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Florida Holiday - Where to start

(18 Posts)
ilovewine Sun 31-Dec-17 10:32:09

Would love to go to Florida this year on holiday. Want to do Disney, universal etc but really have no idea where to stay, who to book through, how to start really so hoping you lovely Mums netters are full of hints and tips. Thank u smile

OP’s posts: |
Indigo911 Sun 31-Dec-17 10:37:37

Otbeach.com usually has some good deals and I have used them before and had absolutely no issues.
I would avoid staying in Orlando as it’s a bit of a run down dump. The parks are great though, but make sure you buy the tickets beforehand as you can get some good deals and also fast track passes so you aren’t spending half your life queuing for the rides. Kissimmee is a nicer resort to stay in and you can still get to the parks quite quickly.
Are you wanting a hotel or a self catering house with pool? And will you be hiring a car?

ilovewine Sun 31-Dec-17 10:45:10

Hi Indigo, thanks for the info smile do you buy the park tickets through otbeach too? Will be hiring a car and not sure whether to stay in hotel or villa, DD is 14 and DS is 9 and I was thinking a villa as it would be good to relax but DD thinks that will be boring hmm did you do villa or hotel?

OP’s posts: |
Indigo911 Sun 31-Dec-17 11:06:54

You could get a self catering apartment on a complex with a shared pool? I could recommend ones called The Lighthouse Key Resort or Lake Berkley Townhomes in Kissimmee. They are about 8 miles from Disney world, 11 miles to sea world and 15 miles to universal studios and wet n wild. Think it was about 30 miles from Orlando airport. If you want to stay closer to the parks then Floridays Resort on International Drive was good, and you’d only be a couple of miles drive from Disney World.
As for the tickets - get them before you go from a site like attraction-tickets-direct.
What month are you going as it gets incredibly busy and hot over the summer months (and expensive) Too hot for me but if you’re a sun worshipper it might be ok for you

Indigo911 Sun 31-Dec-17 11:12:51

You can book all 3 of those places through Otbeach along with your flights and insurance etc. Not the park tickets though but you can get those from the site I mentioned above

ilovewine Sun 31-Dec-17 11:22:04

SC appt on complex sounds like a good compromise smile not too worried about how far out we are as hubby will be driving lol but I'm going to have to go in July due to work holidays, perhaps should get work to subside then lol. Fast passes a deffo requirement then. Going to fire up the laptop and check out otbeach, thanks so much for your help smile

OP’s posts: |
Indigo911 Sun 31-Dec-17 11:38:40

It will be extremely hot in July - about 35 degrees and humid. But there will be a great atmosphere for your kids as it’s nice and busy around then with lots of families. The parks have apartment and hotels joined onto them too but they are pricey

ilovewine Sun 31-Dec-17 12:01:34

I hate the heat too so I'll be stoating about with a baseball cap and a fan lol. Was looking at staying at Universal this morning and it was mega expensive then decided to post as there must be a better and cheaper way of doing it smileglad I did smile

OP’s posts: |
Dowser Wed 03-Jan-18 22:40:48

There’s an excellent site
Www.orlandovillas.com
All the villas are owned by individual owners and are their little pride and joys.
You can ask them whatever questions you like and the owners will be able to give you all the local information you wish.
There’s a villa for every budget
Decide if you want a 3, 4, 5 bed..or more depending on the size of your party. A 6 bed will cost you more but then you can split the cost between two, or three families.
You pay your money and takes your choice
We had 9 in my 4 bed villa. All family but we only had two full bathrooms and an extra separate toilet. The bride and groom hired their own villa for the second week so that eased things a little.
I was on lindfields which was very close to Disney but there are villas nearer to universal if that’s where you want to be.
The website also has its own forum so you can gets lots of advice and support for Florida die hard s on there.
Unfortunately a lot of my villa friends have sold their villas so I can not recommend individual owners any more but there will be someone to help you.
Once you’ve decided on your villa, then look for the best priced flights and car hire.
I think John and roger still do car hire and you can buy park tickets in there.
Universalorlando is also a good site and there’s often deals on there.
Disney are notorious for not giving much away in offers and children’s prices aren’t much cheaper.
I’ve done Disney, of course, loads of times but I. Afraid after the first couple of times that wow factor has gone.
My daughter and family don’t do it anymore much preferring Harry Potter st universal.
It is nice to do it once but some older children might find it a bit meh. I found it very disappointing that Disney didn’t often make changes to the parks.
Things we did like doing were the airboat rides at boggy creek
The lakeside down at lake Kissimmee
The lake at gator land where the egrets nest
The shopping 👍
The eating ...panera bread, sweet tomatoes, the Olive Garden, Miami’s which has gone now
Winter park...the fabulous mansions around the lake
The Tiffany museum there
Celebration and the walks around the lakes where we saw loads of alligators sunning themselves at the side of the lake, anhingas, and a deer ru ning past some of the lovely houses there.

It’s been 5 years since I was last there. I feel quite nostalgic for it but that’s all in the past now 😥

Dowser Wed 03-Jan-18 22:42:29

October is a nice time to go. Still hot and you have all of Halloween to enjoy. The parks go mad at Halloween and the houses in celebration just go ott

ilovewine Fri 05-Jan-18 10:00:25

Oh Dowser, only one thing for it... you'll have to go back smile thanks for all the tips. We have now decided on a hotel and are trying to narrow it down to a Universal one or one on International Drive. I think you are correct re Disney and think we will only get a couple of days out of it but it has to be done smile

OP’s posts: |
Oriunda Mon 08-Jan-18 19:54:04

We stayed at the more basic on site Universal Hotel which was 1950s themed and great. We skipped Disney as Universal had more stuff to appeal to our then 3yr old son and for us adults. Harry Potter is amazing. After 3 nights we drove to St Pete’s beach for some down time which was great.

jolufc Mon 08-Jan-18 19:59:52

Great advice on the dibb.com

Quartz2208 Mon 08-Jan-18 20:02:54

Cabana Bay at Universal is a great hotel - walking distance for Universal and City Walk, early access and really affordable

Oriunda Mon 08-Jan-18 20:23:24

That’s where we stayed - Cabana Bay. Reasonably priced and there was a free shuttle if we didn’t fancy the walk.

Wolfiefan Mon 08-Jan-18 20:27:06

Following with interest. We are also thinking of this year!

MrsDishavingaB Mon 08-Jan-18 20:48:25

Check out travelcitydirect.com its a cheaper side company of Virgin and pretty much only for Florida holidays.

We used them last year: £800pp for 3 adults and 1 kid for 14 nights in a 4 bed villa with pool, direct flights and SUV car rental.

This was the last two weeks of June too so not far off your dates.

I second attraction tickets direct for park tickets, you can get a 14 day Orlando combi for Disney and Universal around £530 each

Quartz2208 Mon 08-Jan-18 20:56:58

Have a look doing it direct. Look at separate flights, book Cabana Bay directly and tickets through Florida Attractions. If you are doing Disney set up an account at any Disney Experience for booking restaurant and fast passes

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