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    • traceya89
    • By traceya89 10th Sep 07, 8:50 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 8,903 Thanks
    traceya89
    For all you thinking of going to Florida why not shop at Tesco and save points and shop online for extra points and then convert to clubcard deals and go to Florida for free. i have seriously shopped since xmas and have enough to go to florida in November with Virgin, one week at Hard Rock Cafe and one week in a villa. Yipee!!! so now i can use all my money saved to spend, spend, spend!
    • vivatifosi
    • By vivatifosi 11th Sep 07, 4:16 PM
    • 18,402 Posts
    • 114,206 Thanks
    vivatifosi
    Hi Griggsy,

    Can't answer all your questions, but here goes...

    Weather in November in Florida is lovely. It's my favourite time to go - but I avoid Thanksgiving as the crowds get bigger then. Most of our holidays there then have been dry, but you can get occasional showers (and the tail end of hurricane season, but not often) so take an umbrella and a rain jacket. It can also be cool in the evening, so take a fleece. I also take gloves in my case, alongside my swimmies! In Orlando, the daytime average is about 25-28 centigrade at the beginning of the month.

    2. Most of the Disney hotels offer disabled rooms. Please note if you do stay in Disney, all of their hotel rooms are now non-smoking (including balconies and patios), which may or may not be an issue for you.

    3. Don't know the answer to that one, sorry.

    4. I think £300 per person is a fair price. Depends on who you are flying with I suppose, but seems reasonable. I'm not 100% up on prices as I'm lucky as I get to fly at staff rates through my OH.

    5. Other attractions: my Dad would love Kennedy Space Centre. We grew up watching space exploration together and that would be a fantastic (and very wheelchair accessible) day out. In fact, most Florida attractions are way more accessible than those here. I would suggest Sea World too. Epcot in November is fantastic. They have a food and wine festival (if you go before Thanksgiving), and if your parents like the music of the sixties, they have free concerts in the evenings. And how about a trip to the beach? You can get to either coast relatively quickly. Its just over an hour to the East Coast at Cocoa (by the space center) and about an hour and a half to two hours to the white beaches on the Gulf Coast. I also like getting away from the tourist areas and having a look round the upscale Winter Park district of Orlando, with its boutiques and nice restaurants.

    Disney do excellent guide books for their parks for people with disabilities, which give tips on getting around, accessing rides etc. Many other parks do the same. Here's a link to the Fodors guide page on visiting Orlando with a disability which has some useful links off of it, including how to get the Disney guides:

    http://www.fodors.travel/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=orlando_disney@112&cur_s ection=fea&feature=30016
  • GRIGGSY
    Thanks
    Thank you vivatifosi, I think it is likely we will go in November and I will look up some of your suggestions and advice - especially on the wine festival as my dad enjoys a glass or two.

    Thanks for the advice
    • charlies_mum
    • By charlies_mum 13th Sep 07, 8:59 AM
    • 7,700 Posts
    • 32,622 Thanks
    charlies_mum
    Cash, credit cards or travellers cheques
    We've been to Florida several times and always take the bulk of our money as USD travellers cheques.

    We're going again in a few weeks, and this time I can't decide whether to take USD TCs, or a credit card and a small amount of dollars cash.

    What does everyone else do, and how would I get the best exchange rate - by changing money here, or leaving it until we get there :confused:
  • KarenG
    What does everyone else do, and how would I get the best exchange rate - by changing money here, or leaving it until we get there :confused:
    Originally posted by charlies_mum
    Hi,

    We take a small amount of actual dollars, some US TCs and use our credit card for the rest. Some people just take a CC and a bit of cash, but I like to know exactly what I have spent on basics which is why I like TCs. We use the change from them then for bits and pieces.

