Orlando is one of those destinations that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. This is an exciting, world-class city with excellent food, amazing theme parks, and top-notch weather. If you haven’t yet visited, here are a few tips to make sure your trip is a success:
Purchase tickets in advance
There are few things worse than standing in line for hours in the heat, or finding that the show you’ve wanted to see for years is sold out. That’s why it’s such a good idea to purchase tickets in advance for any attractions you’d love to see. If you purchase your tickets online, you’ll also often find some excellent deals and sales, plus you’ll be able to bundle days together so you can get the best bang for your buck.
Hire a car
If you don’t hire a car in Orlando, you’ll have to rely on public transportation, which often isn’t exactly fun in the Florida heat. You may get lucky and be staying at a hotel with a shuttle to the theme parks, but even then, this may not work for your schedule- especially if you have kids who need to get back to the hotel for their afternoon nap.
Consider using Fastpass +
We all know that the wait times can be insane at theme parks. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use Disney World’s Fastpass +. This means that you can choose up to three attractions to skip the line free of charge. Not to mention, you can make your choices 30 days before you arrive. If you go to Universal Studios, you can choose the Express Pass option, which does cost more but is unlimited for both parks.
Don’t forget the beach
If you want some fun in the sun, the closest beach is 45 minutes away- which is another reason to rent a car in the airport. This beach is called Cocoa Beach, and you can access it from Toll Road 528- anywhere in Orlando. You can take advantage of free parking at Lori Wilson Park and near the boardwalk, although you’ll spend around $5 on tolls each way. If you want to see some more of the incredible beaches in Florida, consider heading south to Miami or Fort Lauderdale for a day or two.
Shop ‘til you drop
If there’s one thing Orlando does well, it’s shopping. Not only is there the Mall at Millenia, and The Florida Mall, but you can also choose from two outlet malls- International Premium Outlets and Vineland Premium Outlets- both of which feature promotions and discounts throughout the year.
Take your time
If you haven’t been to Orlando before, you’re likely to be amazed by the sheer size of the theme parks and resorts- Disney World Resort is close to the same size as San Francisco.
It can be tempting to think you can do a theme park a day, but this can be a recipe for disaster- especially if its the middle of summer and/or you’re bringing your kids. Be prepared to do tons of walking, and of course, stand in plenty of lines. Don’t forget to lather yourself in sunscreen, bring a hat, and stay hydrated- sunstroke and dehydration are a sad way to end a day at the parks.
Take time to relax
There’s so much to do and see in Orlando that many people end up feeling like they need a vacation from their vacation. There’s nothing worse than getting on a flight home, only to realize that you’re absolutely exhausted. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan one or two attractions a day, but also work in some time to lay on the beach or catch an air-conditioned nap in your hotel room.