Please help me book a holiday to Orlando

(62 Posts)
SoupDreggon Sun 24-Mar-13 11:03:02

Currently looking at the Comfort Suites Maingate East with Virgin.
Me and three children (14, 12, 7).
I will not be driving as I find the thought of doing it all myself very stressful.

Travelling mid August for 14 mights. Am I mad??

SoupDreggon Mon 25-Mar-13 08:18:15

If there were two adults in my party, split centres would work. As it's just going to be me handling everything I'd rather find one place and stay put.

If I had my choice, we'd just go back to Antigua again - it's easy. However, the children desperately want me to take them somewhere different and I do want to take DD to Disney as she's never been and I don't want her father to have that joy. So much of this will be about the children that I need to make some compromises to make it a holiday for me too.

NinaNannar Mon 25-Mar-13 08:21:28

We found universal far more attractive for our boys. They thought magic kingdom was dull/ Girky do you might find only d likes it there.
The animal kingdom was good though and the movie one.
?mgm.

Universal where it's at.

Hulababy Mon 25-Mar-13 08:21:51

We've been 4 times in August. It's fine. Yes it's hot. But most rides have air con, every shop and eatery have air con, even lots of the queues have either air con or water fans. I struggle with heat but in the US I find it easier as the place has air con everywhere.

Not stayed in a hotel - except a Disney one once - or without a car but many do. I would say that International Drive or the 192 would be best bet as so any places to eat.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 25-Mar-13 08:26:37

Its fair enough, i just couldnt face the shuttles on my own with the dc, especially if I knew that if I was onsite the 14 and 12 year old could go off on their own to Downtown Disney. They are changing the parks to over 14 access only without an adult which is a bummer.

We did 3 different hotels overall and it was fine. But then I am very picky about hotels and wanted them each for different reasons iyswim.

If I could have driven I would have done a week in orlando and them a week on the gulf coast.

Renaissance is a nice hotel but there are no restaurants within easy walking distance; you need to look at the hotels near the convention centre on I Drive (at that end there is Pointe Orlando) which has lots of shops and a surfeit of restaurant choices.

BTW there is a Dennys near the Omni Rosen.

Google maps too is a useful application for looking at what is actually in the general area around the hotel.

MOSagain Tue 26-Mar-13 14:30:43

In answer to your question. Yes.
I've been to Florida numerous times too and have tried motels, hotels, apartments and villas. I would never go to a hotel which would require sharing a room with 3 kids for 2 weeks. It will be a nightmare, a complete and utter nightmare.

If you are determined not to drive (it really isn't that bad) then perhaps somewhere like the Vistana Resort at Lake Buenevista. They have really nice 2 room apartments which would give you a lot more space and it is close enough to a lot of the attractions and worse case, you could walk to a few good restaurants in 15 minutes.

SoupDreggon Tue 26-Mar-13 14:53:10

If I could have driven I would have done a week in orlando and them a week on the gulf coast

Absolutely. This is what we've done in the past.

MOS, I'm not driving - it is that bad for me. Unfortunately. It's an added stress I don't need after a longhaul flight. IIRC, the Vistana resort said that car hire was highy recommended due to the location.

Atilla, I've been "driving" through the area with Google streetview to see what's around grin

It's looking more and more like we'll be staying at the Costa del Croydon because I can not make a decision. I hate having to make every decision and do everything myself.

SoupDreggon Tue 26-Mar-13 14:55:01

Hula - that's my memory about the heat but I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined it. Going to Florida was he first time I'd ever not suffered from prickly heat on holiday and it was because of the amount of air conditioning.

MOSagain Tue 26-Mar-13 16:44:19

Well clearly the Vistana resort has moved since I was last there.

I have to wonder why you've bothered asking as you clearly don't get the replies you are getting hmm

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 17:19:15

I've been to Orlando a few times and have been pondering your dilemma. Trouble is it is very car orientated and places to go are quite spread out. I've only ever driven on one trip and I found it quite stressful

I think I persianlly would prefer the flexibility of a villa with amenities such as pools and places to eat on site, so that I wouldn't have to go out all the time. The place we usually stay at is too far out without a car though

Which places would you ideally like to be closest to? The Vistana offers shuttles to

Getting Around
BY THIRD PARTY SHUTTLE

Third Party Shuttle
About:Onsite;
To make your travel to area attractions easier, we offer complimentary shuttle transportation service to Walt Disney Theme Parks (Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios). This complimentary service applies only to Resort Rental Guests.

