Orlando and Tampa

Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Orlando and Tampa

My family is going on a 7 nights Western Carribean cruise in November this year. Since the cruise is leaving from Tampa, we are planning to stay few extra days in Florida to go to DisneyWorld and to visit some interesting places in Tampa before the cruise. My cruise agent recommended that we fly from Edmonton to Orlando and then to Tampa. After the cruise, we will fly from Tampa back to Edmonton. Our son, who will be almost 4 at that time will be traveling with us. We have a few questions that will help us with our planning:

1) how long is the drive from Orlando to Tampa? Any public transportation between these two places?
2) how many days should we spend at Orlando? What are the places of interest besides Disney World?
3) how many days should we spend at Tampa before the cruise? What are the places of interest?
4) Any hotel recommendations at both places? We donít need a five star hotel. 3 stars might be sufficient.


Thank you.
Cica is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 11:45 AM
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It is about 1-1/2 hours from Tampa to Orlando.

The number of days to spend in Orlando is a tough one. of course there is Disneyworld, and all of the water parks there; that is many days. There is Universal Studios which is quite popular. In additon, there is the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

I would probably only spend one day in Tampa. There is Bush Garden in Tampa, but if you are going to go to Disney, you probably do not want another park.

In orlando, I would recommend staying in Disney. If you do not want to spend a lot of $$$, have your agent check into one of the all-star resorts. They are economical. I think that it is much easier to stay on property at Disney.

Hope I was of help. Feel free with other questions.
tinathetoad is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 12:48 PM
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1) how long is the drive from Orlando to Tampa? Any public transportation between these two places?
From Lake Buena Vista to the cruise terminals is one hour fifteen minutes. I would imagine that there is Greyhound buses available but I would not recommend that you do that. There is an Amtrak train that runs between Winter Park and Tampa but it only goes once a day, so I don't recommend that either. I recommend that you rent a car for the duration of the time you're on land, Florida is a place where you'll need a car, there is no such thing in FL as mass transportation.

2) how many days should we spend at Orlando? What are the places of interest besides Disney World?
I'd spend 2 days at Disney/Epcot, maybe another at Universal, and then I'd be ready to either shoot myself or move on. I doubt the water parks will be open.

3) how many days should we spend at Tampa before the cruise? What are the places of interest?
In Tampa you can go to Busch Gardens, the Tampa Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo (underwater manatee exhibit), and the Gulf coast beach is in St. Pete 30 minutes from Tampa. I would think your son might enjoy the beach, especially if your cruise does not stop for playtime on the beach.

4) Any hotel recommendations at both places? We donít need a five star hotel. 3 stars might be sufficient.

That would depend on whether you wanted to stay in Tampa or at the beach in St. Pete.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 01:07 PM
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As said the drive is about an hour and considering you have to be to the airport early...pay for the extra leg of the flight...find transportation once you get there anyway...rent a car.
It will be much easier.
That said the amount of time you could spend in Orlando would be up to you...I and my wife spent 2 weeks there last fall and loved it. We went to all the parks in the area including Disney X 4 ,Universal X 2 ,Seaworld, and Busch Gardens. If I were taking a 4 year old boy and had to choose...you might stick with Disney though if he likes animals Busch Gardens was good but we LOVED Seaworld. They really dont get as much attention as the rest of the parks in Orlando but they do everything so well we would go back again in a heartbeat. If you plan to stick with Disney consider one of the Value Resorts on property (many benefits to staying on property. I would recommend checking out http://www.disboards.com/
There is so much info on Florida and especially Orlando on their forums it will make your head spin. Good luck it sounds like your going to have a blast!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Sea World has always been my favorite park but now Islands of Adventure is a close second! Consider spending a day there as there are really some great things for young kids.

Although I prefer staying at Universal than Disney resorts, nothing at Universal is an inexpensive as the Disney Value Resorts. I agree you should look into staying there. Otherwise Lake Buena Vista is a good alternative.

You simply must rent a car for Florida travel. There's no alternative.
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