When you think about Orlando, a lot of people think about Disney straight away. It’s a major pull and a major reason many millions of people head out to Orlando every year.
But for those who want a little bit more than Disney, or who have perhaps ‘done’ the Disney thing and want a change here are 10 unusual things to do in Orlando that you might not have considered.
Watch the Basketball
During our 14 days in Orlando the seven of us including Grandparents and then 4 year olds went to a game of Basketball. The theatre of the event for the Brits is a sight to behold. Our football ‘soccer’ games are not like this, there is fanfare, there is dancing, there are huge screens and there is lots and lots of food. It’s fun. You can see our full review here.
2. Ziplining at Gatorland
You can zip through the treetops and fly over hundreds of alligators at Gatorland’s Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. I have one friend for whom this would be their worst nightmare but it looks like brilliant fun – plus you get the day at Gatorland too.
If you have young children this one is a must. If you want to shop and you want to promise the children a treat during that day, combine the two. It’s in a fab shopping mall so schedule in a few hours and do both.
4. Air Excursions
You could soar in a hot air balloon with Orlando Balloon Rides. Maybe even take in sunrise and have champagne when you land! Or why not look into flying a legendary WWII P-51 Mustang at Stallion 51 or become a fighter pilot for an afternoon at Warbird Adventures.
5. Spend the afternoon in a Park
You might think this is a crazy thing to do in the high energy high excitement of Orlando, but when you have little ones some time off the thrills and spills does them the world of good. You can take a picnic, watch the world go by and generally soak up the beautiful surroundings. We;ve heard really good things about Kissimmee Lakefront Park and Shingle Creek Regional Park.
6. Head to Legoland
Legoland was one of our favourite days out in Orlando, quieter than the Disney and Universal parks and therefore hardly any queues. It also seemed less hot and intense which the kids appreciated. We have a full review on why you should go here!
You can spend the day paddling at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. This new eco-attraction offers a variety of ways to enjoy natural Florida from tandem kayaks, single kayaks, aluminum canoes, large paddle boards and even an electric boat. Basic paddling instruction is provided prior to launching and no previous paddling experience is necessary. It sounds the perfect retreat and a serene break from the action-packed theme parks.
8. Visit Celebration
Celebration is a beautiful town only a few miles away from Disney. It was originally thought up by Disney himself and was then purpose built in the late 1990’s. You can buy a home in Celebration and effectibely sign up to living the Disney dream. I’m a totally obsessed with where people choose to live and could spend hours wandering around a place like Celebration, even taking the sales tour where they show you the homes you can actually buy. Living in Celebration would feel like living on the set of a Disney film with white picket fences and swings on the porch.
Disney sold the town in 2004 but there is still a Dinsey feel about it and it’s a fun place to spend some time particularly on a holiday such as halloween or Christmas when the decorations are up in full regalia.
9. Airboat Rides
Close to the famous Florida Everglades. You can take a trip through the unique wetland ecosystem on a thrilling airboat ride as you search for wild alligators, birds and turtles. Check out Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Wild Florida Airboats & Wildlife Park, Marsh Landing Adventures and Spirit of the Swamp.
10. Segway Tours
You could combine the trip to Celebration with a Segway Tour too, or you could head off the beaten path and explore some nature trails. Why not try ZE Segway tours and see how easy it is!
NB: This is a collaborative post but all views and tips are my own!