Travel to Orlando – plan your travel the smart way!
Orlando is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations for families and with very good reason. It offers a wealth of attractions which cater for all ages and everything is easily accessible. In this article we take a look at various ways to navigate around Orlando.
Although Orlando is ranked as the forth-worst city to drive around, driving is still a popular option for holiday travelers. The main advantage is that you can choose which attractions to visit and at what times. You are not reliant on the schedules of public transport or the long journeys as they stop to pick up and drop off more passengers. You are also not limited to just accessing the larger attractions but can take your family off the beaten track to find restaurants and attractions to suit your needs. Most of the popular Orlando tourist attractions offer ample parking at a small charge although Disney offers all their resort guests free parking at their attractions for convenience. Another advantage of hiring a car whilst in Orlando is that you can collect it from the airport which will make lugging your baggage around the city much easier. Cars are a convenient option for families, especially those with young children who might not be able to endure long queues for public transport at peak times and the inconvenience of getting strollers on and off monorails and buses. International car hire companies like Alamo are situated at Orlando International airport or there are lots of local operators you can pickup near International Drive.
If you don’t want to rent a car to get around the attractions of Orlando, then there are a number of public bus services which go to all of the popular resorts and theme parks. The Lynx bus system caters for tourists looking to get to the Disney Resorts and Universal Studios and offers express and day passes which can save you money. Mears Transportation also caters for most of the top attractions in Orlando including Universal Studios, SeaWorld and the Kennedy Space Centre. However at peak times, the bus services may be delayed whilst seating might be limited.
Disney offers an extensive free transportation system which runs throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort. It includes a combination of buses, the monorail and even water taxis which can transport you to whichever attraction you want to see. However the transportation system does not take you to other Orlando attractions and at peak times such as park opening and closing, there may be long queues and delays. Due to the free nature of the Disney transportation system, the routes are often indirect and you could end up spending a long time on transport between your desired parks. However you choose to get around Orlando and its popular tourist attractions, you can be assured of a great time.
Get the tips and know-how before you go. Orlando is a sprawling metro area and it will pay-off if you know what to expect ahead of time.
Destinations considered to be in the Orlando metro area include Kissimmee, Winter Park, Lake Buena Vista and International Drive.
For more information on the lay of the land, see my Orlando maps and driving guide.
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
If you arrive in Orlando by plane, you’re most likely to land at Orlando’s MCO airport. This provides the gateway to the area for 94,000 visitors per day.
It’s a major US airport with flights to cities across the US, UK, Europe, the Caribbean and many more countries worldwide…
Orlando airport is located just 6 miles south east of Orlando’s downtown district. It’s well-served by shuttle services, taxis and car rental companies. It even has 4 on-site hotels!
- Orlando International Airport
- Orlando Airport Parking
- 10 Best Orlando Airport Hotels
- Orlando Airport Shuttle
Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB)
This is Orlando’s second largest airport. It’s not as close to the city and its many attractions as MCO, but nevertheless it is a major arrival point for many domestic and European visitors. This airport has mainly charter flights from carriers such as Thomas Cook and Thompson. There are scheduled flights – these mainly serve US cities and European cities.
International Drive Trolley
If you’re travelling to Orlando from overseas and don’t relish the prospect of driving in an unfamiliar city, then consider using the I-Ride Trolley.
It serves south Orlando’s International Drive district – one of the main tourist areas of Orlando. It’s a convenient and cheap way to see all of Orlando’s main attractions, shopping centers, nightlife and theme parks. There are literally hundreds of places you can visit.
Orlando Rental Cars
Travel to Orlando and around the area is mostly by car. There are many advantages of renting a car for your visit. It’s true that travelling by car is the most speedy and convenient way to get around. Like many cities in the US – car is king!
Did you know that the Orlando car rental market is the world’s busiest? Not only does this mean there is great choice, but also that you should never have to pay full price.
Orlando Taxis & Limos
Travel to Orlando using taxis can save you money on hotel parking, theme park parking and on rental cars. There are many different taxi companies to choose from. Find out which companies to use and how much your taxi trip should cost when travelling around Orlando.
Please see our guide to Orlando taxis.
A limo is a great alternative way to travel around Orlando for a special event or just for the sheer fun of it! We recommend you look at Orlando Limousine Rentals for special rates and for an instant quote for Orlando limos and party bus rentals.
Disney Magical Express
If you are staying at one the Disney owned hotels, you can take advantage of the free Disney shuttle service from Orlando International airport to the Disney World resorts, for more details can be found here: Disney Magical Express
Visit the link above to discover how to enjoy free shuttle bus service for your arrival and departure from Orlando.