Wait…an article that isn’t about Disney? Is this still WDW Vacation Tips?
Yes, we promise it’s us! But, don’t worry: just because we’re focusing on the best outlet mall in Orlando, doesn’t mean it won’t have some Disney connections. Here’s everything you need to know if you plan on visiting the outlet malls on your next visit to Orlando:
Outlet Mall Options in Orlando
Lucky for you, there are several excellent outlet mall options in Orlando, including the Orlando International Premium Outlets (my personal favorite), Orlando Outlet Marketplace, Ellenton Premium Outlets, and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets (to name a few).
While an outlet mall is, of course, still an outlet mall and has all the same amenities (and probably stores) that you’d expect, each one of these offers a truly unique shopping and dining experience that all locals and Orlando visitors should check out.
The Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, for example, is part of a chain of outlets, including the International Premium Outlets that have over 160 stores. Speaking of the Orlando International Premium Outlets, this is probably by far the best outlet mall in Orlando. It may even be the best outlet mall in all of Florida if we’re being honest – and for one very good reason: the Disney Character Warehouse.
If you’ve never been to the Disney Character Warehouse, oh boy, you’re in for a treat. Here, you will find a lot of surplus Disney merchandise (all usually in great shape) at a heavily discounted rate. You’ll find festival merchandise, t-shirts, Spirit Jerseys, pins, stuffed animals, toys, Vera Bradley bags, Minnie ears, and even some Stoney Clover gear. I’ve even seen a few Loungefly backpacks here once or twice (and yes, I deeply regret not buying that Incredibles-themed one to this day).
While there is also a Disney Character Warehouse located at the Vineland location, the one here is usually more crowded because this outlet mall has 20 different restaurants and almost 200 stores, so it offers a lot more options for guests. Plus, its location on International Drive – one of the busiest, most touristy streets in Orlando is some prime real estate.
Read more: RANKING THE TOP WALT DISNEY WORLD SOUVENIRS THAT ARE PERFECT FOR EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY
Which Orlando Outlet is Closest to Disney World
The Orlando International Premium Outlets are only about 20 minutes away from Walt Disney World, whereas the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are only about six minutes away. The Orlando Outlet Marketplace sort of cuts the difference and is about 10-12 minutes away from Disney World.
Ellenton Premium Outlet is the furthest from Walt Disney World and will take you about an hour and a half to get there. While it’s a bit of a hike, they have a great selection. Plus, Ellenton has a lot of fun activities you and your family could check out, including historical parks and flea markets. Best of all, it’s near the beach.
Which Orlando Outlet Mall is Closest to Universal Studios?
Walt Disney World and Universal Studios are only about 12 minutes apart from one another, so the distance between Universal Studios and the shopping mall outlets mentioned above is relatively the same.
Universal Studios is about five minutes away from Orlando International Premium Outlets, 15 minutes from Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, six minutes from Orlando Outlet Marketplace, and still about an hour and a half from Ellenton Premium Outlet.
The Best Outlet Mall in Orlando
Most people agree that the Orlando International Premium Outlets is the best outlet mall in Orlando. As mentioned earlier, they have 20 dining options, including sit-down and food carts, as well as nearly 200 stores you can shop at.
Some stores available at the Orlando International Premium Outlet include:
- Bath and Body Works
- Calvin Klein
- Brooks Brothers
- Dooney & Bourke
- GAP Factor
- Fragrance Outlet
- J. Crew
- Kate Spade
- Disney’s Character Warehouse
- Michael Kors
- Psycho Bunny
- Primicia Luggage
- Steve Madden
- Sunglass Hut
- Vera Bradley
- White House Black Market
- and so many more
Restaurants/dining spots include Starbucks, Five Guys, Vinito’s Ristorante, Sundial Cafe, and Sarku Japan (to name a few).
Pro Orlando Outlet Mall Shopping Tips
Here are some helpful tips for shopping in Orlando’s outlet malls:
Go to the Right Character Warehouse
Since there are two Disney Character Warehouse locations, it’s very easy to confuse which one you wanted to stop by to grab something you may have seen earlier. Always make sure you have the address for the one you want to go to.
Personally speaking, the one located off International Drive has more and better inventory.
Read more: EXTRA SPECIAL DISNEY OUTLET STORE IN ORLANDO
Plan to Spend a Few Hours
Because the Orlando outlet malls are so huge, it can take a surprisingly long time to walk them from start to finish. Always account for time and plan to spend a few hours here. If you have dining reservations that you have to get to, wait to visit the outlets until you have better availability.
This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous entry, but if you’re planning to visit the outlets, make sure you’re wearing comfortable footwear. There’s nothing worse than walking around in heels or an outfit that’s too tight.
Likewise, keep hydrated during your visit. The outlet malls are all outdoors. So, while there are some walkways here and there, especially in front of certain stores, being exposed to that constant heat and sunlight for too long can result in dehydration and other ailments. Bring a bottle of water with you or buy one from the food court before you start walking around.
Read more: FREE THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO
What Do You Think is the Best Outlet Mall in Orlando?
If you haven’t yet visited the outlet malls in Orlando, I highly recommend that you do. They’re a great way to spend some time in the sun and find some really great deals you may not be able to find at home.
If you’ve visited the outlet malls in Orlando, which one is your favorite? What was the best deal you’ve ever got? For me, it was a bunch of Minnie Mouse ears for less than $10. Seriously, I had never been so happy.
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As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
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