Though not a Theme Park in the common sense, Gatorland make an interesting side trip especially if your into animals. There, you may see a large number of Alligators in all stages of development, from babies to adults.
There are also Crocodiles and several other animals including Ostrich. A show is put on daily where fresh food is fed to the gatoes and you can watch them as they jump for their meal. There is also a short nature trail on the premises. All together an interesting diversion from the usual parks of the Orlando area. Located 30-40 minutes from Disney.
At the dolphin habitat your able to play ball with the dolphins, at least if the dolphins like to play with you. Because they come up to you, and if your not playing by the rules the dolphins sure to pick someone else.
But there's a way that you can get their attention, at given times you can buy some fish and feed them to the dolphins. Beware don't let the seabirds steal them away from you. While you feed them you will be able to touch the dolphins...
The only way to come closer is take a swim with the dolphins but that will cost you much more than a bunch of fishies.....
Picture taken June 2000
The Airstream Ranch is the Stonehenge of campers, not too different from Carhenge in Nebraska. This odd roadside sight was created in 2008 by a man named Frank Bates, who buried eight Airstream campers nose-first into the ground along the highway. Two of the trailers predate 1965.
Since constructed, the Airstream Ranch has faced numerous legal battles, but it remains standing as of October 2009.
If you've already done Disney and other parks Medieval TImes in nearby Kissimmee is lots of fun. You are a guest of the King for a feast and a tournament. Each section of the great hall has a different color and you cheer for the Knight who is wearing your color. Knights on horses battle for their kingdom's honor,competing in a contest of sport. Winner seems to be determined by which section is cheering the loudest.
Watch Cable Guy with Jim Carrey for a hilarious look at a Medieval Times experience. One of my favorite lines is when the waitress (or wench as they are refered to) says "There were no utensils in medieval times, thus, there are no utensils AT Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?"
Admission includes dinner, beverages and live show.
4510 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy.
Conveniently located six miles east of Walt Disney World. Easy access from Orlando and Tampa.
(Ages 3 to 11)
Tax and Gratuity not included
This has to be the *best* international drive atraction. Almost opposite water-world.
You enter with a small group of people in to this building and walk a set route. ALong the way things happen...
Remember, if you don't touch them, they wont touch you !
SPLENDID CHINA THEME PARK. this was created by the Chinese government and would really freak out one of my friends (heh heh) who used to live there. they have parks like this all over China--recreations of the 'wonders of China' in miniature. There was a big furor because one of those 'wonders' was the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. I went there many years ago and I actually liked it, I'm a sucker for these kinds of things, and all the abbreviated cultural dances and bizarre ethnic Chinese minority performances (villagers climbing a ladder of knives! crazy acrobatic chicks balancing pots on their bottoms!) were quite fun. at the end of the day there was a big folk dance and all the employees sucked us up into a giant dancing circle, it was all so gooey and touristy and I'm so ashamed to admit I liked it. While a lot of it could be labeled brainwashing, it isn't any more severe than what's offered in the America section of Disney's epcott.
I heard it's up for sale though, so you should check to see if it's still around.
2641 S. Lake Summit Drive, near Winter Haven, FL 33884
Off U.S. Hwy. 27 just 22 miles south of I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. From Orlando or Tampa, take I-4 to U.S. Hwy. 27 south, to state road 540 west, towards Winter Haven, Fla. Easy access to Atlantic and Gulf beaches.
Cypress Gardens enters the new millennium celebrating its 65th anniversary with traditional grace and grandeur. The charm of the old South comes alive with new highlights for 2001. The lineup features The FloraDome, a covered botanical exhibit that changes seasonally, an enhanced concert series, 2001 Ski Odyssey show, Gator Gulch alligator habitat and Moscow on Ice presents Skate the States ice show. The everyday loveliness of the original gardens and the elegance of a serene lake cruise aboard the Southern Breeze* paddle wheel boat brings guests back year after year. See over 1,000 free-flying butterflies in Wings of Wonder?, the Butterfly Conservatory or laugh at the antics of the lories and lorikeets in the 'Birdwalk' aviary delighting guests of all ages. Bedazzling world-class seasonal floral and lighting festivals; scenic floral boat rides; wildlife sanctuary; NEW! Summer Wacky Water Park and so much more! *Restrictions apply.
Cypress Gardens open at 9.00 - different closing hrs.
$ 32.95 Adults
$ 16.95 Children
F.o.C. Children under 5 free
I would like to urge visitors to go to Splendid China. We went in 1994 shortly after it opened. I learned so much about China in that visit and marvelled at the craftsmanship that produced such beautiful reproductions. I also enjoyed the live show and came away with some beautiful Chinese souvenirs.
If you go, bring your camera. It will look like you took pictures of the genuine palaces in China.
Shell World -- since 1976
This place could be called a tourist trap but it is part of Americana. I've been visiting and shopping here almost since the year it opened!
4727 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy. (Hwy 192), Kissimmee, FL 34746 USA
407-396-9000 Fax: 407-396-2242
OPEN DAILY 9:30AM to 9:30PM
Because there are so many parks, people might miss the family atmosphere. I really don't mind it, but parents love that there are things to do for all ages. When I took mine to Orlando a few years back, they simply loved everything. Orlando is a happy place and its a city where you can enjoy yourself or hate the world if you don't like happiness.
Medieval Times actually has several establishments in the United States. Naturally, Kissimee is a good place to have one with all of the restaurants and hotels nearby. This is a dinner show that features knights on horseback and a tournament involving various weaponry.
Guests are served a meal of chicken, a rib, pototoes, bread, soup, and a pastry all to be eaten without utensils. As you eat, you are to wear your paper crown and cheer the knight which matches the color of your assigned section. The horse stunts are really amazing. Medieval Times proved to be a lifesaver on a rainy day since this is all in an enclosed structure. If it is obvious that the weather is going to be bad for one of your days/nights in Orlando, this could be a very good option. Just be sure to call as soon as you can before the show sells out.
There are several great waterparks in Orlando not to be missed. My ulimate favorite... Blizzard Beach! It's a must do on a hot summer day.