Fun-loving Orlando is a city of surprises. Yes, it’s the theme park capital of the world (home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and LEGOLAND Florida Resort, to name just a few) but it’s also one of America’s most exciting cities. Along with endless family-friendly attractions, it has amazing shopping and a thriving dining scene in its vibrant downtown and cool neighbourhoods. It’s also lovely and leafy with parks, lakes and lush waterways. Florida’s wildlife-rich wilderness is never far away with plenty of ways to explore it from walking and cycling trails to kayaking and airboat rides on the wetlands of Kissimmee. Orlando has world-class golf courses too. Craving the beach? It’s an easy drive to flop on Florida’s soft sand beaches. With year-round warm weather and blue skies too, there’s never a bad time of year to join in the fun at this playful city.
orlando fast facts
22ºC – Average temperature
ENGLISH – The language spoken in Orlando is English
Tourist Info – Visit https://www.visitorlando.com/ for further information.
9.5 hrs – Average flight time from UK
Currency – The currency used in Orlando is the US Dollar ($)
Fly to – Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the main gateway for the region
THE THEME PARKS
Most people go to Orlando to explore at least one of its mega entertainment resorts. With four vast theme parks – The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – and two water parks, Walt Disney World Resort has fun-for-all covered. And that’s not to mention the endless parades, live shows, and firework displays. From close encounters with super-cute Florida manatees and fearsome sharks to high-speed rollercoasters, waterslides and sandy beaches, there’s something to enchant everyone in Orlando’s SeaWorld. There’s no end to the adventures at Universal Orlando Resort with its Hollywood-inspired rides and attractions. It includes Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between the two), and Universal’s Volcano Bay. Kids (big and small) will adore LEGOLAND Florida Resort, which has 50 rides, attractions and shows and the LEGOLAND Water Park. And that’s just the big four…
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Delve beyond the theme parks and tourist hub International Drive and you’ll discover a lively culture-packed city with a whole lot of things to see and do. Lake Eola Park is a great place to get a feel for the downtown area. Hire a swan-shaped pedal boat and get out on the water for great views of Orlando’s striking skyline. The lake’s fountain is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and illuminates at night-time. Immerse yourself in tropical beauty at Harry P Leu Gardens, an oasis overlooking Lake Rowena just east of downtown. Loch Haven Park is another leafy space with three lakes for strolling around, two art museums and the kid-friendly Orlando Science Center. The historic suburb Winter Park is a charming place for a potter and meal out – be sure to take the boat tour to glide around its chain of lakes and canals. For shopping, it has to be the vast Florida Mall.
FOOD & DRINK
When it comes to dining out, Orlando has it all from fast food joints and street food trucks to fine dining establishments. A true melting pot of cuisines, the city offers a huge choice of regional and international cuisine. You can tuck into tacos, Peruvian ceviche, Asian street eats, barbecue or modern American classics showcasing Floridian ingredients in restaurants across its diverse neighbourhoods. Browse for Florida-grown produce at the Sunday farmers’ market in Lake Eola Park, seek out the city’s top foodie haunts along West Church Street in Winter Park and try Orlando wines and local craft brews in downtown wine bars. Or sink your teeth into a good ol’ burger as you sip a milkshake. In this city there is truly something for everyone.
- Watch the sunset at Lake Eola
- Ride on the Wheel at ICON Park
- Wander around the shops, bars and restaurants of The Milk District, east of downtown
- Take the one-hour Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park to marvel at the grand mansions that line its waterways
- See rare giant white gators and zipline over a swamp filled with the carnivorous creatures at Gatorland
- Take an airboat tour of Kissimmee’s wetlands with Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
- Kayak or canoe along the Wekiva River, spotting ‘gators and manatees
- Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, an hour’s drive away.