Orlando is one of the world’s most visited family destinations, and while its illustrious theme park attractions may steal the limelight, there are an amazing amount of other sites and scenery to experience here. With a vibrant and well-kept city centre and a climate that averages around 75° Fahrenheit (25° Celsius).
” Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, 70 million tourists come here every year and I’m one of them. “
Orlando promises visitors all year round appeal. We start the top 10 :
10- Gatorland Orlando
Gatorland in Orlando combines nature, wildlife and good old-fashioned theme park fun. Sitting on a swampy 110-acre site just south of Orlando City, this theme park and wildlife preserve has been titled the ‘Alligator Capital of the World’. It promises plenty of family friendly fun, including an observation tower, alligator and crocodile shows, a swamp walk, zip-line, alligator training sessions and daily shows. A great family day out!
9- SEA LIFE Orlando
Located on International Drive in Orlando, the Aquarium offers a variety of exhibits the whole family can enjoy together. It features a 360-degree ocean tunnel that simulates the experience of walking across the ocean floor. At the interactive rock pool the education hosts explain the lives of coastal creatures, letting visitors touch everything in the exhibit, including sea stars and hermit crabs. Guests can see giant Pacific octopus, seahorses, blacktip reef sharks and much, much more. With over 5,000 sea creatures, this attraction is great for all ages.
8- Old Town in Kissimmee
Free to enter and peruse, Old Town is a retro landmark and a recreation of a classic Florida town that offers amusement rides, souvenir shops and lots of food options. Relax as you stroll through 18-acres of beautiful, tree-lined brick streets and discover over 70 unique, affordable shops and restaurants. There are free, weekly live entertainment and events, family friendly attractions, and rides every generation, young and old can enjoy together.
7- Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney World’s first ever theme park still remains one of its best. Magic Kingdom welcomes 20 million visitors a year with its six different lands of fun and adventure. The iconic Cinderella Castle stands as the park’s centrepiece, lit up every night at 22.00 by the famous fireworks display. Entrance into the park unravels a whole world of Disney-inspired shows, parades, rollercoasters, rides and simulators, most of which cater more towards the younger kids. Among the six different ‘lands’ are Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Main Street, and Liberty Square. A brilliant day out!
6- The Kraft Azalea Garden
Located off the beaten path, Kraft Azalea Garden is the type of public space that the average visitor may not realise exists. Located on the shore of Lake Maitland, this secluded and unique 5.22-acre park is ideal for a relaxing visit. Pack a picnic and soak up the serenity this lakeside park offers. Then break out your bird-watching binoculars, and see what you can spot. You can also enjoy the beauty of the azaleas in bloom and the enormous cypress trees throughout the park.
5- The Kennedy Space Centre
Sitting on the eastern coast of Florida around 45 minutes’ from downtown Orlando, the Kennedy Space Centre proves year on year to be one of the region’s most popular attractions. The Kennedy Space Centre has become so much more than just a site for NASA to launch their astronauts off from the surface of the Earth. Now you can get up close with the original Apollo Saturn V rocket, stand nose-to-tail with the huge Atlantis Space Shuttle, take a trip out of the ozone in a simulator, or even arrange to have lunch with a veteran astronaut.
4- Lake Eola Park
Near to the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola offers splendid views, a 9 mile walking trail and some beautiful swans. Lake Eola Park is recognised as the centrepiece of Orlando, a picture postcard sanctuary where you can stroll beside a picturesque lake, stop for a picnic lunch in the shade of sprawling oaks, and soak in the colours and perfume of fragrant gardens as you enjoy a leisurely stroll.
3- The Cornell Fine Arts Museum
On the beautiful campus of Rollins College, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum holds more than 500 paintings and many artefacts and archaeological fragments. They have a broad range of paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures. If you love art The Cornell Fine Arts Museum, is a must see during your Orlando visit.
2- Fort Christmas Historical Museum & Park
Fort Christmas is easily one of the best free things to do in Orlando. It is located in Christmas, just off State Road 50, twenty miles east of Orlando. Visit the full-size replica of Fort Christmas, which was originally built for the Second Seminole Indian War. Included are seven restored pioneer homes and exhibits showing pioneer life from the 1870s through the 1930s. Key themes are homesteading, cattle, citrus, hunting, fishing and trapping. The Park has three picnic pavilions that have large barbecue grills, electrical outlets and water hoses. There is a playground with swings, slide, a fort looking jungle gym, and an area for small children. A great family day out!
1- Universal Island of Adventure
Topping the bill of things to do in Orlando simply must be Universal’s Islands of Adventure. While other theme parks around town tend to cater more towards certain age groups or tastes, Islands of Adventure has got it all. Live action stunts shows entertain the kids, rollercoasters and themed rides tower overhead, and immersive simulators place you in the middle of your favourite movie. Opened in 1999, Islands of Adventure is made up of seven different areas, with the latest ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ pulling in the most visitors each day, alongside the likes of ‘The Lost Continent’, ‘Toon Lagoon’, Jurassic Park’ and ‘Marvel Super Hero Island.’
A top attraction! So that sums up the top 10 things to do in Orlando, we hope you enjoyed.