Best Things to Do in Orlando That Aren’t Theme Parks

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While I love theme parks just as much as the next person, sometimes we all want a change of pace. When Orlando comes to mind, I’m sure you think about some world-famous theme parks, like Walt Disney World. Orlando has so much more to offer besides theme parks. Here are a few of my suggestions to get you started.

If you’re looking for the perfect hotel in Orlando after thrilling days of sightseeing, I recommend staying on International Drive. Orlando hotels near International Drive are close to restaurants, shops, and entertainment. You can even get around town using the I-Ride Trolley. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up exploring a theme park or two after all. After all, you’ll be in Orlando, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks!

Image by Highlander411 via Flickr

Hot Air Balloon Ride

For a unique journey with memories to last a lifetime, try a hot air balloon ride to view Orlando from above. Companies like Orlando Balloon Rides allow you to float up and away. Admire scenery from a basket drifting across the sky. Flights generally last 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, and they take place just after sunrise. You can check off this bucket list adventure in Orlando. Don’t forget to pack your camera!

International Drive

International Drive, also known as I-Drive, is home to the city’s main tourist strip. There’s lots of shopping, restaurants, attractions, and more. While you will find a theme park or two here, you’ll also be able to check out the Orlando Eye (gigantic ferris wheel), the Orange County Convention Center complex, outlet stores, museums, and water parks.

Kennedy Space Center

Though the Kennedy Space Center is about an hour and a half outside of Orlando (in Cape Canaveral), it’s worth the drive, and you shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to go there. For adults and kids of all ages, the Kennedy Space Center delves deep into the history of space travel in the United States. You can watch rocket launches and embark on a tour of the facilities. Be sure to check out the exhibition on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it’s truly impressive.


Wonderworks is most recognized by its iconic upside-down building. The interactive exhibits at Wonderworks allow kids of all ages to learn while having fun. There are over 100 hands-on displays to spark imagination and challenge the mind. From natural disasters to space discovery, children will have an exciting day at this attraction.

Dinner Theater

Why settle for an ordinary restaurant when you can enjoy dinner and a show? Orlando has a vast amount of dinner theaters for all tastes, including an Arabian Nights show, a Medieval-themed act, and even an Al Capone dinner theater.

Indoor Skydiving

At iFly Orlando, you can feel as though you’re almost skydiving without even jumping from a plane! It’s safe for kids and adults and simulates the feeling of falling from the sky. For those who aren’t brave enough to go skydiving, or those who want to work up the nerve to give it a shot, indoor skydiving provides the perfect means for this.

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