Travel Writing Contest
The following itinerary is written by a finalist of our writing contest, Karyn.
Orlando is a city in Central Florida with lots of theme parks. One of the major theme parks is Walt Disney World, which comprises of parks like the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and etc.
Another major theme park is Universal Studios and Island of Adventure with Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Due to the popularity of these theme parks, Orlando is very busy year-round. During summer, it can be especially hot and humid. The peak season is during the US spring break from March to April and also other popular seasons from June to August and November to December.
7 Days Guide to Orlando
Home to major theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is nothing short of paradise for theme park lovers seeking for an adventurous time. That said, it is impossible to cover all these theme parks within 7 days and so I picked my favourite theme park – Walt Disney World!
It will be good to allocate an entire day to each theme park and about 4 to 6 hours for the premium outlets.
Admission ticket to 4 parks is about SGD 538 (park based ticket). You can always find early bird promotions online!
|1||-||Free and Easy|
|2||0900 to 2130||Animal Kingdom
|3||0900 to 2100||Epcot
|4||0900 to 2030||Hollywood Studios
|5||0800 to 2400||Magic Kingdom
|6||1000 to 2300||Orlando Vineland Premium Outlet
|7||-||Home Sweet Home
Pre- Tip Preparations
There are a lot of hotels to choose from depending on your budget. If you prefer to stay at Disney resort hotels, there will be complimentary transportation and parking provided for the guests but it comes with a high price tag.
If not, you may wish to consider staying at any of the Disney neighbourhood hotels. There are shuttle bus provided to and fro the theme parks. But take note of the bus timing as different hotels have a different schedule. This is free of charge but don’t forget to tip the driver. So remember to get the shuttle bus timing after you checked in the hotel!
Travelling around is inconvenient unless you drive. Renting a car there is cheap, but if you don’t drive, you have to call for a taxi or Uber. Uber is not very expensive over there.
Read Also: 10 Days Itinerary For Turkey: Under SGD 900
Before Heading to Walt Disney World
- Purchase all theme parks tickets online in advance. Get the based tickets for each park if you do not have the time to hop in between the parks.
- Narrow down to your favourite rides or show that you most certainly not want to miss. There are limited showtimes for some of the programs.
- Pack some snacks or sandwiches if you wish to save money. Everything is costly here.
- Bring your own water bottle. There are many water coolers around for you to refill your bottles. Remember to stay hydrated.
- Remember to apply sun blocked lotion.
- Bring a Poncho or rain jacket as it is inconvenient to bring an umbrella and walk around with it.
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must as lots of walking is required.
- Use Fast pass+ wisely as you are directed to a special line with a shorter wait time. There is a limit to the number of times you can use it.
- There are security checks before you enter the parks.
- The average waiting time is about 1 to 2 hours for each attraction but it also depends on the season.
- Pick up the Times Guide before going into the Park.
- Bring an autograph book if you wish to get signatures from the characters.
Day 1 – Free and Easy
We finally reached Orlando International Airport at about 5.30 pm after a long flight. Prior to our trip, we pre-booked an airport transfer to bring us to our hotel. After checking in at the hotel, we decided to walk to the nearby restaurant, Ihop to have our dinner.
Ihop is a long-standing chain serving a wide variety of pancakes, American breakfast and dinner fare.
Address: 7529 W Irlo Bronson Memorial HWY, Kissimmee, FL34746.
Opening Hours: 24 hours so you don’t have to worry that you will go hungry!
Do note that it is a must to give gratuity/tip in the US which is about at minimum, 18% of the bill.
After dinner, we walked over to Walmart Supercenter which is just across the road.
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of supermarkets and grocery stores. You can find most of the things there and if suffering from jet lag, you can consider shopping there too!
Address: 2855 N Old Lake Wilson Road, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Read Also: 6 Days Osaka Trip Under SGD 500
Day 2 – Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom
Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Opening hours: 9 am to 9.30pm (Park hours vary throughout of the year)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a zoological theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. The emblematic Tree of Life sits in the centre of a lagoon, as lands including Africa, Asia, Discovery Island, Pandora – The World of Avatar, and DinoLand U.S.A surround it in a loop.