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 17:22:17

It's quite local for Disney, but further from other places

Nearby Destinations
Orlando 24.1 km/15.0 miles

Recreation
Walt Disney World® Resort 4.8 km/3.0 miles
DisneyQuest 4.8 km/3.0 miles
Magic Kingdom® Park 4.8 km/3.0 miles
Disney MGM Studios 9.6 km/6.0 miles
Epcot® 9.6 km/6.0 miles
SeaWorld® 16.1 km/10.0 miles
Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure 24.1 km/15.0 miles
Citrus Bowl 24.1 km/15.0 miles
Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park 24.1 km/15.0 miles
Busch Gardens 104.5 km/65.0 miles

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 17:24:00

www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/dining/index.html?propertyID=5608

Several dining options

Could be worth another look ?

SoupDreggon Tue 26-Mar-13 17:25:12

What is your problem, MOS? Perhaps I don't like some answers because I'm fed up with reading "why don't you drive?" and being told it's "not that bad" when I've clearly stated I will not be driving. It's like saying "I want to go to Paris without flying and not stay in Montmartre" to be told repeatedly "you must fly and stay in Montmartre".

There are two Vistana resorts. I was remembering the one on International Drive which states "car hire is essential for this resort" SO sorry for confusing the two.

Thanks to everyone who's suggested stuff that fits what I asked for - it has helped immensely.

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 17:44:45

www.wglakes.com/westgate-lakes-resort-overview.htm

This one has lots of facilities and is quite central. I've never been there so can't vouch for it

Orlando Area Points of Interest & Attractions

Attractions
Walt Disney World® Resort – 6 miles
Universal Orlando® – 2 miles
SeaWorld® Orlando – 1.5 miles
Aquatica – 1.5 miles
Wet 'n' Wild® Water Park – 2.5 miles
Fun Spot Action Park – 4 miles
Gatorland – 9.5 miles
Shopping
Festival Bay Mall – 5 miles
Florida Mall – 7 miles
The Mall at Millenia – 7 miles
Old Town – 10.5 miles
Orlando Premium Outlets – 5.5 miles
Pointe*Orlando – 4 miles

MOSagain Tue 26-Mar-13 18:12:42

OP I don't actually have a problem, I am going to Florida in August and as usual will be driving. Most posters are not telling you you MUST drive, they are simply pointing out from their experience no doubt, that it is very difficult to be there without a car if you are not staying in a Disney Resort.

You have been given numerous suggestions none of which seem to suit you. I have stayed at Vistana albeit a number of years ago and transport was provided. Perhaps it has changed.

Given that you don't want to stay at a Disney hotel, which I can totally understand, I believe your best option would be to stay on I Drive in a large hotel that does offer shuttles. There are many that do, its just a case of finding one. There is absolutely no need for some of your rude comments. People are taking the time to try to help you and you are being rude. Totally uncalled for.

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 18:36:26
NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 18:39:31

I drive is pretty gopping though.

There's a brand of hotels that advertised a lot when we were there. A persons name. I'd never heard of. They had a hotel bang navy to universal

NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 18:39:47

Ooh. Was if Lowe ?

MOSagain Tue 26-Mar-13 18:43:22

Nina, I agree, I Drive is awful, however it is convenient for those without cars as all the hotels will have shuttle buses.

NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 18:43:22
NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 18:45:00

That has water taxis to the parks fgs. And priority access.

dingit Tue 26-Mar-13 18:49:25

There is no way I would drive in Florida! I know it's Disney, but we stayed at the Disney Swan, and you could go by boat to some of the parks. ( Much more relaxing) you can wander along the Disney Boardwalk for food and shopping, and its not crowded, even in August.

Could you possibly do a split centre with the Caribbean the second week? ( Mum and dd then happy). Pack one suitcase to unpack the second week!

BigRedBox Tue 26-Mar-13 19:30:49

I did Orlando a few years ago and decided not to drive. We stayed on I Drive. We planned to rely on shuttles and taxis. By day 3 we hired a car. Not just the issues around flexibility but even on staying on I Drive it is so tricky to walk anywhere. The pavements are non existent and the distances between restaurants etc are huge. That was in April too so not boiling hot walking around.
I would poss think about a week at Disney then a week near Universal? If you pack sensibly it wouldn't be too much hassle packing up to move.

NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 20:01:59

That has water taxis to the parks fgs. And priority access.

NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 20:02:19

Oops

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