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Orlando Tips

edited August 2012 in Not Sports Related
Planning a trip in May.

Been into thomson travel agents today to get a rough price on a Villa, Car, Flights, Park tickets...

Can any Lifers advise me on anywhere else to get some prices which they have used previously?

Thank you in advance
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Comments

  • Take a look at the Windsor hills development for the villa. I rented a four bedroom place last year. They are reasonably priced, about ten minutes from the park entrance and are pretty nice with a pool. I priced a couple of travel agents but booked everything myself as it was actually a lot cheaper.
  • we booked for next year, in windsor hills also. flights ain't cheap, ridiculous tax
  • As you are going to do the theme parks then I strongly recommend you buy The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2012 by Bob Sehlinger. Some great tips on how to do the parks to avoid the worst of the crowds.
  • Try booking as separates through Expedia.

    Buy your park tickets online - lots of places but don't waste your time searching all over the place. They are all much of a muchness price wise.

  • Have a look at James Villas and the packages/deals on offer there. Also, re theme park tickets, I've used http://www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk/ before - very reliable and good deal.

    Have also booked through Virgin (in advance at sale time) and independently before too, patiently waiting for deals on flights and hotel etc. Intend going back next year too, but yet to decide when.

    Have stayed in about 5-6 different hotels there before, so if any take your fancy and you want a frank opinion of it please message me and I'll let you know. Have stayed on the iDrive, at Disney World and Lake Buena Vista hotels before.

    My main tip would be around saving money on eating out and that is, don't get sucked into eating at the Disney Village too often - you'll pay 20% plus more than the wealth of restaurants around the area outside the main Disney complex.
  • My in-laws have a two bedroom apartment in a complex called 'Bahama Bay' (with three pools) about 15 mins from the parks. They rent it out and we've been over there twice and for direct enquiries it's pretty damn cheap. If you want the details PM me....
  • We own a 3 bed, 2 bathroom pool home with games room etc in Crescent Lakes; about 20 minutes from the parks. Happy to do you a special (Lifer) price of just £55 per night for the villa next May if interested. It's a lovely, modern villa set on a lake. Let me know if interested by Pm and I'll send you a link to our website. You won't be disappointed.
  • Good tip would be to avoid the hurricanes
  • edited August 2012
    ...............oh, and on the other issues;

    1. Car Hire - prices vary from company to company. Best thing is to go via a price comparison website. Check out good comparison sites via www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk . My tip is to book a far as possible in advance. You should look to pay about £15 per day for the car hire. Go for the 'economy' car unless you have a family of 4 with loads of luggage, in which case go for an intermediate car.
    2. Tickets - there's very little to save on tickets. On-line purchaser via official sites is the best way but expect to save no more than 5% on the gate rate. Any more than that then you run the risk of 'too good to be true' applying. Avoid ebay purchases at all costs unless you know the seller as there is no way of telling if the tickets have been used or not.
    3. Flights - again, try moneysavingexpert for flight comparison websites. Flight duty tax is sooooo high now that you'll be hard pushed to find a direct flight for less than £400. We are paying £404 for a trip in 6 weeks time and that's with Virgin but we were lucky to get such a good rate that has already jumped to £554 since we booked it 2 weeks ago. Indirect flights (i.e. with a stop over - usually in Charlotte) can be slightly cheaper but it's not something I'd ever do to save, say, £50 or so.

    Hope this helpful. Again, contact me as a PM if you want more info and I'll help if I can using my 20 years of Orlando visit experience and years of villa ownership.
  • ...............oh, and on the other issues;

    1. Car Hire - prices vary from company to company. Best thing is to go via a price comparison website. Check out good comparison sites via www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk . My tip is to book a far as possible in advance. You should look to pay about £15 per day for the car hire. Go for the 'economy' car unless you have a family of 4 with loads of luggage, in which case go for an intermediate car.
    2. Tickets - there's very little to save on tickets. On-line purchaser via official sites is the best way but expect to save no more than 5% on the gate rate. Any more than that then you run the risk of 'too good to be true' applying. Avoid ebay purchases at all costs unless you know the seller as there is no way of telling if the tickets have been used or not.
    3. Flights - again, try moneysavingexpert for flight comparison websites. Flight duty tax is sooooo high now that you'll be hard pushed to find a direct flight for less than £400. We are paying £404 for a trip in 6 weeks time and that's with Virgin but we were lucky to get such a good rate that has already jumped to £554 since we booked it 2 weeks ago. Indirect flights (i.e. with a stop over - usually in Charlotte) can be slightly cheaper but it's not something I'd ever do to save, say, £50 or so.

