The 7 Best Kennedy Space Center Tours [2021 Reviews]

If space exploration interests you, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is the best place on Earth to see real-life space vehicles. In this modern facility filled with dozens of interactive attractions, you can learn everything there is to know about space. You can even speak with a veteran of the American Space Program.

However, there are many Kennedy Space Center trips from Orlando. When you plan your visit, you must ensure you choose a KSC excursion that provides you with everything you want from the experience. Not every KSC tour guarantees you’ll meet with a real astronaut or see an active launch pad.

To help you decide, we’ve selected the 7 top-rated Orlando Kennedy Space Center adventures and review them below. Take your time to study the differences between these different KSC tours so you know you’re booking the best Kennedy Space Center excursion for you and your family. And you also might like to check out our Orlando, Florida Travel Guide.

Best Kennedy Space Center Tours

 Kennedy Space Center with Transportation from OrlandoFrom Orlando: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Space PassOrlando: Kennedy Space Center and Airboat Tour
editors choice
Kennedy Space Center with Transportation from OrlandoFrom Orlando: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Space PassOrlando: Kennedy Space Center and Airboat Tour
Departure Point:Hotel pick-upHotel pick-upHotel pick-up
Departure Time:7:30 AM7:30 AM7:30 AM
Duration:9 hours12 hours12 hours
Includes:Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, and KSP Visitors’ ComplexTransportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, and dine with an astronautTransportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, meet an astronaut, and go for an airboat ride

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Kennedy Space Center Tours

  1. Kennedy Space Center with Transportation from Orlando
  2. Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Space Pass
  3. Kennedy Space Center & Airboat Tour
  4. Kennedy Space Center Tour & Dine with an Astronaut
  5. Kennedy Space Center with KSC Explore Tour
  6. Kennedy Space Center: Ultimate Space Experience
  7. Kennedy Space Center: Space Pass Entrance Ticket

Kennedy Space Center Tours Reviewed

#1 Kennedy Space Center with Transportation from Orlando

Kennedy Space Center with Transportation from Orlando

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, and KSP Visitors’ Complex

This is the best value Kennedy Space Center tour. It enables you to experience everything there is to do and see at the space center. Space enthusiasts will appreciate this full-day experience where you and your family can immerse yourselves in everything space related.

Visit the fascinating exhibit about the Hubble Telescope and then watch the Hubble 3D IMAX movie. This opens your eyes to the distant stars, solar systems, and galaxies we can now view from Earth with the aid of this amazing technology.

Once you’ve seen where humankind is headed, see how we might get there. Enter the amazing Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit where you’ll come face to face with a real-life Space Shuttle that once flew in space and docked with the International Space Station (ISS). This exhibit also reveals the history of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

There is so much to see at the Kennedy Space Center, and the bus tour of the Mobile Rocket Launch Platform and Vehicle Assembly Building enables you to appreciate the huge scale of this space-faring endeavor.

With transport from local resorts and full access to all of the Kennedy Space Center’s many exhibits and visitors’ complex, this is the best Kennedy Space Center adventure from Orlando for any space-loving family.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#2 From Orlando: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Space Pass

From Orlando: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Space Pass

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, and dine with an astronaut

This Orlando Kennedy Space Center trip is ideal for the truly space-obsessed family. It offers the unique opportunity for you to dine with a genuine astronaut!

Have you ever dreamed of speaking with someone who has experienced living and working in a vacuum and without gravity? With this unique “dine with an astronaut”, you can. You and your kids can ask all those questions you always wanted to when you come face-to-face with one of the few people on Earth qualified to give you the answers you seek.

This long-day excursion to the Kennedy Space Center also gives you a behind-the-scenes experience at NASA’s launch headquarters. You’ll see the Space Shuttle launch pads from the vantage of a 4-floor observation deck.

In some of the many exciting exhibits at the Kennedy Space Center, you can take the helm of a Space Shuttle, reenact Neil Armstrong’s famous “giant step for mankind”, and feel what it’s like to float in outer space.

This is the best Kennedy Space Center excursion from Orlando for a fun-packed family adventure that ticks all the space-lover’s boxes. Before you go, make sure you write a list of all the questions you want to ask a space veteran.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#3 Orlando: Kennedy Space Center and Airboat Tour

Orlando: Kennedy Space Center and Airboat Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, meet an astronaut, and go for an airboat ride

This is the best Kennedy Space Center tour for anyone who also wants to experience the wonders of nature in Florida’s swamps. It features a 30-minute airboat ride along the St. Johns River and Lake Poinsett.

