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Things to Do in Orlando


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Orlando in Florida is home to the best tourist attractions in the world. Walt Disney World has pulled in the crowds since opening in 1971. Despite it sounding like one park it is actually made up of four different theme parks and two water parks covering an area of over 25,000 acres! It is huge! The parks are the famous, Magic Kingdom - home to Mickey Mouse, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

When you have done Disney, there are the amazing rides that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have to offer. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman at Islands of Adventure is a breathtaking 3D ride which blew my four year old away.

A visit to Orlando would not be complete without a trip to SeaWorld, home to Shamu, an enormous killer whale. The Clyde and Seymour show is really funny with the animal actors, a Sea Lion and otter, amusing thousands of people several times a day. The penguin enclosure is a real experience as they are all in the snow and get to watch you travel on by on a moving walk way.

SeaWorld is owned by Anheuser - Busch, so don't forget to pick up a Budweiser , Miller Lite, etc on the house. The hospitality suite is marked on the park map! You can get another couple of free beers when you travel to Busch Gardens on the West Coast at Tampa. It is well worth a trip as the crowds are smaller and the roller coasters are still out of this world. Most of the park is like a large safari with a train ride through the middle. Whilst on the West Coast you could visit Salvador Dali's Museum in St. Petersburg. Another good place to visit on that side of Florida is Clearwater beach for lovely sand and warm Gulf waters.

You might be lucky enough to visit Florida when there is a shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center. If not it is still as really interesting place to visit, about an hours drive from Orlando on Florida's East Coast. Whilst over there you might like to check out Cocoa Beach and jump the big Atlantic rollers!

For some more unusual Orlando Tourist Attractions you might like to visit Wonderworks on International Drive, this interactive place with virtual earthquake and twister experiences is a great place to while away a couple of hours, particularly if there is a tropical shower as it is all under cover. Also Ripley's Believe it Or Not is a really great place to go, thoroughly entertaining weird and wonderful collection of exhibits and things to do.

After a meal out in Orlando, you could challenge your friends and family to a crazy golf tournament, some of these are the best in the world. I particularly enjoyed Pirate's Cove on international drive and Congo River on the 192. The crazy golf gets lit up at night and the lush landscaping and waterfalls are beautiful.

On a nice hot day head off to Wet n’ Wild and go crazy on the slides, this park does not cater to young children as well as Disney's waterparks. Talking of water parks, the newest one in town is Aquatica by SeaWorld (literally next door to Seaworld on international drive) where wildlife meet wild slides. Take the dolphin plunge and rocket through the dolphin pool. To actually swim with dolphins you need to go to Discovery Cove, which is part of SeaWorld.

*Coming soon*
Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios, Harry Potter fans had better hold on to their wizards hats as it doesn't open until 2009.

2010 will see the Great Orlando Wheel being ready for flights - a bit like the London Eye in England.

As per usual there is so much to do and never enough time to do it all! But that is one of the appeals of Orlando Tourist Attractions. I sure as hell can't wait to go back and Aquatica is top of my “must do list"!

Claire Taylor


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