Accessible Travel—Hotels and theme parks have their acts together. Nearly everything is accessible. This excellent customer service predates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; as multigenerational attractions, the parks have always worked to be inclusive, and in response, guests with mobility issues have long embraced them in return.
There was a time when guests in wheelchairs and ECVs were given special treatment and ushered to the front of lines, but now, with so many guests on wheels for reasons including obesity, Disney (with the exception of Make-A-Wish Foundation kids and other special groups, by prior arrangement) feeds everyone into the same attraction queues. You might have to transfer to a manual wheelchair. Once you’re near the end, there will usually be a place for you to wait for the special wheelchair-ready ride vehicle to come around. Often, this translates into longer waits, as special ride vehicles can be in high demand. The park maps carefully indicate which rides will require you to leave your personal vehicle. A very few, pre-ADA attractions, such as Tom Sawyer Island and the Swiss Family Treehouse, require you to be ambulatory. Those are marked, too.
For off-property stays, consider renting a house, which provides much more room; most home-rental companies also comply with ADA requirements.
All the parks have a full range of in-park services for guests of every need. Disney maintains a Special Services hotline to answer all accessibility needs, including full arrangements for the blind and captioning for the hearing-impaired: 407/824-4321 and TTY 407/827-5141. Universal Orlando can be reached at 800/447-0672 [TTY] or 407/224-4233 [voice] (www.universalorlando.com); SeaWorld Orlando's number is 407/363-2400 (www.seaworld.com); Kennedy Space Center is at 321/449-4443 (www.kennedyspacecenter.com). Most parks can arrange sign language interpreters with a few weeks’ notice; all furnish assisted listening devices or scripts for some, but not all, of the biggest attractions. Medical Travel, Inc. (800/308-2503 or 407/438-8010; www.medicaltravel.org) specializes in the rental of mobility equipment, ramp vans, and supplies such as oxygen tanks (be aware that many rides do not allow tanks). Electric scooters and wheelchairs can be delivered to your accommodation through these established companies: Buena Vista Scooters (866/484-4797 or 407/938-0349; www.buenavistascooters.com), Scootaround (888/441-7575; www.scootaround.com), CARE Medical Equipment ( 800/741-2282 or 407/856-2273; www.caremedicalequipment.com), and Walker Medical & Mobility Products (888/726-6837 or 407/518-6000; www.walkermobility.com). All the theme parks, except the water parks, rent ECVs for about $50 a day and wheelchairs for about $12 a day. If your own wheelchair is wider than 25 inches, think about switching to the park model, as it is guaranteed to navigate tight squeezes such as hairpin queue turns.
Organizations that offer assistance to travelers with disabilities include the American Federation for the Blind (800/232-5463; www.afb.org) and Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (212/447-7284; www.sath.org).
Area Codes—The area code for the Orlando area is 407 (if you’re dialing locally, a preceding 1 is not necessary, but the 407 is), although you may encounter the less common 321 code, which is also used on the Atlantic Coast. The 863 area code governs the land between Orlando and Tampa, and the Tampa area uses 813 and 727. The region west of Orlando uses 352.
ATMs/Banks—See “Money,” in this section.
Business Hours—Offices are generally open weekdays between 9am and 5pm, while banks tend to close at 4pm. Typically, stores open between 9 and 10am and close between 6 and 7pm Monday through Saturday, except malls, which stay open until 9pm. On Sunday, stores generally open at 11am and close by 7pm.
Cellphones—See “Mobile Phones,” later in this section.
Car Rentals—This topic is perhaps the most hotly debated issue in all of Disneydom. But the bottom line is there's only one reason to do without a car: You never intend to leave Disney. If you plan to fan out, such as visiting Harry Potter or the Space Shuttle, get wheels.
Disney guests often justify forgoing a car by saying they can’t afford one. This is a fallacy. Disney hotels charge as much as twice what you’ll pay to stay at a hotel of similar quality off-site. If you stay at a non-Disney property, you can afford a car and still pay less. A large inventory means rentals are cheaper here than in other American cities: $26 a day is common for a compact car.
