Many visitors come to Orlando for the theme parks; it is after all the theme-park capital of the world. But there’s more to explore, from cultural attractions to outdoor pursuits, even if you only have a day in this sunny Florida destination. Here’s how to make the most of your short stay in Orlando.
Morning: Theme Park
Get an early start when temperatures are cooler and crowds sparser for a morning at one of the many world famous theme parks in the Orlando area. Walt Disney World alone has four parks to choose from and Universal Orlando another two, connected by the Harry Potter–themed Hogwarts Express. SeaWorld Orlando wraps a maritime zoo and amusement park into one family-friendly package, and families traveling with younger children might consider the Legoland Florida Resort.
Afternoon: Everglades or Outer Space
Many visitors can happily stay the whole day at the parks, but if theme parks aren’t your thing (or if you simply need a break), you have options. Get a taste for Orlando’s great outdoors and spot alligators on an airboat tour of the nearby Florida Everglades, or take a virtual moon walk and chat with a NASA astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center. Alternatively, ride the hop-on hop-off trolley to take in Orlando’s sights at your leisure
Night: Dinner Show
After a day of sightseeing or park hopping, keep the entertainment rolling with an evening dinner show. Discover whodunit at a mystery dinner show, dine with Disney characters at Chef Mickey’s Restaurant, say “arrr” during a pirate-themed dinner adventure, or cheer on your favorite knight in a medieval-style jousting tournament. If you’ve spent the day at a theme park, definitely stick around for the nightly lineup of entertainment and fireworks.