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MIA->South Beach->Orlando

MIA->South Beach->Orlando

Old Apr 16, 15, 3:40 pm
  #1  
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MIA->South Beach->Orlando

Hi!
We're arriving to MIA at around 6PM after 12 hours flight. I've read terrible stories about immigration lines so I suppose it will take 1,5-2 hours to get out. We'll be with kids. Should I plan to book a hotel at South Beach? What will be the best transportation option? I'm not at all willing to spend another hour on picking up a rental car. But if the taxi lines are not better? Should we consider staying at the airport hotel overnight?
Then we'll have a couple of days on the beach and will head to WDW.
I planned to go to SoBe in taxi on the arrival evening to keep it simple. Then to look for a nearby rental car office (or any rental that could bring the car direct to the hotel) and go WDW. Another problem (is it really a problem) is to drop off the car at WDW. Is it possible to just leave it at the hotel for the company pick up or I should drop it off at the lot?
Any ideas to make our transportation smoother? we're having 3 kids, and I'm really feeling nervous
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Old Apr 16, 15, 10:01 pm
  #2  
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Depending on which WDW hotel, some have rental car agencies at the property.
The Dolphin and swan have a national car rental agency at the hotel. But. Why not just drop it off at the airport? You have to fill up with gas, so would be easier to just drive to the airport. Btw, don't fill up at he 2 gas stations nearest the airport as they are rip offs, see the thread in Orlando section.

Taxi lines aren't bad at MIA. Are you going to use a car to get around Miami? If so, I'd get be car at MIA. Probably quicker and easier
Also make sure that if you rent from a Miami Beach that you can drop off in another location.
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Old Apr 17, 15, 6:38 am
  #3  
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Thank you for the reply.
We're not planning to drive around Miami, so I'd prefer to get to the hotel in taxi and then pick the car somewhere near. Is it possible that the rental agency will bring the car to hotel? Another question about car - will I need at WDW or it's inconvenient? I understand that parking is also not cheap at parks, so maybe taxi would be also better choice?
Can anyone advise on the hotel? I was planning to go to Loews (dailygetaways had a good deal but I missed it), but it's $300+ at the moment and I would prefer something cheaper. Is Z Ocean a good alternative?
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Old Apr 18, 15, 8:45 pm
  #4  
 
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It might be easiest if you provide more details about your trip. Not a full itinerary, but basics like which hotels you already have booked (if any) and total size of your travel party. Also, let us know if there are any "must haves" for the trip. For example: must stay at a Disney resort.

There are several active posters who have knowledge about Orlando and South Florida. I used to work at the Disney Reservations Center so I know a lot about the Disney resorts.

With more details, we can provide some more concrete suggestions on how to make your trip less stressful.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 4:01 am
  #5  
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Thank you for the reply.
we're going 2 adults with 3 kids.
We already have a reservation at Contemporary.
we're aariving to MIA on June 2 in the evening and depart from MCO on June 12 (6 AM). We're staying at WDW 5-11. I think it will be better to stay overnight at MCO (Hyatt)
So at the moment I need: choose the hotel at Miami Beach from 2 to 4 (or 5th) and make a car reservation. Car rental 2 to 12 is ~$400. 4 to 6 (just for miami->orlando trip) is $100-200 depending on the car. So the difference is not that much. But I'm not sure I will need a car at WDW. - the parking at parks is not free, and the taxi/shuttle will bring you to the entrance. So I think I will return it immediately on arrival to WDW and then we'll go to airport on Magical Express.
The most confusing part is the Miami beach rental - the parking costs a lot and I won't really need a car there. Besides I think it will be more convenient to go by taxi after a long flight with small kids.
Another question - to go on the evening of June 4th to Space center, stay overnight somewhere near it, visit it early in the morning and move to WDW. Or start on June 5th from miami beach directly to WDW? And maybe visit spacecenter from WDW on one of the afternoons?
The question about the hotel at Miami Beach is still actual. Would Z Ocean be a good choice?
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Old Apr 22, 15, 5:51 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by antonen View Post
I think it will be better to stay overnight at MCO (Hyatt)
I think that is very wise. Doing this will likely save a little money and make the trip home a little easier. Disney's Magical Express requires that you leave 4 hours prior to an international flight. It doesn't make sense to pay for a night at the Disney resort if you have to check out at 1:30am for the 2am trip to MCO.

Originally Posted by antonen View Post
But I'm not sure I will need a car at WDW. - the parking at parks is not free, and the taxi/shuttle will bring you to the entrance.
Actually, when you stay at a WDW resort, you get free parking at the resort and at all the theme parks. But, you can use the free Disney transport (monorail and buses) to get anywhere at WDW. Plus, you will be able to walk from your resort to the Magic Kingdom. I wouldn't keep the rental car.

Originally Posted by antonen View Post
So I think I will return it immediately on arrival to WDW and then we'll go to airport on Magical Express.
Both National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-a-Car have drop off locations at the Car Care Center near the Magic Kingdom. After returning the car, they can provide a free ride to your resort during normal business hours. More information:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/gu...ntal-services/

Another option is to use Dollar or Avis. Dollar has a location at the Buena Vista Palace. Avis is located at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista. Both of those hotels are in the Downtown Disney Area (soon to be renamed Disney Springs). After dropping off your car, you can walk across the street (5-8 minute walk) and take a Disney bus over to Disney's Contemporary resort.

Originally Posted by antonen View Post
Another question - to go on the evening of June 4th to Space center, stay overnight somewhere near it, visit it early in the morning and move to WDW. Or start on June 5th from miami beach directly to WDW? And maybe visit spacecenter from WDW on one of the afternoons?
A visit to Kennedy Space Center is a great idea. I'd recommend making it a stop between Miami and Orlando. Once you're at WDW, you'll probably not want to backtrack.

The tour that is included with admission takes several hours. Plus, you will want to spend some time at the main Visitor's Center complex. They have space-themed IMAX movies (included). The Space Shuttle Atlantis building is pretty remarkable. The experience of viewing the Shuttle rivals the top attractions at WDW. There is also a simulated launch attraction (included in admission).

Originally Posted by antonen View Post
The question about the hotel at Miami Beach is still actual. Would Z Ocean be a good choice?
Unfortunately, I can't help with this question. I live in Fort Lauderdale. The only time I ever go to Miami Beach is if it's for work. My gut says that you're right about not needing a car. Hopefully other people here can provide some more information about Miami Beach hotels.

Feel free to respond if anything I wrote is unclear.
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Old Apr 23, 15, 2:33 am
  #7  
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Thank you so much for an extensive reply!
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