One caveat is that parking charges can add up. Valet is often free in town, but the theme parks charge $17 a day for a space (Universal is $5 after 6pm). If you stay at a Disney resort, it is free. Also, if you pay for parking once at any Disney park, you won’t have to pay again for another park on the same day. The bigger hotels now slap on $20-plus nightly fees for parking in their enormous lots. In the rest of Orlando, parking is free, plentiful, and off the street.
Make sure your rental car that locks by remote control fob; those are handy for making your vehicle honk and locating it in those expansive theme park parking lots.
Crime—Disney may advertise itself as “the Happiest Place on Earth,” but it’s still on Earth. That means bad things happen. Never open your hotel room door to a stranger, and never give your personal details or credit card number to anyone who calls your room, even if they claim to work for the hotel. Pickpockets are virtually unheard of, but they exist. Be vigilant about bags; you’re going to be bumped and jostled many times—one of those bumps could be a nimble-fingered thief.
Customs—Rules change. For details regarding current regulations, consult U.S. Customs and Border Protection ( 202/927-1770; www.cbp.gov).
Doctors—There are first-aid centers in all of the theme parks. There’s also a 24-hour, toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (800/282-3171). To find a dentist, contact the Dental Referral Service (800/235-4111; www.dentalreferral.com). Doctors on Call Service (407/399-3627) makes house and room calls in most of the Orlando area. Centra Care has several walk-in clinics, including ones at 2301 Sand Lake Rd., near Universal (407/851-6478); at 12500 S. Apopka Vineland Rd., in Lake Buena Vista, near Disney (407/934-2273); and at 8201 W. U.S. 192 (W. Irlo Bronson Hwy.), in the Formosa Gardens center (407/397-7032). The Medical Concierge (855/326-5252; www.themedicalconcierge.com) makes “hotel house calls," arranges dental appointments, and rents equipment.
Drinking Laws—The legal drinking age is 21. Proof of age is always requested, even if you look older, so carry photo ID. It’s illegal to carry open containers of alcohol in any car or public area that isn’t zoned for alcohol consumption (as CityWalk is), and the police may ticket you on the spot.
Driving Rules—Americans drive on the right. In Florida, you may turn right on red only after making a full stop unless the signal is an illuminated arrow, in which case you must wait for green. Many intersections are equipped with traffic cameras that will take a photo of your license plate, and rental car companies pass on fines along with hefty fees. If your plans take you outside the Orlando area, some toll roads (in Miami and Tampa, for example) are cashless and can only be paid by a SunPass sensor that must be rented, for an extra daily fee, from your rental agency, otherwise you will incur large penalties. Last, Florida is full of visitors who don’t know where they’re going. These lost souls will halt, cross three lanes of traffic, and get in the wrong lane without thinking. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
Electricity—The United States uses 110 to 120 volts AC (60 cycles), compared to the 220 to 240 volts AC (50 cycles) that is standard in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. If your small appliances use 220 to 240 volts, buy an adaptor and voltage converter before you leave home, as these can be difficult to come by in Orlando.
Embassies & Consulates—The nearest embassies are located in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Some consulates are located in major U.S. cities, and most nations have a mission to the United Nations in New York City. If your country isn’t listed below, call for directory information in Washington, D.C. ( 202/555-1212), or log on to www.embassy.org/embassies.
The embassy of Australia is at 1601 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036 ( 202/797-3000; www.usa.embassy.gov.au). There are consulates in New York, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
The embassy of Canada is at 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001 ( 202/682-1740; www.canadianembassy.org). Other Canadian consulates are in Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.
The embassy of Ireland is at 2234 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 ( 202/462-3939; www.embassyofireland.org). Irish consulates are in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and other cities.
The embassy of New Zealand is at 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008 ( 202/328-4800; www.nzembassy.com). New Zealand consulates are in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The embassy of the United Kingdom is at 3100 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 ( 202/588-7800; www.gov.uk/government/world/usa). Other British consulates are in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Emergencies—Call 911 for the police, to report a fire, or to get an ambulance. If you have a medical emergency that does not require an ambulance, you should be able to walk into the nearest hospital emergency room (see “Hospitals,” below).