Hang onto your hats as your airboat tears along the river at adrenaline-pumping speeds of up to 45 mph. Once you’ve reached the best location to observe the unique flora and fauna of this special wilderness area, your boat will slow to a crawl as you snap photographs of cypress knees, wading birds, and, of course, alligators.

But you didn’t come to this part of Florida just to admire the amazing wildlife. At the Kennedy Space Center, you’ll get to walk beneath the giant Saturn V moon rocket and meet a real-life astronaut. This is your chance to ask anything you want about space when you meet a person who really knows the answers.

You’ll need all day to take in the many interactive exhibits at the space center. The highlight must be the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit. At this unique exhibit, you’ll come face-to-face with a vehicle that entered space no less than 33 times during its 26-year career.

Get your cameras ready for the greatest adventure of your lives. Unless you’re chosen for the first manned mission to Mars, this Orlando space center adventure will be the closest you ever get to space.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



 

#4 Kennedy Space Center Tour and Dine with an Astronaut

Kennedy Space Center Tour and Dine with an Astronaut

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 7:30 AM
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Mobile Rocket Launch Platform bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, and dine with an astronaut

This is the best Kennedy Space Center trip for people who want to experience what it’s actually like to be an astronaut. The latest interactive technology enables you to become an astronaut aboard a virtual space shuttle.

Arguably, the most thrilling experience is strapping yourself into the shuttle cockpit as you prepare for the countdown to an imminent launch. Feel the trepidation as you listen to the countdown and anticipate the chemical reaction and associated acceleration kick.

Be extremely careful as you pilot the space shuttle during a virtual extravehicular activity and dock your shuttle with the International Space Station. And when your flight is over, you have the arduous and dangerous task of gliding your shuttle to a landing on the re-entry slide.

But this Kennedy Space Center tour isn’t all virtual. You’ll get to speak and eat with a real-life astronaut. What’s more, you’ll see genuine space vehicles on display, including the rockets that took men to the moon and the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

This full-day Kennedy Space Center adventure is perfect for families who love everything space-related. There will not be a single dull moment, and you’ll likely want to visit again as soon as possible.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#5 Kennedy Space Center With KSC Explore Tour

Kennedy Space Center With KSC Explore Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 8.45 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Vehicle Assembly Building & Launch Complex 39A bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, and KSP Visitors’ Complex

This is the best Kennedy Space Center tour for visitors interested in the future of space exploration. This Orlando space excursion includes a visit to the launch pads now used by NASA’s new commercial partners, such as ULA and SpaceX. Witness with your own eyes the place history is made today.

This special space excursion from Orlando begins with an astronaut meet and greet welcome. You’ll get to speak with a real-life astronaut and learn firsthand about their experiences in outer space.

After an orientation tour, you are free to explore the many exciting interactive exhibits around the space center. This includes the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit where you will see a genuine space shuttle posed as it appeared in space with its payload bay doors open and its camera boom extended.

A variety of high-tech simulators enable you to experience many of the more exciting parts of space exploration. Strap yourself in for a takeoff, practice the delicate maneuvers of docking the space shuttle with the International Space Station, and find out how it feels to float in a zero-gravity environment.

With many other exciting exhibits to experience, including 2 IMAX films and the Saturn V Rocket, there’s plenty to do and see during this day-long Florida space adventure. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#6 Kennedy Space Center: Ultimate Space Experience

Kennedy Space Center: Ultimate Space Experience

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 8.30 AM
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Transportation, KSC entrance, Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Discover KSC bus tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, KSP Visitors’ Complex, and lunch with an astronaut

If you prefer fully guided tours, this is the best Kennedy Space Center trip for you. It features the Discover KSC bus tour. On the Discover KSC bus tour, you are accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, and your bus accesses areas not seen on the regular launch pads bus tour.

This tour also provides you with the enviable experience of eating with an astronaut. An astronaut from NASA’s space program will join you for a buffet lunch and tell you about their experiences in training and in space. If your kids dream of becoming astronauts, this is their best opportunity to find out what it’s really like from someone who knows.

After the bus tour and lunch, take the time to fully explore the Kennedy Space Center. Walk under the mammoth Saturn V Space Rockets and go to visit the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit. Nowhere else on Earth will you find so many genuine space vehicles on display.

