It’s all about the kids (and adults) in the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’, where 20 million visitors per year venture to the Magic Kingdom.
It's not only about Walt Disney World, Orlando has even more to offer.
Live the dream and visit the dynamic performing arts scene, attractive tree-lined neighbourhoods and a swag of gardens, parks and museums.
Orlando also rates when it comes to places to eat – from the formica tables of Little Vietnam to neighbourhood gastropubs and award-winning restaurants.
The attractions of Walt Disney World are well known for good reason, but try adding some of these to your list too:
- Hire a paddleboat swan at Lake Eola and make for the historic fountain at its centre
- Visit Mennello Museum of American Folk Art, one of the few folk art museums in the USA
- Pick a path through the gorgeous Harry P Leu Gardens to the Leu House Museum
- Take a trip to kitsch Gatorland, especially for the Gator Jumparoo Show
- Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex at Cape Canaveral
- Fish, boat, canoe or swim at Wekiwa Springs State Park or Ocala National Forest
Even if you're coming to Orlando for the theme parks, take a day or two and explore the quieter, gentler side of Orlando.
Orange Avenue & Eola Heights
Orange Avenue is the main road downtown and the business hub during the day. Then at night it’s the place for bars and clubs, particularly around Wall and Church Streets. Theatres, galleries, museums and parks are also in this area.
East of downtown is Eola Heights, the real heart of the city. This historic neighbourhood has shady tree-lined streets and is just blocks away from the 9 hectare Lake Eola, which is surrounded by parkland and a popular mile-long pedestrian walkway with lots of waterfront restaurants.
Lake Cherokee & Thornton Park
Lake Cherokee is a historical neighbourhood and has 160 residential buildings in a range of architectural styles from Victorian and Queen Anne through to the craftsman style of the 1920s and art deco.
Thornton Park is an elegant neighbourhood boasting brick-lined streets, shady oaks and historic bungalows with wrap-around front porches in the original cracker style. Interesting shops and boutiques, and restaurants that spill out onto the pavement, give the area a distinctly European feel.
The gateway to Disney, the area also has 405sq km of freshwater lakes. The Kissimmee Waterway links Lake Tohopekaliga with Lake Ocheechobee in south Florida and eventually the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, it’s possible to canoe all the way.
Walt Disney World
A constructed wonderland, which is also a functioning city with hotels, restaurants and services. There are four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom Park) and two water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) with each one boasting a unique theme.
At the end of the day you can head to Disney Springs - an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex featuring an eclectic mix of boutiques, one-of-a-kind eateries and entertainment that will keep you occupied for hours.
You can step back in time and experience the charm of Disney's BoardWalk, a quarter-mile promonade of dining, shopping and nightlife options.
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Orlando has a humid subtropical climate and has two major seasons each year. The hot and rainy season lasting from May to late September and the dry season with the cooler temperatures from late October to April.
From the airport
Flights to Orlando with Qantas operate via Los Angeles or Dallas with onwards connections on our codeshare partner American Airlines.
Before your arrival, check if your hotel offers a free shuttle before booking transport. Otherwise, you can jump on the Supershuttle or pre-book a convenient Orlando airport transfer.
In and around the city
If you're staying at Walt Disney World then a complimentary network of buses, boats and monorails can transport you between the Disney Resort hotels, theme parks, water parks and shopping venues.
Some tours to places like the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral include transport so make sure you check inclusions. Otherwise, it's recommended that you hire a car. Bus networks are not efficient or reliable if you have limited time.
Interested in Orlando or want to see other destinations in the USA? Find out more about flights to USA.
Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.