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With over thirty years of dedicated service, Affordable Travel of Orlando has been a trusted partner in helping clients plan their dream vacations to Orlando. Specializing in Orlando and Walt Disney World vacation packages since 1991, we take pride in our well-trained sales staff, ready to assist you in crafting the perfect Orlando Vacation getaway. From great deals on Orlando Hotels to Orlando Vacation Home Rentals and Disney World tickets , we’ve got you covered.

Affordable Travel Of Orlando

Affordable Travel is more than just a business – it’s a family-run enterprise based in Orlando, Florida. All our representatives are locals, providing unparalleled insight into the area. Our goal isn’t to be the biggest travel company globally; instead, we aim to be the best local travel company in Orlando.

Core Values

At the heart of our company are essential core values that guide our growth and success:

  • Integrity:  We believe in doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
  • Teamwork: Collaboration among our team members enhances the experience for both guests and employees.
  • Get Things Done: Every employee sets daily goals, aiming for continuous improvement.
  • Competitive Spirit: We aspire to be the premier Orlando travel company.
  • Know the value of a reputation:  We understand the value of a good reputation and strive to protect it through ethical practices and respect for others.

Our company culture is profoundly influenced by these core values, setting clear expectations for our employees and establishing the standards we adhere to daily. While achieving perfection may be challenging, we place a strong emphasis on a company’s response to challenges, prioritizing the pursuit of the best possible resolutions.

We look forward to being part of your Orlando vacation planning, and we commit to making it a truly memorable experience! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our President, Trey Duling, at (800) 641-4008 ext 7007.

Our Mission

Since 1993, our mission has been customer responsiveness and providing affordable prices on orlando attractions, vacation packages, and lodging., our vision is not to be the biggest but to be the best at offering you affordable prices every day for your perfect vacation., meet our team.

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Based in Central Florida, Orlando Travel Company is Orlando’s trusted source for discount tours, attraction tickets, and excursions. Find great deals and discounts on your Orlando Vacation and so much more! We offer the largest selection of authentic Florida experiences and handpicked activities at unbeatable prices that you won’t find anywhere else. We’re committed to meeting our customer’s needs by providing the most accurate and honest advice, a safe and simple way to shop for tickets and tours, and ’round-the-clock customer care.

Our private tours are perfect for all groups and sizes! We cater to individuals, families, and large groups visiting Orlando for corporate events, team-building retreats, special occasions like birthdays, family reunions, destination weddings, and more. Our private group tours can be fully customized and include optional roundtrip transportation in our fleet of luxury coach limo buses. Only Orlando Travel Company offers completely branded tour experiences for private groups! To find out how you can customize our tour bus with your company logo or team mascot, contact us today.

Why Book With Us?

We work with a large network of preferred suppliers to ensure you always get the most out of your vacation to Orlando! Through over 30 years of service, we’ve developed special partnerships with Central Florida’s leading tour operators and ticket vendors to bring our customers unique opportunities and rare experiences that cannot be found anywhere else. And, we’re constantly expanding our selection of tour products to bring our customers the most innovative and exciting experiences.

  • Find Things To Do in Orlando
  • Flexible Cancellation Most activities can be changed or canceled up to 24-hours before departure
  • No Hidden Fees! Sales Tax is included in all of our prices

Book With Confidence!

At Orlando Travel Company, we understand there are a variety of choices when it comes to booking your trip online. That’s why we’re committed to providing a completely hassle -free experience—you can trust that the tours and attraction tickets we sell are genuine and our prices are all inclusive of tax, so you never have to worry about overpaying.

100% Worry-Free Experience

Getting a great deal makes a fantastic trip even better. We take pride in offering the best deals on the web and we’re committed to saving you time and money. Our prices are updated constantly to ensure you get the most current deals. We’re committed to showing you the honest price on our website and we always include taxes on all prices upfront. 

Handpicked Tours & Activities

Our team of travel experts carefully selects the best sightseeing tours and activities to feature on our website. We partner with a large network of preferred tour operators to uncover novel and exhilarating experiences and we personally review each of them to make sure you always have a remarkable trip.

Roundtrip Transportation

Vacationing should be effortless. You shouldn’t have to worry about driving to unnecessary hub points or covering the cost of fuel, tolls, and taxis. We take the hard work and driving off your plate so you can enjoy your trip! Take advantage of roundtrip transportation from convenient pickup and drop-off locations in Orlando to destinations all over Florida.


Ashley is professional and always available. She always provides the best options available. She is knowledgeable with travel planning and adds her own tips to make everything run smoothly for me. I use her often and you should too!

Orlando Travel Company was wonderful to work with! Their customer service was above and beyond my expectations. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Both my mother and I purchased tickets from them, and we were both very impressed. I will definitely use them again.

This is the second time I have purchased tickets from this site. I have recommended them to many people. I have been highly pleased overall with the sites information and service. Keep up the great work. Thanks!

These are really friendly people and the price was excellent. The ease of purchasing from Orlando Travel Company will keep me coming back with any future needs. Delivery was prompt! Would recommend to everyone.

I want to thank you for the many trips you booked for me, especially to Utah and my family trip NY, Hotels and their locations were close to all the hotspots and fair prices. Tickets are always booked to my preference and very responsive to my emails and always provides the best deal.

The service is excellent; always quick to respond to communications, and creative with solutions to overcome challenging travel plans.

I was hesitant to book expensive tickets online, especially from abroad, and was very pleased with the prompt service. I would certainly recommend this website to others.

Excellent company! Very Friendly service! I would recommend this merchant to everyone looking for good discounts for Orlando tickets.

They were wonderful. I was skeptical to buy our tickets online but everything turned out great. We saved a good amount of money. I will definitely use Orlando Travel Company again!

Our History

Let us help you discover the Real Florida! With more than 30 years of experience in Florida’s tourism industry, Orlando Travel Company is your trusted source for authentic Florida tours. Orlando Travel Company has the largest selection of discount attraction tickets and things to do in Orlando. We offer hundreds of options for top-rated local attractions at unbeatable prices all over Florida!

Our roots go all the way back to 1990 with the opening of our very first storefront in Kissimmee, Florida, and a 24-hour pickup location catering to domestic and international clients visiting the Orlando area.

In the early 2000s, our family-owned and locally operated company evolved into e-commerce to serve our customers online with ‘round the clock care and vacation planning advice.

As a leader in the tourism industry, we help families and groups from around the world plan their one-of-a-kind trips to Florida! Our team of travel experts is among the most well-traveled people on the planet. Our local experts draw upon their own first-hand experiences to ensure you always get the most out of your vacation in Orlando.

Meet The Team

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Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort

For years, we’ve been creating a legacy of unforgettable experiences for our guests. Our guests are immersed into the sights and sounds of some of the greatest movies and most legendary stories, and our Team Members are the ones who help make those incredible experiences come alive. Our Team Members realize that delivering world-class service is more than just an expectation…it’s The Universal Way. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. And, it’s the reason we strive to be recognized as the number one entertainment destination in the world. As a part of the COMCAST NBCUniversal family, we are as committed as ever to continuing to build spectacular experiences based on the most compelling and dynamic movies, books and TV franchises in the universe. We are poised for growth and success and are focused on the future. Our Team Members not only deliver experiences of a lifetime, they create them! At Universal Orlando Resort™, we create a balanced and rewarding work environment while encouraging individual growth and development. As a Team Member, we’ll partner with you to help identify your personal goals and provide career guidance. Best of all, it’s our philosophy to always try and promote from within first. Now, what could be more promising than that! It’s a big Universe. Where do you fit in?


