Thursday 6 November 2014

Attractions in Orlando that aren't Disney

When you think about visiting Orlando for a holiday, most people are keen to visit the top three attractions - DisneyWorld, Universal Studios Resort and SeaWorld. If you are only visiting for a couple of weeks then that is definitely more than enough to keep you busy.

But if you are visiting for longer, making a return visit, or just want to try something different, there are loads of other brilliant attractions in the area. I'm in Orlando mood as we are visiting again very shortly, so I thought I'd round up some of the other places that we visited on our earlier trip. Click on the links to see my full detailed review of the attraction.

Orlando attractions that aren't Disney

We had a great half day at Dinosaur World, and we would have stayed for longer if it hadn't been our first day as we were all a bit jet lagged. It's very compact so easy for little legs to handle, but there is so much to do. We loved walking around the swamp to see the dinosaur models, and my son still enjoy admiring the fossils that he found in the Fossil Dig area. Another big hit was the huge sandpit with dinosaur bones to uncover. It's a fantastic attraction.

Digging for fossils at Dinosaur World

Another great place for the children is Gatorland. You can see as many alligators close up as your heart desires, both in smaller enclosures and from a boardwalk around the Breeding Marsh. There are alligator shows, with some alligator wrestling and jumping, and plenty to explore.

Gatorland, Orlando, Florida

Ripley's Believe it or Not! is another attraction that is fascinating for children, even the very little ones. You take a self-guided tour around a building that looks as though it is sinking into the ground, and is packed full of interesting and eclectic exhibits. There is a car covered in different musical instruments, a strange room where snooker balls run uphill, and a rotating tunnel to walk through.

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Orlando, Florida

Another place to visit that is brilliant for young children is the Orlando Science Center. We spent most of a day here and could have stayed for a lot longer, there is loads to do, including lots of activities and experiments that we've not seen in any other science museum that we've visited.

Dinosaur digging at the Orlando Science Center

A short drive out of Orlando is the Kennedy Space Center. This is perhaps better suited to older children, although our little ones still enjoyed it. You can take a bus tour of the Kennedy Space Center complex which is very interesting, you can see the launchpads and the huge buildings where the spacecraft are assembled. There are also several audio visual presentations and plenty of space memorabilia to see.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The best thing about visiting some of these other attractions is that you don't have to deal with such huge crowds. You can park right outside and walk straight in and you don't have to plan your day in quite as much detail, making the whole visit much less stressful, especially if you are there with young children. So if you are planning a family trip to Orlando, I'd definitely recommended taking the time to explore some of the other attractions that Orlando has to offer.

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