10 amazing things to do in Orlando
Orlando and Orange County, central Florida, are known around the world as the place for multiple theme parks and entertainment. The fun possibilities are almost limitless! The city of Orlando is nicknamed "The City Beautiful" and is recognized as the world capital of theme parks. It attracts an average of 60 million visitors every year for a reason!
It's true that Orlando's Florida theme parks account for 70% of the city's activities, but it has many other things to offer. In fact, there is enough to do in and around Orlando that makes it a true paradise for the young and the old.
Here's a great selection of the best things to do in Orlando Florida.
One of the best and most amazing parks in Orlando has to be the Universal Studio's park. Home to thrilling roller coasters and amazing attractions of your favourite films, this park is the perfect day (or days) out for the whole family.
First of all you have Universal Studio's Park which is a theme park with roller coasters and amazing rides. You will find attractions for all ages and even when you are not a massive fan of rollercoasters, you will find someting you love in this park.
Universal's Island of Adventure is a seperate theme park dedicated to super heroes and magical beasts.
Universal's Volcano Bay is the Universal water park. As weather in Florida is always nice, this is a great water park to visit throughout the year.
Walt Disney World Resort might as well be one of the most famous parks in the world. Walt Disney and his company have inspired many generations and keep captivating audiences - young and old.
In the Walt Disney World Resort you can meet your favorite characters and travel through amazing worlds and places.
The Walt Disney World Resort Park actually exists out of 5 parks: 3 theme parks and 2 water parks.
- Magic Kingdom.
- Hollywood Studios.
- Typhoon Lagoon.
- Blizzard Beach.
You should at least go to the Magic Kingdom when visiting Orlando! Tickets start at $42 per park!
If there is one thing Americans do well it is shopping malls (and hamburgers, obviously hamburgers).
When in Orlando you might want to go for a day of mall hopping. Orlando has some amazing shopping malls for you to discover.
First of all you have the Mall at Millennia. This modern Florida mall houses over 20 restaurants and many popular and luxury brands and shops. It is very easy to blast your money here. You can take a shopping tour that will whisk you away from your hotel to this amazing mall.
The Florida Mall is a great mall just outside Orlando International Airport. It has great open spaces and nice outdoor seating and walking areas. It houses more than 250 shops and restaurants. You could walk around here the whole day!
Orlando Outlet Marketplace might seem a bit local at first, but this mall has some great outlet shops and amazing deals. We all want to do a great deal and this mall delivers. I can highly recommend visiting the Orlando Outlet Marketplace!
Another great theme park in the general Orlando area is the Busch Gardens Park. This amazing theme park also boasts a wonderful safari.
After going up and down some slides in this Tampa Bay theme park (Only 1 hour from Orlando), you can go on your very own safari!
You get to meet the zebra's and giraffes up close and can get some amazing pictures (with a giraffe!!) for the Gram!
Other notable rides and things to do in Busch Gardens park is the Cobra's Curse. This fast but fun family spin roller coaster spins uncontrollably depending on the rider's weight and the attraction's direction.
Falcon's Fury is a 335 foot high tower that drops you face-first at 60 miles per hour!
My favourite, however, must be the Congo River Rapids. You won't get out dry, but that's no biggy in the great Tampa weather.
Have you always wanted to make a helicopter flight? You might be at the right place in Orlando. There are multiple vendors and pilots battling to offer great value helicopter flights over the multiple theme parks. This means that the prices stay low and your money gets you a lot further than in other countries or cities.
I remember looking into making a helicopter flight here in Dubai, but £150 for a 20 minute round trip above the city was a bit steep. In Orlando you have make a 20 minute round trip over the parks for a mere $40. That's so cheap!
There are multiple websites en vendors offering cheap helicopter flights over the theme parks - especially the flight over Disney World is very popular. I have found some great deals on Viator starting at $37 (yes! That Cheap!).
You might also have a look at the offers on Tiqets. I like using Tiqets since I do not have to print any papers or vouchers as they have a great app that allows you to use digital tickets.
If you are, like me, crazy about rockets and space travel, you must absolutely visit the Kennedy Space Center!
The Kennedy Space Center or NASA Center is a visitors center just off Cape Canaveral - you know, where they launch all the rockets.
The Kennedy Space Center is an amazing place to take small (and not so small) kids as they will be able to discover rockets, the way rockets work and a lot more about space and space travel.
Also have a look on their website as they will often advertise manned and unmanned rocket launches. Maybe you will be able to witness a rocket launching while visiting the Kennedy Space Center!
Not really a big fan of museums? Thing they are boring? No worries as there is lots to do and discover at the Kennedy Space Center. In fact, the Kennedy Space Center lets you learn about space by allowing you to play games and do amazing things like dressing up as an astronaut.
Have you ever seen a real alligator? And I don't mean the tame kind you find at the zoo, but a real life, wild alligator?
You might when you take one of the many excellent Orlando swamp tours! You can obviously choose to go and take a tour in The Miami Everglades, but Orlando has some amazing and beautiful swamps as well.
These swamp tours take you and your family or a small group of people on one of the typical airboats or swamp boats.
You will cruise through the mucky swamp water in no time, peeling your eyes and looking out for alligators or other wildlife in the swamps.
Although the swamps are quite far from Orlando, you can always uber it or look out for a tour that picks you up at your hotel!
Manatees are great gentle giants. I am going to be honest: I love these animals and swimming with manatees is definitely on my to-do list next time I visit Orlando. I only discovered that this was a thing when I was already back home and I was massively bummed that I did not find out about this earlier.
Although the manatee encounter is not extremely cheap - $60 is the cheapest I have found so far, it is a once in a lifetime experience.
You can go on a tour where they provide you with information about these magnificent animals, a wet suit and snorkeling gear, or you can head out on your own or in a group by kayak.
I would definitely choose for the kayak option as the difference in price is not that massive but from what I have read the experience you get is a lot better and considerably more impressive.
Exciting jousting, handsome knights fighting for your honor and medieval inspired food. That is what you can expect from the Orlando Medieval Dinner Show.
I first heard of this show on a Discovery channel program. Some bikers, garage guys or fish tank builders (literally no idea who) went to Orlando to deliver their work and stopped off at the Medieval Dinner Show. They tried their hand at jousting and riding a horse - which both failed terribly.
The show includes jousting, sword fighting, hand to hand combat and falconry which makes the show exciting for young and old!
You can enjoy the show over a king's meal - which is only so-so. But the food is obviously not the biggest attraction here. Otherwise you would have chosen to go to one of the many great restaurants in Orlando.
St Augustine is the oldest village in Florida. It breaths colonialism with its old streets and small little houses.
This beautiful Atlantic coast town is a must see when visiting Orlando (or Miami). You can wander through the colonial Spanish neighborhoods and discover the local seafood in one of the many cute little restaurants in the city's old town.
St Augustine is a little pearl of Instagram Worthy streets and vistas. You can even take a 15 minute cruise down the river or a hop on hop off trolley tour so you are sure you have seen everything there is to see.
A day tour to St Augustine will set you back $75 with pick up and drop off to your hotel. That is a small price to pay to visit the oldest town in Florida!