Health—Your biggest concern is the sun, which can burn you even through grey skies on cloudy days. You will be spending a lot more time outdoors than you might suspect—rides take 3 minutes, but some of their lines will have you waiting outside for an hour. Hats are your friends.
Holidays—Banks close on the following holidays: January 1 (New Year's), the third Monday in January (Martin Luther King, Jr., Day), the third Monday in February (Presidents’ Day), the last Monday in May (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), the first Monday in September (Labor Day), the second Monday in October (Veterans Day), the fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day), and December 25. The theme parks are open every day of the year.
Hospitals—Dr. P Phillips Hospital (9400 Turkey Lake Rd., Orlando; 407/351-8500) is a short drive north up Palm Parkway from Lake Buena Vista. To get to Florida Hospital Celebration Health (400 Celebration Place, Celebration; 407/764-4000), from I-4, take the U.S. 192 exit; then at the first traffic light, turn right onto Celebration Avenue, and at the first stop sign, make another right. Clinics: Centra Care Walk-In Care in Lake Buena Vista (12500 Apopka-Vineland Rd., 407/934-2273; Mon–Fri 8am–midnight, Sat–Sun 8am–8pm); near the vacation homes south of Disney (7848 W. U.S. 192, Kissimmee; 407/397-7032; Mon–Fri 8am–8pm, Sat–Sun 8am–5pm); and by Universal (6001 Vineland Rd.; 407/351-6682; Mon–Fri 7am–7pm, Sat–Sun 8am–6pm). In addition, each theme park has its own infirmary capable of handling a range of medical emergencies. If you don't have a car, EastCoast Medical Network ( 407/648-5252; www.themedicalconcierge.com) makes house calls to area resorts for $150 to $275 for most ailments. It's available at all hours and brings a portable pharmacy, although prescriptions cost more.
Insurance—Among many options, you could try MEDEX ( 800/732-5309; www.medexassist.com) or Travel Assistance International ( 800/821-2828; www.travelassistance.com) for overseas medical insurance cover. Canadians should check with their provincial health plan offices or call Health Canada ( 866/225-0709; www.hc-sc.gc.ca) to find out the extent of their coverage and what documentation and receipts they must take home.
So what else may you want to insure? You may want special coverage for apartment stays, especially if you’ve plunked down a deposit, and any valuables, since airlines are only required to pay up to $2,500 for lost luggage domestically, less for foreign travel.
If you do decide on insurance, compare policies at InsureMyTrip.com ( 800/487-4722). Or contact one of the following reputable companies: Allianz ( 866/884-3556; www.allianztravelinsurance.com); Generali Global Assistance ( 800/874-2442; www.generalitravelinsurance.com); MEDEX ( 800/732-5309; www.medexassist.com); Travel Guard International ( 800/826-4919; www.medexassist.com); Travelex ( 800/228-9792; www.travelex-insurance.com).
Internet & Wi-Fi—Getting online isn’t hard. Wi-Fi is now considered an essential amenity, like running water. Most hotels will have free access—sometimes in common areas, sometimes in guest rooms, and sometimes in both places. Walt Disney World’s hotels have free Wi-Fi, and so do its theme parks, as do Universal’s. (SeaWorld does not yet have free Wi-Fi.) Hotel connections aren’t always fast enough to stream movies, but they’re usually fast enough for standard uses. Nearly all home rentals come with Internet-connected computers and Wi-Fi.
Language—English is the primary tongue, plus some Spanish.
LGBT Travelers—Orlando still has a conservative streak, but like most cities, it has come to realize that America welcomes every kind of person. The parks also employ thousands of gay people. As a consequence of all this mainstream visibility, gay visitors to Orlando simply won’t need special resources or assistance. Most hotels aren’t troubled in the least by gay couples, and gay people can be themselves anyplace. The most intolerant attitudes will come from other guests at the theme parks, who, of course, mostly aren’t from Orlando—public displays of affection there are not likely to be attacked, but don’t expect a warm reception, either. Sexual affection by gay people and straight people alike is not celebrated in the parks. Use your intuition—and your common sense.
