How to Plan Trip to Orlando: A Guide for First-Time Visitors

According to information published by South Florida University, Orlando attracted 75 million visitors in 2022. This means vacationers plan trip to Orlando more than any other destination in the US. If you haven’t been to Orlando yet, you’re missing out. This city offers an abundance of attractions and entertainment for all ages. Don’t put off your travel plans any longer; keep reading for our best tips on planning an Orlando family vacation.

Pick a Good Time to Visit Orlando

The Sunshine State is famous for its great year-round weather, but Orlando’s location on the Florida coast does make it prone to the occasional hurricane. When planning your trip, you can check the National Hurricane Center’s website for details about the current expected Atlantic hurricane season. Apart from this one weather idiosyncrasy, you can look forward to the following weather conditions depending on when you plan to visit Orlando:


Orlando temperatures vary between 71.6° F and 80.6° F during the spring months. Humidity levels are also lower at this time of year, although they’re still around 71% during March and May. You can expect up to nine hours of fun-filled sunshine per day and little rain at this time of the year.


Summer is a hot, humid, and rainy season in Orlando, especially as the hurricane season approaches. The heat reaches its peak in July when temperatures average 91.4° F. The sun generally shines for about 8 hours a day in the summertime, and hot sunshine usually follows heavy downfalls of rain.


November signals the end of the heat and rain in Orlando, but September and October are still hot and humid. There’s also a higher risk of hurricanes at this time of year.


Orlando’s winters are cool and dry, with an average temperature of 68° F. The days are shorter, with only 6 hours of daylight to enjoy, but people still flock to Orlando in the winter to enjoy a break from colder climes.

Avoid Busy Times if Possible

Orlando gets very busy during peak periods, which can detract from the experience, especially if you have small children. Try to travel outside of school vacation times, midterm breaks, and the busy months of July and August.

If you are bringing young children, it’s easier to travel in the shoulder seasons and you’ll also find more special offers available at these quieter times.

Set Up an Orlando Vacation Budget

You must set up a strict budget for your trip to Orlando. It’s easy to get carried away and overspend in this magical destination.

Although Orlando is an expensive destination overall, there are plenty of ways to cut costs during your visit to this diverse city. You’ll find resorts and restaurants that cater to every budget in Orlando when you know where to look.

Try these pointers to help you save money on your trip to Orlando:

  • Search for off-season deals
  • Take advantage of the free shuttles to the theme parks
  • Consider package deals on flights and accommodation
  • Stay in self-catering accommodation
  • Buy a Disney Fast Pass for three free rides
  • Look for free entertainment options
  • Spend time on the beach

Overall, the best way to save money when planning a trip to Orlando is by booking early.

Book Well in Advance

It’s best to book your flights up to eleven months in advance and reserve your accommodations as soon as possible. Air tickets work on a supply-and-demand basis, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find any last-minute special offers.

When it comes to accommodations, you must book early to avoid disappointment. The sheer number of visitors to this city means the best resorts and hotels in Orlando fill up fast.

By booking early, you’ll find you have a lot more choices, especially if you’re in search of great deals on flights, accommodations, and entertainment.

Theme park tickets are one of the most costly things you’ll encounter during your visit to Orlando. You can save by booking in advance. Not only will you find a much wider variety of options available, but you’re also more likely to come across additional savings.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the world’s most visited theme park, with a maximum occupancy of 300,000 people. If you don’t book your tickets in advance, you could spend hours queuing only to face disappointment when you reach the gate.

If you’re planning to Dine with any of the Disney characters, you’ll need to book months in advance. These outings offer dinner, bed, or breakfast with a visit from characters like Mickey and Cinderella.

The character dining events include singing, dancing, and plenty of photo opportunities, and they’re a popular activity for travelers with young children. You can book character dining by telephone at any one of Disney World’s 15 restaurants.

Most people visit Florida to experience the theme parks, so even if you skip the WDW attractions, you can expect long lines and vast crowds wherever you go.

It’s beneficial to book tickets to the most popular entertainment options as early as possible, too.

Don’t Plan Trips to Orlando Without Visiting Some Theme Parks

With over 20 theme parks to choose from, it makes sense to include as many of them in your Orlando trip schedule as possible. Disney World alone has waterparks as well as the four main parks, while Universal Studios has two main parks plus the Volcano Bay water park.

The trouble is, if you try to squeeze too many into one trip, you won’t get to explore any of the theme parks in Orlando properly.

You’ll need at least seven days just to enjoy the Disney offerings, so plan to spend at least two weeks in Orlando if you want to make the most of the theme parks during your trip. Most theme park passes are valid for 14 days.

Apart from Disney parks, these are some of the other theme parks you should visit during your trip:

  • Legoland Florida
  • Aquatica
  • Fun Spot America
  • SeaWorld
  • Gatorland

Plus, there are a wealth of other fascinating attractions that draw crowds of travelers to Orlando.

