Orlando may be best known as the house of the mouse, but this city is home to so many other exciting attractions besides Disney World. The Sunshine State is brimming with rich history, vibrant culture, and intriguing adventures just waiting for your discovery. Take a trip off the beaten path during your next trip to Florida with our guide to some of the best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Touted as the alligator capital of the world, Gatorland spans over 100 acres and features over 2,000 American alligators. This wildlife preserve has been in operation since 1949, and it’s home to rescued crocodiles, panthers, bobcats, tortoises, and, of course, alligators. At Gatorland, you’ll have the unique opportunity to view alligators in their natural habitat, experience a feeding, and partake in an up-close encounter with some of Florida’s most dangerous snakes. You can also become a trainer for a day and gain hands-on experience working with these incredible creatures. Gatorland also features two ziplines, one of which is handicap-accessible, that allow you to soar above the enclosures and experience Gatorland with a bird’s-eye view.
If you find yourself bored with the “look, don’t touch” policies at many museums, WonderWorks is the place for you. At WonderWorks, you’re encouraged to take a hands-on approach to learning and get up close and personal with every exhibit. The exhibits at this immersive attraction are both wacky and wonderful, inviting you to experience the world from a new perspective. Even the building itself has been turned upside down, proving that things are never truly as they seem. At WonderWorks, you can try a space suit on for size, lie on a bed of nails, and experience 74 mph winds in a hurricane simulator. WonderWorks also features an indoor ropes course, a 4D motion theater, and a laser tag arena. For tickets to the wackiest upside-down museum in Florida, click here.
Located just outside of Orlando, the 20-acre ICON Park has a little something for everyone. The most popular attraction at this park is The Wheel, a 40-story Ferris wheel that lights up in dazzling colors each night and offers stunning views of the city. ICON Park is also home to the Orlando StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride, and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. You can also stop by Madame Tussauds wax museum and take photos alongside replicas of your favorite celebrities. With so many restaurant options and so much to do and see, ICON Park is easily one of the best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.