Orlando, Florida Things to Do and Safety for Solo Female Travelers
Few cities provide as many attractions to solo female travelers as Orlando, Florida. Orlando has the second highest concentration of theme parks in the United States, after Anaheim, California. However, many prefer Florida for its sunnier weather and warm water beaches. (California’s Pacific Ocean beaches are cold!) Orlando is situated in the center of Florida, placing it an hour’s drive to Florida’s famed Atlantic beaches, and two hours from the Gulf of Mexico. While many might visit Orlando’s other attractions, the best features are its amusement parks.
The resorts and parks aren’t the only reason to visit Orlando. There are plenty of museums, restaurants, and year-round events. Planning a nice dinner after visiting a theme park makes Orlando the best city for well-rounded trips. However, while Orlando does have top quality adult attractions, if you’re looking for a piece of Florida focused more on beaches, bars, clubs, and parties, We recommend visiting Miami. You can check out things to do in Miami guide here.
About Orlando, Florida
Orlando carries the well-earned nickname “The City Beautiful” and welcomes 75 million visitors each year, making it one of the most visited cities in the world, and with good reason, it’s amazing.
Must-See Attractions and Things to Do in Orlando
The incredible park scene in Orlando is what makes it a perfect destination for solo female travelers. Amusement parks are safe, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost and ending up in the bad part of town. While most parks are “family friendly” these parks are also aware of their adult audience and make the trip enjoyable for visitors of all ages.
As Disney World’s biggest competitor, Universal Studios offers an experience for those who prefer Universal films. The Resort covers 840 acres. Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is a popular family vacation destination, year-round tourist attraction and a safe entertainment option for solo female travelers. The resort is broken into three separate parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The most inclusive Harry Potter theme park in the world, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios brings the fictional world of magic to life. The star of the park is its replication of Diagon Alley, with replicas of famous shops like Olivander’s Wand Shop, Gringotts Bank, and The Leaky Cauldron. The Harry Potter themed areas of Universal cover two parks: The Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The Islands of Adventure feature seven distinctive islands. The themes are based on popular films and TV: Marvel, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing. Like the Universal Studios Park, there are shows that are available to see as well: Poseidon’s Fury, Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear!, and Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.
Popular rides in this park include:
Jurassic World VelociCoaster
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
Jurassic Park River Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
This is the original park, and it is themed around famous Universal movies and television. This Park is meant to mimic the experience of being within or behind the scenes of these famous films. If rides and thrills are not your idea of vacation, then Universal Studios also offers a variety of shows and performances.
In this park you’ll find:
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Revenge of the Mummy
Men in Black Alien Attack
3D simulated rides like E.T. Adventure and Fast & Furious.
● Discovery Cove
Discovery cove is a day resort with a tropical oasis atmosphere. Interacting with exotic animals is an interesting twist to the resort. You can snorkel among tropical fish, wade next to freshwater otters, and swim with dolphins.
● Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is the most recently opened theme park in Orlando and is a water park. With a 200 ft waterfall, wave pool, and over a dozen slides and rides, this park is great for those who love to splash around.
● Lake Rianhard
Lake Rianhard is a beautiful place to be at one with the natural ecosystem of Florida. Observe alligators, herons, and turtles over a tranquil lake scenery. Once you have admired the outdoors, grab a bite to eat or relax in classic southern rocking chairs.
● Fun Spot America
Fun Spot America is another popular theme park in Orlando. This park takes on a more local flavor, with smaller wait times and crowds. From water rides to roller coasters, this is a great option for someone wanting to skip the high prices and wait times at Disney.
● Sea World
Sea World has rides, snorkeling, dolphin feeding, a water park, high-end seafood restaurants, tours. Sea World is also somehow the home of Sesame Street Land. They also have shops, and tours.
Disney World covers over 50 square miles (27,000 acres), and it’s not the sort of place where you can cover everything in one day. There are over 1000 hidden Mickeys, and in case you were wondering, Disney World does not sell gum, though you are allowed to chew gum inside the parks.
