Orlando Travel Guide

Introduction to Orlando

To most people, the word “Orlando” has become synonymous with Disney. The area first attracted attention when the renowned Walt Disney World Resort was planned in the 1960s by Disney himself, with the first park, the Magic Kingdom, opening in 1971. Since then, the area has enjoyed enormous popularity thanks to the multitude of attractions which it is now home to (by no means all Disney themed) and hotels in Orlando are fantastic for catering for the perfect family holiday. These combine with a famously sunny climate to make Orlando a fun-filled, year-round destination for over 50 million tourists a year – young and old alike.

Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Fun for all the family in four Disney-themed amusement parks

 

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Take a bus tour around the home of NASA and board a replica Space Shuttle

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort

Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park

Other things to do in Orlando

Visit the thrilling SeaWorld Orlando for an exciting mix of aquariums, live whale and dolphin shows, and fun rides which include Kraken, Orlando’s biggest rollercoaster. To get up close and personal with the dolphins, head next door to Discovery Cove to swim with them in a more exclusive environment (entry limited to 1000 visitors a day, so ensure you reserve tickets in advance).  

 

For something a little more unusual, visit the Orlando Odditorium, a strangely lopsided museum housing a vast array of curiosities amassed by the “real-life Indiana Jones”, Robert Ripley. Flying enthusiasts can learn about the history of aviation and admire an impressive collection of vintage aircraft at Fantasy of Flight, branded the World’s Greatest Aircraft Collection.

 

More intrepid tourists can get acquainted with the Florida beyond the theme parks and go alligator spotting in Boggy Creek, where a thrilling airboat ride will take you racing through Central Florida’s Everglades, home to many species of exotic wildlife. If you’re feeling brave, try the night tour for a guaranteed chance to spy the red eyes of the alligators lurking in the gloom of the swamps.

Eating and drinking in Orlando

With over 4000 restaurants, Orlando offers an almost unlimited choice of cuisine. From classic American diners to five-star gourmet delights, Orlando has a lot more to offer in the way of bars and restaurants than just those found in its numerous theme parks. Be sure to visit one of the city’s renowned steakhouses for an all-American dining experience, or try one of Orlando’s popular dinner shows for entertainment while you eat.

 

Children are well looked after in Orlando, and many local restaurants have bargain “Kids Eat Free” deals. The kids will love the chance to dine with their favourite make-believe character at one of the Disney resorts; book early to ensure a place.

Orlando climate

Florida has a subtropical climate, so expect warm weather all year round. Thunderstorms are a daily occurrence from June to September, providing relief from the sometimes uncomfortably hot summer temperatures. Hurricane risk is highest at the end of summer and early autumn, but this is seldom a problem due to Orlando’s inland location.
 

When to go to Orlando

The peak tourism times are June to August and March and April, but visit outside these times for a less crowded holiday and, often, more comfortable weather. The most expensive time to go is at Christmas, but the Disney parks are at their most magical with seasonal decorations.

Flying to Orlando

Flights to Orlando will arrive at either Orlando International or Orlando-Sandford International airports; both offer a choice of shuttle services, car hire and taxi companies to get you to your final destination. Orlando-Sanford is slightly further from Downtown Orlando but has more flights from European countries.

 Orlando Deals

Hotels in Orlando

Car hire in Orlando

Images by Flickr/Sterlic