Visit Orlando Blog - Sports, Recreation & Outdoors
Eat (and drink) around the globe at Epcot's World Showcase
Just because you're honeymooning in Orlando doesn't mean you can't have an international experience. You'll feel like a world traveler after a few laps around Epcot's World Showcase where eleven pavilions representing everywhere from Italy to Japan will take you on a cultural and epicurean escapade. Sample crepes in France, cheese empanadas in Mexico, then wash down a bratwurst sausage with a stein of beer at an authentic ‘biergarten' in Germany.
Discovery Cove Romance Package
Thanks to an all-inclusive and interactive experience minus the crowds, a day at Discovery Cove is always romantic, but you can up the love factor by booking a private cabana for an extra fee. Complete with table and chairs, chaise lounges, and towels, the cabanas provide an intimate place to hang out when you're not snorkeling, dining, and coming face to face with dolphins.
Town of Celebration
Pleasantville literally came to life in 1996 with the creation of the Town of Celebration, an ideal locale for a little shopping, drinks, lakeside strolls, dinner, and maybe a movie, if you can squeeze it all in. Wandering through this quaint little slice of Americana is fine by foot, but a better option is by horse-drawn carriage, available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 6pm - 10pm.
Ritz -Carlton Spa
Located on the property of the palatial Grande Lakes Orlando, the 40,000 square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa is Orlando's grandest spa and a favorite amongst couples seeking a daylong spa getaway. In between dips in the 4,000-square foot adults-only pool and naps in the co-ed relaxation room, couple can indulge in a long list of treatments, including couples massages.
Victoria and Albert's
If you're looking for an ultra-swanky way to toast your nuptials, look no further than Victoria and Albert's, arguably Orlando's most lavish (and expensive) dining experience. You'll need to dress for the occasion (men need a dinner jacket) but it's fitting since this upscale eatery is known for a white-gloved service that makes guests feel like royalty. Be forewarned; reservations typically need to be made months in advance.
Winter Park Day Trip
With its brick-lined boulevard housing more than 140 luxury boutiques and posh eateries, Winter Park's Park Avenue has well deserved its nickname as the Rodeo Drive of Florida. This quaint, upscale neighborhood north of downtown Orlando is the ideal locale for gourmet cheese shops, spice boutiques, croissant cafes, wine bars, and some of the Orlando area's most celebrated restaurants. Be sure to check out the Scenic Boat Tour, a one-hour, 12-mile float via pontoon boat through Winter Park's pristine lakes and canals.
Definitely catch the fireworks display at all the theme parks, but for an unforgettable vantage point, hop on board Mauiva Air Tours' fireworks flight, a 30-minute trip over the theme parks' fireworks displays followed by a candlelit wine and cheese rendezvous for two on the tarmac.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.
Even on a rainy day Orlando makes guests smile! Here's a quick list of indoor activities in Orlando:
IMAX Theater at Pointe Orlando
Tell us in the comments below, what's your favorite indoor attraction in Orlando? And, to check out more things to do in Orlando, click here.
Straight from the Harry Potter books and films, the Quidditch World Cup held in Central Florida. "Rugby, soccer with your hands, dodge ball with a little bit of tag in the mix..." and of course broomstick and a bludger. Travel writer Sarah Sekula and videographer Ken Lopez covered the games and conjured this action-packed video.
Ken Lopez is an editorial and commercial photographer and videographer based in Orlando. Follow him @KenLopezPhoto on Twitter.
KINGS Bowl Orlando has opened in the "I-Drive Live" project on International Drive. The newest addition to International Drive's entertainment options offers 22 ten pin bowling lanes, four full size billiard tables, more than 60 giant HDTV's and HD projectors and amazing award-winning food. Families with children are welcome by day; at 6 p.m., general public admission moves to age 21 and older.
To know more about Kings Bowl Orlando visit kingsorlando.com
With its fairy tale castles and towering palm trees, there really is something magical about Orlando. Maybe that's why couples from across the globe have chosen it as their favorite destination for honeymoons, anniversary trips, and romantic getaways. If you've come here to woo your boo, you've arrived in the right place.
Photo Credit: Kristen Manieri
1. Lake Eola Swan Boats
A couple of hours can easily drift away while strolling around Lake Eola Park and watching the white and black swans paddling across the lake, but the ideal vantage point of this 43-acre urban park and its iconic fountain is from your very own swan boat. For $15 per half hour, you can rent these paddleboats from the swan dock located across from Relax Grill until 7pm Sunday - Tuesdays, and until 10pm Wednesdays - Saturdays. Reservations are not required.
2. The Great Outdoors
With no lack of sunshine or green spaces, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying some quality time outdoors at Central Florida's city and state parks. Think about renting a canoe at Wekiwa Springs, a tranquil and untouched state park north of Orlando where a beautiful spring and river give couples the option for swimming and kayaking. Or perhaps rent some bikes and head for a ride along the West Orange Trail.
