View Full Version : What *else* is there to do in Orlando??

03-18-2001, 10:52 PM
We're planning to stay in Orlando for 3-5 days. Will go to the Magic Kingdom one of those days and plan to "Sightsee" the rest of our visit.

Shopping what are the must-see stores or malls?... other attractions (non-theme park)?

We'll be traveling with a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old, so we're just planning to relax and take it slow. We'll hang out at the pool a lot, and go wherever we feel like on a particular day... but I'd like to hear recommendations from anyone who's checked out the rest of the "world" area! :)

We're staying at the hifs and will be visiting the Kennedy Space Center for sure, and having one character breakfast... and that's all we've planned this far! :)

Thanks for any ideas!!! :) ~Destiny (only two months till we leave!! :)


<font face="comic sans ms">Des, mom to Ariel (3/98) and Avalon Flora (7/00)

Planning trip to Magic Kingdom Spring/Summer, 2001

03-19-2001, 12:47 PM
Some of the other things that my family and I have enjoyed in the past when visiting Disney included going to 'Downtown Disney' for the afternoon. In Downtown Disney, there are a great assortment of shops which have all kinds of Disney related as well as other unique souvenirs.

There's also "Disney Quest" located there (at Downtown Disney) which is something akind to a large indoor interactive playground and a large lego block toy shop named "Lego Imagination Center" which children seem to like. Also, there's an AMC theatre in case you want to catch a movie and on property is "Cirque Du Soleil" (an international acrobatic and dance performance show).

At 'Pointe Orlando', there is a huge "FAO Shwarz" toy store at International Drive and Republic Drive that most kids probably would enjoy.
In addition, we have taken a day out to visit the 'Florida Mall' right up the highway on S. Orange Blossom Trail; it has a good variety of specialty shops along with major department stores.

If you are a Titanic fan, there's an attraction/exhibit called "Titanic Ship of Dreams" dedicated to the ship's story located at the 'Mercado Meditteranean Village' on International Drive that I somewhat enjoyed.
Right next door, there is a 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum' which has several unusual artifacts on display that were interesting. There is also a 'Guiness Book of World Records' museum in that same Mercado complex.

If you are into factory outlet shopping, there is a 'Belz Factory Outlet World and international Designer Oulet' shopping complex you might want to check out that has clothing, shoes, as well as household items at north end of International Drive on W. Oak Ridge Rd.

I hope you and your family have a nice trip.

03-19-2001, 04:27 PM
SeaWorld is also a big hit with children, and is quite a relaxing park option. With MK and KSC, that is 3 of your five days already!

Then you want to go shopping. Well, the new Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive (south of SW) are well worth visiting, while the Florida and Altamonte Malls are the best of the mall shopping. Then there is the HUGE discount outlet of Belz at the top of I-Drive. A lot there but tough to wade through with kids.

Downtown Disney is definitely worth some of your time, and I also like Winter Park, just to the north of downtown. It is a relaxing area with nice parks and lakes, a good 50-minute boat ride and some different, one-off shops and restaurants.

Your 3-year-old might also enjoy Gatorland, although some children can be a bit spooked by so many gators up close! The Mystery Fun House is an indoor play area that most kids of the 3-6 age group really love, too. Fun Spot offers a range of fairground rides for kids both large and small, as does Old Town in Kissimmee.

There is just SO much to do, the difficulty will be in deciding what to do in your few days there!


03-19-2001, 07:43 PM
Here's some info on outlet malls from my book "The Other Orlando: What to Do When You've Done Disney and Universal":


Belz Outlet Mall
www.belz.com/factory/locations/orlando/ (http://www.belz.com/factory/locations/orlando/)

Location: At the north end of International Drive, near the intersection of Oak Ridge Road

Information: (407) 354-0126

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Belz is the 900-pound gorilla of the outlet scene with two malls and four “annexes” housing some 170 merchants who offer, according to Belz’s management, up to 75% off every day. Like any self-respecting mall, this one features food courts and snack kiosks to refuel the flagging shopper. There are also games and rides for the kiddies.

Quality Outlet Center

Location: On International Drive, just east of Kirkman Road

Information: No phone

Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

There is a smaller selection of merchants at this strip mall, but they offer some excellent buys from merchants such as Le Creuset, Mikasa, and Samsonite. Just across the street is the excellent Passage To India restaurant.

Orlando Premium Outlets

Location: 8200 Vineland Avenue, off International Drive just south of SeaWorld

Information: (407) 238-7787

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The newest entry in the outlet shopping sweepstakes boasts 110 stores representing such upscale vendors as Coach, Bottega Veneta, Versace, and Burberry, plus a central food court with its own Starbucks. It claims to offer “everyday savings of 25% to 65%.”

