Why go to Orlando?
Orlando is commonly known as one of America’s most family friendly destinations. Famous around the world because of its theme-park and animal attractions, vast numbers of tourists descend on the city every year. However, whilst the likes of Universal Studios, Disney Adventures and Sea World might capture people’s attention, there’s a beautiful city to explore too.
Whilst the buzz around the major attractions may be a little frenetic, the city of Orlando has a quieter pace of life. Tree-lined streets and neighbourhoods offer a charming place to escape into, whether visitors are enjoying the city’s gardens, thriving performing-arts scene or interesting museums. For those who want some traditional Orlando entertainment, Gatorland is ideal. Here, professional alligator wranglers wrestle with dangerous beasts for the thrill of the crowds. Jumping gators and the chance to feed these prehistoric-looking creatures offer some memorable moments. If something a little more sedate is required, then the Orlando Museum of Art is perfect. The attraction showcases American and African art extremely well, and is also host to internationally travelling exhibitions.
A number of day trips are easily accessible from Orlando, including Rock Springs Riding Ranch and West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades. Located to the north of the city, the riding ranch provides the perfect chance explore Florida’s natural beauty on horseback. Meanwhile, getting out of the city to discover the landscape by bike is made easy with West Orange Trail’s rental services.
Which airlines fly to Orlando from UK?
The best way to reach Orlando is via Orlando International Airport. A variety of airlines fly from the UK, including British Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways. In addition, for travel from Ireland, Aer Lingus offers a direct route from Dublin.
How far is the airport from Orlando city and what’s the best way to travel to Orlando city?
Orlando International Airport is about six miles southeast of the city. Lynx, Orlando’s local transportation service, has a bus sub-station at the airport, and the journey to Downtown Orlando takes about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, shuttles and taxis offer a fixed fee for fares to the city, whilst car rental is also available.
What are the visa requirements for UK and non-EU nationals?
Anyone travelling to Orlando from the UK doesn't require a visa for entry to the U.S. However, since 2009, approval must be sought prior to arrival. This is done on the ESTA website, where basic details must be provided. The Visa Waiver Program also applies to those from all Western European countries apart from Greece. Residents of Australia, New Zealand and Japan are also included in the scheme. For all other nationalities, a visa must be obtained before travelling.
How to get around Orlando?
Orlando has a bus network running by Lynx, providing a good inner-city service with connections to outlying areas, such as Orlando International Airport. The I-Ride Trolley is also available, though it only takes exact change. In addition, taxis and shuttles are regularly available.
What’s the best time to visit Orlando?
The best time for visiting Orlando is between December and May when rain is rare and skies are normally sunny with temperatures between 16ºC and 30ºC. As the summer starts, temperatures can soar above 30ºC and the humidity becomes high. Travellers may want to avoid August as this is the start of Hurricane season.