Orlando, Florida is one of the world's most visited tourist regions!
Whether it’s a trip for families, couples, single travelers or a group of friends, Orlando is the perfect destination thanks to incredible diversity that ensures an unforgettable vacation filled with unique experiences for every visitor. For instance, if thrill-seeking is your style, you won’t be able to get enough of our theme parks, water parks and attractions, but there’s a lot more for you to discover, including dining, shopping, ecotourism and more. So, get out and explore it all — there’s no wrong way to experience Orlando!
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, you can explore the wonder of amazing rainforests, African savannas and Asian jungles in an immersive, incomparable wildlife experience — all without leaving Orlando.
If you haven’t visited recently, you’ll likely want to visit the park’s newest land first: Pandora — The World of Avatar. Based on the hit motion picture, this immersive area is one of Walt Disney World’s most extraordinary accomplishments to date. In addition to the Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey attractions, it features out-of-this-world dining and shopping.
But to be sure, all six lands at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will transport you to hauntingly gorgeous realms you’ve only dreamed of seeing. In the first area, Oasis, you can enjoy a self-guided tour at Oasis Exhibits, which features fauna such as wallabies, giant anteaters, exotic boars and even barking deer.
Your next port of call is Discovery Island, the nexus of the park’s other lands and home to the iconic Tree of Life®. It also features a self-guided tour at Discovery Island Trails®, as well as family-friendly entertainment at It’s Tough to Be a Bug.
From there, it’s a short distance to Africa, which has a self-guided tour at Gorilla Falls Expedition Trails. You can also witness exotic creatures in natural environments by day or night at one of Orlando’s most unforgettable experiences, Kilimanjaro Safaris®.
Africa also hosts one of the park’s most incredible shows, Festival of the Lion King. Celebrating its namesake animated classic, this Broadway-style spectacular will delight you with songs, puppetry, pageantry and beloved characters.
Keep moving and you’ll come to Asia, where a legendary creature awaits you at Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®. Keep an eye out for the vengeful Yeti as you race to escape the cursed mountain!
Kali River Rapids® offers more white-knuckle thrills in Asia, where you can also set a slower pace with a self-guided tour at Maharajah Jungle Trek®. This area also features UP! A Great Bird Adventure, where you’ll get the chance to see birds from all over the world with fan-favorite characters from Disney-Pixar’s Up.
Once you’ve experienced Earth’s present and explored another planet’s future, it’s time to travel to the past at DinoLand U.S.A.Younger guests will particularly enjoy TriceraTop Spin and The Boneyard, while those seeking more action won’t want to miss DINOSAUR and Primeval Whirl®.
Throw in the park’s shows, special encounters and other enthralling features, and it’s easy to spend a day or more exploring Walt Disney World’s zoological theme park. Keep reading to see everything Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park has in store for you, and prepare for a truly wild adventure in Orlando!
The world’s most famous theme park, Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando is the place where childhood dreams come true. Between more than 40 unforgettable rides and attractions, themed dining and shopping, and countless surprises, your imagination is the limit when you’re at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
Magic Kingdom Park is divided into six themed lands, each with a different focus. After arriving at the park by your choice of ferry or monorail, you’ll stroll through the gates into the first area, Main Street, U.S.A.® Here, you can hop aboard the Walt Disney World®Railroad for a fast-paced tour of the park, or head off on foot to see what else is in store for you.
Where you go from there is up to you. If you opt for a clockwise direction, you’ll discover Adventureland® and its classic attractions. Famous rides here include Pirates of the Caribbean® and Jungle Cruise®, and you can cool off in comfort as playful animatronic birds entertain you at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
If you left Main Street aboard the Disney Railroad, you’ll be able to disembark at our next stop, Frontierland®. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® and Splash Mountain® provide big thrills in this section, where you can also explore Tom Sawyer Island.
Next, you’ll come to Liberty Square, where you can party with 999 happy haunts at Haunted Mansion®. Or, hear what past and present U.S. leaders have to say — literally — at The Hall of Presidents.
But enough with anything involving the real world — it’s time to move on to Fantasyland®, which is home to Cinderella Castle and also features a stop on the Disney Railroad. In this land, you can soar at Peter Pan’s Flight®, enjoy a rocky ride at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and take a musical journey around the globe at "it’s a small world"®, among other attractions.