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores
www.lbvfactorystores.com (http://www.lbvfactorystores.com)

Location: On SR 535, 2 miles south of I-4 Exit 27

Information: (407) 672-5644

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.

This mall of more than 40 shops is located on the well-traveled state road that links I-4 to US 192. There’s a small food court if you get hungry and a playground for the kids.

Kissimmee Manufacturers Outlet Mall
www.floridaoutlets.com (http://www.floridaoutlets.com)

Location: One mile east of the intersection of SR 535, on US Highway 192 (Irlo Bronson Highway)

Information: (407) 396-8900

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Not to be left out, Kissimmee has its own outlet mall, featuring more than 25 merchants, including Nike, Fieldcrest-Cannon, Bass, Dress Barn, and Van Heusen. A separate discount shoe outlet is next door and an electronics store catering to an international clientele is across the highway.


There is also a very active flea market scene in orlando which is also covered in the book.

You three-year-old should like Green Meadows farm. It's close to WDW in Kissimmee. 407-846-0070.

Have fun!

Kelly Monaghan
Author of "Universal Orlando: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure" and
"The Other Orlando: What To Do When You've Done Disney & Universal""

03-20-2001, 02:31 PM
Believe it or not we never miss the flea markets..... two big ones out on 192 east....lots of junky stuff but we always find a treasure or two, and I did buy some luggage there that was really cheap and has been very durable...I also found some great used golf balls, and some great disney stuff if you can sort through the average things.....We also like to take I-4 to 27 south and just drive south to see the orange groves and stop at the road side stands to get some fresh fruit...enjoy...I'll bet the kids would enjoy the huge Lego exibit at Disney Marketplace, and also a run through the fountains that come up from the ground at the far end by /Rainforest Cafe....Ted from Iowa

03-22-2001, 07:00 AM
. . .is a very interesting. It is billed as a "themepark", but is really just a collection of detailed replicas of famous landmarks in China. When I went they were running a special of $19.95/adult, $14.95/children. The price includes a pretty yucky meal, and an outstanding night show, "The Mysterious Kingdom of the Orient". The show includes amazing Chinese acrobats, contortionists, traditional Chinese musicians and dance. The regular price is $28.88, and they have a $5.00 coupon at their website Splendid China specials (http://www.floridasplendidchina.com/html/specials.html) . I really enjoyed looking at the some 60 miniatures. It takes about half a day to see them all, as the complex is 76 acres. There is one caveat though; Splendid China is owned by the Chinese government ---yeah the commies. Some have accused the park as being propaganda to give the impression of tolerance within the Chinese government. So if that fact bothers you, then you shouldn't go. But if you look at it as pure entertainment, I think it's a pretty good deal as far as Orlando goes.

03-22-2001, 07:50 AM
. . .the results were depressing. I went early Oct. 2000. Although there was some disrepair then, considering the shows, the price was definitely worth the $20 I paid. If the quality has remained to that standard, I would say a visit would still be worth $30 ---but certainly no more. One reviewer has reported the price has gone up to $40. If that's the case, the website is in error.

The other reviewers reported mostly negative things. The heat would make SC oppressive in the summer. --hope this helps ---just didn't want to give biased info.

03-22-2001, 09:02 AM
Splendid China is unlikely to hold the attention of under-5s for very long, although it is wonderfully detailed and the shows are good. Green Meadows is an excellent suggestion, though.


03-22-2001, 10:24 PM
for the fabulous ideas! I wrote down many things to look into and take the info with us when we arrive in FL. :) I was worried we'd have to 'look around' for brochures, etc once we arrived, but now I think we have enough ideas to at least know what we'd like to attempt to do while we're there!

Thanks again for taking the time! ~Destiny :)


<font face="comic sans ms">Des, mom to Ariel (3/98) and Avalon Flora (7/00)

Planning trip to Magic Kingdom Spring/Summer, 2001

03-23-2001, 09:50 AM
The Orlando Convention and Visitor Bureau have an excellent official Visitor Center (the onlt one of its kind in the area) on I-Drive at the corner of I-Drive and Austrian Court (next to Don Pablo's Mexican restaurant). Call in here for all the latest info and possible discounts (and don't forget to check out the TicketRes service here on the DIS!).


03-24-2001, 08:40 AM
What else is there to do in Orlando? Where do you want to start? :)

I read somewhere that the Orlando Visitor's Bureau estimated that it would take about 45 days to see and do all in Orlando. So you should have plenty of alternate things to do.

The best book to read (besides Simon's book :) ) is Kelly Monaghan's The Other Orlando. You can read about every non-Disney and non-Universal attraction in Orlando.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards

"If you were me, you'd be good looking."