3. Leu Gardens
As one of Orlando's most underappreciated urban gems, it's a shame more Orlando visitors don't carve out a few hours to visit Harry P. Leu Gardens, the 50-acre botanical sanctuary situated just north of downtown Orlando. With its winding paths meandering through rose gardens, bamboo forests, and under towering live oaks mirrored in Lake Rowena, it is one of the prettiest places to visit in Central Florida. And besides being a place for strolling and picnicking, the garden also hosts an outdoor movie screening on the first Friday of most months.
Check out Central Florida's skies with a visit to the Planetarium at Seminole State College, featuring weekly interactive shows that bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. Cost per person is typically $6. At the Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center, budding astronomers attend skywatching events scheduled on weekend evenings throughout the fall and winter months when the night's sky is at its clearest and distant clusters are most visible.
5. Ritz-Carlton Spa
At 40,000 square feet, the Ritz-Carlton Spa on the 500-acre Grande Lakes property is not only Orlando's largest spa, it's also the most popular. A self-proclaimed "oasis of pampering," the spa houses 40 treatment rooms, a co-ed conservatory, two VIP suites, a 6,000 square-foot wellness center and a full service beauty salon. Private locker room feature private Jacuzzis, saunas, and eucalyptus infused steam rooms but the prized perk for couples is the 4,000 square-foot heated outdoor lap pool and hot tub surrounded by cozy loungers that beckon them to order a smoothie and lounge the day away in the sun.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.
Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.
Disney Springs will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments. Disney will share more details on specific experiences coming to Disney Springs in the future. Construction is slated to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. Disney Springs is expected to be complete in 2016.
The big game is almost here and Orlando has you covered! Watch the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens battle for Super Bowl glory at any of these Orlando hot spot and you won't miss a thing. Nothing says Super Bowl like game day fare, drinks by the bucket and some friendly rivalry!
The newest addition to the entertainment options at Downtown Disney will be broadcasting the Super Bowl in a 50,000 square-foot bowling and dining complex with a unique interior design that blends both hip and retro elements. They're throwing a Clean the World Super Bowling Party and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Clean the World, a non-profit organization that saves lives around the world with recycled hotel soap.
Head towards the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort's Back Bay Pool Bar & Grill and enjoy $3 chips and salsa, $9 nachos (chili and cheese), $10 buffalo wings, $5 chili cheese fries and 5 for $15 buckets of assorted beers.
Game time at Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center is much more than 80lanes of bowling or glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Enjoy the Super Bowl excitement with $4 Domestic Pitchers and $7 One Topping Large Pizzas during Game Time.
The Pub Orlando will take a brief intermission from soccer to broadcast the Super Bowl on their flat screens TV. Enjoy the all American sporting event in a genuine British pub atmosphere.
From 5pm on game day, until the end of the game, Miller's Ale House on International Drive is offering an All You Can Eat Buffet featuring hoagies, wings, pastas, snow crabs and more! There will also be an All You Can Drink Open Bar all for $50 per person.
Watch the big game indoors or outdoors with the Super Bowl Package which includes Buffet, Open Bar, Beer, Wine, Assorted Liquors for $60 per person. Tax and gratuity not included.
Score a touchdown at this sports bar pub and restaurant located on International Drive. VIP packages are available for a table for 2 ($49) or a table for 4 ($99).
The Super Block Party on Wall St. Plaza in Downtown Orlando takes you all the way to the endzone with a 15 foot LED screen and prizes every quarter! And if you're looking for a rewarding deal, for a limited time, residents of both Maryland and California will receive a complimentary third night at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin when booking two nights at our best rates by February 28, 2013 for stays through February 1, 2014. To book now call (888) 828-8850 and mention promo code RAVENS or 49ERS.
We've got exciting news for arena football fans! ArenaBowl XXVI comes to the Amway Center in Orlando this August 17 at 1:00 p.m. ArenaBowl is the AFL's annual Championship game pitting the winner of the American Conference versus the winner of the National Conference and will air live on CBS.
This year's ArenaBowl is expected to be the best championship game yet with the broadcast returning to CBS, the nation's most watched network. But wait, there's more! KISS will hit the stage on the eve of the ArenaBowl. With this performance the renowned band will kick off their Monster World Tour. Good to know the first "stop" is Orlando!
For more information about the Arena Football League, our own Orlando Predators and to purchase tickets, go to visitorlando.com/arenabowl
Thinking about visiting Orlando for the Thanksgiving holiday? You'll be thankful you did. Whether you're looking for an intimate dinner for two or celebrating with the whole family, we're bringing you Orlando's most scrumptious restaurants and luxurious hotels that are offering Thanksgiving dining options where there's something for everyone!
