Located in central Florida, Orlando is known as the “theme park capital of the world.” Its numerous attractions draw more than 57 million tourists a year, who come to “The City Beautiful” for its family-friendly atmosphere. Orlando was named the most visited city in America in 2009, and her airport is the 29th busiest in the world.
Many people visit Orlando because of her numerous parks. The Holy Land Experience, Universal Studios and the multiple theme parks of Walt Disney World are internationally acclaimed, and among the most sought-after destinations across the globe. The website Visit Orlando provides more information on these parks, and also includes access to special deals.
While many Orlando visitors are drawn to her theme parks, a good number of them come for other reasons. Orlando has a thriving business district, and is one of the most popular locations in the country for business conferences. The city is also well known for its educational opportunities, being home to the University of Central Florida, Seminole State College of Florida and Valencia College.
The downtown area draws a good number of visitors in, many of whom come to visit Eola Lake Park and the famous fountain located there. That fountain is especially enchanting at night, when it changes color, providing a dazzling light show for spectators. Lake Eola Park also contains a Chinese pagoda, playground, and the Walt Disney amphitheater.
Cultural events and entertainment are abundant in Orlando as well. This city is home to the Florida film festival, in addition to several fine arts museums. Numerous theaters also offer entertainment in genres ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary dance.
Thanks to Orlando’s beauty, culture and attractions, this city is a highly sought after destination for people of all ages. Whether you’re planning a short visit or intend to winter over, you’ll find plenty to see and do here not far from your family-friendly Orlando hotel.
Sea World Orlando
Just because Orlando is an hour from the coast doesn’t mean there is not an abundance of marine animals here. Sea World Orlando is one of the city’s top attractions because it combines the thrill of amusement park rides with the ability to enjoy marine life up close, which is something nearly every visitor to Florida desires.
Several shows are held at Sea World on a regular basis. Many involve sea creatures such as whales and dolphins performing various stunts and tricks; however, animals such as dogs, cats, ducks, pigs and doves regularly perform here as well. There are even special events held from time to time, such as the Bands, Brew and BBQ®: Honoring America’s Heroes concerts.
If a relaxing getaway is more your style, you’ll be pleased to know that Sea World also offers a number of educational exhibits. The Manta ® aquarium is one of the most popular, containing unique animals such as stingray and octopus. Other exhibits showcase penguins, sharks and turtles.
As far as rides go, this park offers everything from fast-paced roller coasters to gentler, kid-friendly rides. Thrill seekers can enjoy adventurous rides such as the Sky Tower, Manta and Kraken, while children may prefer Swishy Fishies, Ocean Commotion or a paddle boat ride.
Sea World combines adventure, education and outdoor fun into a single theme park, making it the perfect destination for people of all age groups. If you want a fun yet entertaining experience, this theme park is the perfect destination for you.
Wet ‘N Wild
Located along Orlando’s world-famous International Drive, Wet “n Wild is the area’s most lucrative water park. Visiting this park is one of the best ways to cool off from the intense Florida heat, while still enjoying excitement and adventure.
The rides and attractions at this theme park range from low intensity, relaxing ones that are ideal for children, to intense, adventurous ones that combine heights, enclosed spaces and high speed along with deep water action for a more intense thrill. For your convenience, each one is color coded according to intensity, so you can choose the one that is right for you.
Several attractions are also ideal for groups. One is Disco H2O, which is actually a disco located on the water. Families also enjoy The Flyer, a ride that somewhat resembles a toboggan that holds up to four people. Other group attractions include a space adventure known as The Black Hole, a slide down a ruptured pipeline called The Blast, and a five-story tube adventure referred to as The Surge.
Safety is always a number one concern at Wet ‘N Wild. Some rides are only for adults or children of certain heights. Others may require children to ride with an adult. Of course, floatation equipment is always available, and life guards are posted at strategic locations to ensure guest safety.
This theme park is open year round, and offers extended hours during the spring and summer months. Several special events are slated at different times of the year as well. Check the park’s official website before heading to Orlando to ensure you don’t miss out on one of them.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of skydiving, yet have always been too afraid to try it, perhaps a visit to iFly Orlando is just what you are looking for. This facility provides the safety and security of being indoors with the thrill of free falling, allowing you to enjoy the adventure without experiencing the risks.
The way indoor skydiving works is through the use of a wind tunnel. The wind inside this tunnel flows at approximately the same velocity as outdoor wind, thereby allowing you to experience the same sensation. Even so, you are actually hovering just a few feet off the ground during your indoor sky dive. The bottom surface is covered with a trampoline, ensuring you a smooth and safe landing.
Your experience begins with a demonstration by a professional instructor, who will show you the proper stance and body positioning to use while inside the tunnel. You’ll also be shown some simple hand signals to help you communicate with your instructor, since the noise inside the tunnel makes voice communication impossible.
After receiving your training, you’ll be outfitted with a flight suit, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and goggles. Your instructor will also be inside the tunnel with you, and will provide guidance as needed. Indoor skydiving is so safe that children as young as three years of age can participate. Adults of all ages make sky dive, provided they have no neck or back problems. Group outings are welcomed and encouraged.
A visit to IFly Orlando could be just what you need if you are unsure whether or not skydiving is right for you. This is one experience that will make your trip to this central Florida city one you’re sure to remember fondly for years to come.
One of the newest theme parks to call Orlando home is LegoLand Florida. This park opened in 2011, and contains more than 50 rides and attractions, all of which are based around the classic building blocks that are near and dear to the hearts of children everywhere.
LegoLand sits on more than 150 acres, and is actually two theme parks in one. The main park contains most of the rides, along with entertainment, restaurants, a botanical garden and gift shops. Inside the water park, you can enjoy attractions such as a wave pool, interactive water playground, build-a-raft river and DUPLO Splash Safari.
One of the highlights of the park is Lego City. This interactive zone allows children to create their own cars and boats from Lego blocks, and then enjoy navigating them. Miniland USA and the Imagination Zone both have interactive displays and activities for children and adults alike as well.
A fun activity for children to enjoy involves trading mini-figures. Kids may bring their own mini-figures or purchase them at the park and then ask to trade them with a LegoLand employee. The child can then trade that figure with another employee, or keep it as a memento of the visit. Only complete figures are eligible for trading.
Medieval Times Orlando
No visit to Orlando is complete without an enjoyable dinner sometime during your stay. Make your night out more than just dinner-have it also include entertainment. A visit to Medieval Times Orlando will allow you to enjoy a delicious meal and exciting, edge-of-your seat entertainment all in one location.
This restaurant consists of stadium-style seating, permitting you full view of the arena below. This arena is where the main attraction, which is the show itself, takes place. Each section of seating is represented by a color that also corresponds with the crown provided to you by your server. To add to the medieval atmosphere, guests are encouraged to wear their crowns throughout the evening.
You’ll be treated to a delicious meal consisting of soup, roasted chicken, herbed potatoes, spare ribs and a pastry. To keep things as authentic as possible, no silverware is provided, and all food is served on a metal plate. Servers are also in period costume in keeping with the restaurant’s theme.
Just as the main course arrives, the show begins. You’ll enjoy two hours of jousting and other stunts, performed by actors on horseback. The storyline also includes medieval knights who are vying for the king’s favor. Audience participation is highly encouraged, and cheering from the crowd is something you’ll hear lots of as the evening progresses.
The plot is one that even young children can grasp and be entertained by. Reservations are recommended in order to ensure you get the best seats possible. Preferred seating is also available for an additional cost. If you’re looking for action-packed entertainment, a visit to Medieval Times is the perfect choice to consider for your next Orlando getaway.