    Hope this helpful. Again, contact me as a PM if you want more info and I'll help if I can using my 20 years of Orlando visit experience and years of villa ownership.
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  • Discovery cove is a must if you need a rest. Me and my missus done theme park 1 day. Waterpark the next. And we used the waterpark days as our 'relaxing' days. Even though we were still up and down rides and slides. It was nice to lay on the sunbed to get a moments rest.

    But discovery cove is very good. Dolphins, lazy rivers and relaxing time on the beach.
  • Take a drive down to Key West for a 2-3 night side trip....stopping off at the Everglades on route.
  • Hi Hastingsaddick

    i have a villa just outside Orlando in Davenport 15 mins disney etc.

    have you thought booking a fly drive usually this is cheaper for some reason than just a flight and villa seperatly.

    if you are interested i can give you a mates rate for a fellow addick.

    if interested let me know and send me a message.

    look forward tio hearing from you

    charltonheston
  • sorry crayaddick

    i should have sent above to you

  • Hi Hastingsaddick

    i have a villa just outside Orlando in Davenport 15 mins disney etc.

    have you thought booking a fly drive usually this is cheaper for some reason than just a flight and villa seperatly.

    if you are interested i can give you a mates rate for a fellow addick.

    if interested let me know and send me a message.

    look forward tio hearing from you

    charltonheston

    Sorry mate you've got the wrong end of the stick here....I've been down to Florida a couple of times and was just suggesting that CRAY ADDICK take a trip down to Key West.....I've got no immediate plans to visit Florida.
  • Thanks for the great comments. I got quoted £2332 pp for me and the mrs. That was from Thomson and included:

    14 night stay
    Flights
    Villa
    Car
    Disney (Ultimate ticket)
    Universal, Sea World, Island of adventure, Wet and Wild, Aquatica.

    Is that a good price?
  • Crayaddick..................I've just started costing this out for you and can very clearly state that this is a shockingly-bad deal compared to arranging independently. I reckon I can save you more than £1500 from the total cost of £4,664 they have quoted the 2 of you. Here are the (real) costs that I calculate from quickly checking the internet and placing you in a luxury 3 bedroom villa, as follows; villa for 14 nights in May £800, Direct Flights x2 £1200, Car Hire £210, Disney Ultimate tickets x2 £520, Orlando Flex ticket x 2 (i.e. Universal etc) £432.....total £3162.................saves you £1502! Happy to help if I can! Meldrew66
  • edited August 2012
    meldrew66 said:

    Crayaddick..................I've just started costing this out for you and can very clearly state that this is a shockingly-bad deal compared to arranging independently. I reckon I can save you more than £1500 from the total cost of £4,664 they have quoted the 2 of you. Here are the (real) costs that I calculate from quickly checking the internet and placing you in a luxury 3 bedroom villa, as follows; villa for 14 nights in May £800, Direct Flights x2 £1200, Car Hire £210, Disney Ultimate tickets x2 £520, Orlando Flex ticket x 2 (i.e. Universal etc) £432.....total £3162.................saves you £1502! Happy to help if I can! Meldrew66


    Cheers mate. The best deal I've got us £1,600pp for car villa tickets. Is that a good price? Or not so good?
  • Anyone been recently? If so how did you do it?

