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Living in the Central Florida area, we get to take advantage of the theme parks quite often. However, we only do so when we have annual passes, and that’s only every few years. We often go beyond Walt Disney World for our entertainment.
If you are visiting Walt Disney World, Universal, or Sea World and have a day outside of the parks, here are a few ideas on what to do.
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What kid doesn’t like water parks? When you’re in the Sunshine State, why not take advantage of the warm weather and cool off in one of the area’s water parks. You’ll find two attractively themed and family friendly water parks on Disney property, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Sea World’s newest water park, Aquatica, has The Dolphin Plunge where you’ll slide right by a pool full of live dolphins. Coming soon to Universal is Volcano Bay. If you love water slides, why not stay in a hotel surrounding a water park at Coco Key Water Resort.
Orlando is home to hundreds of outlet stores making it a bargain lover’s paradise. The shopaholics in your family will find there is something for everyone. In addition to the outlet malls, Orlando has regular and high-end shopping malls. If there’s a name brand you love, chances are you’ll find it in Orlando. Not everyone in the family like to shop? It’s okay to split off for the day and meet up at one of the area’s many varieties of restaurants for dinner. Plus, now you can shop more at Disney Springs. While technically the “parks” you don’t pay for entrance or parking.
Authentic Florida Nature
Get out and see the Real Florida and all the natural attractions the area offers. Florida offers over 170 state parks, three of which are approximately 30 minutes away from the area attractions. Our favorite is Wekiva Springs state Park where you can swim in the cool spring waters, hike, bike, canoe, kayak and even ride horses along the trails. I love kayaking, paddleboarding, and even off road adventures.
Hit the Beach
While you’re in the Central Florida area, you’re only about a 70-90 minute drive to beaches on either side of the state. Choose Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico side, if you’re family wants to get some sun, sand and surf; you can’t miss with the number of family friendly beaches in either direction. Even if you don’t have a car while in Orlando, you can still get to Cocoa Beach via one of the many car services in the area.
See a Show
Orlando is not just home to world-class amusement entertainment, but also world-class theater entertainment as well. Choose from Cirque du Soleil or Blue Man Group for exciting acrobatics and explosive entertainment. Or select an action-packed dinner theater adventure such as Hoop-Dee-Doo Review, Pirates Dinner Adventure or Medieval Times.
While I’m not much of a golfer, I hear that many people come here to do just that. Snow-free weather means golf courses are open year-round in the Orlando area. Choose from over 10 PGA championships and premier courses. Don’t fret, however, if your kids prefer the Mini-golf variety. Orlando has plenty of choices there too. Our favorite is the Winter/Summerland Golf course near Disney’s Blizzard Beach where you can choose to play either or both “seasoned” courses.
If you’re going to golf, consider bringing a golf launch monitor with you. According to this, launch monitors are used by swing coaches, physical trainers, and even psychiatrists. It provides data on your sing that professionals rely on.
What suggestions do you have for what you can see and do beyond Walt Disney World?