Your Orlando vacation
Go for an adrenaline rush on a roller coaster. Peer into the mouth of an alligator. Play a round on a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Or relax with an aromatherapy massage. This theme-park paradise is also home to museums, scenic trails and a thriving nighttime scene.
Let Orbitz help you plan your Orlando vacation with insider tips, hotel recommendations and pointers on great travel discounts. Start with our most popular picks, or choose a theme that fits your interests, budget and needs.
|New York||Orlando||Sat, Jul 6 - Wed, Jul 10||$218|
|Chicago||Orlando||Fri, Aug 16 - Sun, Sep 1||$236|
|Minneapolis||Orlando||Mon, Aug 19 - Thu, Aug 22||$314|
|Boston||Orlando||Wed, Jul 24 - Tue, Jul 30||$182|
|Newark||Orlando||Wed, Aug 7 - Tue, Aug 20||$224|
|Washington DC||Orlando||Wed, Jul 10 - Sat, Jul 13||$158|
|Detroit||Orlando||Thu, Aug 15 - Thu, Aug 22||$227|
|Denver||Orlando||Tue, Aug 13 - Thu, Aug 22||$248|
|Philadelphia||Orlando||Mon, Jul 29 - Thu, Aug 1||$198|
|Los Angeles||Orlando||Sun, Jul 14 - Wed, Jul 17||$300|
|Seattle||Orlando||Mon, Aug 19 - Sun, Aug 25||$343|
|Milwaukee||Orlando||Tue, Aug 13 - Tue, Aug 20||$254|
Best time to take a vacation to Orlando
Orlando is busy year-round, so plan your getaway well in advance. Tourist season peaks from late May to Labor Day, when the youngsters are on summer vacation. Families also flock to Orlando in the weeks before and after Christmas and Easter, but with a little preparation (sunscreen, bottled water) you can brave the long lines and heavy traffic.
If you can take the kids out of school, consider less popular times, such as right after Labor Day through the week before Thanksgiving, or post-Thanksgiving until mid-December. Keep an eye out for large conventions -- they can affect rates any time of year.
Weather-wise, Florida means sunshine, but don't be alarmed by a mid-afternoon drizzle. Summer's a scorcher, and humidity drives the heat index well into the 100s.
Insider tips for Orlando travel
This kid-friendly thriller is the closest you can get to skydiving without, well, skydiving. Get that free-fall-feeling in the huge indoor simulator, where there's plenty of padding to catch you.
Florida Airboat Adventure at Night
Want to see alligators stalk their prey in the wild? At night? Then get your thrills here, where visitors glide through lagoons aboard a 17-seater airboat.
Fantasy of Flight
Airplane-o-philes will get their kicks here. Climb aboard a real B-17 Flying Fortress, or take a guided tour to see more than 40 rare and vintage aircraft.
Rawhide Roundup at Forever Florida
Feel like a real cowboy in the deep Florida wilderness at this overnight horseback safari. A bona fide cow hunter teaches amateurs the art of rounding up cattle.
The Ravenous Pig
This American gastropub has won the affection of locals. Bring your appetite: the plates are stacked with delish eats such as shrimp and grits, steak frites (with truffle fries!) and house-made pasta.
Walt Disney World
The centerpiece is the Magic Kingdom, where kids and kids-at-heart find Cinderella's Castle, Space Mountain and the wild Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride. You'll defend the galaxy with Buzz Lightyear, sing your way around the world and ride a riverboat through an exotic wildlife safari. Gather the troops and do Disney your way. The Walt Disney World Magic Your Way Tickets offer discounted prices and flexible options.
You're in Florida -- ya gotta make time for gators. This reptilian adventure land is home to thousands of alligators and crocs, nature walks and a bird rookery. The latest install: five zip lines, upon which daredevils can soar over alligator- and crocodile-infested swamplands. And if watching a wrestler muscle these toothy critters won't make you squirm, check out the Gator Wrestlin' Show.
Got a long to-do list in Orlando? Purchase the Go Orlando Card and save up to 50% on admission to 40 attractions.
