It’s hard to overstate how enchanting Orlando is. The ever-growing ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’ is set in a convenient Central Florida position and is home to the most famous parks, rollercoasters and attractions on the planet. And while multi-centre holidays here may be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many, the thrill of Orlando also entices couples, families and groups back again and again.
There is plenty to do and see in and around Orlando that’ll keep you here for weeks on end, and with some of the world’s best shopping, dining and entertainment on offer, there’s always something new to discover - you will always leave wanting more.
Orlando is world-famous for its family-friendly attractions, not to mention a certain big-eared mouse! From lively theme parks to glorious natural environments and fantastic dining and shopping experiences to out-of-this world entertainment, Orlando delivers an unforgettable holiday for every member of the family.
Orlando is the proud home of two of the world’s biggest theme park resorts: Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as many thrilling entertainment attractions and water parks. Charming millions of visitors each year to Florida, the parks are constantly evolving with new, state-of-the-art rides and experiences to wow and delight visitors young and old.
For many, boutique and outlet shopping trips make up a huge portion of Orlando holidays, and whether you’re planning on taking advantage of incredible discounts like in the infamous Black Friday Sales, or you’re simply looking to add to your Disney souvenir collection, your retail needs will be satisfied beyond measure!
There are thousands of places to eat and drink in Orlando, so you can dine somewhere different every time you get hungry. The parks and resorts are filled with marvellous themed eateries to try from cool and casual to Michelin-starred fine dining, while the range of restaurants on offer in the popular tourist areas and shopping malls is second to none.
The Great Outdoors
Despite the chaos of the city, there are many opportunities to get back to nature and escape the throngs of tourists. Head outwards from Downtown Orlando and admire crystalline spring waters, miles and miles of nature trails, an abundance of native wildlife and discover the Floridians’ deep commitment to the protection of the natural world.
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Enjoy the very best of Orlando with the FREE Ocean Explorer worth up to $440* per family. When you book your Orlando or Kissimmee holiday, you’ll receive four free experiences to some of our favourite Orlando hot spots. Witness the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, splash out with a $20 voucher for Mall at Millenia **, explore International Drive on the I-Ride Trolley and take a ride on The Wheel at ICON Park.*$440 saving per family of 4 or $110 saving per person **Only applicable to over 12s
Our Orlando Favourites
Walt Disney World Resort
The one place everyone knows of, whether you’ve visited Florida before or not, is the colossal Walt Disney World Resort. Its presence alone brings around 58 million people to Orlando each year, fulfilling the dreams of children and adults alike with its undeniable magic.
The Resort is split into four distinct parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, each offering different themes, rides and unique, unforgettable experiences. One thing is for sure, multi-centre holidays in Orlando wouldn’t be the same without a visit to Walt Disney World Resort.
Universal Orlando Resort
Orlando’s other big hitter, Universal Orlando Resort, comprises two main parks: Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure, and together with the excellent Universal CityWalk dining and entertainment area and Universal’s Volcano Bay water park, there is plenty to keep everyone in your party happy for days on end.
Universal Studios is home to the incomparable Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, where its immersive attractions and attention to detail will impress even the most scrupulous of Potterheads. Universal Islands of Adventure features a host of amazing, world-class rollercoasters based on the epic movies of Spider-Man, Jurassic Park, and The Incredible Hulk.
The ever-evolving SeaWorld Orlando park is still the city’s favourite aquatic attraction, wowing with its state-of-the-art rollercoasters and outstanding marine animal experiences featuring orcas, dolphins, penguins, stingrays, sea lions and so much more.
Ride the classics like the mighty Kraken and graceful Manta, and for new thrills check out the innovative Pipeline: The Surf Coaster – a first-of-its-kind stand-up ride that makes you feel as if you’re really riding the waves. And brand new for 2024 Orlando twin-centre holidays is the family-friendly Penguin Trek rollercoaster, which takes you through twists and turns of icy caves and outside before discovering an actual penguin habitat at the end!
