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Area Attractions

Disney | Universal | Sea World | Water Parks | Nighttime | Miscellaneous | Golf | Further Afield | Shopping | Places to Eat

What is there to do in the area? Well, the answer to that is probably "too much"!
See below for a selection of our ideas.

Disney Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom The home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Magic Kingdom captures the enchantment of fairy tales with exciting entertainment, classic attractions, backstage tours and beloved Disney Characters. The centrepiece of  Magic Kingdom is Cinderella's castle, probably one of the most photographed landmarks in Florida! Travel to the different 'lands' to experience fun and thrills including Space Mountain, It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. See how fantasy becomes reality when you learn how to be a pirate, match wits with funny monsters and conquer mountains. Get swept up in the spectacle of splendid parades and fireworks shows — it's here that dreams come true for children of all ages.
Epcot Epcot stands for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". The Epcot theme park icon, Spaceship Earth, looking like a giant golf ball rising high above the horizon, welcomes you as you walk through the Park's main entrance. This park is really two in one.

"Future World" is full of sensational attractions—including one of the fastest attractions in all Disney Parks — as well as inspiring entertainment and shows, all of which focus on technological advancements, innovation and wonder. In Future World, ideas become reality. Experience the feeling of space flight in Mission Space, learn where oil comes from in Universe of Energy, or try your skills as a test driver in Test Track.

To see the best that the World has to offer, visit the 11 countries represented in "World Showcase" - a collective of Pavilions that wrap around the World Showcase Lagoon. Inside the Pavilions, find shops, attractions and restaurants that represent the culture and cuisine of these countries. While walking between Pavilions, be amused by live performers — some may even invite you to participate in the show! There's also plenty of kid-centric entertainment, too, like Disney Character meet and greet locations and Kidcot fun stops. At Kidcot stations, kids can create one-of-a-kind souvenirs. In Epcot theme park, creativity is encouraged, imagination is celebrated and countries are united. Be amazed, inspired, enlightened and entertained!

Finally, the nightly IllumiNations firework and laser show set to music is a must-see.

Animal Kingdom Home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species and sprawling across 500 acres of lush landscape, Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park is the largest animal-themed park in the world! A chance to go on 'safari' to see African and Asian wild animals in a natural setting. Within each area, encounter real and fantastic animals. Get close enough to pet some of them. You may see zebra, gorillas, tigers, lions and elephants. Exciting attractions await, along with live and wild entertainment — like Broadway-style musical shows and parades that invite you to be part of the excitement.
Hollywood Studios (previously MGM) Where movie magic comes to life! Get behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style action with live shows, thrilling attractions, backstage tours and special events in this Disney Park dedicated to entertainment. A collection of movie-themed live action shows and thrill rides. The glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Heydays from the 1930s and 1940s are captured by the neon, chrome, art deco and modern architecture. The streets and sections of the areas of the Park blend together like a large, bustling movie set.
Step into the action with new attractions like the American Idol Experience that might put you centre stage and under the spotlight. Feel like a star, or come face-to-face with one! Collect autographs and pose for photos at special events or at Character greeting locations.
Live out your desire for stardom by participating in parades, being part of a rock 'n' roll fantasy and experiencing spectacular attractions based on blockbuster movies and top TV shows. Among the best-known attractions are Tower of Terror, Star Tours, and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.
(See also Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon)  


Universal Studios
Universal Studios At this real, working film and TV production facility you’ll find an amazing array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions that put you right in the picture. You’ll enjoy themed dining and shopping, a variety of exciting special events throughout the year, and you might even catch a real film crew at work on the backlot. From entertaining shows that take you behind the scenes of the movie-making process to state-of-the-art rides that make you part of the action, this is the theme park where you can "Ride the Movies". One of the newest attractions is Shrek 4-D featuring an original 3-D film, plus an extra dimension of special effects. Terminator 2:3D  is a combination of live action stunts, special effects and amazing 3-D film. Experience the power of a tornado in Twister  with screaming wind, pouring rain and flying cows! Join the Simpsons on a mad ride. 

