Wife and I are heading to Orlando Florida in June for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We had been torn between Orlando and Vegas and Orlando just seemed more affordable. Now we are going for 10 days , 11 nights. We have the normal disney world, universal, bush gardens, sea world stuff planned maybe even Medival times. Is there anything else fun to do in the area or maybe within an hour in any direction as we have rented a car for the trip. Anything we are not finding that may be fun to do?
Thanks for any help,
If you are a fan of drag racing and old race cars, drive an hour to Ocala and visit the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.
Cape Canaveral, NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center is well worth your time, and about one hour away.
Daytona 500 experience, Gatorland, Eco-Safari Tour, Wonderworks, Silversprings, Art & Science museum are also possiblilites
Have a great time
I definitely agree with taking the time for Kennedy Space Center. It's approximately 45-50 miles away (about an hour as Ham Radio said) and if there's a launch schedules while you are there - even better. Silversprings is approx. 90 miles from Orlando but it's suppose to be very nice. They have really updated everything and expanded. (We've tried getting there twice while visiting friends but always run out of time.) There is also Discovery Cove, which is part of the Busch Gardens - SeaWorld group. It's interactive with snorkeling, etc.
old town in kissimmee is reli gd at night for a stroll back in time,also try and be in epcot at night time the fireworks are out of this world,kennedy space center is amazing defo worth the trip,use may want 2 think about staying away somewere for the night since its a special occassion, there is a lovly little towm called sarasota on the gulf of mexico just south of clearwater a few hours drive from orlando,its very quite and has a great beach not much to do but take in some local hospitality and watch the world go by in the lovly little lazy town....hope us have great time im off to orlando for 3weeks with my mates for a boys holiday and cant wait this will be my 36th orlando experiance and i tell u it never gets boring...
ps3leagues, give us an idea of the things you like to do. I live in Orlando, and know of quite a bit around here that's fun and off the beaten track. It's sounds like you'll need a bit of off the beaten track after all your theme park entertainment. On behalf of all us native Floridians, we'd love to have you see more of the real Florida!
Wow all some great advice all. I will look into all of these places to see what they offer.
I use to live in Port St Lucie and Daytona Beach so I know Florida but it has been so long forgot what their is to do lol.
But the first thing we are trying to decide is how many days should our hopper pass be for Disney? Do we need one day per each part of the park or can we ride everything in in two of the parks in one day?
As for what we like to do well rides, animal parks we really like, We also would like some nice dining ideas if you guys know of some nice places that are not chains that are also not over the roof price wise?
Hire a car for a couple of days and go see the REAL Florida. It's just awesome.
As for Disney, if you're really trying to do everything, you will need to spend at least one day in each park, and they will be very tiring days! Animal Kingdom and Studios are the smallest, so you may comfortably fit in a lot in one day in those parks, but if you also want to see the shows, you will be exhausted. Epcot and Magic Kingdom have even more to see. I wouldn't kill myself trying to do everything. Pick and choose the most important stuff and enjoy yourself.
Please do get out of the theme parks for a while. There are a tremendous amount of things to do that are in the vicinity or close to it. If you like nature, there is an amazing amount to see:
- The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve is a 12000 acre preserve 17 miles south of Disney, and is a great way to spend a couple of hours, walking their trails and/or having a picnic lunch by one of the few remaining undeveloped lakes left in central Florida. It's a former cracker cattle ranch that's being restored to it's native state: http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/florida/preserves/art5523.html
- About an hour east of Kissimmee on 192 is Florida Forever, another former cattle ranch. It not only has beautiful nature trails through hardwood hammock and long-leaf pine forests, but also still has a working cattle ranch on part of the land, so you can get the real flavor of what this area of Florida was like before Disney came around. Best of all, you have your choice of seeing it on horseback or swamp buggy. They also have a restaurant.
- Wekiva, Blue Spring, and DeLeon Springs are beautiful state parks just north of Orlando. There have boat trips available on the beautiful springs as well. De Leon has a great little make-your-own pancake restaurant that's delicious and a lot of fun and I believe you can swim there (In the spring, not the restaurant)
- My favorite central Florida attraction is Bok Towers, which has been in Lake Wales (about an hour SW of Kissimmee) since the late 20s. It's the best of Florida in one spot. First, it's one of the highest spots in Florida, and there is an amazing view from its rolling hills, overlooking the Lake Wales Ridge scrub and orange trees. They also have beautiful cultivated gardens and nature trails, and above it all is an incredible art deco tower which houses a huge carrillon, which plays twice a day. When the sound of the bells float across the view, it really is magical.
- As another poster already pointed out, the Canaveral National Seashore in Cape Canaveral is fantastic. It's one-stop shopping. Gorgeous, uncrowded beaches, a bird refuge (one of the best in the country), hammock trails, kayaking on the lagoons, a manatee lookout (where you're almost guaranteed to see one), and the space shuttle--all in one place! And only an hour east on 528!
- The Central Florida Zoo is quite a pretty little zoo, with a lot of snow leopards:
http://www.centralfloridazoo.org/ (though I'm not so fond of the way they keep there big cats)
- Sanford and the nearby town of Mount Dora, just north of Orlando are quaint little historic towns with lots of antique shopping and even some riverboat rides.
- If you feel like something different, just north of Sanford is a strange little town called Cassadaga, founded by a group of occultists at the end of the 19th century. It's still pretty much a town of psychics, and the town survives on their new-age and psychic services. If you feel like having your fortune told, this is the place to go!
- Finally, the place I always take people visiting me for the first time, Reptile World, just east of St. Cloud on 192. A huge collection of snakes, turtles, and a couple of live chickens running around. Plus, twice a day, you can watch venemous snakes being milked by a guy who has lost a couple of fingers to them! (Actually, he's not a scary red neck, he's actually a respected herpetologist.) http://www.theotherorlando.com/contents/chapters/15/reptile.html
Where else are you going to get to see that?
The last person said "rent a car for a couple of days". You lived in Florida, so I'm sure you know there is no public transportation to speak of. Unless you are only doing Disney, you should rent a car for the whole time. There's good deals out there and it will be cheaper in the long run (a shuttle/taxi to the airport alone will at least be $50 one way)
There's yet more stuff. If this isn't the direction you were hoping for, I can probably think of more things. As for eating--what kind of food do you like?
I hope some of this at least is useful!
What a great post Erica! Have you considered adding some of that useful information to the Orlando guide in order to point others with questions towards it?