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Orlando…Not Just Theme Parks!

by Leap on November 8, 2011

Believe it or not, there’s more to Orlando than Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Here are a few fun alternatives if you’re looking to venture beyond the theme parks and save a few bucks at the same time!

Orlando Science CenterDinoDigs Orlando Science Center

One of America’s top hands-on science centers, Orlando Science Center is home to hundreds of exhibits including interactive learning programs, labs, giant screen films and planetarium shows. KidsTown where children under 48” tall can explore their world in a town designed just for them, DinoDigs where guests become part of a paleontological excavation site, and Our Planet, Our Universe where guests will learn about the mysteries of space are just a few of the headlining exhibits.

Orlando Science Center is located about 10 miles from International Drive on 777 East Princeton Street. General admission is *$17 for adults and *$12 for children (ages 3-11). *Check Orlando Science Center for most updated admission prices.

Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art is home to numerous collections featuring masterpieces by American artists such as John James Audobon, Ansel Adams, John Singer Sargent, Andy Warhol and William H. Bailey. Orlando Museum of Art is just a short drive on I-4 from the major theme parks and attractions. Admission is *$8 for adults and *$5 for children (ages 4-17). *Check Orlando Museum of Art for most updated admission prices.


Known internationally as the “Alligator Capital of the World,” Gatorland is a fun, affordable, low-tech alternative to the major theme parks. Some of the exciting attractions include: The Gator Jumparoo Show where guests will see some of the world’s largest alligators jump four to five feet out of the water to retrieve food and Gator Wrestlin’ where guests can watch gator handlers catch a 6 to 8 foot alligator and point out survival features to the audience. There are also up-close encounters and petting opportunities. Gatorland is located 15-20 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort. Discount tickets are available from Undercover Tourist.

Miniature Golf

  • Explore giant waterfalls, rocky summits, mysterious caves and tropical rainforests as you play challenging miniature golf at Congo River Adventure Golf. With several locations throughout Orlando, this is a fun and convenient choice for an afternoon or evening outside the theme parks.
  • Pirate’s Cove, the Original Adventure Golf, will have you putting your way through the world of 18th century pirates. There are two locations, one in Lake Buena Vista and one on International Drive.

Dinner Showsmedieval-times

There are several great dinner shows in Orlando that combine live entertainment and dining at one reasonable price.

  • Arabian Nights features riders and acrobats performing with more than 60 horses, including Walter Farley’s Black Stallion. Discounted tickets are available from Undercover Tourist.
  • Medieval Times will take guests on journey back to the 11th century with knights on horseback participating in an authentic medieval tournament for the Battle of Champions. Buy discounted tickets.
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure is set aboard an authentically replicated 18th-century Spanish Galleon anchored in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon. Would-be pirates of all ages will become part of this epic and interactive pirate show. Discounted tickets are available from Undercover Tourist.


  • Harry P. Leu Gardens – This beautiful park is a local favorite and features a butterfly garden, one of the largest camellia collections in the United States, a museum and much more. Leu GBill Frederick Parkardens is just a short drive on I-4 from the major theme parks and attractions and very close to the Orlando Science Center and the Orlando Museum of Art.
  • Lake Eola Park – Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a great place for an afternoon stroll on a .9 mile sidewalk that circles the lake or a picnic lunch with a spectacular view of Orlando’s skyline.
  • Bill Frederick Park & Pool at Turkey Lake – Bill Frederick Park covers 178 acres and offers plenty of fun activities including a fishing pier, boat rentals, nature and walking trail, children’s farm and playground, and a swimming pool. The park is about 15 miles from Lake Buena Vista.

Do you have any ideas to add? Please share!

Happy Traveling,

Keep hopping, Leap!
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