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Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

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Stockholm, Sweden
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Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

Hi, I'm wondering what the easiest way is to get from the St Petersburg/Clearwater area to Orlando/Walt Disney World if you don't have a car? Bus? Train? Something else?

Watford, United...
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1. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

Amtrak runs from Clearwater/St Pete station to either Orlando or Kissimmee stations. You board a bus at Clearwater/St Pete and connect with the train at Tampa. The fare is reasonable but add on the cost of travel to / from the stations.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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2. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

There's also Greyhound bus service.

Boston...
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3. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

I used Greyhound to get from San Diego to Anaheim while on spring break in college. It was a terrible experience. Our non-stop route stopped in about 5 places before getting there and we arrived a couple hours late. What was supposed to be a full day at Disneyland ended up being just a couple hours.

People were spitting on the bus and my friend and I both got sick (pretty ferocious colds), which of course could've been Disney, but given the lack of cleanliness on the bus we attributed it to that. I would never subject myself to Greyhound again.

Vero Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

The Amtrak stations in Orlando and Kissimmee are not conveniently located to Disney World, although Orlando does have a better public bus system than the Tampa Bay area.

Plans for high speed rail service from Tampa to Orlando (with a station at Disney) were abruptly cancelled for political reasons, several years ago.

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

Public transportation between major metropolitan areas simply doesn't exist.

While Amtrak does run, it runs from the most undesirable part of Tampa (a loooong way from St Pete) to the most undesirable part of Orlando. You are nowhere near St Pete from the Amtrak station in Tampa, and you are nowhere near the attractions from the train station in Orlando.

Greyhound is very much a lowest-common-denominator form of transportation, carrying people who have absolutely no other option. Again -- the terminals are in extremely undesirable parts of town, and are a very long way from anywhere you seem to want to be.

I understand that not all Europeans drive....but it doesn't change the unfortunate fact that if you don't drive, you're simply not going to be able to visit the US other than large metropolitan areas unless you have unlimited time and money to craft custom transportation options.

It's a horrible state of affairs, but it is what it is -- if you don't drive, you just can't venture far afield.

Edited: 22 February 2014, 00:51
Watford, United...
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6. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

You are nowhere near St Pete from the Amtrak station in Tampa

------------------

That is true Sunshine, but does the connecting amtrak bus no longer run from Tampa to Clearwater / St Pete station?

I've done this route a few times. The guys their call a cab for me and I am down in St Pete not long after.

Edited: 22 February 2014, 01:08
Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

I'm trying to walk a very fine line here to maintain some semblance of political correctness, but I think I'm going to have to just step across it.

Greyhound and Amtrak stations are in very rundown areas of town, and are frequented by folks who frequently are not terribly inclined to be honest or helpful. A decently dressed foreigner hauling luggage might as well just wear a target painted on his/her chest, with a blinking light that says "rob me please"

Rundown neighborhoods are not generally safe for tourists (and only moderately safer for residents....), and there is no way I could recommend anyone use Amtrak or Greyhound as a reliable or safe means of transportation.

Worksop, United...
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8. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

There is certainly advertised on the Amtrak schedule a connecting bus from Clearwater/St Petersburg to Tampa to connect with Amtrak trains. The train runs and the connecting bus once per day. At a second earlier time, the bus runs through to Orlando to connect with an earlier train there. For reasons explained further down, I suggest you take the later Bus + Train option, though. Here is the schedule: amtrak.com/ccurl/615/409/Silver-Service-Palm…

There is certainly a local bus system in St Petersburg which will get you to - or at least closer to - the Amtrak Bus terminal. You may prefer a taxi for convenience of course. www.psta.net

At the other end (and here is why I suggest the Train) you can get off the Train (but not the earlier through bus as far as I can see) at Kissimmee. There is a brand new interchange station at Kissimmee and the "area of town" is nothing at all like the areas described above for Orlando.

From this interchange there is a direct LYNX bus right into Disney's Transportation & Ticket Center.

You WILL need a taxi from here, unless you are staying at the Polynesian (which is walkable).

Watford, United...
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9. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

Completely agree with SCAN. The route is very doable and I have never felt unsafe walking the 50 yards from the amtrak bus drop off point to the Clearwater St Pete terminus to order a taxi. You wait for the taxi in the nice large waiting area which has lots of area info and is staffed by friendly knowledgable staff.

Saying, 'you are nowhere near St Pete from the amtrak station in Tampa', is misleading as this completely disregards the connecting bus which is part of the amtrak service.

Tampa, Florida
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10. Re: Getting from St Petersburg area to Orlando without a car?

you are nowhere near St Pete from the Amtrak Station in Tampa is absolutely NOT misleading -- it's 23 MILES AWAY!!!

By that logic, Tampa's not far from Los Angeles, because it disregards the 5-hour airplane flight!