What to Do in Orlando and Central Florida
Central Florida is about a lot more than theme parks. When visitors were asked what to do in Orlando and central Florida in 2012, international visitors put shopping as the number one activity. This has also become very popular with visitors from the United States, as Forbes puts in on the top of their list of best cities for bargain shopping, and with 500 outlet stores in Orlando alone and a low tax rate it’s no wonder. Whenever you are planning to visit the state, when you’re visiting Florida should start with the hub of the state, and that is central Florida.
What to Do in Orlando Starts with Disney World
However, what to do in Orlando and central Florida will certainly start with its magnificent theme parks. Walt Disney World is the largest and most popular, and its founder, Walt Disney, when he announced plans to start building the park in 1965 started the entertainment rush to central Florida. Each of the individual theme parks inside the Disney World complex have various features that make each unique in their own way. There are ample places to stay, and lodging choices go from very upscale to budget. At the high end you will find the Grand Floridian, and there are very nice accommodations at their All-Star and Pop Century value resorts.
In total there are four theme parks, two water parks, a total of 31 themed resort hotels on-site, a campground, two spas and physical fitness centers, fiver golf courses and many other entertainment and recreational venues. Although everyone can find enjoyment in any of the parks, the kids will take to the water parks, the animal lovers to Animal Kingdom, teens will go to Hollywood Studio and and adults to Epcot, and everyone loves the Magic Kingdom. But there is one place that will probably not be the focal point of your vacation, but is a great place to just hang out for a few hours. That is Downtown Disney, where they have an eclectic array of shops, moderately priced to classy restaurants, a large cinema, and a lot of entertainment on the side of a peaceful lake. We have used this area just to chill out for an afternoon numerous times.
Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure Rank Second
If not for being in the shadow of Disney, Universal Studios on its own merit would be recognized as the top attraction anywhere else. But in another respect it has ridden alongside Disney’s
popularity over the years and now has developed a high number of enthusiast who come to Orlando specifically for the Universal experience. It has a greater number of thrill rides than Disney, and where Disney is more about relaxation and having a “feel-good” experience, Universal is more about thrills and excitement. Both obviously have a place, and I think its great that they have both developed their own niche to give us Orlando visitors even greater options.
Universal has done a great job adding things to keep their park vibrant. The relatively new Harry Potter ride is very popular and well worth the wait, and you will find on the Islands of Adventure side is where their thrill rides will be. Because one parking lot feeds all of the main areas of Universal, you will definitely get your walking in when there. But there is a handy handicapped pick-up that is fairly close, and of course all of these parks in Orlando are handicap accessible.
Orlando’s Third Park, SeaWorld Has Made Great Strides Forward
This park has made a nice comeback, and if you haven’t been there in awhile you might consider giving it another try. My friends at Best of Orlando tell me that in the last few months there have been considerable requests for SeaWorld tickets. This park is definitely for people who love the water and animal lovers, so if your thing is animals that love the water you will be in heaven here.
The SeaWorld website is an excellent on for allowing you to navigate around the park. It doesn’t have the massive size of Disney or Universal, so it is quite easy to get in and out of. Located right off Interstate 4 and with International Drive on the opposite side, it really is ideally located for entering and exiting without loosing any time. If you are going to Orlando soon, check SeaWorld out as an option to spend a day at.
What to do in Orlando and central Florida will never leave you bored, but if you wish to take a day trip to the East Coast of Florida to, let’s say, the Kennedy Space Center, Orlando is an excellent place to navigate from. Or to go west to Busch Gardens in Tampa, that’s just about an hour drive as well. Also, Disney has some packages that combine vacations at the park and then a cruise to the Bahamas. Watch our site for these and many other bargains and tips for taking the best advantage of what to do in Orlando and central Florida.