30 Best Things to Do in Orlando

As someone who has visited Orlando dozens of times, I can confidently say that it is a treasure trove of fun activities and unforgettable experiences.

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Theme Park Packing Tip: A small backpack or fanny pack is essential for comfortably carrying items like a portable phone charger and a first aid kit. You don’t want your phone to die or let a blister go untreated. Either would put quite a damper on the rest of your day.

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Here are my top 30 things to do in Orlando, Florida, with many personal insights and tips:

1. Discover WonderWorks

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WonderWorks in Orlando is an absolute blast, making it a favorite spot for both fun and learning. Each time I visit, I’m amazed at the sheer creativity of the exhibits.

It’s not just a museum; it’s an adventure that challenges your mind and gives you a hands-on taste of science. From feeling the force of a hurricane to experiencing the challenges of landing a spaceship, it’s engaging on every level.

  • Location: 9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 5/5

Helpful Tip: Make sure to check out their evening events. They sometimes offer laser tag and ropes courses after dark, which adds a whole new dimension to the experience.

My personal favorite is the ‘Wonder at Night’ event, where you can explore the exhibits with fewer crowds and a more relaxed vibe. It’s the perfect way to cap off an exciting day in Orlando!

2. Explore Universal Studios

Universal Orlando Resort is home to three incredible theme parks:

  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Islands of Adventure
  • Volcano Bay.

Every park has its own theme and unique attractions.

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I adore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where I can immerse myself in the magical universe, ride thrilling attractions, and even sip on a Butterbeer.

Hotels in Universal Studio Resort (stay in the resort to save time)

Is the park-to-park ticket worth it? The park-to-park ticket allows you to roam between the three parks (see below) on the same day. You definitely should get it if you are a Harry Potter fan, as you need it to ride the Hogwarts Express.

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💡 Check out here if the ticket is worth it for you: Universal Orlando – Park-to-Park-Ticket

Additionally, some visitors always get the park-to-park ticket as they love to move around, especially if it’s too busy in one park. It simply gives you more flexibility.

Skip-the-line-ticket: Especially on weekends and during the busier months, we recommend the express/skip-the-line ticket, as you will expect higher crowds.

Three parks: Universal Studios is not just one park. There are a total of three Universal parks, each with its own theme and unique attractions:

  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Islands of Adventure
  • Volcano Bay Water Park

Downside (Queues/Food): It’s possible that you will spend two hours or even longer in a queue for the popular attractions. Additionally, queues for food/drink aren’t really any better and are clearly sold at a heavily inflated price. 

  • Location: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 5/5

Helpful Tip:  To avoid waiting in line for food and to save money, bring your own snacks and consider the refillable drink container they sell at the park.

3. Visit SeaWorld Orlando

When you are fascinated by marine life, SeaWorld Orlando is the perfect place to learn about and interact with these amazing creatures. The park combines thrilling rides, such as Mako and Kraken, with impressive live shows and unique animal encounters.

Make Reservations in Advance:
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5 tips for a perfect SeaWorld visit:

  1. Make reservations in advance: October is a slower month, but it’s still not fun waiting in a long line. Save time and money by purchasing (mobile or printed voucher) tickets in advance: Park Admission Ticket Reservation
  2. Pack a light sweater:  Animal exhibits and aquariums that are not outside can get quite chilly in the evenings. A sweater helps if you get cold easily.
  3. Arrive early at the shows: As the number of daily shows is limited, they often fill up quickly. In particular, the dolphin show, Dolphin Adventures, and Shamu’s close-up, Orca Encounter. Try to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before showtime, especially on weekends in October.
  4. Check the weather forecast: Check the forecast in the morning and prepare for your visit. Light rain showers are fine, as you can do many things indoors. Depending on the season, many outdoor shows close due to bad weather (rainstorms or lightning).
  5. Bring rain gear: You can get wet easily during one of the water rides or in the splash zone of the shows. We recommend bringing some rain gear or wearing clothes that dry quickly.

Need to know:

  • Location: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

4. Experience Gatorland

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Gatorland is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers a chance to get up close and personal with alligators and crocodiles. I particularly enjoyed the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, which allowed me to soar over the park and its reptilian inhabitants.

  • Location: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Visit during the morning hours when the gators are more active and feedings take place.

5. Explore ICON Park

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ICON Park is a fantastic entertainment complex, featuring The Wheel, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, and more. The Wheel is a must-do for me, as it provides breathtaking views of the city from 400 feet in the air.

  • Location: 8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Purchase a combo ticket to save money on multiple attractions within ICON Park.

6. Take an Airboat Ride

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One of my favorite adventures in Orlando is taking an airboat ride through the Central Florida Everglades. It’s an exhilarating experience, with the opportunity to spot alligators, eagles, and other native wildlife in their natural habitat.

  • Location: Multiple locations around Orlando
  • Price Range: $$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, but age and height restrictions may apply
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Wear sunscreen and bring a hat, as most airboats don’t provide much shade.

