Awesome Orlando holidays 2019
Orlando packs in more thrills and spills than almost anywhere on the planet. The ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’ is home to world-famous attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando Resort plus a host of others, including Seaworld and Legoland. Right in the heart of the sunshine state of Florida, Orlando also boasts warm temperatures all year round. And, as well as the celebrated theme parks, you’ll also find great shopping and dining, including plenty of family-friendly options. Orlando also offers all kinds of amenities for outdoor activities, from world-class golf courses to exhilarating hot air balloon rides, providing absolutely everything you could wish for on your 2019 holiday.
Most popular hotels in Orlando
Avanti Palms Resort and Conference Center
Grande Villas Resort by Diamond Resorts
Monumental Movieland Hotel Orlando
Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa
The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando
Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando
Rosen Inn International
Coco Key Hotel and Water Park Resort
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 9h 10m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Things to do in Orlando
Orlando’s main attractions are undoubtedly its theme parks, which attract a whopping 60 million visitors annually. Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971, remains the most popular of the theme parks, closely followed by Universal Studios Orlando Resort. Then there is SeaWorld, with its sharks, stingrays and dolphins, the amazing Kennedy Space Center, which brings space travel to life, and all the colour and fun of Legoland. As well as the theme parks, you can also experience the wonders of the swampy Everglades – perhaps canoeing or even taking an airboat along the waterways – or head to the coast, and the fabulous Florida beaches (about 1 to 2 hours away by car). There are facilities for every kind of sport and outdoor activity – golf, tennis, hiking, biking and much more – and Orlando is also a shopping mecca, with scores of malls and designer outlets to choose from. Plus, culture vultures will enjoy the city’s fine array of art museums and galleries, which include the Orlando Museum of Art and the Mennello Museum of American Art.
Disneyland Orlando resorts
Perhaps the main attraction of Orlando holidays is the chance to go to Walt Disney World Resort and other Disney theme parks. Who can blame you… with tons of thrilling rides and attractions, it’s always an enjoyable experience (and not just for the little ones!). What makes it even better is the large range of family-friendly Disneyland resorts you can stay in during your holiday. So, whichever hotel you choose to stay in, you’ll have easy access to all the theme parks. From Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom Park, it’ll all be right at your feet.
Where should you stay?
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge - Perfect for adventurous types offering an African safari theme.
- Disney’s All Star Movies Resort - A great option for a cheap holiday to Disneyland.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort - Offers a luxurious stay for families.
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort - Oozes a nice, homely feel.
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas - Gives families the ultimate self-catering experience.
Orlando family holidays
Orlando must be one of the world’s top family destinations. The theme parks are, of course, the biggest draw, whether you’re travelling with young kids desperate to meet Micky Mouse at Disney World, have tweens who are desperate to swim with dolphins at SeaWorld, or teenagers who want to take on the biggest and most thrilling roller coasters at the Universal Studios. Kids who dream of becoming astronauts won’t want to miss the Kennedy Space Center, and the bravest will want to explore the swampy Everglades in search of alligators and other creatures. There is a dazzling choice of kid-friendly cafés and restaurants, making dining out a breeze – even with the fussiest kids.
Action and adventure in Orlando
Some of the fastest, highest and scariest roller coasters in the United States are located in Orlando’s top theme parks – ideal for the committed thrill-seekers! Mako, which opened in SeaWorld in 2016, is currently the city’s longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster – absolutely not to be missed! Orlando also has a host of fantastic outdoor activities, including airboat rides along the sultry waterways of the Everglades, hot air balloon trips, sea fishing and much, much more. You could also try indoor sky-diving or head to an adventure park for some zip-line fun, or even drive to the beach for a little surfing or kite-surfing action.
Land-locked Orlando has plenty of lakes where you can cool off, but you’ll need to drive an hour or two to hit one of Florida’s mythical beaches. The most accessible is Cocoa Beach, about an hour away by car, which is a lovely swathe of white sand with plenty of facilities. Daytona Beach, just over an hour’s drive away, makes for a great day trip, with theme parks, race tracks, lighthouses and plenty more to keep kids of all ages and interests amused. New Smyrna Beach (70 minutes in the car) is a surfer’s paradise, while charming Flagler Beach (also a 70-minute drive) has beachfront wineries, a century-old pier, and lots of great restaurants and bars.
Orlando resorts and hotels
Orlando holidays are all about sunshine, relaxation and extra added doses of fun. Aside from the amazing list of things to do in Orlando, it’s where you stay that adds the cherry on top. It doesn’t matter what’s important to you, there’s a wide range of Orlando resorts and hotels which will suit your perfectly. From cheap and cheerful choices to exclusive and luxurious options, Orlando doesn’t disappoint.
Where should you stay?
- Avanti Palms Resort – International Drive is a top choice for relaxing and unwinding.
- The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando – Whether travelling as a family or couple, this is a resort full of fun!
- Rosen Inn Closest to Universal – An affordable option when visiting Orlando, close to the Disney theme parks.
- Coco Key Hotel and Water Park Resort – This is perfect for the little ones, thanks to its water park. Plus, it’s pretty affordable too!
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando – For a slice of luxury in Orlando, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is our pick!
Orlando couples holidays
If you’re both crazy about theme parks, Orlando is a fantastic, if offbeat, destination for enjoying some quality time with your loved one. In the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’, you can hang out with Disney gang in Walt Disney World, get friendly with sharks and dolphins in SeaWorld or visit Harry Potter at Hogwart’s in Universal Studios. If thrills and spills are your thing, then try the Maka roller coaster in SeaWorld, which is also home to the seriously scary Kraken. Universal’s Revenge of the Mummy and Incredible Hulk are also fantastic fun for adrenaline-seekers. Outside the theme parks, great activities for couples include a day at the beach – perhaps Flagler Beach, where you can stroll along the charming old pier.
It might be worth staying in an Orlando villa during your holiday with your loved one. You'll have all the amenities you could possibly need throughout your stay, all in the comfort of your very own villa. They're perfect for self catering stays thanks to fully-equipped kitchens, whilst you'll have plenty of space to lounge around. Check out some of our favourites:
- Grande Villas Resort by Diamond Resorts - For a relaxing stay close to top theme parks and attractions.
- The Villas of Grand Cypress - Set within a great location, you'll have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
- Windsor Palms - Spacious villas which are perfect for a family stay in Orlando.
- Marbella Homes by Oceanbeds - For a personal and intimate feel, stay at the Marbella Homes during your Orlando holiday.
Orlando’s nightlife is wildly varied, and has something to suit visitors of all ages and tastes. There are sophisticated cocktail bars, laid-back pubs, lively sports bars and elegant wine bars. You could take in some comedy at a comedy club, dance salsa all night, relax to the sounds of jazz, or party till dawn at a glamorous nightclub. And if you enjoy the theatre, ballet or classical music, you’ll be spoilt for choice, as the city hosts an excellent programme of performing arts all year round. There are also plenty of dinner shows, many of which are concentrated along International Drive, which is where most theme parks are located.