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15 Best Things to Do in Orlando in 2023: Full Guide

15 Best Things to Do in Orlando in 2023: Full Guide

15 Best Things to Do in Orlando in 2023: Full Guide

This list of the best things to do in Orlando will help you make the most of this city’s leisure activities, including the famous Disney and Universal amusement parks that we already told you about; they are the great protagonists of this area of ​​the country.

Although the city of Orlando does not have many tourist attractions, and in our experience, it does not justify a visit by itself, the most famous and largest theme park complex in the world is concentrated in its surroundings, something that will delight children and adults thanks to its vertiginous roller coasters, water slides, Disney and MARVEL characters and endless impressive shows, as well as enormous outlets for shopping lovers.

To get to Orlando, you have an airport about 5 kilometres from the city and 20 kilometres from the parks. However, many tourists prefer to take a direct flight to Miami (located 4 hours away) and make a route through the most beautiful places to see in Florida, dedicating 5 to 7 days to this leisure complex.

Based on the experience of the week we spent in this area during our trip to Florida, we leave you this list with the 15 essential places to see in Orlando. Let’s start!

1. Spend a full day at Magic Kingdom Park.

Things to Do in Orlando
Things to Do in Orlando

Enjoying all the attractions and shows of the Magic Kingdom, the most famous theme park in Florida and the most visited in the world, with more than 20 million visits per year, is one of the best things to do in Orlando. Although the attractions are not the most modern in the world, if there is an essential park to see in Orlando, it is the Magic Kingdom, the oldest and the one that brings together the true essence of Disney.

Spend a day riding its dizzying roller coasters, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Space Mountain and more classic attractions, such as It’s a Small World or Peter’s Pan Flight, strolling through its avenues full of magic and beautiful souvenir shops, meeting the most famous Disney characters and end up watching some spectacular fireworks in front of Cinderella’s Castle. It will become one of your great memories.

2. Enjoy the Epcot attractions, one of the things to do in Orlando

If you spend more than one day in this leisure complex, we advise you to pay for the second day enjoying the most brutal attractions at Epcot, another of the most famous parks to visit in Orlando.

EPCOT was the second park to open its doors at Disney World, after Magic Kingdom. It is characterized by having an area dedicated to the most innovative attractions and another made up of 10 regions representing a country with its most representative monuments, culture and gastronomy.

Our favourite attractions at Epcot would be Ratatouille, Soarin, Frozen Ever After, Guardians of the Galaxy and for those who want extreme experiences, the orange option of Mission: SPACE.

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Other experiences you cannot miss are eating at Space 220 Restaurant, where you will feel like you are in space and ending the day watching the nightly light and water show over the great central lake.

3. Hallucinate with the Star Wars Universe at Hollywood Studios

Even if you are not a big fan of Star Wars movies, we advise you to enter the Hollywood Studios park to be speechless with the incredible recreation of the Star Wars Universe that will transport you directly to another galaxy. It is not by chance that it is on the list of the best things to do in Orlando.

In addition to going up to its two main attractions, such as Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, it is worth taking time to observe all the details and recreations of Star Wars, such as their ships, have a drink at Oga’s Cantina, interact with characters like Dark Vader, assemble your robot or purchase Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.

After enjoying this experience, this park has more typical attractions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and others for the bravest, like the Rockin Roller Coaster.

4. Feeling like Pandora in Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight Of Passage, located in Animal Kingdom, allows you to climb on the back of a banshee (one of the creatures from the movie Avatar) through state-of-the-art 3D technology and travel at full speed through the incredible landscapes of Pandora, which makes it the most spectacular attraction to visit in Orlando.

After pinching yourself back to reality, you can take a walk through the magnificent recreation of the Avatar movie sets and end with a boat ride through the jungles of Pandora on the Na’vi River Journey.

Other adrenaline-pumping must-see attractions at Animal Kingdom include Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids, plus the Tree of Life nighttime show.

It would help if you remembered that in this park there is an attraction that uses animals, such as Kilimanjaro Safari, for the tourist’s enjoyment and, from our point of view, we do not recommend them since we believe that they do not promote responsible tourism.

5. Throw yourself down the water slides at Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach, located between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, is one of two Disney theme water parks and another of the places to see in Orlando.

