Tag: kissimmee

Downtown Disney Orlando

Downtown Disney equals lots of entertainment and nightlife all in one Disney hotspot. Situated on Buena Vista Drive, follow the signs for Walt Disney World and then you’ll see signs for Downtown Disney, taking you to the free parking lots. The majority of our Florida villas to rent are within a 20 minute drive away.  You can stroll along the scenic walkway of the 3 distinct sections, all bordering the village waterfront and experience the dining, shopping and entertainment on offer. On the West side – you can take in a live theatrical show of breathtaking acrobatics at the Cirque du Soleil theatre – tickets can be purchased at the box office in the theatre or by calling 407-WDW-SEAT. Or perhaps see the latest Hollywood movie at the AMC Pleasure Island 24 screen cinema – we have a handy post on our Florida Villas blog for film showtimes. Soak up the party atmosphere on Pleasure Island with the bars, discos and eateries. You’ll also find the very best Disney souvenirs and gifts for friends and family at the World of Disney store (largest Disney character store in the world) in the shopping hub of Downtown Disney Marketplace on the East side. Featured in the store is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique salon for girls and boys who want the ultimate princess and knight fairytale makeovers. This is extremely popular with young children over 3 years and we would advise calling in advance to make reservations. Makeover package prices vary.  The marketplace also has a fine art gallery which is fun to browse called The Art of Disney.  There are an abundance of themed restaurants for the family – the Rainforest Cafe has casual dining in an amazing tropical rainforest setting. For an unforgettable experience, try the T-Rex Cafe – a prehistoric adventure where you can eat, shop and gaze at the moving T-Rex dinosaur.

For music lovers, back on the west side, the House of Blues offers southern-inspired food along with live music from Rock ‘n’ Roll to R&B in their Music Hall adjacent to the diner. Once you visit, you’ll be coming back again and again. Check out Leona Lewis below…..

Why not try a 400ft balloon ride in the Characters in Flight open everyday.

Florida Mall Shopping, Orlando

The Florida Mall in Orlando

As well as visiting all the theme parks and attractions, you won’t want to miss out on the shopping in Orlando.  The Florida Mall, Central Florida’s largest mall at a whopping 1.9 million square feet of shopping, features 260 speciality stores and will provide you with an unforgettable shopping experience. Stores include Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, M&M World, Hollister Co, Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, MAC, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Bodyworks to name a few. Florida Mall is located at 8001 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando FL 32809. Regular Mall hours are Mon-Sat 10am – 9pm, and sun 12pm – 6pm.

Handy tips for you: For the easiest route to the Florida Mall and avoiding the toll booth charges, take the 528 Toll Road, exit 72 off the I-4. Take the Orange Blossom Trail junction (exit 4), turn left onto the OBT, Florida Mall is on your right.

And another tip…Macy’s department store are offering special travellers’ savings and international visitors can receive the Welcome Savings Card valid for 30 days, giving a 10% discount on your purchases. Domestic visitors can receive the Welcome Savings Pass, offering 10% discount valid for 3 days. Just ask at a register before you start shopping and they can assist you in getting your discount card. For international visitors, take along proof of your international status ie driver’s licence or passport.

The Florida Mall is located about 20 minutes from most of our Florida holiday villas and is a great way to spend a day!!!

Crazy / Mini Golf Courses in Orlando

Although classed as a smaller attraction compared with the major theme parks, the mini adventure golf courses in Orlando are really popular. Very different to anything you might experience in the UK, these courses are spectacularly designed and are lots of fun for all the family – challenging mini golfers with putt-through’s designed in logs, hills, waterfalls, caves and tunnels. Great if you want to play a game in the sun, or as your evening’s entertainment under the stars. We’ve put together a list of the good ones and links to their website so you can have all the info on prices, opening times and directions. Pick up your putter and away you play!

Congo River mini golf on International Drive and Kissimmee hosts an African explorer themed adventure golf course in a tropical rainforest setting with waterfalls and caves. Look out for the live gator feeding exhibits here too.

Pirates Cove mini golf on International Drive takes you back to the 18th Century on a pirates adventure while you play amongst cascading waterfalls, sunken ships and dreaded pirate dungeons!

Hawaiian Rumble mini golf on International Drive and Lake Buena Vista both sites feature a Hawaiian themed 50 foot volcano with fire and lava, lush tropical palms setting and rhythmic calypso beats to entertain you during your game.

Disney Fantasia Gardens mini golf – Disney’s own take on miniature golf located at Epcot has 2 courses: Fantasia Gardens and Fantasia Fairways. These are inspired by the animated Fantasia film and during your 36 hole game you’ll see characters from the movie like the dancing hippos and the marching broomsticks!

Disney Winter Summerland mini golf – another Disney offering of miniature golf outside Blizzard Beach, these are Santa Claus themed courses: the ‘Snow’ course – put your way to the 18th ‘North Hole’!! and in contrast the ‘Sand’ course,  is beach-themed with 18 holes to play amongst sandcastles and surfboards.

Discount vouchers are available for most of the mini golf courses (excluding Disney) in the local coupon/tourist/attraction books that you can get in entrance to most supermarkets, restaurants and tourist information booths.

Nearly all of the mini golf courses are located less than 15-20 minutes from all our Orlando vacation rentals on HWY192, International Drive or just off Interstate 4 (I4) in the main tourist areas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Florida Snowbird Vacation Rentals

Florida Snowbirds

To all you Florida snowbirds out there looking for some winter sun in 2012 we have a selection of over 570 privately owned Florida rental villas. All our Orlando villas are close to the main attractions and lots of golf courses, restaurants and shops. Most are located in Kissimmee, Davenport, Clermont and surrounding areas.

Most of our villa owners offer weekly rates but will give you a good discount to snowbird vacation rental guests if you are renting over 4 weeks so please contact them with your dates to get a quote.

Please visit our web sites to see photos and a 360 Virtual Tour of every Florida vacation rentals and save money by booking direct with the owners.

Orlando Villas to Rent – VR360floridavillas.co.uk
Florida Snowbird Rentals – VR360homes.co.uk

Hot Air Balloon Rides – Orlando Florida

Hot Air Balloon Rides from Thompson Aire
Early Morning over Kissimmee

On a recent trip to Orlando we decided to take a hot air balloon flight, there are a number of companies offering this but we booked with Thompson Aire run by Jeff Thompson as they had been highly recommended.

At the time of writing this the cost was $185 per adult + tax and if you have more than 4 or 6 in your group you get an extra discount (this does include breakfast after the flight). They have balloon flights everyday which start at around 6am but you do need to book in advance as they get full up quickly especially around the holidays.

We met them the next morning at 6am up on HWY192, they then decide which way the wind is going so they can plan a route for the flight. We started down HWY192 by Old Town with a route that would take us over the 192, Celebration, Reunion and end up near Champions Gate. Continue reading “Hot Air Balloon Rides – Orlando Florida”