Orlando in Florida is a hub of family fun and home to several enormous theme parks including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. There are other attractions here too though, so if you’re planning to spend a weekend in Orlando there’s plenty for both adults and kids to enjoy while you’re there. Below we take a look at some of the highlights you may like to explore when you go.
Experience Walt Disney and Universal Studios
Start your weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort, the home of Mickey Mouse and a whole world of fantasy kingdoms. You can visit any of the four theme parks such as Animal Kingdom, which is also open at night, so you can experience the magic under the stars while having a few drinks in the bar. There are fireworks displays every night in the resort too, so you can end your first day in Orlando in style.
If you’ve already seen Walt Disney World Resort, try out Universal Orlando Resort which offers family-friendly attractions including its Island of Adventure and the fantastic Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience.
Relax in the tranquillity of Lake Eola Park
For some relaxed water views on a Sunday, Lake Eola Park is just a 20 minute drive from Walt Disney World in the centre of Downtown Orlando but it’s a world away from the busy bustle. There are over 14 kilometres of paths around the lake where you can take a slow stroll and pause to soak up the tranquil scenery.
You can rent swan-shaped peddle boats so you can get a closer look at the real swans on the lake and various species of birds, or stop off at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre to catch some music or theatre. There’s even a restaurant in the park, the suitably named Relax Grill and Bar, where you can linger over the views surrounded by flowers.
Take in Orlando’s designer shops
If you prefer spending your Sundays shopping, then your visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Downtown Disney. You’ll find a wide range of options from designer sunglasses to chic accessories and all the Disney toys you could possibly want. There’s also a range of bars and restaurants dotted around the theme parks. These include relaxed, informal spaces perfect for the kids as well as venues for special occasions such as the opulent Victoria & Albert Restaurant.
You could also head for International Drive, locally know as I-Drive, which is Orlando’s main tourist hub offering over 15 kilometres of shopping, eating and entertainment to explore. Here, you’ll be free to browse high-end designer stores and bargain outlets. There are plenty of bar and restaurant choices, some with live music, where you can sit back and relax. You’ll find some excellent attractions here too such as Madame Tussaud’s and the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye where you’ll get 360 degree views out as far as NASA’s launch pads at Cape Canaveral.
Meet an astronaut or see a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Centre
While we’re talking about space rockets, stop by at stunning Kennedy Space Center on your way back home. It’s around an hour’s drive from resorts such as ChampionsGate, Kissimmee or Lake Buena Vista so it could make a superb day trip and you’ll get to see Orlando’s gorgeous scenery along the way. You can marvel at the old space hardware in the rocket gardens and experience some astronaut training. There’s also a chance to meet actual astronauts and you may even get to see a live rocket launch.
Have you been to Orlando on holiday? If so, we’d love to hear your top tips for getting the best out of a Florida getaway.