Getting off to an early start is Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, celebrating early Thanksgiving on Monday, Nov. 19th with a Lobster Dinner! Thanksgiving Dinner at Primo by Melissa Kelly is using only the finest Fall Harvest organic ingredients! deep blu seafood grille is hosting the Tesoro Cove Thanksgiving Day Grand Buffet. The Columbia Restaurant in Downtown Celebration is open for Thanksgiving and there's a Thanksgiving Celebration at Citron.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is hosting "A Celebration of the First Thanksgiving Feast!" a brand new Thanksgiving event in 2012. This Thanksgiving buffet includes live entertainment, Pilgrims and Indians, storytelling, and face painting for all ages. Gaylord Palms Hotel offers a Thanksgiving Day Buffet from Noon- 9 p.m. Spencer's for Steaks and Chops at The Hilton Orlando has a great Thanksgiving Dinner menu for the evening and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is offering special Thanksgiving Day menus for four of its top restaurants.
The Rosen Plaza, Rosen Centre and Rosen Shingle Creek will host their superb Thanksgiving Buffets which are not to be missed. Thanksgiving Brunch is offered at Capriccio Grill at The Peabody Orlando from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brunch is priced at $65 for adults and $25 for children from six to 12 years old. Check out the menu and call 407.345.4570 for reservations.
If you're looking to give thanks by taking in the sites and visiting some fun attractions we have an updated list of deals for accommodations and attractions this fall season!
Hundreds of vehicles will be showcased during the 2012 Central Florida International Auto Show during Thanksgiving weekend. The 23rd Annual Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving tradition in downtown Orlando that is a must-see! At Dinosaur World grandparents receive a free admission with a fully paid child admission the first 3 Sundays in November (4th, 11th, 18th) at Dinosaur World. Looking to celebrate thanksgiving out in the wild? Get admission to Wild Florida's Wildlife Park and BBQ lunch for only $12 adult and $10 kids! Lunch includes choice of smoked chicken, pulled pork, hamburger or hot dog basket meals.
Not too far from Orlando, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is having a Hot 101.5 Pool Party on Thanksgiving Eve. The Comfort Suites Maingate East has a special Florida Resident rate starting at $67.99 on Thanksgiving weekend. The Orlando Premium Outlets - Vineland Ave and Caribe Royale are offering an awesome Thanksgiving Shop & Dine Package definitely worth checking out. The CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort is offering a special Thanksgiving rate with great add-ons. This offer can be booked by calling 407-351-2626 or online by entering promo code: THANKS.
We all love Orlando's theme parks, but if you are visiting Orlando for a week or longer, you may want to get away from roller coasters for a day or more. If you are visiting Orlando for a week or longer, you may want to get away from roller coasters and lines for a day or more. You and your kids might learn something new too! Here are eight places local families love:
The Green Meadows Petting Farm is a people-friendly animal farm where piglets, chicks, ponies and other critters share their scenic, sprawling home with all who enter. Here's your chance to milk a cow, cuddle a chick or go on a hay ride. A guided tour includes fun in the pigpen; a chance to milk a cow; pony rides, hay rides and train rides; chick cuddling and more one-on-one with farm animals.
Kids won't want to leave when they can watch baby alligators, turtles and snakes at NatureWorks, unearth dinosaur fossils and replicas at DinoDigs and farming faux oranges and fix cars in the pint-sized KidsTown. A new StarWars exhibit opened and will run until April 7, 2013.
Every winter, endangered Florida manatees flock to the warm Blue Spring waters and park rangers keep track of them so well they can tell children who's who. Here's the place to learn all about the endangered manatees, have a picnic and go on a hike.
Here's your chance to see what it feels like to be in an earthquake, ride a (virtual) glider about the Grand Canyon and play a keyboard with your feet. LazerWorks on the third floor offers super-sized laser-tag fun. Kids will also love the he all-you-can eat pizza at the The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, which is presented twice each evening (separate ticket required).
They're loud, fast and race you through swamps and across lakes, past turtles, native birds and even alligators. Kids and parents love jet-engine powered airboat rides.
Ready to go horseback riding? You can also opt for a swamp buggy through this nature preserve's nine ecosystems. You might even spy an endangered Florida panther. The Zipline Experience (height req. 55'/140 cm), Florida's first zipline, takes guests on a treetop nature tour reaching heights of 55 feet (16.8 meters) and speeds up to 20 mph (32.2 kph). Check out the Cypress Canopy Cycle-- reclining bicycles suspended from a network of high-tension cables, 25 feet (7.6 meters) above the ground and over the spectacular ecosystem.
Ready to go to outer space? The Shuttle Launch Experience lets kids experience what it's really like. Stand beneath the 36-story Saturn V moon rocket and walk through re-creations of modules used as part of the International Space Station. IMAX films offer in-your-face, outer-space experiences; and astronauts who have completed missions make daily appearances to answer visitor questions.
Orlando Grand Prix offers teens the experience of kart racing in a fully air conditioned indoor environment with electric Italian pro-karts that reach speeds of up to 50 mph (80km/h).
This special post was written by syndicated travel writer and mom, Eileen Ogintz. To read more family travel tips from Eileen, visit takingthekids.com.