    Villa? Car hire? Oh and how much did it cost you in the end???
  • Just did them all separately. You'll be able to sort out cheaper. Go to Charley's for a super steak. Medieval knights is a fun night out. Try to do a park every other day. Discovery Cove is a great treat. Epcot in the evening has some great bands and amazing fireworks.
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  • Thought his surname was Bloom.
  • Have a look at homeaway.com to get an idea on villa prices. Should be cheap in May as October to April is peak season in Florida (the non-hurricane season!). It rains pretty much every other afternoon in Florida in the summer and it's humid.
    Check car rental prices on something like rentalcars.com. Don't forget that insurance extras can be expensive. If you want to cover the damage excess it can be very much cheaper to pre-book it separately. Then say no to every option they try to sell you at the desk. Don't get ripped off by renting a toll pass (you don't need one unless visiting Miami or Tampa) and either take your own satnav and download US maps or buy a $60 unit from Walmart. Rental companies charge a lot to rent a sat nav!
    Don't forget your travel insurance - healthcare is expensive in the US.
    Don't forget though that if you book elements of your holiday separately then the protection schemes may not apply.
    Don't forget to get your ESTA.
    Decide which airport you want to use: Sanford or Orlando International. I've never used Sanford but some say it's a less painful experience although it is further away from the attractions.
  • Www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk provide very good deals on park ticket packages. The best value is the Orlando freedom ticket - WDW, Universal and Seaworld all in one package + a bunch of freebies and discounts usually thrown in (sometimes Legoland Florida, Busch Gardens or Boat ride on the Everglades etc).
    I am buying mine from there and heading out next week.
    I have been a few times before, but not in 3 years and it develops all of the time. That said, tips would be book any WDW park restaurant way in advance, they have a reservations system online. We won't be eating in those restaurants every day as it's more expensive than out of WDW, but there are some decent and fun restaurants in there. The one at Seaworld, under a tank of sharks and fish is the one I'm most looking forward to. Tables have walls and ceilings of tank and fish around you, so a unique dining experience.

    Do the Cheesecake Factory at Millenia Mall and Bahamas Breeze restaurants. The CF is not just cheesecakes, in fact you tend to take the cheesecake away as mains are so good and filling. Once you get to desert, you've 20-30 cheesecakes to choose from.

    If you can get early bird for Universal's Islands of Adventure, take it. Harry Potter within an hour or 2-3 hours queuing during the day.

    Don't waste time with pushy time share salespeople unless you are seeking a time share. You may be offered something for your time, but you'll waste half a day and I've seen many holiday makers drawn in for the 'freebie'.

    Make use of the Fast Pass system to maximise your time in the park. Have a great time and PM me if you have any further questions - will share more upon my return.
  • Take a drive down to Key West.
  • Booked up this morning. Have to find tickets and sort out a plan for the 2 weeks.
  • May is the best time to go so you have got off to a good start. You will read a lot of advice that will give you the impression that a WDW holiday needs to be planned like a military operation. Well, the advice is correct! Get the tickets that enable you to visit the Disney water parks for half a day between the main parks. Always aim to get to a park (ie its car park) about 30mins before it opens - 45-60mins for Magic Kingdom. Expect to stay in the park till it closes - which may be as late as midnight. Always try to do the big rides as soon as you enter a park - turn right as americans always turn left. Plan to eat avoiding 12-2 and 5-6 as that is when americans eat. Remember where you parked your car. By the end of your holiday expect to be exhausted - but you will have had fun.
  • edited February 2014
    I've been, stayed at the hard rock hotel on the universal resort, very expensive although you do get the fast passes with the hotel. Also when you stay there you get to see the shows and use the bars on resort which is walking distance from the hotel or you can take a water taxi. Not sure the prices for the hotels on universal resort most probably cheaper to stay in Orlando in a villa.
  • Stayed in Davenport last year - brilliant villa, location. Got Disney / Universal tickets out of the Irish pub on Intl. Drive (next to pitch and putt) - saved a fortune
  • Pavo, that shark restaurant was excellent, good shout. Hastings, Key West is about 7 hours on a good day, not really a trip to the seaside.
  • Hi All

    i have a villa on hampton lakes davenport and if any body is interested in renting it please let me know

    my management company has linked up with a legit ticket agency and have some good deals

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