Eating at Orlando’s theme parks can be pricey, especially if you’re travelling with the kids in tow.
But there are plenty of affordable places to grab a bite to eat in Florida’s entertainment capital, from supermarkets and fast-food joints to diners, resort cafés and simple roadside restaurants.
These are some of the best options for eating on the cheap in Orlando.
At the theme parks
You can expect quick service and fast food at the Liberty Inn, which offers everything from classic burgers to gluten-free options.
The Fife & Drum Tavern, a patriotic American restaurant, serves up turkey legs, popcorn and root beer floats. Captain’s Grille, with its nautical setting, provides guests with the chance to try American seafood classics.
You can cool down at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, where options include all-American favorites such as sundaes, grilled-cheese sandwiches and flavored sodas.
Smoky scents fill the air at the Flame Tree Barbecue, which offerschicken dinners, jalapeno cornbreads and smokehouse meats.
To cool down, pop along to the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck for a soft-serve waffle cone or frosty float. If you’d prefer a classic American lunch with a twist, try the dinosaur-themed Restaurantosaurus, which serves up black bean burgers, hot dogs and beer.
Treat yourself to a few classic baseball favourites at Casey’s Corner where you can pick from hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy and Cracker Jack. Or, for a real feast, tuck into bottomless platters and milkshakes at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
ABC Commissary, a studio-inspired cafe with film posters on the walls and movie trailers on repeat, offers hearty dishes in an Art Deco setting. Try the chicken burgers, BBQ steaks and ice-cold beverages.
Make a pit stop at the food trucks in Disney Springs. With themed snacks from all across the globe at Fantasy Fare and delicious macaroni cheese at Superstar Catering, there’s always a wide choice available.
The rides at Universal are thrilling and so are the restaurants, too! Captain America’s Diner is where all the famous heroes hang out – expect dishes like chicken fingers and cheeseburgers. Taste the famous ‘Green Egg and Ham’ sandwiches at the Green Eggs and Ham Café or feast on juicy quarter-pounders at The Burger Digs. Don’t forget the Three Broomsticks, a Harry Potter-inspired restaurant providing classic British favorites and the famous ‘butter beer’.
Universal Studios Florida
There’s a fun dining option for everyone at Universal. Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone Dining is perfect for kids and adults alike, serving pizza, pretzels and ice cream. Alternatively, take a trip down to Springfield Dining with the Simpsons. Krusty Burger serves up classic burgers and hot dogs, while Lard Lad donuts delivers on the sweet-treat front.
Shopping malls in and around Orlando
Central Florida’s largest indoor shopping center offers a vast number of restaurants. Head to Five Guys for burgers and milkshakes, or visit A&W All American Food for more yummy fast food. Sbarro serves up homemade pizzas with a variety of toppings.
This open-air shopping mall has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Try Abode Gila’s, a casual margarita bar serving tacos, wraps and frozen drinks. Hearty meals are served up at The Pub, a British-inspired bar with an American twist.
The Mall at Millennia
Keke’s Breakfast Café was born in Orlando, and the first restaurant opened at The Mall at Millennia. The top-notch breakfasts never fail to deliver – and the huge portions are sure to bring a smile to your face.
For a quick and easy lunch or dinner, head to one of the many fast-food joints or diners near Orlando. Global franchises like McDonald’s and Subway are easy to track down, while classics like Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Dairy Queen can be found over onInternational Drive.
Feeling hungry? You might want to stop by one of the many all-you-can-eat restaurants in Orlando. Pick from Disney favorites like the African-style Boma and Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, or hop over to Epcot for a German buffet at Biergarten Restaurant. You can also feast on Brazilian-style cuisine at Texas de Brazil on International Drive. For a healthier option try Sweet Tomatoes, the ultimate salad buffet restaurant at Universal Studios. In South Orlando, El Palacio features a whole range of comforting Latin food, while Woodlands Indian Cuisine is a great option for vegetarians.
If you really want to keep things cheap, head to Orlando’s supermarkets. These offer essentials like bread, milk and every ingredient for a home-cooked meal. You can stock up on everything you require and prepare the food back at your vacation rental. Find out more information with our guide to grocery shopping in Orlando.
Resorts in Orlando that offer cheap eats
For a convenient and affordable dining spot, head over to The Cove at Reunion Resort, where options include refreshing smoothies and burgers. If you’d like to sit in the sunshine, The Clubhouse Grille offers indoor and outdoor dining with a varied food selection. The American-style breakfast is a big hit, as are the cocktails.
A luxurious gated community, Formosa Gardens has a shopping village close by – and it’s home to several different restaurant choices, including a sandwich shop. Grab something to go or sit down at Giordano’s Italian Restaurant for a mouth-watering pizza.
Located within easy reach of Disney, Championsgate is home to The Grille Room, where the menu runs from grilled sandwiches to affordable 5-course meals.
The Encore Club
For the best cocktails and hot appetizers, head over to the Shark Lounge at the Encore Club. Casual dining is also available at Finns (you can view the menu here and here). If you’re at the pool, Bis Grill is handy for quick snacks and drinks.
The best way to escape Orlando’s scorching weather is by visiting one of the many water parks. There are more than half a dozen to choose from, and they are home to some of the world’s best water rides. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through park by park and show you the best rides each one offers. Just use the menu below to hop straight to each water park.
With wave pools, beaches and high-speed water slides, this one-of-a-kind water park is home to some of the world’s most thrilling H2O-based attractions. Aquatica is run by Seaworld and it promises unlimited fun in the sun. Take a look at which rides Aquatica has in store…
Ihu’s Breakaway Falls
Get ready to brave Orlando’s tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind. At nearly 80 ft tall, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is where you’ll face your biggest fears. Stand in the see-through capsule and wait for the floor to drop out from beneath your feet.
The classic family favourite, Dolphin Plunge takes riders down 250 ft of clear tubes, underwater, and through Aquatica’s beautiful Commerson’s dolphin habitat.
Big Surf Shores & Cutback Cove
Guests can catch a wave in the world’s only side-by-side wave pools. Filled with a combined 860,000 gallons of water, these enormous pools deliver very different experiences.
Grab an inflatable and experience weightlessness as you speed down flumes into massive tunnels on Omaka Rocka.
This adventure river zips guests through 1,500 ft of rapids, past geysers and through waterfalls at an exhilarating speed.
For fun at a much slower pace, take a trip on this lazy river, passing exotic birds and tanks of colorful fish.
