Advice please on Holiday to America/Florida

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Pinkgirl, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl Well-Known Member

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    Hey Girls

    Dimbo has influenced me on thinking about a holiday and one place me and OH have always wanted to go is to Disney. We have both been but when we were a lot younger. We are thinking about going away next summer, just waiting for flights to come online at mo!

    I was wondering if you have been what can you reccommend on doing? Was there somewhere in particular you stayed that you would reccommend? Have you been before and what was your experiences?

    I would like as much feedback as possible to help with out decision :flower:
    Thanks
     
  2. bambikate

    bambikate Mummy of 2 gorgeous girls

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    Hi hun, I'm a huge Disney fan and I'm going for the 5th time in November. :happydance: I've stayed in a cheaper hotel on International Drive, a luxury hotel on International Drive, All Star Movies, All Star Music and are going to stay in Port Orleans resort this time. Personally, I would recommend staying at the Disney Resort as you get extra magic hours, free transportation and I personally just found it more "magical" :D Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Sea World and Busch Gardens are all worth a visit, and Typhoon Lagoon if you are after a more relaxing day! Shopping wise, I recommend Mall At Millenia - it's got a Macy's, Bloomingdales and every designer you can name, plus they have the Florida Mall which has Abercrombie and Fitch etc and for discount malls the Premium Outlet Mall or Prime are great. For information on Disney I use www.thedibb.co.uk it's fab, really useful and I would definatley recommend lots of planning. If you can; it's worth going for 2 weeks at least to get it all done! Good luck and I can honestly say it's the best holiday destination we've ever had and will be going back many more times in the future - we love it! lol xxxxxx
     
  3. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl Well-Known Member

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    Thankyou so much hun i really appreciate it.
    We have looked at prices for staying in the All stars hotels and the price is really reasonable for two weeks which impressed us both. With the tickets i thought they did a 10 day one but theres just 7/14/21 days.
    I have got myself all excited now. Just waiting for flights to come out and can see what prices they are!
     
  4. FEDup1981

    FEDup1981 Mam of two & two angels

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    i believe princess_bump aka carly is an expert!!! She'll post when she spots ur thread! x
     
  5. AppleBlossom

    AppleBlossom Guest

    I loooove Disney :D

    I know I already spoke to you but I meant to say that I think to stay on International drive is cheaper... would you be hiring a car to drive to the parks? Petrol isn't very expensive over there so even though there is a bit of a drive it doesn't cost that much. This is where I stayed this time

    http://www.cypress-pointe.com/index.aspx#Hightlights

    Although our apartment looked slightly different inside to the photos on there
     
  6. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Fedup and Bexy- YH sorry to bug you on FB lol, found it very helpful.
    Its just an idea at the mo, means pushing TTC back but gives us something to aim for!
    xx
     
  7. bambikate

    bambikate Mummy of 2 gorgeous girls

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    yeah they did do 10 day before, perhaps they got rid of it :( i deffo recommend all stars hun it's great definatel the best value IMO it's not major luxury but it's just what you need and great swimming pools, bars, food court, shops and transport too. Have fun getting excited send me a message if u have any Q's :) xxxxxx
     
  8. glittermummy

    glittermummy Member

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    I've been to florida 4 times and absolutely love it, can't wait til we can take our kids there!

    Weve stayed at Quality Inn Plaza and Quality Inn International on International Drive and they're both great. Basic but clean tidy and everything you need right opposite all the main shops and restaurants.

    You'll love it!
     
  9. lola84

    lola84 Waiting To Try

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    We stayed in Florida a few years ago and rented a villa on a golf course - it was great especially the private pool but I'm not sure how much it cost my parents.

    I loved the Disney Parks except Animal Kingdom - it wasn't quite as good as Busch Gardens - and the Universal Studios parks were brilliant too (can't wait to back to Harry Potter world :happydance:)

    Can't say I was keen on the Disney water parks - they were just too busy imo.

    Oh and Sea World is well worth a visit!!
     
  10. pinkmummy

    pinkmummy Guest

    I've only been once 6 years ago but i loved. In fact w are going there for our honeymoon next December!! :D

    We stayed in international drive which was a lot cheaper than staying at Disney.

    A friend of mine owns a villa near Disney if you want I can find out off her how much it would be for you to stay there?

    We got tickets to both Disney and Universal and it was hard to fit it all in!

    Universal can be done in 2 -3 days but Disney will take at least a week if you want to do it thoroughly!

    Also SeaWorld is a must its brill.

