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Frequently Asked Questions

About visiting Orlando & Florida

Frequently Asked Questions section about visiting Orlando on vacation. If you cannot find the answer to your question here then please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Questions

  1. Is a visa required to visit the USA?
  2. Do we need to rent a car?
  3. Where are the nearest grocery stores?
  4. Where are the nearest restaurants?
  5. What is the weather like in Orlando?
  6. Can you recommend any good websites for flights and car rental?
  7. Where is the best place to purchase tickets to the attractions?

Answers

  1. Is a visa required to visit the USA?
    A visa is not normally required for citizens of most EU countries or Australia and New Zealand, however, the United States government frequently reviews and updates the entry requirements. To check that you and your party all meet the current criteria and have the correct passports please visit the web site of the US Department of State. If your are eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) then you will need to complete an ESTA application prior to travelling to the USA, this replaces the previous I-94W green form which you may have completed on previous visits.
    The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is mandatory for VWP travelers. ESTA is a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States but no later than 72 hours prior departure.
    US Customs and Border Protection apply a charge of $14 per application for an electronic travel authority through the ESTA system. Once granted, an ESTA authority is valid for 2 years (or less if the passport expires during this period).
    Please only make your application through the offical ESTA website as there are several scam websites offering to complete your application for a fee which should avoided.
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  3. Do we need to rent a car?
    We recommend that you do rent a car as you'll find it difficult without one and taxis will be very expensive, its ¾mile from our villa to the front entrance of Hampton Lakes so walking is not really an option, and the area is not served by any public transportation. We usually book our rental car with Dollar directly. But you can also try through NetFlights.com or Car Hire Direct both sites will search and compare car hire suppliers and find the best deal for car rental at Orlando airport. Not all of the daily rental of companies have on-airport pick up at Orlando International, however Dollar, Avis, Thrifty and National do and this can be more convenient than going off airport especially when returning the car. It is always better to pre-book your car as you will get better rates, also ensure you to take the option of pre-purchasing all the insurances (i.e. LDW, UMP, SLI etc) as the list of additional charges on rentals in Florida can add up to a large and unexpected amount if you don't. Fly/drive packages that include 'free' car rental often don't include these charges making them far from free!
    If you have children of 5 years of age or younger the use of child safety seats is compulsory and the car rental company may not release the car to you without having the appropriate seats for your children fitted. The rental charges for these seats can range from $10 to $15 per day so may wish to consider bringing your own seats. Please visit the Florida Highway Patrol web site for further information.
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  5. Where are the nearest grocery stores?
    A Publix grocery store is just 1 mile north at Berry Town Center on US-27, and is open everyday from 8am to 10pm. A Wal-Mart Super center is located a further 4 miles north on US-27, and is open 24 hours a day and stocks everything from milk to car tires.
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  7. Where are the nearest restaurants?
    Please check our Dining & entertainment page which has lots of information and links dedicated to the huge range of eating opportunities in Orlando.
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  9. What is the weather like in Orlando?
    Orlando is in a sub-tropical zone and has all-year round sunshine. January is the coldest month in Orlando, if you consider a low of 10°C (50°F) and a high around 22°C (72°F) cold. July and August are very hot and humid, with highs around 33°C (91°F), 95% humidity and frequent but short afternoon downpours.

    Average climate data for Orlando
    Month Low temp °C/°F High temp °C/°F Sunshine hours Rainfall mm/in
    Jan 9/48 22/72 8 62/2.4
    Feb 10/50 23/73 8 60/2.3
    Mar 13/55 26/79 9 89/3.5
    Apr 15/59 28/82 9 68/2.7
    May 19/66 31/88 9 97/3.8
    Jun 22/72 33/91 9 178/7.0
    Jul 23/73 33/91 9 189/7.4
    Aug 23/73 33/91 8 157/6.2
    Sep 22/72 32/90 7 154/6.0
    Oct 19/66 29/84 7 70/2.7
    Nov 14/57 26/79 7 67/2.3
    Dec 11/52 23/73 7 50/1.9

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  11. Can you recommend any good web sites for flights and car rental?
    A good UK based web site to visit is NetFlights.com as it will check all the airline and car rental companies for the best rates. You will usually find that the cheapest flights from the UK and Europe are non-direct ones with a US carrier (i.e. via another airport in the USA). However, this option can add considerably to your journey time especially if the connecting flight is delayed or you miss it. Only British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct scheduled flights from the UK, with in our opinion Virgin offering the better service.
    If you traveling from the UK another option is fly into Sanford airport, as it is used by many of the budget airlines who offer some very good fares. The downside to doing this is that Sanford airport is about 75 minutes from the villa, but Orlando International is just 35 minutes away.
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  13. Where is the best place to purchase tickets to the attractions?
    You can of course wait until you arrive and buy your tickets at the parks, but you will probably get a better deal by purchasing them ahead of time, and there are many licensed ticket agents on the internet. If you are visitor from the UK then there are special ticket packages available, and a good website to visit is AttractionTix as they offer 7, 14 or 21 day Walt Disney World Resort passes. These give you unlimited access to all the main parks plus the water parks, Pleasure Island, Disney Quest etc. and are very good value. They also have ticket packages for the other parks in Orlando.
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