A holiday to Orlando requires a lot of planning and sometimes, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a 14-day itinerary to help you out. With so many amazing theme parks to visit and so much to do, it’s important to have a plan so that you can make sure you have enough time to fit it all in.
Our day by day guide is an example of how you can fit all the theme park fun into two weeks, using the Orlando Freedom Ticket to visit 12 amazing theme parks, including the Disney, Universal and SeaWorld parks.
Day 1: Relax & Adjust
After a long flight, you’ll probably want to get straight to your hotel and unwind. Most flights from London arrive in Orlando in the afternoon, so we’d recommend leaving the theme parks until the next day, after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
Once you’ve checked in and explored your hotel, it’ll be time for some dinner. Depending on where you’re staying, head to either Disney Springs or Universal CityWalk for a hearty meal. You can choose from places like House of Blues, Planet Hollywood and the Rainforest Café at Disney Springs or the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal CityWalk, which is a great choice for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Top tip- If you’re desperate to get to the parks on your first day, you could head over to the Magic Kingdom in time to watch the night-time fireworks show!
Day 2: Magic Kingdom
A holiday to Walt Disney World is all about experiencing the Disney magic, so what better place to start than the Magic Kingdom? This was the first Disney park to be built in Orlando and is also the place where you’ll find the towering Cinderella Castle- an iconic Disney symbol.
Spend the whole day exploring this amazing park. There are six lands in total, so there’s plenty to keep you busy. Try out incredible rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, before heading over to the Town Square Theater to meet the mouse that started it all- Mickey!
Enjoy a spot of lunch at one of the park’s many restaurants or pick up a snack on the go- Mickey pretzels with gooey dipping cheese are one of our favourites! Then it’s time to watch the dazzling Festival of Fantasy Parade. This is an absolute must-see, so make sure you arrive early to get a good viewing spot. Line the streets and wave along to your favourite characters and Disney royalty as they glide past on a series of elaborate floats.
We’d recommend sticking around until the evening to catch another fantastic show- the Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular. This is the perfect way to end your first full day in Orlando.
Top tip- All of our Disney tickets include Disney’s FastPass+ service, so make sure you’re FastPass+ ready! You can make three FastPass+ bookings per day and these allow you to skip the regular line for rides, shows and attractions. We’d suggest using FastPass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as it’s one of the park’s most popular rides.
Day 3: Disney’s Animal Kingdom
You’ll need a full day to discover Disney’s Animal Kingdom park as this is the largest out of all the Disney theme parks! Ever since Pandora- The World of Avatar opened back in 2017, this has been one of the most popular areas of the park. We’d recommend arriving early and starting here when it’s quieter to avoid the lines for Pandora’s two attractions. Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly river ride, while Avatar- Flight of Passage is a thrilling adventure through the world of Pandora, with amazing sights, sounds and smells all around you. Don’t leave without trying this ride!
Around 1,700 animals call this place home and you can get up close to them on an exciting expedition across the savanna on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Look out for lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, zebras, flamingos and much more.
Make time to see the park’s amazing shows too. Midday is a great time to take in a show, as this is generally the hottest time of day. You can sit down inside and watch an amazing performance while cooling off from the heat, win-win! The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical are both great performances, while the Rivers of Light spectacular is a stunning night-time show that’s not to be missed.
Top tip- Make sure you use Disney’s FastPass+ for Avatar- Flight of Passage. This is by far the park’s most popular ride and you can expect to wait a long time if you don’t make a reservation in advance.
Day 4: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens is another fantastic park that lets you get closer to wildlife, but it’s also home to some of the best roller coasters in Orlando. Put your bravery to the test on triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt and the 200-foot-tall SheiKra. Then try the scariest ride of all- Falcon’s Fury. This is the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America and it tilts you to a 90-degree angle before sending you plummeting 300-feet down to the ground.