The award-winning Discovery Cove offers a unique, all-inclusive day resort experience in a serene setting, where you can swim with dolphins, snorkel with thousands of tropical fish, hand-feed exotic birds and simply sunbathe and relax as if you were holidaying at a beachside resort. With several pools and lagoons, including a lazy river with waterfalls and the Freshwater Oasis featuring otters and marmosets hanging about nearby, Discovery Cove whisks you a world away from the theme park excitement to a tranquil island paradise.
Alongside the amazing up-close animal encounters, your day package includes unlimited food and drink, access to all the lagoons, pools and beaches, wetsuits and snorkel gear, and even sun cream and towels. And for an extra splash of luxury, rent one of the private cabanas to really elevate your experience!
ICON Park Orlando
One of International Drive’s more recent large-scale attractions is the exciting, 20-acre ICON Park. An all-in-one family-friendly destination for dining, shopping and entertainment, day and night. Take a ride on The Wheel for unparalleled views of Orlando from 400 ft in the air or stay close to the ground on the quaint Carousel on the Promenade. Pose for photographs with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds or dive into the depths of the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium.
When you’re feeling peckish, head for the dozens of fantastic eateries in the complex and settle down to watch some incredible live music in one of the lively bars, like Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, for a full-on American country music experience!
SeaWorld’s water park has enough fast-paced rides to give the major theme parks a run for their money. Attempt the dizzy heights of Riptide Race, the tallest duelling waterslide in the world, and the exhilarating Reef Plunge, which takes you down into the depths at intense speeds through twists, turns and through the middle of a dynamic underwater habitat full of tropical fish, dolphins and leopard sharks. Adrenaline junkies will love Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, Orlando’s steepest free-fall multi-drop slide and see who is first to fall!
And as a family-oriented water park attraction, Aquatica™ also has plenty of shimmering pools, lazy rivers and interactive water play areas for the little ones to enjoy – ensuring everyone in the family has a fantastic time.
Gatorland Orlando is one of the Sunshine State’s oldest and best-loved attractions. Celebrated as “The Alligator Capital of the World®”, this wonderful park has been in operation for over 70 years and offers visitors a glimpse into Florida’s wild, natural side, a world away from the theme park thrills nearby.
Gatorland is set midway between Orlando and Kissimmee within a lush 110-acre park and wildlife reserve, which provides a home for 2,000 or more American gators. Despite the name, Gatorland features more than just alligators, with crocodiles, exotic birds, wild cats, snakes and tortoises to see. Additional fun can be had on the Screamin’ Gator Zipline and various behind-the-scenes tours and events to get up close to these majestic creatures.
The Florida Mall
Central Florida’s largest shopping centre is right here in the heart of Orlando. Featuring more than 250 retail stores and restaurants, this wonderful Mall makes for a fun and easy-going day out without venturing too far from the thrill of the theme parks.
With loads geared towards families, The Florida Mall has a 3,000 sq ft Alice in Wonderland and Dr. Seuss-inspired play area, as well as the fun Crayola Experience with lots of hands-on, creative activities to entertain the little ones. From iconic American department stores like Macy’s and Dillard’s to upmarket clothing brands and popular high street retailers, there is enough here for an epic holiday spending spree – you may need an extra suitcase!
Orlando International Premium Outlets
If it’s discount prices for high-end fashion that you’re looking for, then the iconic Orlando International Premium Outlets is the shopping haven for you. Offering fantastic bargains with up to 80% off across a range of well-known designer brands, this ever-popular outlet mall is the largest of its kind in Florida and remains a firm favourite activity for multi-centre holidays in Orlando.
Wander more than 160 stores such as American Eagle, Calvin Klein, Coach, DKNY, Guess, Forever 21 and the Michael Kors Outlet for gifts or perhaps a little holiday treat to yourself! When you’re all shopped out, take a break at one of the fab casual dining venues, from burgers to Brazilian food, cookies to pretzels, and everything in between.
Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores
With a free scheduled shuttle to and from many nearby hotels and as the only outlet mall in Orlando that features free store-front parking, the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores offers a little extra convenience to your Orlando shopping experience, cementing it as one of the city’s most popular destinations.
