Days 1–5: Orlando at Your Leisure

This is really the minimum amount of time you need to enable you to actually relax and take time to sit by the pool. You don’t have to cram several parks into a single day unless you want to, so take more time on your first few days: first Magic Kingdom, then Universal, then Epcot, then the other two Disney parks, followed by SeaWorld. Of course, if you stick to a schedule as rigid as one major theme park per day, it will take you a week to knock down the seven biggies, and that’s before setting your belly on a single water slide. (And if you want to do that, Volcano Bay is now the hottest water park of the four major choices in Orlando.) Combining Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios into a single day is doable and won’t cause you to miss too much, although with the opening of the second Harry Potter land, the same can no longer be said for Universal’s parks—now they require a day and a half, at least. This combination lets you do the seven major parks in 5 days.

Days 6–7: Exploring Orlando Beyond the Theme Parks

Hitting the Big 7 in 5 days leaves 2 days to get away from the dizzying pressures of theme parking. Take a day to drive out to Kennedy Space Center, or take a dip in a natural spring, such as De Leon Springs, and make a pass through the American original town of Cassadaga. It would be a shame to miss a collection as world class as the Morse Museum’s astonishing Tiffany glass. While you’re there, take a late-afternoon boat cruise past the mansions of Winter Park—when you’re out on the water, you’ll finally get a feeling for the “real” Florida that attracted the builders of the major resorts in the first place. Afterward, you’ll be near some of Orlando’s best restaurants, most of which the tourists never visit.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.