There is so much to consider when planning your Florida holiday as most things you read may be subjective or opinions biased.
Talking of biased, the following Tips are based on our own findings from services and products we've used or bought during our many visits to Florida and we usually
learn something new each time we go. Feel free to use the tips as part of your planning process but please forgive us if things have changed since we last used any
of the services or products described below.
When booking flights you need to consider whether you wish to travel on a scheduled flight or a charter flight.
The scheduled flights we choose are normally BA.COM or virgin-atlantic.com and they fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) or Tampa International Airport (TPA),
Tampa is worth considering as you can often get a better price! If your dates are slightly flexible then you might also consider travelling mid-week which again often
gives you a better deal.
Charter flights fly into Sanford International Airport (SFB) and these are great for last minute deals as well as sometimes offering a better child discount than
You might also consider travelling indirect if you are happy to do so to get some great deals and using a flight search engine would be the best way of finding these!
Esta - Electronic System for Travel Authorization
The ESTA has replaced the old filling out of the green I-94W form on the plane.
Each member of your party is required to obtain an ESTA travel authorisation at a cost of $14 per person prior to travel.
The online system at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ will tell you in
advance whether you're eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Please note they will only accept the following credit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club)
If you have a non US disabled badge and are planning to use it in Florida then please note that you may still get a $250 ticket.
The Disney Parks are pretty good and will normally allow the use of a non US Disabled Tag but it can be a completely different matter at any other marked disabled bays
at Supermarkets and Malls etc.
Save yourself some stress and spend $15 on a temporary permit. Send an email to one of the addresses below with your travel dates, the name and address of the person
with the disabled entitlement along with scanned copies of their passport and both sides of their blue badge.
Once the application has been processed you will get an emailed response asking you to call a number to make the $15 payment plus a $2 processing fee if paying by credit
The disabled tags are valid for 90 days from the date of issue. If you've applied well in advance of your trip then you will receive a confirmation email stating when
your tag will be processed and sent out. The dispatch date will correspond with your arrival date in Florida and will normally take 5-8 days to arrive by mail.
If you would prefer to do this state side then you can do it at one of the 4 Osceola Tax
offices or at one of the 8 Orange County Tax offices. Please note that parking
charges may still be applicable.
Whilst Airlines state that your passport should be valid for 6 months beyond date of departure from the US, it isn't required when travelling from the UK.
The US has an agreement with the UK and many other countries to automatically extend the validity of a passport for six months past the passport's expiration date. This
therefore means your passport only needs to be valid for the duration of your stay.
Please check with the Department of State's website to see if your
country of residence has the same six month validity period agreement.
Mobility Scooters and Wheel Chairs
If you're going to be hiring a mobility scooter or wheel chair at the parks then it may be worth hiring one for the duration of your stay. There are specialised hire
companies like Sun Mobility that offer chairs and scooters at reasonable rates but come with
the added bonus of being able to use them outside of the parks as well.
Book in advance and they will deliver to the Villa on a date of your choosing and collect it when you're finished.
Please note that when hiring a scooter you will need to make sure the vehicle you hire is big enough to transport it. The scooters can be dismantled to fit into smaller
trunks but you will need at least 1 strong able bodied person to lift and assemble a dismantled scooter and 2 strong able bodied people to lift a fully assembled one.
We did the dismantle option with a Ford Escape which is a mid sized SUV. It was a little cumbersome and only just fitted into the trunk but was well worth the time spent.
Travelling to Florida and holidaying with Mickey Mouse will be unlike any holiday experience you've ever had and would recommend that you make sure nothing spoils this
by making sure you and your family are adequately insured for anything that may be beyond your control.
For further information feel free to contact the owners Linda & Robert using one of the following options: