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First Time To Orlando-Help !

London, United...
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First Time To Orlando-Help !

Hi Guys

Travelling from London to Orlando last 2 weeks of May-Booked in Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas -Also have got a deal for rental car-Me,The Wife and my two little boys 7 and 3-All 2 weeks in sheraton but may wish to drive to JFK space centre(day trip) and a couple of days to Miami.

First time to Orlando-so need help pls.

1 park tickets-where to buy?-bit of info re various parks would be helpful.mostly for my boys and some thrown in for the mum as well.

2 driving from airport to sheraton-can i buy a gps navigation here in uk or can i buy at the airport and does it work just like the postcode search-have driven in usa before but was with an american cousin!-first time driving on my own.

3 we may be eating breakfast in our flat and may eat some of our dinners at home-any local super markets and re cutlery -do they provide in the flat ?

4 to JFK -is it possible in one day and how long and how far is it and ticket info

5 to miami-how long and how far-can we do it in 2 days-just want to spend sometime doing boat ride with kids etc

I know its a bit of a busy question but appreciate your time for answering.Thank You.

Berkshire, England
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1. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !


I can't answer all of your questions but will have a go at some of them!

It is about a 4 hour drive to Miami and IMHO not worth it especially with two young children. You can do airboats rides nearer to Orlando at Boggy Creek and other type of boats rides at nearer locations too. Someone else may be able to give you more info on them?

The Kennedy Space Centre (not JKF....that is an airport!!) is about a 1.5 hour drive from Orlando and well worth a visit. The boys will probably love it. If you are keen to see some wildlife...alligators etc, not far from the Space Centre is Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Sorry but can't help with ticket prices.

Hope you have a great holiday.

Horsham, United...
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2. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

For more information on the parks etc I would suggest you invest in a guide book such as the Unofficial Guide to Orlando ot the Brits Guide to Orlando.

Tickets can be bought at many sites, one recommended often on here is www.undercovertourist.com

Can't help on the GPS we always use a paper map in the States.

Agree with traveller I wouldn't bother with Miami with 2 small children, google "airboat rides in Orlando" for info on nearby boat rides.

If your apartment has a kitchen it will be fully equipped with pots pans cutlery crockery etc.There are many supermarkets nearby, Winn Dixie, Publix, just ask your concierge for direction to the nearest when you arrive.

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3. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

I always prefer to buy tickets before I go , otherwise it takes a large chunk of money out of your budget & there are some different tickets available in the UK that aren't available in the US.

There are 4 Disney Parks , 2 Disney water parks & Disney Quest, which if you buy the ticket in the UK would be covered by the 14 day pass for unlimited use & you can go into as many parks as you for the full 14 days

Universal has 2 parks & whilst there are some rides that your 3 year old will be able to go on & depending on the height of your 7 year old this may be the same,There is is not as much for them to do there but if you like roller coasters you will like it there.

There is also Seaworld , & their waterpark Aquatica & the sister park Busch Gardens, this park however is about an hours drive away.

you can get a ticket which will include all entryies for 14 days to the Universal & Seaworld parks & Wet n Wild but it is best to price up this ticket & also seperate tickets to the universal parks & seaworld parks seperatly

You can rent a gps from the rental company for the 2 weeks or buy one at Walmart or similar. If you have one at home you can also buy the uS maps to upgrade your own & take it with you.

Aberdeen, United...
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4. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

I would decide which parks you want to visit before looking for tickets. It's cheaper to stick to Disney or non-Disney if you want the best value. The longer you visit the cheaper it works per day with Disney and you can get 14 days unlimited at Universal. It's pretty hectic trying to do everything so keep that in mind. I would suggest you get a Brits guide to Orlando book by Simon Veness. It's updated every year. A bit of research will help you decide where you prefer to go. There is no bad choice.

You can buy gps at home if you want one for home too. They are cheaper in US for US only if you don't need one at home. You can rent one from the car rental outlet but this s sometimes more than the cost of buying one. You can download Apps or maps. I don't think that Sheraton Vistana would be that difficult to get to so you could just download a map on google maps at home and follow that and decide if you need a gps when you are there.

