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5 Things to Do in Orlando Besides Disney World

Posted by Mae Demdam on 09/08/2015
5 Things to Do in Orlando Besides Disney World

Orlando Florida is a top vacation destination for obvious reasons, the main one being the parks that all started with a mouse.  But there is so much more to Orlando than just Disney Parks.  For your next trip to central Florida, check out these under-the-radar spots that the whole family can enjoy.  Plus, you might just save some money and beat the crowds! 



I-Drive 360


I-Drive 360 is Orlando’s newest metro-chic themed shopping, dining and entertainment complex.  Highly popular among those who have visited this area are Sea Life Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Arcade City and the 400 foot observation wheel affectionally called the Orlando Eye.  There is something for every member of your family from quiet places to enjoy a beverage while people watching to shark encounters at Sea Life Aquarium.


A big hit with guests is the ease of getting into dining establishments.  Unlike theme parks, priority seating isn’t absolutely necessary and the choices are plentiful from new places like Tin Roof to old favourites like Carrabba’s Grill. 


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Walt Disney World




For anyone who has ever dreamed of creating a giant Lego house, car or creature, Legoland is the place to be.  Featuring over 50 rides, shows and attractions, this is a pleasant way to spend a day in the central Florida region.  As an added bonus, a waterpark is open during the hot summer months and is ideal for helping your family keep its collective cool. 


Legoland is favoured by children 12 and under, especially the 2-8 year old crowd because it’s less intense than the average theme park but still colorful and exciting.


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Legoland Orlando Florida
Image by Mike Sperduto via flickr




If you would like to see alligators up close and personal as well as get an idea of ‘old Florida’ before big theme parks, head to Gatorland.  Besides the ‘gators, and there are plenty, a new and thrilling zipline over live alligators is up and running. 


Parents love Gatorland for its old-school affordable family fun. 


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Entrance to GatorlandImage by Heather David via flickr


Discovery Cove


Discovery Cove is part theme park and part waterpark with actual sea life.  While other theme parks entertain 75,000 to 100,000 guests a day, Discovery Cove limits guest numbers to a mere 1,300.  This gives you the ultimate experience with sea life such as swimming with dolphins and snorkeling with otters.  Well, you snorkel, the otters romp and play along!  When you get tired, Serenity Bay is the perfect relaxation spot. 


All guests love the fact that there are no huge crowds at Discovery Cove making each experience more personal.

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Dolphins Playing

Universal Studios


OK, so Universal Studios isn’t really “under-the-radar” but we include it because of the amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Everyone should experience the incredible re-creation of Hogsmeade at least once and taste their first butterbeer.  Naturally, the crowds are bigger here but worth it, especially for the roller coasters.


All roller coaster enthusiasts love Universal Studios and once you ride a couple, you’ll know why.


For more information, see:

Universal Studios




There are many hotels near Universal and the other attractions listed above.  Two choices that offer a great central location and nice amenities are staySky Suites I-Drive Orlando and Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa. Both have extra space for spreading out while keeping the price reasonable leaving you with money in your wallet for local fun.


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However you decide to spend your time in central Florida, one thing is sure, Orlando has much more to offer than mouse related theme parks.