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International Drive - reassure me?

(19 Posts)
Movelikethat Thu 09-Feb-17 13:33:43

Hi everyone,

We recently booked my DREAM holiday to Orlando. 2 weeks and we are planning to do both Disney and Universal (not fussed about Seaworld etc)

We have been saving for ages but with our wedding next year we can't afford to stay on site at Disney as I had first hoped and then swap to a Universal hotel.

We have booked The Clarion Inn and Suites on International Drive and it offers free shuttles to both.

I basically google too much and now I'm worried that it isn't going to be as good sad

We haven't got the luxury to stay on site so basically, has anybody done similar and can you reassure me that it will still be epic?!

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
Gazelda Thu 09-Feb-17 13:38:27

We've stayed on International Drive before, not sure where our apartments were in relatiOn to Clarion.

Worked very well, but I would advise you to hire a car if poss. Yes, most accom offers shuttle, but not necessarily every day to all resorts, and sometimes they're not at convenient times, i.e. The shuttle at our accom didn't come home from Magic Kingdom until very late which wasn't convenient for us on the particular day we visited MK.

But you can get shuttles between the parks, and nowhere is very far from each other, so it is do-able if you can't drive.

Chocolatecake12 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:39:16

We stayed in a villa just off of international drive. The restaurants all along there are brilliant!!
Your holiday will be amazing and it will be your dream holiday.
You spend so long at the parks that the place you stay won't matter anyway!
Have a great time!!

Chocolatecake12 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:39:43

We stayed in a villa just off of international drive. The restaurants all along there are brilliant!!
Your holiday will be amazing and it will be your dream holiday.
You spend so long at the parks that the place you stay won't matter anyway!
Have a great time!!

Winterbelle Thu 09-Feb-17 13:43:05

We stayed on I drive, hired a car and spent very little time in our accommodation as were were out all day.
It was convenient for food and shops and easy to get about from there.
Have fun!

Movelikethat Thu 09-Feb-17 13:44:45

I just did a massive sigh of relief grin

I know I've been overthinking it but that is what I do!

We actually get a hire car free BUT I'm the only one that could drive it out of me, my other half and brother. I've never driven outside of the UK and I'm quite frankly terrified at the mere thought!!

OP’s posts: |
WindwardCircle Thu 09-Feb-17 13:45:00

I don't know that hotel, but I know ID and it's fine. Slightly tacky souvenir shops and so on around, but not awful or anything. You'll be spending most of your time out at the parks and at night you'll just want to crash out so it's not like you're stuck in a resort with no where else to go. You'll have an amazing time, if the timings of the shuttle bus don't work out just use a taxi to get back.

Movelikethat Thu 09-Feb-17 13:53:18

From what I have researched, the hotel has a few restaurants, a supermarket and a few fast food places around it so for that we will be fine.

I think the problem is, you read so many forums and everyone has quite big opinions so it kind of makes you doubt your choices!!

Thank you for all the advice so far, it has really helped!!

OP’s posts: |
2ducks2ducklings Thu 09-Feb-17 14:07:42

We stayed on I Drive many years ago. We couldn't hire a car as I was 17 and my now husband was 18. We stayed in a travelodge motel. We had an amazing time. The shuttles were fab to universal but obviously took a lot longer to get to the disney parks. Both were easy and you didn't have to pay to park or find spaces etc. We spent the entire two weeks around that area (apart from a couple of travel agent booked excursions) and we loved it. If we ever get to go again, I'd stay in the same area but would hire a car do we can see more of the state.
I wouldn't suggest walking around at night though. It didn't seem an overly friendly place at night back then, but I think that is the same on quite a few areas of florida.

ninjapants Thu 09-Feb-17 14:10:58

We stayed on international drive without a hire car and managed fine. The parks are all accessible by shuttle buses and there are good public transport links to the shopping malls etc. We also went to downtown Orlando one evening using taxis (quite a distance but don't remember it being expensive). As others have said there are lots of good places to eat on International Drive but you may need to get a bus/taxi if you want to go somewhere specific

Gazelda Thu 09-Feb-17 14:11:09

Driving is fine once you get used to it. Honestly.
Our flight didn't land in US til very late at night, so we were knackered. So we arranged to pick up the hire car the next day (got taxi from airport to accom) to make sure we weren't feeling like zombies the first time we attempted to drive.
We got the accom shuttle to the park on day 2, where we picked up the hire car.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 09-Feb-17 14:18:02

I know and have seen where you are staying. That part of I Drive is very quiet, you're just off I Drive itself in Hawaiian Court. The trolley runs up and down I Drive near where you are staying and you're around a ten minute walk from Pointe Orlando. If you head in that direction you will find more shops and restaurants north of there as well.

Movelikethat Fri 10-Feb-17 09:23:41

Thank you all!

I knew Hawaiian Ct was a bit quieter but glad to know we aren't a million miles away.

Now to figure out whether I have enough nerve to take them up on the offer of a hire car! confused

OP’s posts: |
budgiegirl Fri 10-Feb-17 10:04:19

Now to figure out whether I have enough nerve to take them up on the offer of a hire car

Driving in the US is fairly easy, most cars are automatic, roads are wide and usually fairly well sign posted.

However, I know you say that your car is free, this may not be entirely true, as if it's offered as part of a package or flydrive, then you may have to pay for insurance, waivers etc, which often are almost as expensive as hiring the car in the first place.

It is useful to have a car, but as you are staying on I Drive, there are lots of restaurants and evening entertainment in walking distance. Also if you take the shuttle to the park, you don't have to pay parking. You may find it just as easy, and no more expensive, to take taxis when the shuttles aren't at a convenient time.

GlitterRollerSkate Fri 10-Feb-17 10:12:08

This might sound crazy but would a day trip to France help your confidence driving on the other side?

We stayed on I drive when we went there's loads to do! If you did decide to drive the roads are all really wide and well sign posted. If the car is really free could you give it a spin and see how you go? I remember the first time I drove a left hand drive car on the continent I was terrified after a couple of kms I wasn't really that bad at all! Have a great holiday!!

RusholmeRuffian Fri 10-Feb-17 14:21:07

Get the car. It will give you so much more flexibility. Driving in the US is much easier than you think, I promise.

Shelly32 Fri 10-Feb-17 14:31:00

We stayed on i-Drive and it was quite nice to be able to escape the magic (chaos) of Disney at times! There are some great restaurants on International Drive and a Wet and Wild (though I'm sure you'll be hitting the Disney waterparks). Shuttles from our hotel were unpredictable but luckily we had a car and although you have to pay at the parks to park, it's more convenient. Have fun!

MsGameandWatch Fri 10-Feb-17 15:59:33

I was terrified at the thought of driving out there but it's so much easier than you'd expect. It will be easier for you because you'll have another adult to check lanes for you and make sure all clear. I was alone with two kids and it was nerve wracking! Honestly though, the roads are really wide and everyone goes along really sedately, there never seemed to be the nipping in and out of lanes you see here, all very laid back. I've driven in Florida four times now including right across to the gulf coast from Orlando and I really enjoy it.

Oldowl Sat 11-Feb-17 17:50:51

I drove to Germany a few years back. I was terrified too as I am rubbish at left/right and it was just me and the kids (11, 13).

I posted my worries on MN and a brilliant bit of advice came back: Wear a chunky bracelet on your right hand and just keep that bracelet side close to the kerb. It worked a treat. I thoroughly enjoyed driving abroad after the first 15 minutes and the first junction!

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