Orlando, Florida, often referred to as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” is a city that offers much more than just thrilling rides and character meet-and-greets. While its world-renowned theme parks are undoubtedly a major draw, Orlando boasts a diverse range of attractions that cater to all types of travelers. From nature enthusiasts and history buffs to art lovers and foodies, Orlando has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 tourist attractions in Orlando beyond the famous theme parks.
1. Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is a massive complex of theme parks, hotels, and other attractions located in Orlando, Florida. It is the most visited tourist destination in the United States, with over 50 million visitors each year.
The resort is home to four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It also has two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, and a shopping and dining district called Disney Springs.
The Magic Kingdom is the most popular park, and is home to many of the most iconic Disney attractions, such as Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain. Epcot is themed around different cultures around the world, and features attractions such as Soarin’ Around the World and Test Track. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is themed around Hollywood and movies, and features attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is themed around animals and nature, and features attractions such as Kilimanjaro Safaris and Avatar Flight of Passage.
The resort also has over 25 hotels, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury. There are also several golf courses, a camping resort, and a residential community within the resort.
Walt Disney World Resort is a magical place that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you are looking for thrill rides, family-friendly attractions, or simply a place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere, Walt Disney World Resort has something to offer everyone.
Here are some tips for visiting Walt Disney World Resort:
- Plan your trip in advance. There are a lot of things to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort, so it is important to plan your trip in advance.
- Buy your tickets in advance. You can save money by buying your tickets in advance.
- Stay at a Disney hotel. Staying at a Disney hotel gives you access to Extra Magic Hours, which are early entry or late hours at the theme parks.
- Take advantage of FastPass+. FastPass+ is a free service that allows you to reserve a time to ride popular attractions.
- Be prepared for crowds. Walt Disney World Resort is a very popular tourist destination, so it can get very crowded, especially during the summer months.
- Be patient. There will be lines for rides and attractions, so be patient and enjoy the experience.
2. Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a 541-acre theme park and entertainment resort complex located in Orlando, Florida. It is home to three theme parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay; two hotels: Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel; and a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex called CityWalk.
Universal Studios Florida is home to many popular attractions, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, The Simpsons Ride, and Revenge of the Mummy. Islands of Adventure is home to attractions such as Jurassic Park, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Volcano Bay is a water park with attractions such as Krakatau Aqua Coaster and Ko’okiri Body Plunge.
Universal Orlando Resort is a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers alike. It offers a variety of attractions for all ages, and is sure to provide a memorable vacation experience.
Here are some additional details about Universal Orlando Resort:
- The resort is open year-round, but the busiest times are during the summer months and during holidays.
- There are a variety of ticket options available, including single-day tickets, multi-day tickets, and annual passes.
- There are also a variety of hotels located within the resort, as well as hotels in the surrounding area.
- CityWalk is a great place to find restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
3. Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove is a day resort in Orlando, Florida. It is a marine-life park that allows guests to interact with a variety of animals, including dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish.
Some of the activities that guests can enjoy at Discovery Cove include:
- Snorkeling in the Grand Reef, a 3-acre saltwater lagoon with over 1,000 fish species.
- Feeding and swimming with dolphins.
- Hand-feeding exotic birds in the Explorer’s Aviary.
- Playing with stingrays in the Stingray Lagoon.
- Relaxing in Serenity Bay, a 30,000-gallon pool with waterfalls and a swim-up bar.
Discovery Cove is a great place for families and animal lovers. It is a unique and unforgettable experience that you will never forget.
Here are some additional information about Discovery Cove:
- It is located at 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821.
- The phone number is (407) 513-4600.
- The hours of operation are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
- The admission price is $299 for adults and $239 for children ages 3-11.
- Reservations are required.
4. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spaceport located on Merritt Island in Brevard County, Florida. It is one of the most important launch sites in the world, and has been used to launch many of the most iconic space missions in history, including the Apollo moon landings and the Space Shuttle program.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open to the public and offers a variety of exhibits and tours, including the Apollo/Saturn V Center, which houses a full-scale Saturn V rocket, and the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is the last remaining orbiter from the Space Shuttle program.
Here are some of the things you can see and do at Kennedy Space Center:
- Tour the Apollo/Saturn V Center and learn about the history of the Saturn V rocket, which was used to launch the Apollo moon missions.
- See the Space Shuttle Atlantis up close and learn about its history.
- Take a bus tour of the Kennedy Space Center grounds and see the launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and other important facilities.
