Quick Guide to Orlando
Universal's Islands of Adventure®
Disney's Magic Kingdom
Universal Studios Florida®
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Wet 'n Wild Orlando
Orlando in Florida conjures up images of thrill rides, Mickey Mouse and miles of fun - no wonder, when it's the theme park capital of the world!
For the best day out at the theme parks, it's time to get planning! The big parks are all clustered around southern districts, near Kissimmee and International Drive. Both good destinations for cheap accommodation that won't break the bank - try our holiday search and see!
Before you even board your flight to the USA, research discount entry tickets and restaurant vouchers online, and get a realistic idea of how much you can do in the day. That way you won't have to miss out on any of your "must dos". Some people have even been known to plan their holiday to infinite detail to make sure they don't miss a thing.
Spare some time to explore some of the stunning Floridian sights too. You could hire a car to drive down the coast, or visit the Everglades for a day. To make it even better, cheap Orlando holiday deals aren't find either, especially for entire families.
Fab holidays for:
Families, Theme park thrill seekers, Disney fans!
Orlando International or Orlando Sanford
Did you know?
There are over 800 "hidden Mickeys" to spot at DisneyWorld. Keep them eyes peeled!
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Theme Park Guide!
Whether you're an adult or a child, there's probably one reason you're on holiday in Florida; the theme parks.
Thanks to new attractions being added to the main parks every year, there's always something new to do. Plus all your old favourites, of course! Check theme park websites for new attractions and more importantly opening times for the dates you are looking to holiday in Orlando. Changing your dates slightly could result in you getting more hours in the theme parks. So here's a run-down of the places you must tick off:
- Walt Disney World Resort
- Single-handedly the biggest attraction for most people holiday in this part of America. 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! Scream along Space Mountain, dine around the world at Epcot and make a splash at Disney's Blizzard Beach. It pays to do some planning and prioritise your top rides and sights.
- Universal Resort
- The home of Wet 'n' Wild and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal is a more grown-up theme park than Walt Disney World, so it's great for older kids who might think they are too cool for Mickey Mouse and co! You can also tour the film studios and test your nerve on the Islands of Adventure.
- Last of the top three theme parks. It offers a combination of animal attractions, including shows, and some exciting rides like the soaring Manta and the Journey to Atlantis flume. This park has received it's fair share of publicity over the last couple of years - we suggest you do your read up on all views expressed before you travel and make your own decision about whether you visit or not.
- Discovery Cove and Aquatica
- 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
- The thrill-seeking sibling of SeaWorld and home to plenty of high-adrenaline rides. It has a jungle theme and a host of animals to spot on the way around. Get up-close and personal with Bengal tigers and cheetahs - you could even book a safari.
- At the kitschier end of the spectrum this independent theme park is well worth a day trip! There are alligators everywhere, including the doors to the park, which are alligator teeth! The shows are a particular highlight, including 'gator wrestling, and you can wind down with a dip 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, why not escape to nature? There are the vast areas of picturesque lakes and greenery nearby, including the Everglades.
If you have a physics fan or budding astronaut in your family then the Kennedy Space Centre is a must, whilst water sports enthusiasts 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.
Lake Kissimmee swamp tours will zoom you through the habitat of alligators, cranes and bald eagles - and all on a high-speed boat! See Orlando's many lakes from a different perspective - you can take off in a floatplane and even land onto the water itself.
Daytona Beach is a beach with a twist- not only can you drive onto the sand but the whole town is famous for its car racing. Head to Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the NASCAR meets and various other races. You can tour it or even pretend you're one of the racers in a simulator.
Clearwater Beach is one of the most popular (and beautiful) beaches. Take in the sight of stunning sunsets and graceful pelicans as you walk down Pier 60.
You can go dolphin spotting, kayak with manatees and watch as lions play at the Big Cat Rescue. It's not all about Mickey Mouse in Orlando.
Flights & Other Travel Info
There are several daily flights to Orlando from the UK, which highlights how popular holidays to this part of Florida are. Most flights land at either Orlando Sanford (charter airlines) and Orlando International Airports. Sanford is further from the city, but since car hire is such a popular way to get around, checking the prices at both can help you save.
Flights are usually direct, and expect to spend around nine hours in the air. At popular times it can sometimes be worth looking out for savings on an indirect flight deal, although look out for long stopover times and be sure the saving is worth the extra travelling time.
Onward Travel: If you're not going to venture beyond the theme parks, you can take advantage of the free shuttle buses once you get to your accommodation, and use taxis or local buses for other journeys. But if you're going to adventure elsewhere, it's definitely worth looking for car hire deals to give you the freedom to explore all corners of Orlando.