This park that recreates a ski resort on Mount Gushmore, an artificial hill with a total elevation of 70 meters, is characterized by its rafting, its swimming pool and, above all, its vertiginous slides that make it one of the best Water parks to visit in the United States.

Among the best attractions are Runoff Rapids, Snow Stormers, Steamboat Springs, Downhill Double Dipper and the Summit Plummet slide, one of the highest and fastest slides in the world.

Remember that the water parks in Orlando are used to closing a few months in winter due to the cold temperatures and carrying out maintenance tasks.

6. Stay in a hotel within the Orlando Parks.

Things to Do in Orlando

To be close to the parks and to be able to enter half an hour before the general public, something essential if you don’t want to wait in long queues at the beginning is to stay in a hotel within the Disney and Universal Parks that also have free transportation to all of them, either by bus, train, boat or cable car.

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In our case, we opted for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in the Disney parks, a massive hotel with all services, well connected by bus to all the parks and with an extensive gastronomic offer. We stayed in the Universal parks at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, just 2 kilometres from the amusement complex. Other famous hotels at Universal Orlando are the Hard Rock Hotel, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The Walt Disney World Dolphin Complex, the Swan Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are at Disney.

If you have a tighter budget, you can opt for a hotel located in the surroundings of the parks, which usually has a free transfer to the entrance of each one of them. You can reserve your room from this page for those in Disney and from this page for those in Orlando.

7. Spend a morning at Disney Springs

Suppose you have extra time to go to Universal from the Walt Disney World parks. In that case, you can make a half-day stop at Disney Springs, a shopping complex with some 100 stores, numerous restaurants and an extensive leisure offer, which is undoubtedly another of the best things to do in Orlando.

In this open-air shopping centre and wide avenues, you will find fantastic stores such as the LEGO, M&M Store, Coca-Cola Store, Star Wars Galactic Outpost and above all, World of Disney, the largest in Disney with all the gifts you will find in each of the parks.

This complex is also perfect for eating at one of its most famous restaurants, such as The Boathouse, D-Luxe Burger, Reglan Road and Earl of Sandwich. Remember to leave room for dessert since there is a Ghirardelli store where you cannot stop tasting their delicious ice creams.

8. Take a dip in the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon

Bathing in the world’s largest wave pool at Disney Typhoon Lagoon, located in Lake Buena Vista, next to Disney Springs, is another thing to do in Orlando.

Considered the most visited water park in the world, Typhoon Lagoon is inspired by the legend of a typhoon that destroyed a beautiful tropical paradise, of which remains such as surfboards, buoys and an iconic shrimp boat located on top of a mountain.

In addition to the large Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, other worthwhile attractions include Castaway Creed, Crush n’ Rusher, Humunga Kowabunga and Mayday Falls.

9. Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Florida.

Suppose you are a fan of Harry Potter and the most famous Universal films. In that case, you should go to the Universal Studios Florida park, located 10 kilometres from the Disney parks and geared towards a less childish audience.

This park, along with its neighbouring Islands of Adventure, recreates a large part of the world of Harry Potter and is connected by the Hogwarts Express train, which you can only enjoy if you have the “park to park” ticket that will allows you to change parks during the same day.

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After buying a magic wand with which you can cast spells and perform magic at various points in the iconic Diagon Alley, you can jump on the fantastic game Escape from Gringotts, which offers an immersive experience into the world of Harry Potter.

Other must-see attractions at this park include Transformers: The Ride 3D, the Revenge of the Mummy indoor roller coaster, the incredible The Bourne Stuntacular show and for the bravest, the Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster.

10. Ride the roller coasters at Islands of Adventure

Things to Do in Orlando
Things to Do in Orlando

Suppose you enjoy riding the most brutal roller coasters. In that case, we suggest you dedicate a day to the Islands of Adventure park dedicated to comic book characters and MARVEL superheroes such as Spiderman and Hulk.

If you arrive with the Hogwarts Express, you can start the route by getting on the roller coaster Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and then complete the Forbidden Journey, a thrilling journey inside Hogwarts castle.

The rest of the day can be dedicated to releasing adrenaline on the roller coasters of the VelociCoaster and The Incredible Hulk Coaster, as well as riding other attractions such as Skull Island: Reign of Kong and The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman.

