If you live in 'South Jersey', the best way to get to Orlando is to fly Spirit from the Atlantic City airport. Parking is only $3.00 a day and Spirit has direct flights that take about two hours.
Rent a car from Avis. They have an airport location. Or you can take a shuttle to Alamo. We've also used Hertz and they are fine too.
Usually by plane, I flew direct by Virgin Atlantic and they were great. The flight back was rough and what really put me off were the people praying as we had to be strapped in our seats for 3 hours due to a strong tail wind. I am a nervous flyer at the best of times but this was awful.
One saving feature of this horrid journey was the ease of getting here. Return flight to Orlando International from Newark International with hotel and airport transfers was $289.00 for 4 days, 3 nights. If you must visit, look for one of those hotel/air/transfers deals-it will save you a lot of money so you can afford the $7 peanut butter sandwich in Disneyworld (not kidding).
We flew from Gatwick Airport into Orlando International Airport, the flight took approximately eight long mind numbing hours. Having said that though, the flight was made a lot easier to stand by Virgin Atlantics superb staff. On arrival we picked up our pre-booked hire car which didn`t take too long once we had filled some forms out, and drove to our house.
Taxis and Buses are available, some hotels offer free buses to some of the attractions. However a hire car is almost certainly a must to give you the freedom to come and go as you please.
Orlando's quickly growing International Airport is wonderful. I love it a lot. There is a big hotel right dab in the middle of it, and there are lots of good shops and food joints inside. It's really wide open inside, and isn't normally very crowded. The airport is right on the major crossroads of the Orlando area, and you can quickly get to any hotel, amusement park, or city from right outside the gates.
Orlando has probably some of the worst public transport options in the world! Lately, the city has turned down the projects of light rail systems, a metro line, trams, you name it, they don't want it. There are buses in the major vicinity and are all linked to the LYNX bus system. There are also taxis, but if you don't have a car, better take the bus.
Fly into the Orlando International Airport - this is a beautiful airport which is very easy to understand and get around in.
Orlando is really spread out - taxis are rather expensive, I would suggest renting a car. If you are at one of the Disney Resorts they do offer transportation to the parks which makes it really convenient.
If you (like me) are coming from Asia, the SHORTEST route to take to reach Orlando in Florida is to fly via Europe and New York. I chose to break my journey in Amsterdam, Holland. You'd save at least 5 hours of flying time. All in all, including transit time, it took us 30 hours to reach Orlando! By the time we arrived, it was 8PM.
** If you choose to travel via the Pacific route i.e. from Asia to Los Angeles and then to Orlando... the flight time would have been much longer (incl. of transit time). Yes, unbelievable.
Anyhow, none of us felt tired.... maybe because of the excitement of being in this city! We dumped our luggages and within 10 minutes, we were out of our hotel and checking the whole area out. :-)
Oh by the way, I am VERY impressed with the Orlando International Airport. When I first arrived, I thought I'd landed in some Amazon Rainforest or something. It's soooo cool and soooo jungle-like. I love it!
Photo below: MCO (that's the Orlando Airport code) Airport.
If you stay in one of the many Walt Disney theme park hotels, you have absolutely no worries. There are FREE shuttle services that runs every 5 minutes to ALL the major theme parks here in Orlando. It's ALWAYS crowded in summer.... so, be prepared to jostle!!
From the UK there used to be only one way to fly and that was with Virgin Atlantic..however we feel that Virgin have mucked people who chose to fly from Manchester once too often, using substitute Charter Airlines and inferior older aircraft (B747-200's)..so we have decided to fly with British Airways again but on their London to Tampa route ( on a New Boeing 777), the flight was excellent and the 777 much better than the Boeing 747-200 they used to use as the last time we flew with BA was in 1997 and it was one of the worst Flight experiences we ever had, the staff wern't very accomadating, the food was dreadful, in flight movie shown on a torn screen, seats designed for a sardine packers outing, and thrown in for good measure they destroyed our case and belongings on the return journey, it took nearly 4 months to sort out and then we wern't properly compensated... but because Virgin Atlantic treat their Manchester passengers as inferior travellers we have decided to try the New look British Airways complete with cheap flights on the Manchester shuttle in their Club European seats to and from Gatwick....now we aim to try Delta Airlines with a flight from Machester to Atlanta.....I will report on that here in March 2003
Do not believe all the hype that you need to have a hire car if you are staying on the Internatinal drive area then you most definitely DONT..the 'I' Ride bus travels from Sea World to Beltz Factory Outlet ( the Whole Length of Internatinal Drive) they are every few minutes from around 0700 - 2300 7 days a week or 24/7 as they say in the USA) buy a 7 day pass which allows unlimited travel on I ride its very good and very cheap way of getting around, all the Major attractions such as Disney and Universal studions are served by other transportation companies which usally call at your hotel or very close by....see your holiday rep or guest services for more details about costs...Virgin do special deals for their clients on transportation ..
