Orlando may be the land of theme parks (famous for the reigning king of the parks, Walt Disney World Resort) but there’s so much more to this beautiful city than that.
It probably comes as no surprise that Orlando is one of the most family-friendly destinations you can find. Think sandy shores, a rich museum scene, competitive sports culture and a mouth-watering cuisine. For the best of both worlds, spend adrenaline-filled days on the coasters and more relaxing days immersing yourself in the rich culture of this glorious city.
Our Orlando villas are the perfect place to return to after a day of adventuring - take a splash in the pool, explore the resort amenities or soak up the Florida sun in your outdoor space.
Unlike the rest of our collection, our villas in Orlando, Florida are all based within resorts.
Resorts in Florida add another level to your villa holiday experience, with swimming pools, fitness centres, clubhouses, golf courses and kids’ activities – so you can really live the easy breezy Florida lifestyle.
Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in Orlando have this in spades. We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.
Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.
Although there's plenty of other things to do in Orlando, it wouldn't be right not to mention the world-class theme parks. With an epic 6 parks to choose from across Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, it’s a totally magical place for children.
It's a golf lover's dream! With an abundance of golf courses, you can enjoy some R&R on the green while the adrenaline junkies spend the day on the coasters.
Our luxury villas in Orlando will give your family holiday the added wow-factor, offering privacy, pools and plenty of amenities.
Orlando is a hub for good food and amazing restaurants. Seafood fanatics will love the array of fish dishes - we'd recommend the conch fritters, a type of sea snail deep fried in a delicious batter and served as an appetiser. For those not so into the fishy side of things, Orlando is brimming with barbeque favourites so meat lovers won't be short for choice. And for dessert? Named as it's signature dish, Key Lime Pie is a must try when you're in Orlando, zingy, sweet and creamy... it's a real American dream.
What Oliver loves
The super friendly locals are happy to help with any queries or recommendations. You'll be sure to feel right at home on a villa holiday in Orlando.
Best time to go
The best time to visit Orlando is between March – May as the weather is at it's best and the prices are most reasonable (particularly at the theme parks). Bear in mind spring break happens around March/April time so you might want to check before you book.
June through August are the rainiest months with frequent thunderstorms happening until October time. You'll want to bring an umbrella and a raincoat if you're visiting in the summer months.
January - February and September - November are the cheapest times to visit as they don't coincide with school holidays and the weather isn't as warm.
Renting a car is highly recommended so you can have the freedom to visit attractions away from the theme parks.
If you’re driving, buy a SunPass online or from Florida’s welcome centre/supermarkets/pharmacies. You need to top this up so you can use it at the toll roads, which are cashless. Otherwise, you’ll get a bill when you arrive home.
Tipping across America is customary and is always expected. 15-20% is the norm, but make sure to check your bill as sometimes gratuity is already added.
Orlando is the jackpot when it comes to all things kid-friendly. Most restaurants offer kids menus and tourist attractions are centred around children, many at children’s prices and with targeted tours and activities.
With plenty of interactive attractions, museums and outdoor adventures to choose from, it's basically a playground for little ones. We'd recommend The Chocolate Kingdom Tour for a day filled with chocolately goodness. Take the journey from Cacao Tree Greenhouse to the one-of-a-kind Chocolate Museum, and watch the kids go speechless at the Mystical River of Chocolate! I mean, come on, it's a sure winner!
For older kids, Orlando is only an hour's drive from many dazzling beaches with watersports at the forefront of the culture. Let them have a go at windsurfing, parasailing or surfing for a guaranteed happy teenager (it's not impossible, we promise).
We recommend hiring a car so you can easily travel around the city's parks, beaches and attractions. We have plenty of family-friendly villas in Orlando, which offer more space and flexibility for families with kids, allow home cooking for fussy eaters and the resorts have amenities that will keep a smile on their faces.
Plus, all of our villas in Orlando have pools so the kids can make a splash while you sit back and enjoy a glass of white. Blissful.
Giraffe Ranch, Orlando
Why it’s perfect for families
For babies: Babies are welcome in most restaurants and tourist attractions, and many even offer play areas. We also have villas perfect for babies.
For kids: There's so much for kids to enjoy in Orlando, from interactive museums, such as the Orlando Science Centre, including a planetarium and a 4-story atrium that houses live turtles, alligators and fish. See our kids-friendly villas.
For teens: Appeal to teens’ sense of adventure and visit the many adventure parks and beaches for outdoor activities. Check our villas ideal for teens.
Visit Lake Eola Park and take a ride on the lake in a swan shaped paddle boat before watching the magical fountain light up at night.
