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Seven Non Theme Park Things To Do In Orlando, Florida

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Orlando, Florida is often overshadowed by its renowned theme parks, but this vibrant city has a wealth of unique outdoor activities and experiences that will leave you exhilarated and inspired. From airborne adventures to aquatic escapades, there’s an abundance of non-theme park attractions in Orlando that are just waiting to be discovered. The city’s diverse landscape, featuring lakes, rivers, natural springs, and lush forests, offers breathtaking vistas that will make you want to linger. With so many options at your fingertips, it’s easy to overlook the plethora of fun things to do in Orlando beyond its iconic theme parks. For instance, there are numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to get their hearts racing with activities like soaring through the air or gliding across the water. As a visitor, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to finding new experiences that stray from the beaten path. In fact, you’ll be surprised at just how many hidden gems Orlando has in store, making it an excellent destination for those seeking more than just thrill rides and attractions.

Orlando Balloon Rides

For an unforgettable experience in Orlando, consider taking your adventures to new heights with a hot air balloon ride from Orlando Balloon Rides. This unique adventure offers a bird’s-eye view of the city and its surroundings, providing breathtaking vistas of Disney, orange groves, and theme parks. The one-hour flight takes you thousands of feet above the treetops, offering a panoramic perspective on the city and its attractions.

Why is a Balloon Ride a Great Alternative to Theme Park Rides?

One of the most exhilarating experiences in Orlando that I discovered didn’t involve a theme park. Who needs rollercoasters when you can soar thousands of feet into the air? Not only do you get to take in the breathtaking views, but this activity also lasts much longer than your average theme park ride and lets you skip the lines altogether. Plus, there’s no need to worry about panic or terror – instead, you’ll find it’s a serene and beautiful experience.

How do you Prepare for a Hot Air Balloon Ride?

As we embarked on our sunrise flight, it was essential to dress comfortably and practically, donning close-toed shoes and a light sweater to ward off the morning chill. The early rise was well worth the effort, as witnessing the sun’s majestic ascent from the balloon’s vantage point was an unforgettable experience that ticked off a significant box on my personal bucket list. For those seeking outdoor pursuits in Orlando, particularly around Disney, this adventure should undoubtedly be added to your itinerary.

iFLY Orlando

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Indoor thrills await in Orlando! For those who crave adventure but prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, there are plenty of exciting options to explore. One such experience is indoor skydiving, which can be enjoyed at Orlando’s state-of-the-art facility on International Drive. This unique attraction simulates the sensation of freefall without the need for jumping or parachute experience. Instead, you’ll float effortlessly in a 1,000 horsepower high-velocity wind tunnel, creating an unforgettable rush of excitement. Whether you’re looking to try something new or simply want to indulge your sense of adventure, iFLY Orlando is an ideal destination to get your heart racing and have a blast.

What is Indoor Skydiving Like?

I’m still grinning from ear to ear thinking about our exhilarating experience at the indoor skydiving facility! It was an incredible way to fulfill my dream of flying without the risks associated with traditional skydiving. The instructors were fantastic, providing personalized guidance on proper technique and even teaching us some impressive tricks. Having a trained professional by our side throughout the session put our minds at ease, ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure. Josh and I had an absolute blast and wouldn’t hesitate to revisit – it’s an ideal activity for those seeking unique experiences in Orlando beyond theme parks. A huge thank you to Josh for being my partner in crime and capturing memories of our escapades.

ICON Orlando Observation Wheel

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For those who believe Orlando’s excitement is limited to its theme parks, a visit to the ICON Orlando Observation Wheel will be a delightful surprise. This 400-foot tall observation wheel is an iconic landmark that offers breathtaking views of Central Florida from all directions. The experience takes place within 30 climate-controlled glass capsules, each providing an unparalleled viewing platform. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this attraction twice – once with my mother and again with Josh in the evening. Both experiences were equally impressive, with the added charm of twinkling lights that illuminate the city’s skyline. In fact, it boasts one of the most picturesque views on my list of things to do in Orlando, Florida.

