The Maingate Area of Highway 192
Since I need to use Highway 192 more than once a day, I thought I should really take the time to explore the Maingate area so I know where to find things. Since I had to find these things anyways, I thought it would be a perfect blog for those of you staying in this area, having to shop here or eat here, or even if you are driving through- you will now have a clear picture of what is offered. So sit back, relax, as I fight the traffic so you don’t have to.
Going West, away from Walt Disney World, you will come across your first road which is Reedy Creek Boulevard. Going left at this first traffic light, will you take you to Home Suite Home, hotel rooms for lower income people, and right will take you to Bob Evans, a Restaurant, and a gas station.
After this light, again going West, you will locate a Perkins, a Tourist Info Center, a Knights Inn, High Point World Resort, and Orlando Courtyard Suites. This area is extremely busy, as 192 usually is. Don’t stop in the middle of the lane, you will cause an accident. Pull over to a business on the side, or a frontage road, and then figure out where you need to go. To many tourists slow down and cause a lot of problems that way, so keep that in mind next time you are here.
Next is High Point Boulevard which has Hertz, the Rental Car place, and several condo areas. After that comes Old Lake Wilson Road, which turns left to the country, or right into a Ramada Inn.
The next inlet, Maingate Lane, will take you to Driftwood Worldgate Resort, Avis Car Rental Shop, IHOP, and Worldgate Hotel. Worldgate has a Pizza Hut Express in it, so it’s a nice quick bite to eat when visiting someone or staying at this Hotel. Right across from this on the opposite side of the inlet is the Mermaid Gift Shop, which I HAD to go in and see what the heck they sell in there.
The Mermaid Gift Shop, which conveniently has a large Mermaid on it, has two floors full of cheap FL souvenirs. Here is the thing about these gift shops, which are a plenty in this area- if you don’t have a lot of money for something small to take home- this shop is fine. Buy a mug, a tshirt, or a magnet for a small cost compared to items sold in the Disney Parks. They also sell autograph books and pens, which are more like note pads, but they will only cost you $2.99 and they have a lot more character choices for the cover than the Parks do. Sundresses, swim suits, sun tan lotion, and gators… yes… they have real gators, gator heads, and even one to take a pic with. If you are a friend of the animals, this may offend you, so stay clear of this shop. Also, if you are in need of a potty break, opt out of going here- I had to get a key, and then got into the most filthy bathroom that didn’t even have soap to wash my hands with- yuck.
Sherberth Road crosses 192 next, and taking it left will take you to a gas station, and right will take you on a short cut to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. McDonalds and Denny’s are located in this area, and can be accessed from 192 or Sherberth Road. If you need to head LEFT out of McDs- you will sit there for awhile- take the back way out onto Sherberth Road, which has a traffic light, and then go left onto 192- save time and the stress. Also behind McDs across the road is a Baymont Inn and Suites.
Past Sherberth, heading West still on 192, you will find a Clarion Hotel, a Crabby Joes (copying Joes Crab Shack- not a fan of people copying), and an interesting BBQ place called Wildside BBQ Steak and Seafood Grill.
The next inlet will take you to yet another Gift Shop, Burger King, CiCis Pizza, and Bonanza Mini-Golf. On the same road, different section, you can find Wendy’s and Walgreens on the corner. It should be on your list of places to bookmark on any Disney vacation, for prescriptions and health items, it is only minutes off WDW Property. Here is also where I found my first Redbox. We used it quite a bit in WI, so I was happy to find one not to far from home- you don’t want it too far because otherwise you will never return the movies on time.
We are now up to 192, with Formosa Gardens road crossing it. with a traffic light. Take a right on it and it will lead you into to Pizza Hut and Best Western Hotel, with Golden China just a bit ahead. Next is Chick Fil A and a 7/11 Gas Station- with not a whole lot after that until the Highway 27 area. The 7/11 Gas Station, as of today, 7.12.2011, had gas at $3.55 a gallon. I took a picture of the many choices they have to fill your car with here, as in WI we had three. You have to pay ahead if you have cash, again, not done in our area of WI.
I grabbed some gas and some Peanut M&M’s and then headed to the East side of 192 to head down the other side to see what it had. Again, this is my side of town, so it’s nice to know what variety there is. Across from the 7/11 Gas Station is the Formosa Gardens Plaza- a nice area with lots of parking and was quite dead during the day. Here you can find the Carrabbas Italian Grill, a Cracker Barrel, Comfort Suites, Subway, Chinese Food Place, TGIFridays, Giordanos, FL Hospital Centra Care, Lowry’s, Outback Steakhouse, UPS Store, Ice Cream and Bagel Store, and a Marketplace food store. (I don’t recommend shopping there- after checking it out, it was ridiculously overpriced)- but I found another Redbox- woohoo! It’s becoming a mission of mine to find them all without looking online.
In the same area, closer to Highway 192, is a mini-golf course, a Taco Bell, and a Harley Davidson Store. Back onto Formosa Gardens, there is a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Red Lobster.
Back on 192, further up the road, you will pass a large Resort, and then make a right on another Frontage road which leads you to a Dunkin Donuts, a Baskin Robbins, Wizard Gift Shop, a Shoe Outlet Store, a Thai Food place, Golden Corral, and a Schoneys.
Further down, you will find a small Shell gas station (which is ALWAYS busy), and an Indian Restaurant and a Sizzler. Across Old Lake Wilson Road is a Sports store, camera store, and a Ponderosa.
If you are exhausted reading this, I was just as exhausted doing it. I wanted to do this for myself and Craig so we knew what and where to eat and shop at, since the phone book doesn’t list the Maingate area as a whole, just the addresses. Because it is so close to Walt Disney World Property, I hope this helps those of you moving or vacationing in this area.