Orlando, Florida in the United States is often deemed as the theme park capital of the world. It’s filled to the brim with various attractions for the whole family, making it a top vacation destination. You’ll never run out of options and things to do—here are the top five, including a non-theme park must-do when in Orlando.
Meet Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World.
Perhaps the most popular attraction in Orlando, Walt Disney World is actually made up of four theme parks: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Epcot centre and Magic Kingdom. For an exhilarating ride, buckle up for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, which takes you through the Himalayan Mountains on a speeding train. To meet the famous mouse, visit the Magic Kingdom, where you’ll find the majestic Cinderella Castle and the whole gang of Disney characters. Don’t forget to hop into It’s a Small World and sing the tune while you’re there!
Swim with dolphins at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld is for enthusiasts of marine life and is best known for its live shows featuring majestic killer whales (all named Shamu over the years). Improvements done to the theme park include a high-tech marine playground and Turtle Trek, a 3D movie that immerses guests in the world of a deep sea turtle hatchling named Nyah. This 36-degree attraction is so realistic you’ll find yourself moving along to duck sharks and flotsam. At SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove, you’ll get the chance to touch, play and swim with smart and funny bottlenose dolphins, so make sure you include it in your must-visit list.
Immerse in magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
For fans of the story of The Boy Who Lived, head on over to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park where you can step into the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you’ve always wanted to try butterbeer, here is your chance to do so after browsing the shops at Hogsmeade. Muggles are of course welcome to visit and ride the Flight of the Hippogriff and the Dragon Challenge. Afterward, drop by Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for soft-serve ices in interesting flavours—including butterbeer, of course!
Marvel at Legoland’s architecture.
Legoland is close to the heart of those who have built things with the little coloured bricks. Covering 150 acres and featuring 50 thrilling rides plus numerous shows and attractions, Legoland is every Lego-lover’s dream. There are 10 themed areas to explore, from medieval castles to pirate ships. If you have smaller kids, make sure you check out Duplo Valley for a bit of rest. There’s a Splash & Play area for toddlers—bring an extra set of clothes because everyone’s bound to get drenched (but definitely refreshed!).
Take a dip into Orlando’s Natural Springs.
Orlando features several non-manmade attractions as well, as being home to several natural springs. Most of the springs in the state parks are fantastic for snorkelling and swimming. The most popular are Kelly Springs, Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs. Kelly Park is a vast 245-acre wildlife haven, featuring hiking trails, a playground and several wet and dry activities for those who love the outdoors.