Primrose Villa.

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We try to answer the most commonly asked questions about visiting Florida...

Q.    What is the best time of year to visit Florida?
A.    Any time of year has advantages & disadvantages. Spring before Easter & Autumn before Christmas are the 'low' seasons. The weather is normally mild & dry & there are few queues to contend with.  Parks open late & close early (9 > 7 typically), but checkout Halloween specials {especially at Universal}!
    Summer brings more people in school holiday time, the parks compensate by opening early & closing late (8 > 11 or later!). Some of the water parks only open from late spring to early autumn, checkout their web-sites. Christmas and Easter weeks see the highest yearly attendances at Disney, the lights & displays make it a 'magical' place....
   Magic Kingdom stayed open 'till 2am July 4th last year ('07) !!

Q.    You offer pool heating. Do I need it ?
A.    Totally your decision ! To help you decide, please see "Pool heating"....

Q.   Where's the best place to book flights ?
A.   Orlando's main airport is Orlando International (MCO) - about 15 miles from our villa.
Sanford Airport (SFB) is used by most charter flights & is about 30 mile further North - (but is an easy drive on the I 4).
Both now have excellent car hire facilities from most of the major outlets.
Talking about flights, we've used different agents nearly every visit, offers change regularly, so we can only offer general advice:- Look at Teletext pages for current offers (ITV page 222). Try: Expedia; Opodo; Airline Network; Thomson Flights; Orbitz;   The Flight Center advertises that it'll beat any fare - 08708-900-988 (but never have for us...) We used First Choice (Jan. '06) & were very pleased with legroom & service..
The same flight from different agents frequently varies significantly in price, you need to spend some time on this one to get the best value !!  i.e: For a Florida flight August '08 BA was asking 530 - the same flight through Expedia was 318...

Q.   What about money ?
A.   You will need $ (dollars) - Don't take 's - totally useless...
Travelers' cheques, although safest, can be difficult to cash as there are many forgeries. Shops don't like high value ones, so if you take them, buy in fairly low denominations. You will need cash for tolls, but can pay with plastic (MasterCard or Visa) for nearly everything else. U.K. cards work fine but most card issuers will charge you 2.75% handling on all $ transactions ( Nationwide 1%, Post Office 0% ).
Petrol is a pain, most pumps take credit cards, but need a zip code to work... You'll have to pay in advance at the till....

