Our Orlando Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help you plan your trip to one of the most popular destinations in the USA. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need?

    We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips. You’ll also learn about the most popular landmarks in Orlando such as Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, Disney’s Magic Kingdom®, and Universal Studios Florida®. It’s all compiled in this Orlando Travel Essentials. After checking out this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip to Orlando.

    1

    When is the best time to travel to Orlando?

    • Orlando is in central Florida where it's warm and humid. Average temperatures range between 50°F in winter and 90°F in summer.
    • Curiously, the rainiest months are in the summertime, from June to September. You can expect about 15 rainy days per month at this time of the year.  
    • June–September are also the warmest months. Orlando has 3 peak tourist times: spring break (March–April), summer break (June–August) and winter break (mid-December–early-January).
    • The best time to visit Orlando is from March to May; it’s the time you’ll find the most pleasant weather and the most affordable flight and hotel prices.
    2

    Orlando basics

    • Plug type: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: United States Dollar (US$)
    • International dialling code: +1 407
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
    3

    How to get to my hotel in Orlando?

    Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the main arrival hub to Orlando. You can also fly to the secondary airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), or if you’re already in the states, you can get to Orlando by Amtrak train or Greyhound bus.

    Orlando International and Sanford International airports

    Orlando International Airport lies 9 miles southeast of downtown Orlando. Limousines, taxis, shuttle vans, local buses and rental cars are available for you to get to your hotel according to your budget. It takes about 30 minutes to clear customs, then the ride to downtown Orlando takes between 20 and 40 minutes.

    A smaller airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), lies 18 miles northeast of the city centre. You’ll find a good choice of taxis, shuttles and rides, including Uber and Lyft, to reach your hotel. Expect a journey between 40 and 90 minutes to get to your accommodation choice.

    Whichever the airport you fly to, it’s always a good option to check out if your hotel offers free transfer or to book your transfer in advance.

    Orlando Health/Amtrak Station

    Orlando Health/Amtrak Station is set in an industrial area on 1400 Sligh Boulevard, just south of the city centre. From there, your best option to get to your hotel is to hire a taxi, Uber or Lyft. Note that free Wi-fi is available in the station.

    The SunRail commuter rail service and the Lynx bus route 40 are also convenient and more affordable transfer options to travel throughout the city from the train station.

    4

    How to get around Orlando?

    Travel tips

    Once nicknamed "the City Beautiful", Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the USA, thanks to the many exciting theme parks it hosts. Also known as Central Business District, downtown Orlando covers a square mile that can easily be explored on foot. It’s home to a wide range of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options, including the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Amway Center. 

    Go Orlando passes are available for you to save money if you plan to visit a large number of theme parks during your stay. Offering access to over 30 attractions, their only downside is that they do not include free transportation on the Lynx public bus services.

    Taking a taxi in Orlando

    Taxis and ride-share services are readily available throughout the city. They're convenient but also are significantly more expensive. Taxis are available at most hotels and major attractions. Some of them accept payment by credit card, although most taxis tend to prefer payment in cash.

    Lyft and Uber are the 2 ride-share services used in Orlando. Note that they can cost more than usual taxis during surge times.

    Travelling by bus in Orlando

    Lynx buses offer a comprehensive and less-expensive way to travel around Orlando. The system covers the entire city and have has stops at all major attractions. One-ride, all-day, 7-day and 30-day passes are available. You can also download the Lynx Trip Apps to easing your transfers.

    LYMMO is a bus system which permits you to travel for free in the immediate downtown area. Note that public transport services stop at midnight, so you should consider other options if you’re a night owl.

    Renting a car in Orlando

    As you can drive with a foreign driver's license for up to 4 months in the US, car hire is the recommended option for getting around Orlando since attractions are spread out, far from each other. Budget, Sixt, and many other major car rental companies are available in the city.

    Keep some cash on hand for tolls and purchase a good map to ease your travels. SunPass is a prepaid toll programme that can also come handy if you plan to drive a lot. Free parking lots are available in downtown Orlando, but you’ll need to install an app to use them.

    5

    What are the main annual events in Orlando?

    Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

    • Late-September–mid-November 
    • Discover cuisines and wines from around the globe in marketplaces around World Showcase Lagoon. The festival also features wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and free concerts. 
    • Where: Walt Disney World® Resort in Bay Lake, Florida

    Florida Film Festival

    • April
    • Movie buffs gather at this Oscar®-qualifying festival which premieres top modern, independent, and international movies. Mingle with moviemakers and actors during cocktails held at Eden Bar and inside Enzian Theater. 
    • Where: Enzian Theater, Maitland, Florida

    Halloween Horror Nights

    • Mid-September–Halloween weekend 
    • Universal Studios® opens on selected nights for this family-oriented festival with the main rides and the scariest themed haunted houses ready to give you the chills. 
    • Where: Universal Studios Florida®
    6

    What are the main landmarks in Orlando?

    Universal’s Islands of Adventure®

    A popular theme park with family attractions long enough to last a few days.

    Disney’s Magic Kingdom®

    A world-famous theme park with 6 different lands full of fun and adventure.

    Universal Studios Florida®

    A long line-up of Hollywood-inspired rides and attractions for families, moviegoers, and fans.

    SeaWorld® Orlando

    Enjoy shows, aquatic themed-rides, and hands-on animal experiences at this theme park and marine zoological park.

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