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Universal Travel Agents

Who are the Best Universal Travel Agents?

Find a travel agency that specializes in Universal vacations . This is probably the best advice anyone could give you if you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort , especially if it’s your first visit. Why? A Universal Studios travel agent can help you plan and book all aspects of your Florida vacation. Furthermore, their services won’t cost you a dime. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best travel agencies for your Universal Studios vacation and why it’s crucial to work with a Universal U-Preferred Agency with excellent customer reviews.

Top 5 Universal Travel Agents for your Universal Orlando Vacation

As we explain throughout this page, booking your Universal Orlando vacation with a  Universal travel agency  is the smart approach. For extra assurance, try to work with a Universal U-Preferred Agency, so you know they have the trust of Universal itself.

Here are the 5 best Universal  travel agencies  in the business today (in our opinion):

1. The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer Travel Agency Logo

We rank  The Vacationeer  as the  best travel agency for your Universal Orlando Resort vacation .

The Vacationeer is a group of more than 90 Universal and Disney super fans dedicated to giving their clients the Universal trip of a lifetime. Even though many people associate The Vacationeer with Disney travel, the agency has really made Universal a major focus over the last few years.

They have gained a reputation for their impressive professionalism and customer satisfaction track record. But don’t just take our word for it – spend a few minutes browsing through The Vacationeer’s hundreds of  online reviews  and see what their clients are saying. It’s obvious that most people find The Vacationeer to be knowledgeable and helpful and that their services can give families a huge advantage.

And it’s not just the clients. Universal itself has recognized The Vacationeer as a Diamond Member of the U-Preferred Agency Program , one of the highest achievements a travel agency can obtain. This designation should give you more confidence to book through an agency of this caliber.

Their agents are experts in everything Universal and can help you plan every step of your trip and give you their first-hand tips and tricks. So whether you have questions about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter , the Universal Express Pass, hotel, dining, transportation, or any other questions, Universal Studios travel agents at The Vacationeer are the ones to ask.

Book your Universal Vacation with  The Vacationeer , and you’ll receive the following:

  • An exclusive vacation package customized to your needs
  • Early Park Admission (an hour prior to regularly scheduled park opening), even if you are staying off-site
  • Ability to skip the lines (ask about Express Pass)
  • Expert itinerary planning (as much or as little as you want)
  • Best available pricing
  • Valid theme park admission tickets (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal’s Volcano Bay)
  • Hotel Packages, including Universal Premier Hotels
  • Booking with a Universal “U-Preferred” Agency gives you peace of mind
  • 100% FREE to you!

Click HERE for a free, no-obligation price quote , or call The Vacationeer toll-free at 1-833-4MY-TRIP.

The Vacationeer books the following travel destinations:

✓  Universal Orlando Resort ✓  Universal Studios Hollywood

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney

✓  SANDALS® Resorts: Caribbean 5 Star Luxury Included Resorts ✓  Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

2. Marvelous Mouse Travels

Marvelous Mouse Travels - YouTube

Kari Dillon started Marvelous Mouse Travels in 2014 and has grown the agency significantly over the years. They now have over 250 agents across the US and specialize in Orlando destinations, including Universal Orlando Resort.

As a Universal U-Preferred Diamond Agency, Marvelous Mouse Travels probably books more Universal Studios Florida packages than any other agency. Their services are free of charge and can help you plan all aspects of your Universal vacation, whether you stay at a Universal Premier Hotel or elsewhere.

Marvelous Mouse Travels books the following travel destinations:

✓  Universal Orlando Resort

✓  Other Destinations

3. Cupcake Castles Travel Company

Laurie Burg founded Cupcake Castles Travel Company in 2013 with a desire to help others discover the magic of destinations like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. As her website states, “We don’t just sell you a trip. Instead, we create an experience you and your family will remember for a lifetime.”

Cupcake Castles is well-versed in Universal Resorts vacations. Like The Vacationeer, the Agency is a Platinum Member of the U-Preferred Agency Program. They also book tropical getaways, river cruises, Europe, and other destinations.

Cupcake Castles Travel Company books the following travel destinations:

✓   Universal Orlando

✓ Other Destinations

4. Key to the World Travel

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Jeff Williams and Heather Straight founded key to the World Travel after they met on the Disney Wonder (cruise ship) and became friends. Today they lead a large full-service travel agency specializing in Disney Destinations and other Orlando attractions (such as Universal Orlando).

Key to the World Travel is considered a Universal Orlando Resort Preferred Agency, and they can book all-inclusive Universal vacation packages.

Keys to the World Travel specializes in the following travel destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World ✓  Disneyland ✓  Disney Cruise ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Disney’s Aulani

5. The Magic for Less

The Magic for Less Travel Logo

The Magic for Less Travel is another well-regarded travel agency specializing in Disney and Universal vacations. The agency employs over 40 travel planners in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Their mission statement reads: “We make dreams come true by providing the best vacation planning services so that our guests will experience a truly magical vacation.” The Magic for Less Travel professionals are dedicated to helping clients find Universal vacations’ best value and features.

Besides Universal and Disney, they also book Hawaiian vacations, Disney’s Hilton Head, and Vero Beach resorts.

The Magic for Less books the following Disney destinations:

✓   Universal Orlando Resort

✓   Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort ✓   Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

✓   Other Destinations

Reasons to Use Travel Advisors for your Universal Exclusive Vacation Package

You may wonder why anyone would use travel agents for Universal Orlando Resort when they could book the trip themselves.

While you certainly  can  book your own Universal vacation, it’s worth using a travel agent (who specializes in Universal) to get the most value out of your Universal Studios Orlando vacation. Here are the reasons why:

Hogarts Express at Harry Potter

1. It’s 100% Free

This is probably the biggest misunderstanding. The services of Universal travel agents are completely FREE to you, the client. There is no catch. It’s totally free.

Universal pays out a small commission to the agency for the assistance they provide. At no time does this commission (or any fee) get passed on to you.

2. They Help You Plan Your Universal Studios Florida Vacation

Travel Agents for Universal Studios Orlando vacations are theme park fans through and through. They have a genuine passion for Orlando’s three amazing theme parks. Universal Studios travel agents are often frequent visitors to Universal theme parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

They’ll be able to answer your questions, give you the latest updates on Universal parks, and share insider tips that will give you a big advantage.

Want to know the best place for lunch in Universal Studios or the best ride for kids at Islands of Adventure? How about where to buy wands at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or strategies to avoid the crowds at Universal ? They can answer all these questions and much more!

Because you have an advisor throughout the planning process, you are much more likely to have the perfect vacation than if you went it alone.

3. They Help You Book Your Reservations

Once you and your Universal travel agent have customized your itinerary and agreed on the details, your Universal travel agent will book all your Universal reservations for you. This includes your park tickets, hotel stays, unforgettable dining reservations, transportation, Express Passes, and anything else that must be reserved ahead of time.

If something comes up after you book, your travel advisor will even help you change your plans and rebook your Universal reservations if needed. Imagine having someone else work with Universal Customer Service on your behalf!

These efforts will make your life much easier, and you’ll be assured everything will be booked correctly.

4. You’ll Get The Best Deals

Your Universal travel advisor will make sure you get the lowest-priced vacation package. They are the first to know when a new discount or promotion is released, and they’ll add the best discounts to your reservation.

The rates you will receive with either be the exact same as the rates you can get directly through Universal or lower because the agent knows where to look for discounts. You’ll never pay more.

