When you think of an Orlando vacation, what comes to mind? A lot of dollar signs, right? A trip to Orlando can easily add up to far more than you prefer to spend. Between theme park tickets and reserving hotel rooms, it may seem as though a trip to Orlando is out of reach. But did you know that there are several free things to do in Orlando for adults?
You can say goodbye to extravagant theme park prices and get ready for a thrilling, budget-friendly Orlando vacation with these ideas.
1. Wander through Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk
You don’t need to purchase theme park tickets or a Walt Disney World hotel reservation to experience the magic of the mouse. Anyone can explore Disney Springs for absolutely free. While you will have to pay to dine or shop, there’s no cost to walk around, see the sights, and take in the magic. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a free festival, event, or entertainment.
Don’t forget about Disney’s Boardwalk, too. This charming part of Walt Disney World® resort is — you guessed it — free to explore. Be sure to visit Disney’s Boardwalk at night and get a glimpse of the fireworks from the theme park.
2. Harry P. Leu Gardens
Who said a romantic vacation in Orlando needed to be expensive? The Harry P. Leu Gardens offer Free Admission Mondays throughout the year, meaning you can stroll through the multiple gardens without paying a thing. You’ll embark on a self-guided tour through the mesmerizing gardens and sights which include:
The Butterfly Garden
The Horseshoe Fountain
Lake Rowena Overlook
The Idea Garden
While at the Harry P. Leu Gardens take the time to smell the roses (literally) and enjoy all that the gardens have to offer for the low price of free.
3. Ocala National Forest
You’ll notice that any of the free things to do in Orlando for adults involve the great outdoors. Trust me, Orlando is home to more than just roller coasters and movie characters. Located just north of Orlando, Ocala National Forest boasts 383,000 acres of forest for you to explore. With more than 600 lakes, rivers, and springs, the state park is the perfect place for those who want an adventure without the price tag. From hiking to boating, you won’t experience a shortage of fun (or funds) when you spend the day at Ocala National Forest.
4. Drink Up at Orlando Brewing Company
What’s better than a free tour? A free brewery tour. When you visit Orlando Brewing Company, ask your server for a tour ticket. These free tours are first-come, first-serve, so get here early to reserve your spot.
Plus, while you wait for your free tour, why not sample one of the 24 organic crafts beers on tap? Although beer samples are not provided on the tour, you can purchase flights in the tap room. However, purchasing a flight (or two) won’t break the bank. A single flight is only $8 while a double flight is $14.
When it comes to free things to do in Orlando for adults, a free brewery tour and great beer is something we can all raise a glass to.
5. Free Tours and Tastings at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
If you’re more of a wine person, head over to Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards. The winery hosts complimentary vineyard tours and tastings seven days a week. Tours run every 30 minutes with a 15-minute video introduction. You’ll then have the opportunity to witness and experience the production process, from growing the grapes to labeling the bottles.
Once you understand what goes into making a superb bottle of wine, you get to taste it! At the tasting table, guests are presented with a wide range of wines to try. As far as free things to do in Orlando for adults go, a free wine tasting sounds phenomenal to me!
6. Walk Through the Town of Celebration
Did you know that the Walt Disney Company designed a town near their theme parks? Celebration, Florida is a quaint community reminiscent of small town America. Take a walk through the center of town and you’ll notice the various styles of architecture blending together effortlessly to create a community worthy of Disney’s magic.
Throughout this pleasant little town, you’ll find specialty eateries, charming boutiques, and even an event or two depending on when you visit.
7. Lake Eola Park
Nestled in bustling downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a free hidden gem you don’t want to miss. The park is a great place for a romantic stroll under the city lights, a picnic with friends, or taking in the sights before your dinner reservations.
The .9-mile sidewalk loop overlooks the pristine lake, making it the perfect backdrop for any special occasion. When looking for free things to do in Orlando for adults, why not take one of the swan boats out onto the lake or attend one of the many free concerts at the park’s Walt Disney Amphitheater?
8. Watch Theme Park Fireworks
You don’t have to buy theme park admission to watch the spectacular fireworks shows. One of the top free things to do in Orlando with adults is watching theme park fireworks from anywhere but the theme park.
Bypass the admission price and claustrophobic crowds by watching the fireworks from these spots:
The right side of the marina at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
The Contemporary Resort — make sure you face The Magic Kingdom
The Transportation Center at Walt Disney World® resort — take the monorail for free.
9. Window Shop at the Mall at Millenia
For those who want a taste of the finer things in life without footing the bill, go window shopping at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. This mall boasts everything from Armani Exchange to Louis Vuitton. While window shopping won’t cost you a penny, purchasing something from any of these stores will. Spend wisely!
10. Watch a Rocket Launch
If your Orlando vacation lines up with a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, you’re in luck. One of the coolest free things to do in Orlando with adults is looking to the sky and seeing a rocket launch into space. However, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is only an hour away from Orlando if you’d like to see the launches up close. From Orlando, you’ll be able to see the rocket ascending into space, but not the launch itself. Still a cool (and free) experience, nonetheless!
Experience the Many Free Things to Do in Orlando for Adults
From sipping wine at a vineyard to watching the fireworks light up the sky, there are so many exciting and free things to do in Orlando for adults. Plan your vacation with Reserve Orlando to save even more on hotels, attraction tickets, and more.
Congratulations! You’re engaged and about to marry the person of your dreams. You’ve eagerly awaited the day when you could say “I’m going to Disney World!” when asked about your honeymoon plans — and that day is here. Whether you want to relive the magic you experienced as a child or it’s your favorite place on planet Earth, nothing can quite compare to a Walt Disney World honeymoon.
Of course, planning a honeymoon can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! Putting together a Walt Disney World honeymoon is easier than you think. Use our step-by-step guide to planning the best honeymoon for you and your significant other at Walt Disney World.
