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eeyorefanuk
10-20-2009, 02:12 AM
I am starting to worry that we have took too much on for our first orlando trip by booking it DIY (it did save us a fortune though).

We were going to get transfers from Sanford Airport and hire a car in the middle of the holiday but when looked at prices we decided to hire a car for the three weeks from Sanford Airport.

1. Is it easy to drive from sanford to saratoga springs - (alot of straight roads rather than lots of turn left at the roundabout :lmao:).

2. When we return, how will we know if our plane is on time before we travel to the airport? We will not be taking any laptops etc.

3. We normally go to cyprus as a package deal, so for example if we need to speak to a rep we can do (to be honest do not use much at all) - but if something cropped up, would we have access to a tel no for advice? (booked flights with FC and hote direct with disney).

Thanks for all your help .... please no one say I should have booked as a package else I might cry :lmao::lmao:

orangetiggs
10-20-2009, 02:19 AM
no rep as not booked as a package

I think in all my years of going to florida I have only ever seen one roundabout and that is on a shopping omplex so mostly striaght roads and disney will be sign posted.

you will have to travel to airport in plenty of time to check your bags in just like you do here so you wont need to worry about if its on time or not

mitchfishguard
10-20-2009, 02:25 AM
i insist you stop panicking!!!!!!!!!!!! when you pick your car up, speak to the agent about your anxiety. someone will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. i always do diy. you are going to have a wonderful time with no stress whatsoever and all fun. if anybody says you should have done a package , then they are entitled to their opinion. you dont need reps to deal with you on holiday. you can speak to members of staff wherever you are from hotels or any guest relations at a park. obviously if youve booked a holiday, then the reps are there for you, but speak to a rep even if youve only booked flights with them. i do. id say florida is a far better place to get help than anywhere in the uk! you are going to love your holiday. let us know how you get on

bazzanoid
10-20-2009, 04:05 AM
There's a brilliant driving guide here (http://www.kissimmee-us192.com/british/driving.htm).

It's a fairly simply drive, signs are available or you can hire a sat nav. Sanford is a quiet airport so no chance of getting lost!

There's a real-time departures board online here (http://www.orlandosanfordairport.com/fids.asp?Display=Departures), but regardless of the plane time you still need to check in as appropriate, normally closes about 90 minutes before scheduled, not actual departure - but check with your airline to be sure.

Hope that helps!

igk
10-20-2009, 04:07 AM
Relax - you'll be fine.
As for reps and getting advice, you can still do that, but it just won't be one person for everything.
If you have a question about your flights, you can call the airline.
While you're at WDW then all the CMs will be there to help, and any questions about the car, ask the car rental company. At SSR they'll be able to help you with pretty much anything anyway, and from my experience with package tour reps (without intending to offend anyone), it can be hit and miss as to whether the one you get really knows all that much (though many are very good of course).
You'll have travel insurance, so if you have any medical issues, you can call them.

penlanspice
10-20-2009, 08:39 AM
Firstly just remember your going on a holiday of a life time and try not to stress about anything.

Make sure you've got directions from the airport once you get on the 417 it's pretty much straight to Disney.
Driving is much easier than here and everywhere is in a straight line, my DH was dreading driving in the US and once he got in the car it all melted away. Remember you can turn left at traffic lights when their on red otherwise you'll have people behind you beeping!! lol.

If you've got any issues as previous posters have said just ask a CM at SSR, they can point you in the right direction for pretty much anything.

Have a great trip :goodvibes

bazzanoid
10-20-2009, 08:52 AM
Useful driving route with pics so you know what to look for (and expect) here:

http://www.kissimmee-us192.com/british/sfb_via417.html

bazzanoid
10-20-2009, 08:54 AM
Remember you can turn left at traffic lights when their on red otherwise you'll have people behind you beeping!! lol.

right, not left :thumbsup2.

