Helping UK visitors get the most from thieir first Orlando holiday

Booking Your Orlando Holiday
Package Holidays

Trusted brands who can book every aspect of your Orlando trip

Book Independently

Want to do everything yourself? No problem! Find out how here

Getting Around Orlando
Using A Hire Car In Orlando

Everything you need to know about driving to the parks

Orlando Without A Car

Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do Orlando without a car!

Practical Advice & Information
Height Restrictions

Online & offline lists of every attraction’s height restrictions

Theme Park Queue Upgrades

Explore the various ways parks get us to pay to queue

Orlando Theme Park Tickets
Orlando Parks Ticket Brokers

How to save money and where and when to buy your tickets

Getting Value & Saving Money

When to buy and money-saving tips to get you the best value

Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom
EPCOT
Hollywood Studios
Animal Kingdom
Universal Orlando
Universal Studios
Islands Of Adventure
Volcano Bay
Seaworld Parks
Seaworld Orlando
Busch Gardens
Aquatica
Discovery Cove
Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida

Getting Around Orlando

Car hire provides convenience at a cost. Public transport and transfer services are cheaper but more time-consuming. Your situation will ultimately determine your preferred transport method.

If you would rather not use a hire car please visit my dedicated getting around Orlando without a car page

International Arrivals

Orlando’s International Airports

Orlando now encompasses 3 different international airports. Which one you fly into depends on the airline you choose to fly with.

Orlando International is the closest, Orlando Sanford was used by TUI and ost charter airlines in the past who have swapped back to Orlando International except TUI whose operations have switch to Orlando Melbourne International for its proximity to Port Canaveral.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Orlando International (MCO) is the closest airport to Disney and Universal and one of the busiest airports in the US. You are 15-45 minutes from your hotel depending on where you stay.

Orlando Sanford International (SFB)

Orlando Sanford International (SFB) is an old military airport situated roughly 1 hour north of Orlando. Sanford became popular with UK charter airlines because of lower airport fees than the much larger Orlando International.

Consolidation in the airline market and a shift in consumer taste (the cruise market) coupled with Sanford’s limited location and connections has led to UK airlines now abandoning SFB which acts more as a regional airport.

Orlando Melbourne International (MLB)

Orlando Melbourne International (MLB) is just over an hour southeast of Orlando.

Its proximity to Port Canaveral, the winter home port for many cruise carriers’ Caribbean itineraries, led TUI, the biggest tour operator in the world, to move its Orlando Gateway from Sanford to Melbourne in 2022.

If you fly with TUI Airlines you will be using Melbourne International. If you would prefer to use Orlando International make sure you are booked with an airline other than TUI.

Convenience

Car Hire

Car hire is especially convenient for young families who may not want to spend all day in the parks and have a lot of baby & toddler related items to take. Space on free theme park transport is limited and they are crowded at opening and closing times.

A car keeps your plans flexible and makes for a great nap stop for younger ones who may have had enough come lunch time.

Convenience does come at a cost. Increasing petrol costs and car hire charges are the obvious outlay but the surprising cost of car hire is the daily cost of parking your car at the theme parks and your hotel. No matter if you stay ‘on-resort’ or ‘off-site’, theme parks will charge you to park your car.

If you would prefer not to use a car please see my dedicated page to getting around Orlando without a car

Car Hire Convenience

Process

Car Hire

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Picking Up Your Car

If you booked a package holiday your car hire cost may be included. All relevant car hire desks are outside the arrivals hall. You may need to get a short transfer to pick up the car. Remember insurance isn’t usually included in the base cost.

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Drive To Your Hotel

Orlando International airport is 15 minutes from International Drive and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney and Kissimmee are 25-45 minutes drive. Other Orlando airports are 1 hour or more from Orlando. Most villas are located in Kissimmee.

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Drive To The Parks

Driving to the theme parks gives you freedom. If you stay on-resort a nightly parking charge is added to your room on checkout. Many hotels outside the theme parks have free parking but you pay a higher daily rate to park at the theme parks.

Parking Costs

Daily Parking Costs

To help you budget these are the advertised daily parking rates for standard-sized cars for Orlando’s theme parks.

Prices are correct in April 2022 but are subject to change at any time. Price increases can happen at any time but are usually announced between January and March.

Walt Disney World

$25

Water parks are free as there is no direct Disney transport option to them

Universal Orlando Resort

$26

But parking is free after 6pm if no events are on to bring visitors into Citywalk

Seaworld Parks

$20

UK 3-park combo tickets to Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens get free parking!

Legoland Florida Resort

$19

Legoland Florida used to have a shuttle from Orlando but it has not been reinstated post COVID.

Orlando Area

Maps

Get a head start on your driving with these free maps courtesy of the Orlando Tourism Bureau

Lake Buena Vista

A simplified map for Disney World which sits within Lake Buena Vista. Please see the link below for Disney transport options

Orlando Area

An overview of the whole area so you can see how Lake Buena Vista, International Drive and Kissimmee relate to each other

International Drive

The main tourism corridor for Orlando, International Drive has many attractions trying to temp you from the main parks

Resort Hotels Parking

Disney World’s Resort Hotels Parking Charges

Starting January 2020 Disney Resort Hotels now charge UK guests an overnight parking charge. This brings their policy in line for all guests staying on-resort after the change happened for US ticket holders in 2019.

The cumulative cost of overnight parking will be added to your bill on check out at the nightly rates listed below. This list is meant as a budgeting tool only and prices can be changed at any time. An up to date list can be found on the Parking FAQ page of the Walt Disney World Website.

Value Resorts

$15

All-Star Sports

All-Star Animation

Art Of Animation

Pop Century

Campsites At Fort Wilderness

Moderate Resorts

$20

Caribbean Beach

Coronado Springs

Port Orleans – French Quarter

Port Orleans – Riverside

Cabins At Fort Wilderness

Deluxe Resorts

$25

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Beach Club Resort

Boardwalk Inn

Contemporary Resort

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Polynesian Village Resort

Wilderness Lodge

Yacht Club Resort

Deluxe Villas

$25

Bay Lake Tower @ Contemporary Resort

Boulder Ridge & Cooper Creek @ Wilderness Lodge

Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House & Kidani Village

Beach Club Villas

Boardwalk Villas

Old Key West Resort

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Riviera Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Villas @ Grand Floridian Resort

resort Hotels Parking

Universal Orlando Hotels Parking Charges

Like Disney, the cost of overnight parking in Universal Resort properties depends on the band of the hotel you stay in.

With the opening of the Endless Summer Resorts off property on International Drive, Universal now has 4 bands of hotels just like Disney.

Unlike Disney, Universal Orlando Resort doesn’t own or operate their onsite resort hotels. Lowes Hotels operate them on Universal’s behalf. There is no direct page for parking charges on Universal Orlando’s website. You need to visit each resort hotel in turn to find out their charges. The charges for registered guests in 2022 are listed below. If you are not a registered guest and decide to park in the hotels the day rate for parking is between $30 and $45 depending on the resort.

Value Resorts

$15

Surfside Inn & Suites

Dockside Inn & Suites

Prime Value Resorts

$18

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach

Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Preferred Resorts

$26

Loews Sapphire Falls

Premiere Resorts

$28

Loews Portofino Bay

Hard Rock Hotel

Loews Royal Pacific

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