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Been to Florida?


Gelf
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Hello all,

I am trying to arrange a family holiday to florida in the first half of next year, I know it is a very popular place to go so I thought I would ask for inspiration from anyone who has been or is going!

At the moment we are looking at about 10 adults and no children going. Im thinking around easter time ish (but not when the schools are out as I know they put the prices up then)

I am hoping to get a large apartment/villa we can all stay in together and probably visit some but not all of the theme parks.

Any advice on when to go, where to stay, who to (or not to) fly with, what to see when we are there or anything else will be greatly appreciated

cheers

Gelf

Mods - I think this is the best place for the post as the marketplace is more for buying and selling but please feel free to move it.

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Our very own Steve Collins is an ex-pat living in Florida.

He will be a good source of info :)

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Kissame is where I've always stayed which provides easy access to all of the theme parks and local amenities such as pubs and places to eat.

I assume you'll be doing a fly drive style holiday so flying into Sanford or Orlando would be fine for that. Getting a villa shouldn't be a problem but try and get one with a pool or pool within the villa complex as it is nice to have a swim.

Passes to the theme parks are pretty expensive and you now can't keep any extra days on the pass like you used to be able to. So with good planning you should be able to save yourself, main places are Disney world, sea world, universal studios and busch gardens.

Not sure on the current exchange rate but clothing always was cheaper over there so I used to always leave room in my case to buy some new clothes and also trainers (loads of big Nike stores over there)!

Oh lastly enjoy your holiday!

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I went to Florida a few years ago. Flew with Virgin Atlantic, who were as good as any other long-haul company I've flown with. We stayed in an apartmet block in Kissimee (unsure on speeeeeeling) which was quite well placed for getting to the various parks and was only an hour or so drive down to... I think it was Tampa Bay and you can get to the space centre too.

I preferred the non-Disney parks as they are more adult-orientated eg Island Gardens, Universal Studios, but all of them were great.

I loved it!

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I havent been but were in the process of arranging our 2012 holiday.

Some family members have recommended staying in Kissemee, we have got a couple of quotes back for villas and your looking at around $500 per week for a villa with private pool etc. It will also sleep upto 10 people.

I'll try and dig out the website.

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I've moved it slightly, to "Help Me - Vehicles, Travel & Transport", but at least you got it in the right area :rolleyes:thumbsup.gif

Have fun on your holiday though. Got any room in your suitcase for a little one?

Also, from a friend who went a few years ago..

If you want to get cheap(er) or sometimes even free tickets to the theme parks, look out for people offering time share deals, and see what they're offering before you say no. Sometimes it will mean sitting through their 'presentation' for an hour or so, but you might end up with cheap or even free Disney passes at the end of it. So may or may not be worth your time.

I've also been told (I'm sure Steve Collins can either confirm or debunk this) that if you're driving, don't be tempted to flash your headlights (at night) at anyone who's driving without any headlights on. It could (I'm told) be gang related, and anyone who flashes their lights at them, may become their next target (for their "entertainment"). How true that is I've no idea.

If you like Chinese food, try to get to Bill Wong's, if that's even still there. Apparently, you'll have a job to beat it for value.

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I've also been told (I'm sure Steve Collins can either confirm or debunk this) that if you're driving, don't be tempted to flash your headlights (at night) at anyone who's driving without any headlights on. It could (I'm told) be gang related, and anyone who flashes their lights at them, may become their next target (for their "entertainment"). How true that is I've no idea.

It's a hoax that's been around for years.

Link: http://www.snopes.com/crime/gangs/lightsout.asp

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I assume you'll be doing a fly drive style holiday so flying into Sanford or Orlando would be fine for that. Getting a villa shouldn't be a problem but try and get one with a pool or pool within the villa complex as it is nice to have a swim.

Passes to the theme parks are pretty expensive and you now can't keep any extra days on the pass like you used to be able to. So with good planning you should be able to save yourself, main places are Disney world, sea world, universal studios and busch gardens.

More than likely we will be renting a car i think, I will certanly be looking for a villa with a pool but im not sure on the agreed budget yet so we will have to see!

I was told a while ago that there was some way of trading with people who were going home but still had a day or so left on their theme park pass to buy their ticket for cheap, are you saying that is stopped now?

I went to Florida a few years ago. Flew with Virgin Atlantic, who were as good as any other long-haul company I've flown with. We stayed in an apartmet block in Kissimee (unsure on speeeeeeling) which was quite well placed for getting to the various parks and was only an hour or so drive down to... I think it was Tampa Bay and you can get to the space centre too.

Virgin has been recomended to me by a few people, what was the leg room like? i am quite tall and often have to pay extra for the leg room when I go on short haul flights, im guessing it is a little better on longer flights?

Did you go the the space centre? is it kennedy space centre im thinking of? was it any good?, i dont know if i want to go there or not realy.

Some family members have recommended staying in Kissemee, we have got a couple of quotes back for villas and your looking at around $500 per week for a villa with private pool etc. It will also sleep upto 10 people.

I'll try and dig out the website.

$500 for a week? thats not bad at all!! i take it by "up to 10 people" they mean probably 6 beds and some people have to sleep on a sofa bed or two?

If you want to get cheap(er) or sometimes even free tickets to the theme parks, look out for people offering time share deals, and see what they're offering before you say no. Sometimes it will mean sitting through their 'presentation' for an hour or so, but you might end up with cheap or even free Disney passes at the end of it. So may or may not be worth your time.

