florida holiday any tips and advice please =D

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by highhopes19, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    hey eveyone:flower:

    me and my OH and some friends are gonna book a holiday to florida for next year sometime, i know its early but im overly excited :happydance: and im afraid im a planner and organiser:blush:

    i'll be honest this is my first proper holiday abroad i can remember, as im a wuss at flying :blush:

    i have so many questions im afraid:haha:

    -where to stay- should we stay in disney hotels or rent a villa (we would rather rent a villa, ive found one with with james villa holidays, its in kissammee i think its called its £781 each for 14 days including flights and ahire car and travel insurance).
    theres 6 adults going rangeing from 19-24, im worried about the free car hire though because knowing our luck they'll give us a smart car for 6 of us.:haha:
    - or stay at disney resort as they do a shuttle bus or somthing:shrug:

    - how much spending money would i need to take, for food, spending etc?

    -any places that you reccomend visiting or not bothering with?

    -what stuff am i allowed to take on the plane as hand luggage. i have asthma will i be allowed my inhalers (sorry if i sound dumb :blush:).


    also i thought i'd add if we stay in a hotel (one i found was £800 each) we can pay off each month and i can also with the villas, we'll be booking in may so weve got plenty of time to save:happydance:
    im a bit over excited haha:cloud9:
    i went on thedibbs i think its called they had some great information but i found it not really a great help for a first timer iykwim
    or just any tips or advice you can give me will be great:flower:


    thankyou:hugs:
     
  2. Erised

    Erised Mummy to amazing girls

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    I've done Florida in a Villa, and in an apartment complex. I'd highly recommend both, but if I had the choice again I'd go back to staying in a villa. You tend to have your own private pool, large bedrooms with tvs which is lovely for some 'time away' from the people you're travelling with, your own kitchen with everything you need so you don't need to spend a fortune on eating out and the list could probably go on.

    The apartment complex wasn't bad, I just really missed my privacy. I'd get woken up in the morning by the people above us opening their wardrobe door, there was no tv in the bedroom so the only place to sit and relax was the living room which we shared with BIL (who I do NOT get along with) and MIL. It's not really for me, though still a great place.

    I haven't done a hotel, and probably wouldn't do so in a hurry. I imagine most do not come with a fully equipped kitchen, and everything will be much smaller than in a villa. That said, you probably won't spend much time indoors anyway.

    Car hire is essential if you stay in a villa, it's pretty much the only way to get around, find a place to get food or do your shopping. I wouldn't worry about the free car hire, ours actually got UPGRADED both times rather than ending up with something small. It's also worth bearing in mind that America doesn't really do 'small cars' anyway. You'll be fine =)

    Disney resort, I'd love to give it a try some time but it's sooo bloody expensive compared to villas. On top of your hotel price you're also expected to tip the maid who comes in daily, and someone told me you get charged extra for things like using the fridge in your hotel room. Buying food in the resorts will add up and quickly become expensive, and you do not have the facilities to 'make your own' unless you stick with sandwiches. The shuttle service is good, I believe there is a bus that goes every 10 minutes and from the Magic Kingdom on you can take a bus to all the other parks, a monorail to some. You won't find yourself waiting too long, it's all pretty smoothly run. It does limit you to where you can go as you will have trouble going out for dinner, buying nappies or finding a shopping mall without a car.

    Spending money will depend on where you stay. If in a villa I'd say about £500 for you and OH/DH a week if you want to go out for dinner quite frequently, have spends in the park and spend some money on souvenirs. It can be done on a smaller budget if you go home to cook your own food and bring your own drinks & food to the parks. Obviously you can easily go over the budget as well if you want to spends loads of money on clothes, souvenirs actually bought in Disney rather than a Disney Store in one of the malls etc. £500 a Week gave us enough for dinner out every 2 nights, new clothes to wear while, fuel and some small souvenirs like photo frames. We did bring our own drink and food into the parks though.

