Orlando City Guide

ABOUT ORLANDO

Arguably the leading theme park destination in the world, for families and thrill-seekers alike, there’s nowhere quite like Orlando. With the arrival of Walt Disney World® in the 1960’s and Universal Orlando®, Seaworld® Orlando and Legoland® Florida following soon after, this small Florida city firmly established itself as the USA’s go-to holiday destination. Travellers come in their thousands to visit Orlando’s big-ticket theme parks, and it’s easy to see why. With innovative rides, endless entertainment, beautiful surroundings and both luxury and affordable accommodation aplenty, Orlando stands alone as the one-stop-shop for all things family fun.

As magnificent as the worlds of Walt Disney and Universal may be, a venture beyond the theme park gates reveals another side to Orlando, where rich cultural scenes, striking nature reserves, world-class shops and restaurants all find their home. Whatever your agenda, some downtime spent in Orlando’s inner-city ensures you’ll appreciate and enjoy the magic and mania of the theme parks all the more.

From hotels to rides and everything in between, here’s a brief run-down of things to know and expect from your Orlando getaway…

ORLANDO AIRPORT
Just six miles southeast of central Orlando, Orlando International Airport is the closest airport to all the city’s theme parks including Walt Disney World®, Universal Orlando® and Seaworld Orlando®. This airport’s handy location puts visitors close to the city, with the Orlando’s most popular hotels just 30-45 minutes’ drive away. Catering to all leading global airlines, Orlando International Airport hosts flights from all major destinations and cities.
ORLANDO THEME PARKS

No Orlando holiday is complete without exploring the region’s epic theme parks. Here’s our round-up of the region’s top theme parks not to be missed.

Comprised of four main theme parks, Walt Disney World® is Orlando’s largest and, some will say, most magnificent of parks. For the young, and the young at heart, you’ll find all your favourite childhood moments come to life at Magic Kingdom®, where the Cinderella Castle remains the standout. The other three parks, Epcot®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, are just as outstanding. Be sure to make a splash at the waterparks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, too.

Have the most epic of underwater adventures at SeaWorld® Orlando, where ocean animals, rides and dazzling shows come together. SeaWorld® Park is known for it’s thrilling live shows, while Discovery Cove® offers relaxing swims with dolphins and an idyllic oasis away from the rides. SeaWorld®’s waterpark Aquatica® is another favourite, with fast-paced water rides, more animal encounters and extra doses of excitement the order of the day here. Just a few miles from their neighbours, SeaWorld®’s Busch Gardens® and Adventure Island® are not to be missed either.

Universal Orlando® comprises of two immersive theme parks, Universal Studios® and Universal’s Islands of Adventures®, both of which offer fun for the whole family. From adventures with the likes of Spider-Man™ and Shrek, to discovering the world of Hogwarts with Harry Potter™, there’s plenty to entertain at these two amazing movie-inspired offerings. Traveller’s are also eagerly anticipating the arrival of Universal’s Volcano Bay™, a brand-new park where thrills and spills will meet a tropical paradise. Volcano Bay™ opens early Summer 2017.

Central Florida’s latest theme park and another major player in Orlando is Legoland® Florida. Specifically centred around families with children between the ages of 2-12 years, Legoland® boasts interactive shows, rides, amazing LEGO displays and so much more!

ACCOMMODATION
With more than 400 hotels and resorts on offer, finding the right accommodation to suit your budget, style and family’s needs during your time in Orlando has never been easier. Beyond Walt Disney World® and Universal Orlando®’s many hotel options, the city itself hosts a plethora of places to stay from inns and lodgings, to luxury resorts, vacation home rentals and even campgrounds! Find out more about the many accommodation options available when you purchase ticket deals with Love Orlando Tickets.
LOCAL TRANSPORT
Many tourists rely on rental car or taxi services during their time in Orlando, with major highways through and around central Florida making car travel more convenient than ever before. Reliable and cost-effective, LYNX, Orlando’s public transportation system, is another great way to get around town. Trains bring visitors from further afield to central Florida, while the hop-on, hop-off I-Ride Trolley traverses the International Drive Resort area exclusively.
WEATHER
Smack-bang in the middle of the “Sunshine State”, one of Orlando’s major draw cards is it’s endless sunny days and comfortable weather year-round. While weather here remains agreeable throughout the year, visiting Orlando in the months of February through to April promises the most pleasant climate, and prices too.
TOP TIPS FOR ORLANDO
  1. Plan ahead. Making the most of your Orlando trip requires careful planning, especially when it comes to the theme parks. Consider your budget and time restraints, pick out your must-do parks and attractions and schedule accordingly.
  2. FastPasses are a lifesaver. When purchasing your Orlando tickets, remain on the lookout for FastPasses and skip-the-line options within your ticket deals. Flying through queues with these ticket extras will save you and your little ones lots of time and angst on the day.
  3. Go downtown. Epic theatre shows, live music and a host of beautiful restaurants make this Orlando neighbourhood a must.
  4. Get app-y. A host of apps available on Apple and Android devices will make your Orlando stay easier than ever before. From navigating theme parks and finding the best parking spots, to gaining shopping mall discounts and live waiting times for rides, apps like the Visit Orlando Destination app, Walt Disney World®’s Resort app, the Universal Orlando® app and the Orlando ParkIN’ app are all essentials.