1) Fund Your Walt Disney World Honeymoon
As with any honeymoon planning process, the first step is to determine your budget. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to enjoy the magic of Disney all within your defined budget.
Create a Honeymoon Registry
Do you really need yet another set of silverware? Of course, not. What you and your soon-to-be spouse need is an exhilarating ride on Space Mountain or a behind-the-scenes tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Forgo a traditional registry for a Walt Disney World registry. From theme park tickets to romantic spa treatments, wedding guests can help make sure you both have the magical vacation you desire by contributing to your honeymoon registry.
Travel Off-Peak, If Possible
If possible, travel to Walt Disney World during an off-peak time of the year. To avoid the crowds and take advantage of seasonal prices on flights, plan your honeymoon during these specific times:
Second week of January through mid-February
First three weeks of May (before the school year is over)
Late August and entire month of September
Mid-November through mid-December (except the week of Thanksgiving)
If these times aren’t possible, no worries! There are plenty of other ways to plan an affordable Walt Disney World honeymoon.
Skip the Park Hopper Pass
A Park Hopper pass allows you both to visit multiple Walt Disney World resort theme parks in one day. While this is a nice convenience, I recommend forgoing the park hopper pass on your honeymoon. You’ll want to slow down, and savor every moment, which is hard to do when you’re racing from park to park. This additional pass can cost anywhere from $50-$60 per person in addition to park admission. To save money, visit one park per day and use your free time for extra magical experiences such as shopping at Disney Springs.
Be Flexible with Your Itinerary
While I just told you to book a year in advance, one of the best ways to stretch your honeymoon budget is to be flexible. For example, arranging your travel days according to the cheapest airfare is always a good idea if you are able to be flexible. Also, being flexible in your itinerary is a good idea as it allows you to take advantage of extra experiences and unexpected opportunities throughout your Walt Disney World honeymoon.
Once you’ve set your budget, launched your honeymoon registry, and know how to save, it’s time to start the reservation process.
2) Choose a Hotel or Resort
The Walt Disney World resort property is home to several hotels and resorts. From budget-friendly hotels to extravagant resorts, you have a wide range of lodging options to choose from.
Depending on your Walt Disney World honeymoon budget, you have three options:
Book a hotel room at one of the budget resorts.
Reserve a room at a resort offering premium amenities, but still within budget.
Go all out and get a room at one of Disney’s top-tier resorts.
The budget-friendly hotel option for guests are Disney’s All-Star resorts. While the price of these rooms is enticing, keep in mind that the hotel property is geared towards families and children. This means that the pool, dining area, and resort lobby will be filled with families. Just remember, you aren’t going to Walt Disney World for the hotel room. If you plan to spend most of your time outside of the hotel room, this is a great option for budget-conscious honeymooners.
Upscale Walt Disney World resorts that won’t break the bank include:
While at your chosen Disney resort or hotel, don’t forget to ask a cast member about “In-Room Celebrations”. After a long day at the theme parks, you can have a surprise bouquet of flowers or other gift waiting in your room.
3) Make Your Dining Reservations
Everyone knows that the restaurants at Walt Disney World resort are outstanding. If there’s a specific restaurant you and your future spouse want to dine at during your honeymoon, make your reservation ASAP. In fact, it is recommended that newlyweds make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance to secure a table at the restaurant they desire.
Quick insider tip: Make sure you have reservations for a late dinner at California Grill, located on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You can watch all 3 theme park fireworks shows from this restaurant while enjoying a meal. The viewable fireworks schedule is as follows:
IllumiNations at Epcot: 9:00 PM
Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios: 9:30 PM
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom: 10:00 PM
Between the food and the views, dining at California Grill is a “do not miss” experience while enjoying a Walt Disney World honeymoon.
4) Figure Out Transportation
When planning your honeymoon to Walt Disney World, your first thought might be to procure a rental car. However, think of all the costs associated with renting a car: gas, parking, insurance, and on. A rental car will eat through your budget in an instant. Instead, rely on the transportation options provided by Walt Disney World resort.
Disney’s Magical Express provides guests with transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport and guests can use the monorail or bus system to get around Walt Disney World resort. No need for a rental car, a taxi, or an Uber. This means you only have to figure out your flights. Easy enough!
5) Purchase Theme Park Tickets
Now onto the main reason you chose a Walt Disney World honeymoon — the theme parks! If not already taken care of by your honeymoon registry, it’s time to purchase your tickets to the Walt Disney World theme parks. Be sure to check Reserve Orlando for discount tickets to all four theme parks and more.
Now that you’ve procured your tickets, use these tips to make the most of your honeymoon in the theme parks:
Dying to ride the Haunted Mansion? Anxious to finally try the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster? Unfortunately, so are hundreds of other guests. Bypass the sprawling attraction lines with FastPass+. Using the My Disney Experience app (which you both need to download!), select your top three rides or shows and create your reservation. When the reservation time approaches, head back to the ride and enjoy!
Use these extra tips from Reserve Orlando to take advantage of all that the My Disney Experience app and FastPass+ have to offer.
Visit on a Weekday
As you might have guessed, weekends at Walt Disney World theme parks are overcrowded. Visit the theme parks on weekdays to eliminate some of the crowd congestion and lines. With fewer crowds, you and your spouse can experience all the theme parks have to offer during your Walt Disney World honeymoon.
Purchase a PhotoPass
While at the theme parks, you’ll find yourself trying to get the perfect picture of you and your significant other. Instead of asking a stranger to do it, let one of Disney’s pro photographers help! With a PhotoPass, photographers will help you capture lifelong memories of your Walt Disney World honeymoon. You can then access your images on the My Disney Experience app and cherish them forever by downloading and printing or sharing with friends and family.
Let Cast Members Know It’s Your Honeymoon
Trust me – you’re in store for a treat once Walt Disney World cast members find out you’re on your honeymoon. From free dessert to complimentary souvenirs and more, you’re in for a great surprise. In addition, it’s super fun to wear bride and groom Mickey ears. You’ll hear congratulations from everyone which makes your honeymoon that much more special.