    Definitely take your time visiting the Disney parks. Take at least 2 days for each park, and if you can get the schedules for shows and parades the day before you visit and plan your day around them. Especially Epcot, that has so many shows on it's really worth having your day planned around them rather than walking through and missing loads. We still haven't managed to do this btw, for some reason Epcot always goes 'wrong' for us (weather, illness etc). When in Epcot though, make sure you try the free drinks of the world. I forgot what the shop is called, but it's a Coca Cola shop and to the right of the big fountain when you get into the park.

    If you like tracking down things and getting souvenirs quite cheaply, go hunting for the penny presses. Get yourself a penny book, trade a dollar for some shiny pennies (if you ask for pennies change most people in the shop will catch on and ask if it's for the presses) and get them pressed! If you ask for a list of the penny presses in the information centre in Magic Kingdom they'll provide you with one so you can keep track on which you have and which you haven't.

    I'd personally not waste my time going to SeaWorld or Busch Gardens again. SeaWorld was my dream, and it was such a let down. There wasn't much to see, 'attractions' like the pedal boats actually cost you money, in my opinion the animals are in really small enclosures and there's a severe lack of shadow so you burn and boil. We didn't enjoy either of the places at all.

    I'm not sure about inhalers in the plane, it might be worth contacting the flight providers before you travel. You'll definitely be able to bring it if required, but might need a doctors letter or something to proof you need it.

    -Edit-
    If there's 6 adults of you, try to get an extra car. Chances are there will be at least 1 day where someone will be ill, tired or just wants to do something else. It would be a lot easier if there's 2 cars so you can go your own way. Car rental isn't that expensive anyway =)
     
  3. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    thankyou erised :flower:

    it does sound like the villa will be the best bet for us then, as it will save us a bit of money in the long run.:thumbup::happydance:

    do you know what the min. age it will be to hire a car over there? i know you can drive at 16, but im guessing that to hire a car it will be obviously different. My OH will be ok hireing, but the only other person other than him out the group that can drive out the group will be my sister who will be 19/20 when we go, and some countries i think you have to be over 21 to hire a car. but if we need to cars were gonna need her to drive aswell :wacko:.
    will she be ok at 19/20 to hire a car?:shrug:

    me and my Oh were gonna try and take at least £1500-£2000 spending money for the 1 weeks, now looking that seems to be way to much espessially if were staying in a villa. but im sucha worrier and would hate to run out of money whilst were there:blush:.

    its a shame that you were dissapointed at seaworld as thats one of the main places i would love to visit:-(.I see that disney world is a must then :thumbup:. i really wanna go there and i know everyone else will love it too, but i have a strange phobia of the people dressed in the big suits like mickey for example i have no idea why:blush: so that will be fun:haha:

    i really wanna go to aqauatica, i looked on the website and it looks amazing!!!

    i thought it'd be a good idea if before we book anything up get the group together to write down any places they'd like to go too, then that way no one will be disapointed hopefully:thumbup:

    would you reccomend booking all the park tickets before we go?

    also, is it a good idea that we book the villa soon, maybe in may this year as many do a scheme where you can pay a bit off each month?

    the villa i looked at was through james villa holidays which had the free car hire and travel insurance, would anyone reccomend or not reccomend james villa holidays??

    thankyou :flower:

    and sorry for the amount of questions:blush: x
     
  4. louisiana

    louisiana mummy and ttc#2

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    i know that the 1st time i was there we couldnt rent a car cause we were under 25
     
  5. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    oh no really :(

    do you reckon it will be the same with all companys then?
     
  6. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    i just phoned james villa holidays and they said drivers under 25 have to pay a small daily fee on top.

    but we cant stay there as they consider it a young group, so everyone has to be over 21, but my sister and her friend will be 19 and 20 :cry:
     
  7. Erised

    Erised Mummy to amazing girls

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    Just had a look at the alamo website, who we have used both times. Their minimum age for rental is 21, and there will be an extra charge for any driver under the age of 25. So looks like 2 cars might be out of the question for you then. It should still be very do-able, just plan properly and make sure you've got enough food / drink in the house in case someone decides to skip the day and stay home.

