you can get there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you can see the cruise ships pull out of port and blow their horns. The Disney boats actually play "When You Wish Upon a Star." You can also usually see the boat ramp follies, which are when the people who have had a bit too much fun try to trailer their boats for the day.


KC Frantzen said...

Believe me, Nashville wishes y'all were coming. I was going to drop in on that Wednesday just to meet you all in person!

Have a good time in Orlando and please come to Nashville next year!

Safe travels!!

Erica Vetsch said...

I love the Holy Land Experience in Orlando.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Mary, If anyone else would be brainstorming a story about an astronaut it would be you. LOL
I'll brainstorm about anything and everything. Guess its the daydreamer in me. And you're that way too.

I'm even thinking of the horrific fires in Flagstaff because I'm praying so for the firefighters, homeowners and forest animals. But firefighter-there's another hero?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Karen, Smart girl. Combining business with pleasure. And I know your children are going to love Disneyland. Be sure to look for Ruthy, Janet and Missy in the parks. They'll have their mouse ears on.

Looking forward to meeting you also.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Angela, Great tip. Check out the zip line link on this Santa Rosa beach link

Santa Rosa Beach

The home page for Santa Rosa Beach lists all the Florida beaches. Oh my. They are sooooo beautiful.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Holly, Sounds like you're a local. Lucky you. Thanks for all the great tips. Here's a link for Cocoa Beach which includes ron jons surf shop.

Check out the airboat rides lnk. Now those are fun.

Cocoa Beach

Sandra Leesmith said...

KC are you from Nashville? So sorry to have missed Opryland. How is the recovery coming along? I've seen reports in my Samaritan Purse bulletins. I loved the fact so many of the college kids were volunteering and participating in the clean up.

mary bailey said...

I hope everyone who is going has a wonderful time!

I've been to Disney World twice--when I was 7yo and 14yo, so it's been a long time. My dear hubby and son have never been. I told my son he's just going to have to wait until he's a grown-up daddy and take his own kids! I wish the Magic Kingdom came with a Magic Price Tag!

Would love to win "Love on a Dime"!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Erica. Wow, I'm so glad I did this post because I have found so many more things to go see. This sounds fun too. TBN's Holyland Experience. Didn't even know they had one. Thanks Erica. Looking forward to your blog on Friday here at Seekerville. CLARA AND THE COWBOY sound fun.

TBN's Holyland Experience

Looks great for those who can't actually get to Israel.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Mary, Great advice. Mary gave Melanie the same advice. LOL

I agree about that price tag. It isn't just the admission cost, but everything inside including a drink of water has a huge price tag.

Mary Connealy said...

The fires in Flagstaff gave me a story idea too.

ummmmmmm....considering the suffering and the risk to firefighters...that might actually make me the poster child for evil.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yes, Mary, but you always make good come out of the evil. smile I'm sucking up Want to always stay on your good side.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Oh, forgot to leave my email address. I'd love to win "Love on a dime". It looks great!

sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Thanks so much for all these great contests!


Kathy Hurst said...

I am aiming for ACFW conference in September. I want to attend the award banquet and hold the hand of a good friend who finaled in the Genesis Contest. Everyday between writing and editing we discuss the big question - "What will we wear?"

Anyway, have fun in Orlando. Can't wait to hear all about it.


Renee said...

Awww, I never felt sad about not going to Orlando until now. It looks and sounds like a lot of fun. Of course the biggest treat would be meeting everyone at Nationals.

Hope everyone has an awesome time.

(no need to enter me in the contest. I already have Love On A Dime)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Kathy, What a great friend you are. How exciting to hold the hand of a Genesis finalist. I've been privy to do it many times with my Seeker sisters They are such great writers.

And Kathy you bring up a great point. What to wear.

In Orlando it is going to be hot and humid so for touring outdoors, just plan on sweating or should I say perspiring. Cotton is good because it breathes although I personally don't feel one degree cooler in cotton. When its hot it is hot.

But for the conference whether ACFW or RWA the consensus is to wear professional casual during the day and dress for the awards dinner.

This is especially fun for us writers who wear our jammies, sweats, whatever writing at home. Now we can finally dress up. Those of us who work, well we already have the clothes.

But the award dinner is our opportunity to get a little extra special. Some go really formal, but most are in between a night club type outfit and a Sunday church outfit.

Whatever you decide to wear, know that it isn't that important. You will be loved no matter what you wear so bring what you are excited about and is comfortable for you.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Renee, I'm with you. The ONLY reason I would be going to Disney World and especially during the summer would be to see friends at RWA.

