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Top Holidays

How to see Orlando in 10 days

  • Travel 101
  • By Ashleigh Simmons
  • Published 05 April 2018
  • Published 05 April 2018

Known as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is one of the best holiday destinations that caters for both the very young and the young at heart. Powerfully popular for family getaways as well as honeymooners in the mood for a bit of fun, knowing where to start in Orlando can be a little overwhelming. Do you go straight to the theme parks or head to the Floridian beachfront? Do you spend your days indulging in retail therapy and your nights in the restaurants and bars scattered throughout International Drive? That’s why we’ve got you covered with a superb day-by-day itinerary that promises to make the most out of your Orlando adventure, providing a perfect balance of activities that every guest is sure to love. Ready, set, magic!
 

Couple on roadtrip luxury travel holidays

Day 1

You’ve arrived in the Sunshine State and everything seems lighter, brighter and better already. After cruising down the streets and arriving at your hotel, it’ll be all too easy to crash on your king-size bed and fall into a jetlag-induced slumber after the long flight. Resist the urge! Before you leave, check out our top tips for reducing flight fatigue so you’ll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the duration of your holiday. We highly recommend hiring a car while you’re in Orlando for ease and convenience so arrange for this to be picked up or dropped off shortly after your arrival. Today, you’ll simply take it easy, relaxing in your hotel and taking a stroll around the immediate area to get your bearings and preserving your energy for the next nine days.

Don’t forget to bring: Your driving licence – remember that Americans navigate their vehicles on the other side of the road
In the evening: Unpack your suitcase and lay out your clothes for the next day
Before you go to sleep: Check out the amenities in your room – luxurious bubble bath, anyone?
 

Universal Orlando Florida Theme Park Sign

We know you’re eager to get to the theme parks which is why we’ve started off with one of the biggest and the best. Universal Studios Florida, known for its iconic rotating globe, immerses every guest into a real, working film and TV studio with a plethora of rides and attractions that will test your inner thrill seeker. Located in the heart of Universal Orlando Resort on the north side of International Drive, this fabulous theme park plunges each visitor in the centre of their favourite blockbuster or show. Crash through Krustyland with the Simpson family, escape the fire-breathing dragon at Gringotts Bank with Harry Potter or be surrounded by non-stop adrenaline as you live out your Fast & Furious fantasies. Due to the high level of thrills and spills at Universal Studios and height restrictions of course, this theme park is more suited to those aged 12 and above but the likes of Shrek 4-D, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem are perfect for all ages. Be sure to refuel during the day at one of the brilliant on-site eateries that serve a wide range of cuisines and snacks, perfect for escaping the sunshine and taking the weight off before continuing your afternoon of excitement.

Don’t forget to bring: Sunglasses to avoid the glare of the sunshine  
In the evening: Have a relaxed evening meal at Itta Bena and save room for dessert
Before you go to sleep: Apply after-sun lotion – the Floridian heat can be intense!

Day 2

We know you’re eager to get to the theme parks which is why we’ve started off with one of the biggest and the best. Universal Studios Florida, known for its iconic rotating globe, immerses every guest into a real, working film and TV studio with a plethora of rides and attractions that will test your inner thrill seeker. Located in the heart of Universal Orlando Resort on the north side of International Drive, this fabulous theme park plunges each visitor in the centre of their favourite blockbuster or show. Crash through Krustyland with the Simpson family, escape the fire-breathing dragon at Gringotts Bank with Harry Potter or be surrounded by non-stop adrenaline as you live out your Fast & Furious fantasies. Due to the high level of thrills and spills at Universal Studios and height restrictions of course, this theme park is more suited to those aged 12 and above but the likes of Shrek 4-D, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem are perfect for all ages. Be sure to refuel during the day at one of the brilliant on-site eateries that serve a wide range of cuisines and snacks, perfect for escaping the sunshine and taking the weight off before continuing your afternoon of excitement.

Don’t forget to bring: Sunglasses to avoid the glare of the sunshine  
In the evening: Have a relaxed evening meal at Itta Bena and save room for dessert
Before you go to sleep: Apply after-sun lotion – the Floridian heat can be intense!

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park Orlando Florida

Day 3

Today, you’ll head back to the Universal Studios complex but this time visiting its sister theme park, Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Awarded Number One Amusement Park in the World by TripAdvisor for three years running, Islands of Adventure is the place where mythical creatures, superheroes and on-screen favourites come to life. The main attraction here is without a doubt the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, brilliant for those who have grown up with the worldwide franchise and those who simply want to experience magic. Soar above Hogwarts with the main protagonist himself on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, sip on Butterbeer served in Hogsmeade and get your sugar fix with authentic sweets in Honeydukes. Other unmissable attractions include The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and The Cat in the Hat.