- Watch a rocket launch. Kennedy Space Center offers a variety of launch viewing opportunities, including the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Apollo/Saturn V Center, and the Exploration Tower.
- Visit the Space Shuttle Launch Experience. This simulator puts you in the pilot’s seat of a Space Shuttle as it launches into space.
- Kennedy Space Center is a fascinating place to learn about the history of space exploration and to see the latest technology being developed for future missions. If you are interested in space, We highly recommend visiting Kennedy Space Center.
5. SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando is a marine mammal park located in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state, and is home to over 2,000 marine animals, including dolphins, whales, and sea lions.
The park has a variety of attractions, including:
- Shamu Stadium: This is where the famous Shamu show is held. The show features killer whales performing tricks and interacting with their trainers.
- Dolphin Cove: This is a hands-on exhibit where guests can learn about dolphins and even touch them.
- Penguin Encounter: This is an indoor exhibit where guests can see penguins up close.
- Journey to Atlantis: This is a water ride that takes guests through a series of waterfalls and rapids.
- Infinity Falls: This is a new water ride that opened in 2022. It features a 45-foot drop and a 120-foot long slide.
SeaWorld Orlando also has a number of restaurants and shops.
The park is open year-round, and tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
Here are some tips for visiting SeaWorld Orlando:
- Be prepared for crowds. SeaWorld Orlando is a very popular tourist destination, so it can get very crowded, especially during the summer months.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking at SeaWorld Orlando.
- Bring sunscreen and a hat. The weather in Orlando can be hot and sunny, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun.
- Take advantage of the FastPass+ system. This system allows you to reserve a time to ride certain rides, which can help you avoid long lines.
- See the shows. The shows at SeaWorld Orlando are a great way to learn about the animals and see them perform.
6. Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is a science museum located in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the largest science museums in the United States, and has over 750 exhibits. The museum is divided into several different areas, including:
- The Space Shuttle Atlantis: This exhibit is home to the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which was retired from service in 2011. Visitors can learn about the history of the Space Shuttle program and explore the interior of Atlantis.
- The WonderWorks: This exhibit is a 35,000 square foot interactive science exhibit. Visitors can experience a variety of hands-on exhibits that explore different scientific concepts.
- The Crayola Experience: This exhibit is a 30,000 square foot interactive art exhibit. Visitors can create their own art using Crayola products.
- The Butterfly Rainforest: This exhibit is home to over 1,000 butterflies from around the world. Visitors can walk through the rainforest and see the butterflies up close.
- The Dinosaurs Alive!: This exhibit is home to life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Visitors can learn about the history of dinosaurs and see them up close.
The Orlando Science Center is a great place to learn about science and have fun. It is open every day of the year, and admission is charged.
Here are some additional information about the Orlando Science Center:
- It is located at 777 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida 32803.
- The phone number is (407) 514-2000.
- The hours of operation are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week.
- Admission is $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors (65+), $17.95 for children (ages 2-11), and free for children under 2.
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located in Orlando, Florida. It is home to over 2,000 alligators and crocodiles, as well as a variety of other animals, including snakes, tortoises, and birds.
The park offers a variety of attractions, including:
- Alligator shows: Visitors can watch trained alligators perform tricks and eat food.
- Gator wrestling: Visitors can see experienced handlers wrestle alligators.
- Zip lines: Visitors can zip line over the alligator breeding marsh.
- Swamp buggy tours: Visitors can take a tour of the park in an off-road swamp buggy.
- Breeding marsh: Visitors can walk through a boardwalk over the alligator breeding marsh.
- Aviary: Visitors can see a variety of birds, including flamingos and macaws.
- Petting zoo: Visitors can pet and feed a variety of animals, including goats and pigs.
Gatorland is open year-round and admission is $32.99 for adults, $22.99 for children ages 3-12, and $31.98 for seniors 60 and over. Children under 2 are free.
Here are some tips for visiting Gatorland:
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring sunscreen and a hat. It can get hot in Florida.
- Be prepared for mosquitoes. They are a common pest in Florida.
- Don’t feed the animals. It is illegal and unsafe.
- Have fun! Gatorland is a great place to learn about alligators and crocodiles.
8. Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is a 23-acre (9.3 ha) municipal park located in Downtown Orlando, Florida. It is bounded by Eola Drive to the north, Rosalind Avenue to the east, South Street to the south, and Central Boulevard to the west.
