Primrose Villa.

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Here's where we try to answer some of the more common questions (mainly potential U.K. visitors) ask about visiting Florida....

Q.    When is the best time of year to visit Florida?
A.    Any time of year !!!
    Spring before Easter & Autumn (outside of October 1/2 term) 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 > 8 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 > 12 or later!).
Expect brief heavy showers mid-afternoon & it can get very hot & humid.  Some of the water parks only open from late spring to early autumn, (check their web-sites). Easter & Christmas weeks see the highest yearly attendance at Disney, the lights & displays make it a 'magical' place....

Q.   Where's the best place to book flights ?
A.   Orlando's main airport is Orlando International (MCO) - about 15 miles North of our villa.
Sanford Airport (SFB) is used by most charter flights & is about 40 miles further North - (but is an easy drive on the I 4).
Tampa airport is about the same distance as Sanford, but can often be a cheaper alternative....
We've used different agents nearly every visit, offers change regularly, so we can only offer general advice:
Try: Expedia; Opodo; Netflights; Orbitz; or Skyscanner (amongst many others!!). The Flight Center advertises that it'll beat any fare - 08708-900-988 (but never have for us...)  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 !!

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 use them, buy in fairly low denominations. You will need cash for tolls, but can pay with plastic (MasterCard, Visa or American Express) 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 currently 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 (but usually NOT cheapest) to book flydrive with your flight provider, however, give U.S.Car hire a try. We use them frequently - one of the best deals around & totally reliable....
For your convenience, we suggest you choose a car hire company that has its compound 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 if you can - not at car-hire desk. You will sometimes 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) & CDW (collision damage waiver) insurances which may be offered as "extras". Expect to pay about 200 per week for a medium car all in.
WARNING:  It's becoming normal for car hire clerks (commissioned) to pressure you into buying unnecessary "upgrades" even if you've bought a full package from the UK. They know you've had a very long flight & regard you as a soft touch.
Extra insurances, "roadside assistance" & car upgrades (all overpriced ) are common...
Alamo are the only provider who actually allow you to select your car from a rank in the car park. All others issue keys & you get what you're given....

Q.    Theme Park Tickets ?
A.    Park tickets will be one of your major expenses, about 70-90 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 , any Park website - (try the links on our homepage) or look at our webpage: "Tickets".   Please be aware that offers for 'free' or very cheap tickets are usually tied to compulsory timeshare/ condo presentations.....
We earnestly recommend that you DON'T buy from the many vendors selling "part-used" tickets - all the major parks use fingerprint &/or face ID & you may well be very disappointed & lose both time & money.....
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 !!

Q.    Will we need pool heating ?
A.    That very much depends on yourselves... Some like a fairly cool pool (relative to air temp.) & some like it hot !!
Please see Poolheating for the best advice we can offer...

Q.    When & where do we collect the key to your villa ?
A.    The key is in a tiny combination safe outside the villa. You keep it for the duration of your holiday.

Q.    Is the villa in a "nice" area?
A.    Lindfields was one of the first estates built West of Disney. begun in in about 1990 when the area was relatively undeveloped. Consequently, we benefit from being rather more mature than most with much wider roads, more generous plot-sizes & (unusually) benefit from having street lighting which adds to the security of the area.... Our villa is on a well lit, quiet road at the rear of the development. 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, pool & bath towels, all 'phone calls - national & international,  Wi-Fi internet access, digital safe, gas barbeque, crib (playpen), strollers (pushchairs),  high chair and final clean plus the 13.5% Florida Sales & Tourist taxes which we are obliged to collect... The villa is completely valeted before your visit. We do request an additional security deposit against damage of 200 / $300 which we refund promptly after your stay assuming no major damage !!
The only additional charge is for optional pool heating. This can be arranged at time of booking as it will usually take 48 hours to bring the pool up to temperature in the 'winter' months. (Usually November - March).  We have a solar pool blanket you can use 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. Early arrivals / late departures can usually be pre-arranged if required.

Q.    How do we find the villa ?
A.    If you book our villa, we send you full directions from either Sanford or Orlando airports, related maps & shortcuts.  If you need any other info. just ask....

Q.    Are there any 'quick' ways from your area to Disney?
A.    Yes !!! - See our webpage: "Shortcuts"...

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 drive / hire a car, is your villa accessible ?
A.    We can arrange a 'meet & greet' service from either airport for you & taxis are available - although relatively expensive.
If you wish to visit Orlando but not drive, although your flexibility will be compromised, we would honestly recommend you find hotel accommodation in the International Drive or Disney areas & take advantage of the free shuttles and tram services thereabouts. 

Q.   We've previously stayed in places with noisy air-conditioning & not slept well ?
A.    Our villa has a very quiet & efficient (new Jan. 2008) central air-con. unit deliberately sited in the far corner of the garage to create as little disturbance as possible. The compressor unit is outside the garage.

Q.    The distance from the theme parks varies between web-sites, why?
A.    The Disney owned area of Florida cover some 43 sq. miles ! (For instance, Disney World Drive is over 7 miles long....) Some sites use 'as the crow flies' measurement to make distances seem shorter !     Lindfields is about 3 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' 48.45N - 81 38' 13.07W on Google Earth !!!

Q.    We would like to play golf / tennis during our visit?
A.    Orange County Country Club 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 60 miles away on Merritt Island, very well worth a visit, schedule a whole day. The Gulf Coast is about 70 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 250 miles (4 hours absolute 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 13.5% tax?
A.    Unfortunately, as the villa's in Florida, we have to pay local taxes !

Q.    What is "ESTA" and how does it effect us ??
A.    The on-line ESTA form is similar the green immigration form that used to be filled in on the 'plane en route to the US. You MUST complete this registration on-line AT LEAST 2 days before travel to the US.
This link will take you directly to the correct webpage: ESTA Form.
Please note that is is COMPULSORY to complete this form & that it is $14 each person to register (payable by credit / debit card only)..
Registration lasts 2 years, we recommend that you note your registration number(s)...
(There are a few websites kindly offering to charge you much more for ESTA registration - DON'T be conned.......)

Please contact us if we can be of any assistance !



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