Get our guide to spring break 2023 in Orlando for college students — straight from an actual college student (ICON Park® pictured).

Are you longing for a memorable spring break? Grab a group of friends and start planning your getaway to Orlando. This city has so much to offer, especially for those in search of a fun time filled with festivities mixed with relaxation. From theme parks to wild nightlife, Orlando has it all. Speaking as a current college student and Visit Orlando intern, here are my tips for experiencing it with those you wish to spend time with on your spring break journey.

Discover: Spring Break Savings in Orlando

Orlando vacation planning made easy — and free. Make a complimentary appointment with Visit Orlando’s Vacation Planners at a time and date of your choosing for the latest insider advice, special offers and more ahead of your next visit.

Orlando Events for College Students During Spring Break

A group of young people holding drinks and dancing at a club.

Festivities to Explore for Spring Break

The new season calls for new events, which include art shows, food festivals, live sports and concerts, theme park celebrations, and more when you spring break in Orlando. Check some of them out — including these favorites, all of which are included with theme park admission or even free to attend.

Discover: Spring Events in Orlando

64th Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival (March 17 – 19, 2023)

For those who have a love for the arts, this one’s for you. This charming city just north of Orlando will be hosting their annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival — one of the most prestigious outdoor festivals in the country. Best of all, admission is free.

Discover: Spring Art Festivals in Orlando

EPCOT® International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World® Resort (Through July 5, 2023)

If you are interested in gardening and excited for the rise of springtime flowers, you can take it all in at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. Enjoy garden exhibits, flavorful foods and live entertainment at Walt Disney World® Resort.

Discover: Spring Foodie Festivals in Orlando

Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld® Orlando (Through May 7, 2023)

Looking to discover an ocean of flavors? You’ll find it at SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival. Not only will there be food at this festival, but live music as well. If you are a foodie and want to taste global cuisine delights, set sail on this delicious adventure.

Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Orlando Resort (Through April 16, 2023)

New Orleans isn’t the only place to celebrate Mardi Gras. Universal Orlando Resort is hosting their very own party, and it’s a time for people to gather and carry on the tradition of music, parades, floats and excitement.

St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl at Wall St. Plaza in Downtown Orlando

Where to Spend St. Patrick’s Day

March is brought to you by the “luck of the Irish” — maybe you’ll get lucky and stumble upon a four-leafed clover at two of my favorites.

Discover: St. Patrick’s Day in Orlando

St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl (March 17, 2023)

Combine your group with other groups and mingle the day/night away for this St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl in downtown Orlando. Grab all the green you can and sign up for this wild event.

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Boxi Park (March 18, 2023)

Boxi Park is hosting a special St. Paddy’s Day Party where there will be food specials, authentic dancers and a marching band. It takes place in Lake Nona close to Orlando International Airport.

Discover: Things to Do in Lake Nona

Best Spring Break Hotel Stays for College Students

AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando sky bar patio
SkyBar Rooftop Terrace at AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Downtown

Hotels in Downtown Orlando

For those who enjoy venturing out into the night and exploring city-like scenery, staying in downtown Orlando could make for an unforgettable trip. In this area of town, there are multiple shops, cafes, entertainment, clubs and bars. Take in the outstanding scene that the city has to offer at these options.

Discover: Places to Stay in Downtown Orlando

Rosen Shingle Creek overview of resort
Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando

Hotels Near International Drive

If you’re looking to stay closer to the theme parks and attractions, then plan your stay near International Drive, aka I-Drive. Along our main strip are multiple dining and entertainment options for you and your friends. Learn how to fly at iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving or stop for a drink at ICEBAR Orlando, among other adventures. These unique experiences will for sure make for highlights in your trip.

Discover: Places to Stay in the I-Drive Entertainment District

Shopping for College Students at Malls, Outlets & Boutiques

Looking for a large mall to satisfy your shopping impulse? The Florida Mall® and The Mall at Millenia have you covered. And though it’s not technically a mall, Disney Springs® is a must-visit for serious shoppers.

Discover: Orlando Malls

If you’re after discounts, check out our world-famous outlet malls, including Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando International Premium Outlets® and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®. Like our premier malls, they’re close to everything else you’ll want to do.

Discover: Orlando Outlets

You can also support local businesses and shop at hidden-gem boutiques in downtown Orlando neighborhoods and Winter Park. It’s a great way to score some rare finds while exploring the city’s authentic side.

