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First Time in Orlando

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Ireland
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First Time in Orlando

Hi

I have just booked a holiday to Orlando in January for 10 days myself and my partner.

We are staying in the Double tree Orlando Hotel?

We also got 3 parks included, Seaworld, Busch Gardens, and Aquantica. Having read some of the reviews of DC, I really would love to swim with the dolphins, holiday of a lifetime. And does anyone know how much it would cost for swim with the dolphins....

As its my first time to Orlando, Can anyone advise me where to go, and what to see and do.

Anyone good shops, and what is the food and drink like.... is taxis expensive.....

Would you recommend we rent a car for 1-2 days, would like to visit Clearwater, take a drive along the coast.

3 months 9 days CANT WAIT!

Any advice

pa
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1. Re: First Time in Orlando

The Dolphin Swim would indeed be Fun. You must book in advance ( I recomend doing this ASAP ) www.discoverycove.com

For Taxi info www.mearstransportation.com

Taking a day or two to head over to the Gulf Coast would be lovely, I recomend a car rental for that. There are tours however if you want to go that route www.gatortours.com

Stay with us on the Forum, we'll all help you get it sorted out :)

Chickamauga, Georgia
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2. Re: First Time in Orlando

Hate to say, but looks like Discovery Cove is really booked in January, from their calendar anyway. Only dates after Jan. 23rd are currently available to book as of right now on the website (you didn't mention when your dates of visit are).

The "dolphin swim" package at that time of year is currently running $289 + tax per person at Discovery Cove, if there's any openings for your dates.

If you are going to rent a car for only a day or two, just get it for a week (maybe be just as cheap) and use it to drive to your various destinations (easier than busses).

UK
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3. Re: First Time in Orlando

Hi Emer26

Definitely rent a car for your entire stay ... gives so much more flexibility for exploring.

Seaworld - we love Seaworld. When you arrive make sure you pick up a park map as it has the times of the shows on the back. Plan your day according to the show times and make sure you get to the shows early to get a good seat (although crowds in Jan might not be that bad). My favourite is the Clyde and Seamore Show ... hilarious! Also DO NOT miss Shamu and if it's on go to the last Shamu show at night (Shamu Rocks). Don't miss out things because you think they're for kids ie Pets Ahoy is actually a really good show! Don't forget you can get 2 free beers in the Hospitality area :)

Discovery Cove - fab ... definitely do the dolphin swim ... it's amazing. Also, you will be done early enough to re-visit Seaworld in the evening so don't panic if you don't get it all done on your first trip.

Busch Gardens is great and you'll love it. I would recommend the car as you could factor a trip to BG along with your visit to Clearwater.

Shops are great ... again the car will allow you more flexibility although they can all be reached on buses and trolley.

Flordia Mall - massive mall with lots of shops

Mall of Millenia - high end mall with lots of posh shops but worth a visit for the infamous Cheesecake Factory restaurant (yum)

Prime Outlets - top of I-Drive

Premium Outlets - bottom of I-Drive/vineland

To get some of the Disney magic I would visit Downtown Disney one afternoon/evening and possibly the Boardwalk area too for a wander (you can watch the Epcot fireworks from the bridge on the Boardwalk)

I've not been to aquatica so can't help with that ... sorry!

Stoke-on-Trent...
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4. Re: First Time in Orlando

i assume you are going for 2 weeks, well you wil be able to see a great deal but theres alot you wont see. weve been 14 times just booked for the 15th time, planning is the key to a great holiday, pick your parks and then make like a 2 week diary of where you want to go each day, including your beach trip, theres nothing worse than waking up and scratching your head thinking which park to go etc...

hiring a car for me is essential, like going to different restaurants and downtown disney, old town etc......do your research before you go is my advice and plan, have a great trip

Romford, United...
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5. Re: First Time in Orlando

I would agree with Crockett66, try not to pack everything in or you will be shattered and not enjoy your holiday so much.

Most people love it so much that they usually go back.

Planning isthe key, ask questions on the forum and decide what your priorities are before you go and maybe sort a itinery.

