A Tourist’s Guide to Traveling Orlando
One thing you have to keep in mind when traversing the highways and by-ways of Orlando is this: Thousands of people from all over the world flock to Orlando every week. With that said, please pay attention and be courteous. Don’t be afraid to make use of public transit. Most resorts and hotels offer free shuttles to and from the majority of area attractions.
I tend to use I-4 a lot because it allows you to easily get from one side of Orlando to the other in a short amount of time. There are no tolls and traffic is pretty swift, once again please pay attention and don’t forget to signal when changing lanes! You can easily access the Florida Turnpike, Buena Vista Drive (Disney), International Drive and 436 (E. Semoran Blvd) which is Altamonte Springs, a suburb of Orlando.
International Drive (Or I-Drive for short) is a good means of travel if you are planning on doing the whole theme park adventure. I-Drive is home to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Wet ‘n Wild among others. From restaurants and theme parks to gift shops and outlet stores, you can pretty much find anything on I-Drive including a number of hotels. I like the Double Tree right across from the main entrance to Universal Studios, or the Hampton Inn just a short distance away.
World Drive is the main through fare for the Disney Experience. It can be rather daunting trying to navigate the Disney Property as most of the roads look exactly the same. They did have the decency of placing signs everywhere directing you towards the attractions as well as the separate resorts. If you are staying at a Disney resort, I recommend parking for the duration of your stay. Take advantage of the network of bus’s, ferries and monorails that will take you anywhere from Downtown Disney to the Magic Kingdom.
With as many tourists that visit Orlando everyday, I don’t believe that it is possible to avoid traffic, but there are certainly lulls. Both mid-morning and mid-afternoon seem to be lighter periods with most people at work or wandering around the area’s attractions. Exercise caution, and pay attention to all of the traffic signs.
TIP: In Florida, it is legal to make a right on red. There are also red right arrows. You may turn right at these after coming to a complete stop, unless a sign states otherwise.