When people say they’re “going to Orlando,” more often than not what they mean is that they’re going to Walt Disney World. The expansive resort includes four individually themed amusement parks, a few dozen hotels, and a raft of other distractions, from water parks to shopping. The place holds a captivating spell over children, but the resort also caters to grown-up tastes with exceptional fine-dining experiences, luxurious spas, and even award-winning cocktails.
None of it comes cheap, though. Currently, the price of a single-day single-park admission to any of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World will set you back $75 (adults) or $63 (children 3–9). However, Disney offers a dizzying array of options that can bring the price of park admission down to around $25 a day.
The “Magic Your Way” tickets allow admission to one park per day for each day of your ticket; the discounting is minimal at the two- and three-day level, but at $217.50 for a four-day ticket, you end up getting into each park for $54.75 per day for adults and $46 per day for children, and the pricing gets exponentially cheaper from there.
For just a bit more—$237—you can get a 10-day pass. Keep in mind that the tickets expire 14 days after the first use, although you can add a no-expiration option for a surcharge of about 20 percent.
Another option to consider is the “Park Hopper” (again, about 20 percent extra), which allows you interpark transfers throughout the day; this is great for people who are short on time, but also for visitors who want to, say, visit Animal Kingdom  in the morning but see the fireworks at Epcot in the evening. Admission to the water parks can also be tacked on for an additional—and deeply discounted—fee.
For a truly unique Walt Disney World experience, guests can splurge on special access opportunities like the Backstage Magic Tour ($219), which gets you behind the scenes at the Magic Kingdom , Epcot , and Hollywood Studios  for a guided seven-hour tour. Deluxe tour opportunities are available through Disney’s VIP Tour Services ($175–215 per hour, plus admission, six-hour minimum), which not only gets you behind the scenes but, perhaps more importantly, gets you right to the front of the line at all of the attractions.
There are two airports that serve the greater Orlando  area, Orlando International Airport (MCO, One Airport Blvd., Orlando, 407/825-2001, www.orlandoairports.net ) and Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB, 1200 Red Cleveland Blvd., Sanford, 407/585-4000, www.orlandosanfordairport.com ).
The former is one of the busiest airports in the United States and is served by many major American and international carriers. The airport in Sanford is used primarily for charter flights, although one low-cost carrier, Allegiant Air, has regularly scheduled year-round service from several U.S. destinations; additionally, Icelandair as well as Scottish low-cost carrier Flyglobespan offer a few international options.
Since most visitors to the parks arrive via Orlando International Airport, Disney recently introduced Disney’s Magical Express at the airport, a program that provides complimentary bus transportation from the airport for guests staying at selected Disney resort hotels. It’s incredibly convenient door-to-door service (they even take care of your luggage), especially if your visit to Orlando is going to be spent solely at Disney parks. Reservations for Disney’s Magical Express must be made prior to arrival, typically when the hotel reservation is made.
One of the reasons Walt Disney chose Orlando for the site of this resort was the opening of I-4, which connects Tampa  (and I-75) on the west coast to Daytona Beach  (and I-95) on the east coast; Orlando  is right in the middle of the I-4 corridor, making it easily accessible via interstate.
The resort is located approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Orlando and is accessed via five I-4 exits. All of these exits are well marked, giving appropriate guidance depending on which part of the park you’re headed for. If you’re arriving and heading for a hotel rather than a park, aim for the park that your hotel is associated with and follow the directions rather than your instincts.