    Park tickets, definitely book ahead before you go. Check the main attraction websites as well as the UK discounted tickets you can get. Often times your travel company will offer you tickets when you buy your package, including 14 Day Tickets to Disney, Aquatica etc. I'd buy either straight from them or from the company itself. Use ft.com for a reliable exchange rate and see what works out cheaper. At the moment we hold an annual ticket for Disney, bought through Disney itself as it worked out cheaper when we went. You've got your entrance to the park costs, but also a daily car parking cost of $12 per car (might have gone up at the start of the year). Definitely book ahead of time though, not at the gate.

    That reminds me... another *must* if you plan on visiting Disney is a PhotoPass. Pre-Visit Offer <-- Following that link you'll get a discount for booking it before you go rather than buying it during your stay. It's well worth the money! Every Disney Park has numerous photographers walking around, which are easily recognised due to their beige uniforms (and if I remember correctly their [rough] locations are marked on the maps as well). With the first photographer you ask them for a pass, or 4... however many you want! If you plan to split up the group, make sure every group will have a pass to get photos taken while you're seperate. There is no extra charge, all the cards can be added onto 1 account so you'll only need to buy 1 PhotoPass Pre-Visit thing, no matter if you get 10 or 3000 photos taken. You can then use that card (we got a different one each day so it would be easier to sort later) at every photographer and get as many photo's taken by him/her as you like. So 1 as a group, 1 of just you and OH etc. Well worth the money to get decent Disney Shots that have everyone in it.

    I took a break while typing all this and just saw your update...
    We booked ours through Cosmos / Monarch, perhaps check with them? They've been good for us. Next time we go I'm considering Thomson for flights only, and renting a private villa listed on TheDibb. Put together your own holiday instead of going for a packaged deal.
     
  8. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    oh really thankyou i'll have a look at the car hire site now :flower:

    my sister im nt sure if shes coming now as shes not sure if she can afford it
    :(.

    if theres just 5 of us it might make it alot easier when traveling, if she does decide to come could we hire a 7 seater like the equivalent to a vauxhall zafira or somthing? :shrug:

    were deffinatly gonna make sure we book all our tickets befre we go and also the photo pass sounds like a great idea thankyou:flower:

    it does look like were gonna have to book it all seperatly now rather than a package deal.
    im just so worried somthing may go wrong me booking it all seperatly:nope:
     
  9. hpjagged

    hpjagged military wife and mummy

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    I would defiantly recommend staying in a villa, the freedom, the private pool. Awesome!

    If you are interested in dolphins, there's Dolphin's Cove. It's like 150pounds each to swim with dolphins and all sorts of other fish. Your food and drink is all included. It's like a mini beach in this one resort. We had a blast there. :)
     
  10. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    how would i go about asking about privately renting a villa off the dibb website? :blush:x
     
  11. Erised

    Erised Mummy to amazing girls

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    Go to The Dibb, on the left hand side in the navigation menu there's 'Villa Search', fill in the correct information and see which villas you're interested in. Most of them will either have a website linked where there's a contact form or email address, others have phone numbers listed so you can call them and arrange the dates and prices.

    I've never actually used the Dibb villas before, but most people on there seem to highly recommend the villas and it's definitely a well known forum.

    -Edit-
    I personally won't give any money until I've received a signed contract, just in case things go wrong. Do be careful and don't just hand out money to anyone =)
    If possible, perhaps use the dibb forum and see if anyone has left reviews of the villa you're interested in, or ask on there is anyone has used them before.
     
  12. SophiasMummy

    SophiasMummy Mummy to Sophia

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    £1500-2000 sounds about right for spending money. ive benn to seaworld and i loved infact we went to seaworld 2wice in the same week and still didnt manage to see everything. i would love to go back there and just spend the whole week at seaworld, they are also building anouther park called atlantis i think. not sure if its finished yet but they have a seethrough tunnel slide that goes through an aquarium which i think sounds ike it could be good. hope you have good time it is well worth it we went for 2 weeks and didnt think that was long enough to see everything though
     
  13. highhopes19

    highhopes19 Well-Known Member

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    i can't wait to go sea world:happydance:.
    im so excited and its not even till next year yet:blush: im such a big kid:haha:
     

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