For all Florida dopers

Me and my girlfriend are trying to plan a trip to Orlando for spring break this year. Only one catch spring break for both of us is in one month. We’ve already decided we want to stay in Orlando and that we want to go to the beach and see Disney Land. We are going to drive down our only problem is we have nowhere to stay and we are trying to find the cheapest hotel room imaginable. We are looking for something in the $60 range per night. If anyone can help me out with some info about the area and hotels near Orlando it would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks

Not from Florida, but…
If you plan to stay in Orlando and go to Disneyland, you’ll have about a 3,000-mile commute each morning, as Disneyland is in Anaheim, California. DisneyWorld is in Florida. :smiley:

The cheapest hotel rooms imaginable are in a town called Kissimmee, which is a suburb of Orlando. Kissimmee is actually quite a bit closer to Walt Disney World than Orlando is, and since hotel rooms are cheaper you’d be better off staying there anyway.

Check out Kissimmee’s Excellent Web Site for hotel information. You can find hotels there ranging from around $29.99 per night to upwards of $100 per night. Most fall into the $49-$59 per night range, wich I gather is exactly what you’re looking for.

Have a great trip!

And of course you will let us know when you are in town so we can get together for dinner.

Kissimmee (pronounced Kuh-SIM-me, not KISS-uh-me - speak like a local!) does have some good and inexpensive motels. Contact me offboard and I can tell you which are decent and which are rip-off rat traps.

Also, I can give you the updates on construction in the area (Kissimmee - the city that made Bob of “Bob’s Barricades” rich). Traffic is a bit congested between the construction and the Green Swamp fire (at Rte. 27, west of Disney). There’s a major muck fire that’s already blackened 3000 acres and the smoke has shut down 27 and I-4 a couple of times.

As far as the beach, you can still stay in Kissimmee and get to the beach, about a 45 minute drive. Hey, Florida’s skinny, but not THAT skinny - you can’t see the ocean from Orlando [but you can see the shuttle launches]!

Rte 528/Beeline goes east to Cocoa, Tuitusville and the Space Center.
Rte. 192 goes east to Melbourne.
Both areas are connected by I-95 and Rte. A1A.
I-4 west goes to Tampa. Quieter water on the Gulf Coast side (Atlantic side gets a bit choppy). Great beaches in Clearwater and the St. Pete area.

(Bring lots of quarters to park near the beach. And the police are still arresting people who try to sunbathe au natural at Playalinda Beach [Atlantic side].)

News today - the “Main Street Electrical Parade” at the Magic Kingdom will be permanently retired on April 1, to be replaced (again) by “SpectroMagic”.

Keep in touch - we can let you know what’s good and what’s a rip-off.

Actually, Kissimme/St. Cloud is not a suburb of Orlando. We’re two small cities about 10 miles outside Orlando in another county (Osceola).

…and make your reservations NOW, if not sooner. 'cos Spring Break is going to be packed.

Just re-read your post and noticed you were driving down.

Plan on stopping at one of the Welcome Centers just inside the state line - you can get some good brochures on places you may find of interest. Also, while you are in town, pick up some of the free tourist-oriented booklets (“See Orlando”, “Visitor’s Guide”, etc.) - some have some pretty good 2-for-1 or percentage off coupons for attractions, restaurants and hotels. (Read the fine print - some attraction discount coupons are actually ads for attraction tickets purchased at the hotel and cannot be redeemed at the attractions themselves. I’ve seen a lot of yelling and fights when people realized they were duped.)

Also, there is an offical Disney Welcome Center in the Ocala area (NW of Orlando). You can purchase Disney tickets ahead of time there, as well as at many of the Disney Stores (even outside of the state).

If you have AAA, there is now a AAA office in Kissimme (so you do not have to drive into Orlando on Colonial Drive) and you can purchase tickets to most of the attractions at a pretty good discount.

All along Rte. 192 and International Drive (I-Drive), there are places that sell discount tickets (small outdoor ticket shacks or inside many of the family restaurants). Be very cautious of the “Ask about Free Disney/Universal/whatever Tickets”; some of these places require a tour of a timeshare (6 hours of your life and lots of pressure to purchase). Others are straight-out discount tickets, sometimes at a pretty good deal.

I agree with blessedwolf (and thank you for bringing up a point I missed). “Spring Break” is basically from February through March, as schools (both jr./sr. high schools and colleges) are out at different times. (Lots of Ontarians in March, I’ve noticed). Families, senior class trips, marching band trips, church group trips all converge on the attractions area at the same time. In addition, we get a lot of spillage from “Bike Week” and “Black College Reunion”, both in Daytona. Criminey, I know there’s a Daytona race soon, so if you can avoid I-95 around Jacksonville and Daytona, you’ll be much better off.


