It’s no coincidence that people choose Orlando, Florida as their vacation destination year after year. With some of the world-class theme parks, nightlife, museums and shopping, there is always something to do in Orlando.
There are endless amounts of fun things to do in Orlando for kids. Of course, the most popular is the original Walt Disney World, which consists of four different parks: The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and EPCOT. The Magic Kingdom is classic Disney; Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Railroad are just some of the thrills found here. You can also dance along to the fantastic parades on Main Street, USA, shop for souvenirs and see an incredible fireworks show called “Wishes.”
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is geared towards fans of the silver screen, with stunt shows, musical entertainment and movie tours. If you love high-intensity rides, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will bring your fear to new heights, while Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will take you speeding through the neon lights of Hollywood. Make sure you grab a FastPass for Toy Story Mania!, the interactive 3D arcade ride that stars Woody, Buzz and the rest of Andy’s toys. This ride is consistently busy and you definitely don’t want to miss out!
Visitors will be awestruck at the exotic creatures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can take a safari ride through an African jungle and see real lions, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, alligators, elephants and more. The safari is a great chance to get close to these magnificent animals (and take some unbelievable photos). Animal Kingdom also boasts the Expedition: Everest rollercoaster, where you’ll come face-to-face with an angry Himalayan yeti.
EPCOT (which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a park where “imagineering” reigns supreme. Here, you can learn about communication, marine life, electricity, and so much more. Plus, the World Showcase houses eleven different walk-through “countries,” where you can dine, shop and discover. Bring your appetitive for knowledge (and authentic French pastries) to this park!
It may be the most popular, but Disney World is only one of the many fun things to do in Orlando. Kids and adults alike will love exploring and learning at Sea World. The whole family can observe all kinds of wildlife, from tiny fish to polar bears, sharks and manatees. Enjoy strolling through the park’s beautiful walkways and see the world-renowned Shamu show, “Believe.” Even thrill-seekers will fall in love with this park after riding the brand new Manta flying coaster or the floorless Kraken coaster.
Just around the corner from Sea World is its companion park, Aquatica. Relax in the lazy river, jump around the wave pool and get soaked on high-speed waterslides. There’s even a special area for kids, with play structures, small slides and fountains.
A bit of an anti-theme park, Discovery Cove is a serene, tropical oasis waiting for you to discover it. Here, you can snorkel through a fish-filled coral reef, touch manta rays and swim with dolphins. The aviary is home to hundreds of singing birds, which you can actually feed out of your hand. As one of the highest rated parks in Orlando, Discovery Cove is the perfect way to escape the city without actually leaving it.
Universal Orlando is divided into three different areas: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk. Universal Studios is famous for its movie-themed rides, including E.T. Adventure, Jaws and Men In Black: Alien Encounter. Guest favorites include Shrek 4-D, Revenge of the Mummy and the brand new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Coaster.
Islands of Adventure is a thrilling park filled with roller coasters, water rides, super hero encounters and more. Islands recently opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a brand new section of the park that brings the J.K. Rowling fantasy books come to life. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a ride unlike any other; a must for any park guest.
City Walk is a bustling, vibrant strip of shopping, dining and entertainment. Grab a Cheeseburger in Paradise at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, enjoy live music at the Hard Rock and catch the world-famous Blue Man Group show all in one night!
Beyond the Parks
Though Orlando has amazing theme parks, there is still so much to do outside the gates. Dine at one of the city’s many dinner theater shows, including Arabian Nights and Capone’s Dinner & Show, or view the strange and unusual at the Ripleys Believe It or Not Orlando Odditorium. If you’re not too afraid, check out the albino alligators at Gatorland, and even become a trainer for a day! Just a short drive away in Sanford is the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, perfect for a relaxing day off from theme parks and shopping.
There’s also many Orlando attractions that you can experience for free. Window shop at the Orlando Premium Outlets, walk around the upscale village of Celebration or check out a free live show at Kissimmee Old Town. You can also take a free tour at the Orlando Brewing Company, take a walk through the University of Central Florida Aboretum or visit the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Educational Center.
No matter your age, interests or budget, there is something for everyone in this remarkable city Visit for the first time, or for the fiftieth, and you’re sure to find new and exciting things to do in Orlando.