Walt Disney World is fantastic.
It’s also expensive.
And, quite frankly, it’s not for everyone. (No, really. Some people actually hate Disney.) Thankfully, there’s a lot more to do in Orlando beyond the Disney compound. And most of it will cost a fraction of a day at Disney World.
13 Things To Do In Orlando (Without Going To Disney World)
Things To Do In Orlando: The other “theme” parks
1. Gatorland One of the most unique things to do in Orlando is visit Gatorland. Florida is known for it’s alligator population, and Gatorland provides a great opportunity to get up close and personal without getting… well, too close. Gatorland tickets are less than $20, but you should plan to buy some gator jerky in the gift shop.
2. SeaWorld – The best thing about the SeaWorld park (aside from the dancing sea animals) is the lack of crowds. It’s the only amusement park in Orlando where you won’t spend most of your day waiting in line. I would much rather take a stroller bound child to SeaWorld than Disney World.
3. Wet N’ wild – If you’re looking for a place to go more than once, check out Wet N’ Wild. A general admission ticket is $45, but it’s good for an entire year. If you have kids and teenagers on your vacation, they can easily spend 2 or 3 days here enjoying the sun and water slides.
Things To Do In Orlando: Museums
4. Ripley’s Orlando – Florida is plagued with sink holes – and this museum is actually sinking into one! For less than $20, you can spend about two hours walking through the Orlando edition of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
5. Orlando Science Center – this is an excellent vacation day for kids and one of the few cheap things to do in Orlando. As of January 2009, one of their exhibits is Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of The Human Body. Yeah, it is exactly what it sounds like. The science of burps and farts.
6. Kissimmee Air Museum – the planes here aren’t behind sheets of glass, or even ropes or gates. You can get up close and take excellent pictures of the exhibits at the Kissimmee Air Museum. You can also schedule flights in some of the planes. Go for a ride and take the controls (for a few minutes, obviously).
7. Titanic The Experience – Did you know The Titanic crashed in Orlando, Florida? OK, not really. But this unique Titanic museum offers an amazing opportunity to tour a replica, with actors dressed in period costumes working as tour guides to enhance the experience.
Things To Do In Orlando: Family-friendly nightlife
8. Ghost tours – There are scary places all over Florida, and the Orlando area is no exception. You can spend a night hunting ghosts and communing with the dead with Ghost Trackers. Of course, I wouldn’t take a small child who is afraid of the dark. But an adventure seeking preteen who is not quite old enough to find it dorky? Absolutely!
9. Medieval Times – Some adults will try and tell you that Medieval Times is only cool when you’re a kid. Those people have no souls or something. Medieval Times is awesome. Watch knights battle it out jousting style while you eat with your hands. How can that not be cool??
10. Wonder Works Comedy Magic Dinner Show – Wonder Works is an “upside down attraction”. At night they do an improv comedy and magic routine that is family friendly. The menu is a highly sophisticated offering of all you can eat pizza, salad, popcorn and dessert with a side of beer and pop.
Things To Do In Orlando: The Great Outdoors
11. Airboat tours – taking a ride on an airboat is as much about being on the airboat as it is about what you’ll see. Of course, there’s plenty to see as well. Visitors tend to get the most excited about the alligators!
12. Fishing on Lake Toho – Orlando/Kissimmee sits on the north side of a 42 mile lake called Lake Toho. This lake is known for world class Bass fishing. You can find dozens of fishing tours with experts and professional fisherman to make sure you bring home a catch.
13. Forever Florida EcoSafaris- Get ready for your wild Florida adventure. Journey deep into the 4700 acre Forever Florida wildlife conservation area. Coach Safari, Horseback Safari or soar through the treetops on the Zipline Safari. This is a chance to experience “Old Florida”, as in before the theme parks took over.
Check out even more Cheap Things To Do In Orlando.
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