Visit the Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame. Experience the thrilling Escape from Gringotts. Ride the Hogwarts Express to/from Hogsmeade in Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure Take an unforgettable journey through the uniquely themed areas of Islands of Adventure, where the world's most cutting edge rides, shows and interactive attractions bring your favourite stories, myths, cartoons, comic book heroes and children's tales to life.

Join the battle of good versus evil above the streets of Marvel Super Hero Island. Get splash happy with your favourite cartoon characters in the water rides of Toon Lagoon. Come face to face with the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. Venture through the mists of time as you experience the epic adventures of The Lost Continent. And step right into the pages of the children’s books of Dr. Seuss in Seuss Landing. This is the stuff legends are made of.
Don't miss The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Pass through the towering Hogwarts castle gates and explore the familiar passageways, classrooms and corridors. Visit the shops of Hogsmeade including Honeydukes, Zonko's Joke Shop, Ollivanders and more. Dine at the Three Broomsticks. Plus experience new pulse-pounding rides including Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a state-of-the-art attraction that brings the magic, characters, and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before imagined.



Sea World
Sea World of Orlando A chance to view some of the sea's most majestic creatures at close range. Dolphins, Killer Whales, Manatees, Sea Lions, Walrus and Stingray are all showcased here. There is the rare chance to see Polar bears, Penguins and Sharks. Probably most famous of all the park's attractions is the Shamu show featuring Killer Whales interacting with their trainers and the audience! The park also features a number of thrill rides including Kraken and Journey to Atlantis.
Discovery Cove This exclusive park only admits 1000 people a day so booking ahead is a must. Discovery Cove offers white sand beaches, hammocks to laze in, complimentary lunch, snorkelling with tropical fish and rays, an aviary, and of course, the chance to swim and interact with dolphins.
(See also Aquatica)  


Water Parks  
Wet 'n' Wild A refreshing way to spend a day! Wet 'n' Wild has a number of thrill rides including Der Stuka, a six-storey speed slide which lets you "free fall" down a 250-foot slide, then coast to a stop along a 115-foot long water runway. For people that don't want to ride alone there are several multi-person rides and some designed specifically for the kids. And for the less adventurous there is the gentle lazy river that meanders around the park, or a wave pool and beach to relax on.
Blizzard Beach It's easy to be cool while having fun in the sun at Blizzard Beach water park! While the park looks like a frosty ski resort—complete with a functioning Chair Lift, it's actually an action-packed water wonderland with exciting waterslides and attractions for the whole family. It features one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, as well as a kid-sized, snow-castle fountain play area with scaled-down versions of the more thrilling attractions. This park has something for everyone.
Typhoon Lagoon Escape to a tropical paradise where you'll discover a storm of fun in the sun. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park is the place to go for aquatic thrill-seekers of all ages. In addition to great waterslides, you'll love the lazy river, wave pool and children's play area! Experience fast waterslides to a children's area with pint-sized raft rides. Catch 6-foot waves in the Surf Pool and snorkel Shark Reef — with real sharks!
Aquatica SeaWorld's water park. Two wave pools and large beach. Many exciting water slides, including Dolphin Plunge where you ride in a tube through a dolphin habitat.


