10 tips to make sure you make the most of your Orlando holiday

Orlando is hugely popular, thanks largely to its globally respected attractions like the Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World.

Here are some pieces of advice that you should endeavour to follow right from the moment you start planning your getaway in this Florida city. Then, once you are actually in Orlando, you can make use of its attractions more effectively than would have otherwise been probable.

Consider travelling at times that are less busy

One of the first things you consider about your Orlando holiday is likely to be when exactly you go. Unsurprisingly, the city can be pretty bustling; however, there are some times of year when the crowds are light but the weather is still wonderful. Those times specified by Urban Tastebud include mid-January to early March and – bar Thanksgiving week – September to early December. If you can’t afford to take your kids out of school, then book your Orlando getaway for some period between late July and early to mid August.

If you live in the UK, turn to the Visa Waiver Programme For UK citizens, the Visa Waiver Programme can be used for travelling to the US, as the Visit Orlando website points out. However, you would need to fill in the online ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) application – and, ideally, do so early.

Choose your Orlando accommodation carefully

The choice of accommodation in Orlando is, frankly, stunning. Whether you want something relatively low-priced, a five-star prestige resort, a self-catering apartment or your own villa with a private pool, you’re covered. We are particularly fond of the Florida villas; book one through tour operator Ocean Florida for a “home from home” feel and close proximity to the theme parks.

Draw upon clever ways of saving money

There are various ways of trimming costs in Orlando, though you would be excused for not knowing many of them. Given the impressive size of the meal portions in Orlando eateries, it would be wise to order just one meal if there will be two people to feed.

Meanwhile, if you will be spending time in the theme parks with a toddler in tow, you can further save money by taking your own pushchair instead of renting any at the parks.

Take precautions before boarding the flight

Though meals and drinks will be included on your flight, remember to notify the airline in advance if you have special dietary requirements for which you would like them to cater. Also, on your way to the plane, toddlers should stay in their buggies. When you reach the aircraft door, the toddlers can leave their buggies which will then be placed in the hold.

Seek alternatives to renting a car

Naturally, you will need some way of getting around Orlando, but renting a car might not prove the most cost-effective method. Admittedly, the value of a rented car can vary depending on where you stay and go in the city; however, ride-sharing firms like Lyft and Uber may be the best options.

Using these companies’ services can spare you fretting about getting enough gas, finding parking spaces, and following directions as you travel.

Check out the free opportunities in Disney Springs

The number and range of exciting attractions at Walt Disney World is huge – and you don’t strictly have to pay for all of them. Easily the most popular of the resort’s free attractions is Disney Springs, an outdoor area where you can check out more than 70 retail, dining and entertainment units. Those include the planet’s biggest Disney store, World of Disney.

Join Chip and Dale by the campfire

Those lovable cartoon chipmunks Chip and Dale are waiting for you to join them by a campfire for the nightly celebration called Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long.

At this Walt Disney World event, you can roast marshmallows – yes, you can take your own – and, unsurprisingly, enjoy a good sing. You can also watch a classic Disney film as part of the event. You’d be – ahem – nutty to miss it…

Don’t miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter This Universal Orlando attraction is essential for Potter fanatics; furthermore, you should make it your first stop in the resort, advises WhatCulture. Otherwise, big crowds could beat you to it.

At Universal Orlando rides, ask for your favourite row

You might not have realised that it’s even an option – but, if you will be queuing for rides at Universal Orlando, you might be able to sit in your most preferred row if you request it.

Issue that request to the team member who loads guests onto the ride. While it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to get your favoured row even if you do ask, staff will still attempt to accommodate that request should they be able to.