Good to know
There are plenty of places to eat and drink at Aquatica. Try the Waterstone Grill, which serves an assortment of sandwiches and salads, desserts and drinks. Alternatively, head to the Mango Market, a grab-and-go restaurant serving picnic baskets full of tasty lunch items. At Banana Beach, an all-you-can-eat buffet, you’ll find pizzas, hot dogs, pulled pork, baked chicken and yummy desserts.
Aquatica is open all year round. For specific hours of operation and to buy tickets at the best rates, please call our concierge team on 1-866-341-8086 (US) or 0800 43 34567 (UK).
Typhoon Lagoon water park
One of two water parks run by Disney, Typhoon Lagoon is a great place to escape to on a hot and sunny day. The lazy river and water slides provide excitement wherever you look. Here are the best rides to check out when you arrive.
Side-by-side slides offer gentle thrills and spills for younger visitors (there’s a maximum height limit, which means parents have to wait at the bottom).
Crush ‘n’ Gusher
Pair up on this multi-passenger, rollercoaster-style raft ride as you zoom through the 400-ft-long tubes and create a big splash in the water.
Hurtle 214 ft downhill for a 5-story drop in the dark until you reach the big surprise! Tweens, teens, adults and kids will love the thrills and chills this attraction brings.
Float away on this blissful lazy river, which takes you on a tour around the entire water park. Paddle along the current as you lay on your rubber ring, drifting under waterfalls, rope bridges and a canopy of tall trees.
Good to know
There’s no shortage of dining options at the waterpark. Try Typhoon Tilly’s, a shipwreck-inspired restaurant serving fried shrimp, fish baskets and BBQ pork sandwiches, or stop off for a spot of ice cream at Happy Landings. It offers root beer floats, sundaes and more. Another option is to drop into Lowtide Lou’s for a selection of wraps, sandwiches and frozen cocktails.
Operating hours are subject to change and vary throughout the year. To find out the opening times take a look at their website.
Blizzard Beach water park
Themed like a wintry ski resort, Blizzard Beach offers beaches, calming rivers, ‘snowy’ slides and brightly colored play areas. Here’s which water rides Disney’s Blizzard Beach features.
Downhill Double Dipper
Ready, steady, go! With these side-by-side slides, you can race against your friends to see who can reach the bottom first. Plummet 50 ft downhill at top speeds and disappear through a black hole.
Choose between 3 different inner-tube slides for an instant water rush. These one-of-a-kind water flumes each offer a different experience to the next.
Ride up to Mount Gushmore on colorful wooden chairlifts with umbrella canopies. The slow-moving lift gives you a scenic view of the park and ends at the Green Slope, a prime location for even more attractions.
Blizzard Beach’s most extreme ride, Summit Plummet has a near-vertical drop and is one of the world’s tallest and fastest free-fall body slides. This sheer 120-ft drop is perfect for thrill seekers.
Good to know
Looking for a sweet snack? There’s a kiosk within the water park serving up sundaes, waffle cones and frosty desserts. You can also visit the snowmobile next to the chairlift ride for simple snacks. Another option is to take a snack break with either a hot dog, a beer or a salad at the ‘Avalunch’ stand. You can book tickets to the park and get up-to-date opening hours by contacting our concierge team.
Redefining the water park experience, the brand-new Volcano Bay (opening in May 2017) is the best water park in Orlando for adults. It offers attractions to suit every member of the family and is split into four areas, Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village and, of course, The Volcano. These are the rides you can look forward to…
Krakatau Aqua Coaster
Experience dark twists and turns in the volcano before plunging through a waterfall on a four-person ‘canoe’.
Surf’s up! Head down to the beach for a swim or splash around in the sparkling lagoon, set at the foot of Krakatau volcano.
Honu ika Moana
Prepared to get drenched on these two twisting multi-person slides. Honu reaches new heights whilst ika Moana sprays water directly at guests from the center of the raft.
These 4 twisting slides are inspired by trees’ twisting roots. Riders can enjoy all 4 twisting tracks, but be prepared to get completely soaked on the way down as tiki statues spray big jets of water!
Cool down and make a splash in Reunion Resort’s water park – located just 5.5 miles to Walt Disney World. The surrounding tropical gardens and tall palm trees create the best place to relax after a day at the theme parks. Float along the lengthy lazy river or get your heart racing with the 110-foot water slide – there’s entertainment for all ages. Take shade in the lounge areas with a cocktail at hand whilst the younger guests enjoy Reunion’s water fun.
The nearby splash park is the best water park in Orlando for a 5 year old, located next to the Sandy Ridge communal pool. With a swirly slide, playground and water fountains, there’s lots of fun to be had.
The food and beverage service on site is open Monday through Sunday, 11am- 4.30pm (times may vary).It’s an easy access eatery for snacks and beverages when visiting the water park.
An aqua paradise isn’t far away if you stay at the Encore Resort at Reunion. With more than 2 million gallons of water, it isn’t just any ordinary water park. Whether looking for thrills or relaxing water fun, there’s plenty to choose from. Drift down the lazy river or be adventurous, trying out the Tsunami and Aqua Drop water slides. For younger kids, there’s even a Surfin’ Safari splash zone to cool down from the Orlando sun.
If you get hungry when at the water park, nearby is Bis Grill, the best place to refuel with a snack or two.
Searching for a villa near these top Orlando’s theme parks? Browse our entire selection here. For the best prices, check out our last-minute deals.
This exciting railroad journey takes guests through the seven dwarfs’ diamond mine on a train designed to look like it’s been hand-carved by the dwarfs themselves. As the train trundles along, expect to see animated dwarfs, bright lights and music from the classic Snow White film.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Watch your favourite mermaid tale come to life on this whimsical musical adventure, which takes you on a journey through the waves, playing some of the best songs from The Little Mermaid. Meet some of the characters and enjoy an underwater adventure like no other.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
One of the original Disney World rides, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is still a family favourite. Take a journey up into the air aboard Dumbo the elephant, singing along to the carnival songs and flying over Storybook Circus.
Based on the old Disney movie Song of the South, this hair-raising water ride tells the tale of Br’er Rabbit. The ride begins in a loading area where you’ll board an eight-passenger log flume, seated in rows of 2. As the flume departs it slowly ascends a steep chain lift before taking a rollicking ride through the wetlands of old-time Georgia, USA. Be prepared to get soaked during the 9-minute aquatic adventure – the 5-story splashdown reaching speeds of up to 40mph.