Enjoy a unique honeymoon experience by reserving your spot for one of the exciting behind-the-scenes tours. Each theme park offers a vast array of tours, but my personal recommendation is the Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom. During this legendary tour, you’ll have access to the mysterious underground tunnels, learn about Mr. Walt Disney and his vision, and more.
Time to Plan Your Walt Disney World Honeymoon
Before you dive into your planning activities using this step-by-step guide, let me leave you with a bit of last minute advice:
There’s more to Walt Disney World than the theme parks. Visit Disney Springs, go to the spa, play a round of golf!
Remember to get a customized souvenir from your Walt Disney World honeymoon.
Slow down and enjoy your honeymoon! You want to create lasting memories. There’s no need to rush!
Lastly, don’t forget to rely on Reserve Orlando for discounted Walt Disney World tickets, premier lodging, and insider advice. Now, stop reading this article and start planning your Walt Disney World honeymoon!
Universal Orlando® Resort is one of the most popular theme parks in Orlando, Florida. As such, ticket prices can be a bit pricey – especially during certain seasons throughout the year. Instead of paying top dollar for amusement park admission, check out the best ways to take advantage of Universal Orlando ticket discounts. After all, who doesn’t love to save money on theme park tickets?
Understanding the New Ticket Prices
Universal Orlando® Resort has been experimenting with a seasonal pricing model for quite some time. Recently, the theme park implemented this brand new pricing strategy for 1-day park tickets. This strategy aims to regulate attendance in the theme parks and provide a better customer experience for all guests. Ticket prices for 1-day admission are now based on three different season categories — Peak, Regular, and Value.
As a result, peak dates cost more while value tickets offer great savings for guests. One day, park-to-park tickets for both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are also subject to the new ticket pricing structure. Tickets must be used during their corresponding seasons:
Peak tickets are valid during any season.
Regular tickets are valid during regular and value season dates.
Value tickets are only valid during value season dates.
If you purchase one season and prefer to use it on a different season date, you can upgrade your tickets at the theme park entry gates. On the other hand, keep in mind that refunds for using a Peak ticket during a Regular or Valid season date are not possible.
How to Save with New Universal Orlando Ticket Discounts
Now that you understand how Universal Orlando® Resort’s new ticket prices work, it’s time to learn how you can save.
Schedule Your Vacation Around Value or Regular Dates
With the new ticket prices in mind, you can plan your vacation around the season dates and prices that work for your budget. Leveraging these Universal Orlando ticket discounts can be the difference between an expensive and an affordable vacation.
On average, the seasonal ticket prices for 1-day at Universal Studios and/or Islands of Adventure are as follows:
1-Day, 1-Park = $105 per adult, $100 per child
1-Day, Park-to-Park = $155 per adult, $150 per child
1-Day, 1-Park = $110 per adult, $105 per child
1-Day, Park-to-Park = $160 per adult, $155 per child
1-Day, 1-Park = $119 per adult, $114 per child
1-Day, Park-to-Park = $169 per adult, $164 per child
Purchase Multi-Day Tickets
Another way to save with Universal Orlando ticket discounts is to purchase a multi-day ticket. This ticket type permits entry into the parks for 2 to 4 days, depending on your selection. To maximize vacation time and still stay within budget, I’d recommend purchasing a multi-day pass.
During peak season, a 1-Day, 1-Park ticket is $119 per adult, $114 per child. A “One Park Per Day”, 2-day pass is $184.99 per adult and $174.99 per child. This allows you to visit Universal Studios one day and Islands of Adventure the next all while saving money. As a result, the more days you visit, the more savings you receive.
Do keep in mind that park-to-park passes are required to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Book Your Universal Orlando® Resort Tickets on Reserve Orlando
While still taking the new seasonal pricing model into consideration, Reserve Orlando offers unbeatable Universal Orlando ticket discounts. No matter if you purchase a single day ticket or multi-day, multi-park pass, you’ll enjoy exceptional savings. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself and purchase your discounted Universal Orlando Resort tickets today.
Discounted nightly hotel prices when you bundle your purchase
Access to exclusive theme park packages and savings
Skip waiting in the ticket line thanks to your Reserve Orlando e-Ticket
Take Advantage of Universal Orlando Ticket Discounts Today
As you can see, the new pricing model at Universal Orlando® Resort and exclusive offers from Reserve Orlando are a fantastic way to save on your Florida vacation. Start planning your theme park vacation today.
Everyone knows about the pre-Disney World vacation feeling. You can’t sleep the night before and all you want to do is head to the magical resort right away. Kids and adults alike get this feeling, especially before their first Disney World trip.
Along with this feeling comes the desire to do everything just right. One’s first Disney World trip is a big deal and requires planning, research, and know how. To get started, this guide will tell you everything you need to know for your first vacation in Walt Disney World.
Image via Candace Lindeman / flickr
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
Ask any Disney World expert or fan and the first piece of advice they’ll give you is to plan. You don’t have to obsessively color code your travel itinerary in a 3-ring binder, but you have to have a plan. Use these planning tips to get started:
Know How Many Days You Need
Each theme park is packed with fun. It’s tempting to try and fit as much magic as possible into a short amount of time, but it’s not ideal. Typically, first-time visitors need the following amount of time in the Disney World parks to experience it all:
Magic Kingdom: 2 Days
Epcot: 1 Day
Animal Kingdom: 1 Day
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 1 Day
For good measure, add one day to your itinerary that can be used to go back to a park you want to see more of.
Do You Really Need A Rental Car?
Rental cars in Orlando can be expensive, especially if you’re only using it to get from the airport to Disney World. Seek alternative methods of transportation to save on your Disney World vacation. Disney even offers a shuttle service to and from the Orlando Airport, called Disney’s Magical Express.