Shop and save up to 75% at loads of specialist outlet stores such as American Eagle, Nike Factory Store, Levi’s Outlet Store, Crocs, Disney Outlet and Tommy Hilfiger clothing stores for both adults and kids. Then finish off your spree with a casual bite to eat and choose from Japanese food, burgers, seafood joints and wood-fired pizzas!
The Mall at Millennia
For all your luxury shopping desires, The Mall at Millennia has got you covered. Set just a couple of miles from Universal Orlando Resort, this spectacular shopping centre looks as high-end as the shops inside, with magnificent glass ceilings, individual art pieces throughout, and towering floodlit palm trees at its entrance.
With 150 shops, restaurants and services you will no doubt spend hours on end meandering between Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, to name but a few. While iconic American department stores such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus are captivating, even if you’re just browsing.
Orlando’s mall-based shopping experiences are second-to-none, but the city also boasts several pretty neighbourhoods with tree-lined boulevards, cobbled avenues, old-style ‘Main Streets’ and fountain-centred squares, which are a far cry from the madness of the larger malls.
Winter Park Village offers a beautiful small-town setting with boutique shops, salons and high-end retailers. While Old Town is a reimagining of a Florida town of years gone by, with a romantic simplicity to its bricked streets, quaint shops and the lovely Ferris Wheel. Weekly events, live music and entertainment add to the nostalgic ambience that offer a little change to the pace to your multi-centre holidays in Orlando.
Lake Eola Park
Tucked in the middle of Downtown Orlando is the stunning Lake Eola Park, a city cornerstone for more than 150 years and still a place for reflection and retreat from the hustle and bustle of Orlando to this very day. It’s a place to take deep breaths, enjoy the simple pleasures of packing a picnic and strolling along the lakeside pathways – perfect for walking off some of those immense hotel buffets.
Dozens of white and black swans grace the waters and you can even rent your own swan-shaped paddle boat for a romantic ride along across the lake. Keep an eye on the schedule for frequent free concerts, plays or movie nights at the Walt Disney Amphitheater, located on the park’s northwest side.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Occupying almost 50 acres of lush greenery close to Downtown Orlando, the beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens serves as a botanical oasis of calm. With walkways shaded by expansive oak trees, a world of colourful flowers and numerous gardens featuring distinct collections of plants, fruits, vegetables and wildlife to absorb yourself in on a leisurely morning out.
The park is open year-round, and with each month brings new blooms to discover. In winter you may see more than 50 species of azalea and vibrant camellias, while roses and pretty gardenias emerge in the spring, then tropical plants such as banana trees in the summer!
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Less than half an hour’s drive north of Downtown Orlando brings you to the stunning Wekiwa Springs State Park, where emerald-green springs provide a blissful sanctuary to unwind and recharge on twin-centre holidays in Florida. A welcoming escape from the heat, the crystal-clear waters of the springs are ideal for swimming, kayaking and canoeing, while on land there are miles of trails for walking, jogging, cycling and horseback riding, which offer a great way to remain active and blow away the cobwebs.
Whether you make up a picnic and plan to spend an entire day here or just pop by for a quick dip in the water, Wekiwa Springs will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your energetic trip.
West Orange Trail
Once an old railroad track connecting the small communities of Winter Garden, Oakland and Apopka, this incredibly popular Orlando attraction is now a 22-mile-long multi-use trail for walking, running, cycling, and even rollerblading. If you’re keen to break away from the daily hubbub, the West Orange Trail offers a scenic distraction through the area’s thriving past and ever-changing present.
Begin at one of its four trailheads – charming former train stations and depots – that have all the amenities you will need to get on the trail, including plenty of opportunities to rent bikes and in-line skating equipment!
Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park
Presenting one of the most popular and exhilarating rides outside of the major theme parks, Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park is around 40 miles south of Downtown Orlando and is the only place that combines eco airboat tours with a wildlife park.