    We also went ot Ripleys and Wonderworks I think it was called on International drive

    http://www.ripleysorlando.com/

    It is so weird walking up the the building you feel like your gonna fall over lol.

    http://www.wonderworksonline.com/

    Also brilliant as its an upside down building really cool :)

    I loved the Disney WaterParks! Blizzard Beach is the best imo. We went in December so it was n't too busy but it was still very hot! x
     
  11. Kitten

    Kitten Mummy to Theakston & Nyah

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    Discovery Cove is a fab day to wate a day whether you do the dolphon swim or not. And all food and drink is free all day!
     
  12. meldmac

    meldmac Mom to an angel and Colin

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    I've been there 3 times. I love Florida it's my favorite place to go. I went in 2004 for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at Seaworld. It was by far the nicest hotel I've stayed in and was very reasonably priced. It's only about 2 mins away from Seaworld and pretty close to everything else in Orlando.

    One thing to avoid while in Florida is some of the shops on International Drive...they have no problem whatsoever in ripping off unsuspecting travelers. I found this out the hard way. Some of the shops on International Drive will charge $100-200 more than other places but claim to be cheaper. They advertise at being cheaper but most of them aren't. I went to about 6 or 7 of them to price out a digital camera and ended up buying one I thought was the nicest and best price out of all of them. Well we went shopping a few days later at one of the malls and found the same camera for $200 cheaper at one of the mall stores!! He asked me where I had bought the camera and told him and he said not to trust a lot of the stores on International Drive. Part of it is my fault for falling for the ads they had but they still had a lot of false advertising as being the "cheapest" in town. It wasn't just the one store, almost all of them had claims of having cheaper stuff but the more I looked into it the more I found that they were bulling people.
     
  13. Dimbo

    Dimbo Wishing on a star

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    Oh my, I didn't realise you had started a whole new thread dedicated to asking for information. I have LOADS of tips and hints and do's and don'ts and special things to share... Unfortunately hubby is due home any minute and we've not seen each other all day so I suppose I had best drag myself away from the laptop. However, I will be back with loads of information, but it might not be til tomorrow. That'll give you enough time to prepare for a very long post :happydance::hugs:
     
  14. Dimbo

    Dimbo Wishing on a star

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    Hello :flower: I finally have a few moments to sit down and get writing....

    Let me start by saying I've been to Orlando 4 times, and then Miami and the Keys on top of that. I've staying on International Drive, as well as the 192 in Kissimee, and most recently in Pop Century. We're going in 3 months, and this time we're upgrading to Port Orleans Riverside. We've booked through travel agents, but this time, after a lot of research, we booked direct with the airline (BA) and the hotel direct with Disney, and the car hire direct with Dollar. This has saved us £340 from exactly the same thing from a brochure (Virgin holidays as well as through travel agents). I would definitely recommend doing it like this. I can give you the links if you do decide to look down this route.

    By staying on Disney property, you not only save parking ($12 per day!) but you also get extra magic hours (more time in the park, just for Disney resort guests) as well as little extras like being able to send shopping back to your hotel so you don't have to lug it round all day. You also get free transport (although I would recommend hiring a car) Plus, the resorts are so much more magical than off property.

    I would recommend buying a 14 day unlimited ticket to Disney as this means you can just pop into one of the parks after a day elsewhere to go on one last ride, or to a nice restaurant. It also means you can park hop, and you don't have to use up more than one entry ticket.

    We have bought the dining package this time (haven't done it before) and you get dining credits for a sit down meal, a counter meal, and snacks and drinks (one a day's worth of each) to use up as you like over the 14 days. We didn't do this last time as we went ona road trip for 4 nights, and so wouldn't be worth it. However, this time we'll ensure we are back to eat in Disney even if we have been out for the day. Some restaurants also require two dining credits (they are pretty expensive places, which is why they charge 2 credits).

    On the subject of restaurants, you really have to look at what is available, and book restaurants before you go. We wasn't aware you had to last time, and we missed out in getting into a couple of the nicer restaurant, which was a shame. This time, we made a list of the restaurants we wanted to go to, which parks we wanted to go to on which days, and we will be booking the restaurants in 2 Fridays time. I really recommend researching and booking, even if you don't buy the dining package. There are some amazing restaurants there and even if you just go to a few of them, it really is worth it.

    Hope you are still with me... I did warn you that once I get started on this subject, it is difficult to shut me up :haha:

    Schedule: I would recommend getting a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. very good book, and one of the authors is really nice. (Long story, remind me another time as this post is long enough as it is) They give all the information you could ever want on Disney, and a little of what else is around in Orlando. It, along with the website, will give you an indicator of the best days to visit the parks (especially useful if your going in the Summer with all the crowds and heat) I think we have only 1 or 2 days where we don't plan on visiting at least one park.

