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People who have been to FLORIDA, over here please :D

(23 Posts)
MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 13:39:42

Am looking to go with DH beginning of Oct next year and have a few questions...

How much spending money would you advise to have for 2 adults?

Can you get about OK without a car?

Which hotels would you recommend?

And what attractions (not Disney, but we are going to Universal)

and anything else you would advise to first timers?


bonhomme Sun 14-Dec-14 13:47:18

You need a car really or be prepared to stay onsite at Disney or similar and be very restricted in terms of getting around.

It would be a huge shame not to visit Disney if going to Orlando - there is a magic there that is missing from Universal.

I would stay self catering in a villa or aparthotel - most eating places in Orlando are fast food type places and it's not easy to eat healthily.

I would try to get out to Kennedy Space Station but don't think that will be possible without a hire car.

Orlando/Florida, like much of the US, is not well set up for walking/public transport.

mummytime Sun 14-Dec-14 13:51:38

If possible I'd get a car - much easier and more fun.
If not either do Disney - plenty for adults!
Or stay on International drive, and the right bit, so you can get to Universal etc. But it won't be as good as having a car, when you can get away from the tourist hot spots, and have more flexibility.
If you want a car free vacation I'd do NYC or Washington, or even Boston (actually Chicago isn't bad either). Those places have public transport - and its quite good.

MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 13:54:31

Neither of us drive so cannot get a car.

MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 13:56:14

I don't want to do Disney as the kids aren't coming and I would feel awful the whole time!

MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 14:00:17

Would it be possible to have a good holiday on a 4k absolutley total budget?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 14-Dec-14 14:03:18

Yep, 1k each for the trip and 1k each spends.

Stay on International Drive, and as you dont really spend much time in the room just go for something budget. Try a Disney waterpark (amazing!!) as they arent really "disneyfied" no characters etc.

International Drive itself is a day or two of exploring!

Bowlersarm Sun 14-Dec-14 14:04:03

I don't think I'd want to go to Florida without a car. Everything is so spread out. What about Los Angeles which has universal studios plus loads of other tourist things to do. Or New York. Or San Francisco.

MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 14:07:27

I'm meeting a friend who lives in Florida so has to be there.

It wouldn't be 2k spends each as I also have to pay my mothers wages for 2 weeks to mind the kids so our spends would be about 1400 between us

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 14-Dec-14 14:12:46

Are you only planning to visit the Orlando area? There's a lot more to Florida than theme parks.

MrsSaginowsky Sun 14-Dec-14 14:15:09

I've never been so don't know what is there. I'm sure my friend will take us some places the days we see her but the other days we will be without transport.

roughtyping Sun 14-Dec-14 14:18:30

We haven't had a car the last two times we've been and it's not been an issue. Try to stay at a hotel with coach service to theme parks.

Also maybe book in for a night or two at one of the 'deluxe' universal hotels (royal pacific, hard rock or portofino bay) - early entry to harry potter & front of the line tickets. We did this during the summer and it was SO worth it! The hotels are beautiful.

roughtyping Sun 14-Dec-14 14:20:53

Also we took £2k for 2 adults and a child for two weeks - definitely do able for £1400, just work out what your budget will be and keep an eye on it.

Florida is my favourite subject EVER grin October is a great time to go - quieter and still lovely and warm.

Lots to do in Orlando! You could check for gigs that'll be on, hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, the malls are great, indoor FLYING!!! So much. I love it there.

roughtyping Sun 14-Dec-14 14:23:43

Sorry - another post - but Mears transport are the better taxi firm - there are checker cabs (can't remember their exact name) but they're more expensive. You can book group taxis through Mears as well. Your hotel reception will def know who to contact, and once you've found a good driver you'll have their card and number. We had a lovely female driver who gave our DS a lovely little wrapped bag of chocolates - she had a big stash of them. Defo a good way to ensure repeat customers. You can look on the Mears website to get an idea of prices for different journeys.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 14-Dec-14 14:29:33

You should try to get your friends to take you to Winter Park, a town very close to Orlando that has managed to retain much of its charm, and Mt. Dora, a lovely little lakeside town, with a historic hotel and interesting small shops and restaurants.

TSSDNCOP Sun 14-Dec-14 14:45:40

We stayed in a Wyndham hotel on Lake Beuna Vista. From there you could easily take the free shuttle to all the parks, not just Disney. Also it was walking distance to a mall that had lots of restaurants so we'd would walk there, cab back if we fancied. The hotel was very nice, so we quite happily stayed there by the pool and chilled too.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Dec-14 18:07:10

Presumably you'd be going there for something like a week?.

If at all possible fly direct into Orlando; going indirect will add hours to an already long day and can be timed pressured to boot.

It is possible to get around Orlando without a car particularly if you stay on International Drive south of Sandlake road but no further south than Sea World . Do not stay on I Drive anywhere north of Sandlake Road as that part of I Drive is Tat Central. Many hotels run shuttle buses (albeit not early morning and you would need to get to a park like Universal for opening time) and from I Drive it is a short trip to Universal Studios. The bellmen or hotel staff could easily call you a taxi. I would look at staying in somewhere like the Embassy Suites as they include breakfast as part of the room rate.

Try and pick a hotel on I Drive without external corridors (also due to noise and privacy issues, you can hear people walk past outside); such places with these tend to be more motel like.

Winter Park is a nice are of Orlando that your friend could take you to visit.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Sun 14-Dec-14 18:13:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

homework Mon 15-Dec-14 15:59:58

Don't know why everyone saying you can't get around without a car you can easily use public transport and ask for a continuation of journey ticket , which you can use on the second bus . You get the bus to Disney from just across the road from sea world . It takes roughly 40 minutes but can be very busy and you need to keep eye on time for getting bus back at. End of the evening , you can also use I trolley to travel to malls , plus get off and walk up to universal studios , it's about twenty minute walk for an adult , or just change buses .
Bus where roughly couple of dollars a trip . You can also get timetables online , will have look back though some holiday stuff , why don't you take your children , see if you can get some good deals stay on I drive . Then biggest outlay is park tickets , use kids eat free offers and share potions that are large , take sandwiches , fruit in with you to park for lunches . So cuts down on expenses .
Hope you have a wonderful trip .

MrsSaginowsky Tue 16-Dec-14 09:21:52

Well I'm visiting a friend and DH and I have never had even a night away together, no honeymoon, no holidays in 16 years so I would like a holiday without the kids.

Fandan Tue 16-Dec-14 10:14:48

If you're staying near universal then you can get about quite easily without a car. Is it £1400 you're planning to take? Once that's in dollars it will be plenty for 2 adults.
We've been several times and don't always go to disney, we went in June and did do disney that time, but I wouldn't say my holiday wouknt have been good without it, it is so, so busy and it really takes a bit of the enjoyment away. Universal and IOA is nowhere near as busy. and are our favourite parks. Plus the park tickets for them for 2 weeks are really quite cheap. £137 unlimited use for both parks and wet n wild.

spababe Mon 22-Dec-14 17:47:13

We have been 3 times nover had a car. Used Hotel transport, Lynx buses and cabs rarely eg late at night. If you want to go to KSC then we booked a coach trip we picked up from a hotel on idrive. It's all possible.

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:41

Stay on international drive and easily doable without a car. As pp's have said there's a trolley bus and a normal bus and lots of hotels provide transport to universal parks.

Universal is about half way down international drive, wet n wild is in I drive and sea world is at the other end along with aquatica etc.

You can buy weekly/two weekly tickets for the bus and trolley.

I usually get reception to book us a taxi to disney parks and Florida mall as easier.

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