Most people from overseas will fly. Whether you opt to fly directly to Orlando International, one of the most impressive airports in North America, or whether you hire a car on arrival somewhere else and drive down, getting there is pretty painless. A few airlines that fly directly to Orlando from Europe include:
Rent (hire) a car. That's really the only choice. Buses, while they do exist, do not run very frequently. Fortunately, renting a car in Florida is a relatively cheap proposition. The cheapest rental car rates in the country are there and in Hawaii.
Every time I visited Florida I was visiting friends so they always provided the transportation. The Orlando airport is one of the largest in the country and worth arriving early to do last minute shopping.
If you're not getting there by RV or the family station wagon/mini-van you'll be unfortunate enough to experience the hell that I call the Orlando International Airport (aka MCO). First of all, how the heck do they get the cod MCO from Orlando International Airport? I'm sure there's a good explination for this somewhere but I can't be bothered to find it right now.
Did you know that they haven't sold gum at MCO for 10 years now? The lady at the news stand expected that I knew of that history as she told me and promptly walked away. There's just something about this airport that oozes lack of orginization and bad service. If you do have to travel through MCO I suggest you get in and get out quickly. There's not much to do here to kill time while waiting for a flight and when you do find something to do you'll most likely experience the bad service. Good luck.
Although public transport in Orlando is provided by the local transportation authority, I find it necessary to rent a car for the duration of your stay. It will also be comfortable if shopping is part of your itinerary. It will be easy for you to move between shopping malls, boutiques, as well as the flea markets.
If you have never been through Orlando International Airport, this blurb might interest you.
When you get off the plane and follow the signs toward Baggage Claim, you will board a monorail and take a short ride to the Main Terminal. Make sure you are standing steady and help your young ones stand steady as well, as it is a bit lurchy of a ride.
Once you exit the tram in the Main Terminal, you will enter into a large open lobby. On the walls are neat photo opp backgrounds advertising Walt Disney World. The major Orlando attractions have theme park gift shops in the lobby, and a food court is nearby. For the exact listing of restaurants visit the Orlando International Website. For currency exchange for international arrivals, you'll see the TravelEx currency exchange desk in the lobby.
The airport also houses one of the Hyatt hotels in town, so while walking through the lobby you'll be looking up at hotel room windows.
You'll be taking an escalator down to the Baggage Claim area. Once you have your mountain of luggage together off the baggage claim belts, you'll go down another level or two to go to the transportation area. Large elevators are available to take to the ground transportation area because I'm sure you'd be unhappy watching your mountain of luggage falling down the escalators to those levels. The ground transportation area is well marked, especially if you are taking Disney transportation. Happy travels.
You might want to be a bit choosy about the airline you select when flying from the UK. It's a long long way.
It never seems as bad going but on our return flight last year it was very uncomfortable - bordering on downright painful.
In future I'm going to be a lot more selective about the seat pitch. It may cost a few pounds more but since you spend the best part of 2 days of your "holiday" on the plane you need to make it a serious consideration - unless you're all under 5 foot!
There is hightend security at the airport at Orlando, what i know of, after the terrorist attack. I went with my family in April 2000, We are not coccession, we are from the South Asia. We were stopped once in security.
Once on the first level, to check my mother's passport, they asked my mother a few questions, aswell as my father, Both parents hold British Passports.
Please dont be offended, they are just doing there job, so if you do get stopped, dont act suspicious or cause a "Scene", the people in the airport are very friendly, just comply with them and be friendly.
If you dont feel what they are doing is right, you can always ask to see a security official or an Airport official.