Orlando is a one-of-a-kind city built brick-by-brick on magical, unforgettable moments. There is no other destination in the entire world that even comes close to rivaling it in terms of fun for the whole family (sorry L.A.). Let us guide you around O-Town to make this once-in-a-lifetime destination your once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
While the main draw of the city will always be the world class theme parks, there’s so much more to Orlando than cuddles from costumed characters and rollercoasters. From world class entertainment, shopping, beautiful beaches and delicious food to extreme sports, science, culture and a lively bar scene, Orlando really does have something perfect for everyone!
Here’s our list of the top activities to add to your BUCKiTDREAM planner to ensure that you tick every box during your enchanting trip to wonderland!
Make some Magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter For muggles big and small, wandering through this phenomenal theme park is sure to bring out the wizard in you. Painstaking efforts have been put into recreating Rowling’s classics, so make sure not to spill your Butterbeer whilst riding your broomstick through this star attraction.
Go Under the Sea at Discovery Cove It’s easy to see why one of Orlando’s premier family destinations is considered the world’s ultimate aquatic adventure park. Whether you want to swim with dolphins, dive into the freshwater oasis or explore the Grand Reef, if you’re into getting wet then this is the place to be.
You can’t miss the Magic Kingdom No Orlando trip would be complete without a trip to the Magic Kingdom. If you or your children have a beloved Disney character, you’ll find them here; hang out with everyone from Jack Sparrow to the Little Mermaid and don’t forget to take a ride on one the world’s most iconic rollercoasters, Space Mountain.
Walt Disney World is why Orlando exists It’s the reason that the rest of the parks are here and it’ll always be one of the greatest amusement parks on earth. There’s a reason that those who visit call it, “The happiest place on earth”; for an extra special treat, avoid the daytime madness and go in the evening.
Choose Carefully between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Typhoon Kingdom Depending on how long you’re in Orlando and how much money you actually want to spend, put a lot of thought into which of the above you’d rather do. The Typhoon Kingdom is a world-class water park whilst Animal Kingdom is a truly unique spin on your average zoo. Both are amazing but since you can find zoos and waterparks in most cities, we recommend that you pick one.
Epcot lets you explore the world in one day Grab breakfast in France, lunch in Italy, dinner in China and learn about the customs of each location along the way. It’s a great one for adults and you simply can’t miss the Horizons ride. It’s what the ’50s generation thought we’d be living like today… the rest of the world hasn’t quite caught up but Epcot sure has!
Shop at Orlando International Premium Outlets You may need a break from the sensory overload that is the entertainment of the theme park, so don’t be afraid to pick up some eye-popping bargains from nearly every major retailer you can imagine at this huge shopping complex.
Explore International Drive Take a walk (or cruise) down International Drive where you can spot baby gators, upside down buildings and enough random, quirky and fun things to entertain you for an entire day. We’d recommend that you make this either your first stop to get into the spirit of Orlando or your last stop to bid it a fond farewell and pick up a few souvenirs.
Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the American Art Museum It might surprise you to discover that Orlando is home to the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass and you can see it all at the American Art Museum. If you’re looking to mix a little refinement with your fun then you can’t miss out on the historic collection in the iconic Winter Park.
Go Blockbuster at Universal Studios Florida Disney couldn’t have all the fun on its own forever, so Universal Studios opened its doors in Florida. There’s a Kidzone with a few more rides for the adults and big kids in all of you. Don’t forget to combine it with their sister park, Islands of Adventure, to complete a day of film-fuelled fun that you’ll never forget.
Relax in the World Class Spas Orlando is undoubtedly exhausting, so if you can drop the kids off somewhere for a day then take advantage of some of the stellar spas the city has on offer. Trust us, you’ll have deserved it.
Blast off at the Kennedy Space Center With all the fictional fun, it’s easy to forget that Orlando is just a short drive to the closest thing that this planet has to real life sci-fi. Go – you’ll be inspired, guaranteed.
Whether your budget is infinite or minuscule, it’s important to remember that Orlando is a town built on entertainment. So no matter where you stay or whatever your cash flow may be, you’ll get something special in this city.
Luxury – From private villas to hotels in the heart of Walt Disney World. There’s a plethora of 5 Star facilities to suit whatever your taste. The Villas of Grand Cypress is ideal for golf fans as it boasts award-winning, Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf courses as well as an Academy and all of the usual trappings of a luxury hotel.
Affordable – The hotel industry is extremely competitive in Orlando so you can find a lot of hotels for under $50 a night which include, pools, theme park transfer and amazing facilities you couldn’t find in any other city for close to the value. Drury Inn & Suites Orlando offers a wealth of varied discounts including Military, Senior, eSaver and many more.
Unique – Want to have breakfast with a giraffe? Check in to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can shriek down the waterside into the pool, dry off on the way to the African safari area to chill out with over 30 species of African wildlife.
With world-class attractions comes world-class food. Whatever you can think of, they’re sure to have here in Orlando. If you want to splash the cash on luxurious fine dining then don’t miss Victoria & Albert’s; be warned – despite the fact it’s located in Disney World it might not be a place to bring the kids.
Want a taste of what the locals in Orlando love? Grab a delectable wrap, sandwich or burger at the famous Yellow Dog Eats or get your fill at the aptly titled classic Floridian cuisine diner The Ravenous Pig.
With all of the walking in the parks, you can totally justify some of the less healthy yet completely delicious bites that you’re sure to devour!
Drinks and Nightlife
A stone’s through (OK, maybe a cannon’s shot) from the Spring Break-mad Daytona Beach, Orlando has its own burgeoning party scene. While you might have brought the kids, you can hire babysitters at nearly every hotel in Florida and indulge in some adult activities.
One of the world’s most unique bar crawls – yup, it’s called Downtown Drink Around the World and spread across seven locations and you can take your pick of the favorite drinks of pretty much every nation. Probably don’t drink them all though…actually, definitely don’t drink them all.
Does Orlando have signature drinks? Of course.
From Flaming Moe’s and Moose Juice (Dr Seuss) to staples like Butterbeer and the world’s fictional favorite beer, Duff, you’ve guessed it – the parks pack treats for big kids too.
Orlando may still be reeling from the tragedy of what happened at Pulse, but the city’s nightlife has always been one of its biggest draws and always will be. From long time favorites like Firestone Live to VIP hotspots like Ono, there’s a party scene for everyone.
PLAN There’s too much to do to fit it all in one trip. With thousands of activities, you should talk to the whole family and find out what everyone wants to do or see the most.
SAVE Considering Universal & Disney have a monopoly of Parks in Orlando, make sure to look at their multi-park value deals. BUT only buy the deals if you’re planning on visiting them all.
Take the bus Orlando has some great bus routes and they only cost $1. Make the most of them. You’ll be exhausted. You’ll be having fun but your Fitbit is probably going to show around 50,000 steps a day. The parks are huge, so be prepared.
What’s a definitely must see?
It’s got to be the Wishes Fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. This is the intro to every Disney movie and the most iconic element about the city itself. Make time to do it, as it’s one experience that you’re sure to remember forever.
There is simply no place in the world like Orlando, Florida. Add it to your BUCKiTDREAM planner and share the magic of a holiday the whole family will never forget.