If you were one of the 12,000 people searching for ‘Orlando Holiday’ in the past three months, you might have been inspired by Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, ahead of the grand finale and lucky ‘place on the plane’ winners who will be jetting off to Universal Studios on Saturday 8th April.
Inspired by the Geordie duo, the experts at AttractionTickets.com have compiled the *ultimate* 14-day itinerary that allows you to get the very most out of your trip to the sunshine state.
Day 1: Relax & Adjust
You’ve just landed and the local time is 5 hours behind GMT, so take it easy and adjust to your surroundings. Most flights arrive in Orlando in the afternoon, so we’d suggest leaving the theme parks until tomorrow and spending your first night relaxing and getting ready for 13 days of fun.
Day 2: Magic Kingdom Park (Walt Disney World Resort)
Home to the most rides of any of the four parks in Walt Disney World Resort, it's the perfect place to kickstart your trip - take your time and absorb the magic, spread across six lands, there really is so much to see here.
Day 3: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
World-class rides and beautiful animal encounters are just some of the key attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Race around the track on Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest ride, or come face to face with the 80-foot-tall King Cobra on Cobra’s Curse. If you’re feeling brave enough, try the new Serengeti Flyer, the tallest and fastest of its kind in the world. Located about 1.5hrs drive outside of Orlando, it’s a long day so get an early start and pack plenty of delicious snacks for the journey.
Be sure to try the Serengeti Safari Tour: Here you get up-close and personal with the wild habitat, you might even get to hand-feed a giraffe.
Day 4: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park (Walt Disney World Resort)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is the biggest of the Disney parks spanning over 580 acres and home to around 1,700 animals - it’s the perfect place to spend the day getting closer to nature. Not only that, it features iconic rides such as Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, and you can meet iconic Disney characters in the finest jungle attire.
Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. The slightly cooler weather usually means that the animals are more active than they are in the middle of the day.
Day 5: Universal Studios Florida (Universal Orlando Resort)
One key thing to keep in mind is that if you stay at one of Universal’s Premier hotels, guests can get perks including passes to skip queues and early park admission.
At Universal Studios Florida you can jump right into the action of your favourite films and TV shows. Universal Studios is also home to several thrilling rides like Transformers: The Ride- 3D. Booking a 3 Park Explorer ticket gives you park-to-park access meaning you can jump between all 3 Universal parks in one day, but we recommend dedicating a whole day to each one for the maximum experience. Single day tickets are over $100 at the gate so you can save a lot of money by pre-booking multi-day tickets in advance.
Day 6: EPCOT (Walt Disney World Resort)
Discover the culture and cuisine of 11 different countries as you journey around the World Showcase in EPCOT. Try some traditional fish and chips in the United Kingdom Pavilion, quench your thirst with a German beer and indulge in some sweet treats at a French patisserie. If you’re up for a challenge, you can eat your way around the world, trying something from each country.
Day 7: And breathe…
Make room for a more relaxing day so that you don't run out of steam before the end of your holiday.
Whether you choose to enjoy a little retail therapy and souvenir shopping, at The Florida Mall or spend the day relaxing by the pool, there’s plenty of magic in taking a mid-holiday breather to recoup before you jump right back into the action tomorrow.
Day 8: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort)
Prepare for an unmissable day of thrill seeking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Home to some of the most famous Disney rides of all time including the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the heart-racing Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
Arrive at this park early and ride the most popular attractions first before the queues start to build up. Most people will head to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land first, so Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will often have shorter queues despite it being one of the park's newer rides.
Day 9: Universal’s Volcano Bay (Universal Orlando Resort)
This is the place where water park meets theme park, and luxurious relaxation shakes hands with thrilling attractions. The tropical paradise also promises little-to-no queuing thanks to the innovative TapuTapu wearable that lets you virtually wait in line (as well as triggering special effects throughout the park!)
The Krakatau Aqua Coaster is the main attraction, and sends guests racing through the heart of the park’s striking centrepiece - a 200-foot-tall Volcano!
Day 10: SeaWorld
SeaWorld Orlando combines the thrill of a theme park with the wow-factor of under-the-ocean animal encounters - ride on world-class roller coasters inspired by beautiful sea creatures, like Kraken and Mako, whilst getting closer to nature amongst the colourful aquariums.
Day 11: Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando Resort)
This park is home to The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Skull Island: Reign of Kong amongst plenty more. Any superhero fans will be at home here.
Day 12: Discovery Cove
If you’re looking for a day away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, laze the day away at Discovery Cove. Whether you choose to relax on the white sandy beaches, swim with beautiful bottlenose dolphins, or explore the colourful Grand Reef, there is plenty to keep you entertained here.
Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort which means food, drink, alcoholic beverages, lockers, wetsuits, towels and a souvenir snorkel are all included with your tickets.
Day 13: The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter
There are two lands dedicated to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spanning both parks in the Universal Orlando Resort, so you might need an extra day to dedicate to all the immersive experiences and attractions on offer, especially if you’re a big fan. Head to Universal Studios to explore Diagon Alley, before getting the Hogwarts Express to the village of Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Play this day by ear. If you have an Orlando Freedom Ticket, you have the flexibility to park hop or revisit one of your favourite parks from your holiday again at your leisure.
Day 14: Tick Something Off Your Bucket List
Why not end your trip on a high (literally!) with an unforgettable hot air balloon flight over Orlando? If you’re not keen on taking to the skies yourself, watch the professionals do it, and witness an extraordinary live rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center.