Though it doesn't have the beach views of the Florida coastal cities, Orlando more than makes up for it with attractions and events. As the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” Orlando entices tourists from far and wide with its variety of parks and its comfortable tropical climate. The decision by Walt Disney in 1965 to locate his park inland in order to avoid the potential damage of hurricane season changed the face of Orlando, making it a premiere destination for family entertainment and tourism.
Approximately 50 million visitors come to Orlando each year, certainly drawn to the city not only because of the tropical climate, but because of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Orlando Resort and Seaworld Orlando. Each of these resorts has multiple parks within them, offering a vast selection of activities. Where else in the world can you ride a roller coaster in the morning and pet a dolphin in the afternoon?
Cuisine: Within the resorts are a number of restaurants catering to any appetite, but if you are looking for something authentic to the area, check out Havana’s Cuban Cuisine, one of the many Cuban restaurants in the area.
Must See: The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show at Walt Disney World is not to be missed. Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy narrate a story told in the sky through fireworks and a light show.
Lodging: With a view of Epcot, proximity to the Walt Disney World Resort parks, unique Disney character–themed fixtures and a water slide, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn will provide a wonderful place to rest after a long day at the parks.
Ground Transportation: If you stay in Walt Disney World Resort, you have access to their monorail which travels between their parks. If you stay in any other location, car rental will be necessary as Orlando has very little public transportation.
Packing Tips: Pack plenty of swim gear to enjoy the water parks, but most of all make sure you have comfortable shoes. Walking such large theme parks can be hard on the feet!
Recommended Books: Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas is an inspiring biography about the man behind the creation of Disneyland, Disney World, and Mickey Mouse.
Currency: The US Dollar is the local currency.
Calling Code United States: 1
Best Travel Dates: As with most of Florida, January through March are the peak travel times due to the moderate weather with temperatures in the seventies and low humidity. School breaks in February and April will bring an influx of family vacationers, so plan your trip accordingly.