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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Florida > Orlando

Orlando Weather

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Local time Orlando

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Getting around Orlando

Public transport

The rather plodding Lynx bus system (tel: +1 407 841 2279; www.golynx.com) is Orlando's only real public transport option, but on the upside, it covers most of the city, Orlando International Airport, the theme parks and most of the main tourist areas. The routes (Links) are easy to identify and are symbolised by pink paw-print signs.

One-, seven- and 30-day passes are available, all of which represent significant savings if you take more than two regular-price journeys a day. Link 51 runs from the airport to downtown Orlando; Link 42 goes from the airport to International Drive; Link 50 runs from Downtown to Disney's Magic Kingdom; Link 56 runs from Kissimmee's Highway 192 to the Magic Kingdom; and Link 38 runs from International Drive to Downtown.

In addition, many hotels offer free shuttle service to the theme parks, and all Disney resort properties offer complimentary transportation (bus, ferry or monorail) to the Disney parks.

In downtown Orlando, the free Lymmo bus service operates around the city centre. On International Drive (one of the main tourist thoroughfares), there is also the I-Ride Trolley (tel: +1 866 243 7483; www.iridetrolley.com), a cheap bus service linking all the main hotels and points of interest. There are one-, three-, five-, seven- and 14-day passes available, all of which represent great savings on individual journeys.

Taxis

As in most large American cities, taxis are common in all areas, and can be easily flagged down or ordered by phone.

Three of the biggest taxi firms in Orlando are Star Taxis (tel: +1 407 857 9999), Diamond Cab Co (tel: +1 407 523 3333) and Yellow/City Cab (tel: +1 407 422 2222). A tip of around 10%, while not mandatory, is always appreciated.

Driving

Most attractions are well signposted and easy to find on Orlando's road system but traffic can be very heavy on key routes in the morning (0800-0930) and evening (1600-1800). Motorway I-4 is the key east-west route but should be avoided at rush hour, while International Drive can also be seriously congested in the evening. Universal Boulevard is a good alternative. To the south, Highway 192 is the main route to Disney from the busy Kissimmee area, but (toll) Osceola Parkway is often a better bet.

Car hire

Hire cars are almost omnipresent in Orlando and companies like Alamo (tel: +1 918 555 1212; www.alamo.com), Dollar (tel: +1 866 434 2226; www.dollar.com) and National (tel: +1 877 222 9058; www.nationalcar.com) have some of the biggest fleets in the world here.

Basic car hire is quite cheap in Orlando due to the amount of competition for custom alone - although various taxes and fees can add considerably to the price.

Bicycle hire

Orlando isn’t particularly bicycle friendly as a city, but there are some local trails and bike racks throughout the city. For maps, it’s best to go through the Orlando City Transportation Planning website (www.cityoforlando.net/transportation-planning).

For bike hire, try Kyles Bike Shop (tel: +1 407 228 7088; www.kylesbikeshop.net) at 203 North Primrose Drive.

Alternatively, Orlando has a small bikeshare scheme, Juice (tel: +1 407 930 9414; http://juicebikeshare.com), with 20 docking stations. Monthly memberships are available, but if you're only in town for a few days, you can also hire bikes by the hour.

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Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort

An 18-storey atrium welcomes honeymooners and families, screeching parrots and all. It’s hard to imagine a more replete resort hotel, and there’s a whole world to explore, from one of the best pools in the country to the comprehensive sports on offer to the destination restaurants.

Galleria Palms Hotel & Suites

One of the best-located budget hotel options you’re only a mile and a half from Disney but you can stay at a fraction of the price of similarly placed hotels. The rooms aren’t the largest you’ll ever stay in but they are clean and modern and there’s even a free breakfast.

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld

Formerly the Doubletree Resort Orlando, a US$35m refurbishment in 2010 means this is now one of the best value hotels on International Drive. Set in 11 hectares (28 acres) of landscaped gardens, there are three main pools and a children’s pool. There are varied dining options on site, and a myriad of choices just nearby.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

This magnificently themed resort is a real slice of Africa, complete with a 13-hectare (33-acre) wildlife reserve out the windows of the 1,293 rooms in the six-storey luxury resort. Rooms are laid out in a horseshoe shape after a kraal African village design.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

The best and newest of Disney's budget-priced hotels, with 2,880 rooms that pay tribute to 20th-century pop culture and great pool amenities. Expect bright colours and themes from the 1950s to the 80s. You’re close to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Portofino Bay Hotel

This re-creation of an Italian fishing village is in the heart of Universal Orlando Resort, complete with fine restaurants and shops. The guest rooms are decorated with a Mediterranean theme and there’s a lively piazza with vintage Italian sports cars and scooters.