Get 10 tips for an awesome summer in Orlando, including theme parks, water parks, ice-cold treats and more.
Summertime brings summer vacations, which means a trip to Orlando for countless people worldwide. If you’ll be among them, you won’t lack for unique experiences while you’re here — as seen by our guide to 10 summer must-do’s in Orlando!
Plus, don’t miss out on Visit Orlando’s Summer Savings promotion, which gives you an additional 5% off our already discounted theme park and attractions tickets. But act fast, because the deal ends on July 28!
Try Something New at a Theme Park
Learn more: New Summer Thrills in Orlando
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando (© Disney)
Walt Disney World Resort
For the first time ever, there’s a place where you can live your very own Star Wars™ story. A place where you can fly the galaxy’s most legendary ship, the Millennium Falcon. A place where you’ll find yourself caught in a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. With a whole new land, you can finally live your adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Welcome to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening Aug. 29, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios also features the all-new Toy Story Land and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. Plus, all four of Disney’s Orlando theme parks have new shows, celebrations and more, including Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
For example, Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers several celebrations related to The Lion King animated classic and its new, live-action remake, including Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party and Festival of the Lion King. And at Epcot, you can be one of the last guests to witness IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular before it takes its final bow on Sept. 30, with the brand-new Epcot Forever show taking its place starting Oct. 1.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is now bigger, better and more wondrous than ever with the premiere of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. On this epic “story coaster,” you’ll soar through a forest filled with 1,200 real trees in a highly immersive adventure boasting state-of-the-art technology and an enthralling storyline.
Sesame Street Land™ at SeaWorld® Orlando
Laughter and learning live at Sesame Street, and now, Sesame Street comes to life at SeaWorld Orlando's Sesame Street Land! Covering 6 acres, Sesame Street is exactly as you imagined, with an award-winning parade, rides and a fully interactive neighborhood for you to explore and enjoy, including Hooper's Store and the famous stoop at 123. Walk down Sesame Street for the very first time at SeaWorld!
Learn more: Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando
THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD™ at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Near Orlando
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort
Hit the streets of Bricksburg at THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD, new to LEGOLAND® Florida. Based on the blockbuster THE LEGO MOVIE and its sequel, the land has three innovative attractions, themed dining and shopping, a spaceship-themed playground structure, character meet-and-greets, and other surprises.
Make a Splash at Water Parks
Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park at Universal Orlando Resort
Best way to stay cool during summer? A day of fun at Orlando’s water parks! You’ll find them at all of our theme parks — starting with Universal’s Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s water theme park. Other major waterparks include Disney’s Blizzard Beach® and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon®, Aquatica® Orlando at SeaWorld (featuring the all-new KareKare Curl attraction), and LEGOLAND Florida Water Park, which is available as an upgrade to regular LEGOLAND Florida admission and invites guests to splash in the wave pool, tube down water slides, float on the Build-A-Raft lazy river and more.
Learn more: Orlando Water Parks
What’s more, many of our resorts have onsite water parks for guests, including Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, The Grove Resort Orlando, Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, and Reunion Resort. And at Orlando Watersports Complex, you can get into wakeboarding, wakesurfing, waterskiing and other aquatic adventures.
Water parks aren’t the only way to beat the heat in Orlando. Check out this blog for our top tips for staying cool while you're in town!
Celebrate Independence Day
Independence Day in Orlando
No American holiday says “summer” like the Fourth of July, and you can celebrate it in style in Orlando. Not only do we host a range of Independence Day events, including fireworks, but we also have some of one-of-a-kind ways to get patriotic, such as Captain America appearances at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the Hall of Presidents at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and much more!
Learn more: Independence Day in Orlando
Get Wild With Zip Lines & Airboat Rides
Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland in Orlando
When it gets hot, nothing feels better than a cool breeze — which you can enjoy while zip-lining high above ground or speeding over water in an airboat! Zip-line opportunities can be found at the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland, among other locations. For airboat tours, check out Airboat Rides at Midway, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, Kissimmee Swamp Tours, Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides and Wild Florida.
Learn more: Orlando Eco Adventures
Dive Into Resort Pools
JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Between relaxing waters, gorgeous scenery and a wealth of extras that include lazy rivers, waterslides, secluded grottos, underwater sound systems and more, resort pools in Orlando are essential in the summer. Fortunately, we have a lot to choose from! Some of the best can be found at Hilton Orlando, JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, Orlando World Center Marriott, and Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, but any resort with an onsite pool is guaranteed to make your summer better.
Learn more: Cool Pools in Orlando
Chill Out at Indoor Attractions
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
Family fun can heat up fast in Orlando, but you can keep the excitement going when you’re ready to cool down by visiting one of our indoor attractions. Top options include WonderWorks at Pointe Orlando, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium at ICON Park, Crayola Experience, iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, as well as indoor kart racing, virtual reality attractions, escape rooms and much more.
Learn more: Indoor Attractions in Orlando
Shop at Air-Conditioned Malls
The Florida Mall® in Orlando
Looking for air conditioning — not to mention great buys? Head to Orlando’s premier shopping malls, including The Mall at Millenia and The Florida Mall®. Both are located in our main tourism district and feature dining and entertainment in addition to world-class shopping.
Learn more: Orlando Shopping Tips
And while Orlando’s outlet malls are open-air centers, individual stores don’t skimp on the AC, including those at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando International Premium Outlets® and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®.
Dance to Live Music
We love to dance in Orlando, and we have the live music venues to prove it! For starters, we attract a wide range of national tours and eclectic acts to venues such as downtown Orlando’s Amway Center and Camping World Stadium, House of Blues at Disney Springs®, Hard Rock Live® at Universal CityWalk, and others. Places to see lesser-known artists include Mango’s Tropical Cafe, Tin Roof at ICON Park, B.B. King’s Blues Club at Pointe Orlando, and Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar, to name a few.
Learn more: Orlando Nightlife & Entertainment
Explore Museums & Galleries
Orlando Museum of Art
Orlando’s museums and galleries don’t just feature priceless works of art and engaging exhibits — they’re also a prime source of air conditioning during the warmer months! Which means you can cool down while uplifting your mind, and often at highly affordable prices.
Learn more: Orlando Arts, Culture & History
In Loch Haven Park alone, you can peruse Orlando Museum of Art, The Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Science Center, which is great for kids. Loch Haven Park is 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, where you can explore the Orange County Regional History Center. And 20 minutes north in Winter Park, make time for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, and The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. What’s more, the latter is offering free admission on July 4, and entry is always free at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum!
Enjoy an Ice-Cold Treat
Last but not least, be sure to keep things cool with ice cream cones, sundaes, milkshakes, floats and other frozen treats. The iconic Mickey Mouse ice cream bars at Walt Disney World or frozen Butterbeer™ at Universal Orlando Resort are a good start, but we also have artisanal ice cream shops, frozen custard, gourmet popsicles and even frozen cookie dough. It’s the tastiest way to beat the summer heat in Orlando!
Learn more: Ice-Cold Treats in Orlando
Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not available at opening and will open later in the year.
Stay Connected to Orlando!
Never miss a second of what happens in Orlando! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for the latest offers, exclusive tips and live feeds from our newest attractions and fun events, and subscribe to our eNewsletter for more information from Orlando: Theme Park Capital of the World.