Fun things to do in Orlando

  • Spaceship Earth
    Spaceship Earth
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola
    Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola
    by Gillybob
  • View of the Castle from Main Street
    View of the Castle from Main Street
    by cjg1

Most Viewed Things to Do in Orlando

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    National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe

    by alancollins Written Mar 3, 2014

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    The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe stands in 17 acres of grounds and was completed in 1992. It was decided in the 70s to build a church to serve the needs of the large numbers of visitors to the Orlando Area each year. Previously mass had been held in a number of hotels in the area but this was far from satisfactory. The Basilica covers an area of 56,000 square feet and has 2,000 seats. Services are well attended and can cause traffic jams in the immediate vicinity. Outside there is an open air Chapel with a bronze sculpture of the Mother and Child. There are walks and gardens around the Basilica and fountains. There is a museum which is free to enter, a gift shop which has a large selection of religious articles and books. We liked the Basilica so much that we visited the church and gift shop twice. There is a large car park for visitors and a visit to the Basilica can be combined with a trip to the Orlando Premium Outlets which is close by. The Shrine is Open Daily 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

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    Disney Boardwalk

    by alancollins Updated Feb 23, 2014

    Disney Boardwalk is one of those areas that is missed by most visitors unless you stay in one of the hotels close by. It is located between the back of Epcot and the Hollywood Studios. As the name implies it is a quarter of a mile boardwalk with the area having a turn of the 20th century theme, of places such as Coney Island. Besides the boardwalk there are a few shops, restaurants and nightclubs. You can drive to the area and use the car park, though some visitors try and save money by parking here instead of the official car parking at Epcot. Access to the area is controlled by Disney staff who are aware this happens and may be suspicious if you arrive early in the day. We had no problems gaining admission to the car park when we arrived at midday. A boat also runs between the Boardwalk and Epcot World Showcase.

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    Reptile World Serpentarium

    by alancollins Updated Jan 22, 2014

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    From the outside this unassuming building just appears to be a family business that houses snakes. But if you have done your research then you know that twice a day at noon and 3pm there is a surprise. This is where, from behind glass, thank heavens, you can watch as some of the worlds most deadly snakes are milked for their venom. The venom is used to produce anti venom serum but most of this work goes on behind the scenes. There is a modest entrance fee of $8.75 for adults and you can look around the shop selling reptile related goods. You can observe different varieties of snakes in their glass cages. They have a 14 foot alligator that seems to watch you as you walk around its enclosure probably hoping you are the next meal. Please note Reptile world is closed on Mondays.

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    Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jul 21, 2012

    Located on the grounds near the Swan and Dolphin resorts in the Disney World complex, there are a pair of mini golf courses. The easier (i.e., more kid friendly) of the two is Fantasia Gardens. When we booked the room at Disney World, we got a free round, so off we went to play.

    Unlike many mini-golf places I have been to over the years, this one had "tee-times" - we walked up and were informed of the twenty minute wait to play, as they were trying to leave spacing between groups. This is an OK idea, but I think then you need a "ranger" to move folks along, because by the third hole, we were caught behind two groups (adults only I might add) who were showing no incentive to move at a decent pace. This slowed the evening to a crawl.

    As for the course itself, it's fun and well kept (like everything else in WDW.) There is a nice mix of challenging holes, and easier ones (my 4 year old drained a hole in one on one of these!). After a hectic day at the parks, a nice round of mini golf can be relaxing.

    On the expensive side (like everything else in WDW) - about $12 per adult and $10 per kid. Be sure to bring that coupon!

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    T D Waterhouse center

    by doug48 Updated Mar 27, 2012

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    the T D Waterhouse center, also known as the O-Rena is home to orlando's NBA fanchise the orlando magic. the T D Waterhouse center also hosts rock concerts and other special events. the waterhouse center is part of an entertainment venue called the orlando centroplex. see their website for current and up comming events. an update the T D Watrhouse center is now closed. the city of orlando has just built a new arena just west of downtown. the T D waterhouse center is now history after being imploded on march 25 th 2012. see my additional pics for images of the implosion.