Don’t forget to bring: Your inner child – Harry Potter isn’t just for the little ones!
In the evening: Head to Universal CityWalk and experience the Blue Man Group Show
Before you go to sleep: Watch your favourite Harry Potter film and compare reality to the big screen
 

Couple enjoying luxury spa treatment

And relax… We’ve thrown a pretty hectic and exciting first three days at you and it’s time to take the weight off your feet with a rest day. With an abundance of luxury resorts and hotels scattered throughout Orlando, this is the perfect time to explore your home away from home. Our top recommendation has to be Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort. Take a dip in the pool, send your little ones off to the kids’ club and indulge in a spa treatment because let’s face it – you deserve it. Use this opportunity to recover and recharge your batteries for the week ahead which is full of retail therapy, a Miami adventure and a sprinkling of Disney magic.

Don’t forget to bring: A swimming costume and a towel to laze the hours away by the pool
In the evening: Round off your day of relaxation with a post-dinner cocktail
Before you go to sleep: Set your alarm because it’s back to the action tomorrow
 

Day 4

And relax… We’ve thrown a pretty hectic and exciting first three days at you and it’s time to take the weight off your feet with a rest day. With an abundance of luxury resorts and hotels scattered throughout Orlando, this is the perfect time to explore your home away from home. Our top recommendation has to be Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort. Take a dip in the pool, send your little ones off to the kids’ club and indulge in a spa treatment because let’s face it – you deserve it. Use this opportunity to recover and recharge your batteries for the week ahead which is full of retail therapy, a Miami adventure and a sprinkling of Disney magic.

Don’t forget to bring: A swimming costume and a towel to laze the hours away by the pool
In the evening: Round off your day of relaxation with a post-dinner cocktail
Before you go to sleep: Set your alarm because it’s back to the action tomorrow
 

Couple carrying lots of shopping bags

Day 7

You’re a week in to your Floridian adventure and we think this calls for another day of relaxation – of the retail kind! Orlando is full of fantastic shopping outlets that are brilliant if you’re in the mood for a splurge or a steal. If you’re a fan of designer labels, you can’t go wrong with Orlando International Premium Outlets, located on the north side of International Drive. You’ll spot stores such as Michael Kors, DKNY, Guess, Diesel and Calvin Klein – oh, and there’s a Disney store on-site if you simply can’t get enough. The Premium Outlets is outdoors too, so you’ll enjoy the glorious Orlando sunshine while you shop ‘til you drop. There are plenty of dining options at the mall too, perfect if you get peckish in between stores. Other notable shopping venues include Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets and Orlando Outlet Marketplace.

Don’t forget to bring: Your credit card
In the evening: Head to Seasons 52 for a decadent dinner serving fresh, seasonal fare
Before you go to sleep: Try on your new glad rags so you can return them if you’re unsatisfied before your departure
 

Ocean Drive at dusk from Miami Beach

Welcome to Miami! Make full use of your hire car, get an early start and take to the highway as you journey four-hours to the City of Magic. While Orlando is fabulous, Miami is perfect if you’re in the mood for a change of scenery, a vibrant city life and some of the best beaches in the world. Worth every minute of the long drive, Miami is yours for the taking but first things first – brunch. Eating House is a hotspot for a classic Cuban-American mid-morning meal that’s sure to refuel you for the day ahead. Take a stroll along the iconic Miami Beach Boardwalk, feel the gentle ocean breeze and gaze at the many street performers who are guaranteed to steal your attention away from the gorgeous views. While you’re here, why not head to the beach for a quick dip in the cooling water? Don’t forget to take a selfie on the sands with the boardwalk in the background – trust us, your Instagram notifications won’t stop buzzing. Dry off and head to Calle Ocho in Little Havana to hear the buzz of vibrant Latin music, smell the fragrant tobacco scents wafting from cigar stores and sample authentic Cuban food at Versailles. But now, it’s time to make the drive back to Orlando for a well-deserved slumber and an abundance of memories to look back on.  

Don’t forget to bring: A selfie stick – those Instagram pictures won’t take themselves!
In the evening: Fill up the car with petrol so you’re prepared for the next day
Before you go to sleep: Head to the hotel bar and sip on a rum-based cocktail for the perfect end to a Cuban-influenced day
 

Day 8

Welcome to Miami! Make full use of your hire car, get an early start and take to the highway as you journey four-hours to the City of Magic. While Orlando is fabulous, Miami is perfect if you’re in the mood for a change of scenery, a vibrant city life and some of the best beaches in the world. Worth every minute of the long drive, Miami is yours for the taking but first things first – brunch. Eating House is a hotspot for a classic Cuban-American mid-morning meal that’s sure to refuel you for the day ahead. Take a stroll along the iconic Miami Beach Boardwalk, feel the gentle ocean breeze and gaze at the many street performers who are guaranteed to steal your attention away from the gorgeous views. While you’re here, why not head to the beach for a quick dip in the cooling water? Don’t forget to take a selfie on the sands with the boardwalk in the background – trust us, your Instagram notifications won’t stop buzzing. Dry off and head to Calle Ocho in Little Havana to hear the buzz of vibrant Latin music, smell the fragrant tobacco scents wafting from cigar stores and sample authentic Cuban food at Versailles. But now, it’s time to make the drive back to Orlando for a well-deserved slumber and an abundance of memories to look back on.  

