• Hurricane season runs from June 1st to 30th November in Florida.

    So far this year there has been little activity significant activity to the areas where we have homes.

    The best place to find out the up to the minute information is the National Hurricane Center 

    We are well aware that the UK media like to jump on a Hurricane story at the drop of a hat and are sometimes inaccurate and iresponsible in their reporting.

    IF the area you are staying in or that you are travelling to is likely to be affected by any significant Hurricane activity, please rest assured we will contact you and help you as far as we can.
    NB if your flights are affected the airlines can leave it quite late to make their intentions clear but rest assured we will contact you as soon as we have news.

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  • As a business we have seen things change in the villa rental industry.  We have always specialised in renting villas in Florida, both in  ‘Disney area’ (Kissimmee) and also on the Gulf Coast.  We have seen a lot of what goes on, the good, the bad and sadly sometimes the ugly. 

    Throughout the 22 years we have been in business we have seen things change and move with the times.  When we 1st started out things were very different than they are today.  With the advent of new technology Email and the Internet we can do lots more and share lots more than we could ever dream of previously.

    Our websites have lots more pictures and information than we could  have ever realistically printed and sent to anyone by post.

    And we have plenty more in the way of ‘moving with the times’ to come so ‘watch this space!’  as you know we already have a Facebook page and a Twitter Feed. 

    All this new technology and the ‘inexpensive’ websites available mean that more and more individual owners are able to marekt their villas direct to you.  While this is great and there are many positives to this, sadly there are some downsides.

    Booking direct with an owner

    If you book your villa direct with an owner, through one of the many individual websites out there or through one of the directory style websites, it can be a fantastic experience.  You can see the actual villa you will be staying in, you can speak directly to the owner, they will know everything there is to know about their home.  They can give you great tips on the best places to eat, things to do while you are in the area and a whole host of other information.  Booking direct with an owner can also seem to be much cheaper than booking with a traditional travel agent.  But…..

    In the past 22 years we have come across lots of situations where renting a villa direct with an owner has been far from the best or cheapest option.  Some examples of various situations we have come across -:
    1) The family who had booked a villa and had been looking forward to their holiday for many months.  1 week before they were due to travel they had a letter and refund from the owner to say that they could no longer use the villa, due to damage sustained in a storm.

    2) The couple who had booked a villa for their honeymoon, paid a deposit direct to the owner and then could never get in touch with them again.

    3) The family who again had booked a villa through a private individual only to have their money returned just a few weeks before travelling.  The reason the owner gave them was that they were very sorry but they had managed to double book the villa.

    4) The retired couple who had booked a special anniversary trip only to be let down by an individual owner who had not been paying the mortgage on the property and the bank had foreclosed on them.

    In each instance when these people called us, they were understandably upset and rightly so.  Their holiday was on the brink of collapse and they had little or no comeback against the person that they booked the villa with.  Of course they had been given a refund (in most cases) but if they couldn’t find alternative accommodation then they would have had to forfeit the flights that they had paid for and the car hire that they had booked. In every case, (and this is by far from being all of them, just a small selection of examples) we were able to find a comparable villa in the same area required.

    Stuff we can do that a private individual owner probably can’t.

    • We have more than 22 years experience in renting property in Florida
    • All our villas are privately owned, BUT we have access to lots of them.  So if something goes wrong with the home you have booked, all is NOT lost.  We can probably allocate a villa in the very same sub division, you may even be upgraded!
    • Our business is certainly NOT a hobby, we are in the office 7 days a week.  Usually from before 8am til after 6pm.  Making us very easy to contact.  we aren’t ONLY available evenings and weekends!
    • We are licensed and bonded by the CAA this is our ATOL license.  More information about ATOL.
    • We can take credit card payments, so if you want even more security you can pay in this way if you choose
    • Because we are ATOL bonded we are able to get competitive deals on flights.
    • We can also book car hire, and you can be sure that we will include all the right insurances you might need.  We only sell the fully inclusive package that includes the most comprehensive cover (we have heard some horror stories about insurance not being included and extortionate prices being charged at the pick up desk.
    • We also manage ALL our properties.  If there is a problem there is no drama – you let us know – we fix it. (and usually rather rapidly too)  Simple!

    So if you really want the best of both worlds.  Knowing the exact villa you have booked, the personal service and advice, from a team that have detailed knowledge not just of the area you are going to but of the home you are going to too.  But the peace of mind you might get booking through a larger organisation.  We are also private owners and look after the interests of other owners so our view is to simply be able to offer great rates with the added security of booking with a  business rather than an individual person!  Then the choice is simple.  Give us a call, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Email us.  We’ll be more than happy to chat to you.

