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


ashely612
01-07-2008, 04:07 PM
I am overwhelmed by all the other theme parks, water parks, etc in the Orlando area. All we have ever done is Disney. I know it inside and out. I know nothing of the other area attractions. My children would like to go to a beach this year (they have never been to one). I would like to get some opinions on nice (but not too nice $$$$) beaches near the Orlando area and also advice on other attractions in the Orlando area that would make a good day trip. Please include any tips on the best places to eat or the best shows to see, etc. I need all the insider help I can get on anything that is not Disney. Thanks.

winniethepoohsmom
01-07-2008, 04:34 PM
I am planning a non-disney trip for a change, we are going to Universal. There is an online special for tickets for both parks for $86 unlimited use for 7days (much cheaper than disney tickets). And a day at Cocoa Beach, we've heard this is a nice beach and not too far from Orlando. Not sure about the local restaurants because we too always go to Disney and usually eat onsite. I do remember hearing that Bahama Breeze is a nice place from several dissers. :) Linda

Cdn Friends of Pooh
01-07-2008, 04:50 PM
I am overwhelmed by all the other theme parks, water parks, etc in the Orlando area. All we have ever done is Disney. I know it inside and out. I know nothing of the other area attractions. My children would like to go to a beach this year (they have never been to one). I would like to get some opinions on nice (but not too nice $$$$) beaches near the Orlando area and also advice on other attractions in the Orlando area that would make a good day trip. Please include any tips on the best places to eat or the best shows to see, etc. I need all the insider help I can get on anything that is not Disney. Thanks.


Here (http://www.google.com) is a link that'll help you find you find that information

Darcy03231
01-07-2008, 04:51 PM
We were there this summer and in addition to WDW we did Universal/Islands of Adventure, Sea World, the Wet n' Wild Waterpark and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum in Orlando. We also went to Busch Gardens in Tampa and to Daytona Beach for a day. We went to the Kennedy Space Center (Port Canaveral) too. Busch Gardens was about an hour from where we were as were Daytona Beach and the Kennedy Space Center. The kids had a great time (DD-16, DS -14, DN -12, DN - 9, DN -3), although we did leave the 3 y.o home with Nana on the day we went to the Kennedy Space Center. Nana was tired that day and wanted a down day hanging out at the vacation home and we really didn't think the 3 year old would care for it. She had more fun hanging with Nana.

isla bonita
01-07-2008, 11:32 PM
We have tried this.

http://www.showcaseofcitrus.com/

Miss Stitch
01-08-2008, 04:34 AM
Universal is great value with the cheap price of tickets. We also went to KSC and had a great time. Mini golf is also great fun and you can get lots of coupons for half price, one game free etc. in any of the little coupon books. My DH and DS 14, 12 and 8, went several times and really enjoyed it.

Shopping is another great option, the Premium Outlets are great near Seaworld, some great bargains to be had there.

The titanic exhibition has just moved to the Science Museum from its home on I-Drive, this had a really good reputation although I havent done it myself and also Wonderworks.

SilverMickey
01-08-2008, 07:22 AM
If your headed to the beach for a day you could stay on the gulf coast... St Petersburg and do the beach one day and Busch Gardens another day. Another option for the St Pete area a Lowry Park zoo or the Tampa Aquarium. Then there is Myaka river state park where you can see hundreds of aligators and an airboat ride, you can also go on a self guided hike and climb on one of those bridges that goes from tree top to tree top.

Have a great time!

grantclaire
01-08-2008, 05:20 PM
Hi, in 2006 we drove to WinterPark for a 1 hr cruise on a pontoon boat that went threw several small canals on 3 lakes, it was cheep and the kids loved it. On the way back we stopped in Orlando at Lake Eola park which is free for a picnic. There is also a WW2 memorial to the units that fought in the Battle of The Bulge for any history buff.
Have fun!

rebecca06261
01-09-2008, 12:35 PM
Hi, in 2006 we drove to WinterPark for a 1 hr cruise on a pontoon boat that went threw several small canals on 3 lakes, it was cheep and the kids loved it. On the way back we stopped in Orlando at Lake Eola park which is free for a picnic. There is also a WW2 memorial to the units that fought in the Battle of The Bulge for any history buff.
Have fun!

http://www.scenicboattours.com/home.htm
Is this what you did??? We did this too and LOVED it! Very inexpensive entertainment!

Lovin' Lorne
01-09-2008, 07:43 PM
Has anyone been to USH as well as USO? Other than IOA, which the one here in CA doesn't have, how do the two parks stack up against each other?

Hubby and I don't particulary care for Universal out here, but if Orlando's is different enough, we might try it.

Mickey1974
01-09-2008, 08:19 PM
Cocoa Beach is a great place to go. It's an hour drive from Orlando. We went to Lori Wilson park. No charge for admission or parking. Very family friendly and comes highly recommended by the locals of the town. Ron John's Surf shop is in Cocoa Beach...that's fun to check out. We ate at a place called Sunset Cafe. It's located on the causeway. It was pretty good. Seafood was delicious but the service was so slow. Florida also has a lot of natural springs within driving distance from Orlando. A lot of them offer swimming and snorkeling in the springs. (During the summer months of course) Natural beauty at its finest! We've also gone to Universal a couple of times and enjoy that a lot. I like both of the parks there but tend to lean more towards the Studios side. If you have thrill seekers then they'll enjoy the islands side more. The Gulf of Mexico is fantastic and sunsets there are a must see! I'm a huge fan of the entire state of Florida so I could go on and on.