With the latest interactive exhibits to experience, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time. Be an astronaut for the day and maybe prepare yourself to sign up for the first manned mission to Mars.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#7 Kennedy Space Center: Space Pass Entrance Ticket

Kennedy Space Center: Space Pass Entrance Ticket

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: 1275 NE 79th Street, Miami
  • Departure Time: 7:00 AM, 2:00 PM
  • Duration: 4 or 8 hours
  • Includes: Boat charter, life vest & safety equipment, fishing gear, lures, fishing licenses, and cold bottled water

This is the best Kennedy Space Center tour for space lovers who like to organize things for themselves. You arrange your own transport to the space center, but your ticket is valid all day so that you don’t need to rush.

The one event you must plan your day around is your buffet meal with an astronaut. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet with a veteran of the American Space Program who can tell you all about their experiences in outer space.

There are over 60 interactive exhibits in the Kennedy Space Center visitors’ center. These fascinating exhibits enable you to see real space vehicles and discover how they work. You’ll also have the chance to touch a rock brought back from the moon.

If you’re thinking of applying to join the first manned mission to Mars, don’t miss out on all the simulations around the center. You can discover what it’s like to blast off into space, experience weightlessness, and learn how to dock a space shuttle to the International Space Station.

The highlight of this Kennedy Space Center trip is the Discover KSC bus tour. A knowledgeable guide will take you around the space center on a 2-hour guided tour. You’ll see areas not covered by the regular space center bus tour as well as seeing the launch pads used by the space shuttles when they were in operation.

Spend all day at Kennedy Space Center and see all you can. When your time is up, you won’t want to leave. And you’ll definitely want to come back again soon.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



Orlando, Florida Travel Guide

The city of Orlando is famous world-wide. Many who have never stepped foot in the US can point to this fascinating city’s location on a world map. But Orlando isn’t famous because of its history or fine architecture. Instead, it is so well known because of a simple business decision made by the Walt Disney Company in the late 60s to build Walt Disney World in its southern suburbs.

The Best Kennedy Space Center Tours

The opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 was followed by the construction of other major theme parks in the area, such as Fun Spot America, Universal Studios Florida, the Holy Land Experience, and Legoland. This makes Orlando the world’s capital for theme park fanatics.

But Orlando isn’t only about theme parks. It is also home to the internationally renowned Kennedy Space Center and a range of other cultural and educational sites. For example, there is Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Gatorland, and Orlando Museum of Art.

Orlando boasts easy access to a broad range of unique natural attractions. For example, it is a great base for exploring the fascinating wilderness areas of the Florida Everglades. You can enjoy a boat safari through this unique environment and admire the waterfowl and amphibians that make it their home.

The city is also surrounded by a near countless number of lakes, many of which are perfect fishing destinations. Florida is the sport-fishing capital of the world, and Central Florida around Orlando boasts the best freshwater bass fishing you can find. Thousands of keen anglers flock to Orlando every year to fish at Clear Lake, Lake Ivanhoe, Sarke Lake, Turkey Lake, Lake Underhill, Lake Tohopekaliga, and other fantastic angling spots.

The Kennedy Space Center

Cape Canaveral on Florida’s eastern coast is less than an hour’s drive (55 miles) away from the city, making Orlando the best base for visiting the world’s most famous spaceport. Cape Canaveral has hosted space rocket experiments and exploration since 1949 when early rockets were tested here.

Since 1968, the Kennedy Space Center (KSS) has been the main launch site of NASA’s human spaceflight programs. Famous space missions such as the Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Skylab programs were based here. And today KSS is still a launch center for space flights, including the commercial SpaceX launches that so often feature in news reports.

Today, many iconic spacecrafts from NASA’s history are displayed at KSS, including the Space Shuttle Atlantis and a gigantic Saturn V space rocket. KSS also features a wealth of historical artifacts connected with space exploration and interactive attractions designed to entertain and educate the whole family.

Traveling in the time of COVID

Like many other destinations worldwide, some tours and visitor attractions in Miami may have adopted special procedures during the pandemic.

Wearing a mask may be mandatory in some locations, especially in enclosed public areas such as travel hubs and shopping malls. You may be expected to supply your own mask and wear it when you enter buildings.

