Orlando-Walt Disney World Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Winter Family Vacations
Credit

Courtesy of Jimmy DeFlippo/Jimmy DeFlippo

Best Things To Do in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Orlando is the sum of its parts, or rather, parks. Most associate the city with one in particular; Walt Disney World, but this mega-resort is actually located approximately 16 miles away in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida. If you have several days to devote to Mickey and Minnie, definitely stop by. But don't rule out the city's many other kid-friendly sites. There's SeaWorld Orlando and its sister properties Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove, plus Universal Orlando Resort, which houses its star attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Need a break from the kid stuff? Then browse the shops at The Mall at Millenia, play a round of golf or swing by the Harry P. Leu Gardens for a breath of fresh air.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 22, 2019

  • #1
    Walt Disney World Resort
    View all Photos
    #1 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Amusement Parks, Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Excessive, exhausting and expensive, Walt Disney World Resort is above all else enchanting. Composed of four theme parks (the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach), more than two dozen hotels and the Disney Springs shopping, dining and entertainment

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Universal Orlando Resort
    View all Photos
    #2 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Amusement Parks, Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Whether you're traveling with little ones, teenagers, friends or your significant other, odds are you'll find something to enjoy at Universal Orlando Resort. This sprawling entertainment area features two theme parks, as well as Universal CityWalk, a pedestrian thoroughfare with shops, restaurants, a movie theater and nightclubs. The original park

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    I-Drive
    View all Photos
    #3 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Recreation, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Recreation, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The International Drive Resort Area is one of Orlando's most diverse regions to visit. Situated less than 10 miles southwest of downtown Orlando, this area features a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, including WonderWorks, two outlet malls, Ripley's Believe It or Not! and Pirate's Cove Adventure miniature golf

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Orlando International Premium Outlets
    View all Photos
    #4 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you enjoy shopping, then no visit to Orlando would be complete without perusing the city's outlet malls. Although several are available in the International Drive Resort Area, some of Orlando's best shops are at Orlando International Premium Outlets. This outlet mall – which is the largest in Florida – houses everything

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  • #5
    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
    View all Photos
    #5 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Monuments and Memorials, Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Museums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    As much a part of Orlando's culture as Mickey and Minnie, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is another alternative to the city's crowded theme parks. Though it's about 45 miles east of downtown Orlando in Titusville, Florida, the space center is worth a visit, especially for those with an

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  • #6
    The Mall at Millenia
    View all Photos
    #6 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Popular brands like Apple and H&M rub elbows with high-end boutiques like Prada and Versace at the The Mall at Millenia. Providing a nice change of pace from the overpriced souvenirs you'd purchase inside one of Orlando's parks, this mall houses approximately 150 stores to browse. It also offers a

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  • #7
    Gatorland
    View all Photos
    #7 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Let's face it: Orlando is not the place for a cheap getaway with the kiddies. But this 110-acre preserve of alligators, crocodiles, snakes, toads, turtles and more offers an affordable break from some of the city's more expensive amusements and recent visitors say it's a great park and a great

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Golf
    View all Photos
    #8 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Golf
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Golf
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're not coming to Orlando to explore its theme parks, chances are you've come to visit its links. More than 170 golf courses – many of which have ties to area resorts – can be found throughout Orlando and its suburbs. Walt Disney World Resort offers four courses, while guests who

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  • #9
    Discovery Cove
    View all Photos
    #9 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    There are animal encounters and then there's Discovery Cove – a companion site to SeaWorld Orlando that receives rave reviews from past travelers. Here, you can get up close and personal with dolphins, stingrays, marmosets and otters, plus exotic birds. And since it's a reservation-only park (capacity is capped at 1,300 guests per

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Harry P. Leu Gardens
    View all Photos
    #10 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Despite the fact that most vacationers spend their time pounding the pavement, trundling tots from one amusement park ride to the next, Orlando is actually a great place to stop and smell the flowers. Swing by Harry P. Leu Gardens and get a sense of the real Orlando. This botanical

    ...Read More »
  • #11
    SeaWorld Orlando
    View all Photos
    #11 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Amusement Parks, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While Mickey's house and Harry's wizarding world are certainly magical, many vacationers find Shamu's lair equally enchanting. And if you're short on time, you might want to make this central Orlando spot a priority. Larger resorts like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are best enjoyed over a few days, anyway. Take your pick

    ...Read More »
  • #12
    Fun Spot America
    View all Photos
    #12 in Orlando-Walt Disney World
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Although these amusement parks are not as well-known as those found at SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, Fun Spot offers a plethora of rides, including carousels, go-karts, tea cups and Ferris wheels. For thrill-seekers, Fun Spot America even features a virtual reality rollercoaster and a wooden rollercoaster, both of

    ...Read More »
  • Aquatica
    View all Photos
    Amusement Parks, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • ICON Orlando
    View all Photos
    Amusement Parks, Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Amusement Parks, Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Shopping, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Downtown Orlando
    View all Photos
    Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

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