Everything You Need to See in Orlando, from A to Z

Orlando Cityscape Daytime Orlando Musts

The list of top things to see and do in Orlando gets longer each year, and this year is no exception.

Can’t decide how to best spend your vacation time and dollars? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our list of Orlando’s best stops, from A to Z.

This list covers food, attractions, excursions and destinations in around The City Beautiful. Take a look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A | Attractions!

There are more attractions in Orlando than you can count, and more are added each year. Deftly navigate the crowds with this Theme Park Pro Tip: Plan to arrive at the attractions at least 30 minutes in advance of the park’s opening hours. You’ll not only beat the heat, you’ll also get ahead of crowds. Stay cool.

B | Brunch

Orlando offers a smorgasbord of brunch treats at restaurants all around the city. Take a break from the parks, explore some of the unique neighborhoods, then stop in for a delicious mid-morning buffet and a refreshing glass of mimosa.

C | Character Meet and Greet       

Visit Frozen’s® Anna and Elsa, or grab a photo op with your favorite characters from Disney to Universal. If it’s Star Wars characters you most fancy, a stop at Disney’s Star Wars® Launch Bay will bring you face to face with Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and a host of Stormtroopers.

D | Downtown


Orlando Cityscape Nighttime Orlando Musts

In the mood for a bit of grownup entertainment in the family fun capital of the U.S.? Try the SAK Comedy Lab for a taste of nightlife in this high-energy city, or catch an Orlando Magic basketball game. Soccer fans can pick up tickets to Orlando City Soccer events held throughout the summer.

E | Events

Yes, Orlando is all about theme parks, and each one lights up for seasonal celebrations. Events are held around the city, ringing in Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Check the Orlando Events Calendar for updates!

F | Free

Looking for affordable (or even FREE!) ways to enjoy your vacation? Check out Lake Eola Park, 43 acres of flora and fauna flourishing at the heart of Orlando center, or visit the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards offering free tours and tastings. At the LEGO® Imagination center, kids can explore their creativity by building with colorful bricks, for free.

G | Guide to Restaurants

How do you stay healthy while on vacation? Try this Guide to Healthy Eating in Orlando for healthy fare that’ll keep you feeling fit and light.  And on I-Drive, you’ll have your choice of fare from traditional American to Thai. Chocolate lovers can rejoice with the additional of a new Willy Wonka-themed chocolate factory restaurant scheduled for opening at Universal’s Citywalk this summer.

H | Helicopter Tours

See Orlando from above on a helicopter tour that takes you soaring over the parks on an Orlando adventure like none other.

I | I-Drive

From factory outlet shopping to dinner shows, I-Drive is called “Orlando’s most dynamic destination” for a reason!  Newest additions include the Orlando Eye and Mango’s Tropical Café—an exciting new venue where Latin flavor meets Las Vegas style dinner shows.

J | Jump

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is open to let you fly high! Offering free jump in the main court, freestyle jumping into foam in the Foam Zone, and Ultimate Dodgeball or SkySlam Basketball. New rules amp up the sports by adding an exciting high-flying vertical twist to the games.

K | Kissimmee

When you’re not busy at the thrilling parks, visit Kissimmee’s dinner shows like the Medieval Times or Capone’s Dinner show. In the mood for a rodeo? The Kissimmee Sports Arena puts on The Greatest Show on Dirt twice a month on Friday nights.

L | La Nouba

Head to the new Disney Springs, home of Cirque Du Soleil®, an explosion of energy featuring artists performing aerial skills that showcase agility and flexibility as they dance with flowing ribbons. Diabolos is a show featuring four young performers who compete in dexterity and ingenuity, and trampoline acts that include 395 incredible flips and twists!

M | Magic Kingdom

The place where fairytale dreams come true for all ages, Disney’s Magic Kingdom® Park at Disney is where you’ll find classic attractions, a fireworks show, musical parades and meet all your favorite Disney characters. Visit 6 lands including Adventureland®, Frontierland®, Liberty Square, Fantasyland®, Tomorrowland® and Main Street, U.S.A.