Once you’ve conquered the rides, spend some time admiring the park’s beautiful animal residents. If you want to make your visit even more special, you can purchase a ticket for the Serengeti Safari Tour. You’ll be able to embark on an adventure across the 65-acre Serengeti plain in an open-air vehicle, getting a close-up look at rhinos, zebras, antelope and much more. One of the best bits though, is when you get to hand-feed the giraffes! You definitely won’t forget this amazing experience.
Top tip- Did you know, you can get a FREE shuttle bus to Busch Gardens with your ticket? You can get the bus from SeaWorld as well as various locations in the International Drive and Kissimmee areas.
Day 5: Aquatica
After a few busy days, it’s time to relax! Aquatica is a great place to go to soak up the sunshine and unwind on the beach. This amazing water park has a great mix of rides with something that everyone can enjoy. Cool down from the heat and make a splash in the wave pool, race through a water slide surrounded by dolphins, try the new Ray Rush ride and take the plunge on the park’s most thrilling attraction- Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. When it’s time to chill out, head to the beach or grab a float and try out the lazy river. There’s also a huge water play area called Kookaburra Cove that the little ones will love.
Top tip- It’s worth considering the All-Day Dining Deal when visiting Aquatica, as all your food and drink for the day are covered. You’ll be able to save yourself some money with this great value deal and enjoy unlimited tasty dishes. Plus, you won’t have to worry about carrying cash around.
Day 6: Universal Studios Florida
Get ready to step inside the movies at Universal Studios Florida. This incredible park gives you the chance to relive classic moments from your favourite movies, putting you right in the middle of the action. Wander through Springfield and meet the famous Simpsons family, make friends with the Minions and buckle up for a thrilling ride on Fast & Furious- Supercharged.
Then, get ready to explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley. You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into the movie as you walk along the cobbled streets. Indulge in a bit of retail therapy in shops like Ollivanders where you can get your very own wand, and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes where you can buy novelty gifts created by Weasley twins Fred & George.
The highlight of this area has to be the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. Prepare to come face to face with Lord Voldemort as you hurtle through the underground tunnels of Gringotts Bank! If you're a Potter fan, start the day in the Wizarding World instead, as this area gets busy quickly.
Finish off the day at the new Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration. This epic night-time show features iconic moments from Harry Potter, Despicable Me, Jurassic World, Fast & Furious and more. The images are projected onto huge water screens, as music echoes through the park, lights illuminate the night and water fountains shoot into the air.
Top tip- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located towards the back of the park and we’d recommend going straight here when you arrive to beat the crowds.
Day 7: Universal’s Islands of Adventure
We’d recommend spending today at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. There’s a whole area dedicated to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade here, so you’ll be able to connect the experience you had the day before at the Universal Studios park. Start the day off here and try the amazing Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, which will take you inside the famous Hogwarts Castle! Then pick up a snack in Honeydukes sweet shop or stop off for a glass of Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.
Spend the rest of the day trying out the park’s amazing rides. Little ones will be kept entertained with the fun rides in Seuss Landing, while thrill seekers can put their bravery to the test on the Incredible Hulk Coaster- there’s seven inversions in total and you’ll reach speeds of up to 67mph!
Make sure you try the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Jurassic Park River Adventure too.
Top tip- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk Coaster are all extremely popular. If you have a favourite, make sure you go there first to avoid waiting in line.
Day 8: Epcot
There is so much to see at Epcot, so you’re in for a busy (but fun-filled) day. We’d suggest starting in the Future World East area of the park as this is closest to the entrance and also the place where you’ll find some of the park’s most popular rides. Test Track is the fastest ride at Walt Disney World and is a must-try. We’d suggest heading here first to avoid the queues, as it’s also one of the most popular. Test Track also has a single rider line if you don’t mind splitting up with your group.
Next, move over to Future World West where you’ll find Soarin’ Around the World. This is another attraction you must try. Soarin’ is a fan favourite with spectacular sights and smells, that will make you feel like you’re flying. Don’t leave without trying this Disney classic. Spaceship Earth and Mission: SPACE are rides that should also be on your list, while the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction is a must for little ones.
