Orlando

Orlando Travel Guide

Part of the Downtown Disney Marketplace, this 50,000-square-foot landmark is the largest Disney character store in the world.

Nothing against religious reenactments, but when a blood-smeared Jesus sings into his head-mike from the cross, things start to get creepy.

The thrill factor is in full effect at this park—with attractions like Disaster (which simulates an 8.0-scale earthquake), Revenge of the Mummy (an indoor coaster that wheels past grasping monsters), and Jaws (a boat ride interrupted by the relentless attacks of…well, you know).

Around since 1991, the SAK Comedy Lab improve venue has been the launching pad for several nationally known stars, including The Price Is Right host Wayne Brady.

The busiest theme park in the world (with somewhere around 17 million annual visitors), the Magic Kingdom is home base to the most famous rides in the Disney pantheon, including Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Splash Mounta

Behind-the-scenes Disney secrets are divulged on this daylong walking tour (lunch included), which takes in some dauntingly complex operations at work in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and

This delightfully tacky roadside stall topped by a 60-foot orange dome has been a landmark of Americana since the early 70’s. It remains the prototypical Florida souvenir shop, selling lime jelly, shellacked gator heads, monogrammed mugs, and oranges and grapefruits by the bushel.

 

Wild animals of every stripe can be seen here, in regionally themed habitats that are scattered across the park. There’s the Pangani Forest habitat, for instance, home to gorillas, hippos, and African birds; and a Maharajah Jungle habitat with tigers, bats, and Komodo dragons.

With its striped cabanas, potted palms, and a view of downtown Orlando, SKYSIXTY the vibe is reminiscent of Miami’s South Beach. Grab a booth, or sip a mojito or mimosa on the gray-cushioned couches and chairs.

Mike Hewell, more commonly known as Tour Guide Mike, uses his years of experience as a tour planner for the rich and famous to help families enjoy a stress-free Disney World vacation. Hewell’s philosophy is based on monitoring crowd behavior and zigging when the crowd zags.

Set inside a museum that has one of the country’s finest, most complete collections of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass, this gift shop is stocked with a tasteful selection of vases, art glass, jewelry, and valentine-ready paper goods.

 

Mellower than other Orlando theme parks—though it has several rides, including Kraken, a thrilling, floorless coaster—SeaWorld is noted for its roster of elaborate stadium shows starring whales, dolphins, and the odd rescued puppy.

Set inside a museum that has one of the country’s finest, most complete collections of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass, this gift shop is stocked with a tasteful selection of vases, art glass, jewelry, and valentine-ready paper goods.

 

An Indiana Jones stunt show and a retelling of The Little Mermaid top the long list of kid-oriented shows at this park, called Disney-MGM Studios until 2008.

Some of humankind’s greatest adventures began here at NASA’s launch headquarters, an easy hour east of Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Time your visit right, and you may see a space shuttle streak into the sky on liftoff (visible all around the state but much better from up close).