Mail—At press time, domestic postage rates were 34¢ for a postcard and 49¢ for a letter. For international mail, a first-class letter of up to 1 ounce costs $1.15; a first-class international postcard costs the same as a letter. The post office most convenient to Disney and Universal is at 10450 Turkey Lake Rd. ( 407/351-2492; Mon–Fri 9am–7pm, Sat 9am–5pm). A smaller location, closer to Disney, is at 8536 Palm Pkwy., in Lake Buena Vista, just up the road from Hotel Plaza Boulevard ( 407/238-0223). If all you need is to buy stamps and mail letters, you can do that at most hotels. For more information, including locations nearest you, go to www.usps.com and click on “Calculate a Price.” Ask at the theme park Guest Relations desks if mailing your items there will entitle you to a themed postmark.
Medical Requirements—No inoculations or vaccinations are required to enter the United States unless you’re arriving from an area that is suffering from an epidemic (cholera or yellow fever, in particular). A valid, signed prescription is required for those travelers in need of syringe-administered medications or medical treatment that involves narcotics. It is extremely important to obtain the correct documentation in these cases, as your medications could be confiscated; and if you are found to be carrying an illegal substance, officials tend to lock you up first and ask questions later.
Mobile Phones—Orlando has the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless network, which is used by much of the rest of the world. Your phone will probably work in Orlando; it may not work in rural areas. To buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card, ask for a “no-contract” SIM card. Barring those suggestions, phones can be rented from InTouch USA ( 800/872-7626; www.intouchusa.com); some car rental outlets do it, too. If you have Web access while traveling, consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP), such as Skype (www.skype.com) or Vonage (www.vonage.com), which allows you to make free international calls from your laptop.
The theme parks’ new reliance on programming your schedule via apps drains devices quickly. To have enough juice for a 13-hour day, carry a portable charger, such as the ones by Mophie (www.mophie.com) or Jackery (www.jackeryusa.com).
Money—This town exists to rake in money. Consequently it places few obstacles between you and the surrender of it. Most ATMs that you’ll find are run by third parties, not your bank, which means that you’ll be slapped with fees of around $2.50 per withdrawal (around $5 for international visitors). Machines accept pretty much anything you can stick into them. Citibank customers can avoid the usage fee by using the fancy Citibank machines located at most 7-Eleven convenience stores in the area. International visitors should make advance arrangements with their banks to ensure their cards will function in the United States. Also ask your bank if it has reciprocal agreements for free withdrawals anywhere. One institution known to charge international usage fees that are below the industry standard is Everbank (888/882-3837; www.everbank.com); another is Charles Schwab (866/855-9102; www.schwab.com), which reimburses ATM fees.
Credit cards are nearly universally accepted. In fact, you must have one to rent a car without a hassle. Most places accept the Big Four: American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. A few places add Diners Club, and some family-owned businesses subtract American Express because of the pain of dealing with it. Before you leave home, let your issuer know that you’re about to go on vacation. Many of them get antsy when they see unexpectedly large charges start appearing so far from your home, and sometimes they freeze your account in response. Not only will Orlando clerks almost always neglect to check the purchaser’s identification, but also, in the high-volume world of the theme parks, they don’t even require signatures for purchases under a certain amount (typically, $25). You just swipe and go. That means you need to be doubly sure to keep your cards safe.
Try not to use credit cards to withdraw cash. You’ll be charged interest from the moment your money leaves the slot. Tip: There is an exception that the resorts don’t sanction, but I certainly do: Instead of using your credit card to draw cash from an ATM, use it to buy Disney Dollars (407/566-4985, option 5). They’re private scrip (sold at big shops and most guest services desks), valued precisely like U.S. dollars. But they are charged as a purchase, not as a cash withdrawal, so there are no additional fees. You can spend them like cash within the respective resorts. Pretty sneaky, sis! Universal sells its own version, Wizarding Bank Notes.
