So, this is your first time going to Orlando? People who head to this part of the world are usually expecting fun and excitement, and they are rarely disappointed. As the capital of exhilarating and magical theme parks, prepare yourself for a whole lot of fun!
As with all new places you go to, doing your research is essential to make sure you have a smoother experience when abroad. Orlando is a vast area, and with so much to see and do we have put together some little pointers which may make your holiday even more wonderful!
Be mindful of the weather and do your research
Florida can be a very different experience depending on what time of the year you decide to go. As it is part of a subtropical climate, the sun will no doubt make an appearance at some point, so packing sun cream and a hat at the very least are necessary!
June and September are regarded as the wet months, so packing a raincoat at this time is a must. It is worth knowing this time is also the hottest too, so expect there to be high humidity.
Get familiar with the area and plan an itinerary
The general area of the parks can be found roughly 20 miles from the southwest of Orlando’s downtown location. It is worth bearing in mind, it is unlikely you will be able to visit all these parks in one visit!
However, by familiarising yourself with the area, it may be easier to make a realistic itinerary before you arrive so you can see as much as possible once you land.
Orlando has a total of ten main theme parks. These include:
- Walt Disney World (four main parks)
- Universal Orlando (two main parks)
(These top three have a radius of around 15 miles between one another).
- Discovery Cove
- Busch Gardens, Tampa
Look into travel options
One of the most popular ways to explore Orlando is to hire a car. This is a great way to have complete freedom during your stay.
However, if you do not feel like renting a vehicle for the trip, there are shuttles which provide accessibility between resorts, parks and International Drive. If you would like to book onto a shuttle, a window of 24 hours is needed beforehand, as places tend to fill up fast!
The LYNX bus service is one of the cheaper ways to get around the area and is used by many locals. Services run daily and run on 77 different routes and are wheelchair accessible.
The I-Ride Trolley may also be a useful option for transport and supplies two routes, the Red Line and the Green Line trolley, with a total of 107 stops.
There are also taxi services, such as Uber and Lyft in the area. They will ideally be able to take you straight to your door if staying in a luxury holiday villa near Disney World and the other major theme parks!
Remember to explore beyond the theme parks
No doubt, most people aim to see as many theme parks as possible when they are in the sunshine state. But try not to forget about the diverse communities that are blossoming in the area!
So many things to see and do in Orlando are also free! Get immersed in the abundant markets, gardens, parks and museums that are all local to the area.
A place of particular interest for those who enjoy history and would like to know more about the area is the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Here you can gain an interesting insight into the African-American history of the Orlando area and see beautiful work from local artists of an Africa-American heritage.
Learn about the local wildlife
The subtropical weather of Florida creates an amazing environment for some of the most unique and beautiful species in the world. It is rare that you would ever come into contact with some of the more dangerous wildlife, but if you do, it’s best to know what to do if ever in that situation.
Alligators, snakes, spiders, black bears and sharks all live in the state and are not known for approaching humans. It is best always to keep your distance where possible and never to touch these animals.
If you see an alligator, try and stay at least 50ft away and do not swim in places of freshwater. There will be signs in areas where alligators are known.
A bite for a spider should always be checked by a medical expert and snakes may need assistance from a professional if they cannot be ushered to leave.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the more ‘friendlier animals, native to the area like manatees, lizards and armadillos!
So there you have it, five tips to get you prepared for your once in a lifetime trip to Orlando! We hope you have a magical time and these tips save you any unnecessary stress, money and time!