If you like Chinese food, try to get to Bill Wong's, if that's even still there. Apparently, you'll have a job to beat it for value.

ahh, the old time share ticket give away! i have done that a few times on holidays, i like your style!

I will be googling Bill Wong's before i go, thank you :rolleyes:

Thanks for the great advice so far guys (and Damsel), keep it comming!!

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More than likely we will be renting a car i think, I will certanly be looking for a villa with a pool but im not sure on the agreed budget yet so we will have to see!

I was told a while ago that there was some way of trading with people who were going home but still had a day or so left on their theme park pass to buy their ticket for cheap, are you saying that is stopped now?

In the past your pass was for life, so if you purchased a 14 day pass you could use and extra days the next time you visited (even if it was years down the line). I believe now however the days have to be used within X ammount of days of the pass being first used, so you could still buy cheap leftover days from people going home. Found the below on disneys website.

Disney's 14-Day Ultimate Tickets expire 14 days from first day of use; 21-Day Ultimate Tickets expire 21 days from first day of use.

Thanks for the great advice so far guys (and Damsel), keep it comming!!

I'm also a lady you know :rolleyes:

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It's a hoax that's been around for years.

Link: http://www.snopes.co...s/lightsout.asp

Fair enough then. thumbsup.gif I did say I had no idea if it was true or not though (in my defence).

Gelf, PM Davies2201 as well. I think his family had a villa of their own in Florida (Kissimmee I think). I've no idea how many people it slept, or if he/they still have it though. But worth a shot.

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Fair enough then. thumbsup.gif I did say I had no idea if it was true or not though (in my defence).

Gelf, PM Davies2201 as well. I think his family had a villa of their own in Florida (Kissimmee I think). I've no idea how many people it slept, or if he/they still have it though. But worth a shot.

Yup, I was just pointing it out as you had added so many caveats to your first post!

Virgin has been recomended to me by a few people, what was the leg room like? i am quite tall and often have to pay extra for the leg room when I go on short haul flights, im guessing it is a little better on longer flights?

Did you go the the space centre? is it kennedy space centre im thinking of? was it any good?, i dont know if i want to go there or not realy.

I'm F600 and the leg room was fine from what I remember; long haul on 747s and the like are much more comfortable than ryanair cattle class on a 737 :-) I still got up to walk around a bit as sitting down even with plenty of legroom is tiring I find, but it wasn't uncomfortable immediately like you get on smaller planes.

I didn't go to the space centre (think it's Kkennedy, but I'm also thinking Cape Canaveral [sp]), which I'm still gutted about to this day! It's a long way away from all the other touristy areas.

I've got a journal/book thing at home my ex made for me on the trip, I'll try and dig out some details over the weekend and post here.

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In the past your pass was for life, so if you purchased a 14 day pass you could use and extra days the next time you visited (even if it was years down the line). I believe now however the days have to be used within X ammount of days of the pass being first used, so you could still buy cheap leftover days from people going home. Found the below on disneys website.

oh I see, I would think that would make the part used tickets cheaper?

I'm also a lady you know :aok:

lol sorry, i didnt mean anything by it! no need to all Emily Howard on me :confused:

Gelf, PM Davies2201 as well. I think his family had a villa of their own in Florida (Kissimmee I think). I've no idea how many people it slept, or if he/they still have it though. But worth a shot.

Il drop him a line :confused:

I'm F600 and the leg room was fine from what I remember; long haul on 747s and the like are much more comfortable than ryanair cattle class on a 737 :-) I still got up to walk around a bit as sitting down even with plenty of legroom is tiring I find, but it wasn't uncomfortable immediately like you get on smaller planes.

I didn't go to the space centre (think it's Kkennedy, but I'm also thinking Cape Canaveral [sp]), which I'm still gutted about to this day! It's a long way away from all the other touristy areas.

I've got a journal/book thing at home my ex made for me on the trip, I'll try and dig out some details over the weekend and post here.

What is F600 can I ask?

I think I want to go and see the space centre but part of me thinks it will be a bit nerdy and boring!

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Gelf,

I've lived in the Tampa Bay area now for 11 years, don't know much about flights as I always fly Tampa Gatwick direct on BA. If you are considering Orlando area I know Britannia fly into Sanford and Virgin into Orlando Int'l. Britannia has an upgrade with extra leg room I believe and Virgin has the same with something like Economy plus. Sanford is much quicker to get out of and the car rental is just outside the concourse, it is about 26 miles north of Orlando.

Markdn (a poster here in the Surrey forum has a villa in that area for rent, check out his profile). Orlando is great for the theme parks but if you want something different many peeps do a 2 centre holiday 1 week Orlando then 1 week to relax in Clearwater Beach or St. Pete beach, the ocean and beaches are spectacular. It is about a 90 minute drive from Orlando by Interstate so not too sad.

If there's any thing specific you want to know let me know and I'll see if I can help (have you considered a ride-along?) At the moment the exchange rate is in the favour of the UK pound so if you have any spare buy dollars!

Best,

Steve

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My Father-in-aw runs a florida travel company and sorts us out everytime we go (going back in September)

It all depends on what you plan on doing out there, as its a very large place!

Visit Florida

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