Q.    What about car hire ?
A.    It's  convenient (if not cheapest) to book flydrive with your flight provider.  However, if you are looking for  a reliable & reasonably priced alternative, give U.S.Car hire a try. We used them ('06, '07 &'08) - best deal around !
For your convenience, we suggest you use a car hire company that has its' car park on-airport. Some bus you off-airport to collect your car & bus you back to airport at end of hire...
Pay upfront for car insurance in UK - not at car-hire desk. You will usually only get the American equivalent of 3rd party packaged with flydrive, totally useless as car hire co. won't let you drive without SLI (supplementary liability insurance) & CDW (collision damage waiver) which will be offered as "extras". Expect to pay about 150 per week for a medium car all in.
NOTE:  We got well & truly stung by DOLLAR  (June 2005). As we traveled with one extra body, we "upgraded" from a convertible to an SUV at Sanford. Dollar kindly charged us an EXTRA $848 after the desk-clerk had told us that excess charges would not apply !!  We don't recommend Dollar Car Rental...
NOTE 2 (2007/8):  It's now becoming common for the clerk at the car-hire desk to push all number of "extras" you don't need - mostly expensive upgrades & insurances. You're nicely brain-dead after your 12 hours traveling, you pay, he makes commission....
Q.    Theme Park Tickets ?
A.    Park tickets will be one of your major expenses, about 35 per adult (over 9 years old) ticket per day, although discounts on multi-day tickets are common. Remember that 1 day in a major park will last from 9am 'till 10pm (ish), so are relatively good value ! You can buy on-line from U.K. easily ( Ticketmania , Park tickets or any Park website- (try the links on our homepage) or in U.S.    Please be aware that offers for 'free' or very cheap tickets are usually tied to timeshare presentations.....
Some sites offer "E-tickets" that you print on your local printer & take with you. These work really well - save quite a bit of queuing !!
You may have read recently about Disney only making "selected" tickets available to UK buyers. "Parktickets" (link above) will sell you the full range of Disney park tickets & deliver them to you free ! - Give their website a visit, you've nothing to lose !!
Q.    When & where do we collect the key to your villa?
A.    The key is in a tiny key safe under the porch outside the villa. You get the current combination with the full villa details we send you 4 weeks before your stay - you keep the key for the duration of your holiday.
Q.    Is the villa in a "nice" area?
A.    Lindfields'  was one of the first 'executive' developments built west of Disney in about 1992 when land in the area was relatively cheap. Consequently, this quiet area benefits from wide avenues & generous plot-sizes and has a nice mix of residential and rental properties. See "Lindfields" for more info...
Q.    Can we book mid-week to mid-week ?
A.    Flights mid-week are usually significantly cheaper than weekend, we are happy to accommodate you if the villa isn't previously booked.
Q.    Are there any other charges ?
A.    We quote you an "all in" price which includes electricity, bed linen,  bath, pool, hand and tea towels, local 'phone calls, free use of PC and/or wireless internet, digital safe, crib / cot / playpen, stroller (pushchair), high chair and final clean plus the 13% Florida Sales & Tourist taxes which we are obliged to collect... The villa is completely cleaned before your visit. The only additional charge is for optional pool heating. This must be arranged at time of booking as it takes 48 hours to bring the pool up to temperature in the 'winter' months. (Usually November - March). We now have a solar pool blanket to limit night-time heat loss.
Q.    What time can we arrive / depart ?
A.    The villa is available from 3pm on your arrival date until 10am on your date of departure. This allows time for our housekeeping team to thoroughly clean the villa. Late departure can usually be pre-arranged if required.
Q.    How do we find the villa ?
A.    If you book our villa, we send you full driving directions from either Sanford or Orlando airports, related maps & shortcuts. 
Q.    Are there any 'quick' ways from your area to Disney?
A.    Yes, see our webpage: "Shortcuts"...(we enclose them in our 'villa details' pack)...
Q.    Can we book for more than 2 weeks ?
A.    If the villa isn't previously booked, we welcome longer rentals (2 weeks is never enough!). We offer reduced rates for longer stays, please get in touch.
Q.    We don't wish to hire a car, is your villa accessible ?
A.    We can arrange a 'meet & greet' service from either airport for you & taxis are available. However, if you wish to visit Orlando but not drive, we would honestly recommend you find accommodation in the International Drive area & take advantage of the excellent Tram service there.
Q.   We've previously stayed in places with noisy air-conditioning & not slept well ?
A.    Our villa has a very quiet central air-con. unit deliberately sited in the far corner of the garage to create as little disturbance as possible. Completely replaced Jan 2008.
Q.    The distance from the theme parks varies between web-sites, why?
A.    Some sites use 'as the crow flies' measurement to make distances seem shorter !     Lindfields is about 4 miles from Disney measured directly, but 5 miles drive (or less - see shortcuts). As a rule, the estates to the West of Disney have easier access as the traffic gets heavier the further East you go on the 192 with more traffic lights. Travel to Universal & Sea World is easier now they've extended International Drive to the 192. Please take claims of "5 minutes from Disney" with a pinch of salt!  Lindfields is one of the closest developments. Our villa is at: 28 19' 48.95N - 81 38' 13.57W on Google Earth !!!     Take a look & judge for yourself...

Q.    We would like to play golf during our visit?
A.    Orange County golf is about 1.5 miles away !! Also see our webpage "Golf"...
Q.    We would like to visit NASA / the Gulf Coast during our visit, is it easy to reach either of these from your villa ?
A.    Kennedy Space Centre is about 50 miles away on Merritt Island, very well worth a visit, schedule a whole day. The Gulf Coast is about 55 miles, aim south of Tampa for some of the best sugar-sand & shell beaches.
Q.    We would like to visit the Florida Keys / Everglades during our visit ?
A.    As it's about 200 miles (3 hours minimum) to the top of the Keys, not really a day trip. Either think about a two-centre holiday or book B/B for a night. There is a 50 max. limit right down through the Keys, so Key West's a further 3 hours at least !!
Q.    If we book from UK, can we deduct the 13% tax?
A.    Unfortunately, as the villa's in Florida, we have to pay local taxes !

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Please contact us if we can be of any assistance !

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