    We got back last week and having received our CC statement today, all our purchases were over $2/1

    Definitely don't wait until you get there to exchange your money. You won't get a better rate, but most importantly it's not that easy to find somewhere to do it. You don't want to waste valuable holiday time
  • Mickiengland
    Universal Studios express pass is a bit of a rip off as you get to front of line just once. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned on here before, but last year when I went I worked out that it was as cheap to stay at one of the hotels onsite for 1 night (4 of us in a room).
    You can arrive as early as you like for check in (leave your bags there) and get a front of line pass that gives you unlimited front of line for that day and the next.
    Originally posted by jordylass
    I'd wondered about this myself. We're going to be there in late July/early August next year, so we know its going to be very busy. Does anyone know if this will mean that the express pass will be more expensive? On the Universal Site it seems to suggest that it could be up to $45+ tax. With a family of 5 this'll be $450 for 2 days - so staying over in a hotel would be great value (even if it means leaving our rented villa!). Jordylass, can you please confirm that staying for 1 night gets you 2 days express passes, 2 nights = 3 days? Is it definitely still unlimited rather than the std 1 fastpass per ride?
    • Louisa Jane
    • By Louisa Jane 14th Sep 07, 8:01 AM
    • 668 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    Louisa Jane
    Have you looked at the forums on http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/index.php - if you post your question there I'm sure someone will know !
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    I am thinking of going to Florida in November with my parents as a winter get away to shop and relax etc. and have a few questions.

    1. what is the weather generally like in November as we want somewhere which is warm and will cater for wheelchair users.

    2. Can anyone recommend any place to stay in which is wheelchair friendly - cant do stairs or baths must be a walk in shower.

    3. what is car rental prices like for people carriers etc as need a high up vehicle which can be easily accessed, and these only seem to be people carriers or mini MPV such as a fusion

    4. Is 300 per adult a good price for flights in November?

    5. Apart from Disney what are the other attractions in Florida - especially for older people (70)

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    thanks
    Originally posted by GRIGGSY
    HiYa!!

    I am disabled in a wheelchair also

    (1)Weather in November is lovely...not too hot and not too cold. We generally go around Xmas for 3 weeks but have been most times of year. As long as you miss the holidays over there, its not too busy.

    (2)We always stay in a villa. Many places have disabled adapted villas with walk in showers and just on one floor.

    (3)We always hire a 7 seater mini van which cost about 150 pw and the wheelchair I hire over there fits in there fine. I hire from Randys Mobility Scooter hire 140 for 3 weeks hire and any problems he can get to you within an hour!

    (4)300 is very good, but this depends on whom your travelling with etc. We prefer to go with Atlantic and fly Premium which cost around 575 return, but there are many benefits.

    (5)There are many other attractions and all have disabled access. They are very disabled friendly over there and are very polite and helpful. We love all the parks..disney, seaworld, universals, dinner shows...etc etc.

    HTH

    PP
    xx
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    FEB GC/DIESEL 200/4 WEEKS
    • Froggitt
    • By Froggitt 14th Sep 07, 10:35 AM
    • 5,850 Posts
    • 3,073 Thanks
    Froggitt
    HiYa!!

    I am disabled in a wheelchair also
    Originally posted by Penny-Pincher!!
    That seemed to be as good as a fastpass at both Disney and Universal.
    illegitimi non carborundum
  • KarenG
    I'd wondered about this myself. We're going to be there in late July/early August next year, so we know its going to be very busy. Does anyone know if this will mean that the express pass will be more expensive? On the Universal Site it seems to suggest that it could be up to $45+ tax. With a family of 5 this'll be $450 for 2 days - so staying over in a hotel would be great value (even if it means leaving our rented villa!). Jordylass, can you please confirm that staying for 1 night gets you 2 days express passes, 2 nights = 3 days? Is it definitely still unlimited rather than the std 1 fastpass per ride?
    Originally posted by Mickiengland
    Hi,

    The cheapest onsite (Universal) hotel is the Royal Pacific Resort. Prices there for one night mid August last year (2006) were about $229 per room. I got an AAA rate (If you belong to the AA in the UK this also counts as belonging to the AAA in the US and you can benefit from discounts) which made it even a bit cheaper (though I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel which we found fabulous).

    The Front of the Line Access is definitely for both days if you stay one night.

    I think in the terms and conditions of the FOTL pass at the hotels it states that it's "good for each attraction once per day before 3pm". However this is never enforced, though I guess it might be if it was very busy, it's highly unlikely.