Happy planning!

Stoke-on-Trent...
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6. Re: First Time in Orlando

DC, its expensive and i disagree with posts saying its a dolphin swim, its a dolphin experience/interaction, yes you do go in the water with them but its controlled and time limited, alot of money but if you are up for it and have the cash then do it the once

Ireland
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7. Re: First Time in Orlando

Thank you for your responses so far.

We are going for 10 days, 9 nights 15th Jan to 24th January.

We were at a seminar on florida at the weekend, but didnt give us the information we wanted to know, we were told to definitely go to the beach. How far would it be to drive to the coast from where we are staying, we have got Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, and City Walk, included in the price. Having looked at the DC website 23rd Jan would be our last full day, having debated I dont think we will do the swim, its alot of money, and I read that you can see the dolphins up close, and pet them in Seaworld. What would the weather be like in January. If I went for the non swim in DC,what is included in this package. Will the I Ride brings us around where we need to go, shopping and restaurants, is there italian restaurants, and Chinese restaurants along I Drive. Is there anywhere we should avoid. You will have to pay for parking outside the hotel, and it is pretty expensive on a daily basis. What is the pet ahoy and those shows, Is the animal park worth to go to, or is it same as busch gardens, Saw a place I think its not far from the hotel, to see alligators and crocs. I am trying to organise my 10 days now so I will do on itinerary for our stay, dont want to waste any time, get as much do as poss. One last question is there macy's in florida.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Emer

Chickamauga, Georgia
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8. Re: First Time in Orlando

Emer,

1. The nearest beach is Cocoa Beach about one hour's drive to the east of Orlando. In January, however, the beach may be cold there, especially the wind and the water won't be warm enough to do much more than wade a little. The west coast beaches like Clearwater are about 2 hours drive and a little warmer water, but not by leaps and bounds.

2. You can see the dolphins up close and pet them at SeaWorld, so if Discovery Cove isn't available or you don't want to spend the money, you can see them there. Remember, you have to go to D.C. on the appointed day of your visit, and if it turns out to be cold that day, you may have wasted your money (they do heat the water, but air temp may be cold). Go to Discovery Cove's website to get all the details about activities for both swim and non-swim with dolphins packages.

http://www.discoverycove.com/default2.aspx

3. WEather in January can be anything goes. It might be warm, but it might be really cold too. Air temps can range from 5 Celcius to probably around 20 Celcius or anywhere in between. It is usually dry, however.

4. The I-Ride Trolley will take you up and down I-Drive only and over near Universal. If you need to get elsewhere, you can take the LYNX public busses or taxi cabs. There are all kinds of restaurants up and down I-Drive including some Italian and Chinese ones.

5. The Pets Ahoy show is a house-pet show at SeaWorld where they have dogs, cats, mice, ferrets, and all kinds of "household pets" performing in the show. It's very cute and you should try to see it on your visit to SEaWorld.

6. If by animal park, you are referring to Animal Kingdom, this is a Disney park and you will have to purchase a separate ticket to visit. It is, however, a neat park to see with many animal encounters, shows and rides. It's a full-sized Disney theme park.

7. The "alligators/crocs" park you were referring to is most likely Gatorland. It's a smaller park and won't take long to see, but if you are intereseted, it might be worth a visit.

8. Believe there is a Macy's store at both Florida Mall and Mall of Millenia.

scotland
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9. Re: First Time in Orlando

Just wanted to add that if you did decide you fancied swimming with the dolphins, remember it may look fully booked but a percentage of those bookings may have been made with TCD. Worth phoning direct to check. That's what we had to do for end of October. It is our 1st visit to Florida,can't wait!! I'll let you know how our SWIM goes.

kent , enland
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10. Re: First Time in Orlando

hi, get a car for all of your stay, and make sure you hire a sat nav when you collect car,worth its weight in gold,

got back from orlando a few weeks back, it was brill, you will love it,

trust me take my advice on car and sat nav, couldnt of done without either, have a great time.