There are lots of things to think about when you are going to Florida. I wanted to give you a Pre Florida checklist to see what you should be thinking about once you’ve booked your holiday. This little list will be really useful.
Pre Florida checklist:
I use Looking4Parking and have never had a problem with them. My preferred choice is the Valet parking which means you can rock up, empty your car and give the keys to someone, it also means you’re already close to the departures at the airport. Again when you’re tired after the flight home you can roll out of the airport and into your car in minimum time. We’ve also used meet and greet which at Manchester Airport is really handy. More recently we’ve used the multistorey carpark and that was fine too. With that you have a bit of a trek back to the car but its really easy.
This is a big one for us. We make sure we have the paperwork for everything in order. No messing about. We have a very clear system for this, it’s boring but it makes for an easier travel experience. We always do this even if we are traveling as a three piece or as a party of seven or more. If you are traveling with Virgin and you have checked in at Disney Springs (At the time of writing in April 2023, Disney Springs check in desks have still not reopened) then within your Virgin Paperwork you’ll have a voucher for the check in. Most people in my experience (including us the first time) don’t have this and although it doesn’t stop you checking in it does slow the process down somewhat. We have a a4 folder from Amazon and try and put the paperwork into it in order that we will need it.
Boring but absolutely vital for travel to the USA as they don’t have an NHS. If you have good insurance then you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are safe. We get a 12-month worldwide policy for the three of us for less than £150.
You need an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) to travel to the USA. It is simple to do online. Please use the official ESTA website. They do look at past convictions so be aware of that, if you are declined via an ESTA you can apply for a Visa so try not to worry and don’t let it stop you trying.
You can get standard insurance and you can get gold insurance. Personally, I want to think that if I have an accident on the I4 and it’s completely my fault, at least I can get out of the car and explain that I am very well insured. That’s just my personal view, we do pay around £400 to insure the hire car for 2 weeks with gold insurance. However, we also get the Sat Nav and the child seat in with that price. Also, you can take the car back with no fuel in it. This is really useful and one less thing to worry about when you’re heading back to the airport full of Disney blues!
Fast passes (Now Genie Plus), Experiences, and Dining Options
There is a lot of planning that goes into a Disney Orlando holiday so it’s important that you understand you can book almost everything before you leave the UK. I’ll do some more detailed posts about this so look out for them. We book with Virgin and we are predominantly Disney fans (Universal is Awesome too!) so we always speak to Virgin Concierge before we go to make sure we’ve got everything we need, a BBQ for the Villa for example. And we always speak to Disney to book things like Bibbity Bobbity Boutique and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
- The Pre Florida Checklist
- Documents – make sure they are all in date
- Vaccinations – Make sure you have the relevant doses or have been for a test. This changes all the time so ensure you have been on the Government website to check the latest rules.
- Paperwork – make sure it is all in order and you have printed everything you need.
- Car parking in the UK, Security Fast Pass etc
- Insurances – ensure you have good holiday insurance to cover you in Florida and good car insurance.
- Phone numbers – have the holiday company, insurance company and Villa/Hotel company phone numbers to hand.
- Visa cards, Money, Travel cards – At the worst as long as you have passports and money and documents everything else is sortable.
- Stuff to do on the plane. It is a long flight so make sure you have plenty downloaded for the flight.
Hope that gives you some good advice for a pre Florida checklist.