Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
What no car?
For many people taking a trip to Florida , a car is often included in the cost of the package, but for some people the thought of driving a strange car in strange country on the wrong side of the road is a little bit daunting.
Lots of travel brochures or guides, will have you believe that you need a car to see Orlando’s attractions, whilst in my opinion this is certainly the most favourable way to go to Florida, it is however, possible to enjoy an awful lot without having a car and although I would recommend hiring a car out of personal choice, you have to accept that especially on a first trip, it is entirely likely that a car would spend most of it’s time parked in car park!
Public transport in Orlando is superior to that in the UK, it’s clean, cheap and most of all very easy to use. However, in my opinion, careful consideration needs to be taken in to where you decide to stay. If you plan to use public transport it’s important to choose somewhere that is served by public transport and in my opinion one of the best places to stay in this instance is International Drive. Lots of hotels offer a shuttle bus service to the main theme parks either for free or a local charge. These can be convenient places to stay if you're not hiring a car but you will be tied down to using the transportation at the times specified by the hotel.
As well as the free buses supplied by the hotels Universal also provide a free bus that picks up from various hotels and goes to the Universal bus station, you can also catch the same bus in the opposite direction to get to Seaworld. You would find the time table for these readily available at the guest services of your hotel.
I would say, the I-Drive area is about the only place you will see people walking along a pavement . I-Drive itself is approximately 10 miles long but you don't have to walk far to find restaurants and shops. Something to be aware of, is asking for directions, as the Americans concept of distance is vastly different to ours, around the corner or down the road to them could be 10-15 miles! As we have found out ourselves in the past when looking for somewhere!
Walking isn't really an option for visiting the attractions. Save your feet for when you get to the parks, as you will be doing plenty of walking there!
You're going to see lots of these brightly decorated buses traveling along the roads of Orlando most advertising shows and theme parks, however the Lynx bus stops are not quite as easy to spot and it's not always clear where you catch each bus. A pink circle marks the Lynx bus stops with a pink paw print ed in it. Underneath this sign there is normally another sign that tells you the number of the buses that pick up and drop of from this stop. The problem with this is that all you get is the number of the bus and not where it will be going. The local tourist information centres will be able to provide you with bus timetables and you can always stop a bus and get some time timetables from the driver. The Lynx buses travel all over Orlando and once you know which bus you need they are really simple to use. All trips on Lynx buses cost $1 but beware, as the drivers don't give change, so it's really important to keep some change or dollars for your journey. Another thing to note is that if you need to catch more than one bus on a journey you can buy a transfer ticket for $0.10, which allows you to transfer to another bus without having to pay again.
Of course, if you're based on I-Drive why not buy an I-Ride trolley bus pass for navigating your way around the International Drive area. These air conditioned little buses stop at over 40 locations on I-Drive. The Main Line begins at the North end in the Major Boulevard area and travels the majority of International Drive stopping at Seaworld and Orlando Premium Outlets on the way. The Green Line begins and ends on I Drive but primarily travels along Universal Blvd.
I-RIDE Trolleys operate all year-round, seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Trolleys seat 41 riders, 54 total capacity, including two wheelchair positions and an ADA-specified hydraulic lift system. Be prepared to stand up though, as these buses fill up really quickly especially at peak periods when everyone is making their way to and from the parks.
Note: Passes are not sold on trolleys themselves, but most shops and hotels on I Drive do sell them.
Once on the bus you're in for a real treat, as many of the bus drivers entertain the passengers with a running commentary and you can't be shy because if you want the bus to stop, you have to shout out loud! These buses are very popular early in the morning, as they link up with the Lynx 50 Bus at stop 37, which takes you all the way to the Ticket and Transportation Centre at Disney.
I certainly implore you not be put off going to Orlando because you either do not drive or are wary on your first trip, of driving there. There are plenty of other options available to you. Once you have tasted the delights on offer to you , I am sure you will want to consider returningelf, “I want to go back, but have a car next time for added flexibility!” A car will certainly open up even more of the delights that Florida and indeed Orlando has to offer the visitor! And, to be honest, they can soon become part of the enjoyment of the trip!!
NB: Prices are a guide only, as no doubt they are subject to change.
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Page added on: 29 September 2005
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