If you plan to stay on Walt Disney World property, there are several transportation options onsite that will bring you to and from the theme parks.
Make Dining Reservations Well in Advance
If you’re embarking on your first Disney World trip, making dining reservations is a must. From a table in Cinderella’s Castle to Le Cellier Steakhouse, Walt Disney World is packed with exceptional dining experiences. Here’s the kicker – reservations fill up fast!
To secure your spot at one of the top restaurants, make your reservation up to 180 days prior to your trip. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time finding reservations.
If everything is booked, don’t worry. Once you’ve arrived at Disney World, call the restaurants to see if any reservations have been canceled. You never know when a table may open up!
Use the My Disney Experience App
Disney offers a wide range of tools to help those going on their first Disney World trip plan ahead. The My Disney Experience app is a vital tool for planning and enjoying your vacation. The app allows visitors to:
Plan and manage FastPass+ rides
Link tickets, hotel reservations, and dining reservations to the app
Plan out each day of your first Disney World trip
Link and manage your Magic Bands for entry into the park and more
This app has everything you need for your trip and more. Seriously! You’ll discover ten times more magic inside and outside of the parks when you use the My Disney Experience App.
Take Advantage of FastPass+
Within your My Disney Experience app, you can select and manage your FastPass+ reservations. FastPass+ reservations allow you to skip the line for rides, meet characters, and get great seats for parades throughout the parks.
Guests are allowed up to 3 FastPass+ reservations (in a single theme park) per day. You can plan and make these reservations before you enter the park and manage them as you go. However, there are a few tricks you can use to maximize your park time and rock your first Disney World trip with a FastPass+:
If possible, get to your selected FastPass+ ride reservation early. If the regular line has a short wait time, cancel your FastPass reservation and get in line. You now have another FastPass+ reservation to use.
Take a screenshot of your FastPass+ reservations and change your phone home screen to this photo. This allows you to know your reservation times even if cell service or Wi-Fi is limited. (Disney World has free Wi-Fi throughout its theme parks.)
As soon as you use your 3rd FastPass+ of the day, you’re granted another FastPass+. As a result, it’s best to quickly open your My Disney Experience app to reserve your next FastPass+ selection right away. (Note, once you use your 4th FastPass+ you’re granted another and so on.)
A first Disney World trip isn’t complete without a character breakfast!
Tips for a Child’s First Disney World Trip
There’s nothing more magical than watching a child experience the magic of Disney World the first time. To make your child’s first Disney World trip one for the record books, use these tips:
Plan Character Meet and Greets Ahead of Time
Disney character meet and greet lines can be especially daunting. All characters, regardless of popularity, have exceptionally long wait times.
One way to avoid long wait times is to plan ahead. If your child is more interested in the characters than the rides, schedule character meet and greets for first thing in the morning. Use your My Disney Experience app to reserve a time with particular characters.
On the other hand, you can also make reservations for a character breakfast or lunch throughout the resort and at one of the many dining options in Walt Disney World. A popular option is the Disney Junior character breakfast or lunch at Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Surprise Your Child with a Wake Up Call from a Character
The Walt Disney World team goes to extreme lengths to ensure that all guests have a truly magical vacation. To surprise your child, schedule a wake-up call from a Disney character. Cast members at the front desk of your Disney World resort can help you with this.
Bring Strollers and Take Breaks
Children will get tired from walking around the massive theme parks. While it can be daunting, a stroller can help ease their impending fatigue. However, on your first Disney World trip you’ll soon realize strollers are everywhere. Be sure to distinguish yours with a balloon, ribbon or any other colorful decoration so you don’t get lost in stroller parking trying to find your stroller out of the many.
Remember to take breaks throughout the day too. Whether you take a snack break or sit in the shade for a bit, this allows you and your little one(s) to regain their energy for more rides, characters, and fun.
Everyone loves going to Disney World, especially adults.
Take Advantage of Rider Switch
If you’re visiting Disney World with young children who might not meet all ride requirements, you’ll want to leverage the “Rider Switch”. Also known as “Child Swap”, this allows one parent to stay with the children who don’t meet ride requirements while the other parent waits in line with those who do.
Once the “riding parent” has completed the ride, the “waiting parent” can go on the ride by going in the FastPass+ line. This allows both parents to ride the attraction and not miss out on all the fun in the theme parks! Ask cast members at each ride or attraction about this pass to gain access.
Go on Rides During Off Peak Times
One of the best ways to experience the top rides and attractions is to do so during parades and fireworks. If you don’t mind missing a parade or fireworks show, plan to ride the top attractions during this time. You’ll experience shorter wait times, as everyone is waiting for the parade or fireworks show to begin.
No Park Admission Necessary
Looking to find Disney magic outside of the theme parks? During your first Disney World trip, head to Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk for exceptional shopping, entertainment, and dining. Be on the lookout for the renowned hidden Mickeys and more Disney magic.
World Showcase Wine Walk
For just $20, you can sample six pre-selected wines in certain countries throughout Epcot. You’ll receive your Wine Walk Passport and get stamps while at each wine stop. Your passport is valid throughout your vacation. Who doesn’t enjoy drinking around the world?
Don’t forget your smartphone! It’s the key to a great Disney World trip.
First Disney World Trip Insider Tips
To make your first Disney World trip especially spectacular, take advantage of these insider tips:
Get Ready to Walk
The average Disney World visitor walks anywhere from 6 to 13 miles per day in the theme parks. With this in mind, choose your shoe selection carefully. Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes that you won’t mind walking and also standing in for an exceptionally long period of time. Your feet and legs will thank you.
From sunscreen to a poncho, a Disney World vacation requires quite a lot. This packing list has everything you need for a perfect first Disney World trip.
Arrive at the Parks Before They Open
Arriving 15-30 minutes before the posted opening time for each theme park is advantageous. You might even find that the park is already open when you get there! If not, you’ll beat the crowds.
