A first-time visit to Orlando can be overwhelming if you do not do your research and have a general idea of the various attractions the area has to offer.

Here is a basic guide for first-time visitor listing the main categories of attractions:

Theme Parks

There are seven major theme parks in the Orlando area which include the four Disney parks, two Universal parks, and SeaWorld parks. Here is a brief description of each park and a link to their official websites:

Walt Disney World Resort - The largest vacation resort in the world is home to FOUR theme parks, TWO water parks, and many additional attractions including recreation, golf courses, nightlife, plus over 20 on-site Disney resort hotels. Walt Disney World is a vacation in itself, especially if you stay on-site at a Disney resort and visit the four parks and other attractions. The four theme parks are : Magic Kingdom, the original park famous for its Cinderella Castle and classic rides; Epcot, famous for its iconic large geosphere Spaceship Earth and the World Showcase where you can experience scenery and cuisine from various countries around the world, as well as its popular major rides which include "Test Track", "Mission: SPACE", and 'Soarin', plus its night-time firework show "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth"; Disney's Hollywood Studios dates back to the era when it was famous as a live animation studio and film production facility, and is  now popular for its thrill rides including "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" and "Aerosmith's Rock n' Roller Coaster", plus several live action shows including "Lights! Motors! Action! Stunt Show" and the "American Idol Experience" where live guests audition for a gold ticket to a real audition; Disney's Animal Kingdom as the name suggests is where you can find exotic animals in themed areas including Africa and Asia, plus its popular thrill ride Expedition Everest. The two water parks include Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.

Universal Orlando which began as Universal Studios Florida is today another mega-resort home to TWO theme parks, the CityWalk entertainment area, and three on-site resorts. The two theme parks are Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure, popular for its rollercoasters and thrill rides. Islands of Adventure is also home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.