This exciting ride is great for young kids, who get the chance to fly above Storybook Circus with Goofy and his stunt aeroplanes. The Great Goofini’s daredevil act begins in the grand circus marquee, swooping through the sky with gentle bends and dips.
Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, the ‘Frozen Ever After’ Ride is inspired by the movie spectacular, Frozen. This attraction tells the tale of Arendelle, taking you through the enchanted kingdom on a winter adventure. Explore the movie’s main highlights and meet the two princesses for the ultimate Frozen experience.
Experience an out-of-this-world space launch on this shuttle simulator. Slingshot around the moon and dodge meteors, getting a taste for life as an astronaut along the way. From the Planetary Plaza and the Simulation Lab to the shuttle itself, every stage of this ride is jam-packed with entertainment for all ages.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Explore Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion with a gentle boat ride along the river. With cultural sights and 3 feathered amigos at every turn, learn about Mexican culture through videos, projections and live-action footage.
This interactive driving experience begins with designing your dream vehicle. When it’s ready, buckle up in a 6-passenger ‘simulation car’ and put your new creation to the test. Cruise and steer along with this speedy Disney ride.
Take a tour through time and explore the history of communication, from the Stone Age to modern-day computing with this ultimate learning experience.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
An expedition with a twist, this rollercoaster ride ventures to the Himalayas, taking in a series of spectacular peaks from the er… comfort… of a rickety wooden train. Glide through hidden tunnels, descend down the dips and be prepared for an unexpected encounter. This family friendly ride is full of thrills.
Less of a ride and more of an experience, the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction lets you venture through an African-inspired landscape, passing real elephants and crocodiles along the way. The whole ‘expedition’ lasts for 18 fun-packed minutes.
Enter prehistoric times with a tour aboard the thrilling Time Rover and save the dinosaurs from extinction. Race through the darkened forest with sharp turns and mystical creatures everywhere you look.
Kali River Rapids
Strap yourself in and gently glide across the river with water splashing in all directions. The gushing waterfalls, sharp turns and dramatic slopes make this river raft ride one for all the family.
A spinning rollercoaster made up of exhilarating curves and drops, this surprisingly exhilarating ride transports you back to prehistoric times with a fun modern twist.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Fans of rollercoasters and rock music love this A-list theme park ride which blasts guests from 0–60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Expect plenty of twists, turns and drops on the super-speed concert quest as you race through the Hollywood hills. Boarding a VIP ‘stretch limo’, grab the chance to shine like a superstar while passing illuminated landmarks.
Toy Story Midway Mania
Inspired by the legendary Disney-Pixar film, this shoot-em-up carnival-style ride takes you on a lively 4D journey through ‘Andy’s Bedroom’ where you’ll ‘shrink’ to the size of a toy, grab your spring-action shooter and take aim at an array of interesting virtual targets. Join all your favorite Toy Story characters as you hop on board a swivelling carnival car and shoot your way through six animated games.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Board the ‘fright elevator’ and join the lost souls of Hollywood’s Golden Age as you plunge into pitch black at the once-glamorous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Expect a series of random drops, side-to-side motions and lifts during the ride – you’ll never know which direction you’re heading.
Explore a galaxy far, far away on an electrifying tour aboard Starspeeder 1000. The simulator ride features digital 3D video, audio-animatronics characters, special effects and music, immersing you in an intergalactic adventure.
For the First Time in Forever
Relive the magic of Disney’s movie spectacular Frozen in the For the First Time in Forever sing-along show. Watch classic moments, stories and sing-along tracks for an afternoon of family fun.
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park
With 5 floors of gaming entertainment, there’s plenty of activities from classic arcades, virtual interactive fun to the Animation Academy. Experience the Pirate action on Battle for Bucaneer Gold or grab your paddle and take a 4D adventure on the Virtual Jungle Cruise. Cyber Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride also feature.
Transformers: The Ride 3D
Experience Transformers first hand with this 3D simulator ride. For the main event you’ll be in the heart of the action as you’re loaded into Evac the Autobot and drive towards the others. Optimus Prime and Megatron fight it out in front of your eyes as you and Evac weave through the cityscape avoiding Decepticons whilst being sprayed by burst water mains and engulfed in smoke. You’ll be thrown across the city and land with a thud as the action shakes and jolts riders.
The Simpsons Ride
Set around Krusty the Clown’s theme park Krustyland, this simulator ride flies through the air, causing havoc along the way. With the ride divided into 3 sections, you’ll be able to watch the animated series before the ride even begins.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
The journey begins at Gru’s home where you’ll be recruited as one of his minions, a part of the next mischievous scheme. The minion training doesn’t go to plan and you’ll get launched on a trip through Gru’s super villain laboratory. Hold on tight as the adventure begins in this 3D simulator ride with the Minions.
Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts
This 3D ride takes you on a journey to Gringotts bank, under the fire-breathing dragon at the end of Diagon Alley. Step right into the middle of the action, fighting off the malicious villains before you return safely to Diagon Alley.
Revenge of the Mummy
Plunge into total darkness and tackle the army warrior of mummies as you soar through this spine-tingling ride. The rollercoaster features scenes from the Mummy movies, placing you right in the action.
Launching guests from 0–40 mph in 2 seconds flat, this ride isn’t for the faint hearted. Enter Dr Bruce Banner’s lab and become part of his secret experiment while queuing for the ride. As you board, be prepared to turn upside down, experiencing some serious G-force and furious speeds of up to 67 mph.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Explore the corridors of Hogwarts then soar above the castle grounds with Harry Potter and friends on this wizard-themed adventure. Come face to face with magical creatures like dementors, fly over the Quidditch pitch, pass the ‘whomping willows’ and enter the world of Harry Potter like you’ve never seen it before.
The Dragon Challenge
These two different rollercoasters are designed to represent two ‘dragons’, the aggressive Chinese Fireball and these Ferocious Hungarian Horntail. Be prepared for twists, turns and loops across the sky on intertwining coasters.
Flight of the Hippogriff
The family friendly coaster takes you on an adventure with Hagrid as he teaches you how to approach a Hippogriff, a mystical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. Soar and spiral through the landscape, passing Hagrid’s hut along the way.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man
Put on your 3D glasses and get ready for the crystal-clear graphics on this thrilling simulator ride. Glide through the friendly neighbourhood with Spiderman, marveling at the sights as you go. With the audio, lighting and graphic so vivid, this groundbreaking ride should really be high on your theme park bucket list.