Now that ATMs are common, traveler’s checks are nearly dead. Using them, you run the risk of most places declining them. Creditors have come up with traveler’s check cards, also called prepaid cards, which are essentially debit cards loaded with the amount of money you elect to put on them. They’re not coded with your personal information, they work in ATMs, and should you lose one, you can get your cash back in a matter of hours. If you spend all the money on them, you can call a number or visit a website and reload the card using your bank account information. Travelex Cash Passport (877/465-0085; www.cashpassport.com; $3 per ATM transaction) works anywhere MasterCard does; also try NetSpend (866/387-7363; www.netspend.com; $1 per purchase, $5 per ATM transaction). That one costs $4. Like traveler’s checks, exchanging cash is on the outs, and good riddance, as exchange rates are usurious. Because ATM withdrawals give better deals, old-fashioned exchange desks are few and far between, although you’ll still find a few at the airport, at large hotels, at the Travelex at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores. If you need to change money, better rates come from banks during regular banking hours (Mon–Fri 9:30am–4pm). Finding a bank isn’t difficult in the “real” world of Orlando around SeaWorld and Universal, but at Walt Disney World, you could use a hand. The nearest bank is the SunTrust (1675 Buena Vista Dr., across from Downtown Disney Marketplace; 407/762-4786; drive-through Mon–Wed, Fri 8am–5pm, until 5:30pm on Thurs).
Newspapers & Magazines—Business hotels distribute that shallow McNewspaper, “USA Today,” to use as your morning doormat. The local paper, the “Orlando Sentinel” (www.orlandosentinel.com) is less widely available but much better for discovering local happenings. “Orlando Magazine” (www.orlandomagazine.com) is a glossy that covers trends and upscale restaurants.
Packing—For the latest rules on how to pack and what you will be permitted to bring as a carry-on, consult your airline or the Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov). Also be sure to find out from your airline what your checked-baggage weight limits will be; maximums of around 50 pounds per suitcase are standard. Anything heavier will incur a fee. Paying for the luggage at the airport is often more expensive than online.
If you forget something, there’s nothing you can’t buy in Orlando. It’s hardly Timbuktu. But bring the basics for sunshine (lotion of at least 30 SPF, wide-brimmed hat, bathing suit, sunglasses), for rain (a compact umbrella or a plastic poncho, which costs $8 if you wait until you get into the parks), for walking (good shoes, sandals for wet days), and for memories (camera, storage cards, chargers).
Pets—None of the Disney resorts allows animals (except service dogs) to stay on the (the only exception being Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, where you can have your pet at the full-hook-up campsites). The major theme parks offer animal boarding, usually for about $40 per day. Disney offers a single facility, Best Friends Pet Care, on the Bonnet Creek Parkway ( 407/209-3126; www.bestfriendspetcare.com). Universal Orlando and SeaWorld will board small pets during the day only. Universal's three Loews-run resorts allow pets on the property. So do Drury Hotels. To find more pet-friendly hotels, two solid resources are www.petswelcome.com and www.dogfriendly.com.
Pharmacies—The tourist area hosts mostly national chains. Walgreens (7650 W. Sand Lake Rd. at Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando; 407/370-6742), which has a round-the-clock pharmacy, could, at a stretch, be deemed an outfit with local roots; back in the day, Mr. Walgreen spent the cold months in Winter Park. Turner Drugs (12500 Apopka Vineland Rd., Lake Buena Vista; 407/828-8125) is not a 24-hour pharmacy, but it delivers prescriptions to most Disney-area accommodations.
Police—Call 911 from any phone in an emergency.
Safety—Train kids to approach the nearest park employee in case of separation. Never dress kids in clothing that reveals their name, address, or hometown, and unless it’s a travel day, remove any luggage tags where this information will be visible. If people can read your address off a tag while you’re in line at Jurassic Park, they they’ll know you’re not at home. Don't leave valuables visible when you park your car. Also, please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Thank you.
Smoking—Smoking is prohibited in public indoor spaces, including offices, restaurants, hotel lobbies, and most shops. Some bars permit it. In general, if you need to smoke, you must go outside into the open air, and in the theme parks there are strictly enforced designated areas.
Taxes—A 6.5 to 7 percent sales tax is charged on all goods with the exception of most edible grocery items and medicines. Hotels add another 2 to 5 percent in a resort tax, so the total tax on accommodations can run up to 12 percent. The United States has no VAT, but the custom is to not list prices with tax, so the final amount that you pay will be slightly higher than the posted price.
