Embrace your inner child on the Theme Park Capital of the World’s top rollercoasters before releasing your inner history buff as you discover the rich stories behind the nation's most significant monuments.
Not sure where to start? Our expert US travel team are on hand to help plan your trip every step of the way, from sourcing flights and accommodation to finalising your exciting travel itinerary.
Will it be hair-raising rides or historic wonders first?
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.
Washington D.C. Highlights
You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate the profusion of iconic landmarks and significant sites in Washington, D.C. Together with a vast museum collection, historic neighbourhoods and multi-ethnic influences everywhere you turn, this unique capital city is more than just the home of the country’s president.
From the steps where Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I have a dream” speech to the place that holds the Declaration of Independence, Washington, D.C. is packed full of important sites and provides a gateway into America’s rich and complicated political and cultural past.
Washington, D.C. has an ethnically diverse population with deep African American roots and a vibrant culture stemming from waves of immigrants from Ethiopia, El Salvador and many parts of East Asia. This is reflected in its music, its food and its architecture, which are all waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
An array of cultures and inspirations from all over the globe come together in this amazing city to forge a truly outstanding and unique dining scene. From the raw oyster bars and succulent local seafood offerings around the waterfront to the authentic eateries showcasing delectable fare from Africa, Asia and Central America, you’re spoilt for choice in D.C.
Make time for the marvellous venues along the 2-mile strip of the National Mall. With 10 Smithsonian Museums to its name – all free to enter – Washington, D.C. oozes history and is the place to visit for a glimpse into the USA’s relatively recent past, and to see how it has shaped the country it is today.
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Enjoy the very best of Orlando with the FREE Ocean Explorer worth up to $549* 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.
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Orlando & Washington D.C. Holiday FAQs
Orlando & Washington D.C. Holiday FAQs
Orlando & Washington D.C. Holiday FAQs
For Orlando and Washington D.C. twin-centre holidays, the best time to plan your visit will, of course, depend on what kind of experience you’re looking for. If you prefer to enjoy both destinations without too much heat and with fewer crowds, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).
During these months, Orlando ranges from 18°C to 28°C, whereas Washington D.C. is cooler, particularly during the spring months, where temperatures range from 5°C to 21°C. It’s a great time to explore the city's landmarks amidst the blooming cherry blossoms. In autumn, temperatures in DC sit between 12°C to 25°C.
Alternatively, if you're drawn to a festive ambiance and don't mind the cold, the winter months can be a wonderful time to visit both places. Orlando stays relatively warm during this time, making it a great opportunity to enjoy the theme parks without the intense heat. Washington D.C. has a picturesque winter, and you’ll find seasonal decorations and events adding a touch of charm to its historical landmarks and museums. If you travel during this time, be prepared for the possibility of occasional cold spells and potential snowfall by packing warm clothing.
Orlando and Washington D.C., like most of the eastern United States, operate in the Eastern Time Zone and are 5 hours behind the UK for most of the year. Be aware that during the Daylight Saving Time period, which usually takes place in March and November, the time difference decreases by an hour.
When you’re jetting off from the UK, you’ll usually leave from major airports like London Heathrow Airport (LHR) or London Gatwick Airport (LGW). These airports have plenty of direct flights to various destinations across the US, including both Orlando and Washington D.C.
Upon arrival in the United States, it’ll be most convenient to fly to Orlando International Airport (MCO), Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Orlando, or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) or Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington D.C.
You can kickstart your travel plans well ahead of time by booking your twin-centre holiday up to 36 months in advance. Just make your reservation by placing an initial low deposit, and pay the rest off in easy instalments.
When planning your travels between the cities, air travel is the way to go. Both destinations are home to major airports that provide a range of direct flight options. The average flight duration between Orlando and Washington D.C. is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, so the journey is relatively quick and easy.
Washington D.C. is well-known for its wealth of iconic historical sites and landmarks, and it’s a great place to gain a deeper insight into the nation's heritage.
The National Mall is a prominent spot and is home to significant memorials such as the Lincoln Memorial, a tribute to the 16th President of the US, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a poignant homage to those who served during the Vietnam War.
The Washington Monument, a towering marble obelisk, has gorgeous panoramic views of the city, while the nearby World War II Memorial pays homage to the sacrifices of those who fought in the Second World War.
Additionally, the United States Capitol is an iconic must-see, with its impressive architecture and historical significance as the meeting place of the United States Congress.
Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Smithsonian Institution, a complex of museums and research centres that gives a deeper understanding of the country's cultural and scientific achievements, which includes the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In addition to its well-known landmarks, Washington D.C. has several lesser-known gems that offer unique insights into various aspects of the nation's history and culture.
The International Spy Museum is an intriguing attraction that offers visitors an immersive and educational experience, delving into the world of espionage and covert operations. It features a collection of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and engaging spy-themed activities that appeals to all ages.
Similarly, the National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrates the contributions of female artists from around the world, housing an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artistic creations.
If you’re interested in aviation and space exploration, the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is an immersive experience for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.
The National Museum of the American Indian has an extensive display of indigenous art, artifacts, and cultural exhibitions that emphasize the rich heritage and diverse traditions of Native American communities, offering a profound and thought-provoking perspective on the nation's indigenous history and contemporary issues.
Navigating public transport during your Washington DC twin-centre is pretty easy and straightforward. The Metrorail (the city's subway system), is a popular choice for tourists, as it has extensive coverage of the city and the surrounding areas. With multiple lines and stations strategically placed near key attractions, it’s an easy way to travel between various points of interest. The Metrobus system is also handy, and offers an extensive network of bus routes that reach the destinations that aren’t on the subway lines.
If you plan to use public transport, you can purchase a reusable SmarTrip card, which can be used interchangeably on both the Metrorail and Metrobus, and can be loaded with funds ahead of time.
To ensure your Orlando twin-centre trip goes as smoothly as possible, it's advisable to book tickets well in advance, particularly for high-demand destinations like Disney, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Given the considerable foot traffic and the limited availability of certain experiences, reserving tickets at least several weeks ahead of your planned visit is a good idea, especially during peak seasons and holidays.
If you’re looking for any special packages, exclusive tours, or premium experiences, it is even more crucial to book tickets well in advance, as they often have limited capacities and tend to sell out quickly. An added benefit of booking ahead of time is that you can potentially get discounts and early-bird promotions.
There’s always something going on in Orlando, and throughout the year there are a few key moments you might want to plan your trip around.
In January, the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World showcases an immersive celebration of visual, culinary, and performing arts, featuring live concerts, interactive exhibits, and delicious food, making it a must-see for art enthusiasts and food lovers alike.
In May, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival showcases a diverse selection of theatrical performances, live music, and art displays, drawing in artists and spectators from around the globe.
As the summer months roll in, the Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival in July is an exhilarating gorgeous display of competitive dragon boat races, cultural performances, and authentic Asian cuisine, providing a lively and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival typically runs from late summer into the fall, and is a haven for foodies, featuring an eclectic blend of international flavours, cooking demonstrations, and exclusive dining experiences.
Finally, the holiday season in Orlando is marked by the Magic Kingdom's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, a festive extravaganza with special parades, live entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display that’s truly unforgettable!