Your Trip to Orlando: The Complete Guide

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Orlando is an ever-growing metropolis—a patchwork of interlocking communities—that also just happens to draw millions of visitors each year to experience its great weather and numerous attractions.

If you're planning an Orlando vacation, learning a little bit about the area and what to expect will help you get the most from your time and vacation dollars.

Orlando Basics

Weather: The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30, with the highest storm probability from August through October.

A first-hand account of Orlando's weather by month is another great resource for monthly average temperatures and rainfall.

Ideal Time to Visit: If you are planning to visit Orlando on vacation, one of the hardest things to do is choose when to visit. While special events and promotions may have some influence on theme park attendance; historically, Disney World's highest theme park attendances tend to be influenced by certain holidays. These month-by-month guides to Florida will give you an insight into when are the best times of the year to visit.

When planning your Orlando vacation, how you're going to get there is an important consideration. These handy tools will help you decide whether it is cheaper to drive or fly.

If you've decided to fly, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the airport and transportation options from the airport. If you're flying into Orlando International Airport on your way to one of the Disney World resorts, you can now take advantage of Disney's Magical Express—the complimentary airport shuttle and luggage delivery service available to guests staying on property and traveling via certain airlines.

If you're driving, use these tips to plan your driving trip to Disney World.

Getting Around Orlando

If you're planning a vacation in Orlando and you've never been there before, it is important to get to know Orlando's neighborhoods and learn how to get around. No matter how you are getting around town—rental car, cab or public transportation—these maps of the greater Orlando area will be helpful.

This driving distance chart will be helpful if you plan to visit beaches and attractions located along the coasts of Florida.

Disney World

Disney World is Florida's No. 1 vacation destination—perhaps even the top destination in the world—so it pays to plan ahead to see as much as possible and get the most from your vacation dollar. Here we'll answer your top questions, plus give you links to more information to make your vacation planning easier.

When to Go

If you are planning a Disney World vacation, one of the hardest things to do is choose when to visit. While special events and promotions may have some influence on theme park attendance; historically, Disney World's highest theme park attendances tend to be influenced by certain holidays. These month-by-month guides to Disney World will give you an insight into when are the best times of the year to visit.

Where to Stay

While the Orlando area provides thousands of hotel rooms that cater to every budget, staying on Disney World property also offers accommodations for every pocketbook and includes many perks and benefits that add value to your vacation experience.

More Information

If you want instant information, try our Disney World Vacation Planner with information on how to book your vacation, where to stay and dine and more!

Universal Orlando

Universal Studios theme park was once only a one-day destination for visitors to Orlando. Now, Universal Orlando is a destination resort in its own right. The addition of the spectacular Islands of Adventure theme park, the CityWalk entertainment complex and three luxury hotels offer guests a multi-day vacation destination.

When to Go

Once of the hardest things to do is choose the best time to visit a theme park. While special events and promotions may have a significant influence on theme park attendance; historically, Universal's highest theme park attendances tend to be influenced by certain holidays. These month-by-month guides to Universal Orlando should give you some insight into when might be the best time of the year to visit.

International Drive (I-Drive)

Location, location, location.

The International Drive Resort area (I-Drive) not only offers over 100 hotels and resorts to satisfy every budget and more than 150 spectacular restaurants — it offers a superb location! You can't get much closer to the center the action.

I-Drive's convenient location also puts visitors just ten minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort and a little over an hour's drive away from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Kennedy Space Center and beaches on both coasts.

Best Place to Stay on International Drive

International Drive Hotels along this long thoroughfare provides a variety of lodging choices. One end seems to be geared more toward families and although inexpensive tend to offer perks like transportation to the major theme parks and free breakfast. Farther down, those nearer the Convention Center are geared toward business and luxury amenities and thus are more expensive.

If you'd like to make your own choice of lodging, it is easy to make a selection with the simple hotel search available on the International Drive website. Simply indicating the dates of your stay and the number of adults and children will return an ample list of available "book now" rooms in every price range—from Holiday Inn and Red Roof Inn to the upscale Hilton, Peabody, and Renaissance hotels—or, if you prefer, you can take the link to the I-Drive Lodging Directory.

What to Do

Besides being the location of the nation's second largest convention center, Orlando's world-famous attractions Universal Studios and Islands of AdventureSeaWorld Orlando and its newest water park Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Wet 'n Wild are all a short distance away. Also, located on International Drive are other attractions and entertainment such​ as Pointe Orlando, WonderWorks, Fun Spot Action Park, Ripley's Believe It Or Not Orlando Odditorium, and Pirate's Cove Mini Golf.

Where to Eat on I-Drive

  • Buffet Restaurants on International Drive: Quick, easy and inexpensive dining options can be found along I-Drive for your family when you consider one of these all-you-can-eat buffets.
  • Family Dining on International Drive: Staying along I-Drive in Orlando? Check out these quick, easy and affordable restaurants on International Drive.
  • International Dining on International Drive: With the exception of Epcot at Disney World, International Drive has one of the most diverse cuisine choices in all of Orlando. You'll find Brazilian Churrascaria, English, Greek, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese and Thai.

Where to Stay in Orlando

Even more important than how to get to Orlando is where you are going to stay. Orlando resort and hotel accommodations can accommodate every vacation budget. Even a stay at Disney World can be affordable when you stay at one of Disney World's value resorts.

  • Top 10 Kid-Friendly Orlando Hotels: These hotels and resorts are especially kid-friendly because they cater to families with special children's areas, supervised activities, family-friendly room layouts and suites, and fun kid-friendly theming.
  • 10 Best Orlando Hotels: If you're coming to Orlando to have fun, then the place you stay should be fun too. These Orlando hotels have the recipe for a good time by combining location, price, amenities, and service.