Orlando, Florida, is at the top of most people’s bucket lists, as it is home to many fun theme parks, such as Magic Kingdom, Universal Orlando Resort, and Epcot.
However, there is more to the city than rollercoaster rides, Disney characters, and movie attractions, even though they are worth the visit alone.
Maximize every minute of your vacation. Here is your total Orlando vacation guide to ensure you don’t miss one exciting activity, attraction, or dish.
The Best Things to Do
Orlando has activities to suit all ages, from young children to seniors. Offering exceptional theme parks, unmissable entertainment complexes, and unique wildlife preserves, you will never want to go home.
You will not be short of things to do in Orlando, as the city offers exciting activities and attractions for every age, personality, and preference.
Of course, there are some experiences you would be foolish not to add to your bucket list, such as:
- Magic Kingdom
- ICON Park
- Universal Orlando Resort
- Disney Springs
- Legoland Florida
Make a more informed decision when creating a travel itinerary by checking out all these things to do in Orlando. It will ensure you look back on your vacation with zero regrets and plenty of memories you will treasure forever.
The Best Time to Visit
Travel to Florida during off-peak months to beat the crowds, soak up the sunshine, and save money.
There is never a bad time to travel to Orlando on vacation, as it is bathed in Floridian sunshine throughout the year.
If you want to visit the Sunshine State when it is a little less crowded, plan your vacation for between January to April. The off-peak months often experience warm temperatures, little rain, and fewer crowds. The only exception is during spring break.
If some rainfall doesn’t bother you and you have a tight budget, time your getaway between June to early October, as you are more likely to secure a great deal.
The Best Places to Stay
Skip expensive Disney hotels and pick a family-friendly resort to enjoy plenty of fun between exploring theme parks. It will allow you to relax in style, splash under the sun, and recharge your batteries in a spa, fitness center, or a stylish guestroom, suite, or villa.
Orlando features thousands of hotel rooms to suit different budgets, group sizes, and vacation requirements.
If you are visiting the city to explore its many theme parks, browsing the various Disney resorts might be your first instinct. However, they can be a little pricey, especially compared to the many non-Disney hotels available in the city.
If you are traveling with your family, you can guarantee the whole clan will adore a trip to a fun water park hotel, such as Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa. It is the best way to relax after a busy day exploring Animal Kingdom or Epcot, as you can take a dip in many pools, play mini-golf, or rest your muscles in a soothing hot tub.
The Best Places to Eat & Drink
Great food is around every corner in Orlando, but International Drive and Disney Springs provide many restaurants to cater to different tastes, preferences, and budgets.
After an exciting day at Magic Kingdom, Discovery Cove, or SeaWorld Orlando, your stomach is bound to rumble. Yet, as you will have many restaurants, cafes, bars, and fast-food options, you might be unsure about the best pick for you and your loved ones.
Orlando is full to the brim with hidden gems worthy of your time and money, but there are some venues you must visit during a vacation.
International Drive provides locals and visitors with an extensive selection of fantastic restaurants to suit every palate, such as Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, Del Frisco’s Double Edge Steakhouse, and Cuba Libra Restaurant & Rum Bar.
Disney Springs is another must-visit destination when looking for the best dining experiences in Orlando. Top picks include Raglan Pub, Jaleo by José Andrés, Morimoto Asia, and Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill, to name a few superb options.
Also, there are some dishes you must try during your visit to Orlando, such as:
- A red velvet milkshake from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
- The Tavern Burger at Marlow’s Tavern
- Vegan doughnuts from Valhalla Bakery
- A steak at Charley’s Steak House
- A Mickey Mouse pretzel at Walt Disney World
If you try the above dishes, you can guarantee you will return home with a big smile on your sun-kissed face.
The Best Way to Travel Around Orlando
Orlando provides various public transport options, from buses and taxis to hotel shuttle services. However, renting a vehicle is undoubtedly the easiest way to explore Orlando.
Orlando is a large city, and you will likely need to travel to tick every attraction or activity off your bucket list.
Standard public transport systems are available to help you journey from A to B, but taking the bus or a taxi could eat into your schedule.
If you want to explore Orlando with ease, a car rental is an intelligent choice. It will allow you to conveniently visit every corner of the city, and a vehicle can even be ready and waiting for you once you touch down in Florida. It is the best way to travel from and to the airport and various theme parks and attractions.
If you can’t drive or don’t want to, you might be pleased to learn that many resorts provide guests with a complimentary or affordable shuttle service to various major theme parks.
Source: Instagram, posted on April 2nd, 2022, Orlando International Premium Outlets’ official profile.
The Best Places to Shop
Fashion lovers will fall head over heels with Orlando after exploring its many impressive malls, designer stores, markets, and boutiques. It is the perfect place to buy designer pieces, unique styles, and souvenirs for all the family.
If you have your heart set on shopping until you drop in Orlando, you will be as pleased as a punch to learn there are many malls, boutiques, and markets to choose from on vacation.
Treat yourself or your loved ones to designer brands at one of two premium outlets on International Drive and Vineland Avenue. Between the two malls, you will have access to some of the biggest names in fashion, including Burberry, Nike, Polo, Kate Spade, Banana Republic, Prada, and much more. Other shopping malls worth a visit include The Mall at Millenia, the upscale Florida Mall, and Pointe Orlando Shopping Mall (open 365 days a year).
Also, you might be surprised to learn that many of Orlando’s biggest theme parks feature shopping and entertainment venues. It will allow you to enjoy a little retail therapy between rides and attractions, and you can even stock up on souvenirs before returning to your accommodation.
Of course, you can’t visit Orlando and not stroll around Disney Springs, as it is well-known for its eclectic mix of stores, from beauty chains and souvenir shops to designer options. Those looking for top brands should visit The Town Center, and The Marketplace provides more family-friendly stores that adults and kids will love. However, if you’re looking for something a little unique, fun, or quirky, explore The Landing to pick the perfect souvenirs for yourself or a loved one.
How to Avoid Unwanted Surprises
Do your homework before traveling to avoid unexpected (and unwanted) surprises along the way, from expensive admission prices to average temperatures in Florida for your travel month.
Now you know the best places to stay, play, and visit, it is time to learn about the mistakes to avoid in Orlando. For example, many people make the mistake of buying tickets at the gate and might be shocked by the price of admission. Protect your finances by visiting the theme parks’ websites to learn more about ticket prices and browse the internet to find discounts or money-saving packages.
Also, don’t allow sunburn to ruin the trip of a lifetime with your loved ones. The most thrilling rollercoasters in the world will not make your pain disappear, which is why you must wear a high SPF sunblock throughout the day. It will protect your skin from the Florida sunshine’s strong UV rays and help you enjoy every moment of your break away.
Florida provides endless fun, and no two vacations in the city will ever be the same. There is always a new rollercoaster, restaurant, or attraction to visit, which is why you should try experiences or venues that grab your attention.
However, if you want to ensure you don’t miss one fantastic destination during your stay in the Sunshine State, you can’t go wrong with the above advice. You can trust you will return home with many memories from your getaway, from riding exhilarating rollercoasters, dining at unforgettable restaurants, or making memories with your loved ones at a family-friendly hotel.