Orlando and Nearby Theme Parks
Brevard Zoo has more than 500 animals and allows
visitors to feed giraffes, take a train ride or go kayaking. Located in
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an exciting family adventure
park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic
encounters with the African continent. Busch Gardens offers a unique
blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos featuring
more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games. Newly
opened is SheiKra, the tallest dive coaster in the world.
Central Florida Zoo includes hundreds of rare or
endangered animals, including cheetahs, elephants, baboons, leopards and
some of the most powerful snakes in the world.
Citrus Tower, located in Clermont, provides a panoramic
view of rolling hills, spring-fed lakes and citrus trees from three
Tower Observation Decks. The Tower offers in-season fresh citrus fruit
for sale, either to take along or for gift shipments. A restaurant and
gift shop are also on the grounds.
Cypress Gardens Adventure Park blends its storied past
with new thrills. The park offers new rides, all-star concerts,
spectacular shows, Splash Island water park and a quaint shopping and
dining village. Revisit historic gardens, beautiful belles and famed
water ski shows.
Daytona International Speedway, home of the
world-famous Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races,
offers exciting racing; guided Speedway tours; DAYTONA USA, The Ultimate
Motorsports Attraction; and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Daytona USA, the official attraction of NASCAR, located
at Daytona International Speedway, presents the history and excitement
of NASCAR racing with interactive exhibits, motion simulator rides, live
pit stop competitions, The Daytona 500 ThunderRound-Sound Movie and much
Dinosaur World, located in Plant City, has more than
150 life-size dinosaurs located on its grounds. Examine fossils and
learn why dinosaur remains are not found in Florida. Shop for
hard-to-find dinosaur toys and educational materials in the gift shop.
Discovery Cove is an exclusive island oasis where
guests can swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and rays and
hand-feed exotic birds. It is an all-inclusive, reservations-only
adventure that includes a full day of activities, swim/snorkel gear and
lunch, plus a seven-consecutive-day pass to either SeaWorld Orlando or
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Drivetech Racing School, at USA International Speedway
in Lakeland, gives racing fans the opportunity to get behind the wheel
of an authentic NASCAR racecar. Guests race like the pros as they drive
the laps drafting, passing and leading, setting their own pace around
Fantasy of Flight, in Polk City, invites guests to
explore the romance and nostalgia of flight in self-guided “immersion”
experiences that chronicle the history of aviation. The North Hangar
displays part of the world’s largest private collection of vintage
aircraft. Flight simulators, back-lot tours, hot-air balloon flights
and open cockpit biplane rides are available.
Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and
crocodiles, some of which have appeared in movies, television shows and
commercials. The 57-year-old park combines a petting zoo, bird
sanctuary, mini-water park, eco-tour and action-packed outdoor
entertainment, including daily alligator wrestlin’ shows.
Green Meadows Petting Farm features a two-hour guided
tour to see more than 300 farm animals. Visitors are encouraged to have
a first-hand experience by petting the animals, taking train and hay
rides, milking a cow and riding a pony. Picnic areas are available.
The Holy Land Experience re-creates the city of
Jerusalem and its religious importance between the years 1450 B.C. and
A.D. 66 through costumed characters, dramatic enactments and high-tech
presentations. The living Biblical museum is home to the Scriptorium, a
collection of biblical antiquities dating back to 2200 B.C.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers tours of
behind-the-scenes areas with views of Space Shuttle facilities and
launch pads. Meet a real astronaut every day and see Space Station 3D
in the world's largest twin IMAX® theater. The Astronaut Hall of Fame
features the world's largest collection of astronaut memorabilia,
displays, exhibits, hands-on activities and simulators. Train for the
rigors of space flight and prepare for your own mission aboard a
full-scale shuttle mock-up during the new Astronaut Training Experience
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, located in Clermont, is
Florida’s largest premium winery. Visitors can take a free tour of the
winery, sample wines in the tasting room or purchase a bottle of the
award-winning Lakeridge wine at the gift shop.
Orlando Science Center is an observatory, giant screen
theater and hundreds of hands-on exhibits on four floors which offer
opportunities to explore, experiment and discover.
Richard Petty Driving Experience takes motorsports fans
out of the grandstands and puts them behind the wheel of a stock car.
