Tag Archives | orlando attractions

Spring Break in Orlando


Orlando is one of the most popular destinations for families during spring break. And, it’s no surprise, with all the fun things to do in Orlando!

This year, families can still enjoy the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World. This festival showcases some amazing topiary figures of Disney characters, as well as beautiful and colorful displays of flowers, and even live music. And, Universal Studios Orlando is still doing their Mardi Gras celebrations, with street performers, free concerts, parades, Cajun cuisine, and New Orleans bands in the French Quarter. Also happening now is the Atlanta Braves Spring Training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. Orlando Science Center will be hosting a couple of School Break Camps as well, ‘A Bug’s Life’ on March 25th, as well as ‘Lego-Rama’ camp from March 28th thru April 1st.

Take this time to enjoy the great primary theme parks (4 Disney Resorts and 2 Universal Orlando parks), as well as many lesser-known attractions. You can find a complete listing of all the attractions: primary, secondary, water parks, museums, animal attractions, natural attractions, etc. in our attractions guide. It’s also a great time of year to take advantage of some of the great shows listed in our guide, including the fabulous Capone’s dinner and show.

World Sword Swallowers Day

Ever want to see one of those sword swallowing acts in person?  Here’s your chance to check out World Sword Swallowers Day!  In conjunction with the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI), Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium will be hosting this event Saturday, February 26th at 2:26pm (that’s 2:26:11 on 2/26/11). On World Swallowing Day last year, 22 performers swallowed more than 138 feet of steel at 10 Ripley’s Odditoriums!   Why is there a World Sword Swallower’s Day?  “We sword swallowers risk our lives every time we swallow swords, but many people don’t believe it’s real, or they think the art has died out,” explains Dan Meyer, a sword swallower who has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!.   The day was initiated to “raise awareness of the medical contributions sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science, to honor veteran performers, to raise funds for esophageal cancer research and the Injured Sword Swallower’s Relief Fund (with donations matched by Ripley’s), and to correct myths by putting on sword swallowing demonstrations for the public and media around the world.”

Sword swallowing originated in India before 2000 BC, and during these early times it was a demonstration of power.  As it expanded over time and migrated to other countries, it became more of a theatrical event, and was introduced in America at the Chicago World’s Fair back in 1893.  “Sword swallowers and Ripley go way back to the very first Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium”, said Tim O’Brien, VP of Communications for Ripley Entertainment Inc.  Back then, in 1933, three performers mesmerized the huge crowds and two of then were ladies!

You can see for yourself at either Central Florida Ripley’s Odditorium, the International Drive or St. Augustine locations, and see if you ‘believe it or not’.

Check out our spotlight article for more Odditorium information.

Zipping over the crocs!

Hold on to your shoes!  Don’t dangle your feet!  Soon, you will be able to get your thrills by zipping over jumping crocodiles and alligators at the unique Gatorland attraction in Orlando.  Known as the alligator capital of the world, Gatorland is home to thousands of gators, including the rare Albino gator.   Plans for the new Screamin’ Gator Zip Line have made a few jaws drop when they mentioned they would be zipping directly over the alligator breeding marsh, jumping crocs, and through the parks’ bird rookery.  The zip line tower tops out at 75 feet high, and park officials are excited that this new addition will allow people to really see some diverse animal habitats.  (That is if you can keep your eyes open!)

This 110-acre theme park and conservatory has been here since 1949 and is also home to many birds, bears, crocodiles and more!  Some of the exciting attractions here are the live shows such as the Gator Jumparoo and live Gator Wrestling.  Park admission is not expected to change, but there will be an additional cost for the zip line experience.  The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line should be open by June.  Happy zipping!

New Health exhibit at the Orlando Science Center

Among the many great and educational exhibits at the Orlando Science Center is the new “Your Healer Within”. This travelling exhibit explores concepts such as the power to heal ourselves. It features 34 interactive components that focus on how we can take care of our bodies to prevent detrimental environmental factors from affecting our health. Guests are invited to take a virtual reality tour through the immune system, watch how moods impact the human body and affect the nervous system, experience firsthand the body’s remarkable self-repair system at work. Among its features are a skateboard that shows how outside factors can alter balance, and a skin display of issues associated with piercing and tattooing. There’s also a ‘virtual pond’ that creates the spiritual healing of nature by plashing water and chasing fish by hand, without getting wet. “Healer” is here for a limited time only, through May 15th, and is included with general admission.

The Orlando Science Center has spent over 50 years creating fun, interactive, educational activities the whole family can enjoy. The Science Center features four floors of exciting exhibits, along with giant screen movies and live programming. The exhibits include Science On a Sphere, Kids Town, Dr. Dare’s Lab, Nature Works, the new Frogs exhibit, and many more!

Next year, they will showcase a new exhibit “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination”. This will be a 10,000 square-foot collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. It will study the fantasy technologies of the “Star Wars” films and the actual science behind them, along with costumes and props from all six movies. Visitors will be able to enjoy Engineering Design Labs where they can build their own robots and speeders. Coming to Orlando in late 2012. Check our website for updates.

Spotlight: Magical Midway Thrill Park

Magical Midway thrill park features all your classic midway rides such as a carousel, bumper cars, bumper boats, bungee trampolines and a jumping castle.  But, this park features so much more including 3 go-kart tracks, 2 of which are elevated.  These fast tracks let you speed around corkscrew turns and are great fun!

Magical Midway is also THE place for the largest slingshot thrill ride, appropriately called the Sling Shot.  You are strapped into the chair & shot out almost 400 feet into the air!  This is definitely something you will never forget, but you can also get a DVD of the experience so you can enjoy it over and over.  They also have the Starflyer, a star-shaped swing ride that swings you high above the park.  And, Space Blast Tower will lift you off at 3 G’s up to 180 feet in the air, what a rush!

For some fun on the ground, visit the arcade.  There are plenty of state-of-the-art games for all ages, including classics like air hockey, billiards, and skee ball.  Magical Midway is conveniently located on International Drive, just 2 blocks south of Wet ‘N Wild.  And, there is free parking, free admission, New York style pizza, and an ice cream parlor.   I give this attraction 2 thumbs up – they have better rides than Fun Spot.

For more information about Magical Midway, visit their website, or type inMagical Midwayin our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Magical Midway and share your tips and experience!