Last but not least, Tomorrowland® will take you to the future. In addition to white-knuckle excitement on Space Mountain® and other rides, this area has two great ways to enjoy a relaxing break between thrills: Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and Tomorrowland®Transit Authority PeopleMover.
Beyond its rides and shows, Magic Kingdom Park is packed with character encounters, fun shops and a wide range of dining options. It also hosts two of Orlando’s most popular annual events: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the lead-up to Halloween, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party during the holidays.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder why Magic Kingdom Park continues to be a must-visit for millions of people around the world nearly 50 years after it opened. See below for more details on the theme park’s rides, special features and events, and make sure it’s on your itinerary during your next visit to Orlando!
Launched in 1982, Epcot invites you to explore global culture, space, the seas and Mother Nature — not to mention the future — all without leaving present-day Orlando.
Your journey begins at Spaceship Earth, housed inside the iconic geodesic globe that serves as the park’s centerpiece. In this attraction, which is part of Epcot’s Future World section, you’ll travel through the history of communication, stretching from humanity’s first cave paintings through today and tomorrow.
From there, you can explore the stars at Mission: SPACE®, the oceans at SeaBase, and our ecosystem at Living With the Land. Future World has plenty of other surprises in store for you, including a wide range of interactive attractions designed for kids.
Head further into the park and you’ll come to the World Showcase, featuring faithful homages to 11 different nations. Here, you can experience the culture and cuisine of Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as the U.S., without having to cross any oceans.
Foodies will find much to love here too, starting with autumn’s Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival. During this famed celebration, you can sample gourmet cuisine and exotic beverages from around the world at Global Marketplaces, see legendary performers at the Eat to the Beat concert series, participate in chef-hosted special events, and much more.
In spring, enjoy more food and fun with a focus on amazing agriculture at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Creativity takes center stage — literally — during winter’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts, and the year comes to a spectacular close during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
It all adds up to a stunning salute to humanity’s achievements and dreams — and you’ll only find it in Orlando. See below for additional information on Epcot’s attractions, events and special features, and make plans now to experience its wonders for yourself!
Lights, camera — action! Head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, and you’ll have the starring role in a world built on incredible movies, blockbuster entertainment and beloved characters.
The experience begins at Hollywood Boulevard, featuring its own take on Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame. (Keep an eye on the ground so you don’t miss any of your favorites!) For even more Hollywood history, head to the right for Sunset Boulevard, which features two of the park’s most popular rides: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith.
While awaiting the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in fall 2019, Jedi and Sith alike can feel the Force at the park’s Echo Lake section. Here, themed shopping, photo opportunities and attractions like Star Tours® — The Adventures Continue and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi will transport you to that famous galaxy far, far away.
Pixar’s blockbuster Toy Story animated films have long had a presence at this park courtesy of Toy Story Mania!® And now, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will shrink you to the size of a toy and deposit you in Andy’s backyard at Toy Story Land, an expansive new area featuring the Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash rides, plus related shopping and dining.
Traveling with a diehard Disney fanatic, or curious about how Disney’s incredible Orlando theme parks came to be? Be sure to visit Walt Disney Presents at the park’s Animation Courtyard. This self-guided attraction will take you through 100 years of Disney history, focusing on the life of Walt Disney, his famous creations and how The Walt Disney Company stays true to his vision of innovation and excellence to this day.
More than a tribute to its namesake city, Disney’s Hollywood Studios pays homage to the power of creative imagination in all of its forms, and you’ll only find it in Orlando. See below for details on the excitement, shows, shopping and dining waiting for you here, and make your own movie magic the next time you’re in Orlando!
Imagine casting spells with a wand like Harry Potter™, visiting The Simpsons’ home town while munching on a Krusty Burger, becoming a mischievous Minion, or being in the middle of an intergalactic showdown with the Autobots and Decepticons. Maybe you’d like to get to know Shrek, race with the crew from Fast & Furious, or fight aliens with the MEN IN BLACK™.
Immerse yourself in the next generation of blockbuster entertainment at Universal Studios Florida in Universal Orlando Resort, where cutting-edge rides, shows and attractions bring your favorite movies, television and more to life.
The newest experience at Universal Studios to put you in the middle of the action is Fast & Furious — Supercharged, a high-octane chase based on the blockbuster films — the first of many starring roles waiting for you here. Zap aliens at MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, save Earth from the Decepticons at TRANSFORMERS: The Ride — 3D, survive the Revenge of the Mummy, and help a lovable alien phone home at the park’s longest-running attraction, E.T. Adventure.