    As for outside Disney, we're not actually doing that much this time as we did it all 3 years ago, and some of it we won't bother with again for a long time. Universal Studios, was really quiet (I have photos taken up one of the main 'streets' and there was just one other person in the picture. This would have been great, but it just highlighted the fact that every corner there was someone trying to sell us Timeshare. Anyways, I'm not one for rollercoasters and so I'm not interested in the two new parks, so i might not be the best person to ask. However, I have heard of people spending 2 days doing it all. Sea World last time was a little disappointing. I think because when I went before I was a lot younger and it seemed not so good looking through adult eyes. But that goes for more sea life places I go where I can see how small the tanks etc are. But, it's definitely worth a day. Discovery Cove, very good. We went in 2001 and we swam with the dolphins. Once again, I've done it once and so won't be doing it again, but I would recommend it. The good thing with all of the above 'outside' parks is that they sell tickets as a group to brits, and so it works out quite cheap if you plan on going to them all.

    Shopping.. pretty much covered by the ladies that have already replied. We didn't get to spend much time shopping last time, and so I can't really remember where we went other than the Florida Mall. I will be researching this over the coming months to know exactly where the best shops are :thumbup:

    Definitely recommend hiring a car. We did as soon as we were old enough to, and we both loved driving over there. It was a dream to drive down to Miami and the keys. There is nothing quite like driving on a 6 lane highway :thumbup: This time we have upgraded the car to a Dodge Charger. That's some car and I can't wait :happydance:

    Erm... what else can I help you with...? Some homework...

    http://www.wdwmagic.com/ is a good site for finding out general information.

    http://www.touringplans.com/tp2/UG2_index.php?PageID=0 this is the website that goes with the book I recommended earlier. Lots of useful information, especially useful for summer visitors.

    http://www.wdwtoday.com/ is a really good podcast which is both informative and funny. Highly recommend downloading a few and putting them on your pod. Just listen to a couple (especially listener questions to begin with) and they're quite addictive.

    I'm sure there are loads more pieces of advice I can give you, but I think I've given you enough food for thought already and I don't want to give you too much in one go :haha: If you want to know anything specific, just let me know and i will try to help.

    :hugs: if you get to the bottom of this!
     
  15. bambikate

    bambikate Mummy of 2 gorgeous girls

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    We're going in 3 months and staying at POR too!!! :thumbup: What date are you flying? Are u on the dibb?
     
  16. Dimbo

    Dimbo Wishing on a star

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    We're going from the 3rd to 17th December. You? No, I tend to stick to the forums at WDWMagic (I have like 6 posts, so I can't really say I frequent it) Although have seen that forum.
     
  17. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

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    Hi hunny!! If you check out my facebook you'll see some photos of when Ed and I went last year. We loved Florida it was fantastic. Disney was briliant, we got a 5 day pass, there are some really good deals about if you search... however, for a great time relaxing and themepark ride buschgardens and Seaworld were fantastic. We went in September, so the parks were quietening down quite a bit, I would advise then, because ques are minimal, the only downside is that its hurricane season in September...
    We stayed in the Ramada on International drive, it over looked the wet n wild lake, and whilst it was fine for us to sleep in, we found that breakfast had little choice, i.e. bagals and toast (which took hours to toast) or fruit. With the amount of restaurants and breakfast outlets about we were spoilt for choice..
    Over all we LOVED florida, but we did find that it was tiring... i would recomment having one or two days to just chill out by the pool as you do get knackered with the heat etc...

    if you need more info on parks etc, give me a shout. :)

    xxxxxxx
     
  18. Kittee

    Kittee Pregnant with #2!

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    Ooooh! You're going to have fun. Be sure to go in the spring or fall so you don't roast in Orlando in the summer months. (I just moved from Orlando 2 years ago. My husband and I lived there for 5 years.)

    I recommend that you try and goto Discovery Cove.
    http://www.discoverycove.com/DCO2/


    [​IMG]

    That place is magical. You can swim with the dolphins and it's 10 mins away from Disney World.

    And do go to Epcot. Be sure to get the all parks pass or what not.

    You won't regret it!
     
  19. princess_vix

    princess_vix Guest

    I also recommend discovery cove.

    I swam with the dolphins which was an amazing experience but is still amazing if you don't!
     
  20. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks girls means a lot.
    We are still weighing up options at the moment,we both would really like to go next summer, but OH bought up the good point of the money we save for the holiday is the smae as what we could spend on the kitchen and prob have money left over for a small holiday! i know he is right but it all comes down to whether we TTC Dec or not, if we do, then we will wait, if not we have to decide what to spend money on!
    Decisions Decisions lol
    xx
     

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