    Some people just pack an overnight bag for their stay, others never even use the hotel room except to check in and get the room keys and return to their villa at night.
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    That seemed to be as good as a fastpass at both Disney and Universal.
    Originally posted by Froggitt
    ......and Seaworld and Busch Gardens, but TBH, I wish I had two good working legs

    I dont go on the big rides, so OH & DD still have to queue and I have to wait for them.

    PP
    xx
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    FEB GC/DIESEL 200/4 WEEKS
  • GRIGGSY
    HiYa!!

    I am disabled in a wheelchair also

    (1)Weather in November is lovely...not too hot and not too cold. We generally go around Xmas for 3 weeks but have been most times of year. As long as you miss the holidays over there, its not too busy.

    (2)We always stay in a villa. Many places have disabled adapted villas with walk in showers and just on one floor.

    (3)We always hire a 7 seater mini van which cost about 150 pw and the wheelchair I hire over there fits in there fine. I hire from Randys Mobility Scooter hire 140 for 3 weeks hire and any problems he can get to you within an hour!

    (4)300 is very good, but this depends on whom your travelling with etc. We prefer to go with Atlantic and fly Premium which cost around 575 return, but there are many benefits.

    (5)There are many other attractions and all have disabled access. They are very disabled friendly over there and are very polite and helpful. We love all the parks..disney, seaworld, universals, dinner shows...etc etc.

    HTH

    PP
    xx
    Originally posted by Penny-Pincher!!
    Thankyou for your help with this, I really appreciate it.
    • atro1
    • By atro1 15th Sep 07, 5:30 PM
    • 1,451 Posts
    • 887 Thanks
    atro1
    That seemed to be as good as a fastpass at both Disney and Universal.
    Originally posted by Froggitt
    Not sure but I do not think that is very P.C.!
    Its certainly unpleasant! And very well answered by Penny-Pincher.

    'TBH I wish I had two good working legs!!' Says it all really!

    I am sure no offence was meant by Froggitt
    Be ALERT - The world needs more LERTS
    • Froggitt
    • By Froggitt 15th Sep 07, 6:13 PM
    • 5,850 Posts
    • 3,073 Thanks
    Froggitt
    Apologies if any offence was taken.
    illegitimi non carborundum
    • toshkininny
    • By toshkininny 16th Sep 07, 10:15 AM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 624 Thanks
    toshkininny
    hi everyone

    we are looking into booking a walt disney world hotel and am not sure where would be the cheapest deal we could get to stay at one of the deluxe resorts like the Polynesian. where has anyone booked with to stay at one of the disney hotels? are there good sites on the internet? or is it best to book direct?

    thanks Karfy xxxxx
    Originally posted by Karfy
    hello, did you ever get an answer to this one, Karfy? I want to start saving now for a couple of years time so we can really treat ourselves and stay at the Polynesian. So - like you - want to find the cheapest way to book it. I know you posted this ages ago, but still might be relevant! Thanks
  • KarenG
    hello, did you ever get an answer to this one, Karfy? I want to start saving now for a couple of years time so we can really treat ourselves and stay at the Polynesian. So - like you - want to find the cheapest way to book it. I know you posted this ages ago, but still might be relevant! Thanks
    Originally posted by toshkininny

    Hello

    First, there are no "cheap" rooms at the Poly any more unfortunately. When the travel market was soft after 9/11 there were some really deep discounts but the only ones I can think of these days are to get an Annual Pass (AP) for the Disney parks. You may or may not get a discount on a room rate with an AP, depending on what time of year you are going, how many rooms Disney have got to fill etc, and availability. The maximum discount is not likely to be more than 20-25% off rack rate.

    The other discount is to get an AAA rate. The AAA is equivalent to our AA so if you belong to the AA you can benefit from AAA discounts. The discount varies but may be 10-15% off the rack rate.

    For both these options you would need to book direct with Disney (US). Disney UK won't be able to do it. You won't be able to do this as part of a package deal, either.

    At the Poly there are different types of room, depending on the view. None are cheap but some are cheaper than others.

