Orlando

Orlando

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About Orlando

Theme Park Mecca

There’s so much to do in and around Orlando that two weeks often isn’t enough to squeeze it all in. Millions come here every year, not only for nearby Disney World and Universal Studios (not to mention the Space Coast just an hour away) but for town-sized shopping malls, global cuisine and clear, sunny skies.

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Flight deals to Orlando

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Holiday deals to Orlando

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Hotel deals to Orlando

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As the theme park capital of the world, Orlando has an abundance of hotels from high profile chains, including the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lake, a five-star offering complete with an 18-hole golf course and vast spa area. There’s often mid-range accommodation to be found on-site at the theme parks themselves, including the Coco Key Orlando Water Resort, which boasts its own amazing water park. Close to Universal Resort is the affordable Econo Lodge International Drive at Universal which, while quite plain, fits well into a tighter budget.

Souvenir shops and generic national chains dominate central Orlando and its tourism hub International Drive. If you want to pick up a plush Mickey Mouse or a cut-price bikini then this is the place to look, but venture off the tourist trail and you’ll be rewarded by some more interesting finds. The Mall At Millenia (4200 Conroy Road) is the city’s most upmarket mall, and houses brands such as Bloomingdale’s, J Crew and Anthropologie within a serene glass bubble. A colourful collection of fresh and home-grown produce makes the Sunday Orlando Farmer’s Market at Lake Eola a worthwhile weekend excursion. And offbeat bookshops such as the spiritual Spiral Circle (750 North Thornton Avenue) are perfect when you want to while away a few comfortable hours in the cool.

If you want something high-end, try the Chef’s Table at the Edgewater, or Seasons 52, a sophisticated fresh grill and wine bar. However, as you’re probably travelling with kids you can make their dreams come true by taking them to Disney’s 1900 Park Fare, where kids can dine surrounded by all their favourite cartoon characters. Alternatively, you can take the little ones to the rotating Garden Grill restaurant, where Chip ‘n’ Dale play host.

Orlando Folk Festival

February

Based at the Mennello Museum of American Art, this popular festival livens up the winter months in Orlando with plenty of music, dancing and fun. The main stage is dedicated to folk and Americana music, but fringe events include traditional craft demonstrations, storytelling and an art fair.

Central Florida Fair

February-March

With carnival rides and games, as well as a flea market, food fair, livestock display and over 100 live bands, this long-running fair is a highlight of the Orlando calendar.

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival

May

This 13-day celebration is the biggest of its kind in the USA. Its wide remit includes art, theatre, music and comedy, with hundreds of uncensored acts taking place in various venues across downtown Orlando.

Annual Harvest Festival

June

Set against the rural backdrop of Lakeridge Winery, this is a traditional harvest festival that encourages visitors to involve themselves in the annual ‘stomping of the grapes’. Expect displays by local artists, live music and plenty of food and drink.

Festival Calle Orange

October

One of Florida’s largest Hispanic festivals, Calle Orange is a lively gathering of different cultures, races and creeds that takes over downtown Orlando for a day and a night. The riotous celebrations encompass dancing, music, food and colourful costumes.

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Key facts

Language:English
Currency:US Dollar
Time zone:GMT -5 hours
Flight time:9 hours
Airport code:MCO,SFB
Holiday type:Beach / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

12 month weather (°C)

 
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Orlando map

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