Have Your Smartphone Prepared
Your smartphone is your biggest vacation advocate while in Walt Disney World. From taking pictures to managing your trip, you’ll need a phone by your side at every moment. Make sure you have the following downloaded on and with your phone:
The My Disney Experience app, loaded and prepared
Memory space for pictures
External battery charger, if desired
Bring a Cooler Inside the Park
Did you know you can bring your own cooler into the park? With this in mind, you can save money and time by bringing your own drinks and snacks with you. Keep in mind, though, the cooler must be smaller than 24″L x 15″W x 18″H (the size of the large lockers).
What are You Celebrating?
Is your first Disney World trip part of a bigger celebration such as a honeymoon or birthday? Disney Cast Members go out of their way to ensure that first-time visitors and those celebrating an occasion have an exceptional time at the parks and resorts. Inform a cast member that it’s your first time at Disney World so you can receive ongoing magic and surprises throughout the day.
Use these tips for a fantastic first Disney World trip.
Enjoy Your First Disney World Trip!
There’s nothing quite as exciting or memorable as the first vacation to Walt Disney World. For even more Disney World vacation tips and savings, book your first Disney World trip with Reserve Orlando.
Do you love marine animals? If so, you have to visit SeaWorld Orlando during your next Orlando vacation. Over the past few years, the park has made great advancements with all new exhibits and attractions, including opening up their rescue and rehabilitation center to the public. Of course, the best part about your trip to SeaWorld will be seeing your favorite marine mammals and aquatic creatures. Use this guide to learn all about the SeaWorld Orlando animals you’ll get to meet!
The unmistakeable beluga whales are some of the most playful marine animals you’ll meet while at SeaWorld. Did you know that beluga whales are closely related to narwhals? These two sea mammals are the only members of the Monodontidae family. You can find beluga whales and other SeaWorld Orlando animals at the Wild Arctic® exhibit.
You can find bottlenose dolphins all over SeaWorld Orlando! Start your dolphin exploration at Dolphin Cove. This interactive area allows you to get up close to the dolphins while you learn all about their behaviors, biologic make-up, natural habitats, and more. In fact, did you know dolphins have their own individual whistles? This is how marine biologists can distinguish dolphins from one another – by looking at the whistle shapes on a sonogram device.
After, head over to the Dolphin Nursery to meet the newest members of our dolphin family! You can watch baby dolphins learn to play, jump, and whistle. Don’t forget to save your seats for the Blue Horizons® show to see your favorite dolphins in action!
I bet you didn’t know that Orcas, also known as killer whales, are the largest member of the dolphin family. These majestic animals can be found all over the world. This is due to their unique ability to adapt to almost any type of coastal environment. You can find the Orcas at the Shamu Underwater Viewing Stadium and in the One Ocean® show.
Out of all the SeaWorld Orlando animals to see, visiting the penguins should definitely be at the top of your list! These flightless birds are fascinating to watch. Take note of their feathers – there are about 100 feathers per square inch! This keeps water away from their skin while they swim. For the best view of the penguins, ride Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® for a great surprise.
Another of the feathered SeaWorld Orlando animals, the flamingos are also a must-see. These birds will quickly brighten up your day with their vibrant feathers. Did you know that flamingos aren’t born with their renowned pink coloring? Baby flamingos are born with grayish colored feathers. You’ll find the flamingos over by the Manta roller coaster.
Sea Turtles have lived in the sea for over 200 million years. Pretty impressive, right? Plus, they can swim great lengths, sometimes crossing entire oceans to feed, reproduce, or migrate. Watch as sea turtles glide through the water at the TurtleTrek 360° theatre exhibit. This epic exhibit lets visitors step into the shoes (or shell) of a turtle and experience what life is like in the deep blue sea. Trust me, you don’t want to bypass this attraction. Too impatient? Watch the Sea Turtle webcam right now.
Did you know that sharks are made out of cartilage instead of bone? They also boast anywhere from five to seven pairs of gill slits in their neck. In comparison, fish tend to only have one or two pairs. Learn about the 400 different types of sharks at the Shark Encounter exhibit and by riding the all new MakoTM coaster. You can also check out the sharks at SeaWorld Orlando right now by watching the Shark Cam!
Jewel of the Sea Aquarium and Manta Aquarium
Whenever I visit an aquarium, one of my favorite things to do is sit and watch all of the tropical fish swim peacefully in the astronomically large tanks. I’m always mesmerized by their colors, patterns, and behaviors. In the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium and the Manta Aquarium, you’ll find over 3,000 SeaWorld Orlando animals swimming around — from clownfish to a giant Pacific Octopus. I highly recommend visiting both aquariums to get a glimpse at the unbeatable beauty of ocean life.
While the majority of SeaWorld Orlando animals in the rescue, rehabilitate, and release programs are sent back to the wild, the Pelicans are here to stay. Unfortunately, these Pelicans endured terrible and permanent injuries prior to being rescued by the SeaWorld Rescue Team. Due to these injuries, the Pelicans would not be able to survive on their own in the wild. Threats such as discarded strong fishing line can cause irreversible damage to animals, such as the Pelicans.
Learn all about SeaWorld’s Pelican population and the lengths the Rescue Team went through to ensure the safety and rehabilitation of these birds at the Pelican Reserve exhibit.
Have you ever wanted to touch a stingray? Stingrays are one of the many SeaWorld Orlando animals that guests are allowed to interact with. You can find stingrays in multiple places throughout the park.
Start by taking a ride on Manta® for a rush unlike any other. Then, head over to the Manta Aquarium where you’ll find more than 300 stingrays swimming gracefully. Want to feed a stingray? Stingray Lagoon is where you’ll want to go!
