How to Spend 48 Hours in Orlando FL
When a traveler has their mind on theme parks, there’s no place in the world that does it quite as well as Orlando, Florida. Home to over 12 major, world-renowned theme parks, Orlando has a reputation saturated in all things fantastic and nearly magical. While Walt Disney World tops the list of must-see destinations in Orlando, the city itself is inhabited by nearly 300,000 residents and stretches across more than 91-square miles of Florida land. It’s a sprawling city that’s packed with fun and opportunity which only increase if you’re willing to move beyond the theme park boundaries. Any traveler to Orlando quickly realizes it would take several weeks of dedicated time to make the most of this vibrant city, but the reality is most visitors are on a timeline. When you’re heading to Orlando with only 48 hours to spare, here are the itinerary highlights you won’t want to miss the first time around.
Day 1: Getting Acquainted with the Best of Orlando
There are travelers who return to Walt Disney World year after year in order to see everything there is to discover. Those who are looking to make the most of Disney in two days time will want to schedule a few hours out of their morning to see Magic Kingdom. Beginning with the epicenter of this magical destination makes sense. Magic Kingdom plays host to the infamous castle and provides some of the most iconic picture spots around. Arrive early to beat the crowds and take some time to enjoy the rides, characters and of course, food before the afternoon Florida heat sets in.
As the inevitable heat sets in, set off for an indoor tour of the Titanic Artifact Exhibit. This impressive and moving tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in the devastating accident in 1912 is beautifully remembered at this museum in Orlando. 20,000 square feet of space is dedicated to authentic recreations of rooms on the Titanic including the Grand Staircase. Browse ship artifacts as you follow the timeline from the moment Titanic set sail until its fateful sinking in the Atlantic.
End your first day in Orlando on International Drive. This hot spot for live music and restaurants is a popular hangout with locals and tourists alike. Take some time to walk up and down the street and take in the many aromas, sounds and lively fun that are happening around you before grabbing a table at Café Two Two Tango. This tapas-style establishment is well-loved for their savory sangria. As you dine, enjoy watching artists paint live all around you! The walls are covered in the works of artists who have come and created before. Colorful, creative and always delicious, a meal at Two Two Tango is fun for the entire family.
Day 2: Making the Most of Day Two
Orlando is a city of crowds that’s best met with some strategy so plan on starting day two early once more to get ahead of the theme park rush. Today, you’ll want to make your way to Universal Studios. Home to Harry Potter World, guests can enjoy a Butter Beer in the shadow of Hogwarts or simply stroll down Diagon Alley and consider the wand they would choose if they were enrolled in this school of magic. From Islands of Adventure to Volcano Bay, this is a park that speaks to visitors of all ages with a passion for big imagination.
As the crowds pick up, take it as a cue to head out and make your way toward the Harry P Leu Gardens. This destination is well worth a visit for the volume of color you’ll encounter alone. Sprawling over 50-acres of land, the Harry P Leu Gardens is home to a vast array of tropical plants and flowers that thrive in the Florida sunshine. Leisurely stroll the trails and take in the view as you go.
Once you’ve had your fill of fantastic flowers, it’s time to get to the heart of Florida’s amazing wildlife with a trip to Gatorland. This dual wildlife preserve and theme park stretches over 110-acres and provides guests with opportunities to view some of the state’s most dangerous and thrilling creatures. While interactions with alligators and crocodiles are the highlight of this journey, the park hosts zip lines for those looking for a more unique view over the teeming waters.
End your time in Orlando with a reservation at Kres Chophouse on Church Street. This highly-popular and upscale establishment is often pointed to as the best steak house in the city with good reason. A large menu of savory favorites awaits alongside beautifully hand-crafted cocktails. Whether you’re in the mood for a Fillet Wellington or Duo of Duck, Kres Chophouse is happy to serve up the ultimate dish to curb your craving.
A Trip to Remember
Making the most of a short trip to Orlando comes down to variety. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun Disney delivers, but if you take some time to craft an itinerary that reaches many hidden corners of the city, you’ll find yourself on an adventure of a lifetime.