Disney Springs (Formerly Downtown Disney). **Redeveloped for 2016**. The home of Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba" show and the DisneyQuest indoor interactive theme park featuring video games, virtual reality rides and flight simulators. A large choice of restaurants can be found here, including T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck, Rainforest Cafe and Portobello. (See also Shopping section).
Disney's Boardwalk A waterfront entertainment complex themed like an Atlantic coastal village. Experience Duelling pianos at Jellyrolls, Sport and food at ESPN Club and after the sun goes down the Atlantic Dance Hall comes alive with the DJ Dance party. Located at Disney's Boardwalk Hotel.
Arabian Nights Dinner Show featuring beautiful horses and continuous action, enhanced by state-of-the-art lighting and special effects (including snow!). The story revolves around the wedding of the Prince and Princess and guests are invited to share in the wonder and magic created in this romantic tale on horseback.
Medieval Times Feast on a four-course Medieval Banquet while watching daring knights on beautiful Andalusian horses competing in medieval tournament games, sword fighting and jousting matches.
Sleuth's Mystery Dinner A theatrical murder mystery dinner show. Will you be the one to spot the clues and identify the murderer?
Capone's Dinner & Show Gangland Chicago song and dance comedy revue. Includes unlimited buffet, beer, cocktails.
Old Town Shopping, dining and amusement rides including Old Town Slingshot - be catapulted 365 feet in the air while suspended by bungee cords!
Church Street Station Entertainment complex located in downtown Orlando. Constructed around Orlando’s original train station. Including old-fashioned bars such as Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium.
Universal City Walk An array of restaurants, nightclubs, shopping, state-of-the-art cinemas and live entertainment venues.


Gatorland 110-acre alligator theme park and wildlife preserve, with its incredible display of huge alligators and crocodiles, children’s water park, train ride, aviary, breeding marsh and bird sanctuary, petting zoo, nature walk, gift shop, and one-of-a-kind shows such as the world famous "Gator Jumparoo".
Boggy Creek Airboat Rides Experience the Real Central Florida Everglades. Glide through the wetlands viewing Florida's native wildlife. Start with a leisurely idle down our natural canal and experience the excitement of viewing exotic birds, turtles and the Florida alligator in their own natural environment. Fly like the wind into the swamps experiencing the awesome feel of the airboat ride travelling at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. 2 locations nearby.
Osceola County Softball Complex Located just a couple of blocks away on John Young Parkway.
Wekiwa Springs State Park Wekiwa Springs State Park comprises approximately 7,000 acres of wild scenery that offers an opportunity to see how areas of central Florida looked when the Timucuan Indians speared fish in the spring-fed creeks and stalked the uplands. The park offers swimming, canoeing, hiking, bicycle trails and picnic areas. Directions: Head northward from downtown Orlando on I-4 East for approx 6 miles and exit 49 west on Sanlando Rd. Make a right at Wekiwa Springs rd and follow the signs.
Ripley's Believe it or Not! An exhibition of the unbelievable, the inexplicable and one-of-a-kind artifacts, some of them downright amusing. Located on International Dr 2 blocks south of Sand Lake Rd.
A World of Orchids Climate-controlled indoor rainforest garden showcasing exquisite flowering orchids from around the globe. Multifunction rental areas. Nature walk.
Harry P. Leu Gardens 50 acre estate famous for its camellias and roses. A wonderful way to spend a couple of relaxing hours away from the busy city.


Golf Courses There are many golf courses located within a few minutes drive of our home. Among the closest are Hunters Creek (, Kissimmee Bay (, Remington (, and the St Cloud Golf Club ( Others are Grande Pines (, Celebration Golf Club (, and the Greg Norman designed Champions Gate ( 


Further Afield  
Kennedy Space Centre The only place on earth where you can tour launch areas, meet an astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators and see a real life Space Shuttle (Atlantis). The sheer size of some of the exhibits and the Vehicle Assembly Building will leave you breathless!
Busch Gardens This park is a mix of big thrill rides and a zoo. Some of Florida's largest roller coasters are to be found here, including the inverted 'coaster Montu, the double spiral corkscrew Python , and Gwazi a double wooden 'coaster. There are also more leisurely rides  and attractions that the whole family can enjoy, for example the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
Silver Springs The home of the world famous Glass Bottom Boats plus Jungle Cruise, Jeep Safari, Panther Prowl, major concerts and live animal shows.
Beaches The beautiful white sand beaches of Clearwater and St. Pete's are just over an hour's drive away on the West coast, lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Or an hour away to the East you have the Atlantic beaches of the Gold coast.
Historic Bok Sanctuary Historic gardens and bell tower located in Lake Wales.
LegoLand Florida New! In the previous site of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, approximately 45 minutes southwest of Orlando.