5. U-Preferred Agencies Are The Best Travel Agencies For Universal Studios

Working with a Diamond or Platinum Member of the U-Preferred Agency Program will give you peace of mind that everything will be done correctly.

Universal bestows this designation to only a select number of travel agencies that have met their rigorous standards of excellence. This is not to say that non-U-Preferred Agencies are less qualified. But why not just have the peace of mind that you are working with one of the top travel agents for Universal vacations if you can?

We recommend reaching out to a Diamond or Platinum Member of the U-Preferred Agency Program. We have a few listed above.

6. They Will Get a Free, No-Obligation Quote

Are you wondering how much a trip to Universal will cost or when the best time to go to Universal in 2024 might be?

Just reach out to one of the agencies listed above and request some information and a free quote. They are only a text, email, or phone call away!

Let’s sum this up. When you book with travel agencies specializing in Universal vacations, you’ll work directly with a Universal expert who will answer your questions and help you devise a plan. Your Universal travel agent will search for the best possible promotional rates for your trip.

After you decide what to do and where to stay, your dedicated vacation planner will book all aspects of your Universal vacation. You still get to call the shots, but the hassle of booking everything yourself will be theirs. No headaches and no stress.

Best of all – it’s completely free! So there’s really no downside to using a knowledgeable and friendly Universal travel planner on your next trip.

Why Visit Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort is home to an amazing variety of attractions, rides, shows, movie sets, restaurants, and hotels. In addition, the resort offers two amazing theme parks, one water park, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area.

Guests can spend time at Universal Studios and jump right into the action of their favorite movies. Or, head over to Universal’s Islands of Adventure to experience some of the most cutting-edge and select attractions in the world.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter land is located at both Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. So you should plan on spending time at both Universal parks for the full experience. We recommend at least two or three days for Universal Orlando vacations !

Universal Orlando Resort’s water theme park, Volcano Bay, is where you’ll enjoy a full day of thrills and relaxation. Of course, not every guest goes to Universal’s Volcano Bay during their stay. Still, it’s a great place to beat the heat if you stick around the area for more than a couple of days.

Looking for a dinner spot? Guests can end the day enjoying the Universal CityWalk area for an assortment of restaurants and unforgettable family entertainment.

You really need to spend a couple of days at Universal Orlando Resort to get the full experience.

With good planning and a well-thought-out itinerary, you will be able to enjoy the rides, shows, restaurants, and resort hotels that are right for you and your family.

That’s why we recommend working with Universal travel agents to help you plan and book every aspect of your Universal Orlando vacation.

Enjoy your vacation!

Thank you for reading our Best Travel Agencies for Universal Studios page. For more helpful Universal Orlando vacation package information Universal Orlando Map ,  Universal Orlando Transportation ,  Best Universal Orlando Rides ,  Universal vs Disney World ,  How to Get from Disney World to Universal ,   How Much do Wands cost at Universal Studios ,  Is the Universal Express Pass Worth It  and  How to get the Universal Express Pass for Free  pages.

PS: Interested in booking Universal vacations as a career? Our How to Become a Disney Travel Agent article has tips that apply to all Orlando destinations, including Universal.

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Best Online Travel Agencies is our top choice for making your trip arrangements

Ligaya Malones is an editor, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in food and travel. Ligaya's work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet and BRIDES.

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Planning a trip can be easier through an online travel agency than if you handle each aspect of the planning separately. You can book hotels, air travel, rental cars, and more through a single site, and booking everything together sometimes results in discounts. By inputting a destination, a range of dates, and other preferences, you will see a list of options for each aspect of travel.

The best online travel agencies offer options from the largest number of airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and more. Look for sites that offer discounts for combining reservations for different aspects of your trip. For example, the best sites will have lower rates if you book both plane tickets and a hotel through their services. The best sites also provide reviews from customers who actually have booked through the service. These are our top picks.

  • Best Overall:
  • Best Budget: Skyscanner
  • Best Price Predictor: Hopper
  • Most Innovative:
  • Best for Eco-Conscious: Kind Traveler
  • Best for Social Impact: I Like Local
  • Best for Design-Forward Homestays: Plum Guide
  • Our Top Picks

Kind Traveler

I Like Local

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Final Verdict

Frequently asked questions, methodology, best overall :

This industry leader offers one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms on the Internet.

Lots of options to choose from

Interface is easy to use

Numerous filters to customize your search

Tricky to tell whether changes/cancellations can be made with or the vendor directly was founded in 1996 and has grown into an industry leader that stands out for being one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms out there. From one website, you can compare and book accommodations, flights (including one-way and multi-city flights), sightseeing activities, and even airport taxis. The website lists more than 28 million accommodation options, from hotels, hostels, and B&Bs to vacation homes and luxury resorts—you can browse more choices per destination on than other online travel agencies. The website also performs well on cost and typically returns lower-than-average prices for flights and hotels.'s interface is also easy to use. On the home page, search for a hotel by entering your chosen destination and dates. Then, use the extensive list of filters—such as price range and distance from the city center—to narrow the results down and find the best fit. You can also search for a specific hotel, or seek inspiration by clicking through options grouped by destination or property type or by topic such as the country’s best Michelin-starred hotel restaurants or the top cities for vegan travelers. The flights, car rental, and other tabs are just as intuitive. 

Best Budget : Skyscanner


You can compare prices across airlines, hotels, and car rentals.

Simple interface

Option to toggle searches between specific dates or by monthly calendars

Search Everywhere button is great for spontaneous planners

Extra clicks are required to make a final purchase

Must read fine print for changes/cancellations—may need to deal directly with the vendor

Ads on the sidebar can be distracting

Find deals on airfare, hotels, and car rentals with an aggregator site like Skyscanner , which uses a metasearch engine to compare prices from all online travel agencies and the airline, hotel, or car rental company in question. Run searches with fixed dates, opt to compare airfare prices month to month, or click “Cheapest Month.” Searches also include options for nearby airports or non-stop flights only. With hotel searches, you can choose to select only from properties with free cancellation, a cleanliness rating of 4.5/5 or higher, or 3- or 4-starred hotels only. Car rental searches include an option to select “return car to different location.”

Once you’ve found the best rate, click on the link to be redirected to the third-party site to make your booking. Feeling spontaneous? The Search Everywhere button on the homepage offers a list of the cheapest flight deals for destinations both locally and across the world—just plug in your departure airport first.

Best Price Predictor : Hopper

The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting when flights and hotel rates will be cheapest.

Color-coded system makes it easy to determine cheapest days to buy

App is easy to use

Option to track flights and receive alerts when the best time to buy arises

Some have mentioned the app functions better as a research tool than a booking tool

Unclear whether Hopper will price match if you find a cheaper flight elsewhere

Hopper is a travel app available on iOS and Android that aims to help travelers save on airfare by usng historical data and their own algorithm to predict when flights will be cheapest. Just type in where and when you’d like to fly and Hopper will present you with a color-coded pricing calendar indicating how much tickets are likely to cost. (Green is the least expensive, then yellow, orange, and red for most expensive.) Hopper will also recommend you either buy now or wait, or you can choose to watch a trip and receive notifications on the best time to buy. In addition, the app has expanded to offer hotel and car rental price predictions, too.

Some newer features since the app’s inception in 2009 include an option to freeze a price for a limited time—for an extra fee—as well as exclusive app-only discounts. Hopper is free to download, and you can choose to book directly through the app, though some users mentioned they use Hopper as more of a research tool before booking directly with the airline or hotel. The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting flight rates up to a year ahead.