The tallest, quickest and longest ride in Orlando is inspired by the high speeds of the ocean’s fastest sharks. Standing at impressive 200 ft tall and reaching speeds of up to 73 mph, this 4,760 ft-long rollercoaster is only recommended for serious adrenaline junkies.
Named after the fictional sea monster kept caged by Poseidon, this furiously fast floor-less coaster offers an unearthly experience with speeds of up to 65 mph and 4000 ft of eel-like twists, turns and loops.
Aquatica’s most popular ride lets you glide through 250 feet of clear tubes underwater, giving you a glimpse of black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins along the way. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them swimming alongside as you pass by.
Putting a new spin on water park fun, Omaka Rocka offers different thrill-level slides for everyone.
For those who prefer life in the fast lane, Aquatica’s biggest thrill ride launches 8 riders down a steep hill, head first.
Other theme parks in Florida
This spin coaster is the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a vertical lift and taking riders on a whirlwind adventure. Explorers will come face-to-face with an 80 ft snake icon, trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain and discover the mysteries of an Egyptian archeological excavation.
The first drop tower of its kind in the world, this ride mimics dive speeds of the earth’s fastest animals. Standing at 335 ft, the ride sends guests plunging 60 mph straight down and at its highest point riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. Designers have compared it to skydiving, who used special sequencing technology so that passengers can’t anticipate when they will drop each time.
The ‘floorless’ cars on SheiKra give riders an unobstructed view of the ground, which rushes past at speeds of up to 70 mph. It passes through two loops, a vertical drop, an underground tunnel and a water feature finale, all within a half-mile of steel track.
After the blood-curdling thrill of an initial 135 ft drop, rider plunge into a diving loop, experiencing a full 3 seconds of absolute weightlessness whilst spiralling 360 degrees. Following that, riders tear through one of the world’s largest vertical loops.
Named after the Egyptian God of War, this ride lets you experience thrills like never before. With its epic loops, zer- gravity rolls, 150 ft heights and furious speeds of up to 60 mph, riders are thrust in all directions.
Families love the curves, drops and corkscrews of Sand Serpent, a five-story “wild mouse” style coaster. With a top speed of just 22 mph and a low height requirement, it’s perfect for young thrill seekers.
Lego City Driving School – Lego City
Children aged 6–13 have the chance to earn their own Legoland driving license, using electric cars to navigate their way around a realistic course featuring traffic lights and roundabouts. Take to the road and become a newly passed driver at LegoLand.
Mia’s Riding Adventure
Mia’s Riding Adventure is a simple ride that lets young adventurers saddle up on ‘horses’ before being spun around and tilted from side to side.
Take a tour around a prehistoric jungle of life-sized, animated dinosaurs (made from Lego, of course) whilst the wooden rollercoaster curves and dips, creating thrills for all ages.
Looking for a villa near Orlando’s theme parks? Browse our entire range here. For great prices, check out our last-minute deals.
Looking for a winter escape or planning your summer vacation? There are plenty of reasons to pick the Caribbean, from exceptional beaches and unbeatable weather to some jaw-droppingly beautiful vacation homes. We have hundreds of upscale retreats to choose from, including rentals in Barbados, St Barts and St Martin. Here are some of our favorites.
Barbados offers plenty of sunshine all year round, and it packs in an unbeatable combination of bone-white beaches, delicious food and fun outdoor activities. St James, on the island’s west coast, is one of the most popular areas with celebrities.
This 5-bedroom vacation rental is a stone’s throw from the beach, offering mesmerising views from its private pool area. Add in spacious living areas, a private gym and a vast kitchen with vaulted ceilings, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect Caribbean hideaway.
Also in St James, this exclusive villa is on the Sandy Lane estate, a short walk from a private beach. It comes with its own housekeeper and a private pool that’s edged by lush plants (the vacation home’s gardener ensures everything is kept looking immaculate).
Relaxation couldn’t be easier at this vacation rental in Turks and Caicos, a small Caribbean archipelago with seemingly endless beaches and some unforgettable diving opportunities. This beach-side vacation home offers a private pool and gorgeous views of the cobalt sea. With 7 bedrooms and some seriously spacious living areas with lofty ceilings, there’s plenty of room for a group of friends or a large family gathering.
St Martin is perfect for yachting and snorkelling, but there’s nothing to stop you doing, well, nothing. This beachfront estate in Baie Rouge is the ideal place to kick back and relax. It comes with 2 private pools, a hot tub, a massage room and a gym. Oh, and the sea views are to die for.
Close by, this extensive Caribbean estate gives another meaning to luxury travel. Sleeping up to 12 guests and with astonishing sea views, it’s the perfect relaxation spot in St Martin. Take a a swim in the private pool or absorb the Caribbean sunshine on the broad sundeck.
Seconds away from the sea in St Barts, this 7-bedroom villa provides every luxury feature you could need. With open air-living areas and sea views from each corner, it’s the ideal vacation rental for any beach lover. The lengthy private pool and bar provide perfect places to unwind in the Caribbean sunshine.
Planning this year’s vacation and not sure where to start? This simple guide will put you on the right track. We asked some of the world’s best bloggers and travel writers to share their tops tips for 2017 – and they came back with some surprising recommendations…
An award-winning travel writer and guidebook author, Mike has traveled to over 100 countries. Here’s why Scotland is his top pick for 2017.
“The world won’t fail to take notice when T2, the highly-anticipated Trainspotting sequel, arrives at the end of January. The content may be outrageous and acerbic, but Edinburgh’s medieval core of Gothic wynds and crooked steeples has never looked better on screen.
“Add to that the capital’s enduring Edinburgh Festival, which hits its 70th year this August, and a hefty splash of tartan thanks to Visit Scotland’s year-long History, Heritage and Archaeology jamboree, and it’s looking pretty peachy for ruddy-faced Scots on both sides of the Brexit debate.
“That’s not forgetting the recently-introduced North Coast 500, a Route 66-style road trip across the Highlands; the country’s new Gin Trail; the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge; and the 200th anniversary of Rob Roy, which’ll put the spotlight on Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.”
Travel enthusiasts Kach Medina Umandap and Jonathan Howe have been travelling the world since 2013. This year, they recommend taking a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica.
“While the unknown is a huge part of what makes a cruise to Antarctica so exciting, one thing you know for certain – it will be one of, if not the most, unforgettable journey of your lifetime! It is one of the few remaining refuges of pristine and unspoiled nature on the planet.
“There is no another place like Antarctica in the world, with its great towers of ice protruding from dark crystal waters and the inhospitable beauty that only a select few have the qualities and skills to survive in – none of them human!”
