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Endless amount of rental options to get you around- with FloridaDiva sidekick

Article and Pictures by FloridaDiva

 

While it may seem odd to be writing for a Disney blog and not promoting their accommodations, stick with me; I promise I still reference the mouse and explain how this can make your Disney trip an even better experience.
 
1) You’re short on funds but just can’t wait any longer for your next Disney fix
 
Staying at one of the many motels along the W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy is a great option when on a tight budget and if you’re in the Kissimmee area. (If not in the Kissimmee area, the W Irlo Bronson Memorial HWY will mean nothing to you and you should consult a map to see if you’re actually in California instead. In which case, please skip to the next paragraph.)  The motels along here (Here, being the HWY in Kissimmee) are definitely modest but if you’re like me, you don’t go on vacation to hang out in your hotel room anyway. If your priority is maximizing your time at the parks themselves, this option can save you a ton and leave you more money for an extra day at Disney or provide funding for more souvenirs. The location is less than a 10 minute drive from the gates and many hotels offer shuttle services if you don’t have a car rental or don’t want to pay for Disney parking.
 
On the flip side, or at least the other side of the country, Anaheim’s hotels and motels that surround the park offer even closer access. West Ball Rd, Katella Avenue and Harbour Blvd all surround Disneyland and provide ample options for lodging with some along Harbour Blvd even within walking distance to the gates of the park. Start hoofin’ it!
 
2) Avoid Disney Overload                                                                                                                                             
If you travel to the parks during any holiday or when there are extended hours, you run the risk of overdosing on Disney. Now, before you ask how this could possibly be a bad thing, let me explain. I like to hit the gates as early as possible and close the park every day I visit in order to maximize my exposure to the mouse, but this can come at a price; exhaustion. Sometimes its good to step away, and shut off the constant stimulation that Disney creates. When I recently stayed on property, for the first time, (I know, shocking, isn’t it?) I realized that the magic only ever shut off when I closed my eyes and went to sleep. 
 
 
 
Now don’t get me wrong, I am obsessed with all things Disney, but I really think that it loses some of its effect when you’re around the constant music, themes and special touches. When you walk through the grounds after a long day and someone says, “Oooh one of my favorite songs,” and you didn’t even realize music was playing, that’s a clear sign that you’ve had too much.  No one should ever, and I mean EVER, associate anything to do with Disney as “white noise” or walk by a 3 story tall cowboy boot and not even notice it. To do so is nothing short of criminal while on vacation at Disney. So, I think it’s good to be able to decompress every day so the magic can will fresh and appreciated all over again the next morning.
 
  3)  Did you see that?!?  
                               Another area attraction in Kissimmee that causes head’s to turn on International Drive
 
 Okay, so here’s where a few fans may, to borrow a phrase from my gorgeous colleague, BritishDiva, “Get their knickers in a twist”, but bare with me. If you do stay off property, you’ll be sure to notice that there is life on other planets oops, I mean, in other areas surrounding Disney. In fact, realizing this can give you the break you need for a day to avoid the side effects mentioned in number 2 and help add to your appreciation of the magic.
Just 100 yards from here you can see a genuine sunken pirate ship just 20 feet below the surface – Florida Keys
 
 
These turtles are so common along the Gulf Coast’s Bonita Beach  that you have to check under your car before driving away. With small & medium FloridaDevos 
 
 Florida has so much to see and do that in the 2 years that I lived there and my numerous subsequent visits, I have failed to accomplish everything that’s on my “to do” list. Besides, those other parks that shall not be named, there are tons of other things you could do.
 

 
Shelling is the best on Sanibel Island with Large, medium and small FloridaDevos (left)
 
A chance to cruise the coastal waters can’t be missed (right)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 For example, you are only a 60 minute drive from either the breathtaking Gulf of Mexico that is home to some of the top rated beaches in the world; or the stunning Atlantic, which also offers a glimpse into “the final frontier” for those of you who like that kind of thing. Along with its beautiful beaches, Florida offers a plethora of other activities, tours and wildlife encounters that all provide a great supplement to your Disney vacation.
 
                                          My medium FloridaDevo rastlin’ gators in The Everglades 
 
For those of you who enjoy the west coast and prefer to partake in Anaheim’s Disney park, the Los Angeles area also offers an abundance of options for a day well spent away from the mouse.Venice Beach is a must see, Hollywood, the original, is fun to explore and a trip down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills might even give you the chance to play paparazzi. I was lucky enough to spot an episode of Baywatch being filmed one day and got a pic of The Hoff himself!
 
 Jealous much? Let’s move on.
 
4)  Flexible Mobility. And no, I’m not talking about the Cirque du Soleil show

                                                                                                                                                  
Staying off property, especially in Florida, usually entails a car rental. If you’ve rented a car, you’ll probably use it, which will save you time and allow you the opportunity to see more of the Disney grounds.
 
While Disney has done a fabulous job of providing transportation for their guests via bus, boat and monorail, I rarely use it. Why? For the same reason I don’t use public transportation at home, it takes too long and I have to operate on someone else’s schedule. Honestly, I am way too impatient to do that. (Not to mention a little too A.D.D. to follow through with waiting in line for transportation as I often think of something else to do that is more appealing than waiting in line to catch a ride, and then I go do it.)
 
 
 
When on vacation at Disney, I like to get where I want to go NOW. I don’t like to have to get out the map to see where I can catch the monorail before transferring to a bus or boat to complete my journey as is sometimes required since not all forms of transport are available at each Disney locale. Having my rental at my beck and call makes me feel in control and not restricted by schedules and routes.
 
Note: Yes, I know that you can stay on property andrent a car, but I only recommend using a rental while staying on property if you’re going to take my advice from number 3; otherwise it’s really a waste of cash.
 
Speaking of cash…
 
5)  Scrooge McDuck                                                                                                                                                                
When you stay off property, not only can you save a bit on your accommodations, but you can save some dough on food too. Stopping at the very affordable and delicious  place that makes hot, compressed checkerboard patterned food in their humble abode (wasn’t sure if I could say “Waffle House”) for breakfast can save you having to fork out a lot of cash and from having to wait in long lines for that ever so important morning meal. A quick stop at the grocery store; you know, the one that isn’t private, (seriously, what are the rules for naming establishments not associated with Disney on this site?) near your motel, provides a chance to grab some affordable snacks and drinks to keep you going throughout the day. I even get a  room with a fridge and make sandwiches to take along too so all we have to do is get dinner in the park every day. If you allow for one “treat” a day and book a couple of character themed meals for your trip, you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything at all.
 
                                               FloridaDevos hanging with Goofy at Chef Mickey’s         
Now, while this article was sprinkled with some tongue in cheek commentary, the advice is genuine and can help to ensure that your next trip is affordable and still supplies you with an abundance of magic to add to your collection of memories. Enjoy your time with the mouse and be sure to connect with Patricia, our very own Disney expert and travel agent who would be more than happy to assist you in implementing some of my suggestions.   Her button is on the left side of the page. 
                     

 

My love for Disney began at an early age; in fact, I was so young on my first trip to Disneyland that I can't remember it! Since then, I've made tons of my happiest memories visiting again and again with family and friends. Combining my love for all things Disney and my passion for writing has made working for Disney Divas and Devos a dream come true!