First Visit

We want to make sure you have an awesome time right from leaving home to getting back on the plane! To help out, the following information will help you whether it is your first time to this villa, the Solterra resort or even to Orlando. If after reading the information, you have any further questions, please help us to help you and others by getting in touch and asking the questions that we may not have considered. We chose Solterra for its quality of facilities, proximity to the main attractions and security of a manned gatehouse. Three reasons we are confident you will appreciate too.

First Time in Orlando

For non US residents, you will need to apply for your ESTA. This is the US visa waiver programme which lets tourists visit for up to 90 days without a visa. You’ll need your ESTA authorised before you travel and you can apply for approx $14 per person. The USA has a visa waiver programme, which lets British tourists visit for up to 90 days without a visa. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit

Holiday insurance. Click on one of the comparison websites to get the best deal for you and your family

Currency is US dollars. Cash points are available in the main shopping centres. There are various Money transfer services. You could try this rate comparison site to get the latest rates.

Car hire is another easy one to sort from home. We use Alamo as you can register all your licence details in advance and on arrival, skip all the counter queues to pick your car up. We’ve learnt the hard way, that the alternative to this is long queues whilst they try and upsell you every feature that ever existed!

If you’re new to the area, then a sat nav is a good idea. We select the option to return the car with a full tank as there is a fuel station right near the airport on your return and much more cost effective. It’s worth having a few dollars ready for the tolls near the airport. You can purchase the toll pass (car registration lets the toll camera know you will pay by card) with the hire car package, but they inflate the cost substantially.

Check your vaccinations are up to date. These should include diptheria, tetanus and polio which you should have at least 2 weeks before your holiday

The obvious packing for a trip to the Sunshine State should include your sun lotion, sunglasses, sun hat and a comfortable pair of trainers!

However, a useful tip is to take a light waterproof with you as you often get afternoon showers (you can always buy these in the parks).

We take a light weight coolbag/rucksack with us too with some chilled water (we freeze a couple as they act as ice packs whilst melting!) and snacks for when you’re in the parks.

Friends have taken bumbags (or fanny-packs) with them to keep their phones and wallets safe. All the parks will have lockers, some are free and some will have a small charge.

Buying your park tickets before you arrive will save you both time and money, especially for Disney as you can pre-book rides 30 days beforehand to ensure you beat the queues. For UK guests, we’ve found Floridatix to be very competitive and offer a great service. You can pre-order standard tickets and fast pass from here.

All the main attractions give you the option to fast pass and skip queues. This means you’re using your time effectively in the parks and not missing out on any of the big rides and attractions.

  • Disney World uses a system called Fastpass+ which is free, allowing you to book 3 rides or attractions up to 30 days in advance of your stay. Simply visit the Disney website to link your park admission to your Disney account to start using FastPass+ service.
  • Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida allow you to purchase an Express Pass. There are a number of options to enable you to enjoy all the rides in one visit.
  • Busch Gardens and SeaWorld provide the ‘quick queue’ jumper, which again is a paid extra.

For those not used to these parks, nobody likes a queue, but if you have to queue anywhere, these parks make it as enjoyable as a queue can be. Our advice, is to just see it as part of the experience and go with it!

Maximising your time in the parks is easy with a bit of planning. We recommend arriving a little before the official opening times so that you can get straight on the most popular rides before they get busy.

All of the parks charge for parking. It is one aspect of the theme parks we wish wasn’t like it is. We have seen the prices rise over recent years. Expect to pay a little more than $20 per day.

Once inside the parks, you can navigate around using the maps provided, but we’d also recommend downloading the apps for parks such as Disney as you’ll get live updates on queue times for both rides and restaurants.

Remember you are going to a tropical climate. There is a reason Florida has so much sun and yet is so green!

Inclement weather will close rides and water parks. It tends to come in the mid to late afternoon, so if you time your day right, it doesn’t have to have a big effect on your day.

First Time in Solterra

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First Time Staying at this Villa

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Getting Excited?

We Can't Wait to Welcome You

We love the Florida Theme Parks, Water Parks and everything else the area has to offer. So, if you are anything like us, you will be getting pretty excited about now. It's time to plan your own adventure...