Spring break in Orlando is one of the region’s peak travel seasons–with warm, summerlike temperatures, springtime festivals featuring live music, and plenty more reasons to enjoy everything that Orlando has to offer.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 spring break ideas for visitors in and around Orlando:
1. Legoland: While Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld are obvious draws to Orlando, Legoland in Winter Haven is Florida’s newest theme park, and it is less than an hour away from Orlando’s most famous attractions. Families with kids 12 and under will appreciate the interctive fun and amazing Lego models.
2. Epcot’s Flower & Garden Show: Amazing topiary displays, gardening tips, a butterfly garden, and free performances from some of the most beloved pop acts from the past four decades are among the highlights of this annual event at Walt Disney World.
3. Universal’s Mardi Gras: Lasting a few weeks longer than the real celebration in New Orleans, Universal Studio Florida’s annual spring fling includes concerts from newer pop acts as compared to Epcot (although you have to pay for these tickets) plus plenty of Bourbon Street style celebrations.
4. Orlando water parks: Enjoy summer temperatures without summertime crowds at any one of Orlando’s massive outdoor water parks: Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, Wet ‘n Wild, or Aquatica. This summer Legoland will be opening their own water park.
5. Amway Center: Watch the Orlando Magic play in one of the most high-tech stadiums in the country. In addition to NBA games, the Amway Center is where the biggest names in pop music come to perform concerts.
6. Church Street: The bars and restaurants of Church Street are just a few steps outside of the Amway Center. The nightlife really picks up for NBA games and concerts, but on any given night you’ll find a relatively tourist-free, youthful crowd enjoying a night on the town.
7. International Drive: Of course, if you prefer to stay in the main tourism corridor, I-Drive will serve up plenty of thrills and unique attractions, including Wonderworks, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and even Titanic: The Experience, which is preparing for the centennial of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage.
8. Outlet Shopping: Get your designer swimwear and other accessories at affordable prices at one of two Premium Outlet malls in Orlando. Avoid the packed parking lots by taking the I-Drive trolley to these locations on north International Drive or Vineland Road.
9. MLB spring training: Play ball! ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Disney World hosts Atlanta Braves’ spring training while Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee is home to the Houston Astros. Local residents and visitors alike enjoy watching their favorite teams play in a more intimate setting than the average MLB ballpark.
10. Orlando dinner theaters: Orlando offers several venues that combine live performances–from equestrian pageantry to swashbuckling fun–with a full meal, such as Medieval Times, Arabian Nights, and Pirates Dinner Theatre. Special packages are available for birthdays and holidays.
While some local attractions host annual events, the Orlando theme parks are constantly rolling out new attractions so that the experience is slightly different every year. “Soft openings” refer to new rides, exhibits and performances that become open to the public during limited hours until the grand opening occurs a few weeks later. You never know when you could get a sneak peek at one of Orlando’s newest attractions during your spring break.