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Ultimate Spring Break Guide: Top Things to Do in Orlando


Spring Break is here, and you’ll find few better places than Orlando, Florida, to spend it. The City Beautiful has excellent options to break away and maximize your academic getaway.

On top of our world-class theme parks, we also have exciting, unique water parks and experiences. Aquatica Orlando and Universal Volcano Bay offer their distinctive takes on tropical escapes, while visitors can also embark on excursions to destinations like the Kennedy Space Center and Clearwater Beach. Furthermore, Florida’s picturesque beaches and refreshing springs are a short drive away. We’ll touch on those momentarily. For now, let’s do a little housekeeping.

Before those of you who may have skimmed this already and raised the ever-inquisitive eyebrow at us – we know what you’re thinking: “Where are the theme parks?” Don’t worry, they’re always on our list. Even if it’s not stated outright, Orlando’s infamous trio of theme parks, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando, are always our top recommendations for anything. Yet, this vibrant city also boasts an array of non-theme park destinations that promise to elevate your week-long break to unforgettable heights.

Now then, let’s get into the meat of why Orlando should be your next destination for Spring Break!

Swim through Spring Break at Orlando’s water parks

Orlando is home to amazing water parks like Universal Volcano Bay and Aquatica Orlando, where you can bask in the sun or speed down a water slide to rinse the day away.

Riptide Race at Aquatica Orlando
Riptide Race at Aquatica Orlando

One of this writer’s fondest memories was when he first braved Aquatica’s Reef Plunge. It was both his first time on a water slide of that caliber and an exhilarating experience as he zoomed past colorful tropical sealife and the park’s own Commerson’s dolphins. Imagine the bragging rights you’ll have when you go back to school with that vacation to write an essay about!

Krakatau at Universal Volcano Bay
Krakatau at Universal Volcano Bay

For anyone who wants a truly unique water park like no other, Volcano Bay is just that. Universal’s water theme park is situated at the foot of Krakatau, the park’s colorful volcano centerpiece. Upon entering the park, prepare to be captivated by the stunning vista of Krakatau, a sight you’ll definitely want to capture with your camera.

Volcano Bay stands out as the sole water park to feature the unique TapuTapu virtual queue technology, allowing you to explore other areas of the park while you wait. It’s also home to the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, the only magnetically propelled water coaster in Orlando.

Splash into the local beaches and natural springs

While Orlando might be a city by definition, that doesn’t mean there aren’t natural Florida habitats just minutes away. Within a 30 to 40-minute drive sit three natural springs of interest. Wekiwa Springs stands as a popular favorite, yet its bustling nature paves the way to explore many serene alternatives. To that, countless others like Blue Springs, Rainbow Springs, and Kelly Park Rock Springs are great options that exist not far from Orlando. These are the perfect “true Florida” spin on the mainstream beach options. Much like their sandy siblings, this Floridian can say that there’s nothing like laying down a towel and complimenting a hot summer day with a dip into the cool waters of Florida’s natural springs.

One of Florida's beautiful beaches at sunset
One of Florida’s beautiful beaches at sunset

Speaking of the beaches, some of Florida’s best lie a few mere miles outside Orlando. Although Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are the most famous, they’re not quite at the top of our list here. The Indiatlantic Beach is just a little further past Cocoa and Daytona and is equally worthy of your time. Cocoa Beach’s popularity is a testament to its appeal, drawing visitors from far and wide. Its vibrant atmosphere is perfect for those who love a bustling beach scene. For those seeking a quieter spot still close by, Jetty Park Beach and Pier offers a delightful alternative. Jetty Park is located in the Cape Canaveral portion of Cocoa Beach and has a $15 entry fee which you can pay for ahead of time or at the park’s gate. Rest assured that the fee goes toward the property’s cleanliness and upkeep, which is a small price for the proper experience you’re looking for.

Take an excursion while you’re in Orlando

There are also plenty of other options to maximize your Spring Break while you’re in Orlando. Not far from our fair city lie other destinations like amazing coastal beaches and exhilarating airboat exhibitions. The options are endless, with worthwhile destinations like the Kennedy Space Center, Clearwater Beach, and even single-day trips to Miami, all accessible from Central Florida.

Another stunning beach in Florida

As a South Florida-born frequenter of Clearwater Beach, I can attest to its exceptional ability to create lasting memories. Whenever we go to Clearwater, my wife and I make it a point to experience the Sea Screamer speedboat. It’s always a great time as the boat captains and hosts take you around the outskirts of Clearwater’s ritzier neighborhoods and share a bit of the beach city’s history. If you’re lucky, there may even be some fancy-flippered friends racing the boat while flying through the currents at top speeds!

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About Sean Pagnotti

Sean is an Orlando geek of most trades. Growing up with the theme parks as his backyard, he developed a passion not just for the industry, but also for helping others get their best experience from the city. Aside from travelling annually with his wife, Sean can be found sketching in his drawing book, crafting the next cocktail from his bar, and binge-watching his favorite shows.