You can also rock out at Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, an adrenaline- and music-fueled roller coaster that reaches speeds of 65 mph. Or, take a wild tour of the Big Apple with late night’s reigning king at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Of course, anyone in possession of Floo powder might want to teleport directly to Diagon Alley™, half of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort. This faithful reproduction of the famous wizarding retail district also features themed shopping and dining, as well as the thrilling ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, plus the Hogwarts™ Express — which can take you directly to Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. (Please note: Hogwarts™ Express requires a multi-park ticket.)
There’s a lot of animated fun to be had at Universal Studios, too, starting with Springfield. Once you’ve taken The Simpsons Ride™ and Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl for a spin, stick around to try all of Homer’s favorite delicacies. Then get drawn into even more hijinks at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4-D and Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster.
And that’s still not a wrap, as you’ll also find unforgettable character encounters, live entertainment, dining and shopping around every corner. Read on for more information about Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, where you’re always the star!
Adventurers, explorers, book-lovers and thrill-seekers will be awed by the unbelievable experiences that await at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort — a world where heroes, myths and monsters become real!
Travel to the park by way of Hogwarts™ Express from Universal Studios Florida and you’ll arrive at Hogsmeade™. (A multi-park ticket is required for travel on Hogwarts™ Express.) Half of Universal Orlando Resort’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, it’s home to Hogwarts™ Castle, which hosts a jaw-dropping nighttime light show. Here, you can enjoy themed shopping, dining and entertainment, as well as feats of wizardry on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ and Flight of the Hippogriff™.
If comic books are more your thing, meet some of your favorite costumed adventurers at Marvel Super Hero Island®. Populated by icons such as Captain America, Wolverine, The Green Goblin and others, it also features pulse-pounding attractions like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, The Incredible Hulk Coaster®, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall® and Storm Force Accelatron®.
Next, the young and the young-at-heart can step into beloved childhood storybooks at Seuss Landing™. Inspired by the works of Dr. Seuss and designed with younger guests in mind, this area’s attractions are fun for the whole family, including The Cat in the Hat™, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride™, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™ and Caro-Seuss-el™.
For even more animated adventures, check out Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls® and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®. Just be prepared for a soaking when you climb aboard these fast-paced water rides!
You also stand a good chance of getting wet at Poseidon’s Fury, an innovative walk-through exploration of an ancient Greek temple. And you’ll definitely want to bring a towel for Jurassic Park River Adventure, where a white-knuckle river journey through the famous dinosaur land culminates in a pitch-black, 85-foot drop.
Not enough prehistoric action for you? Run with the undisputed king of the apes at Skull Island: Reign of Kong. And even little ones can have some primeval fun at Pteranodon Flyers.
All this plus live shows, character meet-and-greets, dining and shopping built around some of the greatest legends known to man — and you’ll only find it in Orlando. Use the resources below to plan your visit, and book passage to Universal’s Islands of Adventure!
From Luxury Brands to Discount Outlets, Orlando Has It All
Not sure where to start your Orlando shopping spree? From elegant malls to factory outlets to bespoke boutiques in quaint neighborhoods, here’s your guide to the best of shopping in Orlando.
Hot trends and coveted designer brands are always in style at Orlando’s premier malls, both of which are conveniently located close to the theme parks.
Minutes from Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Orlando, The Mall at Millenia features luxury brands, complimentary valet parking and Wi-Fi, currency-exchange services, and more. You can also touch base with Visit Orlando representatives at this mall’s concierge desk.
Central Florida’s largest shopping center, The Florida Mall is just 25 minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort and Orlando International Airport. It hosts a range of market exclusives like Crayola Experienceand M&M's World, plus best-of-brand retailers.
Orlando’s tourism district is home to three expansive outlet malls that pair top brands with incredible value: Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando International Premium Outlets and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. Between the three, you can shop hundreds of designer and brand-name outlets that are packed with value and fashion.
Who says shopping isn’t a sport? Get your steps in while snatching up unbelievable finds at walkable, shopping-focused districts throughout Orlando like Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World. Featuring more than 100 retailers that range from noteworthy brands to Disney-themed shops, it also offers a wide range of dining and entertainment.
Described as “the Epicenter of Awesome,” Universal CityWalk™ at Universal Orlando Resort has a unique blend of shops and boutiques. You can also enjoy themed restaurants, dance clubs and even a round of mini-golf.
