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What to do during one day in Orlando that's not Disney World

Been to Disneyland many times, I'm from Orange County so Disney World is not at top of my list to places to visit. What else must we do, see, and eat while in Orlando for one day?

10 Answers

top answer by
Andrew from Manhattan Beach

I went to the Kennedy Space Center when I was a kid, and it's still a powerful memory for me.  Being able to see the size and scope of the rockets and launchpad was a truly awesome experience.  Once my kids are a little older, I will definitely be returning to share the experience with them.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kennedy Space Center (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by

Most people who go to Orlando, never actually see Orlando.  they're stuck in the land of theme parks.  Not that that's a bad thing.  The major attractions can be a lot of fun.  For instance, the The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure is fantastic.  However, the newness still hasn't worn off and it's ALWAYS super crowded.

So here are some alternatives:

Winter Park (Florida), you can stroll Park Avenue, hang out in Central Park for a picnic, shop or dine in any of several really good restaurants.  Try Luma on Park  for progressive American cuisine or Bosphorous  for Turkish--both excellent.  Just a few blocks down New England Avenue is another collection of restaurants like my favorite, Chez Vincent for fantastic yet casual French gourmet fare or super casual Dexter's of Winter Park for good pub/bistro food.  Get the Sweet Potato Chips with pepper jelly sauce.  YUM!

Also on Park Avenue is Charles Hosmer Morse Museum Of American Art which houses "the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933)..."  It's one of Olrando's best kept secrets.

Just up the road in Maitland is the Maitland Art Center, originally built as a resident artist colony.  Check out the current exhibit, but don't miss strolling around the gardens and huge moss-covered oaks.

If you like nature, don't miss Harry P. Leu Gardens.  The website has good info, but it really doesn't do the gardens justice.  You have to experience it.

You can pretty much make a day of any of these things.(Park Avenue in Winter Park, Maitland Art Center in Maitland or Leu Gardens in Orlando).  Your choice.  Enjoy your trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter (attraction)
  2. Universal's Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  3. Winter Park (Florida) (city)
  4. Luma on Park (attraction)
  5. Bosphorous (restaurant)
  6. Chez Vincent (restaurant)
  7. Dexter's of Winter Park (restaurant)
  8. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum Of American Art (attraction)
  9. Maitland (city)
  10. Maitland Art Center (attraction)
  11. Harry P. Leu Gardens (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Staci from Cleveland

You can always step outside of Disney and go to the other theme parks, Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure.

If you don't want to do theme parks, you can still head to that side of town and go to Universal CityWalk. There are plenty of restaurant choices, like Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe

Like to Karaoke? Go to CityWalk's Rising Star. It's a live band Karaoke and it's absolutely amazing. Even if you don't want to go up there and sing, the atmosphere is so fun. People dance and cheer each other on. You'll have a more adult feel on CityWalk. 

During the day, you can go to International Dr and go to the Orlando Premium Outlets - International Dr. There are so many shops here that you could spend hours just window shopping. 

My blog has more information on Orlando, so feel free to stop by! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Universal Studios (neighborhood)
  2. Universal's Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  3. Universal CityWalk (attraction)
  4. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (restaurant)
  5. Hard Rock Cafe (restaurant)
  6. CityWalk's Rising Star (attraction)
  7. International Dr (attraction)
  8. Orlando Premium Outlets - International Dr (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Jane from Belgium

Last summer we were there and went to Titanic The Experience. It was actually pretty interesting and got you thinking about what it must have been like to be on the big ship when it was going down. It would be a great thing to do on a rainy day. My 21 yr old and 15 yr olds thought it was interesting. I definitely enjoy eating seafood whenever we are there - lots of options are available. Since we live in Europe long term, we always go to the movies at Downtown Disney for an American movie experience - also a good rainy day activity. We stay at Orange Lake Country Club so we already have resort things to do.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Titanic The Experience (attraction)
  2. Downtown Disney (attraction)
  3. Orange Lake Country Club (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Rachel from Paducah

Check out Medieval Times for a fun dinner theater show.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Medieval Times (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by
Kenya from Washington

I would go to the Orlando Museum of Art and the Orange County Regional History Center. Also, you can do swan paddle boats at Lake Eola Park.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Orlando Museum of Art (attraction)
  2. Orange County Regional History Center (attraction)
  3. Lake Eola Park (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Judy from Sydney

If you have an hour or so to spare try out iFLY Orlando - a Vertical Wind Tunnel - great for those not keen to jump out of a plane, and super fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. iFLY Orlando (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by

If you have kids, try the Orlando Science Center.  It was one of my favorite places to visit growing up (raised in Seminole County). Some of the cooler places closed down though... (Flea world, Mystery fun house)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Orlando Science Center (attraction)
  2. Seminole County (metro area)

answered by
Dan from Charleston

Go to International Dr and check out the shopping and dining on International Drive. You could easily spend 4-5 hours over there. The night life is very active. 

Another option is to go downtown to Church Street Station and Orange Ave. Great night life and restaurants. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. International Dr (attraction)
  2. Church Street Station (attraction)
  3. Orange Ave (attraction)

answered by
María from Valencia (Venezuela)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  2. Wet 'n Wild (attraction)

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