basics are :
A flight to
get to Orlando (either into
Orlando International or Sanford
A car to get
you around and about (incl. from
the airport to your
insurance with cover for the USA
(usually called Worldwide cover)
Do I need a car?
It is possible to
get by without a car if you stop at
a Disney hotel as they do have buses
that will take you round the
parks, but you are locking yourself
into the parks and park prices.
Driving in Orlando
is not difficult and we would always
rent a car. You can then choose
where you want to eat, shop etc. If
you are worried about directions,
look into adding a satellite
navigation system to your hire
car, most rental companies have
these as options.
A few driving tips
You drive on
All the hire
cars are automatic, so you don't
have to worry about working a
gear shift being on the wrong
side of the car.
You can turn
right on a red light if it is
clear to do so, but you must
It is illegal
to have open alcohol containers
in the car, so don't let your
passengers drink while you
There are very
few roundabouts, instead there
are '4 way stops'. At these,
the first car to arrive goes
first, everyone takes their
We always stay in
a quality Villa instead of a
hotel and have written a separate
page to list the reasons here.
here for that page.
A Villa just gives
you more freedom, while a Villa on a
resort location adds the facilities
you wouldn't get at a hotel. At a
Villa you can get up, still in your pajama's and have breakfast around
the pool in perfect privacy, your
kids will be happy to leave the
parks knowing they have a pool and a
games room at home, and you can save
But don't just
take our word for it, check out any
forum for Villa vs. Hotels and you
will see that once you have stayed in a
Villa once, you will not want to go
back to a hotel!
Flights to Orlando
are usually very easy to find, there
are dozens of planes a day from the
UK alone, Westjet now fly from
Canada, and if you are lucky enough
to be in the States already, Expedia
should be able to get you a good
price on a flight.
There are two
major airports, Orlando
International Airport which is about
30 minutes from most Villas and
Sanford Airport which is about an
hour away (you usually drive past
the international airport on the
way!). Most major carriers fly into
the International airport, whereas
charters usually go into Sanford.
Which is better?
Well, each has its own pros and
cons. The International Airport is
nearer, but it is also bigger, you
have a little train to go on between
getting off the plane and getting
your bags and it takes longer to
drive out of and into when you
return. Sanford is much smaller, so
you can usually get through the
airport quickly, but its an extra 30
minutes away. Both airports make a
good choice, they are both near
Orlando which is where you want to
won't need it, but you do need to
have it. Medical expenses in the
States can be expensive, so make
sure you have a good worldwide
travel insurance policy.
How much spending
If you have
pre-paid for your attraction
tickets, or allowed for them then
simply look at what you would
normally spend on holiday anywhere
The USA is
generally cheaper than the UK, Spain
or other European counties and on a
similar level with Canada, so its
not a bad assumption to work on.
attraction tickets, your main costs
are going to be food and souvenirs.
Try to eat your
main meals out of the parks as this
saves money which can be better used
elsewhere and if you have a Villa,
go shopping for food at Walmart or
Shopping can be a
lot of fun in itself as there are
lots of different things available,
but everything is still in English
and you will save a lot of money you
can use elsewhere.
If you like eating
out, Orlando is cheap. There are
lots and lots of restaurants all
competing for your business and you
can eat in a different one every
are, if you are going to
Orlando, you are going to go in at
least one park!
If you are looking
at just Disney, then weigh up the
advantages of their hopper tickets
carefully, sometimes they can only
save you $5 a day, but you are
forced to keep using their
parks, where you might prefer to do
2 Disney parks, Sea world and
Universal Studios instead.
If you are away
for 2 weeks, there are usually some
good deals on Sea world / Busch
Gardens combination tickets and
these are worth trying.
If you are
planning to eat at any of the themed
restaurants, like Medieval Times and
especially Arabian Nights, these can
be heavily discounted if you buy
them before you go.
careful when you are in Orlando as
many restaurants have 'ticket desks'
offering very cheap tickets.
Usually these are very cheap for a
reason, you have to attend a
timeshare presentation. We
recommend you stay clear and use
your time on holiday to enjoy your
holiday instead of trying to get a
last minute deal on tickets.