SEA LIFE Aquarium & Madame Tussauds

Experience the thrill of rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s elite at Madame Tussauds, the world-renowned wax museum that brings celebrity culture to life. This iconic attraction is more than just a collection of lifelike figurines – it’s an immersive adventure where you can pose for selfies with pop icons, historical figures, and even fictional characters. Imagine capturing memories with Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, or even Batman! With its innovative interactive exhibits and unparalleled attention to detail, Madame Tussauds is the ultimate destination for anyone fascinated by fame and celebrity culture.

What can you Find at Madame Tussauds?

Walk through the halls and you’ll be surrounded by incredibly realistic wax figures of famous celebrities, athletes, and iconic movie characters. From music legends to sports heroes, the array is impressive, with even Marvel superheroes and beloved childhood favorites making an appearance. The level of detail is remarkable, leaving you wondering what’s real and what’s not.

Is Madame Tussauds Social Distance Friendly?

Since reopening, the establishment has put in place an array of measures designed to prioritize the well-being of its patrons. Throughout the premises, you’ll find plexiglass barriers installed where necessary, hand sanitizer stations strategically placed for easy access, and social distancing guidelines enforced. To further minimize risk, visitors are expected to wear masks at all times while on site. Moreover, a rigorous cleaning schedule is maintained, ensuring the environment remains hygienic and safe throughout your visit.

Sea Life Orlando

In stark contrast, SEA LIFE Orlando presents an immersive underwater experience featuring species from around the world’s oceans. This unique attraction allows visitors to get up close and personal with over 5,000 marine creatures, including vibrant fish, jellyfish, sharks, and turtles, as you stroll through a 360-degree ocean tunnel. The sheer diversity of aquatic life on display is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The park features an array of exhibits, including the thrilling feeding frenzy and the coastal rock pool, among others. For me, the pièce de résistance was the 360-degree ocean tunnel, which provided breathtaking views of the underwater world. I also enjoyed observing the stingrays up close and even got to touch a starfish! If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience involving wildlife from beneath the waves in Orlando, Florida, SEA LIFE Orlando is an absolute must-visit destination.

What does Sea Life Orlando have to do with Madame Tussauds?

Visitors can combine a trip to Madame Tussauds with a visit to Sea Life by purchasing a combo ticket. This option is ideal for those who want to experience both attractions in quick succession, as they are conveniently located next door to each other. Alternatively, the combo ticket offers flexibility, allowing visitors to explore one attraction and then return within 30 days to enjoy the second. Booking a combo ticket also provides a cost-effective solution, making it an attractive option for those looking to make the most of their time and budget.

Orlando StarFlyer

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Whether you’re eager to confront your fear of heights or simply crave the thrill of soaring above, Orlando’s StarFlyer is an unmissable experience. This record-breaking swing ride stands at a staggering 450 feet tall, offering breathtaking views that will leave you breathless. Our excitement was palpable as we rode it twice – but be warned: it’s a rush! The attraction opened this summer and we were thrilled to give it a go.

Who should go on the StarFlyer?

The StarFlyer is an excellent option for visitors of all ages. According to its website, the minimum height requirement is 44 inches tall, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals. This ride is particularly well-suited for those who want to experience some thrill without committing to a full day at a theme park or adventure park. Whether you’re short on time or just looking for a fun and adrenaline-packed activity, the StarFlyer is an excellent choice. In fact, I believe it’s one of the best non-theme park attractions near Disney in Orlando. As someone who typically struggles with spinning rides, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying the StarFlyer. It’s truly an exhilarating experience that doesn’t require a full day commitment.

Get Up and Go Kayaking

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For an unforgettable experience amidst the crystal-clear waters of Rock Springs, Get Up and Go’s clear kayaks are an absolute must-try. As the only company in Florida to utilize these transparent vessels, you’ll be treated to a unique vantage point that feels more like snorkeling than paddling. The clear kayaks function as a massive magnifying glass, allowing you to catch a glimpse of fish and otters as they dart about beneath your feet. This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to rank high on the list of top outdoor activities in Orlando.