Most Innovative :

This metasearch engine scours the web to piece together the ideal itinerary using planes, trains, buses, and more.

Creative itineraries get you where you need to go, especially if you’ve got a multi-stop trip

Kiwi Guarantee offers rebooking or cancellation protections

Nomad option appeals to travelers with a lot of flexibility

Creative itineraries mean you may not fly out of the same airport you flew into

Kiwi Guarantee has an additional fee

Charges all-in-one fee for booking flights, trains, buses (though you can always purchase a la carte)

Travelers planning multi-city destinations and seeking a bargain, as well as those looking to take planes, trains, and automobiles to get there, might consider Kiwi . Kiwi is a metasearch engine that scours and pieces together itineraries from various airlines (even if they don’t have a codeshare agreement), considers multiple airports (even if your arrival airport is different from departure), and offers booking options, whether you’re looking at very specific dates or more general ones (up to 60 nights).

Some will find the ability to make multiple bookings for a particular trip more convenient than going at it manually several different times, though note that you must opt into the Kiwi Guarantee program to access rebooking and refund protections should your reservation change or be canceled. Kiwi’s Nomad option allows you to plug in a bunch of destinations you’d like to visit and the length of your intended stay, and the website will churn out the most affordable itineraries for review.

Best for Eco-Conscious : Kind Traveler

A give-and-get business model means booking accommodations with exclusive perks, a donation to environmental organizations, and more.

All participating hotels include a local give-back component

Exclusive savings and perks

Participating hotels are located in some of the most beautiful places in the world

Inventory is much smaller compared to other booking platforms

Some of the amenities mentioned are based on availability only

In 2022, Kind Traveler (an online trave agency focused on hotel bookings) announced an increase in environmentally and socially conscious hotels, charity donations, voluntourism opportunities, and additional perks like waived resort fees or a welcome amenity.

Unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks from participating Kind Traveler hotels with a minimum $10/night minimum donation to a local charity. For example, stay at the Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives and receive up to $33 off the nightly rate and perks such as a food and beverage credit and an Earth Lab or Alchemy Bar workshop when you make a donation to Manta Trust. The organization funds coastal research to protect the island nation’s large yet fragile population of reef mantas.

Select from more than 140 participating hotels from the Hawaiian Islands to Bozeman, Montana, and the Maldives. Charities include wildlife, human rights, arts, education, and environmental preservation organizations.

Best for Social Impact : I Like Local

Choose from a host of travel experiences with the peace of mind that 100 percent of the cost goes directly to local partners.

Social impact mission woven into organization’s business model

Immersive experiences led by local guides

Range of experiences offered

May not be best fit for those seeking upscale, luxury experiences and stays

Can’t sort experiences by a list of countries (though an interactive map is available)

No experiences outside of Africa and Asia

For an online travel agency with a booking platform designed to route dollars spent directly to the communities travelers intend to visit, consider I Like Local . Visit the website to browse a host of travel experiences in countries including Indonesia, Kenya, and Cambodia. Experiences include homestays and farmstays as well as wellness and culturally oriented experiences—from cooking and cycling tours to weaving classes.

To search for an experience, select from drop-down items like travel dates and experience categories, or view a global map and click on a country to view experiences that way.

The platform got its start in 2014 and has grown to 4,000 local hosts across nearly 20 countries. As a social impact organization, 100 percent of each booking fee goes to local hosts. To date, 16,000 travelers have booked with I Like Local.

Best for Design-Forward Homestays : Plum Guide

Browse and book seriously vetted, design-forward vacation homes.

Highly curated inventory of vacation rentals across the world


Thorough vetting process

Does not publish guest reviews

Other platforms have homes available across more destinations

When it comes to booking a vacation home, serviced apartment, or condo, travelers are spoiled for choice. Plum Guide is an online travel agency that specializes in accommodations—though not just any home makes its directory. The company claims that each potential home listed on its site must jump through 150 hoops to be included, from internet speed and mattress and pillow quality to the showers’ water pressure and the home’s proximity to dining, shopping, and attractions.

Search by a featured collection on the website such as “ pet-friendly homes ” or “one-of-a-kind homes in Palm Springs.” Scroll to the bottom of its homepage to view its top destinations, as well as a list of all destinations where Plum Guide homes are available, including Barbados, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, the U.S., and Turkey. Note: From the top right-hand corner of the site, use the dropdown menu to select currency of choice.

As long as you know what you value most out of your travel experience—such as affordability, social impact, or luxe accommodations—there’s an online travel agency to help plan your next trip. Be sure to read the fine print, as some agencies are third-party websites and not direct vendors. If you're not sure where to start, is your best bet for a smooth user experience and hard-to-beat offers on flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements.

What Is the Biggest Travel Agency?

Our choice for best overall,, is known as an industry leader with listings for all major hotels, airlines, car rental companies, and more. It boasts more choices for accommodations per destination than any other site, and we found its interface to be user-friendly.

Are Online Travel Agencies Worth It?

This depends on your needs and priorities. The best online travel agencies certainly can save time by booking everything all at once. However, if you're someone who is good at haggling and enjoys the details of planning a trip, you might be able to find better deals by reaching out to hotels or other destinations and speaking to someone personally.

Is It Cheaper to Book Online Than With a Travel Agent?

Not always. A travel agent you know and trust should have the experience and connections to find deals that can match or surpass what you'll find online. Additionally, if something goes wrong, travel agents provide you with an actual person you can use as an advocate to correct the problem . But if you don't have access to a good travel agent, online sites still provide plenty of ways to streamline planning and save money .

We considered dozens of online travel agencies and narrowed down the options based on user experience, volume and quality of inventory, unique offerings and specials, and customer reviews. We also assessed travel companies’ environmentally and socially conscious policies.

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An expert's guide to Orlando, Florida – beyond the theme parks

Tamara Gane

May 5, 2024 • 7 min read

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From glistening beaches to space exploration past and present, Orlando has tons for you to see © Shutterstock

There's a reason 75 million people visit Orlando annually, and it isn't just the mouse. Don't get us wrong. Disney World is incredible and deserves a place on any theme park lover’s bucket list, but Orlando is so much more than its theme parks. It’s an ever-evolving city with vibrant parks, public art and award-winning restaurants. And that’s before you get to amazing day trips to the Kennedy Space Center or New Smyrna Beach . 

I have family near Orlando and I’ve visited dozens of times through the years, usually for a week at a time. I’ve come to love this special place. Whether it’s your first trip to Orlando or you’re looking for something to do outside the theme parks, our expert guide to Orlando will help you make the most of your trip. 

When should I go to Orlando? 

There’s no wrong time to visit Orlando , but here are a few facts to inform your decision. First, no matter the time of year, holidays are crowded and expensive (this includes the days framing the actual holiday). There’s also the rainy season from May to October. Luckily, in a place as lovely as Florida, the rainfall is intense but mercifully brief. 

Hurricane season is from June through November. In recent years, weather systems like Hurricane Ian have caused theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios to close for multiple days. If you’re visiting Orlando during hurricane season, it’s best to book flexible airfare, lodging, rental car reservations, etc.  

The high tourist season in Orlando is from March to April and June to August. Kids are typically out of school for spring and summer breaks, so the big attractions like theme parks are often crowded. Humidity is high, and temperatures are often in the 90s. 