Ride-and-drive programs on the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer), tri-oval Walt
Disney World Speedway and 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) Daytona International
Speedway are available.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium, housed
in a building that appears to be sinking, looks like it fell victim to
one of Florida’s infamous sinkholes. Explore artifacts, collections,
weird art/hobbies and interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd
and unusual from around the world.
Ron Jon Surfpark, opening in September 2006, features a
large surf pool with 4-8 foot (1.2-to 2.4-meter) waves for
intermediate/advanced surfers or body boarders and a training surf pool
with 3-4 foot (.91 to 1.2 meter) waves for beginner/novice surfers or
body boarders. It also offers a standing-wave and children’s waterplay
area, Surf School, World Surf Travel- themed Mexican restaurant and Ron
Jon Surf Shop.
SeaWorld Orlando, the world's most popular marine life
adventure park, features 200 acres (80 hectares) of sea-themed shows,
attractions and rides, including Kraken, Orlando’s longest, tallest and
fastest floorless roller coaster. The Waterfront is a 5-acre (2-hectare)
village infused with the sights, sounds, flavor and festivity of the
most vibrant cities by the sea. Shows and animal exhibits include polar
bears, killer and beluga whales, manatees, sea lions, penguins, dolphins
Silver Springs, the park famous for its Glass Bottom
Boat ride and Fort King River Cruise, encompasses the largest artesian
limestone spring in the world. Other highlights include bear, panther
and crocodile exhibits; a children’s petting zoo; animal shows; a
historical museum; and headline concerts.
Skull Kingdom is a two-story castle full of fright and
fun. During the day, the show features enchanted amusement for all ages.
At night, the show is full of scary entertainment with live monsters,
special effects, animatronics and unexpected encounters around every
SkyVenture Orlando, Orlando’s high-energy vertical wind
tunnel, offers indoor skydiving in which visitors float on a column of
air. No parachute, no jumping and no experience is necessary.
Titanic ~ The Experience, invites visitors to take a
journey back in time to discover the splendor that is TITANIC. Come
aboard as a first class passenger on a one-hour guided tour. The
unique, interactive presentation allows visitors to share in the
inspirational and personal stories of the ship’s passengers and crew.
WonderWorks, Orlando’s only upside-down attraction,
features more than 100 hands-on interactive exhibits. Guests experience
virtual reality and rock climbing as well as designing and riding their
own roller coaster. Newly opened is The Outta Control Magic Show, a
high-energy comedy improvisation dinner show (separate ticket required).
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT:
Islands of Adventure invites guests to “live the adventure”
with technologically advanced thrill rides and attractions, including
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Cat in the Hat, the Jurassic
Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk and Dueling Dragons coasters.
Universal Studios Florida takes guests beyond the
screen and into the world of television and film to "ride the movies.”
Visitors brave the storm at Twister…Ride It Out, ride along with Shrek
and Donkey at Shrek 4-D and battle the supernatural at Revenge of the
Mummy –The Ride. Fear Factor Live, based on NBC’s hit reality show,
allows guests to test their courage and strength by participating in
WALT DISNEY WORLD:
Cirque du Soleil, in Downtown Disney West Side, features its
renowned blend of acrobatics and state-of-the-art special effects with
more than 70 artists from around the world performing in a custom-made
theater seating 1,671 guests.
Disney's Animal Kingdom offers exciting adventures and
unique encounters with real, exotic animals, plus one-of-a-kind guest
experiences with fictional animals and giant dinosaurs from the
prehistoric world. Not-to-miss attractions include TriceraTop Spin,
Primeval Whirl!, It's Tough to be a Bug!, DINOSAUR and Kilimanjaro
Safaris. Expedition EVEREST, a high-speed train adventure, opens in
Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex hosts more than
200 Amateur Athletic Union events, Atlanta Braves spring training and
the Pop Warner Super Bowl each year. Sports lovers can enjoy a whole
community of spectator fun with 200 acres (80 hectacres) of facilities
that can host more than 30 sports.
Disney-MGM Studios is a theme park with a complete
motion picture and television studio. Feature attractions include Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It!, Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!,
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower
of Terror. The Stunt Show Spectacular features amazing tricks performed
by specially designed cars, motorcycles and jet skis.
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park is a 5-story,
indoor, interactive theme park that combines Disney's magic with
cutting-edge technology. Guests climb aboard a real river raft on
Virtual Jungle Cruise, ride a roller coaster of their own design on
Cyber Space Mountain or become part of a human pinball game in Mighty
Ducks Pinball Slam. Some attractions require a separate charge.