Located in the heart of the attractions area, Pointe Orlando is an outdoor venue with retail, dining and entertainment choices. And eclectic boutiques in Winter Park and downtown Orlando provide numerous reasons for shopaholics to venture out of our tourism district, including national brands, local favorites, antique stores, vintage clothing shops and more.
Ready to master your golf game in Orlando? Challenge yourself on numerous greens designed by iconic players and renowned course architects, and learn from the best at our high-profile annual golf tournaments. Fore!
Learn more: Orlando Sports, Outdoors & Recreation
Many of golf’s biggest legends and sought-after designers have created golf courses in Orlando, inviting you to master some of the most gorgeous, challenging greens you’ll ever play. One of the most prestigious in that regard can be found in the heart of Orlando, just 10 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort: Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
More Palmer designs await at Shingle Creek Golf Course, adjacent to International Drive, and Orange Lake Resort, close to Walt Disney World Resort. Speaking of Disney, Walt Disney World Golf’s three exceptional courses are operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.
You’ll find another Palmer-designed course at Reunion Resort, which is also the only club in the world with courses created by Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.
Want more Nicklaus? Just 10 minutes from Disney, Grand Cypress Golf Club boasts 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf. And that’s just the start of pro-designed golf courses in Orlando.
Golf Tournaments in Orlando
Held at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge, the Arnold Palmer Invitational is Orlando’s premier golf event. A key stop on the PGA Tour, it brings some of the game’s biggest names to Orlando every March. We host several other professional tournaments, and locals and visitors alike are invited to take their own shot at glory at amateur tournaments throughout the destination.
When people think of a Florida vacation, two ideas to come to mind: theme parks and the beach. Thanks to Orlando's central location, vacationers don't have to choose. The Atlantic coast is just an hour's drive from Orlando, and the Gulf of Mexico lies 90 miles to the west. After spending time at Walt Disney World, Universal and SeaWorld, take a day to relax at the beach and soak up our famous Florida sunshine. Here are 10 of our favorite beaches within a two-hour drive of Orlando.
The "World's Most Famous Beach" is just an hour from downtown Orlando. Daytona Beach is all about the cars—a place to catch a world-famous NASCAR race and even drive your own car right on the beach. Free summer concerts with movies and fireworks are offered May through October at the Bandshell, and there's plenty of entertainment at the nearby boardwalk and fishing pier.
For a quieter corner, head to Ponce Inlet and climb to the top of Florida's tallest lighthouse which stands at 175 feet, built in 1835. For local shopping and dining, Beach Street in downtown Daytona is popular, and nearby Ormond Beach is home to John D. Rockefeller's former beach house in addition to local dining hotspots on Granada Boulevard.
Just up Interstate 95 from Daytona Beach, the charming coastal town of St. Augustine awaits. Of course, this historic European-style city is known for its Fountain of Youth and the first permanent settlement in the United States, established back to 1565. After a robust history lesson downtown, head to the beach. Popular attractions along the coast include the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Marineland, where you can swim with dolphins.
If you long for the calm and clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, then appropriately named Clearwater is your paradise. Just 20 minutes from Tampa, Clearwater is popular for its family-friendly beaches and attractions. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a must-see, with the famous movie star Winter from "Dolphin Tale," who swims with a prosthetic tail. Indian Rocks Beach is another relaxing spot for couples and families, free from high rises and crowds.
At the heart of St. Pete Beach is the historic pink palace, the Loews Don Ce Sar Hotel—built in 1928 at the heart of America's Jazz Age. It's worth a visit for dinner or cocktails to soak up the nostalgic, Gatsby-like atmosphere.
For a more natural experience, Fort De Soto is ideal. Plus, it's home to one of the only dog beaches in the area. Make time to see the Salvador Dali museum in downtown St. Petersburg on your way out of town. The building itself is a work of art, and it houses the largest collection of the legendary surrealist outside of Spain.
Whether you’re visiting for pleasure, business or the best of both, Orlando offers everything you’d expect from the nation’s No. 1 tourism destination. World-famous theme parks and attractions, certainly, but we’re also home to several distinct dining and entertainment districts with some of the region’s best restaurants and nightlife.
Many of these districts also boast a wide range of shopping, as well as other delightful diversions. As you explore our city and its surrounding communities, you’ll discover that each of these areas has a character and atmosphere all its own — yet they are still uniquely Orlando.
