Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
When it comes to filling your vacation itinerary, Orlando offers no shortage of things to do. For starters, we’re not known as the Theme Park Capital of the World for nothing, being home to eight wildly popular theme parks, including those at Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. But did you know that we also have a vast range of attractions and recreational activities beyond the theme parks?
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To guide you, we’ve compiled a list of Orlando’s top outdoor and indoor attractions, as well as dining experiences that qualify as attractions in their own right. Because we know you’re going to want to spend time at our theme parks … but we wouldn’t want you to think they’re the only reason to visit Orlando!
Outdoor Attractions & Activities in Orlando
The opportunities for outdoor fun in and around Orlando are endless, including ziplining, airboat rides, animal encounters and much more. For additional information on these and other outdoor experiences, visit our Attractions, Golf, EcoTourism, and Sports pages.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Located in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World, this attraction invites you to glide across the headwaters of the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 40 mph aboard six-passenger airboats that have been inspected and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. During the 45-minute tour, you’ll encounter areas untouched by man and see a wide range of exotic wildlife. Night expeditions, which last an hour, are also available.
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Bok Tower Gardens
Just 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, this is one of Florida’s first attractions and best-kept secrets. The National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1929 as a gift of gratitude from Edward Bok, a humanitarian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and world peace advocate. Bok Tower Gardens’ nearly 700 acres of citrus groves, woodland gardens, nature trails, conservation lands and endangered plants are the perfect setting for visitors to explore breathtaking sights throughout the year.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Nestled in lush, tropical foliage, the Central Florida Zoo is home to 23 acres of native gardens and more than 500 animals. It also features an insect zoo, a reptile house, a children’s area with animals you can feed and pet, a splash playground, and Seminole Aerial Adventures. The zoo is located in Sanford, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.
Crystal River Watersports
On Florida’s west coast, opt for a three-hour “Swimming With Manatees” tour or a 90-minute “Eco Tour,” with the chance to see otters, dolphins, wild pigs, gators and, of course, manatees. This attraction also offers SCUBA training and fresh-water dive tours.
Fun Spot America Theme Parks
Fun Spot America is Central Florida’s only family-owned theme park, and it has two locations: International Drive in Orlando and Kissimmee near Walt Disney World. Both provide the same level of fun, but they are distinct enough to allow for completely different experiences. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or someone who prefers the lights and sounds of an arcade, these parks offer plenty of excitement for the entire family, including multi-level go-kart tracks and Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster.
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Have you ever fed a giraffe? At this attraction in Dade City, about an hour from Walt Disney World, you’ll get to know giraffes and other species from around the world, all in a setting that seems right out of Africa with huge live oaks and open grasslands. Offering tours exclusively by reservation, it’s on 47 acres of countryside adjoining Florida’s second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp, complete with native orchids, lush pastures and rolling wetlands.
Situated on more than 100 acres, one of Orlando’s oldest attractions provides affordably priced family fun. See thousands of alligators and crocodiles, along with an aviary, a breeding marsh with observation tower, Florida panthers, a petting zoo, and a splash pad for younger visitors. The park also offers one-of-a-kind reptilian exhibitions, including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo and special up-close encounters. Last but not least, get even more thrills from your visit with the separate-ticketed Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.
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Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk
At Universal CityWalk, play two state-of-the-art, 18-hole courses that pay homage to creature classics of yesteryear: “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens,” based on vintage horror, and “Invaders From Planet Putt,” focusing on “little green men”-style science fiction.
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Kissimmee Swamp Tours
Offering 60- and 90-minute airboat rides through the pristine headwaters of the Florida Everglades, this attraction offers unique adventures in the great outdoors. They’re located minutes from Walt Disney World.
Orlando Balloon Rides
Go up — way up — and away with the Orlando area’s premier balloon ride operator. Float gently across the Orlando skyline as you enjoy the world’s oldest and safest form of flight while checking something memorable off your bucket list. Flights start just a short distance from Walt Disney World.
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Practice your best Tarzan yell before heading to this attraction, which is located near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. It features 97 challenges for climbers of every skill level, including swings, nets, ropes, a trapeze and other ways to show off. Safety is never an issue, either, as you’ll be securely clipped to a safety cable, and all guests receive a safety demonstration from trained instructors.
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An off-road motor and fishing venue set in 230 acres of Florida countryside, this attraction is close to all major tourist attractions. You’re invited to jump in the driver’s seat for the guided adventure of a lifetime on all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies or even ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Revolution also offers bass fishing on its private lake, as well as archery lessons and clay shooting. Plus, all equipment is included.
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Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides
Glide through a beautiful, natural paradise of swamps, marshes and incredible wildlife, all close to Walt Disney World. This operator uses small, six-passenger boats for an intimate experience, and private airboat rides are also available.
Wild Florida Airboats, Gator Park & Drive-Thru Safari
Travel deep into 4,200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. On your journey, you’ll get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants that can be found in the area’s beautiful wetlands. What’s more, airboat tickets include complimentary admission to the wildlife park and a hands-on gator demonstration. And now, you can drive a car through their Safari Park for a self-guided tour with more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife!