California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals
Whenever I go to SeaWorld Orlando, I immediately go see the California Sea Lions at Pacific Point Reserve®. California Sea Lions are by far my favorite marine mammal. Of course, these furry creatures aren’t to be confused with a Harbor Seal, which you can also find at Pacific Point Reserve®. California Sea Lions boast several differences from a Harbor Seal, including their ears and flipper structure.
While they might not talk back to you, you can check out the colorful parrots at SeaWorld Orlando. As part of the Blue Horizons show, these parrots boast exceptionally vibrant feathers and incredible wingspans. Don’t miss watching these dazzling birds take flight!
Manatees spend the majority of their day eating and resting. Did you know that several manatees call the Florida oceans and coasts home? Manatees enjoy tropical climates and can be found off the coasts of North America, South America, and West Africa. At SeaWorld, you can find manatees at the Manatee Rehabilitation Area.
This 5-acre rescue center helps manatees and other marine animals that have been injured, become ill, or are facing distressing factors such as being orphaned. Go behind-the-scenes and learn about the dangers manatees face in the wild and how SeaWorld’s team is working endlessly to rescue and rehabilitate these gentle creatures. The facility has been part of SeaWorld’s campus for decades and was previously only available through guided tours. Now, visitors can browse the Manatee Rescue Area anytime they please in the complimentary viewing area
Asian Small-Clawed Otters
When you visit SeaWorld Orlando, you have to meet the adorable otters. You’ll find the Asian Small-Clawed Otters at the Sea Garden exhibit. Although these critters can be quite loud, they actually use scent as their primary method of communication. Think of each otter’s scent as their fingerprint. No two are alike!
Last but certainly not the least of the SeaWorld Orlando animals is the magnificent walrus. As the largest marine animal found at the Wild Arctic® exhibit, you literally cannot miss the walruses. Did you know each walrus has anywhere from 400 to 700 whiskers on their face? These sensitive whiskers called vibrissae help them find clams, fish, crabs, and other types of prey.
Do You Have Your Tickets to See the SeaWorld Orlando Animals?
While you can view the SeaWorld animals via webcam anytime you please, it doesn’t compare to meeting them in person. Purchase your SeaWorld Orlando tickets using Reserve Orlando. Instead of standing in line to purchase your tickets at the gate, you can walk right into the park with your E-Ticket and head straight to all of the SeaWorld Orlando animals you’ve been waiting to meet!
Do you remember how excited you were to go to Walt Disney World as a child? Going back to the magic as an adult only amplifies the excitement. Done right, a Disney World vacation for adults can have as much magic — if not, more — as your childhood trip to see Mickey Mouse.
Before you travel to the world of Hidden Mickey’s as a grown-up, make sure you know how to have the perfect Disney World vacation for adults.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort is Disney done differently
Where to Stay for Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Deciding which Walt Disney World resort to reserve all depends on your personal preferences and vacation budget. While many on-site hotels are geared towards children, Walt Disney World is also home to multiple luxury resorts that appeal to adults including:
Another option is to reserve a room at an off-site hotel or resort. Keep in mind that off-site hotels and resorts may not provide transportation to and from the parks and Walt Disney World attractions.
Once you know where you’ll stay on a Disney World vacation for adults, it’s time to plan out your fun.
Things to Do on a Disney World Vacation for Adults
While there’s always the option of letting your inner child run free at the theme parks, there’s far more to experience on a Disney World vacation for adults.
Walt Disney World Nightlife
Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney, offers everything from shopping to live entertainment for guests of all ages. For extraordinary nightlife, be sure to go to these popular Disney Springs spots:
Paradiso 37 Entertainment
House of Blues
Raglan RoadTM Irish Pub and Restaurant
During a Disney World vacation for adults, spend a night at Disney’s BoardWalk. The BoardWalk provides shopping, restaurants, and nightlife for guests above the age of 21. While you’re there, visit Jellyrolls and AbracadaBar for exciting cocktails, entertainment, and spectacular food.
The BoardWalk also provides phenomenal views of EPCOT. As a result, the BoardWalk bridge is one of the best places to watch the jaw-dropping fireworks show, “IllumiNations”.
Disney’s BoardWalk is the best place to watch fireworks, especially “IllumiNations”/Flickr, Matt Popovich
Shows, Shows, and More Shows
Of course, Walt Disney World offers jaw-dropping shows for adults to enjoy. For a night of mystery and amazement, get your tickets to La Nouba by Cirque Du Soleil. This show is perfect for every age, especially adults. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you wonder how the performers could possibly do these incredible feats of strength and agility.
Shows are performed throughout Walt Disney World theme parks as well. You don’t have to be a child to appreciate the magic of shows from the daring “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” to the wonderment of “Fantasmic”. No Disney World vacation for adults is complete without watching a magical performance.
Tour Walt Disney World Behind the Scenes
Get an inside look at the enchantment behind the theme parks by taking a tour during your Disney World vacation for adults. Reserve your spot for these one-of-a-kind tours:
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour — Have you heard about Magic Kingdom’s underground tunnels? Discover if the urban myth is true.
Backstage Magic Tour — Wondering how Walt Disney World produces magic on a daily basis? Your answer is on this tour.
Backstage Tales Tour — Go behind the scenes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and meet the 1,500 furry, scaly, or slimy residents of the park.
Epcot Seas Aqua Tour — Snorkel in a massive EPCOT aquarium and meet sea turtles, sharks, angelfish and other stunning aquatic life. Will you find Nemo?
Non-Theme Park Fun for Adults
During a Disney World vacation for adults, you don’t have to attend a theme park every day. In fact, Walt Disney World has several non-theme park activities exclusively for adults.
You deserve a spa day during your Disney World vacation
After a few days in the theme parks, you’ll want a day to relax. A reservation at one of the many spas across the Walt Disney World resorts will do the trick. Senses, a spa at the Grand Floridian Resort, offers a myriad of spa, massage, and relaxation treatments for Walt Disney World guests. While you’re here, be sure to try one of the facial packages.
