Explore Orlando

Things to Do in Orlando: Top Attractions

The numbers are in, and Orlando is the first destination to ever surpass 60 million visitors in a year. Orlando is officially the most popular visitor destination in the world. Famous theme parks, we got 'em. Top designer stores, we got 'em. Broadway shows, outdoor adventures, great golf ... check, check and check. Orlando is appealing to travelers of all ages, from family vacations to couples honeymooning to girlfriend getaways and bachelor parties.

Orlando is home to nine major theme parks, the largest being, of course, Walt Disney World. Families from all over the globe come to see Mickey Mouse (or Anna and Elsa as is the case today), and enjoy fun rides, parades and fireworks shows daily. Universal Orlando Resort, including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, is home to thrilling roller coasters, high-tech 3-D rides and the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove allow guests to get up close to sealife, from friendly dolphins and playful sea lions to the amazing whale show, in addition to roller coasters and kid-friendly attractions. LEGOLAND brings to life the favorite toy, inspiring children's imaginations with impressive LEGO structures and family-friendly rides. 

While the theme parks are the largest draw, they are certainly not the only gig in town. Orlando is an international shopping destination with two upscale malls and three major outlet malls carrying all the big names from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton to Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Celebrity chefs and local chefs have put Orlando on the map as a dynamic culinary destination. Wine Enthusiast just named Orlando one of the year’s “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations,” and The New York Times listed Orlando at number 13 in its “52 places to go in 2015” travel article, citing a dynamic food scene and exciting restaurants. 

Orlando's sunny location in Central Florida, with amazing weather year-round draws visitors outdoors, whether it's to play golf or hop on an airboat to enjoy bald cypresses, ancient oaks and alligators in the wild.

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle serves as the center of Mickey’s magical wonderland. Meet your favorite characters and enjoy the rides, from classics like It’s a Small World and Space Mountain to new experiences like Peter Pan, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Under the Sea.

Walt Disney World, Epcot

Distinguished by its glistening geosphere, Epcot offers visitors a look into the world’s technology. Don’t miss Mission: Space, Soarin,’ Test Track, Frozen Ever After and the aquarium. World Showcase depicts 11 countries around a scenic lake so guests can dine, drink, shop and be entertained from a global perspective.

Walt Disney World, Animal Kingdom

From live animals to dinosaurs and animal characters, your imagination runs wild in this beautifully designed park. Hop aboard a safari in Africa for close animal encounters then head to Asia’s Mount Everest coaster. The petting zoo, DinoLand U.S.A.

Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios

This theme park dives into Hollywood with live stage shows and movie-themed rides. Must-stops are Tower of Terror, Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania and the Disney Jr. and "Frozen" live shows.

Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure

Everyone has fun with six uniquely themed islands: Seuss Landing, The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Super Hero Island and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Each highlights adventure, storytelling and the most technologically advanced rides, attractions and shows.

Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios

Be a part of the Hollywood experience with thrilling roller coasters, simulators and 3D shows. Don't miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, featuring the Escape from Gringotts ride and Hogwarts Express. Other must-sees are Men in Black, Revenge of the Mummy and the Simpsons Ride.

SeaWorld

Immerse yourself in the sea, from up-close animal encounters to awe-inspiring performances to thrilling rides. Come face-to-face with Shamu, play at Happy Harbor, watch a dolphin show, feed a sea lion, ride the roller coasters Mako, Manta and Kraken, and shop and dine at the Waterfront.

Discovery Cove

Swim with dolphins, wade with rays, snorkel among thousands of exotic fish and hand feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary. Discovery Cove’s full-day, all-inclusive adventures include all meals, drinks and gear along with admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica.

Legoland Florida

Built especially for kids, this 150-acre theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions plus a water park and a deluxe themed hotel, located just steps from the front entrance to the theme park.

Disney Springs

This mega outdoor lifestyle center rolls shopping, entertainment and dining into one. Visitors will find the world's largest Disney store, retail stores at the new Town Center, themed restaurants and bars, Cirque du Soleil, a bowling alley, movie theater, water taxis, attractions and more. Free admission and free parking.

Universal CityWalk

Think Times Square Orlando style. At this free entertainment complex just outside Universal's theme parks, you’ll find an electric mix of clubs and restaurants such as Hard Rock Café, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Red Coconut, The Groove and Rising Star. 11 am-2 am. No admission fee, but cover charges apply.

ICON Park

Visitors can hop aboard the 400-foot-tall ICON Orlando Ferris wheel, explore Madame Tussauds wax attraction and dive into Sea Life aquarium with 5,000 creatures and an ocean tunnel. ICON 360 is also home to an array of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. 

The Mall at Millenia

With 150 upscale stores and dining options, this luxury mall features anchor stores Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Neiman Marcus.

The Florida Mall

This upscale mall, just east of International Drive, has 260 specialty shops and major department stores including Macy’s, Dillards, JC Penney and Sears.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Named by Travel + Leisure magazine as "World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions 2015" and among their “Best Places to Travel in 2015,” the two-block downtown destination includes the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr.

Winter Park

This upscale enclave is known for its main street, Park Avenue, which is lined with fashionable boutiques and restaurants. Other highlights include Rollins College, Hannibal Square and the Morse Museum.

Shingle Creek Golf Club

Reconfigured by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, the course at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort will challenge even the most-seasoned golfer with increased and well-placed bunkers and greens that vary in size and degree of slope.

Downtown Orlando/Thornton Park

The past few years have seen a resurgence in the city’s core, including nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and galleries. Highlights include the Arts District, Thornton Park, Lake Eola, Amway Center, Church Street and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.