Don’t forget to bring: A selfie stick – those Instagram pictures won’t take themselves!
In the evening: Fill up the car with petrol so you’re prepared for the next day
Before you go to sleep: Head to the hotel bar and sip on a rum-based cocktail for the perfect end to a Cuban-influenced day
 

Entrance To Disney's Magic Kingdom Theme Park Orlando Florida

Day 5

Today is the day! Grab your Mickey Mouse ears, rev up the engine of your hire car and head to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for hours of endless fun. Magic by name and magic by nature, this is one of the best theme parks in Orlando with a ride and attraction for every visitor of every age. Magic Kingdom is home to the whimsical “It’s a Small World” boat ride, the thrilling Space Mountain and the gritty Pirates of the Caribbean (closed for refurbishment until mid-March 2018). One of the most memorable experiences at this park is taking a stroll down iconic Main Street, full of characteristic buildings and stores that seamlessly immerse you in a fairy tale fantasy. Take a close look at the buildings as you walk towards the famous white and blue castle – they’re built in forced perspective to appear taller than they are and make the castle seem further away. Walt Disney insisted that there be no view of the outside world while in the parks, surrounding visitors by the magic every step of the way. Oh, and don’t forget to stop off for lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. Themed completely around Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, this beautiful eatery serves family-friendly Italian fare with an atmosphere just as stunning as the food. Think regal seating, paw imprints at the entrance and a large Lady and the Tramp statue in the centre.

Don’t forget to bring: An autograph book for the many characters you’ll spot throughout the day
In the evening: Head to Disney’s BoardWalk and watch the sun set over the water
Before you go to sleep: Try to get the “It’s a Small World” song out of your head – it’s contagious!
 

Rhino within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Orlando Florida

It’s back to the most magical place on Earth but this time, you’ll be heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, brilliant if you’re travelling with little ones. World-class attractions and the beauty of nature come together in perfect harmony for a fantastic day out. The Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Conservation Station are absolute musts for those wanting to get up close and personal with the exotic wildlife. Oh, and did we mention the newly-opened Pandora – World of Avatar? This designated area of the park explores the thrills of nature and eco-tourism, offering a 3D ride on the back of a mountain banshee, a hike through floating mountains and a wander through a bioluminescent forest. Once you’ve got your eco fix, be sure to check out the Kali River Rapids, the Na’vi River Journey and the Primeval Whirl for a little exhilaration before heading back to your hotel.

Don’t forget to bring: A camera for the brilliant animal encounters
In the evening: If you’re travelling without children, Mango’s Tropical Café is a must
Before you go to sleep: Flick through your snaps from the day
 

Day 6

It’s back to the most magical place on Earth but this time, you’ll be heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, brilliant if you’re travelling with little ones. World-class attractions and the beauty of nature come together in perfect harmony for a fantastic day out. The Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Conservation Station are absolute musts for those wanting to get up close and personal with the exotic wildlife. Oh, and did we mention the newly-opened Pandora – World of Avatar? This designated area of the park explores the thrills of nature and eco-tourism, offering a 3D ride on the back of a mountain banshee, a hike through floating mountains and a wander through a bioluminescent forest. Once you’ve got your eco fix, be sure to check out the Kali River Rapids, the Na’vi River Journey and the Primeval Whirl for a little exhilaration before heading back to your hotel.

Don’t forget to bring: A camera for the brilliant animal encounters
In the evening: If you’re travelling without children, Mango’s Tropical Café is a must
Before you go to sleep: Flick through your snaps from the day
 

Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park Orlando Florida

Day 9

Officially opened to the public on May 25th 2017, Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park is an aquatic adventure that can’t be missed out on. An abundance of slides, rides and thrills await you at this tropical paradise, offering a ‘wave’ of excitement for every visitor. One of the best things about Volcano Bay? There are no lines! We all know how much of a pain it is when you’re eager to plunge your way down a thrilling waterslide but you’re faced with a mile-long queue to ruin your fun. Here, every guest is given a TapuTapu, a small watch-like device that allows you to “tap in” to an attraction. At the entrance to each ride you’ll hold your TapuTapu up to the Virtual Line machine which saves your place in the queue, leaving you to roam the park at your leisure while you wait. When your device vibrates, it’s ready to ride! Notable attractions at this thrilling venue include the Ko’oriki Body Plunge, the Krakatau Aqua Coaster and Waturi Beach.

Don’t forget to bring: A swimming costume
In the evening: You can’t visit Florida without a delicious meal at Tony Roma’s
Before you go to sleep: Pack your suitcase because unfortunately it’s time to depart
 

Aisle of airplane

Unfortunately, your time in Orlando has come to an end – yes, we’re sad too. Depending on the time of your flight, take one last stroll through your gorgeous hotel and soak up as much of the sunshine as you can before your departure. Arrange the return of your hire vehicle, grab your suitcase and wave goodbye to the most magical place on Earth. We’re sure you’ll be returning faster than you can say “Disney” …
 

Day 10

Unfortunately, your time in Orlando has come to an end – yes, we’re sad too. Depending on the time of your flight, take one last stroll through your gorgeous hotel and soak up as much of the sunshine as you can before your departure. Arrange the return of your hire vehicle, grab your suitcase and wave goodbye to the most magical place on Earth. We’re sure you’ll be returning faster than you can say “Disney” …
 

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