Where to Start? Central Florida is a Mecca of choices for things to do. Of course, you know all about the major attractions, but there are also numerous very entertaining and interesting things to do aside from them for all ages. It is sometimes really fun to get “off the beaten path” and explore something different or iconic “old Florida”. Did we say Gatorland? I first went there in the late 60’s as a child before Disney World even existed. Honestly, it really hasn’t changed much. 😊

Disney World: With four major parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), plus water parks and numerous other experiences, Disney World can easily occupy your entire holiday. There are lots of great websites and resources for planning your visit, but the best resource is the My Disney Experience phone app and website. It is a “must have” if you are visiting the Mouse! Don’t miss Disney Springs, as well… a great dose of Disney with no admission and free parking! Fabulous restaurants and shopping galore. Cirque de Soleil is located there, as well, and is quite a show if you’ve never seen it.

Universal Studios (including Islands of Adventure): Another large attraction that can easily absorb 3 or 4 days! Immersive areas like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts and numerous thrill rides, it is quite a favorite. Suggestion – although it is “fun for all ages”, we’ve found that it is an entirely different experience from Disney and tends to cater to tweens on up. Universal City Walk is a smaller version of Disney Springs, but great in its own right… it can be a destination itself, or in conjunction with a visit to the parks.

SeaWorld: It can be seen in a single day. A great blend of sea life attractions, shows and thrill rides (they have recently been crowned as the roller coaster capital of Florida!). Some great festivals, too (with craft beer, for those so inclined). SeaWorld also operates a major waterpark called Aquatica. If that is your thing, there are ticket packages for both.

LEGOLAND: This park is squarely aimed at families with younger children. We understand that it is a lot of fun but, honestly, by the time it was built, our kids weren’t all that interested so we’ve never been.

Busch Gardens: Also the same owners as SeaWorld. About 1 ½ hours away in Tampa. Some fantastic thrill rides, but also entertaining and educational wildlife attractions. There are great bundled ticket packages available with SeaWorld and/or Aquatica.

Gatorland: It is quintessential old Florida! A little “edgy”, but you will get up close and personal with Florida’s iconic alligators (including posing for a picture on one if you are brave enough). We would probably recommend against it with little ones, but if you have tweens and teens (or just adults), it is a hoot!

Kennedy Space Center: About 1 ½ hours away. Where else can you see a place that space rockets actually launch? This is an amazing place for pretty much all ages.

Margaritaville: Newly built and just outside Emerald Island Resort, the Margaritaville resort has not only accommodations, but numerous great dining options and some shopping. Plus the huge waterpark. You can be there in minutes from the villa. Highly recommended!

Other Area Attractions: Too many to list, and new ones being added all the time. Many golf courses, Wonderworks, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Old Town Kissimmee, Daytona International Speedway, museums, various go cart tracks, miniature golf, etc… just to name a few ideas! Again, area brochures and Google are your best sources.

Parks and Attractions!