Helpful Vacation Hints
Organization is the key to enjoying your holiday in Orlando. Plan your entire holiday at the start using a vacation planner. Try to avoid two busy days in a row or a late night followed by a busy day.
Take a break. In the summer months, all the parks feature extended hours. Try to get there early, leave in the afternoon and relax at the pol, then return in the evening when it's cooler. Remember to have your hand stamped for re-entry before you leave the park. This stamp is invisible and will not wash off in the pool.
Start at the back. It is a good idea to walk to the furthest point from the entrance and work your way back to avaoid the lines. Most people jump onto the first attraction they see and work their way back, so do the reverse and you'll spend the day working against the crowd and enjoy much less time standing in line.
Best days to attend. Waiting times are generally shortest on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Remember, Disney has early opening times for those people staying on Disney property only, so it is best to avoid those parks on certain days. Early opening days are as follows:
Photos. To get the best photo shots while you are at the park, look out for the "photo points" and you've got a brilliant picture. Also remember to carry spare film, an extra camera card and additional batteries; you always take more photos than you intend and prices for these items are higher at the parks.
Weather. Hats and sunglasses are a must on sunny days, for adults as well as children. Also, remember to take suntan lotion and cover up as you can burn easily while just walking around, even on cloudy days. Plastic ponchos are recommended for summer afternoon showers. These can be purchased at all the parks.
Eating Out. Many theme parks have a choice of stylish, waiter-service restaurants as well as a multitude of fast food outlets. If you plan to eat in a restaurant, do remember to make a reservation at the customer service "Guest Relations" center as you enter the park.
Parking lots. Car parks at the theme parks are enormous. Make sure you make a note of where your car is parked or you will have to wait until everybody leaves to find it!!!
Driving Dictionary (British / American)
It is the law in America to carry your driver's license at all times. Also, you must carry your car rental papers and insurance in the car.
Petrol stations are gas stations in the States. Most cars use unleaded petrol. Check before refueling.
Do adhere to the speed limit as the police are very strict in America and use radar to trap speedsters. Speed limits range from 15 mph in school zones up to 70 mph on the motorway (freeway). Speeding fines are stiff and are doubled in construction zones. You must pay your fine before you return home. If you don't, an arrest warrant will be issued and if you are stopped on your next trip, you will be arrested.
School Buses: On a 2 way street, cars traveling in both directions must stop for a stationary school bus with flashing red lights. Remain stopped until the bus moves off. This does not apply if you are driving in the opposite direction to the bus on a dual carriageway, but to pass the bus there MUST be a "5 ft wide physical barrier" in the middle of the road. IF IN DOUBT DON'T PASS. If you are driving in the same direction as the bus, you must always stop.
Children aged 3 and under must be in a car seat, 4 and 5 year olds in a car seat or seat belt and front seat passengers must wear a seat belt. The driver will be held responsible if this is not adhered to.
You may turn right on red at traffic lights unless otherwise stated. When you see a STOP sign you must come to a complete stop and look both ways before proceeding.
You are required by law to have your lights on when it is raing or foggy and from sunset to sunrise.
Drinking and driving laws are stricter in America than in the U.K. It is against the law to have an open container of alcohol in your car and the police can and will arrest you for that offense. A police officer in the State of Florida can arrest you on suspicion of intoxication.
Lane discipline is very relaxed. Although slow traffic should keep to the right, speed bears little relation to lane. Overtaking on the inside is common practice, so watch out for cars on either side.
Do not use the courtesy you use in the U.K such as waving somebody on. It is against the law and can cause accidents. American drivers will not allow you to cut in. The rule of thumb when driving is to stay in lane and always indicate when changing lanes. Do not cut out of a left turn only lane.
Street signs are small and suspended on wires. The street sign facing you at a junction is the name of the road you are crossing -- not the one you are on.
Orlando also offers a bus system that is a great way of getting around town. Lynx transportation is a bus system that serves all of Orlando. Lynx has bus station stops that are easy to spot all around town, as they have a Lynx paw in place of the commonly used bus stop sign flags.
