The city of Orlando is located in one of the world's most visited tourist regions, which draws tens of millions of visitors every year. Among its principal tourist attractions are Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando. The establishment of these mega-amusement parks has encouraged other investors, and there are nearly limitless hotels, motels, and resorts in the Orlando area, thousands of restaurants, dozens of golf courses, and numerous other attractions and things to do.
ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN Orlando
1. Walt Disney World Parks
Walt Disney World is Florida's most popular family attraction and has been for many years. Of its four parks, Magic Kingdom is the most iconic, with Cinderella's Castle standing at the center of the park. Epcot's Spaceship Earth geosphere stands at the entrance of this exposition-style park, which includes Future World and the World Showcase, an around-the-world experience that gives visitors a chance to peek at different cultures and meet popular international Disney characters like Mulan, Belle, and Mary Poppins.
The Hollywood Studios park gives visitors the opportunity to see into the world of movie magic, with exciting stunt and special effect shows and even tours through actual studio space. The Kilimanjaro safari experience at Animal Kingdom is an amazing way to see African animals run free in a natural habitat, and the massive Tree of Life makes the perfect backdrop for family photos.
2. Universal Theme Parks
Universal Studios Florida is a combination theme park and working studio that was designed in consultation with Steven Spielberg to give visitors an interactive experience with the filmmaking industry. It's popular with everyone but is one of the best places to visit if you are traveling with teenage kids
Universal's Islands of Adventure has seven themed island parks that are each dedicated to a film franchise. These include Seuss Island, The Lost Continent, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, Skull Island, and Marvel Superhero Island.
Orlando's SeaWorld is known for its massive aquariums, dolphin and whale shows, touch pools, and many exciting rides. Although guests may no longer feed the dolphins, you are still able to reach into the interactive dolphin pool and pet these beautiful, intelligent creatures.
Those who want to get even more hands-on can sign up for an up-close tour with the dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, penguins, or sharks. Other special tours include a behind-the-scenes look at SeaWorld operations and tours of the manatee rehabilitation center or the dolphin nursery, where the park's youngest dolphins are cared for.
4. Discovery Cove
Located next to SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove is one of the area's premier attractions. Visitors to the park can interact with the natural ocean life, including snorkeling along a coral reef, exploring underwater with a full dive helmet, wading among stingrays, and swimming with the dolphins.
On-site is also a large aviary where you can interact with exotic birds, a relaxing river that you can explore and snorkel in, and a tropical swim area where you can splash in the pools or relax in a lounge chair on the sandy beach.
5. Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon is Disney's biggest and most popular water park. Inside, you'll find a wide variety of attractions for all ages, including kiddie rides and swimming and splash areas, like Ketchakiddee Creek, a play area designed for young children.
Surfers will love the huge wave pool, and those who want to give it a shot can sign up for surfing lessons. Other attractions include a peaceful ride down the lazy river, whitewater adventures on Miss Adventure Falls, and thrill rides like Humunga Kowabunga.
6. Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is Universal's newest water theme park, which replaced the original Wet 'n Wild. Like the other area resorts, there are play-and-stay options for those who want to truly immerse themselves in the experience.
Krakatau sits at the center of the park and houses the popular Aqua Coaster thrill ride. Waturi Beach faces the volcano, where guests can relax on a sandy beach and swim in the large wave pool. Here, guests can use one of the provided lounge chairs, upgrade to padded loungers, or even rent a cabana.
7. Day Trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
About an hour's drive away, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is one of the most popular day trips from Orlando. A visit here allows you the unique opportunity to see one of NASA's best-known operations centers.
Be sure to visit the Heroes and Legends exhibits, which introduce guests to the lives and careers of those who made the space program possible, from engineers to early space explorers. This also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, as well as the Rocket Garden, where you can see the rockets from some of NASA's most famous flights, including the Apollo and Gemini programs.
One of the major highlights is the exhibit showcasing the original Space Shuttle Atlantis. Standing mere feet away from this iconic machine and seeing the scars of flight and reentry is spellbinding. Over 60 exhibits provide information about the space shuttle and the program overall.
8. Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center showcases several branches of science, from mechanics to biology and applied technology. Among a variety of themed exhibits, the top favorite is often "Kids Town." Kids Town is available to children under 48 inches tall and is full of interesting and stimulating interactive exhibits.
Also worth experiencing are the laser shows and large format films at the Dr. Phillips CineDome.
Gatorland has thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles, some of which perform in daily shows and demonstrations. The "Alligator Jumparoo" show and "Gator Wrestlin'" are two examples. The facility is also home to rare white leucistic alligators.
A small train follows a set route around the grounds, and an observation tower provides views of the breeding marsh and surrounding region.
10. Exotic Animal Experience
Orlando's Exotic Animal Experience offers visitors the chance to have personal encounters with some of the world's most interesting animals. Residents at the park include several species of kangaroos and lemurs, owl monkeys, kinkajou, deer, and two-toed sloths.
All visits are by reservation only, and guests have the choice of a group experience, private visit, and special packages that allow you to spend extra time with the animals. There is also a "Simply Sloths" option for those who want to spend all their time hanging out with the world's most adorable critters.