It is in your own interest to keep your distance from other visitors who are not in your family group or bubble. You may be expected to keep your distance inside minibuses and other vehicles and when seated in restaurants.

At the time of writing, the State of Florida welcomes visitors but requires pre-travel testing for Covid-19 for visitors arriving from overseas not more than 3 days before traveling. Visitors must also sign an attestation that their documentation is genuine. Visitors will be required to hand over “covid-free” certification at the airport You can obtain the most up-to-date information directly from the Florida Health website.

Airports & Entry

The easiest way to travel to Orlando is by air. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is a major travel hub for Central Florida. In 2019, MCO handled over 50 million passengers, though this dropped to 21 million in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Obviously, MCO is extremely busy 24/7. At the time of writing, the new South Terminal Complex is still under construction, which will help to handle the expected surge of visitors after the COVID restrictions are ended. However, even now, MCO has the well-trained staff and facilities to make your arrival and departure as painless as possible.

MCO is packed full of stores and restaurants alongside the other facilities you’d expect in such a busy airport. While many of the stores close by 5 pm and the restaurants by 8 pm, the Main Terminal McDonald’s is open from 5:30 am to 10 pm.

An interesting fact is that Orlando is the world’s biggest rental car market. You’ll find 10 major car rental companies at the airport on the Ground Transportation Level on the A-Side of the Terminal: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, and Thrifty. Avis, Budget, and Payless also operate on the B-Side. Given that MCO is only a short 15-minute drive from downtown Orlando and several of the local major attractions, renting a car is an easy option.

Lynx operate an airport bus service from the A-Side of the Main Terminal. Regular Shuttle Bus services operate from both the A-Side and the B-Side. Alternatively, taxis are available on both sides. You should expect taxi fares from MCO of around $45 to downtown Orlando and $65 to Walt Disney World.

If you are taking an international flight into Orlando, you will need your passport as well as authorization and your “covid-free” certification. If you play to stay fewer than 90 days, you will need an ESTA, Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is a form of visa waiver.

Planning Tips

Many people believe Orlando is the same year-round and an easy place to visit. Given that so many tourist-focused attractions are based around this city, this is partially true. However, there are some important facts you should take into consideration.

Here are a few tips. If you have questions about your visit that aren’t covered by this guide or other tips for visitors, leave us a message in the comments.

Tip #1: Go in Spring or the Fall

For fewer crowds and better weather, it is preferable to visit Orlando in the spring or the fall. If you must visit in summer due to your kids’ school holidays, go late in August when local children are back in school.

With 75 million visitors a year, there are always queues in Orlando. You should be prepared for this. Major US holidays should be avoided at any cost unless you want to be stuck in the longest queues at the airport and attractions. Especially avoid Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas — unless you have your heart set on seeing the special holiday season events and decorations.

Tip #2: Be Prepared for the Tropical Weather

When you see Orlando attractions on the TV or in films, the weather is always beautiful. There is a lot of truth to this. However, if you visit during the summer, it is important to prepare for the humidity and draining heat. The temperatures can reach as high as 1000F and the humidity 100%.

Brief but sharp thunderstorms are common, so light plastic ponchos you can don in a hurry are advisable. Ensure you use plenty of sunblock and consider wide-brimmed hats for added protection from the sun.

Tip #3: Enjoy Day Trip Tours but Book Ahead

With more theme parks and tourist attractions than any other city in the world, there are lots of tours available in Orlando. You might want to take a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center or enjoy a safari in the Florida Everglades. However, with so many tourists pouring into Orlando, you should book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Tip #4: Spend at Least One Day in Nature

If you’re on vacation with your family, it’s tempting to spend all your time at theme parks. There are so many! However, if you do this, you will miss one of Orlando’s greatest benefits.

With the Florida Everglades on its doorstep plus more lakes than any other major destination, Orlando is a wonderful location for nature lovers. Whether you want to go kayaking on a lake, enjoy some quiet time fishing, or see the alligators in the Everglades, there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Orlando.

Tip #5: Allow Plenty of Time at the Theme Parks

When you glance at those colorful park maps online, you might get the impression that you can walk from one ride to the next in a couple of minutes. Don’t be fooled! The Walt Disney World Resort, for example, is spread over an area of 47 square miles. It is not always practical to walk from one ride to the next and walking in the Florida sun can be tiring.