Feed giraffes at the Giraffe Ranch or take a tour around the wildlife preserve with a friendly guide.
Adrenaline junkies will love off-road adventure park, Revolution Adventures, where you can drive ATVs, try clay shooting, archery, bass fishing on a private lake or drive one of the Mucky Ducks through trails and over water. Age restrictions may apply.
Things to do
If you're worried Orlando only has theme parks to offer, you're seriously mistaken. Jam-packed with attractions, incredible restaurants, beaches and sports venues, a villa holiday in Orlando will never be a boring one. Of course, the theme parks are utterly mind-blowing but we've found some other things to do in Orlando so you can experience this wonderful city at its best.
Top activities in Orlando
If you're seeking thrills but theme parks aren't your thing, Orlando Balloon Rides will take you on an adventure you'll certainly never forget. Soak up the sunrise on an early morning hot air baloon ride and enjoy the birds'-eye view over Orlando's beautiful scenery and attractions. It's one for the bucket-list for sure.
If you're a fan of escape rooms or have been itching to try one, the Orlando Escape Game is a premier provider for the most exciting challenges. Based around Hollywood blockbusters, you'll need to work together to solve the clues - and the jaw-dropping twists will keep your adrenaline pumping!
Meet your favourite superstars at Madame Tussauds Orlando and take the ultimate selfie. You'll see the waxwork likes of Taylor Swift, Batman, ET and Aquaman.
One for the art lovers of the group, the Orlando Museum of Art is a true feast for the eyes. Ranging from American Art, African Art and contemporary styles, this bright and exciting museum will keep you occupied on a rainy afternoon.
If you're looking for a day away from the hype, Orlando is famous for its golf culture. There's plenty of golf courses to choose from and the rates are very reasonable so you can immerse yourself on the green and enjoy a day outdoors.
If you're hoping for a beach day, there's plenty of dazzling Orlando beaches just over an hour's drive away. We'd recommend Cocoa Beach, famous for its 800m pier straight into the ocean. Home to the world's largest surf shop, you'll want to try your hand at some watersports. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops around when you've had enough of the waves.
Cocoa Beach, near Orlando
Oliver's Hidden Gem
For a taste sensation you just can't miss, visit The Ravenous Pig restaurant. This gastropub is centred around Euro-American cuisine and the food is so good it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award.
Ranging from fresh oysters and beef carpaccio to lobster tacos and shoulder of lamb, there's something for all preferences. The frozen cocktails are out of this world and make the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday brunch.
From the blog...
If you're interested in experiencing the theme parks as well as everything else Orlando has to offer, check out our blog on the best theme parks in Florida.
We'll even sort the tickets for you so you can sit back and really relax on your villa holiday in Orlando.
Getting there and around
The easiest way to get to Orlando is to fly into Orlando International Airport, which has direct flights from most UK airports and airlines, and is only 6 miles from the centre. You can also fly with some airlines to Orlando Sanford International Airport, which is 27 miles from the city centre.
Public LYNX buses run from Orlando International to various areas of Orlando, Florida – Downtown, Florida Mall, and International Drive. However, you won’t find public buses from Orlando Sanford.
Car rental or taxi
You’ll find plenty of car rental companies at both airports if you’re looking to do a self-drive holiday, or alternatively, you can hop in a taxi.
Because there’s so much to do in Orlando, particularly if you’re visiting the theme parks, we recommend hiring a car. Our concierge team can help you organise this.
This means that you’re not restricted to the areas immediately surrounding your resort, and you can easily travel to the parks or nearby beaches. This will also help you get from the airport to your resort easily.
If you’re visiting the theme parks, you’re able to park in one of the designated car parks. Note that once you’ve paid to park in one of the car parks, you don’t need to pay in any of the other car parks – although it’s recommended to use the in-park transportation instead of hopping in and out of your cars (this will also save a lot of time.) The parks have a variety of options to get from park to park, including buses, water taxis, ferries and a monorail service.
Want to travel around Downtown Orlando without a car? LYNX buses run LYMMO, which is a free circular route with 21 stops.
If you’re not going to hire a car, but need an easy way to grab some groceries before heading to your resort, Quiksilver do 30-minute shop runs from the airport before dropping you off at your resort. Reserve in advance.
The I-Ride Trolley is an easy way to visit all the attractions on International Drive, and you can buy unlimited passes. If you’re paying for single rides, bring exact change with you as drivers don’t carry cash. $2 single ride, $1 children aged 3-9, 25c for senior citizens.