May 14, 2007


Finally, here's the account of my trip to US…grew mould already as it's 2.5 months late.

Wednesday, February 28
I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel at about 7am. After a much needed shower, I felt refreshed despite having traveled for more than 24 hours. My meeting would only start at 2pm but as the main attractions of Orlando are its many theme parks, there's really nothing much I could do in the time before the meeting. I was still contemplating my options and went for breakfast where I bumped into my Singaporean colleagues. Turned out, the two ladies came three days earlier and had shouted their voice hoarse at Disney World Orlando where they went to all four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal World, Epcot Centre and Disney-MGM Studio. Dang! Should have contacted them earlier to find out their plans…I could have tagged along. Anyhow, they were planning to go to the Orlando Premium Outlets so I joined them.

With over 110 stalls carrying brands such as Emporio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and many more, Orlando Premium Outlets is one upscale outlet centre. As I was going to New Jersey and was told that New Jersey has one of the biggest premium outlets in US, I just browsed through the shops without making any purchase.

At night, there was a welcome dinner for all participants at the pool terrace. The food was nothing to shout about, with very limited choices at the buffet line, unlike the buffet spread in Asian hotels. As it turned out, food remained consistently lacking, both in terms of variety as well as taste throughout the whole trip. Little wonder why food is number one on the most missed items for Malaysians staying overseas.

The highlight of the second day was dinner at Universal Studios Theme Park. I knew I wouldn't have time to visit Universal Studios Theme Park so I was keenly looking forward to dinner. However, as it was already past the opening hours by the time our entourage got there, we were not allowed to wander around. We had to be contented sipping our cocktails just outside the hall where dinner was taking place, so there goes my Universal Studios experience.

Top (view from my room) and bottom (view from the pool)

Top (the beautiful indoor garden at the lobby area) and bottom (however, the room was nothing to shout about)

Top (Orlando Premium Outlet) and bottom (specially designed welcome screen for our group at Universal Studios)

Meeting ended by lunch time on Friday. Since I still had the whole of Saturday free, I decided to purchase the 2-day admission ticket plus the Park Hopper for Disney World. With the Park Hopper, I could hop between all four theme parks for the length of my base ticket. I visited Magic Kingdom on Friday and made my way to the Epcot Centre and Disney-MGM Studio on Saturday. And yeah…you do become a kid again when you are at Disney!

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