It features traditional attractions while exhibiting hundreds of species of live animals. The park’s night-time show features no fireworks that would otherwise disturb the animals.
Best Animal Kingdom rides/shows:
- Kali River Rapids’ whitewater raft adventure
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Meet-and-greets include Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost, Pocahontas and others (check the Times Guide for schedule)
Timo Meet & Greet
Queuing up for Kilimanjaro Safaris
This is a safari jeep ride to search for wildlife animals. The animals have plenty of open space to roam freely and you may come across baboons, buffalo, lions, ostriches, elephants, flamingos, hippos and etc. Keep your eyes wide open on the landscape in front of you.
It is suitable for all ages. The duration is about 22 minutes.
Festival of the Lion King Broadway show
Delight in a Broadway-style show filled with songs, pageantry and puppetry celebrating the classic movie, The Lion King. The theatre is air-conditioned and is a good way to get away from the heat. The show duration is 30 minutes and is suitable for all ages.
During spectacular theatrics, you will relive all classic songs like “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”. It includes a soaring rendition of “Circle of Life.” It is a moving and immersive theatrical experience celebrating music.
This is an amazing show and not to be missed! The acrobats and the singers were great! It is like the characters in the Lion King movie came alive! You need to reach early to get better seats for the better view of the show.
Finding Nemo – The Musical
This show adapts the animated film Finding Nemo into a 40 minutes Broadway-style musical stage show in an air-conditioned theatre which transformed into the undersea. Extraordinary live musical performances, delightful puppets, vibrant sets and wondrous underwater special effects immerse you in Nemo‘s fin-tastic world.
It is about the overprotective clownfish Marlin and his forgetful friend Dory as they search for his son, Nemo. This is highly recommended for all ages.
Ordered a chicken sandwich at flame tree barbecue for lunch.
After a quick lunch, we continued on with other rides and meet-and-greet sessions with the characters for the rest of the day. The most important is not forgetting to bring some souvenirs home.
Day 3 – Walt Disney World, Epcot
Address: 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32831, USA
Opening hours: 9 am to 9 pm ( Park hours vary throughout of the year)
Epcot was the second of the four theme parks built at Walt Disney World after the Magic Kingdom.
Epcot is divided into two main themed areas: Future World and World Showcase. The World Showcase usually opens two hours after park opening and remains open later than the Future World section of the park.
Most major attractions in Future World remain open until the park’s closing time.
Future World consists of a variety of avant-grade pavilions that explore innovative aspects and applications including technology and science, with each pavilion featuring self-contained attractions.
World Showcase is a large area reminiscent of a permanent world’s fair containing 11 pavilions, each themed and dedicated to representing a specific country.
The Epcot Center Food and Wine Festival is one of the top attractions at Epcot. This festival takes place every October and Disney brings in some of the top Food and Wine critics in the World.
For those who love to eat and drink, this is definitely a place that you should go to! You get to try different kinds of food from the 11 countries.
Best Epcot rides/shows
- Frozen Ever After
- Soarin’ Around the World
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Meet-and-greets at Epcot Character Spot (* check the Times Guide for schedule)
- Illuminations (Fireworks & laser show)
The first thing was to take pictures with my favourite Mickey Mouse character and his friends!
Inside Out characters – Sadness
Went on a gentle ride under the sea without getting wet – The Seas with Nemo & Friends. This ride based on Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, which finds Nemo lost again.
Mary Poppins going for her break! If you missed the timing or there too long queues, you won’t be able to take pictures with them. They will be going for their breaks and you got to wait again for the next timing. Remember to check the timing on the Times Guide!
Lunch at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at The Garden Grill. You get to meet the characters there too!
Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus at Norway and board a wooden Viking ship and sail through the fantastical world of “Frozen.”
