Orlando in Florida conjures up images of thrill rides, Mickey Mouse and miles of fun, and in fact it's the theme parks that are why we're crazy for great deals on family holidays to Orlando! But remember to spare some time to explore some of the stunning Floridian sights too. You could take a day in your hire car to drive down the coast, or visit the Everglades for a day.
For the best Orlando holiday experience at the theme parks, it's time to get planning! Things to look for include discount entry tickets, restaurant vouchers, and a realistic idea of how much you can do in the day. That way you know what's possible and won't have to miss out on any of your "must dos". As the theme parks are all clustered south central Orlando, plenty of places will be on hand for cheap accommodation and food that won't break the bank, and popping into a local store can often yield plenty of money saving coupons!
There are several daily flights to Orlando from the UK, which highlights how popular cheap holidays to Orlando and Florida are. Orlando flights land at either Orlando Sanford and Orlando International Airports. Sanford is further from the city than Orlando International, but since car hire is such a popular way to get around, checking the prices at both can help you save.
These flights are usually direct, and expect to spend around nine hours in the air before your Orlando holiday can start. At popular times it can sometimes be worth looking out savings on an indirect flight deal to Orlando, although look out for long stopover times and be sure the saving is worth the extra travelling.
Once you've landed you'll need to travel onwards and whether you've booked your flight and hotel separately, or you've snagged an Orlando package holiday. For holidays that aren't going to see you venturing from the theme parks, you can take advantage of the free buses once you get to your accommodation. So travel there by taxi or local bus. But if you're going to adventure elsewhere, it's definitely worth looking for combined accommodation and car hire deals to save money on your holiday in Orlando.
There is no doubt about it - whether you're an adult or a child, there's probably only one reason you want a holiday in Orlando, and it's the theme parks. Thanks to new attractions being added to the main parks every year, there's always something new to do on an Orlando, Florida holiday, as well as (of course) all the old favourites! So here's a run-down of the places you must tick off on your holiday in Orlando:
Walt Disney World Resort Orlando is singlehandedly the biggest factor for most people on Orlando holidays. Walt Disney World Paris might boast a more realistic castle but for the majority of us, if it's not in the USA then it's not the real thing. Expect a theme park so huge that a two-week stay isn't enough to see it all! So it pays to do some planning to prioritise your top rides and sights so you can be sure not to miss out.
Universal Orlando Resort is the home of Wet 'n' Wild, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which are two of the most popular things in Orlando. Universal is a more grown-up theme park than Walt Disney World, so it's great for older kids who think they are too cool for Mickey Mouse and friends! You can also tour the film studios and test your nerve on the Islands of Adventure.
SeaWorld rounds out the top three theme parks in Orlando and it's a must-do on any holiday here. It offers a combination of animal attractions, including shows, and some exciting rides as well.
Discovery Cove and Aquatica are the sister parks to SeaWorld. Discovery Cove has a maximum admission of 1,000 people a day so it never gets crowded, meaning a relaxing day snorkelling the coral reef and plenty of animal interactions if you want, like swimming with dolphins. Aquatica is the nature-inspired water park, best known for the Dolphin Plunge water slides.
Busch Gardens is the thrill-seeking sibling of SeaWorld and home to plenty of adrenaline rides. It has a jungle theme and a host of animals to spot on the way around too. Get up-close and personal with Bengal tigers and cheetahs - you could even book a safari.
Gatorland is at the kitschier end of the spectrum and this independent theme park is well worth a day trip! There are alligators everywhere, from the doors to the park, which are alligator teeth, there will be more 'gators then you could imagine! The shows are a particular highlight, and they include 'gator wrestling, and you can wind down with some fun in non-alligator-infested waters - so pack your swimwear.
Believe it or not, there are other attractions in Orlando too! When the thought of another queue gets too much escape to nature - there are the vast areas of picturesque lakes and greenery including the Everglades. If you have a physics fan or budding astronaut then the Kennedy Space Centre is a must, whilst water sports enthusiast will only need to take one look at the Sammy Duvall Watersports Centre to be hooked. Art lovers are taken care of too at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, where you will find numerous Tiffany exhibits.
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