There is so much to see and do in Orlando, and there is lots more to do outside of the official parks. Whether you are visiting for two weeks or you are visiting for longer, you will want to make sure that your vacation is as action-packed as possible. After all, this might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and you want to make sure that you can fit everything in that you want to. So, here is a 10-step guide that will help you plan a vacation that will be both enjoyable and memorable.
Source: Unsplash.com, Posted on January 10th, 2020, Brian McGowan
Step 1. Decide When You Will Visit – Time of Year
“Walt Disney World Can Look Even More Magical in the Winter.”
Now, before you make concrete plans, you need to think about when you will visit Orlando. There is, of course, lots to do all around the year, but when you visit may affect your enjoyment levels. For example, in summer, you may find those scorching temperatures are unbearable. Or, you may find that around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the larger crowds are too much. The right time of year to visit is ideally after Christmas and before summer hots up. Between the months of February and March, you get to see all that Orlando has to offer, and you get to enjoy every element of your trip. When the weather is cooler, you can explore more, and you can fit more into your days. Of course, the time of year you visit will depend on your physical and work commitments, too, so make sure that you can tie everything together.
Step 2. The Duration of Your Vacation
There is a lot to see and do in Orlando (apart from visiting theme parks), and this may ultimately affect how long your vacation lasts. For example, if you were just visiting theme parks, you may find that your vacation lasts ten days or two weeks. However, if you want to immerse yourself in Orlando culture, you may wish to visit for three weeks. The duration of your vacation will have to fit in with your work commitments, of course. However, you will want to be sure you give yourself enough time to see and do everything you want. For example, if you want to visit Boggy Creek for an airboat adventure, you will need to allow half a day (or a full day) if you are traveling in a large group. Or, if you are a real thrill seeker, you may wish to pay Gatorland a visit – where you can see and get close to real-life dinosaurs.
Step 3. Getting Inspiration
You may find that you have too many ideas rushing around, and this will make planning difficult. However, you may also find that it may mean that you need more inspiration. Sometimes, you know what you want to do and see, but you don’t know in which order you need to do things. To make things easier, you may find it useful to utilize family blogs and real-life diaries of families and other groups that have been to Orlando, Disney, and surrounding areas. When you can make more of a direct comparison, you can then make sure your days and weeks of vacation are filled with the things you and your party want to do. When you utilize blogs and diaries, you may even learn more about Orlando or find spots that you want to visit (that perhaps you have not heard of or even seen before).
Step 4. Planning Your Time – Creating an Itinerary
Itineraries can sound boring, and they are perhaps not something you associate with a fun-filled trip to Orlando. However, if you are traveling with a family, you will certainly find an itinerary useful. Knowing how long you have to enjoy a new place or sight and knowing when and where you are going somewhere will give you both peace of mind and reassurance. If you are just freestyling your trip to Orlando, you will miss out on important areas. For example, you will miss out on getting to parks – simply because they need to be booked in advance. Or you may miss out on that show downtown because you didn’t leave enough travel time. A well-laid-out itinerary will help you make the most of your vacation in Orlando, and it will help you enjoy every moment to the maximum. If you do not want to make an itinerary from scratch, then you could look for free printables.
Source: Instagram, Posted on January 7th, 2022, Westgate Resorts Official Profile
Step 5. Choosing a Hotel or Resort
“Treasure cover water park at the Westgate Lakes resort and spa is fun for all the family.”
Where you stay during your visit to Orlando is super important. You want to be sure that you can take in everything you want, and you want your hotel or resort to being just as magical and enjoyable as your park visits will be. To ensure that this happens, you need to stay in a resort that offers a lot for families, such as Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, which can be found and booked at https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/florida/orlando/. The resort that you choose can make or break your vacation. If it does not have enough facilities or amenities on offer, you will find that you will be bored at times. A resort makes your vacation extra special. Resorts are built and catered to you as a traveler, and from amenities and facilities that include spas, pools, and even water parks, you can be sure that there is something for everyone in your group.
Step 6. Deciding When to Visit the Parks
No doubt, you will want to visit the official Disney and Universal parks during your visit to Orlando, and getting the timing right will make your vacation even more successful. For example, if you visit the parks at the start of your vacation, you may peak, and you may struggle to recreate that enjoyment as the days pass by. If you space out your visits to parks, and if you break up when you go, you can make the fun and magic last that little bit longer. Giving yourself enough time to explore and enjoy the parks is also important. If you are rushing from one place to the next, it will have an impact on the memories you make.
Source: Unsplash.com, posted on December 7th, 2021, Eddie Hernandez
Step 7. Taking in the Sights and Surroundings in Orlando
“The Orlando Eye at Night – International Drive”
Once you have planned when you will visit the parks, you then need to establish when you will take in the sights and surroundings of Orlando (and, of course, what you want to see). You will want at least a couple of days to explore Orlando, and whether you add these on after or before visiting the parks – the choice is yours. You may find it beneficial to break up park visits by having a day at the parks and then perhaps a day exploring Orlando. For example, you could head to Universal Studios one day and then the Orlando science center the next.
Step 8. Having Downtime
Even though you want to fit a lot into your vacation time in Orlando, you also need to remember that you and your family need time to relax. Factoring in downtime into your plans and itinerary is important. If you keep zooming around and taking in too much, you will be on overdrive, and this may actually make the whole vacation stressful. Downtime is personal to you, of course, and it may mean having a day shopping at local boutiques or malls. Or, it may mean relaxing around the resort or hotel pool all day. Getting in downtime will help you take in everything that Orlando has to offer.
Step 9. Getting Around
No matter where you stay in Orlando, there will be a time when you need to move and utilize transport. There are several options available to you that will enable you to get around with ease. For example, you could get an uber or share a cab with another party. Or you could use the I-Ride if you are on an international drive. You also have the option of hiring a car. When you have your own vehicle to use, you will find you can go where you want to at a time that works for your party.
Step 10. Setting a Budget
Talking about budgets may not be at the top of your priority list – but it should be. A vacation to Orlando can become very expensive very quickly, especially if you are traveling as a family or a small party. Having a budget for your overall vacation and then breaking it down into daily spending is important. No matter how long you are visiting or staying in Orlando, you want to be sure that you can see and do everything you want. Without a budget in place, you may end up having to make compromises or sacrifices.