1-day Itinerary in Orlando-Walt Disney World
Explore the best things to do in Paris in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.
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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 complex, this sprawling property features iconic sights and rides like Cinderella Castle, "it's a small world," Spaceship Earth, Toy Story Land and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Even Anaheim's Disneyland can't compete, according to some.
Of course, there is one major drawback. Walt Disney World park tickets are expensive, regardless of whether you're visiting for just a day (single-day tickets for kids and adults ages 10 and older start at $109). Meanwhile, one-day water park tickets start at $64 for adults 10 and older. Most suggest you visit this expansive property over the course of several days to justify the high entrance fees. If you have limited time, consider skipping the parks in favor of exploring Disney Springs, which is free to visit.
Another disappointment to some: the abundance of people. During school recesses, all of the parks are packed with tourists and locals, meaning pathways can feel congested and ride lines may be hours long. To avoid these issues, try visiting on a weekday when school is in session. Or, stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, where all guests have access to Extended Magic Hours (or extra attraction hours for one or two parks). Utilizing the park's FastPass+ service can also help you make the most of your time in Disney World. What's more, select Disney resorts also include dining plans in vacation packages. See more money-saving tips and tricks here.
Walt Disney World Resort is located in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, about 17 miles southwest of downtown Orlando. Each theme park has different hours, but all open by 9 a.m. and close between 7 and 11 p.m. Water park hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. If you're staying at one of Disney's accommodations, you'll have access to complimentary bus, ferry or monorail transfers. Parking lots and stops for LYNX's Nos. 50 and 56 routes are also available, but extra charges apply. Disney Springs and all parks offer shops, restaurants, restrooms, sitting areas and live entertainment like parades and fireworks shows. Check out Walt Disney World Resort's website for further details.10-15 minutes by car
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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 course. Eateries here offer all sorts of cuisines, or travelers can enjoy a meal while watching a themed show. For night owls, I-Drive boasts a B.B. King-affiliated blues club, a Howl at the Moon dueling pianos venue, a Señor Frog's restaurant and bar, the world's largest permanent ice bar and more.
Though several former visitors caution that I-Drive tends to get clogged with cars, many said everything one could need is located along this road. Plus, prices here aren't as high as those found in the adjacent theme parks.
The International Drive Resort Area stretches between Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Central Florida GreeneWay, offering visitors convenient access to top sights like SeaWorld Orlando, Fun Spot America and Universal Orlando Resort. Travelers can drive or hail a taxi to any of the thoroughfare's shops, restaurants and attractions (most of which offer complimentary parking), but the city's I-RIDE Trolley and LYNX bus service (route Nos. 8, 24, 37, 38, 42, 50, 58 and 111) also make several stops along I-Drive. The area is free to visit 24 hours a day, but restricted hours and entrance fees may apply for select I-Drive venues. To learn more, visit International Drive Resort Area's official website.
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