visiting Orlando

Orlando is a fun destination for the whole family. There are endless things to do, world-class restaurants, and year-long sunny weather. There is a reason it remains one of the top 10 most visited cities in the United States. Check out our five tips for visiting Orlando to make the most of your vacation. You will fall in love with the magical city of Orlando!



#1 Getting to and from Orlando

Getting to and from Orlando is one of the big logistics pieces of planning your Orlando get-away vacation. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the major airport for most airlines. The Sanford Airport (SFB) is about 30 minutes further from Orlando, but it is much smaller and can be good a spot to find budget flights. 

MCO Airport is one of the busiest airports in the US, so plan plenty of time for going through security. Be sure to check your gate number before going through security because there are two terminals. You might have to go through security again if you enter the wrong one! If you want to avoid sky-high parking prices, check out the off-site parking options for Orlando Airport parking. At the end of your vacation, MCO Airport has fun places to shop for last-minute souvenirs from Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld.


#2 Where to stay

Orlando is a very big city and there are many different neighborhoods. Your planned activities should be the main factor in picking where you want to stay. If you want to focus on the theme parks, then I would recommend staying outside of downtown Orlando. 

The Doctor Philips area is perfect for reaching the three main theme parks (Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld). Sand Lake Road has a ton of fantastic restaurants. It also intersects with International Drive, so you can reach the other popular Orlando attractions like WonderWorks, the Orlando Eye, Fun Spot, and so much more. If you are looking for a quieter area to stay but still within close driving distance of the theme parks, then check out Winter Garden or Windermere. 

Winter Garden is a super cute and thriving neighborhood with plenty of bars, boutiques, and quaint eateries. Windermere is situated on the chain of lakes, so you can find a lovely vacation rental on the lake. Downtown Orlando is also a really fun and exciting place to stay. If you like hipster coffee shops and local artisan vendors, then check out the area of Audobon Park near downtown Orlando.


#3 Avoid the theme park lines

Of course you can always buy your theme park tickets when you arrive, but there are some advantages to buying your tickets in advance. Each theme park does their fast pass tickets differently, but if you buy your tickets in advance, then you have time to plan which rides you want to use the fast pass for and book your tickets. Also, arriving early is the best way to avoid the lines and take advantage of the cooler mornings.


#4 Plan for the unpredictable weather

Orlando typically has afternoon rain showers every day from May through October. They don’t typically last long and actually, it can feel quite nice if you’ve been walking around all day! Be aware though that sometimes the rain showers turn into thunderstorms and in that case you will want to make sure you are away from water and stay indoors. Plan to bring a poncho or umbrella with you wherever you go! Don’t worry though, there is plenty of sunshine throughout the day. Even during a rain shower, the Florida sun will probably still be shining!


#5 Visit more than the theme parks

Orlando is so much more than just theme parks. The ecotourism in Orlando is really top-notch. Orlando is surrounded by beautiful lakes, natural springs, and saltwater marshlands. You can go kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddleboarding, hiking, and so much more. However, you should know that Orlando is about an hour away from the closest beach (Cocoa Beach).