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Orlando-Walt Disney World Travel Guide

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#1 in Best Winter Family Vacations

3-Day Itinerary in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Explore the best things to do in Orlando-Walt Disney World in 3 days based on recommendations from local experts.

Day 1

#1

#1 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: Must-see ?
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), 21 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 and the recently opened Pandora – The World of Avatar. Even Anaheim's Disneyland can't compete, according to some. 
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Amusement Parks Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
Walt Disney World Resort
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), 21 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 and the recently opened Pandora – The World of Avatar. Even Anaheim's Disneyland can't compete, according to some. 
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10-15 minutes by car

#9
I-Drive Free

#9 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: If Time Allows ? Free
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 miniature golf course. Eateries here offer all sorts of cuisines, or travelers can enjoy a meal while watching a magic-, pirate-, comedy- or circus-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.
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
I-Drive
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 miniature golf course. Eateries here offer all sorts of cuisines, or travelers can enjoy a meal while watching a magic-, pirate-, comedy- or circus-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.
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Day 2

#2

#2 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: Must-see ?
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 – Universal Studios Florida – is home to the 3-D Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and The Simpsons Ride, while Universal's Islands of Adventure has several rollercoasters and a "Jurrasic Park"-themed ride. A water park – Universal's Volcano Bay – is also available.
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Amusement Parks Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Universal Orlando Resort
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 – Universal Studios Florida – is home to the 3-D Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and The Simpsons Ride, while Universal's Islands of Adventure has several rollercoasters and a "Jurrasic Park"-themed ride. A water park – Universal's Volcano Bay – is also available.
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10-15 minutes by car

#7

#7 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: If Time Allows ? Free
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 great way to pass the time on a rainy day.
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Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Mall at Millenia
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 great way to pass the time on a rainy day.
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10-20 minutes by car

Local Pick: If Time Allows ?
Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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Day 3

#6

#6 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: Recommended ?
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 stay at accommodations located on Universal Orlando Resort grounds receive golf privileges at select area fairways.
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Golf Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Golf
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 stay at accommodations located on Universal Orlando Resort grounds receive golf privileges at select area fairways.
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10-15 minutes by car

#3

#3 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: Recommended ?
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 day), you'll get to interact with the animals and trainers more intimately. When you're not swimming with the dolphins, try snorkeling with tropical fish and rays in the park's coral reef or floating throughout the park's lush landscape on the Wind-Away River. If you need a break from the water, dry off on one of the beaches or feed some of the birds in Discovery Cove's Explorer's Aviary.
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Discovery Cove
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 day), you'll get to interact with the animals and trainers more intimately. When you're not swimming with the dolphins, try snorkeling with tropical fish and rays in the park's coral reef or floating throughout the park's lush landscape on the Wind-Away River. If you need a break from the water, dry off on one of the beaches or feed some of the birds in Discovery Cove's Explorer's Aviary.
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2 minutes by car or 10 minutes by bus

#5

#5 in Orlando-Walt Disney World

Local Pick: Recommended ?
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 of rides (including Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster, Mako) and an array of shows and exhibits.
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Amusement Parks Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
SeaWorld Orlando
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 of rides (including Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster, Mako) and an array of shows and exhibits.
... more

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