You can also schedule in a round or two at one of the many Walt Disney World golf courses. Or, if you prefer a less competitive golfing option, there’s also Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Mini Golf for carefree fun.
Find time for these non-theme park opportunities too:
Carriage rides around the beautiful Walt Disney World resorts
Characters in Flight – a helium balloon ride that takes you 400 feet up in the air
Movies Under the Stars at one of the many resorts
Lounging by the pool at your Walt Disney World resort
Taste the world at EPCOT!
Where to Eat and Drink in Walt Disney World
No Disney World vacation for adults would be complete without dining reservations at one of the many gourmet restaurants such as:
Victoria & Albert’s
Be advised that dining reservations at Walt Disney World can be hard to come by. Guests tend to secure their reservations months in advance of their Walt Disney World vacation for adults. It is also suggested that adults make late night reservations to avoid the family crowd between 5:00pm and 8:00pm.
If your restaurant of choice is booked, make a reservation at one of the many other top-notch restaurants. The day before your reservation, call the original restaurant to see if any reservations have opened up. If so, cancel your present reservations and grab seats at the restaurant you desire. You are able to cancel your reservations up to the day before without incurring a cancellation fee!
Once you’ve experienced fine dining at Walt Disney World, it’s time to take your taste buds on a worldwide excursion at EPCOT. There’s no better way to spend your day at EPCOT than eating and drinking around the world. From Japan to Morocco and beyond, you’ll taste exquisite meals and strong drinks from across the globe. Just don’t go on Test Track after your food and drink journey!
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom / Flickr, Candace Lindemann
Tips and Tricks for the Best Walt Disney World Vacation for Adults
Use these quick tips and tricks for a phenomenal Disney World vacation for adults:
Book Your Vacation for the Off Season
Walt Disney World experiences the lowest attendance between the months of December and March. Book a Walt Disney World vacation for adults during this time to enjoy lower prices, fewer crowds, and more time to explore the theme parks.
Visit Theme Parks Early in the Morning or Late at Night
Families and large crowds tend to visit the theme parks from late morning to late afternoon. Therefore, if you can arrive during the early morning or late night, you’ll experience less ride wait times and smaller crowds.
Download the My Disney Experience App
Every aspect of your Disney World vacation for adults can be hooked up to the My Disney Experience App. From your park tickets to exploring your resort, your entire vacation is at your fingertips. The especially beneficial part of the app is the ability to add your Fast Passes or quicker wait times and a pleasant theme park experience.
Book a Disney World Vacation for Adults
Before you go visit Mickey and Minnie Mouse, I’d like to offer one last piece of advice.
Adrenaline junkies from across the globe flock to Florida for their chance to experience the biggest and baddest Orlando thrill rides. From plummeting to your doom on a haunted elevator ride to coming face-to-face with a mummy, the rush of adrenaline never stops in the theme park capital of the world.
Kraken — SeaWorld Orlando
As one of Orlando’s floorless roller coasters — yes, I said floorless — passengers soar 150-feet high at a whopping 65mph. The Kraken coaster was modeled after a mythological underwater beast freed from the deepest troves of the sea, which is evident by the massive climbs and drops of the track. Did I mention that guests sit in open-sided seats? You’ll feel like you’re diving in and out of the water at astronomical speeds when you ride the Kraken.
Mako — SeaWorld Orlando
Ready to ride Orlando’s tallest roller coaster? This thrill ride sends passengers 200 feet high for a stunning view of the Orlando skyline, right before hurdling them 73mph on a hypercoaster track. You’ll feel weightless as you glide along the mile-long track at incredible speeds. Mako is new to the Orlando thrill ride scene and has already shattered records including tallest, longest, and fastest coaster in Orlando!
Hollywood Tower of Terror. So. Much. Fun.
Tower of Terror — Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Fans of “The Twilight Zone” know just how frightening the television show can be. Disney Imagineers took that fright, bottled it up, and made a popular Orlando thrill ride out of it. Guests enter the Twilight Zone and face their fears as they plummet down 13 stories in a haunted elevator. The best part about the Tower of Terror? You never know what’s coming next thanks to a completely randomized dropping sequence.
SheiKra: Busch Gardens/Facebook
SheiKra — Busch Gardens Tampa
Nothing says adrenaline rush like dangling over a 90-degree drop on a floorless roller coaster, right? You’ll climb 200-feet to the top of a 90-degree plunge, only to slowly creep past the edge. As you dangle at the edge of the thrill, your nerves will kick in as you wait for SheiKra to drop you into the 70 mph coaster complete with an Immelmann loop, a dive into an underground tunnel and a splashdown finale that soaks those waiting for their turn to ride. If you find yourself in the “splash zone”, beware!
Magic happens inside Gringotts Bank
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts — Universal Studios Florida
This mind-blowing, 3D steel roller coaster ride takes you deep into the heart of Gringotts Bank where an adventure awaits you. Be careful — Voldemort and Bellatrix are lurking below the bank too. The combination of special effects, 3D animation, and a pure adrenaline rush has secured Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts’ position as a top Orlando thrill ride for years to come.
Hogwards Castle, Home to the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey — Universal’s Island of Adventure
Sometimes all it takes to make an Orlando thrill ride truly wonderful is a bit of magic. Experience the magic of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with Harry Potter and friends on this one-of-a-kind thrill ride. Featuring groundbreaking technology and mind-boggling engineering, the ride brings guests right into the wizarding world. You’ll feel a rush unlike any other when you join Harry Potter and friends on an adventure filled with magical creatures, spellbinding interactions, and sudden surprises.
Face Off at the Dragon Challenge
Dragon Challenge — Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The wizarding world fun doesn’t end after your forbidden journey. Head over to the Dragon Challenge at Universal’s Islands of Adventure for yet another infamous Orlando thrill ride. Choose your dragon and get ready for the ride of your life. Each dragon, I mean coaster, offers a different experience and rush for Orlando thrill seekers.
