There are many Orlando Tourist tips we could give if you are looking for things to do in Orlando that are not theme parks. We could go on and on, but our list would be exhausting! So, we’ve put together a few (we’ll post more later) that you may not have thought about, or are new to the area and haven’t done yet. Orlando offers so many things to do, however, we first must acknowledge what “put us on the map.”
Back in October of 1971, Disney World opened its gates to the public for the very first time, spurring an expansion in the Orlando area of tourist-friendly attractions that continues to this day. Suddenly, everyone knew where Orlando was! These attractions go beyond theme parks, and are (in most cases) much more affordable than a trip to Disney World, Universal Studios or SeaWorld. Here are 5 things to do in Orlando that go beyond the major theme park circuit.
The Orlando Eye
Visiting the Orlando Eye offers guests a 360 view of Orlando, with an impressive mix of Florida landmarks and nature visible from the top. From the safety and comfort of an air-conditioned capsule, guests can see everything – from the Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios to Downtown Orlando on a clear day. If purchased online, tickets for adults start at $20, with tickets for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 starting at $15.
The Orlando area has a surprising amount of shopping options available to visitors. The Florida Mall is home to a range of shopping and dining locations, including Best Buy, Banana Republic, Gotcha Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, and Asian Chao. The Crayola Experience was recently unveiled on site, offering a great outlet for kids to play and learn. The Crayola Experience consists of several kid-friendly attractions, ranging from an indoor playground for children to burn off energy to a “Crayola Factory” where kids can learn how crayons are made. When purchased online, tickets for the Crayola Experience cost $16.99. If you’re looking to make some high-end fashion purchases and to get some bang for your buck at the same time, head over to the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, where you can shop at a range of high-end stores, including Coach, Armani, Hugo Boss, and Burberry.
For theater buffs or anyone looking to see a live performance, Dr. Phillips Center is a great venue in Downtown Orlando. For preforming arts enthusiasts, they run shows like Pippin, The Sound Of Music and Cinderella, but the performances are certainly not limited to musicals. While Musicals, Ballets, and Orchestras often occupy the stages, the Dr. Phillips Center also has some less conventional showings, like their Chefs at Dr. Phillips Center series, featuring Chefs like Ina Garten and Guy Fieri.
One of the huge perks of visiting Orlando is the sunny and warm climate that is enjoyable year round. While most waterparks throughout the country have an off-season, that isn’t so in Orlando. Guests are just as welcome to enjoy state-of-the-art water parks in July as they are in October, or even February. There’s a wide range to choose from; Sea World’s Aquatica and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon offers a combination of family-friendly attractions and thrill rides, while Wet ‘n Wild offers a more traditional water park experience.
Air Boat Tours
For a unique experience that offers an up-close-and-personal look at Florida’s wildlife and environment, Marsh Land Adventures offers airboat tours. The tour takes guests through the Florida Everglades (Shingle Creek), where they have the chance to see alligators and other plant and wildlife that flourish in the swampy environment. While passengers are enjoying the ride and the view, airboat captains tell stories about the American Indians and early Florida settlers who were the first to make their homes in the swampy marshes of the sunshine state. Guests have the option to purchase tickets for a 60 minute, 90 minute, or 120 minute experience. They also offer a four-hour “photo adventure” in the Florida Everglades.
If you have favorite things to do in Orlando that are not theme parks, let us know! We can post it on our next list. Stay tuned.