Once you’ve flown around the world on Soarin’ it’s time to explore the globe on foot! Epcot is a totally unique theme park that lets you go all around the world in a day. The World Showcase area is made up of 11 different countries and you should take the time to visit them all. The pavilions boast traditional food, live entertainment and even recreations of iconic landmarks. Treat yourself to a beer in Germany, a mouth-watering Bao bun in China or a hearty portion of fish and chips in England!
Epcot is a great place to meet some of your favourite characters too. Little ones can fill up their autograph books as they travel around the world meeting the likes of Anna & Elsa, Snow White, Jasmine & Aladdin and Donald Duck in his finest sombrero!
Top tip- Check what’s on before you go. Epcot is famous for its festivals and if there’s one on during your visit, you should definitely make time to experience it. You won’t have to pay any extra either, as admission is included with your ticket.
Day 9: Universal’s Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is Universal’s newest park and while you may think it’s a water park, it’s actually much more than that. Universal’s Volcano Bay is a water theme park that combines the thrill of coasters with the fun of water slides. This is the perfect place to cool off in the Floridian sunshine and we’d recommend visiting today because you might need a bit of a break after the last few days of exploring.
Volcano Bay is designed to feel like a tropical paradise and you’ll feel at ease as soon as you step foot on the sand. When you arrive, you’ll be given a high-tech TapuTapu wristband which has a range of different functions. One of the best things about TapuTapu is that you can tap your band and reserve a place in line for the attractions, meaning you can “virtually” wait in line and then carry on having fun in the park until it’s your turn to ride!
If you’re all about the thrills make sure the Krakatau Aqua Coaster is at the top of your list. This exhilarating attraction takes you right though the heart of the 200-foot-tall Krakatau volcano. When you’re ready for a break, relax on a sun lounger, treat yourself to a tropical cocktail at the bar or enjoy one of the delicious Waturi Fusion rainbow ice creams.
Top tip- Use your TapuTapu wristband to trigger special effects throughout the park.
Day 10: SeaWorld
You might think of SeaWorld as the place to go to admire amazing sea creatures and while that’s true, it’s also the place to go if you love roller coasters! SeaWorld is home to some of the most thrilling roller coasters in Orlando, so be prepared to test your nerves during your visit.
We’d suggest taking the plunge right away and heading straight to Mako- the tallest, fastest and longest ride in Orlando. This shark-inspired coaster features speeds of up to 73mph and a staggering 200-foot drop! Once you’ve conquered Mako, brave the terrifying Kraken coaster, fly face down on Manta and prepare for a serious soaking on SeaWorld’s newest ride and the tallest river rapid drop ride in the world- Infinity Falls.
After a bit of lunch, it’s time to see the animals. There are lots of amazing shows at SeaWorld, which celebrate marine life and give you the chance to learn about their habits and behaviour. You can also get up close to the animals with several animal encounter experiences available throughout the park. The Dolphin Nursery is home to mother and baby bottlenose dolphins, and you’ll be able to watch them play here. You can also feed stingrays at Stingray Lagoon, admire turtles at Turtle Trek and learn about five species of penguin at the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction.
Top tip- It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes if you’re planning on trying the water rides! There are lockers around the park where you can keep your belongings, so you won’t have to carry your bags around either.
Day 11: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll love Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. While the upcoming Star Wars expansion isn’t open yet, there are plenty of fun shows and attractions as well as character encounters with the likes of Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. If you’re a big fan, start your day off here, or if you’re all about the big rides, head over to the Sunset Boulevard area where you’ll find two of the park’s most popular attractions. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith are both fantastic rides that will get your adrenaline levels soaring!