The shoulder season in Orlando is in May and September through November. In May, temperatures reach the mid to high 80s, and after the sweltering summer, they drop to the upper 70s in November. During the shoulder season, you’ll usually find better deals on lodging. 

December is usually the low season (excluding Christmas through early January when the kids are on holiday break). The temperatures are cooler but exceedingly pleasant, with averages in the middle 70s. This is the time of year when you’ll usually get the best pricing as long you avoid school breaks and holidays.

A boy stands on a wet expanse of sand at New Smyrna Beach, near Orlando, Florida

How many days do you need to see Orlando? 

Although you can easily spend longer and not regret it, the average visitor to Orlando spends 5-7 nights. A stay of this length ensures you’ll have time to visit the theme parks (if that’s on your itinerary), plus explore downtown Orlando and some Florida beaches. 

Is it easy to get around in Orlando? 

Most long-distance travelers fly into Orlando International Airport. If you’re staying at a Disney area hotel and don’t plan on spending much time outside the resort, you might find it cheaper to take the Mears Connect shuttle over an Uber or rental car, although this largely depends on your group size. The shuttle operates 24/7. 

If you’re a Florida local, the recently debuted Brightline offers fast train service connecting Orlando to cities like Palm Beach , Fort Lauderdale and Miami . Alternatively, the Sun Rail offers train service with stops in Poinciana (about half an hour from Disney World), downtown Orlando, Kissimmee and DeBary. 

Downtown Orlando has an excellent public transportation system. LYMMO provides free Bus Rapid Transit service seven days a week to major downtown destinations like Lake Eola Park or the Bob Carr Theater . The Lymmo does not provide service to the airport or theme parks. Or, enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and utilize Orlando’s bike and scooter share program .

What are the top things to do in Orlando? 

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Orlando has theme parks. Walt Disney World , Universal Studios , Legoland , etc, are all in the area. If these attractions are the reason for your visit, that’s wonderful. However, there are a lot of things to do in Orlando outside the theme parks. 

Swans swim on glassy water at Lake Eola Park, with Orlando's skyline in the background

Embrace downtown Orlando 

Don’t make the mistake of skipping downtown Orlando on your visit to the Sunshine State. Lake Eola Park is the heart of the city, with a paved, wheelchair-accessible walking trail circling the lake. Colorful gardens blossom against the backdrop of the Orlando skyline while swan boats (and real swans) swim in the water. A wheelchair lift was recently installed to make it easier for people with disabilities to enter the ADA-accessible swan boats. If you’re at Lake Eloa on a Sunday, check out the Orlando Farmer’s Market, where local vendors showcase seasonal produce, arts and crafts, plants and even homemade dog treats.

A whopping 48 Orlando restaurants were honored by the Michelin Guide in 2024, so be sure to arrive hungry. For a bucket list dining experience, the intimate Natsu Omakase has just two seatings per night and flies most of its seafood in from Japan. For a casual meal, it’s hard to beat Super Rico , with Columbian dishes like Churrasco or fried green plantains topped with steak, chicken and mushrooms. 

While you’re walking around downtown, keep your eye open for public art. Orlando boasts over 900 paintings, sculptures, tapestries and mixed media displayed in its city hall, neighborhood centers, public buildings and parks. 

Visit the Harry P. Leu Gardens 

The Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre plant-life paradise. Since this is Florida, there is always something in bloom, and each trip to the gardens is different than the last. Throughout the year, roses, hibiscus, bananas, tree orchids and citrus trees fill the grounds with perfume and color. This is also home to the Historic Leu House Museum, which was originally built in 1888. Today, the mansion has been restored to offer visitors a glimpse back at the past.

Take in a Performance at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has been recognized as one of the world's most acoustically sound arts venues. The building takes up two city blocks, offering multiple performance spaces, a school of the arts, event rooms and an outdoor plaza with a welcoming lawn. An ever-changing calendar of performances includes family-friendly programming, Broadway touring productions and local theater groups. 

Geek out at Kennedy Space Center

Orlando is only 50 miles from the Kennedy Space Center , and it’s worth a side trip. You can easily spend the entire day there, so don’t short yourself on time. Attractions include encounters with real astronauts, hands-on activities like astronaut training simulators, and virtual reality experiences. Kids love it, and so do adults.

Manatees float in clear water at Blue Spring State Park outside of Orlando, Florida

Explore New Smyrna Beach 

Drive an hour to New Smyrna Beach, where you’ll find 17 miles of sugar sand beaches, some of Florida’s best surfing waves, and a cute, walk-around-able downtown brimming with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Nearby Blue Springs State Park is a designated manatee refuge with hundreds of manatees from mid-November through mid-March that visitors can see via a wheelchair-accessible path and viewing platform.

My favorite thing to do in Orlando 

My favorite thing to do in Orlando might seem a little cheesy if you’ve never been inside, but I always recommend Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition . Yes, there are Titanic museums elsewhere, but that doesn’t make this one any less worthwhile since each exhibition holds different artifacts. This one has more than 300 artifacts recovered from the wreckage and 500 personal items from passengers. Costumed actors wander through full-scale room recreations of the Titanic’s interior, pulling you into an eerie, immersive experience. A regular roster of programs includes dinner galas, formal teas and guide tours with rotating themes. 

How much money do I need for Orlando? 

  • Basic room for two: $100 a night (and up) 
  • Basic Airbnb for two: $100 a night (and up) 
  • Ticket for Mear Connect: $32.00 roundtrip for ages 10 and up, $26.00 roundtrip for ages 3-9 years old, children under 3 are free
  • LYMMO Bus Rapid Transit service in downtown Orlando: Free
  • Theme park ticket: varies, but you usually expect to spend at least $120 per person per day
  • Cup of coffee: $3.00 
  • Price for a sandwich: $8.00 
  • Dinner for two: $60 (and up) 
  • Cocktail in downtown Orlando: $14 (and up)

Keep planning your trip to Florida:

Keep your wallet happy with the best free experiences Figure out  the best time to visit Cruise your way around the Sunshine State with the best road trips in Florida   Get the inside intel with the top things you should know before you go

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The luxury car service orlando trusts..

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Four Seasons Resort Orlando: The most luxurious place to stay near Disney World

Eric Rosen

Editor's note: The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort provided TPG with a complimentary two-night stay so that we could get an inside look at the hotel and its amenities. The opinions expressed below are entirely those of the author and weren't subject to review by the hotel or any external entity.

Folks visiting Disney World have dozens of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly Value hotels to middle-of-the-road Moderate accommodations and fancy Deluxe resorts .

One of the most luxurious hotels in the area, however, has to be the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Just a short drive away from Walt Disney World's various parks — but nestled in a gated community — the hotel has several gourmet restaurants, a high-end spa and excellent golf and tennis facilities, plus a plethora of programming and amenities for both adults and kids.

Here's everything you need to know about the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and how to make the most of a stay there.

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Getting there

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort is located around 20 miles west of Orlando International Airport (MCO) in a gated community called Golden Oak, so when arriving, expect to stop by the guard booth to give your name.

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The drive from the airport takes approximately 30 minutes and will cost about $45 using a ride-hailing service.

However, many visitors tend to rent cars so they can get around easily and visit not just Disney World but other parks in the area as well, like Universal Studios. In this case, you must valet your car (self-parking is not available) for $42 per night.

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Booking details

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney Resort has a total of 443 accommodations: 375 rooms and 68 suites.

