Even those who have not traveled much are familiar with Orlando Florida being the theme park capital of the world. You have all the Disney World parks, Sea World, Universal Studios, Gatorland, and much more. Just when you think you have enough parks in Orlando to last you an entire month, just travel an hour outside of Orlando and you have even more parks and attractions such as Legoland to the southwest in Winter Haven and Kennedy Space Center to the east in Merritt Island. With so many parks and attractions to visit, it can easily become overwhelming.
My Suggested Orlando Florida Itinerary
First off, I would limit your parks to three parks (or 2 to 3 days in the same park) per visit to Orlando. It’s tempting to visit as many as possible, but if you do this you will be exhausted by the end of your vacation and that defeats the whole purpose of having a vacation in the first place. If you have kids, I would space out your park visits to every other day and let the kids and yourself relax around your hotel pool or any other relaxing area.
Second, pick a nice hotel with a nice pool and fun area and/or a relaxing area, especially if you have kids. When you are resting between your theme park visits, you want to be able to relax somewhere nice and your kids need to be able to have fun. One hotel I recommend is the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and comes with 2 pools, splash pad, a gazebo that overlooks two small man-made lakes, a bar, and a buffet.
Third, spend some time outside of Orlando. For example, you can drive an hour east of Orlando and stay a few days at Cocoa Beach. It’s a perfect way to wind down after walking multiple days in the theme parks.
Here is a day-by-day suggested schedule to follow. It consists of an Orlando 5 day itinerary and few days in Cocoa Beach:
- Day 1: Visit theme park #1
- Day 2: Rest and relax at hotel, maybe visit Downtown Disney for a couple hours
- Day 3: Visit theme park #2
- Day 4: Rest and relax at hotel, maybe visit Universal CityWalk for part of the day
- Day 5: Visit theme park #3
- Day 6: Check out of hotel and drive to hotel at Cocoa Beach
- Days 7-9 at Cocoa beach relaxing, maybe visit Kennedy Space Center one of the days.
If you only want to spend a week or less in Orlando, cut your theme parks to only two or spend less days at the beach.
When we visited Orlando, we followed a similar itinerary to the above. We only visited two theme parks (Sea World and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom) and our kids were exhausted. The remaining days at the beach allowed us to finish the vacation fulfilled from our two days at the parks and completely relaxed from the last few days we spent at the beach.
Whatever itinerary you choose to setup for yourself, I would like to offer you one big suggestion:
******DO NOT VISIT ORLANDO IN THE SUMMER******
Unless you enjoy 97 degree weather with 97% humidity. I would suggest visiting Orlando in the late fall, winter, or early spring (watch out for spring breakers). The temperatures are nice, (mostly 70s), the humidity is low, and the crowds are down.