Orlando Travel Guide

Orlando Travel Guide

Courtesy of Disney

Orlando’s global fame as a center for unbridled enjoyment is largely due to one name: Disney. On paper, it’s a small city in Florida with just under ... Read More

Orlando’s global fame as a center for unbridled enjoyment is largely due to one name: Disney. On paper, it’s a small city in Florida with just under a quarter of a million residents, but as every child in America knows, it’s much, much more. Although the city enjoyed some minor popularity as a resort in the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1960s that its reputation was sealed, when Walt Disney announced plans to build his theme park there. Its inland location meant a reduced threat of hurricane damage, and in 1971, the resort and park opened to universal acclaim, ushering in an explosion in investment and population. Tourism became the overriding economic driver, resulting in today’s position as arguably the leading theme park and family attraction destination worldwide.

No vacation in Orlando is complete without a visit to a theme park—and that’s why the vast majority of the crowds orbit the big-ticket parks: Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, and LegoLand. But more determined travelers will uncover a surprisingly sophisticated, albeit lesser-known city rooted in Old Florida values if they take the time to seek it out. Walt Disney World may have put Orlando on the map, but beyond Disney World, there are world-class shops and restaurants in downtown Orlando. That’s where the business districts are, as well as a more laid-back portfolio of hotels and entertainment options, many of which don’t feature a single mouse.

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Visit Orlando

Best Time To Go

Travel to Orlando for year-round sunshine; there's no real off-season here. Just expect an afternoon shower or two, and pack accordingly. The very busiest times are from late May to just past Labor Day, almost all long holiday weekends, the winter holidays, and spring break—late March to April. You might want to skip out on Orlando travel during prime vacation periods to avoid standing on long theme park lines.


Roads are tailored for visiting tourists and very well signposted. The vast majority of attractions are a short drive from Interstate 4. If you don’t have a car, all the major parks and hotels run shuttles, which are mostly free to use, but can get crowded. Be advised that taxis can get expensive.


July is on average the hottest month, with an average high of 92°F (33°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 71°F (21°C).

Know Before You Go

If you’re visiting Orlando, do as much planning as you possibly can before you leave. It is not the place for spontaneous vacation decisions unless you’re fabulously wealthy. Book hotels that offer family discounts such as Kids Eat Free deals, have snacks to eat in the inevitable lines you’ll be standing in, and schedule indoor, air-conditioned shows for the hottest times of day.




Type A (two-prong plug) or Type B (three-prong plug)


United States Dollar ($)