You’ll find Mickey Mouse here; ditto for Harry Potter and Shamu. Which partly explains why nearly 50 million visitors from around the world find their way to Orlando.
But Orlando is much more than famous theme parks like Disneyworld, Universal Studios and Sea World; it’s a city with scores of excellent golf courses, plus a lively arts scene of theater, music and movie-making.
And if you like year-round warm weather, Orlando’s the place for you. And they’re ready and waiting for you, too; the city is second only the Vegas for most hotel rooms in the country.
Listen as Anne McDermott talks to Ben Reed of Adventures with Ben about sites, attractions and things to do in Orlando.
Flights to Orlando
Flying to Orlando is easy, and finding cheap flights to Orlando is even easier. Lots of airlines make for lots of competition and that makes for good deals.
Orlando International Airport (MCO): This hub for AirTran Airways (it’s also a focus city for Allegiant) is served by most domestic airlines as well as many international carriers from around the globe.
Attractions in Orlando
Most people come for the theme parks, but don’t forget the natural wonders of the region. Need more? See the links below; these websites have loads of ideas for you.
Disney World – This premiere amusement park opened in 1971, and Orlando hasn’t been the same since. Today it encompasses four separate theme parks plus hotels, restaurants and more. You’ll also find campsites here, plus spas and fitness centers – but face it, you’re really here for one reason only: Mickey and his friends.
Universal Theme Parks – Universal Studios Florida has cool rides and TV production facilities (with behind-the-scenes interactive adventures) while Universal’s Islands of Adventure has the one and only Harry Potter.
Florida Eco Tour – Travel by horseback, pontoon boat, coach or even zipline and see some of the many gorgeous waterways and tropical ecosystems of central Florida, and maybe spot some wildlife including deer, alligators or even the endangered panther.
Shopping and Restaurants in Orlando
Dining: Whether you prefer dinner and a show, haute cuisine or pizza, sushi or steak, Orlando’s restaurants have got it covered. And check out “character dining” listings if you’re traveling with the kids; share a grilled cheese with a princess or an astronaut but do book in advance.
Shopping: Look for mega-malls, specialty boutiques, outlet stores, plus Universal City Walk and Pointe Orlando for shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
See the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida Travel Tips & Deals blog for the latest ways to save on attractions, hotels, dining out and more. These pages are updated often, so check back frequently for cheap deals.
More Information on Orlando
Not sure what else to see and do in Orlando? You’ll find plenty of ideas right here:
Orlando Info – This official site of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has it all: greatest attractions, outdoor fun, events calendars, dining-with-characters listings for kids plus deals and discounts.
City of Orlando – Learn about the “other Orlando” of museums, parks, professional sports and tips for getting around town.
Orlando Sentinel’s Florida Travel – This newspaper’s Orlando/Florida travel section is a must-see for tourists and locals; find out about the best dining spots, see the Florida Water Park guide, plus “Daily Disney” and “Harry Potter Central” sections.