I think Miami is quite a long way to travel with young kids and would save for another trip unless you can perhaps fly home from Miami if that's not definite.

Have a great time.

Cheltenham, United...
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5. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

You need to check out The Dibb website, it is a fountain of knowledge which I used to plan our first trip to Orlando. also like someone else recommended get the Unofficial Guide and use the touring plans at the back, as long as you are at the parks when the 'rope drops' you will be able to cover all the rides by late morning and then head back to your hotel for some pool time before heading out again it you wanted to. Do some homework on which parks you actually want to go to before spending out on tickets, we spent nearly £1000 on our first visit because we bought the 14 day Ultimate ticket covering all the Disney parks, followed by 14 day pass for the 2 Universal parks and then a 3 for 2 on Seaworld and a swim with dolphins! Its way too much to squeeze in especially with 2 young children, they will get very tired. The only other thing to consider with your planning is that it might possibly be a Star Wars weekend one of the weekends you are there too, fine if your fans which we are, but avoid Hollywood Studios if you're not as it draws the crowds. There is also the yearly convention 'Gay Days' but again the Dibb will be able to give you information on this. We loaded the US maps on our Sat Nav before we went and entered postcodes for the parks before we went and some restuarants (The Cheesecake Factory at the Millenia Mall is a must). Switch on your sat nav as soon as you get airside and change to USA as it takes a while for it to adjust to the satellite. I could go on but would just say plan, plan and plan to get the most out of your holiday and factor in some rest time cos you will need it! Enjoy.

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6. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

1 Undercover Tourist. 4 Disney Parks, 2 Universal Parks, Seaworld and Busch Gardens are the main attractions in terms of theme parks. All great.

2 A UK bought Satnav will work fine as long as you have the US maps. Most phones these days have built in navigation with free or very cheap software and/or maps. I actually use my ipad for satnav. A US bought or hired system works in same way as here in UK. Difference is, before I go, I load up my software with 'favourites' i.e. the restaurants, theme parks and shopping malls we will visit are already stored so when we arrive there is no dicking around for addresses. Thats my number 1 tip for Satnav.

3 Cutlery etc will almost certainly be in the flat assuming it has some kind of kitchen facility.

4 about an hour and half drive. A great day out - we really enjoyed it. Tickets are not expensive kennedyspacecenter.com/buy-tickets-admission…

5 Miami is a long way away - about 4 hours - there are many places on the gulf coast (Tampa area) where you can get boat trips and only 2 1/2 hours away. Airboat rides are available round about Kissimmee. Would recommend Captain Dave (google it).

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7. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

The first time we went to Orlando, we bought the UK 14 day Disney Ultimate Ticket ( Floridatix is a good web site for UK type tickets) which gave unlimited visits to all 4 Disney theme parks and 2 waterparks. We also paid on the gate for one day at Sea World. This was quite enough for us with a 3 and 5 year old. Universal/IofA and Busch are great parks but we saved them for our next visit when the children were a bit older and could appreciate more of the rides. If you do want to go to more of the theme parks during your holiday just buy the days you need at undercover tourist mentioned above.

KSC is a good day out and not too far away, and can be tied in with a short visit to cocoa beach which we enjoyed last year.

We take our UK Tomtom with US maps, although we tend to rely on the signs more as the area is very well signposted.

You should have all utensils in you kitchenette.

Never been to Miami, but we have enjoyed boat rides at: wild willy's airboat rides in St Cloud; the dolphin cruise in Clearwater, and the river cruise at BlueSprings state park. All a lot nearer than Miami.

London, United...
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8. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

Thank you -Wonderful advice.Thanks again for your time .

London, United...
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9. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

Guess what this is my 10 th wedding anniversary gift for the wife.She is soo thrilled I have done it all in one day and just by myself -Didnt tell her nothing about my trip advisor post !!!

Got my ticket courtesy undercover tourist -14 d pass

Got the software loaded to my I pad -job done

Surely will skip Miami

And will definitely go to Kennedy space centre and not to JFK lol

Guys you have made my trip too easy -thank you again for your time and effort.

hopefully will have a good holiday and thrill you with some nice pics -Good Day !

10. Re: First Time To Orlando-Help !

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