My family and I are going down to Florida from August 24 to September 2. While we are down there we are going to be in the Disney area, doing that whole deal. We are also going to visit FIT for a day or two, we’ll be there for their exploration day.
What other fun things are there to do, that might not be in the big tourist guides?
Defiantly go to Old Town! They are on SR192 and they have many amusement rides plus “old” style shops. Also, citrus world (giant orange shaped gift shop) is just down the street from Old Town, which for me is always a laugh. Go onto I-Drive which runs parallel to I-4 and has a bunch of tourist attractions. On there you have places such as Wonder Works and Wet n’ Wild which is around that area. If you want to play tourist, you need to go through this area. I also find it funny to go to all of the gift shops since every one is the worlds “largest/biggest/hugest” gift shop. That is me personally though. Another thing you could do is head north on I-4 and go to the Mall at Mellinia which has an Apple store in it .
Old town is one of the biggest rip offs there is. It’s a huge tourist trap. Granted it’s a lot of fun but the only thing of value in that place is the 25cents for a pepsi. Eric, what is this SR192 you call it? It has 4 names, State Road 192, 192, Vine Street, Irlo Bronson Memorial High Way
Citrus world is fun :).
As for an apple store, you could go the Florida Mall on OBT. It’s closer.
Theres things like Gatorland, and Airboat rides (I’ve always loved those expecially the one in SouthPort, it’s a bit out of the way but it’s beautiful). You could go to the historic districts of Kissimmee and St. Cloud.
It might be in the big tourist books, but Cypress Gardens is pretty fun, if you like nature and simple rides.
If you would of been in FL a week later you could of gone to Mission Mayhem :).
I’ll be attending FIT (9 more days!) so if you want to drop by on your exploration day (if they let you) just send me a PM.
The Segway tours there are pretty sweet. (I’ve been on both.) The one at Epcot uses the i2 models and goes around the World Showcase before it opens in the morning, and the one at Fort Wilderness uses the x2 models and goes on a variety of offroad (dirt) and paved trails.
Just to note that for the Fort Wilderness one, be sure to get their quite a bit early, especially if you’ve never stayed there before. Because the campgrounds are so huge, you need to take a separate intra-hotel Disney bus to get from the main bus stop at the front of the campground to the back where the tours are. This can easily add 15-20 minutes onto your arrival time.
If you are into electronics surplus, head towards Orlando from Disney on Route 4, get off at Fairbanks (ave?), the coolest surplus store is located at the southeast corner of that intersection (about 1/2 block off, but easily visible by the missile on the roof…)
Citrus world is cool, just to see it - a 50 foot diameter orange. Drive just a little bit further away from disney on that same road if you need groceries, don’t buy stuff at the tourist trap ‘grocery stores’, go where the locals go.
If you want to see something eerie, go to the town of Celebration. It is a planned community that was built not long ago. It looks like a quaint village in New England, that was teleported to Florida by aliens. Nice restaurants too.
There are also the helicopter tours. It’s neat to see Disney from the air.
I miss the airship rides. They used to have a blimp, with Shamu on the side, that you could take tours in. They would even let you fly it. After you landed, you got a certificate saying you were a pilot for Shamu. It was great. I still have it.
One of the best restaurants is the Rain Forest Cafe. Great food and atmosphere. Try the Jambalae (sp?)
KSC is great. I saw a nightime shuttle launch once there. Tip: Have change ready for the toll road to KSC.
I have to say we love Old Town (which is kind of small-town-tourist-trap-like but especially neat when the old car clubs go cruisin’ on Sat. night) and the neighboring “Fun Spot”. The go-carts, Nascar, & bungee are fun, but the newer G-Force Dragster ride (“World’s Fastest Dragster ride”) is amazing! Here’s a link: http://www.fun-spotusa.com/Fun%20Facts%20Page.htm State Parks in that area of the state are scenic & give you a taste of real Florida before all the development: parks like Blue Springs, Deleon Springs, etc. Palm Beach and Martin County public schools begin again this week, so there won’t be as many locals at the theme parks.
If your into the whole building things…thing, or electronics or just neat stuff you should go over to skycraft on fairbanks right off of I4 in winter park…its so awesome http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/ the site doesn’t do it justice, good free fun looking…but you always have to get soooooomething