     

     

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  •  

    STS135 Atlantis

    Scheduled for 8th July at around 11.26am EDT  Atlantis 12 day mission to the International Space Station will mark a moment in History as the last Shuttle flight.  Atlantis will carry a crew of four: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

    The Crew are completeing their final countdown and dress rehersals for this last final mission at Kennedy Space Centre.  They will return to Johnson Space Centre in Houston their home base to complete their training.  4th of July is when the Astronauts will return to Kennedy space Centre Florida. 

    Work at the Launch pad continues and safety checks are being carried out prior to this final mission.

    For more information on the Space Shuttle Era 

    The Kennedy Space Centre Visitor area is open year round, you can take a look around the Shuttle and even experience a launch. As this is a working facility changes in access may occur from time to time.  Our Top Tips section has more information.

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  • Top Tips 22.06.2011 No Comments

    Kennedy Space Centre

     

    Kennedy Space Centre has many attractions and is easily holds a full day of exploration.  You may need to watch the time to get to see everything.

    It is possible to ‘Add On’ to your General Admission ticket but unless you have been before then there really is no need as your time will be limited getting to see everything that is available.

    Along with the main visitor centre there is a full tour included in your general admission ticket, as well as free entry to the Imax Films that are showing (usually 2 of them)

    Cape Canaveral

    KSC Tour – This includes an Air Conditioned Bus Ride out to Cape Canaveral.  You will get to visit the Apollo / Saturn V Centre where you can witness just what went on in mission control when the Saturn V was launched.  You will get to see the rocket itself as well as many other exhibits.  There is of course the obligatory gift shop and cafe. [The gift shop back at the main visitor centre is bigger and much better!]

     

    As part of the bus tour you will also get to visit the LC39 Observation Gantry.  This offers an amazing view of launch complex 39 and pads 39A and 39B where many many Shuttle Launches have taken place.  You will also get a brilliant view of the Vehicle Assembly Building otherwise known as the VAB [Did you know the stripes of the American Flag in the side of the building are wide enough to drive a bus down?] You will also get to see the road that the Crawler Transporters move along when transporting the Shuttle in an upright position out to complex 39. [Did you know just one o fhte links on the Crawler Transporter’s caterpillar tracks weight 1 tonne?]

    Imax Films

    So either before you leave for your tour or when you return don’t miss the Imax films at Kennedy Space Centre. At the time of writing they are both 3D Adventures lasting aproximately 45 minutes each.  One is titled Hubble 3D  narrated by Leonardo Di Caprio it focuses on Hubble’s legacy and the profound impact it has had on the way we view our universe and ourselves.  The other narrated by Tom Cruise is titled Space Station 3D it takes the audience on a journey from planet Earth to The brightest star the International Space Station.  It shows an onboard shuttle launch a space walk any many other exciting adventures in 3D.

    The Main Visitor Centre also offers a host of other attractions.  You can even experience a Shuttle Launch.  You will be briefed by veteran Space Shuttle Commander Charlie Bolden, you will then take your seats for launch.

    The Rocket Garden, The Astronaut Space Mirror Memorial, The Astronaut Hall of Fame, The Space Shuttle Plaza and Exploration Space should also keep you very busy if you happen to find yourself at a loose end!

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  • Read on we are happy to share what we have found out!

    Sea World

    The New Shamu show at Sea World has been launched it is called ‘One Ocean’ and replaces the ‘Believe’ show.  The show accoring to Sea World ‘Features majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea and the ocean as the centre of the universe.’  The show has an uderlying message of One World fo us to to cherish and protect.

    Discovery Cove

    Also has a new addition a new 2.5 acre saltwater reef known as ‘Grand Reef’ featuring underwater grottos a palm tree lined island and white sand beaches.  Guests can don wetsuits and talk an underwater stroll 10 metres under the surface through schools of tropical fish and look at walk past a 1 million gallon aquarium with over 125 species of fish, rays and sharks.

    Walt Disney World

    At Walt Diney’s  Hollywood Studios you will find a refurbished ‘Star Tours’ ride, with a brand new 3D element and Star Wars inspired story line for this deep space flight simulator.
    At Disney’s Magic Kingdom the night time show has gone all interactive!  The photographs taken by Disney Photgraphers as you arrive to the park in the morning are projected across Cinderella Castle in a huge slideshow accompanied by music and fireworks.
    Animal Kingdom introduces ‘Wild Africa Trek’ this is an add on experience and will cost $189 per person and is open to guests 8yrs old and over.  Theexperience is for small groups to see the park’s wild animals on foot and by special vehicles.