Epcot takes guests to 11 nations at World Showcase and
fast-forwards them to tomorrow in Future World. World Showcase offers a
kaleidoscope of nations – The American Adventure, Canada, China, France,
Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and the United Kingdom –
brought together to celebrate cultural heritage. Future World focuses
on discovery and scientific achievements with major attractions such as
Test Track, Mission: SPACE and Journey Into Your Imagination With
Figment. Epcot’s newest ride, Soarin’, lifts guests 40 feet (12
meters) aloft inside a giant projection screen dome.
Magic Kingdom features seven magical lands with
attractions, restaurants and shops based on favorite Disney themes of
fantasy, yesterday and tomorrow. Popular attractions include Mickey’s
PhilharMagic, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder
Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Many Adventures of
Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain. Cinderellabration, the continuation
of the happily-ever-after story of Cinderella, is the Magic Kingdom’s
Adventure Island Tampa, with 30 acres (12
hectares), features 24 unique water rides including Wahoo Run, an
exhilarating river raft encounter that sends adventurous riders down six
stories and more than 600 feet (182 meters) of unforeseen drenching
twists, drops, back-to-back curves and turns. Re-opens for the season
on March 11, 2006.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park features one of the
world’s tallest, fastest free-fall speed slides smack in the middle of
sunny Florida. It is the largest of Disney’s water parks, with 22 water
slides and “icy” bobsled runs that stay comfortably warm and thrillingly
fast. Open year-round.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park offers guests
twisting tides, roaring rapids and relaxing rivers. Whether navigating
the nine water slides, swimming with sharks and tropical fish or
conquering waves in the United States’ largest wave pool, this is the
one exotic paradise that promises to be the wettest water adventure
known to man…or fish. Crush ‘n’ Gusher, a “water coaster” thrill ride
recently opened. Open year-round.
Wet 'n Wild - Orlando offers a variety of
multi-passenger thrill rides. The Blast propels riders down a 390-foot
(118-meter) stream with jets and gusts of water. The Storm washes riders
down a towering chute, swirls them around a bowl at high speeds and
tumbles them into a splash landing and Disco H2O is a retro raft ride
through the 70s. Open year-round with heated pools in the cooler months.
Miniature Golf & Amusement Centers
Congo River Golf & Exploration Co. invites guests to
explore two beautiful 18-hole courses set in a tropical environment with
caves and waterfalls. Guest can also see its 25 live alligators.
Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course is a
36-hole golf adventure featuring Fantasia Gardens, an 18-hole miniature
golf course with a theme taken from Disney's classic animated film
"Fantasia," and Fantasia Fairways, an 18-hole challenge course designed
with strategically placed bunkers and hazards.
Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course is an
interactive miniature golf experience with two 18-hole wacky, elf-sized
golf courses. One course carries the zany, snow-covered Florida theme
found at Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, while the other takes a
more tropical, holiday theme, with ornaments hanging from palm trees.
Fun Spot Action Park allows guests to “Drive the Ride”
on its four multi-level go-kart tracks and 13 rides, including rides for
pre-schoolers. Fun Spot has more than 100 games in a 10,000-square-foot
Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf features two locations
in the Orlando area, one on International Drive and one in Lake Buena
Vista. Choose from two challenging Hawaiian-themed courses featuring a
waterfall and a $100,000 musical fountain.
Drive location: 407-351-7733 Apopka-Vineland location: 407-239-8300
Old Town in Kissimmee features 75 unique specialty
shops, eight restaurants and 18 thrilling amusement rides. This
free-admission, free-parking attraction offers the look and feel of a
Florida town at the beginning of the 20th century. Classic car shows
every Friday and Saturday feature hundreds of classic cars.
Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf offers two challenging
18-hole courses at both of its locations. Visitors test their putting
skills in a fun-filled setting of natural wonders, lavish landscaping
and delightful pirate themes that offer swashbuckling fun for the whole
Putting Edge, located at Festival Bay on International
Drive, offers visitors a fun and challenging indoor miniature golf
course that glows-in-the-dark.
Tiki Island Volcano Golf, located on International
Drive, has two 18-hole courses and is surrounded by a four-story volcano
with live flame effects, cascading waterfalls and suspended bridges.