Wet 'n Wild
This is your extreme water world, chock-full of splashy thrill rides such as Brain Wash, Bubba Tub and Disco H20. Find an exciting wave pool, a cool Lazy River and a special play area just for the kids.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The lines are long, but you'll see why: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter rocks. Die-hards will dig this place top-to-bottom, but even those with a limited knowledge will be giddy from The Forbidden Journey (an absolute must), Hogwarts Castle and Butterbeer. There are candy shops and restaurants where muggles and young wizards can buy pumpkin juice, a Gryffindor scarf and chocolate frogs.
Universal Islands of Adventure
Take an unforgettable journey through remarkable islands where all your favorite myths, legends, comic books, cartoons and children's stories come to life. At Universal's Islands of Adventure you'll experience innovative rides and attractions that challenge all your senses, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, the Jurassic Park River Adventure and The Cat in the Hat.
Universal Studios Florida
Go beyond the silver screen and jump into the action of your favorite films at Universal Studios Florida. At the world's premier movie- and TV-based theme park, you'll find an amazing array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions, including the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit multi-sensory coaster, Shrek 4-D, The Simpsons Ride, Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast and more.
Better yet, double up on the fun and buy a Universal Orlando Theme Parks pass for admission to Universal's two theme parks.
One of four theme parks at Walt Disney World, Epcot is made up of two main sections: Future World and World Showcase. Spaceship Earth -- the giant golf ball-looking icon out front -- is a 16-minute journey through time, from the dawn of prehistoric man to an interactive "time machine" where visitors get a glimpse of their future selves. And if you need a change of scenery, World Showcase offers globe-trotting cuisine, live performances, fireworks, shops and the World Showcase Lagoon.
This Orlando gem will win your teenagers' affection. They'll make a beeline for AMC Pleasure Island movie theatre and the West Side's bevy of unique shops. Grown-ups discover a dining oasis, from fast food to elegant fare, and great views of Buena Vista Lagoon. Book tickets for Cirque du Soleil La Nouba, a sensory extravaganza of gymnasts, flying trapezes and music that'll appeal to the entire family. DisneyQuest promises interactive fun with 4D virtual cruises, video games and more.
Want to see a killer whale show off? Then check out "Believe," a killer whale show with choreography, a musical score and panoramic LED screens. "Blue Horizons," another show, mixes dolphin antics with a spectacle of aerialists and animal trainers. You can see more critters at Manatee Rescue, feed stingrays and watch turtles at Key West and encounter penguins and polar bears in Wild Arctic. Want thrills? Speed along a track at 65 mph on Kraken, a floorless rollercoaster.
Orlando Science Center
Beyond the theme parks, kids discover the magic of science at the Orlando Science Center, where themed halls feature hundreds of hands-on exhibits. Science City's arches, pendulums, and bridges demonstrate how science is part of everyday life, while NatureWorks focuses on the coral reefs, salt marshes and swamps that make up central Florida's topography. At Dr. Dare's Laboratory, part of TechWorks, parents and kids follow computer displays to perform experiments.
More on Orlando from AOL Travel
In a state where seaside resorts dominate the tourism economy, Orlando’s inland location has been an unlikely boon to Florida’s tourism industry and draws more than 50 million visitors annually. Its distance from the coasts makes it less vulnerable to hurricanes, a major motivation for Walt Disney’s selection of the city as the site for his Walt Disney World theme park. The town that Mickey Mouse built has since become the world’s unofficial amusement park capital, with Orlando and family vacation practically becoming synonymous. Disney, Universal Studios and SeaWorld anchor a city literally built on family travel, and the area’s abundant lakes and wetlands are a fertile environment for smaller, closer-to-nature attractions. International Drive houses many of the city’s main hotels and restaurants. For a look at “Old Orlando,” which became a city in 1885, head downtown to Lake Eola and its surrounding neighborhoods. Golf has carved out its place here too, with more than 70 courses ranging from the very affordable to the exclusive and world-famous. But Orlando’s best-kept secret might be its local theater scene. From big-time commercial productions and Broadway tours, to community theater and an annual Fringe Festival, visitors have live entertainment options any day of the week. Travelers contemplating an Orlando getaway will be glad to know that they have a diverse selection of hotels to choose from—the city was once dominated by budget-friendly properties, but in recent years its busy convention industry has attracted more upscale digs.