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    Holy Land Experience

    by eugini2001 Written Jan 22, 2012

    “Holy Land experience” is not as big as Disney or another Orlando theme park, but very interesting site for Christians. Like most of the theme parks they have shows (don’t like them much they are rather primitive, only one I really enjoyed about arch and temple near “Moses water exposition”),also wax scenes from the Bible( where you kids can visually practice Bible stories recognizing the heroes and events). I really enjoyed display of coins from different periods of time some from BC. There is a big Noah’s arch and other carton scenes from the Holy book. The bushes with “He’s risen” cut of it are very impassive and seen from far away. There are interesting pictures like a tiny art gallery there, which is very nice. They have a theater in a shape of mazes you go through them like through the history with a recorded guide that speaks out loud and lights the objects of conversation. The most interesting is probably the story of Bible translation. This book takes the first place in the World among translated to other languages. The first translations cost lives to some people thought .It’s worth going through those history mazes. You can spend a half of the day r the whole one there. It’s 30 or 35 $ a day.Online deals are cheaper.
    see thire calendar for hours of operation

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    Ways to occupy your time in Orlando, FL

    by TLippard Written Nov 13, 2011

    Orlando is a great central point to start at for many nice day trips and excursions. As stated previously, it all really depends on what you want to do, if you want to drive, and what type of energy level you have.

    My wife and I can do 9 days in Central Florida and run non-stop from sun-up to sun-down and stay entertained.

    A few ideas:
    * Disney Parks - There are 4 of them; Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney Studios, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom. Allot at least 1 day for a proper Magic Kingdom experience, more if you go at peak times. The same for Epcot and Walt Disney Studios. Animal Kingdom can be done in half a day and if you're going; get there at opening time and do the animal safari first. Animals will be most active.

    * Universal Studios - More rides, the parks are geared for bigger kids. For little ones, the magic is at Disney. There are two Universal parks, side by side. The more you want to ride, the more time you'll need.

    * Drive west to the gulf coast and you can swim with the Manatees in Homosassa county you're in season. This is a great experience if you're into that kind of stuff.

    * Cape Canaveral is another must see in my opinion. There are no more shuttle launches to see, but there's a lot of history packed in there.

    * Some of the country's best beaches are on the gulf in Clearwater and St. Petersburg; a really summertime treat.

    * Tampa has Busch Gardens, another great amusement park; with some very well rated high thrill roller-coasters, including Shiek-Ra and Montu, and Kumba. It's a zoo too.

    * SeaWorld, Orlando. What can I say other than "Shamu". The Orlando park is one of the nicer (remaining) SeaWorld parks.

    A day trip to Daytona beach is easy to do as well.

    Basically, there are many, many things to do. This area should be easy to research. There's so many other things to do as well. Just research Central Florida. Keep in mind, it's only 140 miles coast to coast from Homosassa to Cape Canaveral.

    Good luck. If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask.

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  • Aquatica

    by l.w.lebron Written Jul 4, 2011

    I have a three year old son and wanted to enjoy the hot summer days which are wonderful by the way in Orlando, FL. I researched them online and choose Aquatica. When I got there I just simply loved it. My son had a blast and it was for the entire family. It caters to all ages from young ones based on height to older kids as well. What I loved about it is that the parents can enjoy the excitement of this water park as well. I purchased an annual pass and considering renewal.

    If you like fun, excitement, and family activities in a water park. Look no further Aquatica is simply awesome!

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    MegaCon!

    by GenXVoice Updated Jun 17, 2011

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    MegaCon (aka "NerdFest")- Where heroes and super villains put aside their differences for a day to celebrate unity and nerd love in Orlando. So much big fun!! MegaCon takes place every February at the Orange County Convention Center and is a full weekend of awesome people-watching and superhero (or villain) stalking fun for the whole family. Our faces hurt from smiling so much and I was suffering from mild whiplash by the end of the day from turning my head constantly to see all the crazy and colorful costumes lovingly and painstakingly constructed by talented geeks and nerds from all over the world. I think we had cheesy grins on our faces pretty much the instant we hit the parking lot.

    Parking is an average $8 and there is a cozy, complimentary, air-conditioned coach which collects you in the lots and drops you off conveniently at the gates leading to sheer nerd bliss. Admission at the door: $25. Unless you are a die-hard wanting to go in and shop comic books and action figures and wait in line for celeb autographs, you can have a superb time just camping out in the mile-long atrium lobby with your posse and checking out all the costumes and groups of fans. It is people-watching at its finest, my friends! We decided, whilst waiting in line for our ridiculously over-priced lunches at the food kiosks, that next year we would load up a cooler and camp out in the halls since we were able to see more costumes at better angles due to the freedom and space to roam around a bit and could easily engage other fans in conversation since the atmosphere was relaxed and open. Plus, after realizing we killed over an hour watching "Taylor" from Pittsburgh (dressed as Pikachu) against "Mike" from Miami (dressed as Deadpool) in a breakdance dance-off of epic proportions (they were in costumes surrounded by a cheering crowd in costumes which made it epic enough for me), it was evident that swimming upstream in a river jammed full of costume-clad salmon wasn't half as appealing as cheering on your favorite live-action fantasy character battles in a room full of sci-fi and comic fans. But, everyone needs to roam around the grand tour just once and see all the amazing vendors, artists, and gadget gurus inside.

