Orlando--stuff to do, not kiddie

My family…mother, father, and brother, in his teens, are going to Orlando for a few days.

It’s a work related trip, but they will have some time to do stuff…

But what is there to do in that area? There’s Disneyland, but I don’t think any of them is interested in that.

Universal Studios?

Anything else?

The closer the better, I don’t know if they can rent a car or not.

And no, my family’s not the best at planning vacations. Heh, they never take 'em!


Disneyworld, not Disneyland.

Where to start…

Disneyworld can be awesome for adults, but it’s kind-of a big commitment. If you only have a few hours here and a few hours there, Disney theme parks would be out. It takes days to get the full Disney parks experience, not hours. Downtown Disney (which includes three separate areas) is good at night if you’re into shopping. Plenty of good restaurants are to be found in Downtown Disney as well. Cirque du Soleil has a theater at Downtown Disney.

Basically everything I said about Disneyworld in the above paragraph can be said for Universal Orlando. Universal CityWalk is similar to Downtown Disney, although the last time I looked CityWalk had dance clubs (Pleasure Island’s dance clubs have been closed, IIRC). Substitute Blue Man Group for Cirque du Soleil.

If you really want help planning Disney/Universal stuff I can help you; PM me. I’m something of an expert on Disney trip planning (really, I’m not kidding).

If Disney & Universal are out, there’s the unspeakable kitschy (and unspeakably awesome) Gatorland, an alligator zoo.

PM me and I’ll try to help you some more.

It’s been ages since I was there, but Tupper World used to be near there. And there was actually a place that advertised it was the only stripper club in the area.

Maybe they’d enjoy SeaWorld Orlando.

All of Pleasure Island is closed except for they Harley store, the cigar store, and Raglan Road (the Irish pub).

Where are they staying? Makes a big difference regarding whether they’ll need a car or not, although in general Orlando is not the sort of town you can navigate on foot or by public transportation ('cause there really isn’t any).

Orlando is not at all far from the Kennedy Space Center.

Completely and totally worth the trip, even for non-science people. The hangar with the Saturn 5 and the reenactment of a launch is very exciting.

KSC is about a 45-minute drive from the close side of town, or about an hour from the attractions.

I was going to suggest coming to my town until I saw that they probably wouldn’t have a car. Anyway, I wouldn’t go to any of the parks, but that’s me, and I’ve been to DW probably about 30 times, Epcot at least 20, and so on, so maybe I’m just jaded. (Most of the time I get in free through my father’s connections; I wouldn’t pay to go there anymore.) There is so much more to see around here than the parks. Come to my little town, Winter Park, and stroll down Park Avenue and have lunch at one of the great restaurants and go to the Morse Museum. Drive up to Wekiva Springs State Park to see a little bit of real Florida. For more real Florida, check out Black Hammock.

Central Florida is so much more than theme parks.

I came here to say Wekiva Springs State Park also. They rent canoes and kayaks. You can paddle down the Wekiva a bit, then work your way against the current up Rock Springs Run. When you get tired of the current, float back down, maybe go down the Wekiva some more, then work you way back up to the spring/launch site.

Paddlers down that way consider it one off the best paddles in the area and even one of the best in the state (which is saying something since Florida is a paddling meca).

You can see lots of wildlife there. All kinds of birds, turtles, gators, river otters, deer. Heck, one local paddler sees bears fairly often. If you go there, get there as soon as the park opens. That way you’ll avoid the crowd and likely see more wildlife.

It has a very tropical and wilderness feel to it. All the more surprising given its on the edge of major metro area.

You’ve got a lot of great suggestions already, so I’ll add shopping in Winter Park. With good weather, leisurely strolling down Park Avenue and browsing all the high-end shops, bakeries, cafes, chocolate shops, etc etc, is really a fun experience. The area is just beautiful. I recommend ending such a day at The Wine Room, or perhaps Spice. They are superb.

Discovery Cove is quite a nice day if it’s warm enough.

Are you my neighbor? :cool:

I lived in Winter Park for four years, so it’s quite possible. I lived by Lake Virginia. Unfortunately I moved 7 months ago :frowning:

Yep, we were neighbors, then. I lived on Jo-Al-Ca, then in the College Quarter, and now I live in the WP Hospital area.

Wow that is so crazy! We might have even bumped into each other sometime. I know somebody who works at the Hospital.

I don’t suppose you ever ate at the Japanese steakhouse Shogun on I-drive before? I was a waiter there last year.

Ever go to Redlight, Redlight? I love that place.

Kennedy, Wekiva and Winter Park, as noted, though the teen boy might hate the latter.

Universal is the best park for rides, especially the Islands of Adventure BUT Sea World also has great rides (just fewer of them) plus the animal shows. IMO, it’s the best park in town.

Gatorland is great fun if you can get in the spirit of kitsch

International Drive, which runs between Universal and Sea World has a whole slew of smaller attractions (Wet n’ Wild, Ripley’s, Wonderworks, bumper cars, putt-putt etc. ), stores and theme restaurants looking to take your money. Get a hotel on or near international drive, and just ride the (free?) shuttle bus that goes up and down it all day. You could easily spend 5+ days just doing the stuff in that two-mile stretch of road. (and Gatorland is a short cab ride away!)

Downtown Orlando actually has some very good restaurants and clubs.

I wanted to thank everyone for the great suggestions, it was a great help, they’ve got some ideas to go with now.

Thank you.

NB. Ripley’s is closed for a few more weeks for remodeling or somesuch.

Believe it or Not :slight_smile: