Welcome to the Sunshine State! Orlando is the place where imagination comes to life. There are countless numbers of cultural opportunities and public art to be had, and it also provides a platform for amazing family holidays.
Orlando has more to offer than just Disney. It is home to some of the world’s best theme parks and resorts which attract over 52 million visitors annually. There are also some lesser known gems waiting to be discovered.
First Time in Orlando?
If it’s your first time in Orlando, there are a handful of major theme parks that you simply have to check out. Here are some of the not-to-be-missed attractions:
When’s the last time you visited an upside-down museum? Wonderworks’ slogan reads, “Let your imagination run wild”, and it really isn’t that hard once you arrive outside Professor Wonder’s home. During an awry experiment which created a tornado, it was swept from its remote island location and blew all the way to Orlando, where it landed on its roof. It houses over 100 interactive exhibits including a 4D extreme motion ride, 74mph hurricanes, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, and you can even design and ride your own roller coaster! WonderWorks is simply amazing and Professor Wonder sure has some great ideas to educate everyone.
Universal has two parks, Universal Island of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, each offering a unique experience. You can look forward to meeting your favorite toon, cutting edge thrill rides, Jurassic Park dinosaurs, and Dr. Seuss and his quirky world. Moving with the times, Universal Studios have seriously stepped up in terms of the latest technology and have been billed as the “world’s most technologically advanced theme park,”. It is a guaranteed thrill for all ages.
Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center is less than an hour outside Orlando. Opened in 1976, today the center at Cape Canaveral includes many interactive exhibits. The iMAX theater, the Apollo rocket exhibit, Atlantis Exhibit, and Astronaut Hall of Fame should not be missed. However, sitting down to lunch with a real astronaut is hard to top, so coming for only one day is probably not enough time!
Other Things To Check Out in Orlando
If you have seen all the major theme parks throughout Orlando, here are a few alternative places you should definitely visit:
Indoor skydiving can be as adrenaline-infused as the real thing! Anybody aged 3 and up can try this and there is no experience required. An on-hand instructor can assist you to stay on course. iFly Orlando has a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel which creates a cushion of air. This allows you to safely float around without the added pressure of the earth rushing towards you.
Cirque du Soleil
The mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil performs exclusively in the Downtown Disney West Side area in a theater specially designed for the purpose. La Nouba is an amazing story performed by a cast of 65 world-renowned acrobats and artists from 15 different countries. An energetic, colorful performance with plenty of lights, music, and emotion. Cirque du Soleil should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
This fantastic dinner show runs 3 shows per night, 365 days a year and has been doing so since 1971. It runs at Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. These evenings are packed with good
These evenings are packed with good ol’ country foot-stompin’, plenty of laughs, and an all you can eat buffet of fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, seasonal vegetables, baked beans, fresh baked cornbread, and strawberry shortcake.
They even provide diabetic and vegetarian options. Wash it down with unlimited supplies of draft beer, wine, and sangria.
Winter Park could be described as a tranquil city on its own. With a population of nearly 30,000, it’s considered one of the most beautiful places in the Greater Orlando area. Winter Park features an array of stunning parks, including the Mead Botanical Garden, 47.6 acres of varied lush ecosystems. It also offers an amphitheater and butterfly sanctuary.
Scenic Olde Winter Park has amazing photo opportunities with its quaint, winding brick streets and a canopy of old southern live oak and camphor trees. Winter Park also offers dozens of incredible restaurants, a recreation center, and several historical sites.
Before You Travel to Orlando
Unless you are planning your whole trip around water parks, be prepared for the heat. The humidity in Florida is significantly higher than the majority of the U.S., no matter what time of year.
If you don’t want to dehydrate and have blisters on your feet, take the necessary precautions with comfortable shoes, sun cream, extra water. Carefully plan your daily excursion whilst including the possibility that the heat might make you abandon your itinerary in favor of some cooler distractions.
Orlando is a shopping mecca. The malls are sure to be a cooler environment if you can’t handle the heat peak. You can get Armani, Gucci, Prada and Versace with discounts ranging from 25% – 65%. Some of the best places to go are Pointe Orlando, Florida Mall, Prime Outlets, Premium Outlets, and Millenia Mall.