Yeah, you’re the big expert… you’ve lived in Florida since OCTOBER and you live NOWHERE near any of the spring break meccas! :rolleyes: Sheesh. Live here a couple months and anyone can be an expert… [I am just pokin’ at ya!:D]

However, that is correct advice; I’m just giving blessedwolf hell for no reason other than it amuses me. In my experience, the busiest Spring Break Florida “ports of call” are Panama City, Daytona and South Beach, probably in that order. Ft. Lauderdale now tries to discourage spring breakers and I’m not aware of Orlando being the big Spring Breaker destination. Depends on where MTV goes.

Screech is correct: make your reservations now and good luck finding rooms that inexpensively!

I would highly recommend – if you get sick of The Mouse – that you check out downtown Orlando. There’s an area called Church Street Station, which is decidedly different than the Realm of The Mouse.

Bring lots of quarters, as most of the highways running through Orlando are toll roads. Which is why my final advice to anyone coming to the Orlando area: have fun and don’t forget to pay The Mouse!

Driving advice: even though the speed limit is 70 here, be very careful in Volusia County – lots o’ speed traps!

FTR: I have lived in Florida nine years! hrumph.

Not the main destination, but we do get a lot of people drving down for a day or so from Daytona.

Church Street Station is getting pretty stale and lame; many of the shops in the Marketplace have left or gone out of business. Many of the locals (at least the ones that aren’t into the downtown clubs and tattoo parlors) are spending a lot more time at Downtown Disney (free parking) and CityWalk (free parking after 6 pm but admission fees/cover charges to some of the restaurants) - both have movie theatres, places to dance, restaurants, and shops, all of which are missing downtown. “Terror on Church Street” (walk-through haunted house) is there, but not as good as it used to be; besides, Haunted Houses and Go-Kart tracks are the “Shell World” of today (prolific!).

As far as lodging prices: some of the smaller mom-n-pop places are a little more negotiable - the sign may advertise:

$39.95 - One night
then the second flash or line
$39.95 - EXP (extra person)

Sometimes the price looks horrendous, but you can negotiate or walk out. It depends on the motel, the manager on duty, and how many empty rooms they have. YMMV. I’ll take a ride down 192 tonight and check out some of the advertised prices.

Actually, toll roads are determined by the state and county, not The Rat, and only two are near Disney:
408/East-West Expressway (parallels Rte. 50)
528/Beeline (connects I-4 [near SeaWorld] to Rte. A1A [Brevard County/Cocoa-Titusville area])
417/Greeneway (connects Sanford to Disney and I-4)
Ronald Reagan Turnpike (connects Wildwood [NW] to Miami [SE])
Osceola Parkway (connects Turnpike to Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
And a new one - the Western Beltway - don’t know the name or number, but it’s on the west side of the Orange County.

Sorry to be so garrolous - throwback to when I worked tourist and gave directions and advice on everything.

  • Bring extra socks, especially for after the water rides - socks are about $7 a pair in the park.
  • Wear comfortable shoes - you’ll be on cement and tarvia most of the day.
  • Get your hand stamped and take a break from the park during the day. The Disney Marathon ended a week ago; you are not in competition with anyone here.
  • Buy film and a rain poncho at WalMarts BEFORE going into the parks - $10 will get you a four-pack of film at WalMart; the same $10 gets you one canister at the parks.

psst…hey, Dogzilla,–THPPFTT!!

I was in another Spring Break mecca for four years, so I know what I’m talkin’ about, so there. :smiley:

Quit spitting all over my monitor!!!

…danged upstaters!..

psst…hey, Dogzilla,–THPPFTT!!

I was in another Spring Break mecca for four years, so I know what I’m talkin’ about, so there. :smiley:

Sorry. Apparently I’m suffering from digital echoalia.

Hanh?!? That’s a new word on me.

Echoalia is a medical (neurological, IIRC) condition where the patient inadvertantly repeats what s/he or others say.

Thanks to everyone who has given me some options in the Orlando area. Originally I was thinking about staying in Kissimmee actually. I’ve heard good things about it from friends that visitied Florida. And yes I goofed I meant DisneyWorld not DisneyLand wouldn’t want to stay in Florida for the later of the two. Hehe anyways if it all works out and me and Misses Tiki (aka Kremit334) will be sure to arrange a get together for all the fellow dopers in that area. I’ll try to keep you all updated on the situation.

I’m a bit dismayed right now. I’ve found out that my girlfriend won’t have the money to go to Florida over spring break. Ho-hum, I was looking forward to it but I guess I should have realized from the beginning that she wouldn’t have been able to come up with her part of the money because of bills and such. So it looks like another spring break back at home in chilly Indiana.

Hrumph? FIFTEEN years here, baby. That’s a lifetime for me.

Oh, Tiki, be sure to enjoy your stay here.

That stinks. Wish you could have made it. Hopefully you will get the chance again in the near future. Until next time.