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Valerie from Seattle asked

Going to NASA, have time to kill, what to do?

Hey folks!

I was recently accepted to attend the Orion EFT-1 launch at Kennedy Space Center, and will be heading to Florida for 5 days in early December. I haven't been to Orlando or the surrounding areas since before I can remember, so I need your help!

Where should I stay? Hotels, Airbnb? I was thinking of doing a couple nights out near Kennedy just so my commute is quick, but I could also do a night or two in Orlando!

Where should I eat? Any must-do restaurants?

What should I do? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is definitely calling my name... Anything else I should put on the list?

Thanks in advance!!

Orlando (Florida)   Cape Canaveral (Florida)

2 Answers
top answer by
Staci from Cleveland

Hi Valerie! I agree with Lissa's answer. I've been to Orlando a number of times and must say my favorite places at the theme parks. Magic Kingdom ParkDisney's Hollywood StudiosEpcot and Animal Kingdom all have something to offer. If you want to be completely immersed in the Disney life, go to Magic Kingdom. 

My absolute favorite park is The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. If you're a Potter fanatic, this is a must. The attention to detail is stellar! Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios have bigger and better rides than Disney, if you're a rides person. I recommend a park hopper pass and giving yourself at least two days (without purchasing a Fast Pass). 

As for dinner and nightlife, I recommend Universal CityWalk. There are a number of restaurants there like Hard Rock CafeJimmy Buffett's MargaritavilleNascar Sports Grille and NBA City. You can have a relaxed night and do dinner, movie and minigolf or you can do dinner and dancing. One of my favorite places on the strip is CityWalk's Rising Star. It's a karaoke bar with a live band that plays behind you. If you're not a karaoke person, it's still a fun bar and atmosphere. 

If you want to do some shopping, hit up the Orlando Premium Outlets - International Dr. There is an endless amount of stores there for you to waste an afternoon at. 

There more posts on my blog. Swing by! Have a blast! :) 

Comments (2)

Staci, thanks SO much!! I need to nail down the details, but I'm definitely excited!

No problem! When it comes to hotels, I really like the Universal Resorts: Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay Hotel and Royal Pacific. All these hotels give you perks: 1. Room key = fast pass for rides 2. Early entry to the park to go to WWoHP 3. Free transportation to the parks/Citywalk. You're super close when you stay on the grounds!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Orlando (city)
  2. Magic Kingdom Park (attraction)
  3. Disney's Hollywood Studios (attraction)
  4. Epcot (attraction)
  5. Animal Kingdom (attraction)
  6. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter (attraction)
  7. Universal's Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  8. Universal Studios (neighborhood)
  9. Universal CityWalk (attraction)
  10. Hard Rock Cafe (restaurant)
  11. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (restaurant)
  12. Nascar Sports Grille (restaurant)
  13. NBA City (restaurant)
  14. CityWalk's Rising Star (attraction)
  15. Orlando Premium Outlets - International Dr (attraction)
comments (2)
likes (3) thanks
answered first by
Lissa from Boston

Hi Valerie,

Orlando isn't too far from Cape Canaveral so definitely visit Orlando. If you want to do the The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure, you may also want to purchase the park hopper pass to Universal Studios, which has the new Harry Potter rides and a Hogwarts Express that connects the two parks. (But you have to have the tickets to both parks to do both.) Of course, Magic Kingdom ParkAnimal Kingdom and Epcot in Disney World are all great fun, as well (and Epcot has some great restaurants!). If you decide to go, you'll find the best hotel deals in Kissimmee, which is near all of the theme parks. If you want to see the beaches near Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach is popular, although in early December the temps will be low and not really great for beaching it and I'd recommend having some fun in Orlando instead. If you are going to do the launch, be sure to schedule time to visit Kennedy Space Center for all of its other offerings. A great place! Exciting you'll get to watch a launch; it was one of my favorite things about growing up in Florida! Have fun!

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Orlando (city)
  2. Cape Canaveral (attraction)
  3. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter (attraction)
  4. Universal's Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  5. Universal Studios (neighborhood)
  6. Magic Kingdom Park (attraction)
  7. Animal Kingdom (attraction)
  8. Epcot (attraction)
  9. Kissimmee (city)
  10. Cocoa Beach (attraction)
  11. Kennedy Space Center (attraction)
likes (2) thanks

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