N | Nature and Wildlife Tours

From kayaking to dolphin tours, Orlando has plenty of outdoor activities to keep the nature lover busy! Adventures in Florida offers day tours of area swamps and black water rivers, manatee encounters, or a day of paddling along several rivers.

O | Orlando Eye®

Orlando Eye Chad Sparkes Orlando Musts
Discover Orlando from high above the city and be lifted up in a capsule of calm and serenity as you observe Orlando in a way you’ve never experienced before. This 400-foot tall observation wheel lets you take in breathtaking views of Central Florida from all directions. View downtown Orlando and all the way to Cape Canaveral on the east coast.

P | Premium Outlets

Get ready to shop! Florida’s largest outlet shopping destination is in Orlando and boasts 180 designer and name-brand outlet stores. Grab savings from 25-65% off Michael Kors®, DKNY®, J. Crew®, Kate Spade®, Coach Outlet®, Under Armour®, and more.

Q | DisneyQuest

Kids will love this Disney Springs® attraction and its five floors of virtual worlds, 3D encounters and classic video games at DisneyQuest®, Walt Disney World’s indoor interactive theme park. Gaming adventures include Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold, Virtual Jungle Cruise, Cyberspace Mountain® and more. And for big kids, find old favorites like Pac-Man®, Donkey Kong®, Frogger®, Asteroids®, and Space Invaders®!

R | Resort

Bluegreen Vacations offers family fun at The Fountains, located on International Drive, just minutes away from all three major theme parks. This Orlando retreat offers activities for adults and children alike, and the vacation villas offer space and amenities to make you feel right at home. A vacation in itself, The Fountains is home to Wakoola Springs, a spectacular 75,000 square foot tropical water wonderland featuring twisting water slides, interactive water fountains, two hot tubs and an on-site bar and grill. Stay for a week for only $85.59 per night. Can’t beat that.

S | Summer of MakoTM

Mako™, the tallest, fastest, and longest coaster in Orlando, surfaced in June, 2016.  As part of a 2-acre realm called Shark Wreck Reef, this reimagined area of the park features Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, shops, and educational experiences dedicated to the many species of sharks found in the wild.

T | Enjoy Being a Tourist 

Orlando is one of the few vacation spots where it’s perfectly fine to act like a tourist by wearing your wildest vacation gear, marveling (mouth agape) at the over-the-top sites, and snapping the most selfies you can fit on your Instagram.

U | Universal Studios Skull Island

2016 is the year of the Reign of Kong®, Universal Orlando’s newest adventure attraction. As part of the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, you’ll take on the role of research team member leading an adventure into Skull Island, an island with prehistoric creatures of unknown origin.  Aboard vehicles outfitted for a safari, travel deep into a labyrinth of caves and creatures until coming face to face with the largest creature of all!

V |  Orlando Venues

Need a break from the parks? Orlando is home to great arts and cultural venues including the Amway Center, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando City Soccer, Tinker Field, Harry P. Leu Gardens and the Mennello Museum of Art. Take in a concert, family show, or a favorite sporting event.

W | Florida Weather

It’s bound to rain at some point during your Orlando stay, but the good news is that it’s usually an afternoon downpour that clears pretty quickly. Keep a lightweight rain poncho in your purse or bag and brave the elements, or just plan for afternoon siestas during the rainstorm.

X | Exotic Animal Experience

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park is alive with magic. Celebrate the park’s newest attractions including Tree of Life Awakenings® and Rivers of Light®, the Kingdom’s newest music-filled water and light shows. Opening in 2016, along with several other nighttime celebrations, Disney is set to dazzle the Orlando night skies!

Y | Yoga in the Park

A Zen break from the action, yoga in Lake Eola Park happens every Sunday from 11 to Noon, weather permitting.  Bring $5, water, and a yoga mat and enjoy one of the most relaxing vacation activities in the city of Orlando.  Zen on….

Z | Zip It!

Orlando Zip Line Orlando Musts

Zip line adventures are happening across the country and Orlando is no exception. Top Zip Line tours include Zip Orlando, Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, Zoom Air Orlando, and Florida Zip Line Adventures. Hang onto your hats and tour the theme park capital of the world like never before!

 

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Photo credit: Orlando Eye by Chad Sparkes, CC-BY-2.0.