The lake was originally called Sandy Beach, but was renamed Lake Eola in 1888 in memory of Robert Summerlin’s dearly departed sweetheart. The lake is approximately 11 feet (3.4 m) deep at its deepest point, and has a surface area of 23 acres (9.3 ha).
The park is home to a variety of attractions, including a lakefront promenade, a bandshell, a carousel, a fountain, and a rose garden. It is also a popular spot for festivals and events.
Here are some of the things you can do at Lake Eola Park:
- Take a walk or bike ride around the lake.
- Rent a paddle boat or canoe and explore the lake.
- Listen to a concert at the bandshell.
- Ride the carousel.
- Visit the rose garden.
- Attend a festival or event.
Lake Eola Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It is also a popular spot for families and couples. If you are ever in Orlando, be sure to check it out.
Here are some additional details about Lake Eola Park:
- The park is open from 6am to 11pm daily.
- There is a small admission fee for some of the attractions, such as the carousel and the rose garden.
- There are a variety of food and drink vendors in the park.
- Parking is available in the park garage or on the surrounding streets.
9. Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida is a theme park in Winter Haven, Florida, United States. It is one of the many Legoland theme parks around the world. The park is geared towards children between the ages of 2-12, but older LEGO fans may also enjoy it.
The park has over 50 rides, shows, and attractions, all of which are made of LEGO bricks. Some of the most popular rides include:
- The Dragon Coaster: This roller coaster takes riders through a dark cave and past a fire-breathing dragon.
- The Duplo Playtown: This area is designed for younger children and features rides and activities based on the Duplo LEGO brick.
- The Lego City: This area features rides and attractions based on the Lego City theme, such as a fire station and a police station.
- The Legoland Water Park: This water park features slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river.
In addition to the rides and attractions, Legoland Florida also has a number of other features, such as:
- A Miniland USA: This area features miniature replicas of famous landmarks from around the United States, made entirely of LEGO bricks.
- A Legoland Castle: This castle features interactive exhibits and a dragon’s lair.
Legoland Florida is a great place to spend a day with the family. It is a fun and educational experience for all ages.
Here are some tips for visiting Legoland Florida:
- Buy your tickets in advance. This will save you time and money.
- Arrive early. The park gets crowded, especially on weekends and during the summer months.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring sunscreen and a hat. The Florida sun can be strong.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. There are water fountains throughout the park.
- Take advantage of the Fast Lane. This allows you to skip the lines for some of the rides.
WonderWorks is an upside-down indoor amusement park located in Orlando, Florida. It is a 35,000 square foot facility that houses over 300 interactive exhibits that challenge the laws of physics and perception.
The exhibits are divided into 10 different areas, each with its own theme:
- The Vortex: This area explores the science of motion and gravity.
- The Mindbender: This area challenges visitors’ perceptions of reality.
- The Grossology: This area is all about the science of yuck!
- The Space Station: This area lets visitors experience what it’s like to be an astronaut.
- The Earthquake Simulator: This exhibit simulates the feeling of an earthquake.
- The Light and Sound Theatre: This theatre features a 3D film that explores the science of light and sound.
- The STEM Center: This center offers hands-on activities that teach children about science, technology, engineering, and math.
WonderWorks is a great place for families and children of all ages to learn about science and have fun. It is open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, seven days a week.
Here are some tips for visiting WonderWorks:
- Wear comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring a camera to capture your memories.
- Be prepared for crowds, especially during the summer months.
- Allow at least 3-4 hours to explore the entire facility.
- Purchase your tickets online in advance to save time.
In conclusion, Orlando is a city that beckons visitors with its enchanting attractions, from world-renowned theme parks to cultural gems and natural wonders. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, a history buff, or a fan of the arts, Orlando has something to offer. With its diverse range of tourist attractions, Orlando truly lives up to its reputation as a magical destination that captures the hearts of travelers from around the world. So, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a magical journey through the top 10 tourist attractions in Orlando.
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Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the largest and busiest airport in Orlando. It is located about 8 miles southwest of downtown Orlando. MCO is a major international airport, serving as a hub for Southwest Airlines and several other airlines.
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is the second busiest airport in Orlando. It is located about 18 miles northwest of downtown Orlando. SFB is a focus city for Spirit Airlines and several other airlines.
Both MCO and SFB offer flights to a variety of destinations, including domestic and international flights. MCO has more flight options and offers more direct flights to major cities. SFB is typically less crowded and offers lower fares.