Orlando is the theme park capital of the world, but what is a Florida vacationer to do when standing in long lines and paying big theme park prices does not sound like what would make their trip to Orlando their Best Vacation Ever? Orlando has a lot of options for the whole family to enjoy that won’t break your budget. Check out Best Vacations Ever’s top 10 picks for the best things to do while vacationing in Orlando other than theme parks below!
- Madame Tussauds Orlando – Madame Tussauds is known around the world as the premier wax museum, and Orlando is home to the quirky tourist attraction’s 22nd location. Be sure to bring your selfie stick and snap shots of yourself with wax replicas of Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Gosling, Oprah, Jimmy Fallon and even E.T. Tickets are discounted online and will run you $20 for the wax museum, and $34 if you combine your visit with atrip around the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.
- Wonderworks – If you’re looking to get out of the heat and in on some indoor fun, Wonderworks has something for everyone. For those in your group wanting some adventure, go for the glow in the dark ropes course. Your group will harness up and climb on obstacles at heights of up to 36 feet. If keeping your feet on the ground is more your style, upgrade your ticket and play a round of laser tag. Wonderworks has over 100 interactive exhibits for all ages, and features their nightly “Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show” that encourages crowd participation. Tickets range from $29.99-$52.99 depending on which attractions you decide to try.
- La Nouba Cirque Du Soliel – Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney Springs has an awesome array of street performers, dining, shopping and nightlife options, but the highlight of this bustling area is taking in a performance of La Nouba. The white tent-like building that houses this fascinating show was constructed specifically for this presentation that has been going strong for nearly 20 years. There isn’t a bad seat in the house to take in the various cyclists, break-dancers, trapeze artists, gymnasts, live vocalists and orchestra. Tickets start at $59 and the show will be the topic of your conversation as you stroll through Disney Springs afterwards.
- Kennedy Space Center – Port Canaveral – Plan on reserving a full day to experience Kennedy Space Center, located just 45 minutes outside of Orlando. You will love seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis where you can participate in the Shuttle Launch Experience – an incredibly realistic simulation of launching into space! If you are flexible with your visitation date, plan your visit during a scheduled rocket launch and prepare to be awed! Adult admission starts at $50 for a single day.
- Titanic: The Experience – Step back in time when you enter this museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the tragic ship that was thought to be unsinkable. Titanic: The Experience is home to over 400 artifacts, including a three-ton portion of the doomed freightliner – the second largest portion of the boat to ever be recovered. Regular admission is $21.95 and includes a period-character leading you throughout the museum. A highlight of the tour is an exact replication of the grand staircase of the ship. For $69 you’ll get the guided tour and the Gala Dinner & Cocktail Party (cash bar is additional).
- Coca-Cola Orlando Eye – If you want to get a 360-degree view of Orlando, grab your friends and hop aboard one of the air-conditioned capsules of the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, the largest observation wheel on the east coast. At a cost of over $250 million and a height of 400 feet (that’s taller than some skyscrapers), this is Orlando’s newest pride and joy. A 20-minute single rotation starts at $20 per person, or you can get fancy and add a glass of champagne and priority boarding for $34 per person. High rollers can rent a private capsule for one rotation starting at $275.
- Orlando Kart Center – Fulfill your need for speed speed at Orlando’s most popular go-kart racing track. Participation is open to any age, as long as the minimum height requirement of five-feet is met. Races are an average of 10 minutes in length and speeds of up to 45 miles per hour can be reached! One race will run you $26 per person, and Greater Orlando residents can compete in a best out of three competition for only $44 Monday through Thursday with identification.
- Gatorland – At this self-proclaimed “Alligator Capital of the World and Orlando’s Best Half-Day Attraction”, visitors can participate in Rookie Wrestling, fly through the air above the prehistoric reptiles on a zip line, and even become a “Trainer For a Day”. Stroll through the 110-acre privately-owned park and observe thousands of alligators in their natural habitat, including rare white alligators, and take in one of the various live shows. Bonus: Plan ahead and reserve your spot for the Gator Night Shine – where you will be armed with hot dogs for feeding the beasts and a flash light to take in the spectacle of hundreds of glowing red hungry gator eyes in the dark! Adult tickets are $26.99, and add-on experiences range from $10-$125 each.
- Airboat & Gator Charters – Deland – Just a 45 minute drive from Orlando is where you will find the best airboat tour in the Orlando area. Captain Josh will welcome you and up to five friends aboard his airboat and off you will go! Highlights of the airboat ride include encounters with baby and adult alligators, various species of birds, manatees and other wildlife. Captain Josh will provide his knowledge of the area and the wildlife throughout the entire ride, and you will leave with awesome stories to tell your friends and family. A 60-minute ride for up to six people is $225 total, and the 2-hour option is $375.
- iFly Orlando – Always had the itch to skydive but never had the guts to throw yourself from a plane? Soar on over to iFly Orlando, an indoor skydiving experience for experienced skydivers and first-timers alike. For $59.95 newbies will receive a lesson and then hop into the indoor wind tunnel with an instructor for two 60-second turns at simulated freefalling. Experienced wind tunnel surfers can take four 60-second flights for $99.95.
The number of theme parks in Orlando alone makes it an impressive city, and now you know about a handful of the other attractions that add to the wonder of Orlando. Whether you make your Orlando vacation educational via Kennedy Space Center, or action-packed at iFly, vacationing in Orlando is a fun experience for all, and will definitely be one of your Best Vacations Ever!