Lynx customer service route information call centre is open seven days a week. Call Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Weekend hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Call 407-841-5969.
The call centre is closed New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
For customers with hearing impairments, you may use the TDD as 407-423-0787. They will be glad to assist you.
Another option for getting around the International Drive area is the I'Ride Trolley. This trolley service runs from 8:00 am to 10:30 pm and takes guest to hundreds of destinations throughout the International Drive area.
Children under the age of 12 ride free. Multiple day passes are available as well. Exact cash and change are required to pay the fare.
Using the Phone
A telephone or a number of telephones are provided in all the houses and these can usually be found in the kitchen and living rooms. All local calls are free including those to Blue Ribbon Management. If you are away from the house and wish to contact us, please call 1-866-394-2583.
In the U.S., all states and areas have area codes. The area code for Kissimmee is 407, Clermont is 352 and Davenport is 863. All phone numbers have a three digit prefix and a seven digit number. For example, if you are in a 941 area code and you want to call Kissimmee which is in the 407 area code and therefore a long distance call, you dial 1-407 followed by the 7 digit number.
When phoning the U.K., remember that you are 5 hours behind the U.K. We strongly recomment you use an international phone card, which is much easier and cheaper than using coins or a credit card. International phone cards are prepaid and have a personal access number, which allows you to use them from your phone. Calling cards can be purchased from most supermarkets.
To make an international call, you would dial 011 followed by the country code. For the U.K. it is 011 + 44 followed by your local code minus the first 0, then your number.
In America a toll free number is a "free phone" and they are 800, 888, 866 and 877. All calls that start with 1-900 are the expensive ones and should be avoided. Local calls from any pay phone cost 35 cents.
There are numerous restaurants in the vicinity, which cater for a wide variety of tastes and cultures. The concept of "all you can eat!" was invented here. Portions are much bigger than in most countries and meals are surprisingly inexpensive. Whenever you eat, don't be surprised if your waiter offers to "box" the food you couldn't finish. Doggy bags or boxes are the norm.
Check out restaurant specials and make your holiday budget go even further. Some restaurants offer senior specials for the over 55's and the others offer kids eat free with paying adults. If you dine between 4:00 and 6:00 pm, you may be able to get the early bird specials.
It is customary in the U.S. to tip for most services. In fact, wages are based on a high level of tipping, so you will find gratutities are expected, although they are sometimes automatically added and other times optional. When dining out, check the bottom of the bill and if it states "service, tip or gratuity included," there is no need to leave a further tip.
Banks are usually open from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm and closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Most American banks have drive-thru and these are open until 6:00 pm. All banks have cash dispensers (ATM's) and you can get a cash advance with your credit card and pin number.
If you do not have your pin number, most banks accept credit cards for cash advances but require authorization from your bank in the U.K. and may charge a fee for the service.
If you lose or have your cards stolen, please call one of the numbers listed below:
DOLLAR TRAVELERS CHECKS are accepted as readily as cash, although not always in large denominations in most shops, restaurants and supermarkets. They can be used as payment instead of cash and you will be given change. You may be asked to show some form of identification when cashing travelers checks.
If you are unfortunate enough to need emergency treatment as a result of accident or illness, please telephone 911 (the equivalent of 999 in the U.K.).
If you have a medical problem, which is not an emergency, go to the local walk-in clinic. You should always contact your insurance company first as they will give you advice and direct you to the appropriate medical center. If your treatment is minor, you may be expected to pay at the time of treatment and claim directly from insurers when you return to the U.K.
For the closest location to your home, please check the map. It may be worth getting advice from the local pharmacist first! (The service is free!)
Postcards / Letters
Stamp machines are expensive so it is a good idea to avoid them and buy books of stamps at mini markets or the at the local post office. There is a post office on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. Check out current airmail rates before posting.
There are post offices located at:
1415 Oak Street in Kissimmee
601 Market Street in Celebration
Next to the Winn Dixie supermarket in Clermont
Call 1-800-222-1811 for more details.
Helpful Phone Numbers