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Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Take a relaxing, narrated, one-hour cruise through the gorgeous waterways of Winter Park, about 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando. Along the way, you’ll see Rollins College, Kraft Azalea Gardens, Winter Park’s Isle of Sicily, multimillion-dollar mansions and an abundance of wildlife.
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Indoor Attractions in Orlando
Looking for an indoor activity during your stay in Orlando? No problem! We have indoor attractions for all ages and interests — from making your own Crayola crayon or indoor skydiving, to experiencing an upside-down “amusement park for the mind” or putting pedal to the metal on high-speed go-karts. Visit our Attractions page for even more ideas on ways to have indoor fun in Orlando.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Race with a legend at the only indoor karting experience endorsed by Mario Andretti! Adjacent to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center, this 150,000-square-foot facility features multi-level indoor karting, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, more than 120 arcade and prize games, two-story laser tag, six virtual-reality racing simulators, a motion theater, and an extreme ropes course with a curved-rail zipline, as well as a full-service restaurant and bars.
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Classic arcade and prize games take center stage at this attraction, one of many fun experiences at ICON Park™ on International Drive.
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BATL Backyard Axe Throwing League
No questions “axed” at this downtown Orlando attraction, which features multiple axe-throwing lanes, expert coaching, and delicious food and drinks. Bullseye!
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Chocolate Kingdom: Interactive Factory Adventure Tour
This interactive journey near International Drive reveals how chocolate transforms from the bean into a creamy, dreamy treat. Guided by a prince and his dragon sidekick, you’ll go through the attraction’s Cacao Tree Greenhouse, Chocolate Museum, Mystical River of Chocolate and Bean-to-the-Bar Factory, which uses old-world machinery. You’ll even have the chance to create a customized chocolate bar!
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Enjoy a full day of creative play and colorful fun with more than two dozen hands-on activities at this family-friendly attraction, located at The Florida Mall®. Covering two stories and 70,000 square feet, Crayola Experience invites you to name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, and learn how crayons are made in a fun live show. You can also sculpt colorful creations at the Crayola Model Magic compound, watch as your digital art comes to life on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
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Drive Shack Orlando
Just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport, Drive Shack invites golfers of every age and skill level — as well as people who have never picked up a club — to experience an all-new take on golf. Instead of worrying about pars, birdies or holes-in-one, you’ll play fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, or Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. And it’s all complemented with gourmet food and beverage options.
The Escape Game Orlando
Located in the heart of I-Drive, and rated as Orlando’s No. 1 escape room by TripAdvisor, The Escape Game offers immersive, 60-minute adventures that bring epic stories to life in a one-of-a-kind tactile experience. You and your team will work together to find clues, overcome challenges and ultimately complete a mission. Escaping will require teamwork, communication, wits, a sense of adventure and more importantly: you!
At this International Drive attraction, you and up to seven companions race against the clock to find clues, solve puzzles and escape inside of 60 minutes. Scenarios include Antidote, Budapest Express, Cuban Crisis, 7 Deadly Sins, Mansion Murder, Narco and Under Pressure.
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Rain or shine, racing excitement is always guaranteed at this indoor attraction on International Drive. In addition to state-of-the-art electric race karts, I-Drive NASCAR has an arcade with more than 60 games, a four-lane bowling alley, three pool tables, and a full bar and restaurant offering 180-degree views of the action.
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iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving
If you’ve always wanted to experience skydiving but aren’t too keen on the whole “jumping out of a plane” aspect, head to this attraction on International Drive. There’s no parachute and no jumping. Instead, you’ll float on a cushion of air thanks to iFLY’s innovative wind-tunnel technology. It’s safe for guests as young as 3, and you’ll be guided by a personal flight instructor.
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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Head to Florida’s east coast, about an hour from downtown Orlando, to explore the past, present and future of space travel without ever leaving earth. Admission nets you the chance to see Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Saturn V moon rocket, plus a wealth of other artifacts, replicas and displays, but the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also experience Heroes & Legend, an immersive experience where the stories of NASA’s pioneering astronauts come to life, plus other features.
Kings Dining & Entertainment
This is the perfect place to bowl, eat and lounge in a comfortable, fun and luxurious environment. Located at Vue at ICON Park on International Drive, it features 22 bowling lanes, billiards, ping pong and even bocce ball, plus two premium bars serving innovative cocktails. It also boasts a chef-designed menu centered around fresh takes on American classics.
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Machine Gun America
Feel the power of automatic armaments and other exotic guns at this unique attraction in Kissimmee. Choose from an array of guns, ranging from World War II to the modern era, in a state-of-the-art facility with ample safety measures and trained, specialized staff to keep you secure.
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Madame Tussauds Orlando
Orlando’s chapter of this world-renowned attraction is part of ICON Park on International Drive. Here, you can see lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture and history. And now, you can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes, an all-new exhibit featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League!
