Top 5 Things to do in Orlando
Orlando offers adventure, nature, beaches, and retail experiences – there’s never a dull moment! As theme park capital of the world, Orlando is known and loved as the home of Walt Disney, but visitors can also discover a range of other highlights including one of the 5,000 restaurants, amazing wineries and craft breweries or vibrant nightlife. In addition to these artistic and cultural experiences, there is world class shopping in Orlando – meaning there’s something for everyone. Here are the top 5 experiences that must not be missed:
Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center is the ideal spot for space fanatics and those who want to explore outside of this world. The venue offers a number of attractions and tours, which are grouped by chronological era. From the history of space exploration to current missions, visitors can see and get an up-close view of the story of humans in space. Opportunities include the Shuttle Launch Experience® where NASA’s Space Shuttle Program comes to life or head to ‘Heroes & Legends’ where the tales of space pioneers come to life in the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame®. For an extra special behind-the-scenes look, there is the bus tour, which gives exclusive access to historic launch sites and working America’s Spaceport. Opening hours vary throughout the week, but most days the centre is from open 9am-6pm. Tickets start at $47 for children, and $57 for adults.
Spot both crocodiles and alligators of all shapes and sizes at the hugely popular Gatorland. The venue is home to the largest collection of extremely rare white leucistic alligators, as well as 14-foot beasts within the Breeding Marsh. After spotting some new toothy friends, guests can enjoy the petting zoo, animal shows, and even a zip line! The park is open year round from 10am-6pm. Adult passes start from $29.99 and child’s tickets begin at $19.99 (plus tax).
Can’t decide where to take the children? Crayola Experience is great for families with 25 hands-on attractions and colourful fun. Kids can wrap their own Crayola, and learn more about the creative process of making the iconic crayons in a live show. There is a massive interactive wall, and even a 2-story playground to keep the little ones entertained. Tie in an amazing shopping experience at the Crayola Experience’s home, The Florida Mall. Whilst the kids play, parents can enjoy more than 250 stores in Central Florida’s largest shopping centre. After a day of excitement, what better than to enjoy a meal at one of the 23 wonderful restaurants ranging from Italian to sushi to classic American. The property is open Monday – Friday (10am-9pm), Saturday (10am-10 PM), and Sunday (12pm – 8pm).
Universal Orlando is a park that certainly must be ticked off the bucket list. A top spot for film fans, ride enthusiasts and thrill seekers, this world-class park has three distinct locations meaning there’s something for everyone: Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water theme park. Whether you want to go wild at a water park, explore the magical world of Harry Potter, or get up close with your favourite film characters, this destination has it all. One day passes range from $80-$115, and the parks are open from 9am – 9pm.
A sure fire crowd-pleaser for the Orlando itinerary is a beach day. Sun lovers can hop off for a few hours or a few days of coastal enjoyment, as Orlando is just an hour’s drive from the sea. Take a relaxing trip unwind after enjoying the theme parks, and enjoy the Florida’s famous weather at East Coast favourites such as New Smyrna Beach or Cocoa Beach. The latter is known for its relaxed surfing culture, home to the world’s largest surf shop. Join in the fun at the Ron Jon Surf School and take on the waves like a pro. The beach is a popular spot for spring breakers playing volleyball, whilst those looking for something a little quieter can head to the nearby Lori Wilson Park.
North of Port Canaveral is a hotspot for the locals, New Smyrna Beach, which is located near some lovely boutique shops, and casual dining venues. Enjoy a bike ride over the smooth sands, before resting up for some wonderful sea views.