    Universal Studios

    After the 18th August the Jimmy Neutron Nicktoon Blast will close, but fear not!  It is being closed and redesigned and will reopen as a 3D Ride based on the Despicable Me animated movie.
    The Much loved Spiderman  ride at Islands of Adventure will also be closing to be revamped with HD animation and other details riders will be able to feel.

    Brand New Legoland

    We mustn’t forget the Brand New Legoland due to open in October!  It is at the old Cypress Gardens site and will retain the beautiful botanical gardens and the famous water ski show.

    Busch Gardens

    Busch Gardens is opening it’s brand new Roller Coaster ‘Cheetah Hunt’  it is the centerpiece of a brand new habitat area called ‘Cheetah Run.’  Visitors will be able to get close up to the inhabitants and can also witness daily sprints conducted by the trainers.  ‘Cheetah Hunt’ launches riders from 0 – 60 mph in a matter of seconds using the repelling force of magnets and 3 different stages during the ride.

    Do you know of anything new and exctiting happenning in Florida you think people want to know about?  Let us know and share

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  • We aim to keep you as updated as possible, bringing you information as it is available to us.

    UPDATED 26/5/11 at 14.45

    Grimsvotn has stopped erupting & the ash cloud is moving away from UK airspace

    UPDATED 23/5/11  at 17.45

    British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have reported the following

    The eruption of Volcano Grimsvotn is NOT affecting UK airspace and currently all our flights are operating as scheduled. We continue to monitor the direction of the ash cloud it has created and liaise with UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

    Please contine to watch this page for further updates as and when we have them.

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  • Top Tips 25.02.2011 No Comments

    Park Details

    The Beginning hosts park entry, ticket and pass sales, the Garden Restaurant and The Big Shop.

     

    • The Big Shop – One of the largest retail stores in the world where guests can a huge selection of LEGO and LEGOLAND merchandise 
    • The Market – Authentic imported Danishes and freshly baked pastries, espresso, milk, juice, fruit, a selection of yogurts and soft serve ice cream

     

    When guests enter Fun Town, they truly get a sense they’ve entered a LEGO village. 

    LEGOLAND Florida  will feature a variety of retail shops and delicious treats, most notably, Granny’s Apple Fries.

     

    • Factory Tour – A firsthand look at how LEGO bricks are made from factory to finish
    • Studio Store – Visit this store to pick-up all your favorite LEGO licensed products, like Clutch Powers, Bob the Builder™ , SpongeBob™, Indiana Jones™, Star Wars™ and Batman™ 
    • Granny’s Apple Fries – The home of our signature dessert item! This must-have snack is made with crisp Granny Smith apples, powdered with cinnamon and sugar and served with a deliciously sweet vanilla cream sauce
    • Fun Town Theater – Four different 4-D movies will show throughout the day at LEGOLAND’s largest 4-D theater with seats for 700!

     

    Miniland USA, the heart of every LEGOLAND Park, will be home to seven  specially themed areas – Washington, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona and of course Florida.

     

    • Florida encompasses the entire state from Mallory Square in Key West to Bok Tower in Central Florida and antebellum mansions in the Panhandle.  Miniland Florida also includes an expanded area for Kennedy Space Center and an interactive Daytona racing experience where guests can race LEGO brick cars.
    • Las Vegas features the world-famous Strip including the Luxor Las Vegas, New York, New York Hotel and Casino, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Venetian, Stratosphere tower and two iconic structures of Paris Las Vegas:  the balloon sign and Eiffel Tower. “The Strip” at LEGOLAND also features a miniature wedding chapel, monorails and real life sounds recorded in Las Vegas. The architectural landmark is built out of more than two million bricks and represents more than sixteen-thousand hours of creative artistry.
    • Washington, D.C. sports faithful recreations of the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian, Washington and Jefferson monuments and parts of Georgetown. An animated marching band parades in front of the Capitol and tiny cherry trees blossom every spring.
    • New York City features the Freedom Tower years before its completion in the Big Apple. Tiny jets of water shoot up from the fountain in Rockefeller Plaza, while an army of animated yellow taxicabs prowls the streets of Times Square. The Statue of Liberty, a cutaway view of Grand Central Station, The Empire State Building, The Guggenheim Museum and the Bronx Zoo are just a few of the recognizable landmarks.
    • A Pirate themed section hosts a full-on swashbuckling pirate adventure as two opposing pirate ships and their “mates” battle it out upon the high seas.

     

    Castle Hill takes kids back to medieval times where spells are cast and many knights, damsels and dragons are found.

     

    • The Dragon – An indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster that features a spirited and humorous view of life behind the scenes within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle
    • The Royal Joust – Kids ride LEGO themed horses through a number of medieval scenes where they encounter other riders in a simulated joust

     

    In Land of Adventure, adventurers of all ages explore hidden tombs and hunt for treasure.

