I'd like to put in a word for car hire however as we have always hired a car and never regretted it - in fact the additional freedom it provides is well worth it. The cost is actually not that different from taking public transport - we paid less than £300 for two weeks in a mid sized car, (small cars available cheaper), and we find driving in the US actually very easy. especially out of season. yes you have to pay for car parking but that journey of an hour to the Disney parks by public transport takes about 20 minutes in a car and that frees up a lot of time, plus it's great for shopping, eating out or just park-hopping...
Sure you pay for car parking but even factoring that into the equation I'd not want to be without a car in orlando
All that aside, great article. Thank you for this.
September 2010, I went for 7 nights and booked Virgin flights, double tree hotel near Seaworld and hire car all seperately and it worked out around £300 cheaper for both of us compared to booking with a travel agent in town. It was even cheaper booking flight and hotel seperate through Virgins website than booking together for some reason. Admittedly I didn't try an online package provider. Cost was about £530 each for flight, £40 a night hotel and £130 for a small car.
I would also add my support for hire car - its easy driving in America. We tried public transport 1 day trying to avoid the high parking costs and ended up stranded outside the Studios park after Fantasmic because they didnt have a bus that went back to the transport centre, only hotel ones. Had to get one of them then get an expensive taxi back that was twice the parking cost! A car was also much better for shopping and going to Nasa and Busch gardens.
I agree you need to get a car, it gives you the flexibility and freedom to mix up your day between shopping, theme park and back to the condo for a rest.
Something also worth considering is staying at a condo and not at a hotel as this can be much cheaper and you get better value for your money for a family booking.
Looking around using a site like www.holiday-rentals.co.uk you can get a condo for £275 a week which will get you a three bedroom condo accommodating a family of 6. This equates to 2 hotel rooms at around £375 for the week so worth checking this out and booking the flights separately. Over a 2 week holiday you already have a saving of £200.
Another condo benefit is you can wash/dry your cloths before you leave and that way you can come home and recover from the jet lag without the extra effort before going back to work. Also you can buy your breakfast at Wal-Mart and stay in and cook a few nights saving even more money.