International Drive/Convention Center Area
When it comes to entertaining, International Drive — which encompasses the Orange County Convention Center, top attractions and numerous resorts — makes a lasting impression. In addition to providing quick access to Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Orlando, this area has a diverse selection of restaurants and nearly endless entertainment options, ensuring something for everyone.
Learn more: International Drive in Orlando
Sip craft cocktails at the one-of-a-kind Rocks at Hyatt Regency Orlando. Play to win at Kings Dining & Entertainment. Order fresh-caught oysters and vintage wine at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. Or get caught in the crossfire of dueling pianos at Howl at the Moon. Make International Drive your executive decision while satisfying many tastes, all within walking distance. See restaurants and entertainment.
Walt Disney World Resort/Lake Buena Vista Area
Big names provide plenty of star power, and no dining district in Orlando offers more celebrity chefs than Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs. Sample the renowned menus at Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia, and Tony Mantuano’s Terralina Crafted Italian, among others, then cap off the evening with a handcrafted cocktail at The Edison and other vibrant nightspots.
Learn more: Top 10 Must-Do’s at Disney Springs
You can also find exceptional dining and nightlife at Disney’s onsite hotels and other establishments in the Lake Buena Vista area, including Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. If all else fails, hosting a private reception under Disney’s legendary fireworks from the comfort of a rooftop lounge is sure to elicit more than a few “wows.” See restaurants and entertainment.
Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort
A self-contained universe unto itself, Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort offers exquisite fine dining, casually elegant eateries and first-class entertainment. Best of all, admission is always free and parking is complimentary after 6 p.m., excluding special events.
Learn more: Top 10 Reasons to Visit Universal CityWalk in Orlando
Eat at themed restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and many others. Hang out at the Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel® at Universal Orlando Resort and become part of the rock ‘n’ roll legend. Get surreal with Blue Man Group. Enjoy a frightful double feature at Hollywood Drive-In Golf. Or dance the night away at Universal CityWalk’s hot nightclubs. You’ll wake up the next morning feeling alive and ready to take on the world. See restaurants and entertainment.
Just a 5-minute drive from the Orange County Convention Center on Sand Lake Road, Orlando’s famous Restaurant Row is a must-visit for serious foodies — and it has nightlife worth writing home about, too.
Celebrate the night in style at swanky steakhouses like Fleming’s and Morton’s. Experience Roy Yamaguchi’s unforgettable Polynesian-fusion menu at Roy’s Restaurant, or head south of the border at Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar. Swap stories over a good smoke at Corona Cigar Company, or slide into one of Orlando’s most sought-after speakeasies at Pharmacy. All this and more is within easy reach on Orlando’s Restaurant Row. See restaurants and entertainment.
With a sizable skyline, downtown Orlando is both a vibrant entertainment district and a collection of trendy neighborhoods. Dine from an impressive range of global and regional flavors such as The Rusty Spoon or Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, then head to the Amway Center for a basketball game or a concert from top national performers.
Learn more: Downtown Orlando
Buy the first round at One80 Skytop Lounge, followed by dancing at a high-energy nightclub. Or take in a Broadway show or musical performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and laugh hysterically at local improv artists at SAK Comedy Lab. Like the song says, things will be great when you’re downtown. See restaurants and entertainment.
New-world sophistication meets old-world charm in Winter Park, a picturesque city where arts and culture are part of everyday life, all just 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando. Spend a relaxing evening on tree-lined Park Avenue, a lush neighborhood that includes chic bistros, fine dining, gastropubs, trendy wine rooms, museums, art galleries and specialty boutiques.
Learn more: The City of Winter Park
Winter Park also has a large concentration of independent restaurants serving locally sourced menus, with standouts including The Ravenous Pig, Prato, Luma on Park and Hamilton’s Kitchen, the latter of which is inside The Alfond Inn. Visit and you’ll soon understand why the area has been dubbed the “Rodeo Drive of the South.” See restaurants and entertainment.
Orlando is a large destination. And although we’ve divided it into six main dining and entertainment districts, that doesn’t mean you’ll only find great restaurants and nightlife within those boundaries.
From 1921 by Norman Van Aken — the only Floridian on James Beard’s prestigious list of Who’s Who in American Food & Beverage — in Mount Dora to the north, to Eleven at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee to the south, there are other areas waiting for you to experience. Are you ready? It’s time to explore. See restaurants and entertainment.