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I know there are a million threads on Florida, and I have browsed some of them, but what i really want to know is, can you really "do" florida without a car?

(22 Posts)
Aimsmum Sat 02-Aug-08 18:16:03

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MegBusset Sat 02-Aug-08 18:21:48

We did it without a car in 2005 (pre-DS though). Stayed on International Drive for a week then a week on the Gulf Coast (beachside hotel in St Pete Beach). We found it totally doable, the shuttle buses to/from the airport and between resorts were included in our package (with Virgin Holidays). No experience of Kissimmee but there are free buses that stop at all the hotels on i-Drive and go to all the theme parks. There are loads and loads of restaurants you can walk to on i-Drive, or get the trolley bus. Similarly in St Pete Beach there were enough bars and restaurants in walking distance.

The only thing is that you will be limited to how much further afield you can explore, as public transport outside i-Drive and the theme parks is pretty non-existent.

expatinscotland Sat 02-Aug-08 18:23:48


If you want to go anywhere outside Disney, no.

Especially not when Brits always want to go a times of the years when you couldn't pay most Americans to go there because it's too damned hot/hurricanes.

MegBusset Sat 02-Aug-08 18:24:21

Also if you book with a big tour operator like Virgin, their rep will be able to organise excursions to places like the Everglades or the Space Centre -- these were pretty pricey, though, so we didn't actually book any ourselves.

NotDoingTheHousework Sat 02-Aug-08 18:29:41

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Aimsmum Sat 02-Aug-08 18:36:04

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Me and DH went for honeymoon. Stayed in Kissimee old town. We didnt have a car as DH says it not a holiday driving everywhere hmm

We used shuttle buses from our hotel. Didnt have any problems. We went for 2 week and were very busy all the time. If we had gone for longer it would have been ideal to have a car and see other places.

LazyLinePainterJane Sat 02-Aug-08 18:39:57

When's it coolest expat?

expatinscotland Sat 02-Aug-08 18:41:52

I hate hurricanes. We get them in TX, too. Went through three of them. They're usually not too scary, in that we were too close inland for tornados, but they suck because a) they send the humidity through the roof, even worse than normal b) mosquitos, roaches, fire ants, spiders and other bugs all get to have their own kind of holiday c) MOST of the time, there will be no power and water for a few days, especially power, which means no A/C.

The heat during the summer is awful because it's coupled with very high humidity.

You just go from air-conditioned place to air-conditioned place because you start sweating just by going outside.


Gimme Colorado in summer any day. As they say, 'It's a dry heat.'

expatinscotland Sat 02-Aug-08 18:43:59

September and October are lovely there!

There are a good many people termed 'Snowbirds', retirees who have a home in the NorthEast and one in Florida and winter in FL to avoid snow and cold.

My auntie has a couple of flats in West Palm that she lets out to such folks.

tiredemma Sat 02-Aug-08 18:46:02

We went in april and were frazzled, it was so hot.

NotDoingTheHousework Sat 02-Aug-08 18:48:49

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expatinscotland Sat 02-Aug-08 18:49:55

LATE September, I might add.

They usually get a spell of 100+ degree temps at the beginning of September, for some reason.

My mother had wanted to fly us to Houston, TX, on about hte same latitude as some bits of FL, right now.

Sorry, but I'd rather drink strycnine.

I told her there was no way on EARTH I am going there in summer after spending every single year I lived there scheming on how to get out, which I finally did in 1989.

seb1 Sat 02-Aug-08 18:51:14

Aimsmum, try globespan they do hotels on I.dirve and transfers to hotels and fly daily from Glasgow in the summer. You also have the trolley aswell.

fly globespan

LazyLinePainterJane Sat 02-Aug-08 19:22:06

Thanks, expat. Would like to go but would rather cut my own eyes out than go when it's hot.

MegBusset Sat 02-Aug-08 20:18:11

We went in late Sept/early Oct and the weather was very good, hot but not too hot. It is the tail end of hurricane season, though -- in fact Hurricane Rita hit Texas as we were in Florida.

The other thing you can get in the summer on the Gulf Coast is the red tide -- a huge algae bloom that kills off all the fish and leads to a bad fishy smell as all the dead sealife is washed up. Again, we were lucky as the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico had swept most of it away by the time we were there.

TheMagnificent7 Sun 03-Aug-08 03:49:09

It's totally doable, and the shuttle bus services are really reliable. Every hotel has some sort of service. Kissimee or International Drive are easy and very well catered for for Brits (the Wal-Mart has a British section if you just can't leave the Marmite and Fruit Shoots for two weeks). It does make it a little difficult to move around in the evenings if you wanted to have a hunt around for a restaurant, but to be fair, that's probably the same if you don't drive here.

Ive been lucky and never ever had any weather problems in Florida, occasional torrential downpour, but they clear quick. I think that's me being lucky though. I've been in every month from May through to November. Have only had a car in Orlando once, the rest of the time was transport. I've been to Orlando, St Pete's, Clearwater, Naples, and I've done the stay in Disney thing (stupid expensive), and the villa thing (cheap as chips). If you are confident enough, book it all driectly, you'll save a fortune, and only pay for the hotel when you leave, not 10 weeks before. It really is easy.

Kbear Sun 03-Aug-08 09:05:33

Always get as near to Disney as you can afford if you are doing the Disney thing - Kissimmee can be a 45 minute drive away from Disney (traffic).

We didn't hire a car when we were there earlier this year but as we stayed on Disney property it was easy enough to get buses everywhere and I have family there that took us out for trips to the beach etc.

The taxi service is good and reliable (IME), we got a cab to Universal and cabs to the Mall and to restaurants with no problems at all, nice drivers, punctual, meters etc.

meadow6 Sun 03-Aug-08 19:58:24

The weather is hot in summer but in my opinion completely manageable. We have been for the last 4 years with 4 children ranging from 7months to 9 years and they have been neither up nor down with he heat. Admittedly it is lovely when it pisses down about 3 in the afternoon! Never done it but Orlando parks are completely doable without a car. Some of our family did it last year by staying on International Drive and using buses.

TheMagnificent7 Sun 03-Aug-08 23:29:20

These posts make me jealous. I so want to go again!

This book is great. It gives you a total guide to Disneyworld. I think there are local area ones available too. This is SERIOUS Disney (I'm such a fan) and even gives you half day routes with shortcuts and timings to get the absolute most out of your day. It has dining guides for every single restaurant, hotel guides, essntial tips. They don't tend to change much year on year so try and get an old one cheaper on Ebay. It will give you all of the tips about weather (dry or wet) you need. My copy has a wet day guide so you can get the most without getting too wet.

bellavita Mon 04-Aug-08 01:02:00

Am here at the moment - you need a car.

Got a taxi the other evening. Cost $50 plus tip for return journey.

Having a great time.

handlemecarefully Tue 05-Aug-08 10:53:40

You can but it will limit your opportunities

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