Experience the thrills of Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain — Disney’s Animal Kingdom
There’s no bigger rush than coming face-to-face with the Abominable Snowman while speeding through the Himalayan Mountains on an out-of-control train. With an 80-foot drop and soaring speeds, you’ll jet around the Himalayan Mountains both forwards and backward in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Are you ready to meet the legend of the Yeti while screaming at the top of your lungs?
Splashdown at Jurassic Park River Adventure: Flickr/Flabber DeGasky
The Jurassic Park River Adventure — Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Immerse yourself in the Jurassic Park universe with a tour of the dinosaurs on the island — that goes horribly wrong. Passengers find themselves stuck in the Raptor Containment Area and the only way to escape the incoming T-Rex is by plunging down an 85-foot waterfall drop. Get ready to scream, get soaked, and experience the adventure of a lifetime.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster — Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Wondering what Bruce Banner feels like when he transforms into the Incredible Hulk? This 67 mph coaster with insane zero-gravity rolls, drops, and turns will help you experience exactly that. If you’re a rollercoaster fanatic, you need to ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster. The ride recently underwent a massive remodel with the intent of making the Orlando thrill ride exceptionally exhilarating!
Revenge of the Mummy — Universal Studios Florida
Out of all the Orlando thrill rides on this list, Revenge of the Mummy is my absolute favorite. It’s not the fastest roller coaster nor does it have the biggest drop, but the state-of-the-art technology combined with the speed of the ride creates an unmatched adrenaline rush. Thrill seekers have often said that the ride seemed to get faster and more intense every time they rode it. Perhaps the curse of the Mummy has something to do with this?
Even kids love the thrills of Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith — Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Scream along with Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith as they jet off to their Los Angeles concert in a 60 mph stretch limo (also known as an indoor roller coaster) through loops, twists, turns, and plunging drops. Each “limo” plays different Aerosmith songs, meaning no two rides are ever the same.
Prepare to ride the human slingshot!
Slingshot — Magical Midway Thrill Park
While on your Orlando thrill rides tour, why not get launched 390 feet into the air from a slingshot? This thrill ride allows guests to feel total weightlessness in the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Summit Plummet — Disney’s Blizzard Beach
This 120-foot, free-fall body slide includes a terrifying near vertical drop with a pitch-black tunnel at the end of the plunge. This waterslide drops you higher than most roller coasters and other Orlando thrill rides. Who said water rides couldn’t be thrilling?
Now you know which rides are guaranteed to raise your pulse and make you scream! So, get ready to brave the biggest, baddest Orlando thrill rides. I dare you!
Believe it or not, theme parks are not the only reason why people travel to Orlando, Florida.
While some people find amusement parks enjoyable, others despise visiting these attractions. From the never-ending crowds to an apprehension towards thrill rides, these attractions are not everyone’s cup of tea.
While I get wide-eyed and giddy like a child when I visit popular Orlando amusement parks, I wasn’t always this way. I used to have a fear of rollercoasters and extreme thrill rides. This meant I either had to find an attraction I would enjoy or wait for my family at the exit gate of a ride.
If you’re not a fan of amusement parks, there’s plenty for you to experience throughout Orlando besides theme parks.
Explore the Great Orlando Outdoors
Orlando is home to an incredible amount of outdoor activities and natural parks. Instead of moping around a theme park, take a quaint hike through the Disney Wilderness Preserve or hop on an exhilarating jet ski ride for a memorable vacation.
Cruise around on a jet ski at Buena Vista Watersports’ tropical oasis
Try out these outdoor adventures the next time you’re in Orlando:
No matter which outdoor adventure you choose to pursue, make sure you check the forecast for the day. The Orlando weather can be quite unpredictable.
Who doesn’t love animals? Orlando is THE place for animal lovers. If you enjoy mammals, reptiles, amphibians, aquatic life, and birds, Orlando is home to a ton of animal related attractions — many of which offer up close and personal animal encounters.
See otters up-close at Discovery Cove
Find time to experience one of these animal adventures in Orlando.
Similarly, you’d be surprised at just how much there is to do at conservation-centric SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Sure, these theme parks have scream-inducing roller coasters but the animal experiences are also top-notch.
Show fans who are stuck at a theme park with their family or friends will be glad to know that many amusement parks offer award-winning shows and performances throughout the day. Disney World theme parks are known for their legendary shows such as Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios.
Spend a Night On the Town
Who doesn’t love a night filled with exceptional food, fun, and the perfect atmosphere?
Orlando has a variety of restaurants, clubs, concert venues, and other fun establishments to check out while on your vacation. Be sure to schedule time to browse through downtown Orlando, Disney Springs, and Universal CityWalk for a night on the town.
Captivating tours, museums, and landmarks are some of the many other activities available throughout Orlando besides theme parks.
Start your vacation off with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. You’ll be able to meet an astronaut, learn all about outer space, and watch an IMAX movie. Depending on when your Orlando vacation is scheduled for, you might have the chance to see a live rocket launch!
Next, sail on over to the Titanic. This realistic recreation of the Titanic houses artifacts from the legendary ship. In addition, guests experience what it was like to be a passenger on the fateful voyage and get to see a real iceberg.
Shop Until You Drop
Due to the ever growing popularity of Orlando, there are endless shopping opportunities throughout the city. While at Downtown Disney and Universal CityWalk, remember to take advantage of the onsite shops, boutiques, and other intriguing stores.
So much shopping to do, so little time
Don’t forget to stop at the Mall at Millenia for exceptional shopping. Likewise, visit the Artegon Marketplace for products by locally owned and operated Orlando businesses.
Whether you despise thrill rides or simply prefer a low-key vacation, there are so many activities for you to enjoy in Orlando besides theme parks. Use these tips to make your non-theme park Orlando getaway a great one.