Sand, rides, and melting sunsets—staying at an Orlando Resort means enjoying an endless summer.
Heated pools, cute cabanas, and on-site amenities, or just a few of the things that make Orlando such as Sunny retreat. Depending on the resort you stay at, you’ll also be able to enjoy all sorts of theme park perks.
For instance, certain hotels can grant you early access to the parks. You’ll be able to beat the lines and experience the parks in an entirely new way.
What other inside tips should you learn before booking your Orlando stay? Read on to find out!
1. Florida Weather Changes Quickly
First off, the weather in Central Florida is entirely unpredictable. One moment things will be bright and sunny. The next, you’ll be dealing with torrential downpours!
Depending on your vacation, you’ll also have to deal with fluctuating temperatures. What starts off like a chilly morning can quickly turn into a tropically warm day. To prepare for the weather, we suggest bringing layers of clothing.
Being able to peel off each layer as the temperatures rise will help you stay comfortable all day. You should also pack your jackets and long sleeve shirts for chilly evenings and brisk mornings.
If you’re spending time on the beach, prepare for cold, windy days. Even if the Sun is shining, it’s easy for the beach to have a chill to it.
Finally, do yourself a favor by bringing a quality pair of sunglasses. We suggest getting polarized lenses that do an excellent job blocking out UV rays.
The better the glasses, the easier it’ll be for you to prevent eye strain. That way, you can focus on taking in all of the beautiful sights instead of dealing with the Sun’s glare.
2. Choosing a Resort With Shuttle Services
You’ll be happy to know that all of the major theme parks in Orlando are close together. For instance, SeaWorld and Disney World are only about 15 to 20 miles away from each other.
It’s likely that your resort will have some type of shuttle service for theme parks, shopping, and restaurants. Find out when the shuttles run for your resort, and inquire about after-hour services.
Sometimes theme parks will have special events at night. The best resorts will provide you with complimentary shuttles to after-hour events, so you don’t have to miss out.
Another option would be using a shared ride service or calling a cab. Of course, you could save money by using public transportation.
There’s a SunRail train that runs throughout Florida and reliable Lynx bus lines. Here are some of the popular stops along the Lynx bus routes.
3. Find Resort Options With Concierge Services
You deserve to be treated like royalty during your resort stay. That’s why you should ask your resort about upgrading to the concierge level.
A lot of the popular chains will be able to offer concierge services. By upgrading your membership, you’ll be treated like the VIP guest you are.
Different resorts will have different approaches towards giving guests special treatment. Typically, the concierge includes a complimentary breakfast, free bottled waters, and discounted on-site activities.
Other benefits include things like better views from your resort window. A lot of resorts will even dedicate their top floors to concierge members.
For instance, name-brand resorts, like Westgate, will dedicate the 25th and 26th floors to concierge members. They also provide specialty lounges that only concierge-level guests get to enjoy. To find out the other concierge perks, check out https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/florida/orlando/.
Lounges typically serve meals and snacks that you can’t get anywhere else. Other services you can enjoy include things such as a private check-in.
4. Travel Advice for Arrivals
One of the biggest mistakes vacationers make is arriving late for check-in. Every minute you’re late is costing you precious vacation time. You paid for the room, and you should take advantage of every single second it’s available.
We suggest arriving at your resort early. You can even call ahead and request an early check-in. During busy seasons, it’s unlikely you’ll be granted an early check-in, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
As far as checking out goes, you should always request a late checkout. For instance, let’s say your resort typically does check out set 10:00 a.m. you should ask for at least a 3-hour extension.
By asking for 3 hours, you’ll likely get your entire request. If not, you’ll probably least get to stay in the room until 12:00 p.m. It’s amazing what a big difference those extra few hours can make when you’re packing up to leave.
Many resorts are also lenient when it comes to using on-site amenities after checking out. If you plan your day right, you and the family could spend a day by the pool, even after you don’t have a room.
Having a quick chat with the member at the front desk should help clear this up for you. As you’re checking out, simply let them know that your family is enjoying the pool, and you’ll be wrapping things up in a few hours.
If there’s a problem, they’ll let you know, but they’re rarely is. You’ll just have to remember that you don’t have a key anymore, so gather all of your belongings before leaving the pool area.
5. How Long To Stay at a Vacation Resort
If you have the time and money, you should plan at least 4 days for your Orlando resort stay. Why? The first day you’ll be settling in and getting the lay of the land.
On the 2nd and 3rd days, you’ll be able to tackle all of the activities you want to do. By the 4th day, you’ll be ready to lounge around the pool and simply relax.
We find that 4 days is the perfect amount of time to get the whole Orlando experience without overdoing it. If you’re traveling during the height of tourist season, we suggest budgeting for at least 7 days. The added crowds will slow you down on the roads and in the parks.
If you only have enough time for a 1 or 2 day stay, don’t worry. By planning things right, you’ll still be able to create a great experience. We suggest planning on visiting a beach, eating at a fancy Orlando restaurant, and skipping the parks. When you only have 2 days, less will be more.
6. Preparing for Holiday Tourism
Are you going to Orlando during the winter holidays? Even though you’ll be dealing with larger crowds, you’ll have the payoff of seeing the incredible holiday decorations.
All of the theme parks in Florida go all out when preparing for the winter season. Walt Disney World does an especially great job of bedazzling their entire park. Not to mention all of the nightly fireworks shows and special Christmas-themed parades!
Over at Universal Studios Orlando, they even have their own version of the Macy’s Day parade—with original Macy’s Day parade floats! Along with the parks, your resort is sure to do it up for the Christmas season too. You can expect the lobby to have top-of-the-line decorations, and there might even be a Santa Claus on site.
To get the most out of all of the holiday experiences, you’ll need to buckle down your itinerary. A typical Florida vacation can be a little bit loose, but a holiday one needs to be precise.
You’ll need to know exactly all of the activities you’d like to finish within the day, as well as the transportation you’re going to use to get there. Be sure to plan for extra travel time on the roads since there’s always a lot of people in Florida during Christmas.
7. Stay Comfortable All Day Long
One thing about Florida vacations is that you wind up walking a lot. You’re going to be walking around the resort, walking around the theme parks, and hopefully walking along sandy beaches.
If you want to stay comfortable as you get your steps in, you’ll need to bring a couple of supportive walking shoes. Don’t count on flip-flops or sandals getting you through the day. Think memory foam insole sneakers with great tread.
You’ll also want to bring sunscreen that has the appropriate amount of SPF since the Florida sun is no joke! Last but not least, we suggest bringing an insulated water bottle with you.
Having to pay for water everywhere you go can easily wipe out your spending funds. It can also be stressful not having a sip of cool water when you’re dealing with the intense Florida heat. Save money and eliminate stress by keeping an icy bottle of water with you at all times.
Find Your Orlando Resort
Now that you know all the best tips and tricks for having a great Florida vacation, are you ready to book your stay? Remember, you’ll want to allow at least 4 days of vacation time. By giving yourself a little bit more time, you’ll be able to enjoy a leisurely stay, instead of feeling rushed.
Go ahead and start looking for your preferred Orlando resort today. Be sure to find out if they offer concierge-level services and what standard amenities are available on site. For more ways to play, read another one of our articles.