Blogger and adventurer Clare Thomson is a big fan of slow travel. She recommends taking the time to explore some of Europe’s lesser-visited corners.
“My travel tip for 2017 is to hunt out some of Europe’s undiscovered gems. I think travellers will be looking for more authentic experiences this year, to find those lesser-known, more laid-back destinations. The kind of places where you can find wonderful local food, stunning countryside and perfect beaches without the crowds and the tourist-trap prices of the busier resorts.
“In Greece, you can find laid-back perfection on lesser-known islands like Folegandros, Sifnos and Tinos. In Italy, avoid the crowds on the Amalfi Coast and Capri and head instead for the charming Cilento Coast and the island of Ischia. And in France, swap the Côte d’Azur for the picturesque delights of the villages in the south west.”
The Travel Hack is a blog where contributors share adventurous tips, with a healthy dose of style thrown in for good measure. In 2017, founder Monica Stott recommends a trip to beautiful Budapest.
“It’s a beautiful city with a magical charm. There’s nothing better than spending the day sightseeing and then warming up in the city’s steaming thermal baths or with a big bowl of comforting goulash. [Budapest] has a great mix of old and new, with a really modern feel among the old buildings and beautiful architecture.
“Budapest is also really affordable, with lots of budget airlines flying there – and there’s lots of affordable accommodation so you can step it up and get somewhere much more luxurious than normal.”
“I can’t recommend Northern Italy highly enough for a family trip (or any trip!) away. The Italian lakes are beautiful and the perfect tonic – it’s impossible not to see them and feel your shoulders start to relax.
“The cities around this area are wonderful too, from the hustle and bustle of Milan to the absolute beauty of Verona which is my favourite Italian city. It’s easy to get over to Venice for the magical feel of this watery land too. Throw in the hospitable Italian welcome and delicious food at every turn, [and] it really is the perfect break!”
A travel addict and sun seeker, blogger Stephanie Holmes explains how Venice has something to offer everyone in 2017.
“The backdrop to countless movies, the romantic setting to an endless number of books and one of my top picks for where you should travel in 2017: Venice. One of the most romantic cities in the world, [it] has something to offer everyone. Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with your family, from the moment you arrive at the train station and walk out onto the large plaza into the heart of bustling Venice, you will be spellbound.
“It is at that exact moment that you realize you have arrived in the most unique city in the world. Made up of more canals and bridges than streets, it’s the perfect place to wander, explore, immerse yourself in the winding cobblestone alleys and get lost.”
Leading travel writer Mark Hodson recommends seeking out some of the smaller Greek islands, where prices are lower and crowds are less bothersome.
Image credit: Mark Hodson
“Greece is going to be popular this year, but if you want to avoid the crowds and squeezed prices, you should seek out some of the smaller islands. I’ll be heading to the tiny Dodecanese islands of Nisyros, Tilos and Symi in the south-east Aegean. They are far too small for the big cruise ships (Tilos has a population of just 200) and ferry services are sporadic. The best option is to join a gulet cruise with a specialist company. Highlights include a hike into the spectacular volcanic cone on Nissyros and cocktails in the neoclassical harbour on Symi.”
Having visited more than 80 countries, Eric Stoen from Travel Babbo takes his kids along on every new adventure, opening their eyes to what the world has to offer. He suggests a trip to Naxos in 2017.
“We highly recommend the Greek island of Naxos. It’s a short ferry ride from Mykonos and Santorini but it couldn’t be more different, as there are no cruise ships that stop in Naxos and it’s not a party island. Rather, it’s a family-friendly destination that never feels crowded, perfect for a week or two of beach relaxation, Greek culture and excellent food. We prefer to stay on St. George Beach, since the water is shallow and perfect for kids and the beach is within walking distance to Naxos Town, but you can’t go wrong no matter where you stay. We’ll be back again this summer!”
Berlin-based travel writer Nicky Gardner is the co-editor of Hidden Europe magazine; whenever she has a few days to spare, she’s inclined to hop on an eastbound train from the German capital. Find out why she picked Odessa and Belarus as her top spots to visit in 2017.
“The fracture line between western and eastern Europe acts as a deterrent for some travellers. But many of the up-and-coming destinations for 2017 are in territories well east of the traditional European travel hotspots. Odessa has eclipsed Genoa as a chic port city, and visitors to the Black Sea resort are rarely disappointed. Long gone are the days of dour Soviet service, and today Odessa makes a great choice for a first visit to Ukraine.
“Or why not venture to Belarus, where there’s still a touch of Soviet style in the monuments and street art? For a first taste of the country, make for Hrodna or Vitebsk, both amiable mid-size cities. Vitebsk was the home city of artist Marc Chagall. Belarus, like Ukraine, offers great value for money and, being off the beaten track, visitors still get a warm welcome. If heading for Belarus, take along a copy of Nigel Roberts’ excellent guidebook. The third of edition of Belarus was published by Bradt Travel Guides in 2015.”
Suze Renner, a food, style and travel blogger, gives her take on everything luxury, from top restaurants and places to visit. Iceland is her top pick for the year ahead.
“My top tip for 2017 would be to visit Iceland – the landscape has an undeniable charm and if you’re lucky you’ll see the northern lights! The food is delicious, Icelanders have a wicked sense of humour, and natural wonders such as the erupting geysirs will leave you thrilled.”
Keen traveler Ross Fraser writes about his trips over on The Luxury Editor. Thailand is his favourite place to hang out in 2017, and here’s why:
“My recommended destination for 2017 in Thailand; it’s a hands-down winner for me. The land of smiles has never failed to disappoint me over my many years exploring the country. Thailand is a great introduction to Asia if you haven’t been before: people are helpful, the sun is shining and nothing is too much trouble. Start your adventure in the sprawling metropolis of Bangkok and visit the city’s many tourist attractions, do a bit if shopping while you are there and immerse yourself in the city’s chaotic culture.
“Then make your way down to one of Thailand’s islands for some beach relaxation – I love Phuket which is peppered with beaches and hidden coves meaning you can often have an entire beach to yourself if you book a villa on the island. You really will feel like Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach.”
An experimental luxury traveler, Matt Long has visited more than 70 countries and shares his adventures with thousands of readers everyday.
He says: “2017 is a special year in Canada. There are lots of anniversaries going on, including the 150th birthday of the Canadian Confederation and the 100th anniversary of the country’s impressive national parks system. From coast to coast, these parks are some of the most beautiful places on the planet and two in particular – Banff and Jasper – rank among my favorite travel destinations.