Also if there's a red filter light "->" or a 'no right on red' sign then it's a no-go, otherwise drive on with caution - you still have to give way to oncoming traffic from the left and opposite you.

Beep
10-23-2009, 02:13 PM
Hey, don't worry!

We have done packages and DIY to Orlando and would do DIY every time. As others have said there are people on hand everywhere to help with every aspect.

The last time we were there I think we had a number to call the airline the day before to check on the time, and even though it was at the scheduled time we were still delayed a little at Sanford. Just check in as you would normally for a flight.

The first time I landed at Sanford I drove out of the airport, turned right and headed for the I-4. I know a lot of the advice is not to drive on the Interstates unless you have driven before but TBH, I found that easier than the next time following the signs for the 417 and making sure I was in the right lane. The only thing I found I needed to do was make sure I wasn't in the filter lane to come off the I-4 until I needed to.

I found it really easy as people will come past you in either lane if they want to get past and didn't feel stressed at all.

Try not to worry, but I know it is easier said than done. You will have a great time :goodvibes

Shazzie B
10-25-2009, 05:00 AM
Beginning to see why you're an Eeyore fan:goodvibes

Don't panic you'll be fine. Drive from Sanford is OK, hire car pick-up there is well organised & quick. May be best to use 417 if you're worried about the driving - toll road, but quieter (Last toll may not be manned so have some change - use notes an earlier tolls-they'll give you change). I4 is Ok if you're used to motorway driving. Both well sign-posted for Disney - which exit for which resort area etc.

Even when booked a package never been given info re return flights (like they do on European package hols-notice board etc) so don't worry about that-your car will be due back anyway. Sanford airport is fairly small - which has it's advantages, and is well organised. Dis-advantages - not an awful lot to do whilst waiting for flight and only one 'fast-food' type outlet. If an evening flight we make sure we have a decent lunch before going to the airport.

You won't need a rep at a Disney hotel, just speak to reception if you need anything. All parks and Downtown Disney have a customer service desk too if you need them at all. They are fantastic in an emergency - unfortunately personal friends have had experience of this - without going into detail Disney staff were fantastic and really eased their situation.

Not wishing to be rude to Virgin staff; but on our 1st trip when we went to their 'welcome' meeting we didn't learn anything we didn't know- they just showed us Videos of the parks and tried to sell tickets (which we'd already bought anyway). I'm sure you're prepared more by reading these boards.

You'll have a great time:hug:

eeyorefanuk
10-25-2009, 05:02 AM
Beginning to see why you're an Eeyore fan:goodvibes

You'll have a great time:hug:


:lmao::lmao::lmao: Never thought of it like that ! Now I can see why I love eeyore so much :lmao::lmao: I am such a worry pop and worry about everything - nightmare :goodvibes

higgy66
10-25-2009, 05:39 AM
We went VH this year but to be honest I still used the staff at the resort to deal with queries I had.

We needed medical attentipon for my daughter and the staff sorted it all out and the resort even paid for our taxi.

I spoke to 1 member of VH staff at the airport on our arrival who told us if we did downtown check in we needed to see the VH rep on site to let them know so they would delay our transfer back to the airport. 10 days later we had to sit and wait 40 mins to speak to our rep in the resort who then told us we didn't see them we should have phoned Mears to rearrange. They could see we were not amused so they said they would phone for us! No offense but some reps are not worth the extra for a package!

tinks_1989
10-25-2009, 12:51 PM
3 weeks you got plenty of time lol me and DF only go for a week and manage to have a brilliant time dont worry about a rep disney CM are so much help

bazzanoid
10-26-2009, 04:39 AM
Just noticed you're going for 3 weeks - you'll have tons of time, and may well find that you have time to explore the 'dark side' of orlando - Universal & Seaworld :teeth:

Alternatives to the theme parks include a drive to the beach (approx 2 hours to the nearest) or down to Busch Gardens in Tampa (approx 90mins), a stroll around the Florida Mall or Mall at Millennia, and loads loads more.