7. Visit Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom – Disney World Orlando

The Walt Disney World Resort is an iconic Orlando attraction that provides a magical experience for kids and adults alike. With four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs for shopping and dining, there’s always plenty to do. Although I’ve had a fantastic time during my visits, there have been a few minor issues, particularly considering the expenses involved.

The highlights:

  • Compared to other theme parks I also visited,  especially in the UK and Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World in Orlando is simply gigantic. The rides are outstanding, and everything is well-maintained and clean. The atmosphere beats any other theme park I’ve experienced.
  • Nowadays there are more negative reviews about the Disney staff’s behavior, but during my trip, the majority were extremely helpful, friendly, and engaging. The Animal Kingdom Safari tour staff and the Jungle Cruise guide were especially entertaining. The hotel complex staff were also pleasant and approachable.

The downsides

  • Although the rides were fantastic, at least for me, there were repeatedly technical issues with the main attractions. During our stay, we visited Hollywood Studios four times, and on each occasion, the Hollywood Tower of Terror was out of order.
  • The cost is staggering. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Many people within the resort booked an Uber to visit local shops for groceries. The expense for a family of four dining at the resort is eye-watering. While I expected a premium for a place like Disney, I wasn’t prepared for the extent of it.

Overall, it’s an experience everyone should try at least once in their lives! We’ve already decided to return in a few years, but we plan to stay off the resort in a villa and drive in each day to keep the excessive costs down.

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While Disney World features many attractions, including water parks and golf courses, its main attractions are the four theme parks:

  1. Magic Kingdom
  2. Animal Kingdom
  3. Hollywood Studios
  4. Epcot

Tickets: It’s essential these days to get the base tickets in advance: Walt Disney World Orlando – Admission Base Tickets 2-7 days (mobile voucher or printed voucher)

How many days? If you only have two or three days, we suggest booking your tickets with the added Park Hopper option. This will enable you to spend half of your day in one park before hopping to another. That way, you can still have the opportunity to see all four Disney theme parks during your Orlando vacation.

  • Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830
  • Price Range: $$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: To save money, consider staying off the resort and taking advantage of discounted multi-day park tickets.

8. Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

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The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of space exploration. I’m always awestruck by the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit and enjoy trying out the astronaut training simulators.

  • Location: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 5/5

Helpful Tip: Plan to spend an entire day at the complex, as there’s a lot to see and do. Also, consider attending a rocket launch if your visit coincides with one.

9. Stroll Through Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a serene oasis in the heart of Orlando. I love wandering through the beautifully landscaped grounds, admiring the various themed gardens, and relaxing in the peaceful surroundings.

  • Location: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Visit during the spring months when the gardens are in full bloom for the most spectacular experience.

10. Explore the Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art is home to a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional art, including works by famous artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and John Singer Sargent. I always find something new and inspiring during each visit.

  • Location: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Check their calendar for special exhibitions and events, such as art workshops and guest lectures.

11. Wander Around the Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center offers a fun and interactive learning experience for visitors of all ages. I particularly enjoy the DinoDigs exhibit, where I can uncover “fossils” and learn about prehistoric creatures.

  • Location: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Visit on a weekday or during off-peak hours to avoid large crowds.

12. Take a Scenic Boat Tour in Winter Park

Scenic Boat Tours in Winter Park offer a relaxing and picturesque way to explore the beautiful chain of lakes and historic mansions in the area. I always enjoy the informative narration and the chance to spot local wildlife like birds and turtles.

  • Location: 312 E Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Arrive early, as tours operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and seating is limited.

13. Experience Chocolate Kingdom

As a chocolate lover, Chocolate Kingdom is a must-visit for me. This interactive factory adventure takes you on a delicious journey through the chocolate-making process, and you even get to create your own custom chocolate bar.

  • Location: 9901 Hawaiian Ct, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Book a tour in advance to guarantee your spot, and don’t forget to sample some of the delicious chocolates in the gift shop.

14. Enjoy the Outdoors at Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park is a beautiful natural oasis where I love to unwind and reconnect with nature. I often go kayaking, hiking, or simply relax by the crystal-clear springs.

  • Location: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Arrive early during weekends and holidays, as the park can reach capacity quickly.

15. Shop at The Mall at Millenia

The Mall at Millenia is my go-to shopping destination in Orlando. It offers a wide range of high-end and affordable stores, as well as fantastic dining options and a beautiful atmosphere.

  • Location: 4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Take advantage of the complimentary valet parking for a hassle-free shopping experience.

16. Visit the Exotic Animal Experience

Exotic Animal Experience offers a unique and intimate encounter with various exotic animals, including lemurs, kangaroos, and sloths. I love being able to interact with these amazing creatures up close and learn about their natural habitats.

  • Location: 5236 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, but age restrictions may apply
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Book your encounter in advance, as spots fill up quickly and walk-ins are not accepted.