“This is the best year to explore Canada’s national parks because, in light of this celebration, all parks will be free to visitors for the duration of the year. Take advantage of this rare chance to see the best of Canada’s natural treasures for free. Some highlights of Canada’s National Parks include: the Icefields Parkway, Maligne Lake, Bay of Fundy, Gros Morne, Kootenay, Prince Edward Island and many, many more.”
A strong sense of wanderlust has taken Angie Silver all over the globe. Her top recommendation for 2017 is South Africa.
“South Africa is one of my favourite countries and certainly a great place to visit this year. Explore the history, beautiful scenery and eat incredible food in Cape Town and take the short drive to the Winelands to enjoy some fantastic local wines. If there’s time, discover the nature and wildlife along the Garden Route before finishing with the experience of a lifetime – a safari in Kruger Park or Sabi Sands.”
Join fashion-obsessed Bonnie Rakhit on her travels as she shares luxury style tips all over the globe.
“Last year I traveller to 34 destinations in 15 different countries and I ticked off one of my all-time bucket list destinations: Havana. Cuba has been on my agenda for years and after spending just a few days in the vibrant city I completely fell in love with the colourful, crumbling facades of the buildings, the buzz in the streets and the impromptu street parties, which just seemed to explode into life from literally nowhere.
“It totally lived up to all of my expectations and then some. What I especially liked was the laid-back vibe and the way in which the city hasn’t quite caught up with the modern world yet. With plans to build a whole raft of new luxury hotels, and global chains keeping a close eye on the city, I highly recommend visiting now before the true authenticity of this incredible place is lost. There’s still time!”
Heading to the sun with your partner? You don’t have to rent a mansion to holiday in total luxury. We’ve got a whole range of stylish vacation homes that are just perfect for couples.
The theme park capital of the world is famously good for families, but Orlando can be just as exciting for couples. These compact but luxurious vacation homes are just a short distance from the main rides and attractions.
Located 6 miles from Disney’s main gates, this 1-bedroom condo provides all of the luxuries you could ever need for a restful stay. With stunning, upscale interiors and a sun-dappled patio area, it’s just steps away from a communal pool – perfect for a relaxing dip after a long day at the theme parks.
Overlooking the renowned Arnold Palmer golf course and set in the heart of Reunion Resort, this 1-bedroom apartment has it all. In close proximity to Orlando’s famous theme parks and a whole host of other attractions, it offers plush furnishings and a private balcony with epic views.
If you would prefer a slightly more spacious Orlando home on your couple’s retreat, this 2-bedroom condo provides just that. Situated on the 8th floor of the Reunion Grande complex, it enjoys great views over Orlando’s best golf courses – and gives you a front-row seat for Disney’s impressive fireworks displays.
Compact living doesn’t mean the end of luxury. This 1-bedroom, open-plan villa provides a private pool, an outdoor dining space and contemporary furnishings throughout. Right near Choeng Mon beach, it offers easy access to local bars, restaurants and shops.
Escape to the beach! This sensational 1-bedroom villa offers a private pool and contemporary interiors, and is just steps away from the crystal-clear Gulf of Thailand. Ideal for a honeymoon or a special solo adventure.
In St. Peter, near Speightstown, this exceptional villa provides luxury at every turn, making it perfect for a sunny getaway. With a private pool and a superb beachfront location, relaxation couldn’t be easier.
Tucked away within 5 acres of private grounds on the banks of the Dordogne River, this snug and secluded cottage is perfect for a loved-up couple. The charming property has its own private pool, plus an outdoor seating area surrounded by rolling countryside.
The gem of the Caribbean, St Martin has everything you need for a totally relaxing escape. Whether you want to spend your days sunbathing on the pristine beaches or checking out the local sights, our vacation homes serve as the perfect base.
Swap a traditional hotel room for your own villa in St Martin. Couples and solo travelers will love this secluded hideaway, which offers its own private pool and jaw-dropping views of the sea. The outside dining area is the ideal place to enjoy dinner.
With firework displays, live entertainment and family events held throughout the year, Orlando is never a boring place to be. But New Year’s Eve is extra special. Whether you’d like to spend it at the electrifying theme parks or dining at one of the city’s best restaurants, you’re sure to have a night to remember. Here are just some of the ways you can ring in the new year.
1. Watch the firework displays at Walt Disney World
New Year’s Eve fireworks at Walt Disney World
Every year, the Disney Parks light up for the festive period, and the lights are still twinkling on New Year’s Eve. Three of the main parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios – put on extra live entertainment for Disney guests, including firework displays. You definitely won’t want to miss the midnight firework spectacular held at Magic Kingdom and Epcot; we’d recommend going early to avoid disappointment.
2. Experience the party zones at Universal Orlando
Character appearances at Universal Orlando
See the New Year in at either of Universal’s parks: Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios. Both parks are open from 8am–1am on December 31. The New Year’s Eve festivities begin with party zones that feature character appearances, live music with DJs and a midnight firework show. As with the displays at Disney (see above), you’ll want to go early to get a decent spot.
3. Celebrate with SeaWorld’s New Year production
Gather the family at SeaWorld Orlando this New Year’s for a marine-tastic production. Watch the celebrations with a firework display and live music to see the New Year in, SeaWorld style.
4. Dance the night away at Reunion Resort Orlando
The Seven Eagles pool at Reunion Resort, Orlando
For guests staying at Reunion Resort over the New Year’s period, the Seven Eagles pool holds an incredible family pool party. Come along and dance the night away, sipping on specialty drinks. You can also wave hello to the New Year by watching the ball drop on Reunion’s big screen. Book in advance, either when you arrive at the resort or through the Top Villas concierge team, which can arrange tickets for you.
5. Dine like royalty at Forte
Forte restaurant in Reunion Resort, Orlando
Make this New Year’s Eve extra special by dining with your nearest and dearest at Forte, one of several swanky restaurants at Reunion Resort. You’ll need to be staying at Reunion Resort in order to dine at the restaurant. To book a table, speak to our concierge team, which can arrange this for you. When your meal’s over, head to the Grande Pavilion (see below) to ring in the new year.
6. Spend New Year’s Eve under the stars
The Grande Pavilion puts on an unmissable event on New Year’s Eve. Guests can celebrate with mouth-watering food, exhilarating mix tapes and a front-row view of the midnight fireworks display; it’ll be a night you won’t forget. Additional drinks – including cocktails, beer and wine – will be available at the cash bar.