In the afternoon, head over to the new Toy Story Land, where you can have a bite to eat at Woody’s Lunch Box and quench your thirst with a traditional soda float. Make sure you ride the new Slinky Dog Dash coaster and Alien Swirling Saucers while you’re there, as well as Toy Story Mania which is an old favourite.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has lots of fun shows that the whole family will love. So, when you’re ready to give your feet a bit of a break, you can watch daring stunts at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular or sing your heart out at For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. End the day by watching the breath-taking Fantasmic show. This unforgettable performance features music, classic Disney characters, lasers, pyrotechnics, one-million-gallons of dancing water, and a 40-foot dragon!
Top tip- If you’re visiting with little ones who love Star Wars you can sign them up to take part in the Jedi Training Academy. It’s free to do, but make sure you reserve a place as soon as you arrive as it gets booked up fast.
Day 12: Go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter OR go shopping!
As you get towards the end of your holiday you might find yourself feeling a bit tired. So today, we’ve got two suggestions. If you’re a big Potter fan, you might want to go back to the Universal Parks (your Orlando Freedom Ticket is valid here for 14 days) and explore the Wizarding World in more depth. You can spend the day taking your time and discovering all the little details that you may have missed if you were rushing before. Try new food, watch the magical shows, pick up wizarding souvenirs from the shops and of course, ride the amazing Harry Potter attractions again.
Our second suggestion is to spend the day shopping. Orlando is almost as famous for its shopping as its theme parks, so this is the perfect place to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. There are several malls and outlet stores just a short drive away from the main Orlando theme parks. Orlando International Premium Outlets and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is a great place to go to get some bargains. You’ll be able to save up to 65% off big name brands like Armani, Calvin Klein, Coach, Converse, Gap, Levi’s, Ralph Lauren and more. Disney Springs is also a great place to go shopping, with more than 100 different stores.
Top tip- If you want to go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, check out our guide to the top 10 secrets to discover at the Wizarding World.
Day 13: Visit Blizzard Beach OR Typhoon Lagoon
Or both! The Walt Disney World Resort has two fantastic water parks that offer the perfect mix of family-friendly attractions and exhilarating water slides. The Disney water parks tend to close for refurbishment in the quieter months, but if you’re visiting in peak season, they should both be open.
Spend today at a more relaxed pace, as you try out the attractions, float along the lazy river and unwind on the beach. Blizzard Beach is famous for its thrilling attractions like the Downhill Double Dipper, Slush Gusher and the incredible Summit Plummet. This ride has a near-vertical drop and is one of the tallest and fastest freefall body slides in the world- definitely not one for the faint-hearted. If you’re brave, wake yourself up and start the day off with this ride!
After you’ve tackled the big attractions, check out the one-acre wave pool, the chairlift and Tike’s Peak play area. Then, have some lunch at one of the park’s many restaurants, but make sure you save some room for dessert. The mini doughnuts at Blizzard Beach are famous!
You might want to spend the whole day here relaxing, but if you want to see what else Disney has to offer, head over to Typhoon Lagoon to make a splash. Crush ‘n’ Gusher and Humunga Kowabunga provide the thrills, while Miss Adventure Falls and Castaway Creek are perfect for the whole family.
Once you’ve had plenty of fun, dry off and head back to your hotel to freshen up. Then you can go out for a bit of dinner to celebrate a great trip and your last full day in Orlando.
Top tip- Don't leave your flip flops in the locker at the water parks, as the floor will get really hot throughout the day and you'll regret it if you do!
Day 14: Tick something off your bucket list
Most Orlando flights back to the UK depart in the evening, which means you’ll have most of the day free before you have to leave for the airport. You might want to spend the day at your favourite park, so that you can experience the attractions one last time. But, if you want to do something different there’s a host of amazing bucket-list worthy experiences you can try in Orlando.
Why not end your holiday with something special, by taking to the skies on a breath-taking air balloon flight over the city? You could also take a ride on the 400-foot-tall ICON Orlando or get your heart racing on an action-packed Go Karting adventure. There really is so much to do.
If you’d prefer a totally relaxing day though (we wouldn’t blame you!) then you could spend the entire day lounging by the pool with a drink in hand instead!
Ready to start planning your Florida holiday? Click here, to view our great value Orlando Combination Tickets.
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