Entry-level Golden Oak View Rooms start at 500 square feet, and each has a king bed plus a queen sofa bed or two queen beds and an optional crib. Nightly rates currently start at $1,278 per night. Just beware that construction is currently taking place in view of some of these rooms. If tranquility is what you seek, it might be worth the upcharge to reserve a similarly sized and outfitted Lake View Room, which starts at $1,618 per night, instead. Otherwise, if you don't mind the construction activity from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., you might be eligible for a $200 daily resort credit.

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I stayed in an 825-square-foot Park View Suite with views of the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks from its large balcony. It also had a living room and a separate bedroom, with rates currently starting at a whopping $5,054 per night.

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is an Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts property, so folks with The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express who make a booking through can count on benefits like complimentary daily breakfast for two, room upgrades based on availability, a $100 on-property credit to use during their stay and guaranteed late checkout.

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The hotel is also part of Chase's The Edit , which is a recent rebranding of its Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. If you have an eligible card and make your booking through Chase Travel℠ , you can enjoy perks like daily breakfast for two, availability-based room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout based on availability, a $100 property credit to be used during your stay and a welcome gift. Those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for stays booked at The Edit properties.

Other cards you can use for The Edit bookings include:

  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card
  • United Quest℠ Card
  • United℠ Business Card

Standout features

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  • The property has luxurious accommodations with views of the beautiful grounds.
  • There are five pools, ranging from the quiet lakeside Adult Pool to a lazy river and a splash zone for the little ones.
  • An 18-room spa specializes in treatments with high-end Biologique Recherche and Is Clinical products.
  • Guests have their choice of dining experiences, from casual eats at Lickety Split to contemporary Spanish steakhouse fare at top-floor Capa and Italian cuisine at Ravello.

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  • You might be subject to the hotel's variable shuttle schedule if you want to leave your car behind while you park hop.
  • Nearby construction can distract from the otherwise elegant and hushed vibe of the hotel.
  • The high nightly rates will likely price out most travelers.

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Occupying nearly 27 lake-dotted and forest-covered acres just a quick jaunt from Disney World's parks, the Four Seasons Orlando is perhaps the most upscale setting for a vacation in the Most Magical Place on Earth. Though it's a bit removed from the parks, the shuttle service ensures that guests can get their fill of Mickey and his friends during their stay.

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The Spanish Revival-style buildings create a classic resort feel, as do the polished marble floors and dramatic chandeliers in the public areas. However, you might also run into corporate groups at off-site retreats and a wedding or two being celebrated in the complex's many event spaces.

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Most guests seem to be well-off families enjoying some well-deserved vacation time. Thanks to a ponderous 5-acre play zone with pools and club areas for kids of various ages, extensive spa facilities and the Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo golf course (which is also a certified wildlife sanctuary), everyone can do their own thing when not enjoying Disney World's parks.

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My Park View Suite was located at the end of a corridor on the hotel's sixth floor (out of 17). Just inside the entrance was a small half-bath with a sink, a toilet and a walk-in shower.

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Turning left brought me into the main living room, which was a large space. On the near side, a table and two chairs were set along a credenza that also held a Bluetooth speaker and a notepad, basically doubling as a work desk. Beyond that, a sofa bed and an armchair comprised a cozy vignette and faced a chest of drawers with a large flat-screen TV perched atop it.

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Near the little dining area, the minibar had a Nespresso machine and all the fixings so I could make myself coffee or tea in the morning. There was also a minifridge with two complimentary bottles of water. Other snacks and beverages were available upon request.

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A large glass sliding door took up most of the far wall and led out to the expansive balcony, which ran the length of the suite and had a table and four chairs for alfresco meals, as well as two loungers. It could be accessed via either the living room or bedroom and looked out toward the Magic Kingdom.

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The bedroom was separated from the living room by a privacy door. Inside, I found a king-size bed dressed in the brand's signature white-on-white linens with the Four Seasons logo embroidered on the large shams. There were two convenient ottomans serving as a casual bench at the foot of the bed and, along the windows, another seating area composed of two armchairs and an additional ottoman. All the furnishings were in a tranquil palette of mainly cream and taupe tones with some silvery elements and blond wood thrown in.

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To either side of the bed were panels with light switches, power plugs and USB ports, as well as simple nightstands with reading lights. On one, I found a tablet through which I could peruse the resort's amenities and request services like housekeeping or for the valet to bring my car around.

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The closet lay between the bedroom and master bath, with plenty of space for luggage and both hanging and folded clothes.

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The bathroom had gleaming, gray-and-white marble tiling on the walls, floors and bath backsplash. The vanity held two sinks and a range of citrus-scented Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis products. There were also some amenities and toiletries available if you had left any essentials at home.

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Beyond the sinks was a standard soaking tub with both a regular faucet and a hand-held showerhead.

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There was also a separate walk-in shower with a glass door and more Atelier Cologne products, and next to this was a private water closet holding the toilet.

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At over 800 square feet, the suite was quite roomy and would be comfortable for a group with up to four people thanks to the distinct living and bedroom areas and the sleeper sofa, as well as all that outdoor space. The decor, though slightly pared-down, felt fresh and bright, engendering a homey yet upscale ambience.

Food and drink

As you might expect from a luxury resort at Walt Disney World, the Four Seasons Orlando's handful of restaurants range from casual watering holes for the whole family to elegant fine-dining venues for special occasions, plus a special breakfast experience with Disney characters. All feature kids menus, so even the pickiest little eaters should find something they like, such as chicken fingers and cheese pizzas.

Down the hall from reception, Lickety Split is the hotel's laid-back grab-and-go outlet and is open from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. The menu here includes items such as espresso drinks, acai bowls ($13) and avocado toast ($13) in the morning to a chicken Caesar salad ($18), turkey club sandwiches ($18) and a selection of house-made gelato throughout the rest of the day.

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Just next door, the Lobby Lounge is open from 5 to 11 p.m. daily and features live music on Monday, Friday and Sunday evenings. The menu here includes nibbles like mezze platters ($19), chicken wings ($18) and sushi rolls ($21), as well as hearty burgers ($26) and roasted Floridian snapper with hearts of palm and grilled eggplant in a coconut dashi with gremolata ($39).

Among the specialty cocktails is the Spoonful of Pineapple with two kinds of rum, Disaronno amaretto, pineapple, orange, lime and cinnamon syrup ($16).

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Down one level from the lobby, Ravello is the hotel's upscale Italian spot serving breakfast and dinner. There's a well-provisioned buffet available with everything from fresh fruit and pastries to charcuterie and eggs ($42 per adult and $22 for kids 12 and under). The a la carte menu includes dishes like savory huevos rancheros with avocado over corn tortillas ($24) and avocado toast on multigrain bread with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella ($21).

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On Thursdays, Saturdays and select Tuesdays, Ravello offers a Disney character experience called "Good Morning Breakfast With Goofy And His Pals," where guests can meet the beloved character as well as some other Disney personalities and even take home souvenir photographs.

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The experience, including a breakfast buffet, is $32 per child ages 3 to 12 and $54 for adults.

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In the evenings, Ravello transforms into a lively trattoria serving specialties such as creamy burrata with asparagus and tomato ($19), grilled artichokes with roasted zucchini and tomato ($16) and juicy meatballs with mortadella, prosciutto and mozzarella in a tangy tomato sauce ($16). Among the standout mains are a variety of wood-fired pizzas ($19 to $24), ravioli with veal, spinach and ricotta in a wild mushroom sauce with truffle essence ($28) and squid ink bucatini with shrimp and crab meat in a saffron sauce ($32).