Disney World Resort is broken into four different parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Each of these parks is geared towards different audiences with different attractions. You won’t be able to walk from one park to the next, but buses, boats, a monorail, or driving can get you from one place to the next.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
A little different from your average zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom contains a plethora of entertainment: animals, rides, attractions, restaurants, and characters. The park offers rides and tours by land and by water with floating flotillas and bus rides.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Magic Kingdom contains all the best-known parts of Disneyworld. From Epcot to Cinderella’s castle, the park has wonders for every age. Fan favorite classics still occupy the park as well, like the Jungle Cruise boat tour, “it’s a small world” boat ride, and the country bear Jamboree.
Epcot is a blend of resort and science, known for its international flowers and gardens as well as its many cultural exhibits. This section of the park includes life-like replicas of China, Morocco, and more. Along with amazing architecture, each cultural corner also has cuisines to match.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Full-size Millennium Falcon. Hollywood Tower. Toy Story Land. Build your own droid. Yes, this is real. The Hollywood Studios focus more on the film side of Disney, rather than princesses, science, or animals. If you’re looking for themes outside of Mickey and Minnie, this is where to go.
Pandora, the World of Avatar (Animal Kingdom)
You don’t have to be an Avatar super fan to enjoy this exhilarating section of the park. The park contains several replications of the exotic alien world of Pandora. These attractions contain a tour of the Na’vi River, the Valley of Mo’ara, and other fun activities like face painting or Avatar inspired cuisine.
Avatar Flight of Passage
The flight of passage is a 3D simulation which mimics the experience of soaring on the back of a mountain banshee–a winged creature from the world of Avatar that resembles a dragon.
Roller Coasters, thrill rides, zoos, restaurants, gift shops: what else is missing from this amazing theme park? A water park of course, which is exactly what typhoon lagoon brings. Typhoon Lagoon meets every expectation of a classic waterpark with its Typhoon Lagoon surf pool, Crush N’ Gusher massive water slide, and Ketchakiddee Creek water playgrounds for the little ones.
Formerly known as “Downtown Disney”, Disney Springs is the new moniker for the location of shopping outlets, restaurants, and entertainment.
Safety Tips for Traveling Solo
Is Orlando safe? Yes, Orlando is safe. However, solo female travel to Miami should continue to practice caution and good judgment and should keep the trip plans within popular tourist attractions. Overall, Orlando residents feel safe walking around at night, but caution against forested areas (this doesn’t mean you should plan to walk around at night as part of your trip).
● Continue to exercise caution and stay in well-lit areas with lots of people around.
● Keep valuables in your hotel, amusement parks tend to have lots of pickpockets.
● Stay alert, predators seek those who aren’t aware.
● Be extra vigilant crossing streets.
● Always keep an eye on personal belongings.
● When visiting amusement parks, pack light. If you plan on going on rides, carry only what they allow on rides. Consider a small backpack, fanny pack, or shorts/pants with zipper pockets.
● If you must set something down for an attraction, it will end up lost or stolen. If you need to store something, rent a locker (which are readily available).
Areas of Caution
When booking tickets and hotels in Orlando, there are some neighborhoods to avoid. These neighborhoods have a high crime rate and aren’t safe for travelers. When traveling, don’t go through these areas. Don’t book hotels here, as the money isn’t worth the risk. The most dangerous neighborhoods of Orlando are:
● Mercy Drive
● Roosevelt Park
● Malibu Groves
● Johnson Village
● New Malibu
● Lake Sunset
● Rock Lake
● Carver Shores
● Washington Shores
Where to Stay in Orlando
Part of the appeal of Orlando’s resorts is the ability to book hotels directly from the resorts. The hotels near or on resorts are safer for those traveling alone and have services geared more towards vacationers.
For tourists, the best neighborhoods to stay in include Downtown Orlando, Disney World Area, Universal Area, Winter Park, Eatonville, and Southwest Orlando including International Drive. Unlike the downtown areas of other cities, Downtown Orlando is very safe to stay, even when traveling solo. If you don’t stay at a resort, stick to well-known hotel chains like Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt Place, Rosen, etc.
Covid Guidelines and Restrictions
You can find all recent Covid information on the government page Orland.gov. Individual hotels, restaurants, hotels, and other establishments may have their own additional requirements for masks and social distancing.
As of 9 March 2022, the current restrictions are as follows:
● For most resorts, the mask mandate is dropped for those who are fully vaccinated.
● Masks are still required in public transportation including airplanes, trains, and buses.
● International travelers will need proof of full vaccination (for all cities, not just Orlando).