• 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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  • 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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  • 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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  •  

      We thought it might be worth featuring some of the other destinations, we are able to offer.

    As the title of this post suggests this time we are featuring Fabulous Las Vegas!  This amazing city has a different meaning for different people.  In our opinion Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Sin City or Disney For Adults!

    Amazing Choice of Hotels

    The choice of  hotels is utterly outstanding.  From cheap and cheerful motels off ‘The Strip’ to luxurious accommodation such as ‘The Four Seasons’ and everything in between. Including self catering accommodation within Las Vegas new ‘City Centre at Vdara.  Every possible type of theme, desire or whim is catered for. Want a penthouse suite with a round bed that rotates? No problem ‘The Palm’s’ hotel has it!  Want to go on a trip up the Eiffel Tower (Paris Hotel,) have dinner and then take a Gondola ride round Venice? (The Venetian and Palazzo) Again it’s all possible in Las Vegas.  If you would rather take in a pirate show before dinner (at the Entrance to Treasure Island Hotel) and then witness the amazing fountain lights and music show after dinner, you can at The Bellagio.  Step back in time to Ancient Rome at Ceasars Palace, visit the big cats, the White Tigers at The Mirage and the iconic lions at The MGM Grand.
    All the hotels have great pool areas, some such as The Mandalay Bay Hotel even offer poolside gaming (tables and slots available.) The Hard Rock Hotel is famed for it’s Guitar shaped pool and the MGM Grand boasts and amazing lazy river.  If you would like a leisurely game of Golf this is available at Wynn Las Vegas.

    Wynn and Encore Hotels

    Sightseeing, Shows and Shopping (the three S’s)

    'Love' at The Mirage

    Aside from sightseeing the hotels up and down the strip and marvelling at the amazing hotels, there is so much more that Las Vegas has to offer.  The Grand Canyon  is within easy reach by Helicopter.  Various companies offer tours outbound you will usually get a stunning view of  The Hoover Dam and on the return  a trip down the strip so you can get a bird’s eye view.  Give us a call for latest pricing and availability.
    The Las Vegas shows are simply amazing, where else in the world could you see Celine Dion, Tom Jones, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera or a whole host of Cirque De Soliel  shows including ‘Love’ featuring The Beatles, O, Ka, and the newest ‘Viva Las Vegas’ featuring The King himself Elvis Presley!  All within less than a mile of each other?
    Of course the unrivalled Las Vegas nightlife, offers all kinds of smaller more intimate lounge shows as well as bars and nightclubs. (The latter usually owned by Hollywood star’s)
    All kinds of Shopping also abounds in Las Vegas from Outlet Mall’s a short cab ride away to Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile, The Fashion Mall, The Forum at Ceasars Palace and not forgetting the newest addition to the high end designer collection of shops (window shopping for me!) at Crystals with the new Las Vegas City Centre (The city within a city)
    Dining in Las Vegas couldn’t offer more choice from fast food, to casual dining, formal dining and high end dining.
    In Las Vegas anything goes, it isn’t all about gambling we love the spectacle of ‘Las Vegas’ and believe everyone should go to Las Vegas at least once and experience it for themselves. 4 or 5 nights is plenty for a first trip.  You may need to return though to catch the things you missed! 
    You might be puzzled that we have barely mentioned gambling in this blog post and although this seem to be what a lot of people think Las Vegas is all about, we wanted to highlight the other ‘stuff’ going on in Las Vegas.

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  • Icelandic Volcano erruption affects UK flights

    The erruption of a volcano in  the Eyjafjallajoekull  area  the second to occur in a month.  This eruption has released ash to significantly greater heights.  Volcanic ash contains tiny particles of rock and even glass, which can wreak havoc with machinery.

    NATS  is keeping in close contact with airlines and airports to keep everyone updated. 

    Latest information shows that UK Airspace will reopen at 22.00 20th April 2010

    If you have accommodation booked with DJW Rental we will be contacting you in due course to rearrange your accomodation.  If you have booked your flights with DJW Rental we will of course liase with airlines to reprotect your flights.

    For guests that are already in Florida we will be in touch to make arrangements to extend your stay if required.

    Disney and other Theme Parks offer park tickets to stranded guests.

    Guests in the Kissimmee area please be advised Disney and other Theme Parks are Offering Admission to their Park’s – Take your expired E ticket and your Photo ID with you to Guest Services.  You will be able to obtain a 1 day Park Hopper ticket at Disney.  Other Theme parks have their own offers but offering similar free admission.

    We will keep this Blog post updated as we find out information.  However please check your airline’s website before travelling.  We have added a link here to help you.
    Virgin Atalntic
    British Airways
    Delta
    Continental 
    US Airways 
    Martinair
    KLM
    American Airlines

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