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Dessert delicacies include a cherry-pistachio Tartufo ($12) and, of course, a rich tiramisu with Marsala espresso syrup and mascarpone ($12).

Sitting on a spit of land out in the lake, just across a bridge from the adult pool, PB&G is a breezy grill open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It serves signatures like tortilla chips with fire-roasted salsa and guacamole ($13), popcorn shrimp with spicy boom boom sauce ($18), a Cobb salad ($22), a blackened chicken sandwich ($22), pan-seared crabcakes ($23) and citrus-marinated steak tacos ($28), among other options.

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Meanwhile, out at the golf course's clubhouse, Plancha proffers Latin American cuisine from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sundays. The menu highlights flavors like tuna tartare with cilantro-avocado puree with crispy wontons ($15), guava-queso salad with papaya and spiced pepitas ($16), a Caribbean jerk tofu sandwich with cilantro-lime slaw ($19), and churrasco-style skirt steak with chimichurri sauce ($33). Don't miss the sweet and sumptuous tres leches cake ($7) for dessert.

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Finally, there's the hotel's top-floor fine-dining Spanish steakhouse and cocktail lounge called Capa, which has garnered a Michelin star. It is only open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. daily and features live music from a Spanish guitarist on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Like the luscious cuts of meat cooking in the open kitchen, the ambience is sizzling. The menu starts with small plates and crudo, including silky seared tuna with mango escabeche, truffle-avocado puree and shaved black truffle ($21); house-roasted almonds ($7); and tender octopus with potatoes, spicy pimento, black garlic glaze and garlic aioli ($19).

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The grilled mains are mostly pricey cuts of steak, including a melt-in-your-mouth prime fillet from Arkansas-based Creekstone Farms ($68) and a 40-day, wet-aged, bone-in ribeye ($91) served with your choice of sauces like chimichurri, bearnaise, and peppercorn ($5 each) plus an intriguing array of unusual sides like fried eggplant with molasses ($14) and unctuous corn polenta with goat cheese and sherry vinegar ($14).

The list of accompanying wines draws from all over Europe and the West Coast, with some robust Riojas and Ribera del Dueros among the options.

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For dessert, the sugar- and cinnamon-dusted churros with chocolate and dulce de leche sauce ($15) shouldn't be missed. Also, not to miss? The prime views from the restaurant's balcony of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The kitchen and waitstaff will even plan the service pacing around the park schedule so your food doesn't get cold if you want to spend a few minutes watching the spectacle.

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Disney amenities

As one of the hotels at Walt Disney World, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers several Disney-specific perks. Guests can take advantage of a 30-minute early entry head start to their park of choice each day before the general public is admitted.

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An on-site Disney Planning Center across from reception can help visitors plan their park strategy, secure tickets to events, arrange private VIP tours with expedited access to attractions and put together special experiences like one-on-one encounters with their favorite Disney characters and even character dining experiences in one of the event spaces (though this is steep, starting at $7,500).

The hotel also offers complimentary shuttles to the various parks at Walt Disney World, though the schedule changes daily, so be sure to stop by the Disney Planning Center desk to check on the next day's routes.

Pools and activities

Although the point for many folks staying at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort might be to spend their days at the resort's various theme parks, it would be a shame (and perhaps illogical at this price point) not to spend a little time enjoying the amenities and activities at the hotel itself.

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There are several pool and water features for guests to relax or play in. Closest to the main hotel tower, the adults-only Oasis Pool looks out over the lake and is surrounded by loungers and cabanas.

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On the other side of PB&G, the 7,590-square-foot Family Pool is ideal for folks with the kids in tow, while the 5-acre Explorer Island pool and activity complex includes highlights like a lazy river, waterslides, a climbing wall and a shallow splash zone for toddlers.

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Each pool has a helpful stand where guests can get towels, sunblock, water and even life vests for kids who might not be confident swimmers.

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The hotel also has a signature Kids For All Seasons club with activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 4 to 12 (those under 4 must be accompanied by an adult), plus the Hideout, a rec room of sorts where older kids can relax and play foosball and video games, among other options.

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The hotel can also arrange for babysitting services.

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Active guests can play a round or two on the 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course on the property, book a lesson with the resident tennis pro on one of the three courts available or shoot some hoops on the basketball court at Explorer Island.

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The hotel also has a large gym near the adults-only pool and the spa with LifeFitness cardio machines, including treadmills and ellipticals, Peloton bikes, Matrix weight machines, free weights and a studio for stretching, yoga and private training.

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Located on the hotel's lower level, the spa is a huge facility. The experience here starts by checking in at the boutique, where various product lines (think: Biologique Recherche and Kerastase, among many others) incorporated into its treatments are sold.

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There are men's and women's locker rooms complete with showers, steam rooms, saunas, ice stations, outdoor relaxation areas and whirlpools, as well as experiential showers that incorporate lights, sounds and cascades of water at different temperatures to replicate occurrences like island storms.

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The spa houses 18 treatment rooms, six of which are equipped for couples with two tables. All are named after birds indigenous to Florida.

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The menu of treatments is a panoply of pampering and includes unique techniques such as a Sticks and Stones Massage performed with warm basalt stones and birchwood sticks ($220 for 50 minutes) and the La Floridian Body Therapy with a fine cane-sugar body polish followed by a skin masque of pink grapefruit cream and whipped shea butter and a jasmine-scented hot oil scalp massage ($320 to $340 for 80 minutes).

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There are nearly a dozen facials to choose from as well, including a high-tech Regenerating Micropuncture option that uses intra-epidermal stimulation in combination with active amino acid serum to firm and illuminate the skin ($370 for 50 minutes). The spa can also provide a variety of IV drips and intramuscular shots to help with hydration, immunity and weight loss ($50 to $250) and cryotherapy sessions ($225 to $385).

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Among the offerings for kids are the Belle of the Ball makeover and the Royal Treatment, complete with hair styling, accessories, makeup, nail lacquer, fairy dust and a princess certificate ($155 to $315).

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Those who want to go all-out can head one floor up to visit the hotel store, Fable, for costumes and other accouterments, along with sundries like snacks and sunblock. Across the way, Wardrobe is more like a fashion boutique peddling resort and evening wear from brands like Lilly Pulitzer and Missoni, jewelry, sunglasses and more.

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The Four Seasons Orlando offers accessible rooms in its Golden Oak View Room and Golden Oak View Suite categories. These accommodations feature wide, wheelchair-accessible doors, lowered peepholes, roll-in showers and grab bars for the raised toilet and the bathtub. Additionally, the lighting controls and thermostats are at a maximum height of 48 inches to the top of the device.

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Some of the accessible rooms have features for those with hearing or visual impairments, including a combination of visual and speaker alerts connected to the fire alarms and the hotel's emergency alarm system. There are visual notifications for phone calls and knocks at the door, TTY/TTD phones and visual alarms, as well as phone amplifiers that are available upon request. A bed vibration function for telephone calls, fire alarms and the room doorbell is also available.

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The hotel entrance is wheelchair-accessible with gradual inclines from the driveway and accessible doors, plus wide hallways in the public areas and sets of elevator buttons within reach of wheelchair height. The reception and concierge desks are Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, and guests can also request in-room registration as an alternative.

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The other facilities, including the restaurants, the spa and the fitness center, are accessible via wheelchair thanks to elevators, non-step entrances and either roll-in entry or chair lifts into the pools. Service animals are also permitted throughout.