Allow plenty of time in your plans for enjoying all the rides and park attractions that you want to experience. And remember your young kids may become tired quicker than you expect in the tropical weather. Also note some rides and attractions are too scary for young children and some unsuitable for pregnant ladies.

Restaurants & Eating Out

As you can easily imagine, the large number of tourists regularly flocking to Orlando has given rise to a vast range of restaurants offering every kind of food you might want. Within the theme parks, there is a wide choice of fast-food outlets. However, these can be overpriced. Outside the parks, you will find many relatively inexpensive eating outlets.

A great place to visit is Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Road. Here you’ll find the greatest range of choices in Orlando. Restaurant Row offers you the chance to sample some of this city’s finest restaurants and its culinary diversity.

Many seasoned Orlando visitors head for the restaurants for breakfast before hitting the theme parks. There are many “eat all you can” buffet-style restaurants that offer fantastic value for money.

In the afternoon and evening, watch out for Early Bird Specials. Because so many visitors stick to the theme parks until late, the restaurants outside the parks offer incentives to attract early diners.

Early Bird Specials are typically served at a la carte restaurants between 4 pm and 6 pm. Note that doggy bags are a norm in Florida a la carte restaurants, so don’t be shy about asking for one if you cannot finish your meal.

Also watch out for meal discount vouchers. You may find these scattered among the tourist leaflets at your hotel or even on display outside the restaurants. With the competition between eateries so intense, discount vouchers are common.

A quick visit to the Tourist Information Center will provide you with information about restaurants offering significant discounts and possibly a physical card that entitles you to discounts at participating restaurants. To encourage repeat visits, some restaurants offer an extra-large discount to returning customers who produce their last bill.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The profusion of theme parks in Orlando has led to an interesting broad range of evening dinner shows. If you ever wanted to attend a medieval banquet in a castle complete with jesters and jugglers, you’re in the right place.

Alternatively, eat with pirates or enjoy live wrestling while you eat. Whatever kind of entertainment you enjoy the most, you can probably find a dinner show in Orlando to suit you and your family’s taste.

Much like with the restaurants, the large number of visitors has given rise to a wide variety of nightlife in and around the city. You’ll find some of American’s top nightclubs, live music venues, and bars waiting to welcome you.

Two especially popular night spots are Disney Springs in Walt Disney World and Universal City Walk in the Universal Orlando Resort. These two locations offer a range of shows, bars, and night clubs to suit all tastes.

If you prefer a quiet evening and enjoy sampling unique craft beers, check out Orlando’s local brewery scene. There are many craft breweries to choose from, including the Crooked Can Brewing Co., Sea Dog Brewing Co., Ocean Sun Brewing, and Dead Lizard Brewing Co.

Getting Around

Due to the large number of visitors and the way the various theme parks are spread widely across the city, public transport is a viable way of getting around in Orlando. In fact, the LYNX bus is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways of traveling within the city.

There are 60 LYNX routes that cost $2 per ride running at either 15-minute, 30-minute, or 1-hour intervals. And LYNX also operates a FREE loop bus service around downtown Orlando running every 5 minutes called LYMMO. Watch out for bus stops marked with a pink bus symbol or paw prints.

Many large Orlando hotels offer free shuttle bus services to the major theme parks and the airport. Check with your hotel before you travel.

If you’re looking for a more personal service from doorstep to doorstep, there are dozens of taxi companies in Orlando. The majority use a meter with a $2.23 standing charge followed by a $1.76 per kilometer rate. Uber is generally cheaper and growing ever more popular in Orlando.

However, as mentioned earlier, car hire is the most popular transport option in Orlando. This is a city designed with cars in mind, so the road network is well-built and maintained and there are ample parking facilities at all the major attractions. Driving yourself around offers the most flexibility and is the most convenient if you’re staying in a rented vacation villa.

Note that you’ll need a US or International Driving License to hire a car in Orlando. There are toll roads in the city, including the routes from the airport to Orlando’s main attractions. And the gas stations closest to the theme parks and the airport charge inflated gas prices.

Accommodations

With more tourists than residents, you’ll find a broad range of accommodation available in Orlando. There are thousands of rental homes close to the theme parks and major attractions, many with luxury amenities like a gym and a swimming pool. And there are over 450 resorts and hotels to choose from.

The best advice we can offer is to first decide what kind of accommodation best suits your family and then shop around. Generally, hotels inside the more popular theme parks will charge premium prices, and you can rent a villa a few miles from the gates for a fraction of the cost.