Telephones—Generally, hotel surcharges on long-distance and local calls are astronomical, so you’re better off using your cellphone or a public pay telephone. Many convenience groceries and packaging services sell prepaid calling cards in denominations from $10 to $50; for international visitors these can be the least expensive way to call home. Many public phones at airports now accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa credit cards. Local calls made from public pay phones in most locales cost either 35¢ or 50¢. Pay phones do not accept pennies, and few will take anything larger than a quarter. Make sure you have roaming turned on for your cellphone account.
If you will have high-speed Internet access in your room, save on calls by using Skype (www.skype.com) or another Web-based calling program.
For calls within the United States and to Canada, dial 1 followed by the area code and the seven-digit number. For other international calls, first dial 011, then the country code, and then proceed with the number, dropping any leading zeroes.
Calls to area codes 800, 888, 877, and 866 are toll-free. However, calls to area codes 700 and 900 can be very expensive—usually a charge of 95¢ to $3 or more per minute, and they sometimes have minimum charges that can run as high as $15 or more.
For reversed-charge or collect calls, and for person-to-person calls, dial the number 0, then the area code and number. If your operator-assisted call is international, ask for the overseas operator.
For local directory assistance (“information”), dial 411; for long-distance information, dial 1, then the appropriate area code and 555-1212.
Time—The continental United States is divided into four time zones: Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), and Pacific Standard Time (PST). Orlando is on Eastern Standard Time, so when it’s noon in Orlando, it’s 11am in Chicago (CST), 10am in Denver (MST), and 9am in Los Angeles (PST). Daylight saving moves the clock 1 hour ahead of standard time. Clocks change the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.
Tipping—Tips are customary and should be factored into your budget. Waiters should receive 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the meal (depending on the quality of the service), bellhops get $1 per bag, bartenders get $1 per drink, chambermaids get $1 to $2 per day for straightening your room (although many people don’t do this), and cab drivers should get 15 percent of the fare. The Disney Dining Plan automatically includes gratuity. Elsewhere, don’t be offended if you are reminded about tipping—wait staff are used to dealing with international visitors who don’t participate in the custom back home.
Toilets—Each theme park has dozens of clean restrooms. Outside of the parks, every fast-food place—and there are hundreds—should have a restroom you can use. Large hotel lobbies also have some.
Visas—Citizens of western and central Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore need only a valid machine-readable passport and a round-trip air ticket or cruise ticket to enter the United States for stays of up to 90 days. Canadian citizens may enter without a visa with proof of residence.
Citizens of all other countries will need to obtain a tourist visa from the U.S. consulate. Depending on your country of origin, there may or may not be a charge attached (and you may or may not have to apply in person). You’ll need to complete an application and submit a photo, and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past the scheduled end of your U.S. visit. If an interview isn’t mandated, it’s usually possible to obtain a visa within 24 hours, except during holiday periods or the summer rush. Be sure to check with your local U.S. embassy or consulate for the very latest in entry requirements, as these continue to shift. Full information can be found at the U.S. State Department’s website, www.travel.state.gov.
Visitor Information—Orlando has one of the most responsive and question-friendly visitors’ bureaus in America and it operates a storefront, Orlando Official Visitor Center (8723 International Dr.; 407/363-5872; www.visitorlando.com; daily 8:30am–6:30pm), in a strip mall on the western side of I-Drive not far north of the Pointe Orlando shopping mall, that’s stocked from carpet to rafter with free brochures. Although many, many other places in town (souvenir stands, mostly) claim to offer “official” tourist information, this is the only truly official place. Staff is on hand to answer any questions, and its ticket desk has the inside line on discounts.
Kissimmee, the town closest to Walt Disney World, maintains its own tourist office, the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau (1925 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy./U.S. 192; Kissimmee; 407/944-2400; www.floridakiss.com; Mon–Fri 8am–5pm). Its website also lists current discounts. The Kissimmee CVB works with the Orlando bureau, so you won’t have to make two trips.
Water—Tap water has a distinct mineral taste. Your hotel’s pipes are not to blame. Rather, think of Orlando as an island floating over a cushion of water. Most of the city’s lakes started, in fact, as sinkholes. The drinking water is drawn from the aquifer, hence the specific flavor and odor. It’s safe.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.