Checking out

For travelers who want to add more than a touch of luxury to their next Disney vacation, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World offers just the right combination of elegance and family-friendly magic. Guests can enjoy the benefit of staying within easy reach of all the parks while remaining a little removed from the crowds thanks to the location in a tony residential enclave.

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Thanks to the hotel's Disney desk and convenient shuttle service, guests can also plan everything from quick, casual visits to the parks to exclusive meet-and-greets with their favorite characters. Given the high price point of the rooms and the on-property restaurants and amenities, though, consider making the hotel the focus of your vacation so you can take advantage of all it has to offer while still sprinkling a little Disney fun into the mix.

Related reading:

  • The 16 best Four Seasons in the world, according to travel experts who have stayed at them
  • I have stayed at every Disney World hotel — this is what I liked and didn't like about each property
  • Inside the new Conrad Orlando that has an 8-acre blue lagoon and borders Disney World
  • A magical guide for how to plan a trip to Disney World this year
  • Tips for visiting Disney World: 19 ways to save money and have more fun

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Florida's Brightline Train Is Celebrating Mother's Day With 50% Off Tickets — When to Book

The sale is running until May 12.

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Courtesy of Brightline

High-speed rail company Brightline is celebrating all moms with a Mother’s Day sale that has up to half-off train tickets between South Florida and Orlando.

The sale, which is available to book through May 12, is valid on trips that start or end in Orlando on select days through June 30, Brightline shared with Travel + Leisure. To book, travelers must purchase their ticket at least seven days in advance and use the promo code “ALLMOMS.” 

The promotion excludes travel on Fridays and Sundays. 

“Celebrating moms of all kinds — mom, work mom, abuela, bonus mom, mom-in-law, moms deserve the world, so the offering helps her explore with Brightline this summer,” the rail company wrote in a statement shared with T+L. 

As part of the sale, “Smart” fares start at $39 and “Premium” fares start at $89.

In addition, Brightline is celebrating moms with a series of pop-ups at its stations, like a Whispering Angel wine tasting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and pink Paloma tasting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 10 at the MiamiCentral Station, or the mimosa and Paloma event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 12 at the Orlando, West Palm Beach, and MiamiCentral stations.

Brightline first launched in 2018 with service between West Palm Beach , Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, before finally opening a new route between Miami and Orlando late last year. The company plans to add a brand-new station on the Treasure Coast in Stuart, Florida, in the second half of 2026.

On board, travelers can choose between “Smart” or “Premium” fares, the latter which includes added perks like a dedicated lounge at the departure station, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary snacks and beverages. All Brightline trains come with complimentary onboard Wi-Fi.

Beyond Florida, the company has started work in southern California to connect the state with Las Vegas over 218-miles.

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Universal Orlando announces DreamWorks Land opening date: What to know

U niversal Orlando Resort will open its newest land — DreamWorks Land — on June 14, the Florida resort announced Monday, but the new land isn’t the only new attraction set to debut this summer.

DreamWorks Land will feature characters from DreamWorks Animation, including Shrek, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda. Built on the site of the former KidZone inside Universal Studios park, the new land will feature rides including a Trolls Trollercoaster, Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp and Shrek’s Swamp Meet.

Guests can also enjoy their favorite characters in DreamWorks Imagination Celebration — “a multisensory live show that will bring beloved DreamWorks stories to life like never before,” according to NBCUniversal.

Also set to debut this summer is CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular — a new nighttime show in the lagoon inside the resort’s Universal Studios park; Hogwarts Always, a new castle projection show in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Hogsmede section in Islands of Adventure; and what the park is billing as its “largest daytime parade to date,” the Universal Mega Movie Parade.

“We are thrilled to debut an array of never-before-seen experiences for the entire family to enjoy from day to night,” said Karen Irwin, President & COO of Universal Orlando Resort. “These new experiences - coupled with the amazing attractions currently in our theme parks - will allow our guests to create lasting memories that will make this summer truly unforgettable.”

The company released additional details on the new attractions:

CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular : Set to debut alongside DreamWorks Land on June 14, the new show water-based show will celebrate the emotional power of music by leveraging the iconic scores and scenes from blockbuster films that have inspired Universal Orlando’s past, present and future attractions – including Warner Bros. Pictures Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, Jurassic World , Jaws, Shrek, Ghostbusters, Trolls, Back to the Future, Universal Monsters, Transformers, How to Train Your Dragon, E.T., Fast and Furious, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Minions, The Mummy and King Kong.

The lagoon show will feature 228 fountains reaching heights up to 131 feet; 4K projection mapping; an original composition featuring newly-arranged scores for each scene; and more than 600 drones — “all coming together to envelop guests in a breathtaking display of unforgettable cinematic moments,” according to the resort.

Universal Mega Movie Parade : Scheduled to start July 3, the new daytime parade will be a celebration of iconic movies E.T. , Back to the Future , Jaws , Ghostbusters , Jurassic World , Illumination’s Minions and Sing and DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls and Kung Fu Panda . The parade will combine 13 new floats, nearly 100 performers – including dancers, skaters, stilt walkers, poi performers and more, coupled with special effects.

Parade-goers will see a 16-foot Stay Puft Marshmallow Man atop a Ghostbusters float; a Jaws-themed float with a drum line performing the score from the classic film; and a Gyrosphere, Raptors, and Tyrannosaurus rex on a Jurassic World float, among other elements.

The park’s rotating Tribute Store will be themed to the new parade experience, including new merchandise and photo opportunities inspired by the films featured in the parade.

Hogwarts Always castle projection show : The new projection show on Hogwarts Castle inside Hogsmede at Islands of Adventure will feature a tour de force of iconic moments of a school year at Hogwarts, including supply shopping in Diagon Alley, a ride aboard the Hogwarts Express, the Sorting Hat Ceremony, and celebrating the House Cup winner, among other elements.

The show will also feature four different endings geared to each of the four Hogwarts houses, and culminates with a pyrotechnic display.

Still to come, of course, is an opening date for Universal Orlando’s much-anticipated new park, Epic Universe, scheduled to open in 2025.

For more information, including ticket prices and hotel reservations, visit the Universal Orlando website .

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Brightline to focus on Orlando-to-Miami routes, shifting monthly subscriptions

After june 1, big changes are coming to monthly discount passes.

Troy Campbell , Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Brightline station has enough ridership for the company to focus long distance routes.

This means starting June 1, there are big changes to monthly discount passes.

According to Brightline’s website, their “smart” plan from Miami to West Palm Beach currently costs $399 for one month, which includes 40 trips. After June 1, a similar plan costs $350 for only 10 trips.

Kemisha Mantle and Trudy Ann-Thomas were traveling back to Fort Lauderdale from the Orlando Brightline station on Tuesday.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos ]

“It reminded me of an airplane anyway because of the service, the scanning. It was not as we expected,” Mantle said.

“They said it’s like an airplane, but to be honest, I think in terms of space, it’s a bit better, much better,” Ann-Thomas said. “We are looking forward to having such a nice experience going back.”

The two said that for a couple of years, people have grown accustomed to the discounted plan in South Florida.

“Going back, it’s the foundation of what they had before. If they are coming out and extending, they shouldn’t take that away from the folks in South Florida,” Ann-Thomas said.

Brightline has also announced plans to connect the Orlando station to Tampa.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily :

Copyright 2024 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

About the Author

Troy campbell.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.


Next stop, cocoa: brightline travels toward new station in brevard, brightline train strikes, kills pedestrian in micco, leaders oks funding for next step in cocoa brightline station.

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