Skim across the swamps, marshes and sparkling rivers on an airboat and catch a glimpse of one of Florida’s most famous residents, the alligator. You may even see turkeys, wild boar and eagles hanging about too! Afterwards, head for the Gator Park and get to know more than 200 native and exotic animals including lemurs and two-toed sloths. And kids will adore the petting zoo with loads of adorable animals and critters to see, plus a playground to give the grown-ups a rest.
International Drive Dining
International Drive – I-Drive to its friends – is one of Orlando’s major thoroughfares and tourist strips which is brimming with restaurants and entertainment attractions. The road spans more than 11 miles and is served by the I-Ride Trolley, a convenient and inexpensive way to navigate the road without the bother of having to park your car.
Dining options are profuse with heaps of iconic American chains to check out including Black Angus Steakhouse, International House of Pancakes (IHOP), Miller’s Ale House, Bahama Breeze and Maggiano’s Little Italy. You could eat somewhere new every single night of your holiday!
Immersive Dining Shows
There are heaps of wonderful immersive dining experiences in Orlando for the whole family to enjoy, offering an exciting dimension to your evening meals out. Go on a swashbuckling voyage at the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Orlando with jaw-dropping stunts, fabulous performances and of course excellent food. Or perhaps your Orlando multi-centre holiday could do with a little splash of renaissance? Book the thrilling Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and be immersed into a world of chivalry, knights, brave horses and sword fights while you eat your delicious meal. And the long-established Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show lets you become part of the hilarity and fun while chowing down on unlimited pizza, drinks and dessert.
ICON Park Restaurants
This open-air destination features an abundance of restaurants and bars, more than 50 in fact. If you feel like a taste of back home, head for Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips, or add a little spice at Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant. Sloppy Joe’s Orlando is the sister eatery to the famous Key West establishment of the same name, serving hearty American-style favourites alongside refreshing tropical drinks. And kids will love Sugar Factory Orlando, for obvious reasons!
Consider purchasing the ICON Park Play Pass, which offers access to 10 of the park’s top attractions plus discounts of up to 20% off loads of top restaurants and bars in the complex.
Universal CityWalk is an outstanding dining hub, but it’s also packed with entertainment and shops to make for a fabulous evening out. Whether you’re stopping off after a day riding the rollercoasters at the parks or if you’ve had a lazy day at your hotel or villa and fancy a night on the town, Universal CityWalk is a great spot to visit for the whole family.
Its dining options are varied and plentiful, comprising global cuisine from Italy, Mexico, Jamaica and of course classic American fare. There are also excellent fast-food joints and spots to indulge in delectable, sweet treats, as well as the world-class seafood restaurant, Cowfish, which specialises in beef and sushi, or as they’re more commonly known: cow and fish!
The spring and summer months from March to April and June to August are the busiest times of year (particularly around Spring Break) so be aware that queues will be longer, and many attractions may hit full capacity. Spring is warm but comfortable, while summer brings hot and humid weather, plus almost-daily afternoon rains.
The shoulder months of May, and September through November are more temperate, weather-wise and generally prices are more affordable. December through February is considered low season as the weather is cooler, yet still pleasant enough.
Florida’s proximity to the Caribbean makes it an ideal multi-centre holiday destination for combining the theme park thrills of Orlando with the laid-back vibes of these tropical islands. Likewise, Orlando’s position in Central Florida affords easy access to the Panhandle in the north or the lush tropics of the Everglades and southern cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Gulf Coast gems like Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater are only a couple of hours’ drive away from Orlando so make for easy days trips or long weekends within your holiday itinerary.
Orlando has two main airports: Orlando International (MCO) and Sanford International (SFB), both of which provide frequent, direct or indirect flights to and from the UK with scheduled and chartered airlines. Flights from Manchester are also an option, as well as Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
This all depends on where you are planning to stay and what your holiday itinerary includes. Staying on-site at a Walt Disney World or Universal Resort Hotel will lessen the need for a car as there are frequent shuttles to and from the parks, as well as good public transport options in and around Orlando.
If you are booking an Orlando villa, a car hire is highly recommended as you could be situated up to 30 minutes’ drive away from the major attractions. And for ambitious Orlando multi-centre holidays, you will most likely hire a car to travel between destinations within the Sunshine State.