We recently took a holiday to Orlando, Florida staying in a "superior" villa booked through Travel City Direct (TCD). Booking was straight forward and we recieved all the documentation 2 weeks prior to departure. Everything was fine except for the fact that we had 2 conflicting addresses for the location to pick up the villa keys from. After querying this with TCD they said see the rep at the airport. This was somewhat disconcerting but ok, we'll see.
Moving forwards, flight was great with Virgin Atlantic's new A330 aircraft. Entertainment superb, great complimentary drinks, food was ok, just. Just lacked any real taste. As my teacher used to say, must try harder.
At Orlando International easily found the rep who sorted us out with the correct pick up location for the keys. The hire car company was good, they simply said here are the keys, take your pick. Thats great if you know your way around the new cars but its a little disconcerting if you don't. (ie I didn't know where the hand brake was, (it was a separate foot brake!) or indeed what fuel it took). It took the guy on security to tell us that. All things considered though, brilliant car (Dodge caravan) worked like a dream. Really comfy and very quiet. Make sure you have a sat nav with you. No problems picking up the keys at 6365 West Irlo. Straight forward quick and courteous just what is needed after a long flight.
The villa was located in an area called Davenport. This is approx 15-20 minutes drive West of Kissimmee. A little further out than I would of liked. It was located on a gated community called "High Gate Park". On entering the security code the gates opened and we drove past our first Sheriff police car of the holiday, parked just inside the gates keeping an eye on things. I thought this is good, very quiet with our own security!
The "superior" grade villa was stunning. Spotlessly clean, great heated swimming pool and spa. 4 good sized bedrooms with bathrooms and ensuites. We even had a games room in the garage with pool table and other items. Huge television, internet and brilliant kitchen. The maintenance service was also very good.
Did all the usual ref parks etc. Booked the tickets beforehand via Orlandoattractions.com. Very good company. Holiday timings-watch out for American holidays. We went between 1-15 April 2013. We caught what I think was the end of thier Easter holidays and for the first couple of days and it was chocka. Massive traffic with major delays. First day we could not get into the Magic Kingdom! It was full. No problem though we were given free car parking passe for Epcot so we did a little detour.
Keep away from rainy season if you can. Boy is it wet.
Try and work it so you can get away with not eating at the theme parks (its helishly expensive) ie buffet breakfast in morning, return to villa 15:00 the pop back gain at night once your batteries are renewed.
Get to know how the fast pass system works at Disney. Its free but needs a little research before you go. Good system though.
Think twice before you purchase the Universal equivalent of Disneys free fast pass. It will cost you approx 60-70 dollars each and quite frankly we found that we got around all of the rides without much of an issue with regards waiting. May well be different in high season.
Make sure you visit the rain forest restaurant (Downtown Disney).Also make sure you book a table a few days in advance. You have no chance on the night.
Giordano's pizza pie......OMG, a must try experience.
Go to wallmart to stock up, they are a lot cheaper than others. Get a few of the water bottles combined with sprays from walmart. Great for kids.
Do the balloon ride at Downtown Disney. 20 dollars well spent. Brilliant views across all of Orlando and Disney.
Return flight was great, all things considered ref turbulence etc (beyond anybodies control). Again Virgin need some work on the inflight meals.
Would I book with TCD again, yes absolutely. This was the 3rd time I have travelled with them. The only thing keeping it from a 5 star rating was it was a little too far out of town.
Hope this has been of use.
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