“ Making the drive around the International Drive Resort Area hassle free. There are two bus lines that run from Prime Outlets Orlando to Sea World and the other runs through the business district along Universal Boulevard. „
I have just returned from a wonderful two weeks in sunny Florida. The planning involved in my holiday was immense after all for us it was a once in a lifetime trip and I wanted everything to be perfect. So to help others planning their magical holidays, whilst it is still fresh in my mind. I have decided to write some reviews on some of things that worked and didn't work for us.
International drive stretches almost 15 miles long, it is the bustling hub of entertainment in Orlando. If people are not staying on site at Disney or in a villa, they will more than likely be staying on I drive.
The I-ride trolley is a bus that runs the length of international drive, there are 42 stops along the way, each clearly numbered and announced whilst on the bus, so you can be sure you never miss your stop.
The I-ride will take you from Orlando premium outlet centre at one end all the way to another outlet centre at the other end, stopping at lots many major venues along the way, including Seaworld, Aquatica, Wet'n'Wild, Wonderworks and Ripleys believe it or not. As well as all the hotels, resturants and shops.
The I-Trolley is painted green with a huge smiling face on the front, the children loved to watch it come along. Inside it is kitted out with wooden bench style seats, there is also hand rails to hold on to and space for two wheelchair users.
Whilst we were traveling, a lady in a wheelchair got on, it uses a hydraulic lift system to raise the wheelchair onto the bus. The driver seemed most helpful and when I was speaking to the lady in the wheelchair she said its the most wheelchair friendly bus in America.
The bus is fully air conditioned which is a blessing on hot and busy days and there is also music playing.
The I-Ride costs $1.25 per trip for adults, children 12 and under are free. You must have exact fare as they will not give change. You can also buy passes which cost
$4 - one day
$6 - three day
$8 - five day
$10 - seven day
$17 -fourteen days.
These pases can't be bought on the bus, but you can get them from most shops and hotels along International drive.
The bus runs from 8:00 a.m until 10:30 p.m every day, they run approx every 20 mins although there is no timetable, so you are never sure if you have just missed one.
We had hired a car so didn't use the I-trolley to go everywhere but on days when we were going to Seaworld or other I-drive attractions we found it better and less expensive to use the bus than the car. I would highly recommend the I-Trolley service even just for the novelty factor. Some days it was quite crowded, and we were not in a high season, so I can imagine in Summer they might get very busy. But for ease, no high parking costs and a little bit of fun, it's got to be worth a go.
I went to Florida last December for a week and the I-Trolley is something we used daily.
I've used a wheelchair for 9 years now, so access and comfort while traveling is naturally a major concern for me in normal circumstances, let alone when I'm abroad somewhere new.
We weren't sure what the I-Trolley was, where it went or the cost but decided to give it a go, after all why moan when we've not tried it? I'm delighted to say it's superb; For cost, the route, the drivers and for wheelchair access [more on that below]. Not only were the drivers friendly, the other passengers are too.
Plus, the trolley is very clean [and decorated with tinsel and baubles] and we always felt safe and relaxed. It's nothing at all like our own public transport.
The route is simple: Up and down International Drive, from 6 in the morning, until 10:30 at night.
The Red Line Trolley route follows along International Drive from Prime Outlets and ending at the Premium Outlets. The Red Line trolley arrives every 20 minutes [seemed less to me].
The Green Line Trolley route is the same as the Red Line Trolley Route, but on the opposite side of I Drive. Green Line trolleys arrive every 30 minutes [again, it did seem less to me. I suppose it varies season to season].
So you've now got your pass and are ready to go. What is there to see and do on International Drive?.
We'll start with the outlet malls; The prime outlets and the premium outlets.The outlets are mainly for clothing, shoes and accesseries. Personally I think the primes outlets offer a greater range of items and the savings were greater. I didn't buy anything at the premium outlet, and it wasn't to do with price. There just wasn't anything there that interested me.
Also on the I-Trolley route is Festival Bay Mall. As well as a selection of shops and restaurants, Festival Bay Mall also boasts a 20 screen cinema, indoor golf and a skatepark. [If you want Macy's and other more familiar store's you'll need to travel to Florida Mall or Millenia Mall. These are not on the I-Trolley route].
