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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??

cathers Mon 15-Apr-13 13:15:50

I think you have three options really,
1. Stay on I drive which can be really manic and grim in some areas and take lynx buses.
2. Stay in a / couple of themed hotels like Disney or hard rock which gives complementary transfers to their parks.
3. Stay in a residential area rental home which will give you the space and be away from the noise and put up with cab fares.

POI- as it is so humid at end August you may find getting up early and going straight to the park is better. You can get lots done before the 1-2 hour downpour @ 14.00. In which case, think again about using a Disney hotel as you will get early entry to parks.

ChestysLonelyYoni Thu 11-Apr-13 23:37:33

We stayed at the Rosen inn on I Drive and took the lynx buses everywhere.
Lengthy but felt in the spirit of the holiday IYSWIM?
We bought Lynx weekly passes online before we travelled.

It's fabulous grin

Groovee Sun 07-Apr-13 12:35:59

There is a place at Lake Buena Vista which is close to Down Town Disney but isn't disney which is appartments where my friends stay. Think it's Vista Cay. They are very close to restaurants and love it there.

Clueless2727 Fri 05-Apr-13 12:13:40

lake buena vista area is good as central, lots restaurants can walk to and downtown disney is literally 5min taxi away. We stayed at staybridge suites. Went last 2 weeks august and it was great as american kids back at school and no large crowds of schooltrips so queues for parks were all reasonable

Dustylaw Thu 04-Apr-13 00:20:15

We went to Orlando for a few days with the specific purpose of doing Harry Potter and other bits of Universal if we had the energy. Definitely didn't want to drive and wanted hassle free with minimum queues for the Harry Potter. Therefore stayed at the Hard Rock. Brilliant. The one hour headstart plus express passes were worth it. Remember not to take bags when you go to the park if at all possible (bumbags fine) or you have to go queue for lockers. If deciding to do Disney too I think it would be worth it to switch hotels midway.

noisytoys Wed 03-Apr-13 00:00:20

I went to Orlando last year for 2 weeks with DH and 2 DD's. Stayed at Orlando Continental Plaza on i-drive and got the Lynx busses everywhere. Next time I will stay closer to Seaworld to avoid the transfer but its perfectly doable just using local busses which run all day and most of the night

Budgiegirlbob Tue 02-Apr-13 23:44:13

I'd second Embassy Suites, we stayed in a one bedroom suite with 5 of us, but it still felt quite spacious even after 16 days. It had two queen beds, and a large sofa bed in the lounge, our two boys aged 12 and 11 shared it with no problems. Great breakfast, free evening drinks and snacks. We did hire a car, but lots of people don't, it had free shuttles to parks, and easy access to I-trolley along international drive

SofaKing Sun 31-Mar-13 15:43:27

Dh and I have been to Orlando three times pre dc and don't drive. It is fine if you stay on I drive, there is the train, buses to Disney and usually shuttles to Disney and universal.
Think the embassy suites, Howard Johnson and enclave suites all have two bed suites and are on or near i-drive.

The only thing is it will be really hot and busy that time of year, so the more planning you can do to avoid busy times and queues, the better.

Good luck, I really envy you, ds2 is only just two so it will be a while before he will be big enough to enjoy it there!

kaumana Sun 31-Mar-13 15:12:46

I've been to Orlando in excess of 10 times and have never driven. Have you looked at Down Town Disney Hotels, the Doubletree Guest Suites would be ideal for you. You also have the benefit of walking to Crossroads shopping area which has the usual fast food chains and Red Lobster etc. Also walking distance to Down Town Disney. Regular shuttles to Disney (free) and Mears shuttles to Universal etc (charge).

Mirage Thu 28-Mar-13 21:00:55

My sister and I stayed at the Quality Inn on I Drive and managed fine without a car,got everywhere we needed too with no issues.It was over 20 years ago,but I think the hotel is still there and we are thinking of going again next year.

BestIsWest Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:49

Went last year for 10 days , stayed on I-Drive, didn't hire a car. Hotel had a shuttle to/from Disney/ Universal, it was fine.

We stayed at Embassy Suites which was absolutely fine, nice big suites, good breakfast. We spent more time at Universal than Disney as DCs were older teenagers and taxis back from there to I-Drive were reasonable. Got buses to malls etc. We hired a driver too from the airport, he took us to the supermarket, he also took us to/from Kennedy and cost us far less than hiring a car.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 26-Mar-13 22:06:06

When we were investigating offsite, i was tempted by here as it is only a mile to disney, is good value, you get a kitchen and separate sleeping spaces.

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


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

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

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.

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!

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

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

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

Here. Look suites.

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 18:39:47

Ooh. Was if Lowe ?

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

AnnoyingOrange Tue 26-Mar-13 18:36:26

How about this one. Hilton on international drive with 2 bedroom suites

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 17:44:45

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

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
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

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.

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