As much as we love Disney World, there are times when we need a break. If you want a different experience outside of the parks, consider one of these unique things to do in Orlando.
Unique Things to Do in Orlando Besides Disney World
Let’s start with ICON park’s “The Wheel.”
The Wheel at ICON Park
At ICON Park, you can enjoy one of the unique views overlooking Orlando and its surrounding communities. The Wheel is a gigantic gondola that takes you up to 400 feet in the air. Better yet, if you have a large party, you can rent out a private car and make it a premium VIP experience. While the ride is short for the price, the view is absolutely incredible.
You can bundle ICON Park in with some of the area’s most popular tourist attractions, so you can save a little money while touring around this bustling city. You can look at ticket pricing on the Icon Park website.
Airboat Ride at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
No doubt about it, Florida has some of the most unique natural spaces in the United States. You can get up close in a thrilling airboat ride. Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures is south of Kissimmee, about 30 minutes away from Orlando. You will see tons of wildlife including snakes, alligators, birds, and more.
You can choose from an array of tour options. The most unique and exciting is the Night Tour, where some of the nocturnal animals come out. You can book your next adventure on the Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures website.
Bioluminescence Kayaking Night Tour at BK Adventure
Did you know that Florida has glow-in-the-dark jellyfish, plankton, and algae? Now you can get close to this phenomenon in the kayaking tour from BK Adventure. According to their website, the peak time to see the lighting is between June through October. But, there is no bad time to visit as the bioluminescence changes throughout the year.
This is definitely on our bucket list for its uniqueness. It’s a bit of a drive, as this is closer to the Atlantic coast than downtown Orlando. But, it is well worth the drive! You can learn more about the experience on the BK Adventure website.
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Do you love pho or Asian food? Not too far from Magic Kingdom lies Soupa Saiyan, an Asian noodle bar that serves absolutely incredible pho, dumplings, and stir fry. Best of all? The restaurant is themed Dragon Ball Z, a popular anime television show that has been on the air for decades.
Even if you are not an anime fan, consider trying this spot for its generous portions. Your inner foodie will love this spot! You can view the menu, hours, and location on the Soupa Saiyan website.
Is it really a trip to Florida without seeing alligators? We think not! No doubt about it, if you want to see some of the world’s oldest reptiles, then Gatorland is the place to visit.
Tickets for a single-day pass (as of 2022) range from $22.99 to $32.99. You will be able to see shows and animals while experiencing off-roading, zip lines, and more. Plan your trip and book your experience on the Gatorland website.
Clermont’s Citrus Tower
We passed by this tower a few years ago while driving to Walt Disney World, and we were confused about what it was. Honestly, we had no idea that it was an attraction – not only that, but it is one of the first observation decks in the Orlando area!
According to the website, you can take the elevator up to the observation deck and see eight counties. We love that this attraction is inexpensive compared to the others on this list. As of 2022, children are $7 and adults are $11.
Madame Tussauds Orlando Museum
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Orlando for kids, but you also want a spot that is just as fun for adults, then I highly recommend the Madame Tussauds museum in Orlando. This spot is one of those that is slightly campy and tourist-y (forgive the word). But, if you let yourself get into it, you can have a lot of fun. Plus, you can get up close and personal with some of your favorite celebrities. Just keep in mind that they cannot talk to you…because they are made of wax.
What we love about Madame Tussauds is that the exhibits are always changing and the level of detail behind each figure is unmatched. You can bundle this experience with some others on this list, like The Wheel at ICON Park. We highly suggest you bundle to save some money.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
We love Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. This experience is part show, part museum thanks to its plethora of authentic artifacts and costumed actors. We believe this attraction will enchant everyone in your group (even the little ones).
The tour itself lasts around 2 hours, but they let you enter up to an hour before they close. The price ranges from $15.75 to $21.95, which is reasonable for a family of four. Plus, they are open all week – so you can make this a stop for a non-park day without having to make a reservation or worry about open hours.
The Crayola Experience
Little (and big) kids will love the Crayola Experience. This attraction is a one-stop-shop, where you can explore and play in colorful creativity and nosh on some tasty, kid-approved food. There is so much to do, that their website recommends setting three to four hours for this spot.
We love the color and playful nature of this space. It truly is something for everyone that will leave a smile on your face. You can view times, tickets, and attractions on their website.
Pirates Dinner Adventure
Magic Kingdom is not the only place to see pirates pillage, plunder, and loot. The Pirates Dinner Adventure is a dynamic, exciting show that combines pirates, food, and adventure all in one package. We have seen this show and loved the energy from the performers, who put so much work into producing a fantastic show.
When it comes to dinner shows, we do not expect much from the ‘dinner’ itself. While the actual plates served were not the best quality, the appetizers in the pre-show entry were very good. The tickets were also pricey, but there are typically coupons available through Groupon or tourist websites.
Outdoor adventurers will love this unique opportunity to traverse through Florida’s iconic landscape at Revolution Adventures. Choose between riding on an ATV, a buggy, or a Mucky Duck across land and water, or try your hand at archery, clay shooting, or fishing.
We love when attraction pricing matches its value. You can bring snacks, have a picnic, and make this stop a half-day to a full-day experience. The park is open until 4:30 p.m. every day, which makes it great for the afternoon.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Do you or your children love animals? If you are looking for a low-key way to spend the day while seeing some exotic wildlife, consider visiting the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
Open until 4 p.m., you can see animals from all over the world including rhinos, sloths, leopards, llamas, and more. Take a leap with the Seminole Aerial Adventures zipline course or participate in a giraffe feeding. Then, enjoy a meal at Graze Kitchen to refuel after a long day.
We suggest booking your tickets ahead of time, as you can save $2 a ticket. Depending on the time of year, you might encounter special events like the Zoo Boo Bash or the Asian Lantern Festival.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Tomorrowland Speedway, the popular slow-moving car ride at Magic Kingdom, gets an upgrade with this unique Central Florida attraction. Thrill seekers and Mario Kart fans will enjoy Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. You can ride fully electric go-karts on one of the longest tracks in Orlando.
We adore the omission of gas-guzzling go-karts and the switch to full electric ones. No fumes and no smelling like gas after! They also have an updated profile, which is more ergonomic and comfortable.
If go-karting is not your style, then there are plenty of other options to choose from including bowling, laser tag, and an arcade. You can see prices, hours, and more on their website.
Golf fans will love this unique take on the driving range. This multi-floor experience is truly one-of-a-kind. All ages will love this attraction, and it can make any life event special.
Not a golfer? That’s okay – enjoy the arcade, food, and drinks while watching others perfect their swing. We love that there is something for everyone here and that the combination of luxury and fun takes this experience to the next level. View prices, experiences, and locations on the Drive Shack website.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Sometimes you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Disney parks and downtown Orlando. If you are looking for a tranquil, relaxing spot, consider stopping by the Harry P. Leu Gardens. This 50-acre park is beautiful and the self-guided tour is a tribute to the colorful greenery along central Florida.
The park is open until 5 p.m. but there are events in the evening you can book. Tickets range from $10 to $15, and children under three are free. You can purchase tickets ahead of time online.
Ready to Have Fun?
If you are looking for unique things to do in Orlando outside of Disney World, there are plenty of options available. Try your hand at indoor go-karting or enjoy a swash-buckling adventure at a dinner show. If you want some relaxation, tour around the Harry P. Leu Gardens or a bioluminescent kayaking experience. Then, when you’re done, you can come back to the comfort of your Disney World hotel and get back to the magic.
What are you most excited to experience? Have you been to one of these attractions before? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
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