The other shopping complex on the I-Trolley's route is Pointe Orando. There are around 50 stores [including Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret], a selection of restaurants and again, a 20 screen cinema.The Wonderworks "amusement park for the mind" and dinner show is next to Pointe Orlando. We didn't have the time to check it out, but other people staying at the same hotel did and they loved it.
Shopping not your thing? Want a family activity to enjoy? These are some of the other attractions I remember have I-Trolley stops: Ripley's Believe It Or Not, several crazy golf courses [including Pirate's Cove], Wet n Wild water park, Sleuths Mystery dinner show, Seaworld (I've got a seperate review up), Aquatica Water Park (owned by Seaworld), Pirates dinner show and the World Bowling Center.
There are also hundreads of cafes, bars, fast food stops and restaurants; The choice really is staggering. Some are chains such as; Chilli's, TGI's, Red Lopster, Taco Bell, Panda Express, Chuck E Cheese's, McDonalds etc, but there are many unfamilar places to see. The Howl At The Moon karoke bar for example.
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Wheelchair access: There is a lift on the side of the I-Trolley.
One of the benches inside the trolley is then folded away and the driver will secure your chair using straps to lock the wheels. It can take at least 5 minutes.
I used the I-Trolley twice a day and every single time the driver was friendly and polite. When they saw me at the stop they mustn't have been thrilled about the added time and effort, but I didn't hear one sigh or see any rolled eyes.
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(Exact change is required)
Single fare: $1.25
Senior citizen (65 and over): $0.25
KIDS RIDE FREE (age 12 and under when accompanied by a paying adult)
Unlimited Rides Passes
One Day Pass: $4.00 per person
Three Day Pass: $6.00 per person
Five Day Pass: $8.00 per person
Seven Day Pass: $10.00 per person
Fourteen Day Pass: $17.00 per person
Every time we have been to Orlando we have used the i-ride trolley to get around as it is so convenient and cheap, anyone who has been before will know how big International Drive is and I can't begin to imagine how long it would take you to walk from one end of the drive to the other. Also it would cost you quite a lot if you used a taxi to travel up and down the drive. Going to Florida isn't the most relaxing holiday you can go on so finding a cheap and reliable service that transports you around the drive is an added bonus.
The i-ride is a green and white bus that is designed to look like an old fashioned tram. It is quite a small bus with probably about 41 seats available, the seats are more like wooden benches and there are about 8 two seaters then the other seats are just two long benches along the side of the bus. There is also standing space available with rails to hold on to along the roof etc. The buses also have two wheelchair spaces and a hydraulic lift at the middle door.
The i-ride offers to different routes up and down I-drive the Red Line Route and the Green Line Route.
Red Line Route
The red line starts at the North end of International Drive and travels down from the Prime Outlets to the Premium Outlets at the sound end of the i-drive. There are multiple stops down the i-drive on the way and this route will also take you direct to Aquatica and Sea World. It will also stop outside majority of the attractions down the i-drive for example Wonderworks, Ripleys, Pirates Cove Golf, Wet 'n' Wild etc it will also stop outside most the Walgreens. Once the bus gets to the Premium Outlets it will turn back and start heading north again and so on. The buses on this route run every 20 minutes which is very handy so if you just miss one you know you haven't got a long wait.
Green Line Route
The green line runs from the Boulevard business district and travels along Universal Boulevard it then follows the same stops as the red line once that hits the south side of the i-drive. This is the bus you use if you want to go to Universal Studios. These buses run every 30 minutes.
The i-ride has a trolley stop marker system down the i-drive which makes it really easy to navigate your way down the i-drive and where to get on. Each stop has a 10 foot high roadside sign on both sides of the road with either a large circle or square on top displaying a large number. The square is for the red route and the circle for the green route, the stops are all the way down the i-drive and only have a few minutes walk between them so you can imagine how many there are. Also at the stop is the i-ride map which shows you which stops you need to use to get to certain places etc. If you wait at the bus stop the bus will always stop for you and if you are on the bus you just need to ring the buzzer about 20 seconds before your stop and the bus will stop there. The bus won't stop at every stop down i-drive it will only stop if someone is waiting or if someone on the bus wants to get off.