     

    • CoastersaurusThis junior coaster reaches curves and dips in and around a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO brick dinosaurs
    • Lost Kingdom Adventure – LEGOLAND Florida’s spectacular dark ride invites guests to fire laser blasters at targets and brave the rugged Egyptian landscape in all-terrain roadsters, while attempting to unearth the vast treasures of a forgotten empire
    • Pharaoh’s Revenge – This outdoor attraction lets children and parents fire soft foam balls at enemies and explore the complex maze of the Pharaoh’s kingdom
    • Beetle Bounce – Launch 15-feet up toward intricate, brightly jeweled LEGO scarab beetles perched atop two monumental obelisks

     

    XTreme

    • LEGO TECHNIC® Test Track –Brave guests feel the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wild roller coaster track.
    • AQUAZONE® Wave Racers –Riders zip in and out of waves as they dodge water blasters on this dual water carousel ride

     

    LEGO City, the perfect place where youngsters can live out their dreams in a scaled down town created just for them.

     

    • Fun Town Fire Academy Families race to put out a “blaze” by piling into a “fire truck” and power it by pumping levers across a paved straightaway. The first family to put out the fire and make it back wins! 
    • Driving School – A “real-life” driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where kids receive their official LEGOLAND driver license
    • Junior Driving School – A scaled down version driving school course for children ages 3 through 5
    • Flight School – An inverted steel coaster that lets kids feel the thrill of flight
    • The Big Test – This interactive show uses acrobatics, music and playful fun to teach fire safety as the zany crew of Fun Town Fire Department attempts to conquer the “Big Test” to become official firefighters

     

    Imagination Zone emphasizes exploring and creation, while showcasing seven of the most visually exciting LEGO models in the world, including a replica of Albert Einstein’s head.

    • Game Space – Features thirteen game stations where guests can experience LEGO STAR WARSand other family-friendly games like LEGO INDIANA JONES, LEGO BATMANand Monsters vs. Aliens all year round
    • Build & Test – Build a LEGO car and test it against the competition on the digitally timed track
    • LEGO MINDSTORMS™ – Build and program cutting edge, computerized LEGO MINDSTORMS robots
    • LEGO Clubhouse – Kids and parents stock up on bulk LEGO brick and Make & Create kits while enjoying ice cream, popcorn, beverages and snacks
    • Kid Power Towers – Kids and parents alike hoist themselves up to the top of a tower  to get a great view of the entire Park and the lovely Lake Eloise, and then enjoy a fun “free-fall” to the bottom 

     

    Pirate’s Cove has been taken over by swashbuckling pirates along the shores of Lake Eloise at LEGOLAND Florida’s very own live-action water stunt show.

     

    DUPLO® Village is ideal for toddlers and their growing minds.  Youngsters can fly a plane, drive a car or explore a whole town – all designed with their height in mind

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  • Lego Fans young and old rejoice!

    LEGOLAND®Florida is due to open in October 2011 at Winter Haven, on what used to be the Cypress Gardens site.

    LEGOLAND® Florida will be the biggest LEGOLAND® Park ever at opening the 150-acre theme park will offer a unique mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including spectacular LEGO® models and other interactive elements for the whole family to enjoy together.

    Mid January saw the First LEGOLAND® Florida Models Arrive  

    LEGOLAND® Florida received delivery of 32 LEGO® models for the family theme park. The first of 50 shipments, the container housed life-size models that were made by hand, in Europe, especially for LEGOLAND and will be featured throughout the park once open this October.  Models include a more than 40,000 brick blacksmith for Castle Hill, a shark’s head for Skipper School and Merlin the wizard for inside the Castle.  Once complete, LEGOLAND Florida will have more than 30 million LEGO bricks over the 150-acre Park, all cared after by a staff of six model builders and designers. Since the park is designed specifically for families with children ages 2-12,  some of the models even have humorous features such as an audibly snoring grandpa, that will surely delight every visitor.

     See our Top Tips Now for more information and a sneak peak of what to expect before the park opens in October.

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  • DJW Flights and Rental now on Facebook

    Hello all a quick update to let you know we are now on Facebook!  A link to the DJW Rental page is here –> http://on.fb.me/f7R35U

    It would great if you could ‘Like’ our page when you visit.

    You will find lots of photographs on there and we’ll upload them as we take them.  You can also upload your own pictures there too if you would like.

    That’s it for now, we’ll see you on Facebook!

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  • Follow us on Twitter

    We’d love it if you would like to follow us on Twitter for special news, information, announcements and special offers.

    You will find us  @DJWRental

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