    I would suggest slipping out to one of the many restaurants on International Drive for some lunch since paying $13 for a turkey sandwich that looks like a 3rd-grader made it can be enough to kill anyone's mood. Especially when, just two hours later, you're so hungry you're ready to eat your own arm and are willing to cough up $3.50 for a bag of Peanut M&Ms for fear you die of scurvy or whatever your brain is telling you will happen should you not put food in your mouth in the next 90 seconds. (Low blood sugar is a dangerous thing. Especially when trapped in a hot, crowded room full of anime fans in neon-colored costumes.) Bonus: it is at the Convention Center which means you are a mere trolley ride away from pretty much every discount hotel on the I-Drive strip which is where most stay when visiting Orlando due to their value and features - not to mention accessibility to all our theme park madness - so you can most likely take a hotel shuttle or the I-Ride Trolley (www.iridetrolley.com) down to all the action.

    Be sure to bring your camera! So many great photo opportunities at every turn! It was a fun fantastic day! Love me some MegaCon!! Calendar is already marked for NEXT YEAR and costume ideas are brewing in the brain. If you head out there next year, hit me up and I'll be sure to look for ya!

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    FLORIDA MALL

    by eugini2001 Updated Dec 11, 2010

    Florida Mall is a very nice. It has only one floor but it’s a very long building. The most attractive shops are M&M’s and Disney ones. At the beginning of December Santa is already there waiting for kids. It’s nice to stroll in it after busy day in the parks.

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    Kennedy Space Center

    by ahwahneeliz Updated Oct 30, 2010

    WOW! We kind of added this stop almost because we felt we should since we were in the area. But we are SO VERY HAPPY we did. It was pricey, $41 adult/$31 child (ages 3-11), but we did get a full day out of it AND this isn't exactly the kind of place you can see just anywhere.

    VARIOUS ACTIVITIES INCLUDED IN ADMISSION TICKET

    Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Tour
    Shuttle buses leave regularly (wheelchair accommodations available). This was our favorite part of the visit. They take you to an observation deck, which is ok. But then you go to the Apollo/Saturn V center. Various space vehicles, rockets, and lots of neat stuff about the US and its various space missions. The kids LOVED all the interesting stuff, and us adults loved remembering how important all this was in our past. GREAT photo ops. They also had a viewing area of people working on parts that would be sent to the space station.

    The Shuttle launch experience is kind of a big simulator. A large group of people enter, sit, and strap in, and you are given a simulation of a shuttle launch. The video information creates an educational experience that is also fun. A little "old fashioned" by today's standards of thrill, older teens might roll their eyes, but I think they'll still have fun (they just won't want to admit it.)

    NASA Rocket Garden
    Very kewl, and gives a great perspective of size by standing so close to actual rockets. They were large, but considering the vastness of space (and the amount of explosives used to lift these things) no so very large after all.
    Hubble Telescope 3D
    What a beautiful universe. Worth a look.

    Plenty more to do here, don't want to spoil all the fun. Be sure to check their website if you plan to go. Sometimes launches, weather, and security issues can change access and availability.

    The only bad part of this experience was getting the admission tickets and the entrance. The staff was VERY VERY rude. The folks inside, after security, were great.

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    Mauiva

    by gr8fuldead Updated Aug 25, 2010

    Mauiva is an aerial sky tour that takes people up in a propellor plane over all the attractions in Orlando, all the Disney parks, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Mauiva also has a Captain's Package that gives one passenger the opportunity to actually fly the plane!

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    Fireworks Fantasia!!!

    by Gillybob Written Jul 25, 2010

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    The Walt Disney World fireworks are a nightly event and entertain hundreds of thousands each year.

    Each season presents a new display which can be viewed both within the Magic Kingdom itself as well as from sights all around Walt Disney World.

    One of the best locations is from the rooftop of the Contemporary Resort.

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    Grandness at the Grand Floridian

    by Gillybob Updated Jul 25, 2010

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    The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is the flagship hotel of Walt Disney World Resort and is built in a Victorian style, sitting along the white-sand shores of Seven Seas Lagoon.

    The Grand Lobby stands over 5 stories high and sparkles with the light from two beautiful chandeliers; its gleaming white exterior has an intricate gingerbread trim with gorgeous stained-glass domes.

    Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa has been designated by the Florida Green Lodging Program, recognizing the Resort's environmentally responsible practices, as are many of Walt Disney World's other resorts.

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    Richard Petty Driving Experience

    by Gillybob Updated Jul 25, 2010

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    Whether your need for speed is to drive around the race track, let someone else take the strain with a ride along or just enjoy watching the cars speeding around, you can have some great fun at the Richard Petty Driving Experience - even if its just for a few minutes drive into the centre of the track and watch a couple of cars go streaking by!

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