Enjoy Orlando’s Other Attractions

Orlando may be the theme park capital of the world, but it offers a huge array of other diversions to enjoy. These are some of the best ones:

International Drive

Also known as I-Drive, this stretch of tarmac is where it’s all happening in Orlando. It boasts over 150 excellent restaurants and 100 hotels and resorts. It’s conveniently located within a ten-minute drive of Walt Disney World Resort and is also close to SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove.

I-Drive is where you’ll find some of Orlando’s most famous attractions, like:

  • Pointe Orlando
  • WonderWorks
  • Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Orlando Odditorium
  • Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf

If you’re taking a break from the action, a shopping spree along International Drive won’t leave you disappointed either. You can browse our buy at top fashion outlets like:

  • Calvin Klein
  • Reebok
  • VG
  • Coldwater Creek
  • Guess
  • Sketchers

It’s best to arrive hungry for your jaunt in this part of Orlando. It’s home to some of the city’s finest restaurants, including:

  • London House Orlando
  • Chatham’s Place
  • At Siam Thai Cuisine
  • Cala Bella
  • The Boathouse

You should book early if you want to dine at any of these popular establishments. If you prefer to wing it, a stroll down I-Drive will reveal every type of exotic cuisine imaginable up for grabs.

Natural Attractions

Travel back in time to Wekiwa Springs State Park, where you can swim in pristine, warm waters or simply admire the unspoiled landscape. Moreover, At Wekiwa Island, you can rent a cabana, kayak in the river, and enjoy live music with a beer in your hand.

At the Indian River, you can book a nighttime kayak or paddleboarding tour to see the fascinating bioluminescence light up the water surrounding you.

A guided airboat tour of the Florida

Everglades is a great way to see the state’s famous alligators up close and in safety. Furthermore, The Winter Park Chain of Lakes offers a more restful outing where you can paddle peacefully among Florida’s beautiful inland waters as the sun sets.

Sports Activities

Active vacationers will find no shortage of things to try in Orlando.

Golfers can choose from over 120 golf courses in the area, as well as mini-golf options and golf academies. Some of the must-try courses in Orlando include:

  • Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge
  • Grande Vista Golf Club
  • Shingle Creek Golf Club
  • Grand Cypress Golf Club
  • Hawk’s Landing Golf Club

At the Daytona International Speedway, you can take part in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Further, which lets you try your hand at driving a NASCAR race car.

Lake Nona’s USTA National Campus invites tennis fans of all ages to enjoy a round of tennis or some lessons from a pro at the world’s largest tennis facility.

Bike trails wind their way in and around Orlando. Additionally, offering a welcome opportunity to exert yourself in the fresh air. Some of the top trails in this part of the world include:

  • Lake Apopka Loop Trail
  • West Orange Trail
  • South Lake Trail
  • Lake Baldwin Trail
  • Sanford Riverwalk Trail

You can hire bikes in town or at the start of the applicable trails.

Museums, Galleries, and Studios

Orlando is home to several interesting cultural attractions. Moreover, These include Broadway shows, orchestra, and dance performances at the grand Dr. Philips Center for the Performing Arts. Additionally, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Museum of Osteology.

Plan for Rest and Retail Days

With so much to see and do, it’s easy to fall into the trap of planning something to do for every minute of your stay in Orlando. Remember, you’re on vacation, so take some time off from the bustle, too.

Lap up the Florida sunshine alongside your resort pool, take a trip to a nearby beach in St. Petersburg, or plan a spa day at one of the city’s top wellness centers.

You shouldn’t miss the chance to indulge in some of Orlando’s top shopping destinations, either. Some of the city’s top stores include:

The Mall at Millennia

This huge mall is one of Orlando’s best retail offerings, featuring over 150 stores and restaurants. It’s filled with luxury goods and more run-of-the-mill items, and it also offers a concierge service for the convenience of shoppers.

The Florida Mall

Florida Mall boasts 250 entertainment, dining, and retail options for visitors. The anchor stores include Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Zara, MAC Cosmetics, Tesla, and Apple also have stores here. Some of the kid’s fascinations featured here include the interactive Crayola Experience as well as American Girl and Carlo’s Bakery.

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets

This is Orlando’s most luxurious mall outlet. Further, where you can enjoy discounts on a variety of high-end goods. Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Vineyard Vines all have representation here.

The 160 stores at Orlando Vineland include a Disney Store with goods on sale for much cheaper prices than you’ll find closer to the theme park.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Located just two miles from Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores offers up to 75% off purchases on some items. These include apparel from Nike, Calvin Klein, American Eagle, and Disney merchandise.

You’ll Never Get Enough of Orlando

Now that you know how to plan trip to Orlando, nothing is stopping you from enjoying the many delights on offer in this destination.

A little planning goes a long way toward ensuring a hassle-free, cost-effective. As well as, rewarding vacation to this top international destination.

That said, one trip to Orlando is never enough to enjoy everything on offer, so try to focus on the things that are most important to you. You can always plan a repeat next year.

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