Without a doubt, as you can see, the amusement parks are another of the places to visit in Orlando.

11. Volcano Bay is another of the water parks to visit in Orlando

Throwing yourself down the tallest water slide in the United States (38 meters high) at Volcano Bay, Universal’s only water park, is another of the best things to do in Orlando.

Inspired by a tropical island in the Pacific, this park has as its icon the artificial volcano Krakatau from which fire and water emanate, creating beautiful waterfalls that flow into a large lake. Some of its most spectacular water slides and roller coasters start from the top of the volcano, such as the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Ko’okiri Body Plunge and the Kala and Ta Nui Serpentine Body Slides, two fast slides that run through the interior of the volcano.

Other splashy experiences include the Honu ika Moana Raft Slides, Waturi Beach Wave Pool, Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slide and the Krakatau Volcano Light Show.

12. Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets

For shopping lovers, nothing better than spending a day at Orlando Vineland, located between the Disney and Universal parks, which is also considered one of the best outlets to visit in Orlando and the United States.

Located outdoors, this huge outlet is perfect for taking an adrenaline breath and looking for incredible bargains (discounts from 25% to 65%) on brands such as Nike, Adidas, Gap, Hugo Boss, Oakley, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Converse. , as well as more expensive ones such as Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Ralph Lauren, in its more than 160 stores.

Other interesting outlets in Orlando with a wide range of restaurants and good deals are the Premium Outlets International Drive, The Mall at Millenia, Florida and The Florida Mall.

You can book this shopping tour if you stay in Orlando and do not have a car.

13. Visit ICON Park

Before arriving in Orlando, we recommend you stop at ICON Park to climb the spectacular Ferris wheel of more than 120 meters, which offers 360-degree views of the theme parks and a part of Florida if the sky is clear. Clear.

When you get off the Ferris wheel, you can take your picture with your favourite music or movie star at Madame Tussauds, surprise yourself with the curios at Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, or take Instagram photos at the Museum of Illusions Orlando.

14. City of Orlando

Things to Do in Orlando
Things to Do in Orlando

Once you leave the car in one of the car parks in the city centre, also known as Downtown, one of the best things to do in the city of Orlando is to walk along Church Street, which combines modern constructions and older southern-style buildings, as well as be full of terraces of restaurants and bars.

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Near this street is Lake Eola Park, a relaxing park where you can take a boat ride on its artificial lake, and the Amway Center, the stadium where you can watch the Orlando Magic NBA team play. You can book a ticket in advance from this page.

If you have more time, you can go to the alternative neighbourhood of the Milk District or visit the Orlando Science Center, which houses various reproductions of dinosaur skeletons.

15. Excursions from Orlando

If you have extra time, you can take an excursion from Orlando to some of the jewels in the surrounding area, such as the Kennedy Space Center, Legoland Florida Park or the historic town of San Agustín, all located less than two hours by car from the city.

Is there anything fun to do in Orlando?

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  • Planetarium at Seminole State College.
  • Universal’s Island of Adventure.
  • Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
  • Universal Studios Florida.
  • Kennedy Space Center.
  • Aquatica Park.
  • Legoland Florida.
  • Epcot.

How do I spend a day in Orlando?

Best Things to Do in Orlando

  1. Walt Disney World Resort. Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. …
  2. Universal Orlando Resort. Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. …
  3. SeaWorld Orlando. …
  4. Old Town. …
  5. Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. …
  6. Water Parks. …
  7. LEGOLAND Florida. …
  8. The Wheel at ICON Park.

What is Orlando famous for?

Orlando, Florida may be best known for Disney World and Universal, but it’s also known for a lot more besides. This central Florida region attracts around 60 million visitors every year, who come for the warm climate, the world-famous theme parks, the shopping malls, the golf courses and the nightlife.

How can I spend 7 days in Orlando?

  1. Day 2 – Universal Studios. Ready to delve into Universal Studios! …
  2. Day 3 – Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Ready to ride those roller coasters at the back? …
  3. Day 4 – Discovery Cove. Discovery Cove is all about tropical vibes. …
  4. Day 5 – SeaWorld Orlando. …
  5. Day 6 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom. …
  6. Day 7 – Epcot.

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