Outside the Parks
Central Florida is a traveller's paradise with fabulous weather, delicious cuisine, and attractions to appeal to any and all visitors.
If you're looking for activities other than theme parks to break up your stay, then there’s plenty to do in this part of the state.
Here’s a list of fun things to do in Orlando besides theme parks, including other entertainment and amusement options to help maximise your experience.
The Wheel at ICON Park
The Wheel at ICON Park is located on International Drive and is part of the I-360 complex. Be sure to add this high up on your list of things to do while in Orlando. First opened in 2015, this 400-foot observation wheel has quickly become an “iconic” part of the Orlando skyline and Orlando experience. The Wheel offers stunning views of downtown Orlando and on a clear day, you may be able to see Cape Canaveral to the East. Viewing the Wheel from the rear and from the ground up will give you a greater sense of its magnitude. The wheel is lit every evening and sunset flights may be a perfect choice.
The Kennedy Space Centre
Visit NASA’s launch headquarters, the only place on Earth where you can meet astronauts, see rockets, experience flight simulations, and even see a real launch. The Kennedy Space Centre is just an hour east of Orlando near Titusville and well worth the drive! The Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex features educational and engaging “Mission Zones” where attractions and tours are organized by chronological era–from the beginning of space exploration to current and ongoing projects in space.
Just north of the Orange County Convention Centre on I-Drive, visit WonderWorks’ upside-down construction. Inside, visitors will find laser tag, a rope course, a 6-D motion ride, and lots more. Lie on a bed of nails and learn about how the distribution of your weight keeps you from getting impaled, experience a 5.3-degree earthquake simulation, design your own roller coaster, feel the winds of a 74-mile per hour hurricane, and many other exhilarating activities!
Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk
Come experience Central Florida's newest and most outrageously themed miniature golf - Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk Orlando! The two all-new, state-of-the-art 18-hole courses are unlike any other miniature golf experience. Inspired by the 1950's era, guests enter a classic drive-in theatre box office area where they select either a "single feature" (18-holes) or "double feature" (36-holes) with a choice of two family friendly courses, "The Haunting of Ghostly Greens" and "Invaders From Planet Putt."
The Escape Game Orlando
Located in the heart of I-Drive, and rated as Orlando’s No. 1 escape room by TripAdvisor, The Escape Game offers immersive, 60-minute adventures that bring epic stories to life in a one-of-a-kind tactile experience. You and your team will work together to find clues, overcome challenges and ultimately complete a mission. Escaping will require teamwork, communication, wits, a sense of adventure and more importantly: you!
Hot trends and coveted designer brands are always in style at Orlando’s premier malls, both of which are conveniently located close to the theme parks. Minutes from Universal Orlando Resort, The Mall at Millenia features luxury brands, complimentary valet parking and Wi-Fi, currency-exchange services, and more. Central Florida’s largest shopping centre, The Florida Mall® is just 25 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Orlando International Airport. It hosts a range of market exclusives like Crayola Experience and M&M's® World, plus best-of-brand retailers.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Located in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, this attraction invites you to glide across the headwaters of the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 40 mph aboard six-passenger airboats that have been inspected and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. During the 45-minute tour, you’ll encounter areas untouched by man and see a wide range of exotic wildlife. Night expeditions, which last an hour, are also available.
Orlando Balloon Rides
Go up — way up — and away with the Orlando area’s premier balloon ride operator. Float gently across the Orlando skyline as you enjoy the world’s oldest and safest form of flight while checking something memorable off your bucket list. Flights start just a short distance from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Race with a legend at the only indoor karting experience endorsed by Mario Andretti! Adjacent to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Centre, this 150,000-square-foot facility features multi-level indoor karting, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, more than 120 arcade and prize games, two-story laser tag, six virtual-reality racing simulators, a motion theatre, and an extreme ropes course with a curved-rail zipline, as well as a full-service restaurant and bars.
Enjoy a full day of creative play and colourful fun with more than two dozen hands-on activities at this family-friendly attraction, located at The Florida Mall®. Covering two stories and 70,000 square feet, Crayola Experience invites you to name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, and learn how crayons are made in a fun live show. You can also sculpt colourful creations at the Crayola Model Magic compound, watch as your digital art comes to life on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving
If you’ve always wanted to experience skydiving but aren’t too keen on the whole “jumping out of a plane” aspect, head to this attraction on International Drive. There’s no parachute and no jumping. Instead, you’ll float on a cushion of air thanks to iFLY’s innovative wind-tunnel technology. It’s safe for guests as young as 3, and you’ll be guided by a personal flight instructor.
Drive Shack Orlando
Just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport, Drive Shack invites golfers of every age and skill level — as well as people who have never picked up a club — to experience an all-new take on golf. Instead of worrying about pars, birdies or holes-in-one, you’ll play fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, or Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. And it’s all complemented with gourmet food and beverage options.
Madame Tussauds Orlando
Orlando’s chapter of this world-renowned attraction is part of ICON Park on International Drive. Here, you can see lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture and history. And now, you can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes, an all-new exhibit featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League!
Golfing in Orlando
Many of golf’s biggest legends and sought-after designers have created golf courses in Orlando, inviting you to master some of the most gorgeous, challenging greens you’ll ever play. One of the most prestigious in that regard can be found in the heart of Orlando, just 10 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort: Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. More Palmer designs await at Shingle Creek Golf Club, adjacent to International Drive, and Orange Lake Resort, close to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Speaking of Disney, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida boast three exceptional courses, operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Just 10 minutes from Disney, Grand Cypress Golf Club boasts 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf. And that’s just the start of pro-designed golf courses in Orlando.
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