What are the Different Kayak Experiences you can do at Get Up and Go Kayaking?

In Orlando, the adventure options are endless, and kayaking is no exception. Our own experience started with an early morning paddle into the stunning Rock Springs, but that’s just the beginning. For a truly unique experience, try a bioluminescent kayak tour or take in the breathtaking views of Winter Park’s picturesque canals during a sunset excursion. These alternatives to theme parks offer a glimpse into the city’s diverse range of activities and experiences.

What Would I Choose for my Next Kayaking Tour?

As I plan my next adventure, I’m drawn to the allure of bioluminescent tours. For those familiar with my travels, you might recall the serendipitous encounter with bioluminescence in Norway that left an indelible mark on me. The experience was nothing short of enchanting, and now I find myself yearning for a repeat performance wherever it may be found.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides

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If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Orlando, Florida, an airboat ride experience should top your list. Boggy Creek Airboat Rides offers a one-of-a-kind adventure that lets you cruise through the region’s wetlands at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h), taking in the stunning scenery and spotting wildlife like alligators, turtles, snakes, osprey, and bald eagles along the way. The best part? You’ll be doing it all while surrounded by the lush cypress trees that dot the landscape. We had perfect weather on our trip, which only added to the experience’s charm. The unique setting and abundance of things to see made for an unforgettable adventure – one that I highly recommend to anyone looking for outdoor activities in Orlando, especially those near Disney.

What Else can you See on the Boggy Creek Airboat Tours?

As you explore the various tours, you’ll also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic Native American village replica. This unique experience offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of Native American families who thrived in these swamplands. You can even gain insight into the specific rooms and spaces where each family member lived, providing a truly intimate look at their traditions and way of life. The authenticity of this living history museum is further enhanced by the presence of a real family sharing stories about their ancestors and what daily life was like for them. This enriching experience is sure to captivate visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

What can you do on Dry Land at the Boggy Creek Airboat Rides?

Explore Orlando’s Lake Shore Park without getting wet! For those who prefer to stay dry, bike and buggy rentals are available for a leisurely ride through the 32-acre park. The kids will love gem and fossil mining – an interactive activity that makes this spot one of the most family-friendly in Orlando. But that’s not all – you can also get up close and personal with baby alligators at their on-site pond, viewing them from a safe distance. When you need a break, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant or enjoy a picnic under the shady oak trees and gentle breeze.

What about Night Boggy Creek Airboat Tours?

A trip to Orlando isn’t complete without experiencing the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues. But that’s not all – taking an evening tour can also guarantee a thrilling sighting of gators in their natural habitat at night. The air boat rides’ powerful search lights allow for unobstructed views of these nocturnal predators, making for an unforgettable outdoor adventure in Orlando.

When is the Best Time to see Gators?

For optimal gator-spotting experiences on your boat ride, consider embarking on a morning tour prior to 11 am or join an evening excursion. It’s during these times that you’re likely to catch a glimpse of these ancient creatures in their natural habitat.

The Best Things to do in Orlando – Outdoor Adventures Vlog

If you’re looking for more than just theme parks in Orlando, you’re in luck! There’s a wealth of exciting outdoor adventures waiting to be explored. Take a step outside the hustle and bustle of the city and discover a whole new side of Orlando. From hiking trails to waterways, there are plenty of non-theme park activities to keep you entertained. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, just check out my latest vlog, The Best Things to do in Orlando – Outdoor Adventures, on YouTube for a visual guide. In the video, I highlight some of my favorite outdoor spots and share my experiences with you. So, if you have a trip to Orlando planned soon, be sure to take some time to explore these fun and adventurous activities. And who knows? You might just find yourself adding new things to your own Orlando bucket list!