Orlando is generally associated with Disney World, but there is a lot more to Orlando than just Disney. Here the top five attractions in Orlando with no Disney connection.
Islands of Adventure
This is part of the Universal Studios resort, and is situated across from the studios close to International Drive. The creative consultant for the park was Steven Spielberg and you can easily see his influence in the spectacular design. It gets busy, so try to be there early though the doors frequently open sooner than the official 9 am.
Agreed, these queues can get pretty long, but Islands of Adventure have a Universal Express fast pass option, whereby your ticket can be used to make an advance booking for your ride and you are given express admission at the alloted time. Your queue is shorter and you save time waiting on rides. All in all, Islands of Adventure is regarded as a fantastic Orlando attraction, and frequently tops the internet theme park lists.
If you have ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, then this is your chance. You can also take the option of a dolphin swim ticket, and you will find the entrance on the Central Florida Parkway. Offering a tropical experience that you will remember all your life, Discovery Cove offers rays and exotic fish as companions while you snorkel or go reef diving. You will share a lagoon with dolphins, and float down Wind-away River, saying goodbye to all your stresses while you enjoy the sounds of the tropical birds, many of which will feed from our hands.
Discovery Cove has been regarded as one of the most peaceful and relaxing adventures they have ever experienced, and after a visit they say that they feel ready for whatever the world has in store for them. Because the number admitted at any one time is maximized at 1,000, you will never be crowded and that is an attraction of Discovery Cove that many appreciate.
Killer whales, sharks, barracudas, turtles, penguins and dolphins: only a small selection of the many wonders of the oceans that SeaWorld has to often. Directions here are simple: from International Drive SeaWorld can be found on the right. It offers a fabulous sight of many of the sea creatures you have only seen in movies and on TV, but there is more than just that.
The rides are fantastic, among the best being the Wild Arctic, Journey Atlantis and the Kraken. The food is fantastic, and many people head for SeaWorld first as soon as they reach Orlando. Many people visit Orlando just for this, and totally ignore Disney.
Visit Universal Studios close to International Drive (you can’t miss it) and see the movies brought to life. Your favorite movie characters can be found roaming around the grounds (don’t let Beetlejuice find you misbehaving!). Universal is still operational, being used for TV programs and the like, and movie fans must not miss it during their visit to Orlando.
You can watch Terminator and Shrek movies that have not been released anywhere but here, enjoy the special effects used in movies such as Earthquake and visit the set of Jaws. The rides are unbelievable, but it’s just great to be able to walk around and see how some of these great classic films were made. Disney World is for kids, but this is for you and me. And the children of course!
If you are looking for a change from the busy commercialism of the top four attractions here, then head off on the South Orange Blossom Trail towards Kissimmee and visit Gatorland, which is one of the original attractions of Orlando. It offers just what you would expect it to, and you are introduced to the world of ferocious crocodiles and alligators from around the world, not just from America.
It’s great for the children and in Alligator Alley they find more than just alligators, but can also pet llamas, goats, deer, tortoises and emus along with many others – though don’t let them touch the gators or crocs! However, thay cannot do so, and your children will be completely safe in Gatorland. You will not be leaving for home without them! They will learn about Florida’s ecology and wildlife, and also about some of the more interesting of the creatures that swim the world’s oceans.
When in Orlando…
- Stay at The Peabody Orlando
- Take in La Nouba at Walt Disney World Resort
- Carnivores love Kres Chop House
- Get all cultural at OMART