7. Welcome the New Year in the most brick-tacular way at LegoLand Florida
Prepare your best dance moves for LegoLand’s New Year’s Eve Party. It starts and finishes early, allowing little ones enough time for a good night’s sleep. Watch the massive Lego ‘brick drop’ and then admire the theme park’s astonishing firework display.
8. Visit Stetson Mansion’s Christmas spectacular
Stetson Mansion on New Years Eve
For something a little different, head to Stetson Mansion, a three-story Victorian house that’s given a festive makeover each Christmas. The holiday spectacular lasts until mid January, and a daytime tour of the house is a great alternative to hitting the town on New Year’s Eve. Book with our concierge team today to guarantee your spot on the tour.
9. Go ice skating at ‘Light Up UCF’
Ice skating at ‘Light Up UCF’
One of the most popular holiday attractions to open in recent years, Light Up UCF is a manmade winter wonderland that stays open until early January. Featuring an ice skating rink, amusement rides and a newly launched light show, it’s located directly in front of the CFE Arena, northeast of downtown Orlando. Skate around and listen to jolly holiday tunes, ending the year in a fun-filled way.
10. See the entire city from the Orlando Eye
The Orlando Eye
Soar up in the air for a truly different experience this New Year’s Eve. Whether its with your family or partner, why not spend the beginning of the New Year up in the sky, watching the entire city of Orlando? Simply admire the views or even experience VIP treatment with the array of different packages available. Book now to grab your space and see the New Year in from a completely new perspective (it’s open until 1am).
For more information or to book any of the events listed above, speak to our concierge team who can arrange tickets. If you’re looking for accommodation over the New Year period, check out our Orlando villa rentals.
Until Friday December 16 2016, we’re giving you the chance to make us an offer on some of our best Orlando vacation homes!
The offer is valid for last-minute stays in January and February 2017, subject to availability, and we’ll consider any reasonable offer. Just call our sales team today and say the magic words: ‘I’m making you an offer’.
Here’s a quick look at the exceptional homes that are included in the offer:
Experience a thriller-packed movie marathon, enjoy a gourmet dining feast, or swim in your private pool at this Orlando vacation home. Complete with 12 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms, it lets you indulge in pure luxury on your family vacation.
Dive into Reunion Resort’s longest pool at this astounding nine-bedroom Orlando vacation home! Enjoy luxury living with your own gym, game room and home theater. Equipped with the finest furnishings, it’ll ensure your Orlando stay is extra special.
Families love this upscale, 8-bedroom rental, which has all the facilities you need for a relaxing break near Disney. Chill out on the deck, play a few frames of pool in the game room, or rustle up a feast in the slick modern kitchen.
Ultra modern and with minimalist interiors throughout, this 5-bedroom home in Reunion Resort has 5,000 sq ft of luxurious living space, plus a home theater with its own 3D TV. Tall glass windows provide views over the nearby golf course.
Condos don’t get much better than this. Reunion Grande 8 is a compact 2-bedroom hideaway complete with amazing views and two spacious balconies. Other amenities include an open-plan living area and a fully equipped kitchen.
All of the bedrooms at this huge Orlando vacation rental are en-suite, so there will be no fighting over who gets the best room. Set within a gated community, the home offers a kids’ play area, a home theater and a custom-designed pool with golf course views.
This 9-bedroom vacation rental has more upscale facilities than many luxury hotels. Stay here and you’ll have access to your own poker room, gym, pool, hot tub and home theater. There are even two bars. Cheers!
Another great option for families, this 5-bedroom vacation rental at the Encore Club has a Harry Potter-themed bedroom with a flat-screen TV. There’s also a Finding Nemo-themed bedroom with murals on the walls.
If you love the look of these Orlando vacation homes, make us an offer we cannot refuse! All reasonable offers will be considered.
Between December and May, skiing takes center stage in the mountainous areas of Europe and North America. Whether it’s a family skiing retreat or a wintry sports vacation, you’ll need somewhere warm and cozy to kick back after a long day on the slopes. These amazing vacation homes are all within easy reach of great skiing and snowboarding, and are a lot more affordable than you’d think…
Skiers and snowboarders flock to Colorado each winter. The bright skies and snow-capped peaks make Colorado a winter wonderland for everyone. And it isn’t all about skiing – you can spend your days here ice skating, snowboarding, tubing or ice climbing.
Ski resorts like Aspen Mountain have vibrant shopping scenes, with boutique stores selling designer clothes and ski essentials. Live music venues and fine-dining restaurants are also easy to come by, and the après ski here is as good as you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Here are some of the best deals for this year.
This newly built vacation home offers direct access to the Snowmass Mountain via Two Creeks Run. Sleeping up to 11 guests, the 5-bedroom property provides an outdoor hot tub, a gourmet kitchen, a media room and oodles of cozy furnishings.
This spacious, timber-framed vacation rental sleeps up to 17 guests. Breathtaking mountain views flood into the house from all angles, and luxury begins at the doorstep. Experience the outdoor hot tub, media room and top-notch living facilities, all just a short distance away from the ski slopes via the Two Creeks Run.
For an ultra-luxurious ski vacation, check into this 6-bedroom mansion, which features every amenity you could possibly need for a week or two on the slopes. It’s home to an indoor pool, a home theater, a fully equipped gym and even 3 bars. Surrounded by the beautiful Aspen mountains, the location couldn’t be better for any skiing enthusiast.
Amidst Aspen’s beautiful mountain scenery, this deluxe, open-plan home with 5 bedrooms provides comfort at every turn. With a fireplace and a hot tub, warming up couldn’t be easier after a day of winter sports. You’ll even have access to a private pond, which doubles up as a personal ice skating rink during ski season!
In the shadow of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, the French resort of Chamonix is renowned for its great winter skiing. In summer it welcomes plenty of climbers and mountaineers, who come to tackle the soaring peaks. With plenty of hiking routes also on offer, including the 11-day Tour du Mont Blanc, the opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors are endless.
For a break away from trekking and skiing you can take the Montenvers train from central Chamonix to the Mer de Glace, the third-largest glacier in the Alps. Other attractions nearby include indoor climbing, golf, cycling, paragliding, swimming, plus festivals and markets, which are held throughout the year.
Set in the Chamonix valley, this ultra-contemporary ski chalet offers a sauna, games area and a private gym, and has space for up to 11 guests. The 360-degree views of the Mont Blanc range and the Chamonix valley will take your breath away. Experience a taste of French luxury on your ski vacation with this villa.
