- Walt Disney World-
Travelers can head to one of the most iconic theme parks on the planet and experience all the magic of Disney. There are tons of rides and attractions to keep the little ones busy, and even some chances at meeting some of their favorite Disney characters. More than a place for kids, there is an abundance of shows, music, festivals, attractions and restaurants to keep adults busy too. Disney has four parks and plenty to see, be sure to set aside a few days to check them out!
- Universal Orlando –
Another huge theme/amusement park in the Orlando area is that of Universal Orlando. With tons of coasters and rides, movie experiences and more, travelers will be able to make a fun day out of a visit to the main park. For all you Potter fanatics out there, the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter could be an ideal place to spend a day or two getting lost in the attractions and recreating the magic of the books and movies.
- Golfing –
With close to 100 (that’s right, 100!) golf courses in the area of Orlando, anyone who loves to hit the links will be sure to enjoy a visit to the area. From private courses designed by pros to places to play at Disney World, there is something for every skill-leveled player. Check out Orlando Golf for more information, including a map of the course locations.
- Shopping –
With a number of retail and factory outlet stores in the area, as well as malls and the Downtown Disney area, Orlando offers the chance for travelers to shop until they drop. Or, if you are more into casual shopping, you’ll have plenty of places to find that perfect gift or souvenir.
- ESPN Wide World of Sports-
Located just minutes away from the Disney World Parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports hosts tons of events all year round. From high school football to lacrosse and field hockey to cheer leading, there are a number of events that travelers could find interest in. There is also an on-site store and food options too. In the spring time the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball take the field here to train and play a few games.
- Festivals –
Between the two giant theme parks, Disney World and Universal Orlando, there are plenty of festival to keep anyone busy, but add in the towns of Kissimmee, Celebration and Orlando and you’ll have no shortage of things to do, festivals to check out and events to take part in.
- Waterparks –
With the nation’s oldest Waterpark, Wet ‘n Wild, as well as a number of other options in the area, travelers will be able to cool off from the hot sun in these great places. Disney World also has two waterparks that it offers to travelers.
- Fishing –
Believe it or not, Orlando is one of the best fishing destinations on the east coast of the United States! Close to Lake Okeechobee, there are plenty of opportunities to fish for Bass and other pan fish, plus just an hour or so away, travelers can head out into the Gulf or Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean to try their hand at some deep sea fishing.
- New Year’s Eve –
Disney World is consistently ranked among the top places in the US to ring in the new year. There are a number of great activities and even fireworks displays to help you welcome the new year. For more information check out this article on the Sundance Vacations Travel Blog: “5 Great Places to Spend New Years”
- Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)
- Shula’s Steakhouse (Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort)
- Boma (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
- Planet Hollywood (Downtown Disney)
- Rainforest Cafe (Downtown Disney)
- ESPN Club (Disney’s Boardwalk Inn)
- Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (Disney’s Beach Club)
- Yachtsman Steakhouse (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort)
- Mythos Resturant (Universal Orlando)
- Emeril’s Resturant Orlando (Universal CityWalk)
- Medieval Times
What To Pack
Definitely bring along some comfortable clothes when visiting Orlando, Florida. Chances are you are probably here to check out the theme parks, and if that’s the case, make sure you bring things for that like: comfortable shoes, water proof shoes a backpack for inside the park, a sweatshirt in case it gets cold, snacks, sunglasses and even sunscreen. There are some nicer restaurants in the area, so you may want to bring a few nicer outfits for that. For the most part, this area is filled with a number of tourists and visitors so casual attire like shorts, sneakers and T-shirts are completely fine. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture all the memories too! If you are headed to Disney, bring some costumes for the kids!
Orlando International Airport — MCO — is the closest airport to the area and is located just about 30 minutes from our Sundance Vacations properties. If you are visiting Disney World, the resort offers some transportation around its parks and hotels, but you will still need transportation to get there. Once on the Disney property, there are monorail and ferry services that can be used. Although there are a number of taxi and bus services available in both Orlando and Kissimmee, the best option for travelers would be to have a car to get around. If you are planning on renting a car for the time you will be there, we suggest you check out these tips on the Sundance Vacations Travel Blog: “Ten Tips for Saving Money on Rental Cars”
- January – Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
- February – Bach Festival Florida
- March – Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, Kissimmee Bluegrass Festival
- April – Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, Florida Film Festival
- May – Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Orlando Carnival, Orlando International Fringe Festival
- July – 4th of July Celebrations
- September – Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Halloween Horror Nights, Rock the Universe
- October – Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Halloween Horror Nights, Oktoberfest at Celebration
- November – Disney World’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Halloween Horror Nights
- December – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, New Year’s Eve at Disney World
|Transportation to Destination||Amount of Time|
|Drive to Walt Disney World||10 Minutes|
|Drive to Universal Orlando||20 Minutes|
|Drive to Downtown Orlando||30 Minutes|
|Drive to Tampa||1 Hour 5 Minutes|
|Drive to Daytona Beach||1 Hour 30 Minutes|
|Drive to Lake Okeechobee||1 Hour 50 Minutes|
|Drive to Miami||3 Hours 30 Minutes|
Orlando DestinationsCheck out our destinations in Florida!
- There is no official documentation of how Orlando received its name. Four known stories of its inception exist, but no conclusion has ever been reached.
- Orlando is home to more than 100 lakes.
- The Walt Disney World Resort is so big that two of New York City’s Manhattans could fit in it. All of California’s city of San Francisco can fit right in the resort as well.
- The Orlando area had more than 59 million visitors in 2013.
- Orlando’s known for new restaurants opening up practically each week. You can eat a meal at every single restaurant, three times a day, for an entire year and you’ll still need to spend over five years to eat at every restaurant in Orlando.
- Richard Nixon was notorious for stating famously that he was “not a crook.” He said it on November 17, 1973, in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
- The city of Orlando was honored and proud to demolish its old city hall not only to build a new one, but to utilize the actual scene of that demolition for the major motion picture “Lethal Weapon 3.”
- Orlando is also home to the Tupperware and AAA companies.
- Only Las Vegas beats out Orlando for the highest number of hotel rooms in one city.
- Sure, Orlando doesn’t have a monopoly on waterparks, but the idea wouldn’t have even existed if it wasn’t for Orlando’s Wet N’ Wild waterpark, which opened in 1977 and still runs to this day. It was the first waterpark in the world. It’s also one of the only waterparks able to stay open 365 days a year.
- Before there was Disney World, there was also a considerable amount of cattle ranching in Central Florida.
- Beat generation icon Jack Kerouac lived in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando during the time his novel On the Road was published in 1957.
- N’Sync, The Backstreet Boys and Matchbox 20 all came together in Orlando, Florida.