Most attractions and theme parks in Orlando Florida are generally large and require one or more days to cover them fully. In addition to these Disney attractions, there are smaller attractions and theme parks that can be enjoyed year-round and require half-day. These Florida attractions are ideal choice for those who are trying to space their activities or on those days that you plan for your perfect BBQ by the pool later in the day. The following are some of those attractions that are recommended during your Orlando Florida vacation. In addition to these half-day attractions, there are many non-Disney attractions in Orlando Florida. All vacation homes offered by us are conveniently located close to these attractions.
Universal's City Walk in Orlando Florida
Universal's City Walk in Orlando Florida is a shopping, eating and drinking complex which comes to life at night. Here you can grab a top notch dinner at Emerils or dance the night away at The Groove. A cocktail at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville can be enjoyed either seated inside in the presence of live band or on the patio to the tunes of a lone guitarist who takes requests. Look out for top name acts at Hard Rock Live and check out the infectious beat of the Motown Cafe.
Bob Marley's has an excellent and energetic band who will sure to get you on to the dance floor. It is also a good place to enjoy the tunes and sip red stripes and rum. You have to walk through CityWalk to exit the two main theme parks so maybe take a break from the crowds and stop for dinner or a drink at the end of a very enjoyable day.
If you are in mood for a movie before you complete the night, there's also a 20 cinema complex with stadium seating that serves wine and beer!
Gatorland, the Gator Capital
Gatorland, the Gator Capital of the World is the home for over 5000 alligators and was one of the first theme parks in Florida. It opened as a road-side attraction in 1949 by the Godwin Family and is still owned and operated by the original family. Over the years this park expanded to over 110 acres. If you have an afternoon open for a park and you want to see crocodiles up-close, this park is the best option. We recommend this park to anyone who has a late evening flight to catch as you can comfortably visit the entire park in 4-6 hours without breaking the bank. This place is good family fun and makes a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the large parks. If you want to see, feed and wrestle with live alligators then this is the place to come.
Some of the highlights of this park include alligator wrestling, Gator Jumparoo and up-close encounters. The boardwalk around the wetlands is interesting to spot some snakes. If you feel like feeding the gators, you can purchase some sausages and feed them. Other interesting aspects of this park include aquariums, aviary and petting zoo. And if you're tired of walking the park you can purchase their ride-all-you can train badge for $2.00. The train runs through the whole theme park with designated stops.
Down Downtown Disney's West Side
Down Downtown Disney's West Side - a unique experience for those who like to spend an evening exploring mouth watering restaurants and inviting shops with trinkets and paraphernalia. Some of the shops of prominence include gigantic Virgin Megastore, selling music, books, and paraphernalia; the Magnetron shop, with magnets and similar kitschy items; the Magic Masters trick shop, which features continuous live magic demonstrations; and the Candy Cauldron where sweets are made on the spot. If you say 'enough shopping', walk in to the state-of-the-art AMC 24 Theatres and catch a flick. Straight from the movie, you could end-up at one of the famous restaurants including the popular Bongos Cuban Cafe, Wolfgang Puck's Cafe, House of Blues, or Planet Hollywood. If you are not in a mood for an elaborate menu, you can grab quick bites at Wetzel's Pretzels Haagen-Dazs ice cream, or Wolfgang Puck's Cafe's pizza and salad bar.
The West Side has three special attractions that require separate admissions: the House of Blues concert hall - part of the national chain, which attracts major music acts - the Cirque du Soleil® show La NoubaTM, and the electronic funhouse called DisneyQuest.
The amazing Cirque du Soleil which needs a special mention is a show based on theatrical production and is a combination of circus and street theater. But, this popular show is sold out for every show though it is not the cheapest ticket in town. It is worth every penny of your money!
If you like to stay off the beaten path and have otherwise visited most of the other Disney parks, head straight to Disney Quest. If you need to visit a park as a Gap Filler on the day of arrival or departure or want to spend some time on an afternoon without stressing yourselves, Disney Quest is a perfect choice. This Florida attraction is located at Downtown Disney's West Side. With access to many restaurants and shops, this park is open late, so makes a perfect choice if you have the urge to visit a park n the day of your arrival in Florida.
Some of our favorite attractions at Disney Quest include CyberSpace Mountain where you can expect to design your own roller coaster and tweak the complexity of your ride with as many or as little loops, corkscrews, hill and more. If can't 'stomach' the rides you should cruise the Virtual Jungle Cruise where you can grab a paddle and a seat on a real raft and then paddle your way through a jungle river in the dinosaur age! This attraction is fun for a group to do together. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold: This is a great alternative to the "Toy Story Mania FastPass Dash" at the rope drop of Hollywood Studios, then this is a really fun alternative. It even uses the same style of shooters as Toy Story Mania. Classic arcade games: If you were a child of the 1980s, this will be your favorite. Play as much Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Tron, Centipede, Joust, Asteroids and more as you want, no quarters needed!
If you are in to clubbing and are a Disney fan, you must head to Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island. If you want to have some fun, be sure to hit the Comedy Club, Comedy Warehouse and Adventurer's Club for some serious fun. The 'Adventurers Club' is a little on the wacky side with its off the wall look at life in the 'Raj', then head outside with your family for a non-stop street party with live shows and fireworks. Look out for some very well known bands playing on the West End Stage and don't forget to stay late!
If you like to dance with lots of people, head to Motions and enjoy some contemporary, R&B, rap and good dance tunes. Beach club is for those who like a live band. The Jazz club is a place to sit down and relax while listening to a love Jazz band. 8-Trax is for those who love 70's dance music. The Adventurers Club is good for lounging and watching a funny show. Comedy Warehouse is a must for at least one show. 'Mannequins' is a dance palace of epic proportions for over 21's, or there's jazz, comedy, hip hop, and country and western on offer as well. Whether you want to hit the Jazz club for a few sets, do a show at the Comedy Warehouse, swing by 8-Trax for some retro dancing, see the celebration at the West End stage at midnight or like Adventures Club - head to Pleasure Island and try and take in as much as you can. And, don't leave the Pleasure Island until you watch the mid-night celebration.
Vacation Homes Close to All Attractions
All of our Orlando Florida area vacation homes are close to Disney World with easy access to all the half-day attractions mentioned here. Come explore our luxury vacation homes for your next Florida vacation!