This resort is located in Kissimmee, Florida. Close to all the fun of Orlando, and every major theme park and attraction.
Video by Traveling With Jennifer Sparks Savoy
Day One Travel & Arrival at Diamond Resorts Parkway International Resort
I am on my way back to Kissimmee and the Orlando area. I am driving so I will have my car. I will be in town long enough to visit several resorts and stay, then visit many of the great attractions.
I feel like there should be an image I had here that, like a TV show, just says 14 hours later.
However, it is longer than that because I stopped off in Jacksonville, Florida on the way down. Then spend the morning almost enjoying the free continental breakfast, then I went to the pool before checkout time. Then back to the hotel room to shower and change.
From Jacksonville to Orlando it is almost 3 hours. So, I made it to the area of the resort by 1 PM and had a few hours until I could check-in. I chose to go get a nice lunch and then visit something in the area as well. Hotel food has never been great, but now those hockey puck egg things are sketchy. This only meant I was hungry and ready to grab something good for lunch.
I went to a spot on a lake called the Gnarly Barley it has a very affordable menu, cold beer, and a view. Hard to go wrong with that combination. They offer sandwiches, tacos, apps, salads, and sides. I had a Johnny Mac’ N Cheese which was a French dip with Mac’ N Cheese on it. Well worth ordering.
I could have stayed there the entire 3-hour gap but I would not have been able to drive to the resort. Instead, I only enjoyed 2 beers with the meal and moved on.
I went to Disney Springs to look around the shops some because it is right across the other side of I4. The resort is almost on top of Disney, which is great for all those who want to see Mickey and all his friends. I will be going back on this trip the day after tomorrow.
This resort is impressive and scale and all the rooms are 2 bedrooms in various configurations. The guilt of having a 2 bedroom all to myself was getting to me, so I have a friend who found a cheap flight down and is coming to join me tomorrow night. Then on my 3rd day here, we will go to Disney together.
Excellent stay at the Parkway International Resort. The room was apartment style with a full kitchen, 2 bedrooms (1 king and 2 single beds) and 2 full bathrooms, and a washer and dryer. Very well appointed with (almost) everything you would need. The grounds were immaculately kept, and the staff was friendly and helpful. My room was very clean, although I did notice some ants in the kitchen and the master bedroom. And the couch in the living room was very old. The leather was flaking significantly. But I did see staff members replacing couches and other units during my stay, so hopefully, they will replace the couch in the unit I stayed in. The resort fee was almost $15 per night, which is standard in the Orlando area. Check-out time is 10 a.m., but they were willing to give me a late check-out at 11 a.m. I personally feel like 10 a.m. is too early for a checkout time anyway. But I would still highly recommend this property.
Overall, we had a good stay here. It is within 10-15 minutes of Disney World and is isolated from road noise. We had a 2 BR with 1 king and 2 twin beds. There is a large living room, and a balcony attached to the master bedroom. The kitchen is fully furnished, including a washer and dryer. The Gym can use some updates with weights. The checkout time is 10 am, a bit early. But they are willing to extend it to 11 am. Highly recommend.
Super roomy and comfortable for a family! Nice to have separate rooms and separate bathrooms. Kitchen stocked with ways to cook. Loved having the washer and dryer. No one bothered us the entire stay. Absolutely loved it. Do the scavenger hunt for the prize! It was worth it, plus a reason to walk the grounds. The only reason wasn’t 5 stars is the waking path is not open and the bar/cafe was only open once that I noticed for the week.
Very friendly staff. In clean rooms, I felt very comfortable kicking my shoes off and curling up in bed. Very large condo with a full kitchen. Nice play area and pool for the kids. Will definitely keep this on my list to stay again!
I would say I agree with much of what the reviewers are saying there. The location is amazing, and for as many people staying at the resort, it was quiet and very clean. They must have a hard-working staff.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Fitness Center
Day Two Visiting Sea Life
SEA LIFE Orlando Located on International Drive in Orlando, the Aquarium offers a variety of exhibits the whole family can enjoy together.
It features a 360-degree ocean tunnel that simulates the experience of walking across the ocean floor. At the interactive rock pool, the education hosts explain the lives of coastal creatures, letting visitors touch everything in the exhibit, including sea stars and hermit crabs.
Do not confuse this with Sea World. This is a smaller attraction and you can get a combo ticket with VIP photos for both Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds for less than $50. The VIP photos are downloads you can use on social media, print up, or do as you please, which is nice.
Guests can see giant Pacific octopuses, seahorses, blacktip reef sharks, and much, much more. With over 5,000 sea creatures, this attraction is great for all ages.
The thing I enjoyed the most was the sea tunnel where you literally walk through a tunnel that goes underwater through the main tank, which is giant. This gives you a better view than you will ever get unless you are scuba certified and really know how to dive.
Between both locations, I spent most of the day just having fun and checking things out.
If you have not been to Madame Tussauds it is worth getting the combo ticket to check it out. The hours are 11 AM-9 PM. Most days check the website for hours before you go.
It was already afternoon time, and I needed to get to the airport to pick up my friend who was coming into town to play at Disney with me tomorrow and then check out the next resort with me as well.
After picking up my friend and grabbing her bags, we headed to dinner before returning to the resort.
We went to Cariera’s Fresh Italian I had the Lasagna, and she had the blackened Mahi. It was a great meal and more than reasonable.
Day Three Disney
I grabbed the park hopper for both of us today and we are starting the day in Animal Kingdom just for a few things, then Epcot, and finally the Magic Kingdom. Seeing 3 parks in a day is a good deal to see and do, but we love the memory lane things.
In Animal Kingdom we went on the Expedition Everest ride first. Next, we went on DINOSAUR, which was a fun ride. Likely something the kids would really enjoy.
At Epcot, we did the full circle through all nations. Soarin’ Around the World is a great ride and something that has amazing video quality. You almost feel like you are at those famous locations.
We enjoyed the short film Awesome Planet which is not long but does really make you ponder how amazing our little blue spot in the Universe really is.
It was lunchtime, and I had not eaten in the Coral Reef restaurant in 20+ years, so we went there for lunch while in Epcot. The food is good and the tank view is amazing from almost every table.
After lunch, we made our way to the last few things we felt we must see in Epcot, then headed for the Magic Kingdom. This is the original park, so it has both of our childhood memories trapped inside just waiting to be exercised, and enjoyed. Going with a supper fan is fun because you get to see things through their eyes, which adds to the enjoyment. The only thing better is to take kids. If I ever won a giant sum via the lottery, I would work to help the homeless, and I would send poor families and kids on vacations and trips. When we get on vacation, it is a special time to reconnect with family and friends. You can also make lifelong memories. I still remember every family trip to Disney. There were not, but I got to go more than many kids. Being a child from a divorce, each parent tried to do something special with you and Disney was one of those things.
We spent the day on my favorite road memory lane and you will love it too. I hope you get to come and create some lifetime memories for yourself and your family on an amazing vacation. I could go on for hours writing about Disney, but I added some videos to this blog instead.
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