With some of the most spectacular celebrations in the world, Christmas in Orlando is always extra special. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should visit during the holidays.
You can swap winter chills for sunshine
Tired of spending Christmas in the cold? Head to Florida. The weeks before and after Christmas are wonderfully warm, allowing you to swap frosty winter mornings for family pool time. December tends to be around the 72F mark while early January is much cooler, with lows of 49F and reaching up to 70F. Either way, you’ll be able to leave your winter jacket at home. This super-detailed guide has more tips on the best time to visit Florida.
You can shop ’til you drop in Orlando’s malls
Orlando’s shopping scene is perfect for a bit of retail therapy, especially at Christmas time. Discover the best designer brands and hottest trends in The Mall at Millennia and The Florida Mall, which are home to some of Orlando’s top department stores. There’s no shortage of outlet centers, either, with Orlando’s Premium Outlets, International Drive, Vineland Avenue and the Lake Buena Vista Outlets all within easy reach of the main vacation communities. Read our full guide to shopping in Orlando for more tips.
The theme parks are at their best
Theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios bring festive fantasies to life at Christmas time. Whether you’re visiting in the run up to Christmas or on the special day itself, every theme park experience here is unforgettable. The fun doesn’t stop at the renowned rides. Christmas season brings a series of enchanting events, every member of the family will enjoy. From parade celebrations to food festivals, here’s what the top parks have on offer at Christmas:
Every child’s dream is experiencing a Walt Disney World Christmas. ‘The happiest place on Earth’ has plenty of nostalgic cheer to go around, including snowy decorations, glistening lights and festive parades. Here are some of the main events taking place at Disney during Christmas.
Every year, Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom. Featuring live entertainment, sensational fireworks and a jolly parade, the celebrations here are perfect for the entire family. During the Christmas season, the park lights up with Disney characters dressed in festive gear and attractions decorated especially for the occasion. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party usually runs from early November until Christmas itself (selected dates only).
While you’re at the park, check out Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, a triumphant new stage show that’s jam-packed with dancing, singing, laughter and snow – and some of the best-known Disney characters. Fans of Frozen won’t want to miss the enchanting show called A Frozen Holiday Wish, which turns Cinderella’s castle into a glistening icy palace. To top off all the excitement, every evening, their merry parades take center stage with the best Disney characters making an appearance – even Santa joins in the fun! Our concierge team can arrange tickets for you.
Enter the gates of Epcot to experience music and fun-filled celebrations from all around the world! The ‘International Yuletide Extravaganza’ features the holiday traditions of 11 different nations. Live music productions and costumed performers bring the joyous spirit to life. To meet Mr and Mrs Claus, visit the ‘American Adventure Pavilion’ throughout the day between the end of November and Christmas Eve.
On selected dates in November and December, a candlelit procession takes place around Epcot’s central lagoon. You can hear the classic Christmas tale told by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a full choir. Lighting up the sky, Epcot’s firework spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth takes place every night over the winter season. Foodies will love exploring the marketplaces at Epcot, which put on a spread of different and tasty delicacies during the holiday season.
At Disney Springs the winter season kicks off with a wide range of entertainment. From early November to January, you can shop ’til you drop, dine on the best dishes, and enjoy a whole host of fun family activities. Expect tree lights, holiday dancers and carol singers at every turn. The live entertainment usually takes place from 6pm–9pm each evening during the festive period.
Disney Springs is the ultimate place to grab unusual Christmas gifts. Choose from over 100 brands, plus Disney-themed boutiques and specialty shops. Whether shopping for yourself or planning relatives’ Christmas presents, you’re sure to find plenty to buy. After your shopping spree, take a trip down to Santa’s Chalet, located across from Ghiradel Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop – it’s open from November through Christmas Eve, noon–10pm.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Packed with special effects, holiday music, fireworks and endless amounts of snow, the spectacular new show called Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! creates a joyous atmosphere for everyone. Held nightly from mid November until the end of December, the show includes famous scenes from Cinderella, the Nightmare before Christmas and more.
Universal Studios takes the festive celebrations to another level, with daily events from the beginning of December until January.
Universal Studios Florida
Once the traditional ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’ ends in New York it moves over to Universal Florida with a ‘Macy Holiday Parade’ on every evening between December and January. The holiday spectacular features marching bands, merry music and even Santa Claus himself! There’s also a sensational tree lighting ceremony, with dazzling lights and music taking center stage. Other holiday shows include A Barney Holiday and The Blues Brothers Holiday Show.
Islands of Adventure
When the festive season hits, the Seuss Landing area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure transforms into the crazy world of Grinchmas. Explore the winter wonderland with the Who-liday Spectacular, a live re-telling of the classic tale, The Grinch. Watch the whimsical film as it’s brought to life before your very eyes. The show takes place on selected dates and times over the Christmas period. Experience an hilarious moment meeting the quirky Grinch himself or even enjoy breakfast with him at ‘The Grinch & friends character breakfast’.
If you need any additional information about Orlando’s theme parks or to purchase attraction tickets, contact our concierge team.
You can let someone else do all the hard work
Our concierge team is on hand to help make your Christmas celebrations run as smoothly as possible. Just check into your villa and they’ll take care of the rest, from decorating the Christmas tree to preparing a family feast.
Decided to travel to Orlando for the holidays and still want a traditional Christmas dinner? Why not hire a private chef to cook you and all your guests the best festive feast, whilst you kick back and relax in the Orlando sunshine. They can prepare starters, mains and even Christmas puddings.
First Christmas away from home? We can arrange a Christmas tree for your vacation rental, which you can decorate with your favourite baubles.
Would you love to meet Santa Claus? We can help you out! If you’d like the man himself to visit your vacation rental, we can arrange just that.
Everything is open on Christmas day
Despite what you may have heard, most of Orlando’s big attractions are still open on Christmas Day. Our simple guide shows the Christmas opening hours at some of the main sights.
Magic Kingdom: 9am–11pm Epcot Future World: 9am–10.30pm Epcot World Showcase: 11am–10.30pm Disney Hollywood Studios: 8am–11pm Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 9am–8pm Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: closed from 25th December–11th March Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park: 10am–5pm Disney Springs: 10am -12am Universal’s Islands of Adventure: 8am–10pm Universal Studios: 8am–10pm Discovery Cove: 9am–5.30pm SeaWorld: 9am–9pm Busch Gardens: 9am–8pm Aquatica: 10am–5pm
To purchase attraction tickets or for any additional information about the theme parks on Christmas day, speak to our concierge team.