There is also a stop outside every hotel down the i-drive which is also very handy.
There are two ways to travel on the i-ride you can either pay by cash each time you get on or buy an unlimited pass (this is the most cost effective way).
A single fare is $1.25 and senior citizens can ride for $0.25 which is a bargain. Children under the age of 12 also can ride free if they are accompanied by a paying adult which is also good. You do have to have exact change though as the drivers don't carry change you just put your money in a machine and it prints out your ticket.
If you are there for 7/14 days then an unlimited pass is the best thing you could buy. The prices are as follows:
1 day pass - $4.00 per person
3 day pass - $6.00 per person
5 day pass - $8.00 per person
7 day pass - $10.00 per person
14 day pass - $17.00 per person
Once you have purchased your pass you can ride the bus as many times as you want during the time you have taken the pass out for. When you get on the bus you just wipe the barcode on the pass along a scanner and it beeps to say it was accepted the driver then lets you aboard.
You can purchase the passes from tons of destinations down the i-drive and all the hotels down there will sell them in their ticket/attraction desks. The buses don't sell the passes though!
Hours of Operation
The buses the every day between 8:30am and 10:30pm.
This is a great bus service that saves you a fortune when on holiday down International Drive it is convenient with the large variety of stops down the i-drive and the fact that it stops at over 100 different attractions and hotels etc.
The only place this bus doesn't go is Disney but you can get the service to a certain i-ride stop and then get on a local bus to Disney which works out so much cheaper than booking a bus through your hotel, you save about $15.00 and it isn't really a local bus it is full of tourists going to Disney the locals don't really use it.
The red line is the route you will use the most and is great at night if you want something to do and fancy going to the premium outlets as the service runs until 10:30pm so you have plenty of time to mooch around and have a bite to eat.
The green route really is just for Universal but is handy again if you want to go to the Boulevard at night for the bars and clubs etc.
Florida is an expensive holiday with your park tickets etc so finding a cheap way to get around is very welcome, I can't recommend this service enough and if you have children under 12 it is even better value as they can go for free.
Its getting 5 stars :)
The I-Ride Trolley is a great way to travel up and down I-Drive Orlando. International Drive is approximately 14 miles long, and this trolly (a bus designed to look like an old fashioned trolley) travels the length of I-Drive with a stop at most hotels, restaurants and attractions.
It can get quite busy at times due to its popularity, so may have to stand or wait for the next one, but hey you're in the Florida sun so who cares!
At the northern end you'll find Prime Outlets, great shopping at discounted rates, and Festival Bay Mall with restaurants and a cinema.
At the southern end you'll also find outlet shopping, Premium Outlets, with more bargains to be had. In between you'll find all the regular fast food outlets such as Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts and the world's larges McDonalds, which I love! You also find some American chain restaurants such as Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze which are delicious.
In terms of attractions, you'll find Sea World, Aquatica, Wet and Wild and Discovery Cove which are brilliant for the whole family.
The trolley runs from 8.00am to 10.30pm, cost $1.25 for a single ride, but you can buy week long passes from most hotel lobby's and walgreens.
Definately a great way to travel up and down I-Drive, I love it!
I have only just recently come back from Florida and the I-Ride is one of the most popular forms of transport to get up and down International Drive.
International Drive is around 14 miles long - that's a lot of walking! Boasting numerous shops, restaurants and hotels. The I-Ride is the only trolley bus in Orlando that has a face on the front of the bus.
The I-Ride line on International Drive is the Red Line and each stop is clearly marked and are around every 20 minutes. By using the trolley you can get to one end of International Drive to the other in around 40 minutes to an hour.
Fares are around $1.25 for a single fare, $4 for a day ticket and $17 for a two week ticket, children 12 and under can ride the trolley for free. What me and my sister did was on the days where we wasn't visiting Disney World we bought the day ticket and used it to get us back and forth between the two outlets, Prime Outlets and Orlando Premium Outlets, and other shops, restaurants at the other side of International Drive to the side we where staying.