Freyja
01-10-2008, 03:16 PM
We love Sea World and also thouroughly enjoy visiting the Kennedy Space Center. Daytona can also be a fun place to visit, you could visit the beach and check out the race track.

ruadisneyfan2
01-10-2008, 03:56 PM
For anyone considering US/IOA, I highly recommend staying at one of their onsite hotels. They are all deluxe 4* and you can just show your room key (card) for unlimited access to express lines, bypassing the regular lines. That key is worth its weight in gold! You will be so spoiled in just 1 day. :cloud9:

Even if you only pay 1 nt hotel, you can FOTL access for the day you check in and the day you check out until park closing, for 2 full days of FOTL.

The hotels are close enough to the parks, you can easily walk, esp. from the Hard Rock Hotel, maybe 5 min. walk.

Our whole stay was so easy and relaxing, and a much more enjoyable experience compared to our first visit which was offsite.
JMHO:goodvibes

bscs
01-10-2008, 08:40 PM
These R Great ideas!:thumbsup2

grantclaire
01-11-2008, 07:15 AM
Yes Rebecca that is the link! Its a great tour of an interesting area.

llmurphy17
01-12-2008, 12:01 PM
Thanks for all the tips. I didn't realize how much was near in Orlando especially that Cocoa Beach is only an hour away. ;)

ashely612
01-12-2008, 08:11 PM
Even if you only pay 1 nt hotel, you can FOTL access for the day you check in and the day you check out until park closing, for 2 full days of FOTL.

How does that work exactly? Do they allow early check in like Disney resorts do? What if you went to the park before check in, would you still be able to skip the lines?

ducklite
01-13-2008, 06:40 AM
There are so many things to do here outside the realm of normal tourism.

Head to Wekiva Springs Park (Google for directions) which is about 45 minutes north of WDW. You can picnic, hike, or swim in the warm spring fed crystal clear for hundreds of feet water. If it's a hot day go really ealy because they do capacity control it, and that's where many locals go to beat the heat.

After a morning there, go to http://www.deepcreekstables.net for a trail ride.

Visit the very cool Orlando Science Center. http://www.osc.org/

Take a trip out to Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids swim. http://www.weekiwachee.com/ While there take a nature boat ride, and during warmer times of the year, spend time in the water park.

ABout 25 minutes from WDW is Fantasy of FLight with IIR the worlds largest collection of antique aircraft. Google them for their web site, I know they do airshows there sometimes.

Take a visit to Showcase of Citrus, about ten minutes from WDW, and pick your own oranges. www.showcaseofcitrus.com

You could also take the two hour drive to Vero beach and visit Mel Fishers Museum or a little futher away is the US NAvy SEALS museum in Fort Pierce.

ruadisneyfan2
01-13-2008, 11:36 AM
How does that work exactly? Do they allow early check in like Disney resorts do? What if you went to the park before check in, would you still be able to skip the lines?

No you must check in first to get your room keys (even for kids too but you can disable charging priviliges.) It's your room key that allows you to bypass the reg. lines. We wear them in a lanyard for easy access and kids won't lose them. Ds11 says it's like being a VIP! :cloud9:

They will store your luggage in a locked room while you are in the parks then call your cell ph when your room is ready. We've never checked in earlier than 9am but I believe you can.

Also if you buy toys/souv. in the parks, you can have them delivered right into your hotel room. We love it!

LeslieG
01-13-2008, 10:50 PM
Anybody done the air boat rides?

ruadisneyfan2
01-15-2008, 10:13 AM
Anybody done the air boat rides?

We did a few years ago. It was ok but expensive. We rode around W. Lake Toho but the engine was so loud if we got near any gators, the sound would scare them off. the owner said it uses a jet engine. :rolleyes1
It was something different to do and I guess I just wasn't very impressed but dh said he'd like to do it again sometime.

emmsmama
01-16-2008, 10:53 PM
Great tip about Universal/IOA. I was looking at their hotels but they are pricey. If you can use FOL both days though it may be worth checking in for one night :) How does the pass work on the second day when you check out. Don't you have to check out and turn in your room key by around 11am?

lucyanna girl
01-17-2008, 09:27 AM
Great tip about Universal/IOA. I was looking at their hotels but they are pricey. If you can use FOL both days though it may be worth checking in for one night :) How does the pass work on the second day when you check out. Don't you have to check out and turn in your room key by around 11am?

We usually check in at one of the Universal Hotels for at least one night on every trip just for FOTL privileges. Hotel Royal Pacific is generally the least expensive.

On checkout day you can store your luggage with Bell Services and any valuables in a lock box behind the front desk. Your room key is one of those plastic disposable ones. We take a lanyard and have them punch a hole in the corner at the front desk. It will work for FOTL until the parks close that night.

Have fun.

Penny

twoeeyy
01-17-2008, 01:09 PM
has anyone done a swim with manatee's. We are looking into it and wondered what was the best company and or tour to do.

DisDee
01-22-2008, 11:04 AM
On our next trip we plan to visit the Lakeridge Winery. They have another location in St. Augustine...the San Sebastian Winery. We went there this past June and thoroughly enjoyed it.

There's also the town of Mt. Dora which is known for antique shopping. We visited there for shopping and lunch which was fun! Of course we travel as adults only now so we visit different types of places. We still love WDW and the other theme parks, we just mix it up a little now.

Another town which is not too far is Tarpon Springs (Gulf Coast). There's a real Greek flair to it, and lots of great restaurants.

Whatever you do, have a great time!

MS_mom_1965
02-04-2008, 11:39 AM
Has anybody been to both Kennedy Space Center and Huntsville Space Center? If you've been to one is there any need to go to the other?