Discover: Neighborhood Shopping

Nightlife for College Students

Hooch at Wall St. Plaza in Downtown Orlando

For groups looking to explore the rowdy route, many kinds of bars and clubs are located in downtown Orlando. Most are located relatively close to each other or are within walking distance. My favorites include Aero, a rooftop bar and lounge; McQueen’s Social Lounge, a 3-story nightclub with good music, drinks and interior design; and Chillers (aka “Frozen Drink Bar”), Cahoots (aka “Arcade Bar”) and Latitudes (aka “Rooftop Tiki Bar”), which share a 3-story building in downtown Orlando.

Discover: Orlando Nightlife

You might also want to check out Wall St. Plaza, which is a mainstay of downtown’s nightlife scene. It features seven bars connected by a central courtyard, including Cantina, The Hen House, Hooch, Monkey Bar, Shine, Sideshow and WaiTiki.

Restaurants for College Students

Two young couples having dinner and drinks

Brunch Spots

Orlando is filled with trendy and fun brunch spots for friends to hang out with each other while sipping on mimosas. I recommend Ember, an indoor/outdoor bar with a Mediterranean feel, and Elixir, which has a rustic-hip and pub-grub feel to it, with DJs playing on weekends. Both are in the downtown area.

Discover: Great Orlando Brunch Spots

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando
Mango’s Tropical Cafe on International Drive in Orlando

Dinner & Entertainment

Whether you are taking the day out with a bang or looking to get the night started, there are many dining and entertainment possibilities to choose from, including some of my favorites. A vibrant and lively place on I-Drive, Mango’s Tropical Cafe showcases a premier dinner and show. And from Thursday through Sunday, the restaurant turns into a nightclub after dinner.

Discover: Eat & Drink in Orlando

Part of Pointe Orlando on I-Drive, the Greek-themed Taverna Opa has live entertainment almost round the clock. Be prepared to get up on the table and follow along with the belly dancing performers — and get ready to throw your napkins in the air.

Discover: Things to Do at Pointe Orlando

And in downtown Orlando, Taco Kat serves authentic Mexican food and plays amazing Latin music. Hidden within is a speakeasy that opens later in the night for those who like to party.

Theme Parks & Water Parks for College Students

Two couples laughing in the water at Universal's Volcano Bay
Universal’s Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Orlando is known and most famous for theme parks — and we have plenty of water parks, too. Between Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Orlando, Orlando has it all.

Save on discount tickets: Orlando Theme Parks, Attractions & Experiences

Walt Disney World® Resort

Walt Disney World is made up of multiple parks, including Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, EPCOT® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Each contains rides, food and entertainment for those of all ages. Walt Disney World also has Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney Springs and lots more to explore.

SeaWorld® Orlando

For a twist in your usual theme parks, SeaWorld® Orlando theme park offers both coasters and animal experiences. If you are an adrenaline seeker, try out these famously known coasters: Mako, Kraken and Manta. When you’re ready to make a splash, Aquatica® Orlando features waterslides, marine life shows and aquariums.

Universal Orlando Resort

At Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure have rides varying from slow and steady to high-speed roller coasters. Food stands and restaurants are located within the parks as well as in their entertainment and dining district, Universal CityWalk. Universal’s Volcano Bay has water rides, a wave pool, and menu offerings and specialty cocktails inspired by the South Pacific islands.

Discovery Cove®

At Discovery Cove, you can interact with marine mammals while spending time under the sun. Some activities that you can do at this all-inclusive day resort include swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with fish and rays, and hand-feeding tropical birds. You can also stay in a cabana for the day or purchase an upgraded food and drink package. (All-day snacks and basic drinks are included.)

Island H2O Live!

Island H2O Live! is Orlando’s newest water park. Here, you will appreciate the variety of water rides, waterslides, and food and dining options in an immersive, technologically advanced setting. It’s part of Margaritaville Resort Orlando near Walt Disney World.

Stay Connected to Orlando
You never know what we’ll dream up next. Connect with Visit Orlando’s Vacation Planning Services for free, personalized assistance, and follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Threads and YouTube for valuable offers, exclusive tips, fresh attractions and the latest events. You can also subscribe to our eNewsletter for more information from Orlando: Theme Park Capital of the World.