Orlando, Florida is one of the most popular resorts in the United States, and a fantastic place to visit for a family vacation. The region is home to some of the most famous attractions worldwide. Cheap flights to Orlando will bring you close to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center and many other world famous sights. Orlando is not just for children though; there are plenty of activities in the area for all members of the family to enjoy.
With a wide range of excellent restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, and superb nightlife options for adults, there is something for everyone in Orlando. Many people choose to take a vacation to the Sunshine State in December, but cheap flights are available all year round.
There are so many places to choose from in the Orlando area. The Gold Coast is famous for its stunning beaches and superb diving conditions, and it is certainly worth hiring a car to take a trip to the likes of Cape Canaveral – famous for space rocket launches and the fascinating Kennedy Space Center. The beautiful vista that is Cocoa Beach boasts unrivaled beaches that are very popular. The Florida Keys also draw in many visitors and can be easily reached through the many cheap flights offered. While you’re there, visit Key West and enjoy its laid-back feel and Caribbean vibe.
The availability of cheap flights to Orlando means you can spend your vacation anywhere in Florida, from the beautiful cities of Tampa and St Petersburg to the delights of glamorous Miami—one the most electric cities in the United States. The unique experience of taking an airboat ride across the swamps in the Everglades is not to be missed and the amazing wildlife and scenery you’ll find there stand in direct contrast to Florida’s bustling, lively cities.
Orlando’s theme parks are popular year round, regardless of the weather. But like any hot tourist destination, there are high and low travel times.
Peak Season: More than the weather, school vacations determine Orlando’s peak seasons. The busiest times are Christmas, March spring break, Easter week, and mid-June to mid-August. Book Orlando flights and resort accommodations early if you’re traveling during peak season. Airfare prices for Orlando flights and hotels are higher and the city itself is more crowded.
Off Season: The best time to find a cheap airline tickets to Orlando is late May or early June (excluding Memorial Day weekend), as soon as the school year ends; late August, if you must go in summer; or Thanksgiving, which is not as busy as other holidays. There are fewer tourists at the parks from early September until just before Thanksgiving, as well as in early February and early May.
It’s always a good time to head to Orlando. Escape cold temperatures with a winter trip, spend your holidays there or plan your summer vacation in Orlando. The busiest travel times to Orlando include spring break, summer and around major holidays. Airfare naturally increases during those periods, so book early if your plans include a holiday to Orlando during peak times. You’ll find better rates and have more flight options, especially if your travel dates are flexible. Book one to four months before the trip for the best deals. If you book less than a month in advance, expect to pay more. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are often the cheapest days to fly to Orlando.
Flying into Orlando International Airport gets you to the Magic Kingdom and all of the other entertainment options must faster. Just how fast can you get there? If you’re traveling from Chicago to Orlando, it takes just over two hours. Phoenix to Orlando takes just under four hours, New York to Orlando takes about 2.5 hours, and a flight from Seattle takes about five hours.
Take your pick of airlines for your trip to Orlando. All the major domestic and international carriers touch down in the central Florida city. Choose from airlines including Aer Lingus, Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Virgin America.
Sunglasses, sunscreen and cool clothes top the packing list for Orlando. Summers are sweltering, with both high temps and high humidity causing instant sweat when you step outdoors. Tank tops, shorts and sundresses are all suitable attire. Pack a swimsuit for cooling dips in the pool. Even in December, the average high is in the low 70s, so leave your hat and mittens at home. Bring long pants and a light jacket for winter trips just in case it gets a bit chilly. If you’re heading to one of the many amusement parks, pack your walking shoes.
How to get from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the city center?
A former military base, McCoy Air Force Base (MCO) was redeveloped to create one of the world’s busiest international airports, in order to serve one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Distance to the city center is 6 miles southeast of Orlando.
Once your flight to Orlando lands, the AGT train station will transport you to either Terminal A or Terminal B for Baggage Claim A or Baggage Claim B respectively.
Once you’ve picked up your luggage, you’ll find all shuttle vans and buses, taxis, and rental car services on the Ground Transportation Level, which is Level 1. The local metro system, LYNX, also runs services between the airport and Orlando.
It’s around $2 for the local bus to anywhere but Disney and Walt Disney World, which is $4. A shuttle bus is $19-28 per person for a one-way trip, $31-48 for a round trip, and a taxi is likely to cost anything between $33 and $75, depending upon your destination.
If you’re staying in one of the Walt Disney World resort hotels in Orlando, there is the pre-bookable shuttle bus service, Disney’s Magical Express, that will transfer you from the airport for free, which the kids are sure to love. It will also take you back to the airport for that last touch of Floridian magic at the end of your holiday.
Getting between terminals
For baggage claim, you’ll need to be in terminal A or B and the AGT train can get you there. Terminal A and terminal B are in the same 525ft-wide building, so you can walk between them on Level 3 of the building.
Hints and tips
Step off your flight and into a magical world with a trip to Orlando. Since theme parks come to mind at the mention of Orlando, let’s start there. Disney World brings out smiles in the young and the young at heart. You don’t need kids along for the ride to have a good time at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. If you’re more the Harry Potter type, check out Universal Studios. Disney isn’t the only place to pretend you’re a mermaid. Visit SeaWorld to come face-to-face with your favorite aquatic animals and dream of being a mermaid.
Not interested in theme parks? Perfect! Orlando offers a lot more culture and entertainment than you might realize. The Orlando Museum of Art houses American, African and ancient American art. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in nearby Winter Park features more Tiffany glass that you can imagine — it’s the most complete collection in the world. Visit the Orlando Science Center for interactive experiences related to science and technology. Marvel at the thousands of rose bushes at the renowned Harry P. Leu Gardens on Lake Ivanhoe. You’ll also see camellias, a citrus grove and a butterfly garden.
Celebrity sightings are common in Orlando, especially at Madame Tussauds Orlando. Snap your selfie with the wax versions of your favorite celebrities. Head to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for more wacky fun.
Get your fill of sports events with the various teams that call Orlando home. Check out the Orlando Magic for exciting NBA play. Crowds flock to Orlando City Soccer Club games for MLS action. If ice hockey is more your style, take in an Orlando Solar Bears game.
Stay active during your Orlando trip with the many outdoor adventures. With warm weather year-round, Orlando offers many outdoor options. Explore via kayak on Shingle Creek in Shingle Creek Regional Park. Take a walk around Lake Enola right in downtown Orlando for a relaxing escape, or check out the city from the water by renting a paddleboat. The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is another great place to walk and take in nature.
Heading out of town? CheapFlights has you covered with great deals on flights all over the world. United, American, Delta, Southwest and all the other major carriers also fly out of the city, so you have lots of options.
Check out these routes leaving Orlando International Airport:
With all of the Disney and Universal Studios fans visiting year round, the airport can get quite busy, especially in summer and during school breaks. Give yourself plenty of time to clear security before your flight. The airport offers plenty of parking options, or you can take public transportation to catch your flight. If you ride SunRail, take the bus from Sand Lake Road SunRail station to reach the airport.