Just like in the ads, the thought of heading to Orlando really does make for a sleepless night (in the best kind of way). Bursting with activities and attractions for easy-going holidayers to adrenaline junkies, not to mention the year round sunshine to take advantage of, Orlando has a lot to offer.

Universal Studios

First timers can try to fight it but at some point you’ll be tempted by a theme park. Not just for kids, the parks can cater for more eclectic tastes. Movie fanatics should check out Universal Studios where you can tour the sets of the classics and even re-enact iconic scenes. Enjoy the famous bike ride with E.T., tackle the elements in Twister and check out the Horror Make-Up show to uncover tricks of the trade and special effects. Brave the heights of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket roller coaster and you’ll also catch a bird’s eye view of area. There are so many incredible rides at Universal Studios, part of the fun is finding your favorite!

Keeping things contemporary, Universal continuously reinvents itself and now includes the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. All aboard the steam train to Hogwarts, delve into Ollivander’s wand store and even have it out with Voldemort himself. If you just can’t wait for your trip, check out this video of this part of the park, and try to contain your excitement!

Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory

However, if shopping in Diagon Alley isn’t to your taste then there’s sure to be something more to your liking in one of Orlando’s many malls and outlets. The Mall at Millenia is Orlando’s Disneyland for shoppers where you can snap up a bargain at Macy’s or lust after the goods in Rolex. There’s also a floor of worthy eateries and a bar to keep your other half on side, and you can make a pit stop at The Cheesecake Factory with over 30 indulgent options to choose from. Heading to the pool later? Opt for the low carb cheesecake and have the best of both worlds.

Beyond the fashion and entertainment scene, Orlando also boasts a rich culture and natural beauty. Soak it all in with a leisurely stroll through one of the natural parks or get up and close with a croc , or maybe even do some fishing, on one of the many air boat rides through Lake Toho. Alternatively, you can reach new heights with a hot air balloon flight over the area.

There’s always a lot going on in Orlando, no matter what time of the year you choose to visit. With free attractions and some beautiful beaches always on offer, it’s a perfect getaway that you’ll certainly be revisiting time and again.

Images by Lall and Mark Crawley, used under the Creative Commons license.