And didn't you truly enjoy LOVE ON A DIME? I think you won it earlier didn't you? How fun is that?

karenk said...

you should be a travel agent :) enjoyed this posting very much.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

travel agent. hmmmmmm Mary, can we think of a story around a travel agent? Maybe one who meets a firefighter? Or an astronaut looks for a travel agent to schedule a trip to the moon?

Thanks Karen, you gave us more ideas.

I'm off for a bicycle ride. They have a wonderful bike trail around the north shore of Lake Tahoe. We're camped right along it. Should be fun.

Myra Johnson said...

What a fun, fun, FUN post, Sandra! I am getting excited about heading to Orlando soon! I'm arriving Tuesday and planning to stay over an extra few days to see the sights. Although we've been to Disneyland and other LA attractions several times, we've never yet made it to Florida to visit Disney World or Epcot.

Oh, boy, Ruthy with mouse ears!!! Yippeeeeee!!!!!

Carey_Corp said...

Hi Sandra!

This will be my first RWA National Conference. I wasn't going to go b/c it means no family vacation this summer (cost and time), but to my surprise I finaled in the Golden Heart (first time to enter the GH and first time to final). I'm already overwhelmed and it's not even July! I can't imagine trying to fit in a theme park on top of everything else. But I'm staying at the yacht club and the pool looks FABULOUS!!!

Anyone going to Orlando, be sure to come say "hi" to me. I'll be sporting the deer-in-the-headlights vibe. ;)

Carey Corp

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ah, working cut into my day!!!

Dagburned gainful employment!!!

Who said what?

Who's on Second?

I dunno.

Gotta check. I brought steak fajitas made from thinly sliced grilled steak.

Oh my stars, dig in. Fresh lettuce. Sour cream. Salsa. Sharp cheese.

I'm out of tomatoes, dagnabbit, but they'll be good anyway.

Debby Giusti said...

Carey, congrats on your GH final!!! Come join the Seekers for some fun!

Missy, Darlene and I will arrive on Tuesday. Epcot sounds like fun! I've been there a number of times, but there's always something new to see.

Anyone staying for a few days at the beach after the conference is over? A little voice keeps telling me I should...

Who mentioned Cocoa Beach and Ron Jon's Surf Shop? A fun place to visit at least once in a lifetime. Bernard's Surf used to be a lovely restaurant in Cocoa...but that was years ago. Probably closed by now. Pelican Point? Anyone remember that place?

Thanks, Sandra, for some great Orlando tips. I'm getting excited! Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Carey, Congrats on finaling the Golden Heart. Whoo hooooo. And please hang with the Seekers. We're good at getting that deer in the headlights look taken care of. LOL

Watch out for the woman with the mouse ears. But she does bring good food.
Yumm, the fajitas are great Ruthy.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hoorayyy Debby and Myra, How fun to see you again. Debby, be sure and tell Darlene that I'm looking forward to seeing her also.

And the beaches. Did you see those links? Oh my. It might even be worth heat stroke to go. I'm thinking they are dynamite in the winter.

Renee said...

Sandra, I really enjoyed Love On A Dime. I didn't win it. I got it from BookSneeze to review, which I posted on my blog. :) I love forward to more of Cara's books.

Amanda Forester said...

I have never been to Disneyworld (I've never been south of New York) so I'm really looking forward to my first RWA in Orlando!!!! I think the hardest thing will be trying to decide which wonderful thing I should do with my time. Thanks a million for giving me yet more options! LOL

Anita Mae Draper said...

Yes, I'm going to RWA in Orlando. I'll be accompanied by my husband, Nelson, and my son, JJ, who'll turn 12 just a couple days before it starts.

JJ wanted to spend time at a waterpark but couldn't decide which one. God solved our problem by putting us in the Yacht Club resort as conference overflow at the same price. We're right next to the Dolphin Hotel - so it's within walking distance for me. The lagoon area of the Yacht club is considered DisneyWorld's 3rd waterpark. It's spectacular with a waterslide and everything. And we'll be right there the whole stay!

We are getting mighty excited.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Oops Renee, I was thinking I read your name in the weekend edition. How great that you are a reviewer. Important job. smile

Amanda, how fun to go to your first RWA national. You'll be in great company. I;m pretty sure they have an orientation and you should go because it is so overwhelming. On July 9th I'll be posting more info for the actual conference. And read Pam's this week because some of her info can apply to RWA national.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Anita, What a great "God" Story. I love those. It always amazes me how He works things out. I'll be at the Yacht Hotel too so maybe we'll see each other.

Stay tuned July 9th as we'll announce a time and place for Seeker friends to meet.

Have fun. Thanks for joining us Seeker friends. I'm signing off and heading for dreamland. I'll be dreaming of an astronaut dancing with all these authors with mouse ears. LOL

Check out weekend edition for winners.