17. Explore Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a quirky and fascinating attraction that showcases bizarre and unbelievable exhibits from around the world. I’m always amazed by the strange and intriguing items on display.

  • Location: 8201 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Allocate at least 1-2 hours to fully explore the museum and its many oddities.

18. Dive into Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort that allows for unique and memorable experiences, such as swimming with dolphins and snorkeling with tropical fish. I always feel like I’m on a private island getaway when I visit.

  • Location: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821
  • Price Range: $$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 5/5

Helpful Tip: Book your reservation well in advance, as attendance is limited to ensure a more exclusive experience.

19. Visit the Crayola Experience

The Crayola Experience is a colorful and imaginative attraction that lets you create, play, and explore the world of Crayola. I’ve had a blast making my own crayon labels and trying out the interactive digital art activities.

  • Location: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809
  • Price Range: $$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Check their website for special events and promotions, like seasonal workshops and discounted admission days.

20. Have Fun at Dave & Buster’s

Dave & Buster’s is a fantastic entertainment center that combines arcade games, sports, and dining. I love challenging my friends to a game of air hockey or trying out the latest virtual reality experiences.

  • Location: 8986 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, but age restrictions apply after certain hours
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Look for coupons and promotions online to save on game credits and food.

21. Go Indoor Skydiving at iFLY Orlando

iFLY Orlando offers the thrilling experience of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane. I’ve always been nervous about actual skydiving, but this indoor wind tunnel provided a fun and safe alternative.

  • Location: 8969 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, ages 3 and up
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Book your flight package online and arrive early for your scheduled time to ensure a smooth check-in process.

22. Catch a Show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art venue that hosts a wide variety of performances, from Broadway shows to concerts and comedy acts. I’ve enjoyed attending several events here, and the acoustics and atmosphere are always top-notch.

  • Location: 445 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
  • Price Range: $$-$$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, depending on the show
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Check the center’s event calendar to plan your visit, and purchase tickets in advance for popular shows.

23. Wander Through the Mennello Museum of American Art

The Mennello Museum of American Art is a hidden gem that showcases a diverse collection of American art, including an impressive array of works by self-taught artist Earl Cunningham. I find the museum’s intimate setting and beautiful sculpture garden to be a refreshing change of pace from larger attractions.

  • Location: 900 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Visit on the first Friday of the month for free admission and live music in the sculpture garden.

24. Have a Blast at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is an adrenaline-pumping entertainment center that features high-speed electric go-karts, arcade games, laser tag, and more. Racing around the multi-level track with friends is always a highlight of my visits.

  • Location: 9299 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, but height restrictions apply for karting
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Look for special promotions and discounts online to save on activities and game cards.

25. Explore the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is a serene and beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With miles of trails through diverse ecosystems, I’ve enjoyed spotting wildlife and learning about the area’s plants and animals at the on-site nature center.

  • Location: 8777 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836
  • Price Range: Free
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent, as some areas of the preserve may have mosquitoes.

26. Explore the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses a fantastic collection of American art, including the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. I’m always mesmerized by the stunning stained glass and intricate jewelry on display.

  • Location: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Helpful Tip: Visit on Friday evenings between November and April for free admission and live music.

27. Admire the Street Art in Mills 50 District

The Mills 50 District is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that’s home to some of Orlando’s most impressive street art. I love wandering through the area and discovering the colorful murals that adorn the walls of local businesses.

  • Location: Mills 50 District, Orlando, FL
  • Price Range: Free
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Visit the district’s website for a map of mural locations to plan your self-guided street art tour.

28. Experience the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a delightful attraction that features over 350 animals, beautiful gardens, and interactive experiences. I enjoyed feeding the giraffes and learning about various species during the keeper talks.

  • Location: 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
  • Price Range: $$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Arrive early in the day when

the animals are most active, and check the schedule for special events and activities, like animal encounters and keeper talks.

29. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride over Orlando offers breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding landscapes. I’ve been amazed by the serene beauty of the experience, and it’s definitely a bucket list item worth checking off.

  • Location: Various launch sites around Orlando
  • Price Range: $$$$
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes, but age and height restrictions may apply
  • Personal Rating: 5/5

Helpful Tip: Book your balloon ride early in your trip, as flights are weather-dependent and may be rescheduled.

30. Visit the Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture

The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture offers a fascinating look at the history and contributions of African Americans in Central Florida. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural heritage through the exhibits and artifacts on display.

  • Location: 511 W South St, Orlando, FL 32805
  • Price Range: $
  • Suitable for Kids: Yes
  • Personal Rating: 4/5

Helpful Tip: Combine your visit with a trip to the nearby Orange County Regional History Center for a full day of history and culture.

 

Now that you have a comprehensive list of 33 amazing things to do in Orlando, you can start planning your next trip to this exciting destination. With so many options, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. Happy travels!

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