International Drive A multitude of stores selling anything from T-shirts to electronics.
Pointe Orlando An open-air shopping, dining and entertainment complex. (9101 International Drive).
Premium Outlets - International At the north end of International Drive this is a shopping opportunity not to be missed! Many designers and famous brand stores have outlets here offering large discounts over high street prices. Names include Nike, Addidas, Under Armour, Reebok, Calvin Klein.
Festival Bay Mall At the north end of International Drive. Various shops and entertainment venues including a cinema and (coming soon) Ron Jon Surf Park.
Florida Mall Located at the junction of Sand Lake Rd and Orange Blossom Trail, this mall contains around 200 shops and is anchored by Macys, Dillard's, JC Penney, and Sears.
Sports Authority (Various locations). Stockists of sportswear and gear for all the sports you can think of - and then some!
Mercado This Spanish styled area contains shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Located on International Drive.
Premium Outlets - Vineland Located at exit 68 of I-4 on Vineland. Many well known names have outlets here including Banana Republic, Sunglass Hut, DKNY, Adidas, French Connection, OshKosh B'Gosh, Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike to name a few.
Disney Springs Featuring the world's largest Disney store and many other specialty shops and restaurants.
Plaza Del Sol 3831 West Vine Street, Kissimmee. Various shops and a food court.
Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets Located on SR535. More well known names such as Gap, Nike, Eddie Bauer, Under Armour, Lindt.
The Loop Just up the road on the junction of Osceola Parkway and John Young Parkway. Restaurants, shops and a cinema.
Mall at Millenia Over 150 stores including high-end fashion such as Gucci, Chanel, and Jimmy Choo, plus many favourites. Anchored by Macy's, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Several restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's China Bistro.


Places to Eat  
The Cheesecake Factory Located in the Mall at Millenia this restaurant offers much more than just cheesecake. The huge menu includes soups, pastas, salads, steaks, seafood and of course over 30 flavours of cheesecake!
Portobello Located in Downtown Disney. Italian cuisine featuring pasta, seafood, chicken and pizza.
Anywhere in Celebration! There are several restaurants located in Celebration. We haven't found a bad one yet! We particularly like Thai Thani and Celebration Town Tavern.
Red Lobster Located all over the Orlando area. The nearest one is 4010 West Vine Street (US 192). Just across from the Osceola Square Mall.
KFC Located all over the Orlando area. The nearest one is 1907 W Irlo Bronson Highway (US 192). Approx 1.5 miles. Exit left from Venetian Bay, left on 192. Located just past Thacker Ave.
California Grill Located in Disney's Contemporary Resort Hotel. Located on the top floor of the hotel with a panoramic view over the Magic Kingdom fireworks display. Reservations essential.
Texas de Brazil On International Drive opposite the Festival Bay Mall. Churrascaria - Brazilian Steak House. All you can eat salad bar, continuous servings of various meat dishes carved at your table. Reservations recommended.
Smokey Bones At junction of US 192 and SR 535. BBQ ribs etc. Casual dining with sports TVs.
Seasons 52 Healthy dining choices. At junction of Sand Lake and Dr. Phillips. Reservations recommended.
Olive Garden Italian cuisine. Located all over the Orlando area. The nearest one is next to Best Buy on Osceola Parkway just opposite The Loop.
Pei Wei Asian diner. Operated by PF Changs. Casual Eat-in and take-out. Located at The Loop West.
BoneFish Grill Seafood restaurant. Located at The Loop West. Try the signature Bang Bang Shrimp!
BJ's Brewhouse Casual dining plus their own brewery beer list. Sports screens. Located at The Loop West. Try the Berry Burst cider.
Thai Thani 2 locations in the Orlando area. One near Sea World on International Drive, and the other in Celebration. The International Drive location has authentic Thai decor, the Celebration location is more contemporary decor. (We like the atmosphere of the first one).



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