If you are traveling as part of a large family group, a vacation rental home will usually be your best value choice. But if you are traveling alone or just with your partner, you may find a hotel room more convenient and affordable.

The hotels are mainly clustered in three areas: International Drive, Kissimmee, and Lake Buena Vista.

If you are not hiring a car, International Drive (I-Drive) is your best option. Along the 11-mile length of I-Drive, you’ll find attractions, stores, restaurants, and hotels side by side. These attractions include The Orlando Eye, Aquatica, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Most of the hotels here offer free shuttle services to the major theme parks.

If you prefer somewhere quieter and away from the busy parks and attractions, you’ll like Kissimmee. It is only a short drive from Disney World and International Drive but far enough away to avoid the noise and crowds. You’ll find lots of high-quality vacation rental homes in this area. Kissimmee also makes a great base for exploring other parts of Florida beyond the city, such as the Kennedy Space Center.

If you’ve come to Orlando because you’ve always dreamed of visiting Walt Disney World and intend to spend most of your time there, stay in Lake Buena Vista. It is the most convenient location for reaching all 5 Disney Parks. Lake Buena Vista is also a prime destination for outlet shopping and golfing.

Weather

As mentioned earlier, Orlando benefits from fine sunny weather year-round, but there are distinct seasonal variations. Orlando’s weather can be summarized into two seasons: one warm and dry, the other hot and wet.

From mid-October to April, the weather is typically warm and dry, with daily temperature maximums ranging from 700F to 840F and minimums from 490F to 650F. There is little rainfall during this period.

From May to mid-October, the weather tends to be hot but wet. The average daily temperature maximum hovers around 900F and the minimum around 750F. During the summer, there are frequent rainstorms that are short but sharp.

While hurricanes rarely hit Orlando, there is a small risk. The hurricane season occurs toward the end of the summer between mid-August and mid-October. There are often bargain vacation deals offered during this period, but it’s a good idea to check the Orlando weather updates before visiting.

Attractions

Orlando boasts the world’s best selection of major theme parks and other must-see attractions, such as the Kennedy Space Center, the Holy Land Experience, and Central Florida Zoo.

You can’t possibly see everything during a single visit. Here is a brief selection of highlights.

Walt Disney World

It’s no big secret that the majority of tourists headed for Orlando go there to see the mouse. Walt Disney World is the world’s most visited resort welcoming 58 million guests per year before the pandemic.

Walt Disney World is divided into four parks, of which Magic Kingdom is the best known. That’s where you’ll find Cinderella’s Castle and all your favorite cartoon characters. Epcot Spaceship Earth is where you can visit other countries and experience different cultures.

The Hollywood Studios park offers visitors an insiders view of movie magic. There you can tour movie studios, see stunt people in action, and watch live special effects. If you’re interested in African animals, you’ll love the Kilimanjaro Safari Experience at Animal Kingdom where you can see big game animals running free in their natural habitats.

Universal Studios Florida

Not to be outdone by Disney, Universal Studios offer a combined working movie studio and theme park experience in Orlando designed with the help of Steven Spielberg.

There are 7 themed islands withing Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Each island is dedicated to a major theme franchise, such as the Marvel Superhero Island and the Jurassic Park Island. There you can meet your favorite movie characters and enjoy thrilling themed rides.

Many younger visitors are lured by the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here you’ll find Hogsmeade village, Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Orlando Sea World

This world-famous sea life center is renowned for its huge aquariums where you can enjoy whale and dolphin shows. A behind the scenes tour is a great way to learn about marine conservation as well as seeing the baby dolphins at play.

Sea World also features adrenaline-pumping rides including a selection of refreshing water rides. Those who enjoy roller coasters will be eager to ride the Kraken Virtual Reality Coaster, the Manta Coaster, and the Mako Hyper Coaster.

Gatorland

While you’re in Florida, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to get up close and friendly with a whole bunch of crocodiles, alligators, and other reptiles. Gatorland features daily shows and demonstrations where you can learn all there is to know about Florida’s most famous animals.

Gatorland also features 2 exciting ziplines: the Gator Gauntlet and the Screamin’ Gator. These ziplines zip you through the air over the crocodile and alligator pens. You might also enjoy the self-guided swamp walk and the Gator Gully Splash Park for younger visitors.

 

 

Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.

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