Mouse Gear – One-stop shopping destination for Disney Character gifts and Park souvenirs.
The most stunning is the illuminations show. The fireworks together with the laser effects are so amazing. You should not miss it!
Read Also: 3 Days Amsterdam Vacation Under SGD 800
Day 4 – Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios
Address: 351 S Studio Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
Opening hours: 9 am to 8.30pm (Park hours vary throughout of the year)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios consist of six themed areas. The major attractions are
- Sunset Boulevard
- Animation Courtyard
- Hollywood Boulevard
- Echo Lake
- Grand Avenue
- Toy Story Land
There is something for everyone!
Best Hollywood Studios rides/shows
- Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster ride
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Star Tours, a 3D motion simulator ride
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, live-action movie stunt performance
- Beauty and the Beast, live on stage
- Meet-and-greets (* check the Times Guide for schedule)
- Fantasmic! (Night-time spectacular features characters, fireworks, pyrotechnics, projections and more)
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (Features fireworks, projection mapping, fire, lasers, fog effects and searchlights.)
First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Is a musical show based on Disney’s 2013 animated film Frozen and the songs are from the film. The duration is around 30 minutes.
Star Wars – March of the First Order
They clear the way for Captain Phasma as this ruthless commander leads her squad of Stormtroopers up Hollywood Boulevard.
Dining at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Beauty and the Beast – Live on stage
The heart-warming tale of Belle and the Beast swirls to life in this lush stage performance and is with colourful costumes, gorgeous scenery and the songs which you will love it! Be there early to get better seats for the view.
Lastly, this performance, Fantasmic! Is not to be missed! It features more than 50 live performers, massive set, stunning effects, dazzling pyrotechnics and rousing music, this larger than life show is painted on a grand canvas of dancing water and light!
Read Also: Guide to Seoul, Korea
Day 5 – Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom
Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
Opening hours: 8 am to 12 am (Park hours vary throughout of the year)
Represented by Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom is split into six themed lands – Main Street, U.S.A, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland and the Magic Kingdom exclusive of Liberty Square. There is so much to do in this park and I’m positive that you can’t finish all the rides in a day
Best Magic Kingdom rides/shows
- The many adventures of Winne the Pooh
- Haunted Mansion
- It’s a small world
- Jungle cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Meet-and-greets (* check the Times Guide for schedule)
- Happily Ever After (Fireworks show)
- Once Upon a Time (Projection mapping plus pyro, lasers, and fire)
Magic Kingdom Welcome Show – Let the Magic Begin.
Main Street Trolley Show
The show takes place on the Cinderella Castle Stage.
These Main Street, U.S.A. citizens hop off a trolley and break into song and dance to welcome you.
The many adventures of Winne the Pooh
A slow ride travels through Hundred Acre Wood in an oversized Hunny Pot and immerses in the stories of Winnie the Pooh.
Lunch at Columbia Harbour House
Don’t forget to take photos with the Characters!
Lastly is the Happily Ever After – Fireworks and Projection Show and Once Upon a Time – Castle Projection Show not to be missed!
Day 6 – Orlando Vineland Premium Outlet
Address: 8200 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821, USA
Opening hours: 10 am to 11 pm (Public Holidays might differ)
Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Avenue is one of the most upscale outlet shopping centres in the country. It offers an exciting collection of 150 outlet stores from the world’s finest designers and name brands, featuring high profile names like Burberry, Coach, Cole Haan, Diesel, Dooney & Bourke, Giorgio Armani, Joe’s Jeans, Kenneth Cole, Nautica, Nike Factory Store, Reebok, Tod’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Bradley and more, offering savings of 25% to 65% every day.
Remember to check out the complimentary booklet filled with hundreds of dollars in savings at Simon Guest Service. You can shop till you drop but make sure your luggage will not be overweight!
Read Also: Cafe Hopping in Johor
Day 7 – Home Sweet Home
There is so much fun in Orlando! Hope to visit there again! Hopefully, the tips will be useful to you.