The I-Ride also goes to Seaworld and Seaworld's Water Park. Its also one of the best ways to see all of what's on offer on International Drive.
I used to live just off International Drive in Orlando - So I have travelled the I-Trolley many many times!!
It can be a little confusing at first but you soon get used to it. I found it to be quick and efficient and I-Drive is full to the brim of interesting and fascinating places to look at.
Make sure that you go to the Movie Complex on I-Drive - Going to the Cinema in America is totally different from the UK and worth every penny. Huge big seats and huge big Popcorn Boxes!!
Also just off I-Drive is Universal Studio's - Very easy to get to and worth a look particularly if you like lots of Rides.
SeaWorld is just off I-Drive as well and the I-Trolley takes you pretty much all the way there - Definitely worth going to!!
The I-Trolley also takes you to the Mall, which is HUGE and well worth a look in terms of budget clothes shopping.
All in all, a much cheaper version of what a Cab will do for you!!
The first time i visited orlando in 2002 i found the i-ride to be cheap, convenient and reliable. It travelled to most of the places people tend to visit along i-drive and to seaworld as well as to places where you could transfer to a lynx bus to get to other theme parks such as disney and further away shopping malls like the florida mall. However after visiting orlando several times in the past few years and just getting back from being there for 3 weeks i found that i used lynx buses majority of the time instead of the i-ride. The i-ride tended to be over-crowded which at times was dangerous as people fell over, some felt sick from being so crowded in and one girl even had her arm shut in the door of the trolley as she was getting off! We also saw ambulances stopped at two i-rides in the same day a few days before we left. They also seem to run less often or you'd get two trolleys at the same time and then another one wouldn't turn up for ages. If you're visiting orlando, especially international drive i'd suggest using the lynx buses as they are much more reliable and you can get free transfers such as if you're going to disney from i-drive you can catch the number 42 and get off at seaworld and get a free transfer to use the number 50 to take you to disney! Much more easier than the i-ride and you actually get a comfy seat too and the chance to sit down instead of holding onto a rail for your life on the i-ride!
Getting around Orlando without a car is a tricky business. Unless you choose the right cab company, you can get seriously fleeced. Luckily enough theres an easy way to get from one end of International Drive to the other without breaking the bank.
For those planning a trip to Orlando then International Drive is a good option of the budget conscious traveller. There are many hotels that populate the long stretch of dual carriageway from the top near the Prime Outlets to the bottom of International Drive at Sea World.
Our experience of the I-Trolley was varied. On some days as it is usually with busses quite a number turn up one after the other, on some days though we were kept waiting well over half an hour.
A single ride on the I-Trolley will set adults back a dollar and twenty five cents. OAPS can ride for twenty five cents which is excellent value - even better kids ride for free, especially as Orlando is such a child-ridden experience. The trolley runs from 8.00am until 10:30pm, although we saw the busses running much later than this.
There are over a hundred stops on the I-Trolley route - Wet n' Wild, Festival Bay Mall, Pointe Orlando and Sea World are just some of them. However, we would have liked the I-Trolley to have made a slight detour and taken us to Universal Studios. Its not too far away, but the I-Trolley's nearest stop is quite some distance away.
We bought ourselves a 14-day pass for the I-Trolley, which as it worked out was quite a bargain. There were quite a few days where we clocked up three or four separate trips on the bus and it was handy just to slide the ticket through the drivers change box. A day pass costs four dollars, a three day pass is six dollars and a fourteen day pass was seventeen dollars.
The actual look of the bus is quite unique. You can't really miss it in fact, its green with a white roof and emblazoned on the front is a smiley face - patronising in the extreme when you've had to wait ages for the damn thing- -Oh look, he's smiling at me - well done! The interior is predominantly made from wood. Wood panels, wooden seats and wooden handles to hold onto. Its quite a quaint sort of experience, almost like something from The Truman Show.
Next time we are in Orlando we will definitely be renting a car, as public transport is a nightmare. The I-Trolley was good, don't get me wrong, but it was limiting. America is the place to experience the 'great wide open' and you don't get that without your own transport.