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Main Event Orlando
Eat, bowl and play with state-of-the-art bowling, virtual and interactive games, billiards, a high-ropes adventure course, 61 HDTVs, and chef-driven dining, all in a 50,000-square-foot facility. Main Event also boasts the first-ever, free-roam, multiplayer, virtual-reality game! It’s part of the Pointe Orlando dining, entertainment and shopping hub on International Drive.
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NBA Experience at Disney Springs®
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting scouted, throwing down a monster jam or hitting a game-winning jumper, you can live out all your NBA fantasies at this Disney Springs attraction! It features 13 separate activities that combine NBA action with Disney theme park magic, ensuring fun for the whole family.
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Towering 450 feet over I-Drive — 50 feet taller than its neighbor, The Wheel — this ICON Park attraction is the world’s tallest swing ride. Climb aboard to enjoy speeds of up to 60 mph from 425 feet in the air … if you dare!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Don’t be fooled by this International Drive attraction’s outward appearance: It’s not really falling into a sinkhole! It’s just one of many odd and unbelievable sights, sounds and experiences at the 10,000-square-foot venue. Inside, the whole family can enjoy fascinating, interactive exhibits and explore an impressive variety of artifacts and displays in 16 unique galleries. And the self-guided, self-paced tour means you’ll have plenty of time to see it all.
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SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
Dive deep into an underwater world of wonder at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, part of ICON Park. Soak up incredible views from Orlando’s only 360-degree underwater tunnel, where sharks and rays swim overhead, and gaze at breathtaking creatures as you walk through themed habitats. It also features a special play area for younger guests.
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Love golf? Never played it? Either way, you’ll have a blast at Topgolf, which is adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center in the International Drive area. Featuring a fun take on the game that uses a scoring system similar to bowling or darts, the venue also has an impressive food and drink menu. What’s more, all of the attraction’s 102 climate-controlled driving bays have HDTVs and music selection.
The Wheel at ICON Park™
Technically speaking, this attraction — formerly known as the Orlando Eye — is outdoors, but you’ll experience it in climate-controlled comfort aboard one of the roomy, WiFi-enabled capsules. Towering over International Drive, the 400-foot-tall observation wheel will give you an unbeatable view of Orlando. It’s the centerpiece of the ICON Park entertainment and dining complex.
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The original “indoor amusement park for the mind” melds education and entertainment into more than 100 hands-on exhibits for all ages. Features include six interactive “Wonder Zones” based on a range of themes, as well as laser tag, a three-story ropes challenge course and the XD Theater 4D Motion Ride. Also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, you’ll find it in the famous upside down building that’s part of Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
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Experience the next generation of virtual-reality adventures at this Disney Springs attraction. Choose from two ultra-immersive storylines: Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire, set in the famous galaxy far, far away, and Ralph Breaks VR, which teams you with the star of Wreck-It Ralph.
VR Territory Orlando
This virtual-reality arcade on International Drive boasts more than 30 games and experiences. Options include multi-player games, solo experiences, and even a VR escape room for two to four players.
Unique Dining Entertainment in Orlando
With more than 5,000 restaurants to choose from, Orlando offers a complete range of culinary options, stretching from gourmet food trucks to the very best in fine dining. What’s more, we’re home to several unique restaurants where you can combine high-quality fare with unforgettable entertainment, including these standouts!
Capone’s Dinner & Show
Knock three times, give the secret password and discover the era of mobsters, dames and prohibition at this dinner attraction near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. The one-of-a-kind speakeasy and cabaret features singing, dancing, sensational costumes, standup comedy, romance and goofy gangster action, plus lots of audience participation.
Mango’s Tropical Café
Located in the heart of International Drive, Mango’s offers a lavish dining experience like no other. Watch in wonder as the world-famous Mango’s Dancers perform on an Italian glass mosaic after walking past an amazing terrazzo mural. Outdoor covered patio spaces include a sidewalk café and a second-floor veranda, which are surrounded by the copper sculpture Mambo Bar, the mystical Samba Bar and the lovely Mermaid Bar.
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Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Orlando’s original dining entertainment experience presents a heart-pounding show that tells a tale of devotion, courage and love. Travel through the mist of time to an age where bold knights on spirited horses display the incredible athleticism and thrilling sword fights that have made Medieval Times one of America’s most popular dinner attractions. Housed in an actual castle, they’re located close to Walt Disney World in Kissimmee.
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The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
This hilarious show at WonderWorks in the Pointe Orlando complex combines high-energy comedy improvisation with spectacular magic to thoroughly entertain audiences of all ages. During the show, you will enjoy unlimited pizza, salad, dessert, beer, wine and soda. Reservations are required.
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Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
You are invited to step into a world of comedy, mystery and intrigue at Sleuths, located on International Drive and suitable for all ages. Mingle with unusual characters as you become the detective and solve the crime through a live interrogation where the action is fast and the laughter is contagious. Dinner includes hors d’oeuvres, a choice of entrée and dessert, as well as unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.