    Alternatively, consider using your Tesco Clubcard vouchers for a Virgin Holidays brochure deal. Normally I wouldn't do this as it is way more expensive than booking yourself, but I had so many Clubcards it was worth it. To reduce the price further I am staying at the Poly for the last 5 nights of our holiday only (I couldn't afford it for 17 nights!) which I figure will make us appreciate and enjoy the resort more as we will have done a lot in the parks by then. To be honest if you are first time visitors you won't be spending much time in your room anyway.

    I have never found any of the hotel discount websites to have the deluxes or mods (very rarely the values) at any sort of discounted rate, unfortunately.

    What a lot of waffle, sorry about that
    Last edited by KarenG; 16-09-2007 at 7:28 PM.
    • toshkininny
    • By toshkininny 16th Sep 07, 7:51 PM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 624 Thanks
    toshkininny
    KarenG, no you are not waffling, (I read every word, honest!)

    That's really helpful, thanks. Obviously I've got a bit of time to think about my options.

    I was thinking of going down the Tesco vouchers route, but wasn't sure whether I'd get a good price because if I have to phone Virgin when booking - according to the Tesco t and c's - I may miss out on a good deal on the Virgin internet website.

    Does it work out cheaper buying flights and hotel separately, or best to stick to a package?
    • chrissiewants2save
    • By chrissiewants2save 17th Sep 07, 3:19 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    chrissiewants2save
    have you heard of?
    I've just been given a quote by
    www.destinationamerica.co.uk
    I got this name from one of these forums. A good quote and it does not seem to be 'way to good' .

    Has anyone got any experience of them? How can I check that they are the real thing- without using credit card and paying a hefty 2%. There are no ABTA or ATOL numbers quoted.

    Thanks
    Chrissie



    Must save time as well as money!
  • KarenG
    I was thinking of going down the Tesco vouchers route, but wasn't sure whether I'd get a good price because if I have to phone Virgin when booking - according to the Tesco t and c's - I may miss out on a good deal on the Virgin internet website.

    Does it work out cheaper buying flights and hotel separately, or best to stick to a package?
    Originally posted by toshkininny
    Well, that's a bit of a "how long's a piece of string? question" LOL.

    You're absolutely right that you might miss out on a better deal if you book over the phone rather than online. You won't get the online discount for a start (5%) and Virgin Hols sometimes do a 10% discount weekend. So, guaranteed you won't get either of those if you book on the phone (you're right, you do have to do this).


    However, I would argue that 5% or even 10% is not that great of a discount, so it may be worthwhile to forgo it.

    How many Tesco vouchers will you have do you think and how much do you reckon your holiday will cost through Virgin Hols? If you have say £200 of Tesco Deals and your holiday is going to cost £4,000 then those £200 Deals Vouchers don't look so exciting any more. If you have £2,000 of deals and the holiday's only £2,500, well that's a different story

    As to booking it yourself as opposed to doing it as a package, whether through Virgin or otherwise, again it can vary. I have booked it myself several times and saved quite a lot of money (used Expedia or the like for flights and then accommodation direct wih Disney with an Annual Pass rate, and other accommodation with the various hotel websites always mentioned on here. Villas I like to book direct with an owner so I know exactly where they are and what facilities it has). However you should always search pckage deals too as a point of comparison, and also because occasionally they are cheaper than flight only / fly drive. You can then just not use the hotel that comes with the package if you don't fancy it.

    The absolute best way to do it if you have the nerve (and I don't,I am a chicken) is to snag last minute flights and accommodation. You may need to be slightly flexible then though.

    ETA: Just realised I never said that the Polynesian is a great choice
    Last edited by KarenG; 17-09-2007 at 7:34 PM.
    • Jays
    • By Jays 17th Sep 07, 10:56 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    Jays
    Hi

    We are trying to book Florida and the parks for the October Half Term, last minute (cos we aren't organised!).

    Would like to go the weekend of 20 October to 27 October 2007, but can't find anyone offering 7 night holidays.

    Anyone have any advice please?

    Thanks
    Jays
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