Walt Disney World is probably the first thing that comes to mind when Orlando or Florida are mentioned, but there’s far more to tempt families to the US city than Mickey and Minnie.
Alongside the major parks like Disney, Universal and Sea World, there are a host of fantastic things to see and do that offer more variety than you might think. Did you know, for example, you can travel back in time to 11th Century Spain and watch jousting knights as you feast? Or take in the spectacle of a live NASA shuttle launch from Cape Canaveral?
If you’re planning your Florida holiday as we speak, here are a few suggestions of places that are well worth a look – and some top tips on how to get the best deals!
* Photos are for illustration purposes only – these may not depict the attraction mentioned.
Knights atop spectacular steeds hurtle towards each other, clashing swords send sparks flying, the crowd roars as their chosen champion claims victory. You could be forgiven for believing you’ve really travelled back in time to 11th century Spain as you enter the towering fortresses of Medieval Times. This is a great way to bring history to life for little ones. We guarantee the show will captivate them, and the feast before them will be the icing on the cake.
A four-course meal with selected drinks is included in the general admission price. Some drinks, including alcoholic beverages, may be extra.
The jousting show lasts around two hours with six competing knights – choose your favourite and cheer them on!
General Admission Prices:
Children 12 and under: $36.95
You can upgrade your tickets to include priority entry and VIP seating, together with a few more perks. If one of you is celebrating a birthday or anniversary, it’s definitely worth upgrading to the Celebration Package as you get a special mention during the show as well as cake and other extras.
If you’re booking as a group of ten or more, contact the centre for special rates.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? Why not ask one, over dinner? Yes, really! Meet an astronaut events are just one of the many things you can do at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. If your trip coincides with a live rocket launch, you can even book on to view blast-off.
Even without these amazing added extras, you’ll be fascinated by the variety of exhibits charting man’s journey beyond Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, there’s so much to see and do, it’s a good idea to plan your day before you arrive. The suggested itineraries for different age groups are a great place to start, available to view on the centre’s website here.
Daily Admission Tickets:
Adults (age 12+): $57
Children (age 3-11): $47
Senior Discounts (age 55+): $50
Seniors can get discounted tickets if they purchase on the day. Valid ID is required.
It’s tough to pack everything into one day. If you’re planning to visit more than once during your stay – or if you’ll be visiting Florida more than once in the course of a year, it’s worthwhile purchasing a multiday admission ticket.
Adults (age 12+): $82
Children (age 3-11): $67
There are a range of add-on enhancements and special experiences for an additional fee, or you can purchase packages with some of these included.
Add on enhancements: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/tickets#Add-onEnhancements
Special Experiences: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/tickets#SpecialExperience
It’s worth spending some time planning your itinerary so you can choose the best ticket option for you.
How do you fancy landing the space shuttle, or designing and riding your own roller coaster? Would you dare to lie on a bed of nails, or experience hurricane force winds or an earthquake? You can do all this and more at WonderWorks Orlando, the home of edu-tainment, where kids (and adults) will learn stuff without realising they’re learning!
If that isn’t enough excitement, there’s also a glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag, a 4D XD motion theatre and a magic and comedy dinner show, although the dinner show is an additional price.
General Admission Prices:
Includes access to all WonderWorks exhibits, the 4D theatre, laser tag and ropes course.
Adults (13+): $33.99+ tax
Children (4-12): $24.99+ tax
Age 3 and under free
These include the magic and comedy dinner show, with unlimited pizza, salad, beer, wine, soft drinks and dessert.
Adults (13+): $59.99+ tax
Children (4-12): $41.99+ tax
After Dark Tickets:
If you don’t mind a late night, opt for the bargain after dark tickets! These gain you entry from 9pm and allow you to explore all that WonderWorks has to offer until midnight (excludes dinner show).
All ages: $20.00+ tax
(Please note: Ticket prices are seasonal and may vary slightly)
You can get a $2 discount on each ticket if you book online. Just fill out the form on the WonderWorks website here.
This is the ultimate mini golf experience! Take a Congo-inspired adventure and putt your way around giant waterfalls, rocky peaks, tropical rainforests and more. Take time-out to feed some alligators or mine for precious gems. Enjoy a gentle cruise in a paddleboat and learn about famous African explorers Henry Stanley and David Livingstone. Take the treasure hunt challenge to win a prize from Safari HQ.
This fun-packed outing will enthral all ages.
Ticket Prices: (Pay on the day)
Ages 10 and over: $13.99
Ages 9 and under: $12.49
Children under 4: One child under 4 goes free with each paid admission
Printed voucher discount:
Get $1 discount per person (up to 6 people) by printing the voucher from their website before you go.
Online booking discount:
Book in advance and you can save up to 18% off your admission.
Ages 10 and over: $12.25 each
Ages 9 and under: $10.95 each
More than ten of you going? Call the centre to ask about special group rates.
Set sail on a swashbuckling adventure and enjoy a few hours of fun as a pirate! This two-hour cruise aboard The Pirate’s Ransom sails regularly from the beautiful waters of Clearwater beach to the Gulf of Mexico. See if you can spot one of the many schools of dolphins as you cruise along, and join in with the crew’s stories, games and activities, enjoyable for littlies and teenagers alike!
Adults: $36.00 daytime ($39.00 for sunset cruise)
Seniors (65+): $33.00
Juniors (13 – 17): $31.00
Children (3 – 12): $28.00
Babies (2 & under) $11.00
Ticket price includes complimentary soft drinks, beer and wine.
Save $2 per ticket by booking online in advance. Tickets must be picked up one hour before cruise time to be eligible for the discount.
You can’t visit the US and not experience an American mall. With more than 250 retailers, restaurants and attractions under one roof, this is more than just a shopping experience. Take a look inside department stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as picking up some branded bargains at retailers such as A/X Armani Exchange, Apple, Banana Republic, MAC Cosmetics, Victoria’s Secret and ZARA.
It’s worth taking a look at the website before you head over to check out any daily deals available. You might also discover some special events taking place, like an American Girl Movie Night or Contouring Class at Sephora. Booking details and prices for events are available here.
The Florida Mall is open Monday – Friday, 10am-9pm, Saturday, 10am-10pm, and Sunday, 12pm-8pm.
Whether you want the thrills and excitement of flying on a 450ft high swing ride, or to take things at a slower pace on a big wheel, the ICON Orlando and Orlando StarFlyer both offer breathtaking views across the city. Combo ticket deals are available to get discounts if you book them both together, and you can use the tickets on different days if you want to spread the high-rise fun over your holiday.
Combo Ticket Price:
Adults (over 12): $34.50
Children (age 3-12): $29.50
ICON run a number of other attractions that can also be bundled together for better deals on admission. These include:
Who wouldn’t want a selfie with Superman? Madame Tussauds Orlando boasts a fabulous collection of Justice League waxworks, perfect for superhero selfies! You can also pose with Taylor Swift and rub shoulders with Hollywood A-listers.
SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology
Discover the incredible inner-workings of creatures large and small with more than 500 real skeletons on display across 40+ exhibits. From a tiny shrew to a gargantuan 22ft killer whale, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation of our natural world.
7D Dark Ride Adventure
Are the kids missing their consoles? This interactive shoot-em-up is a video game like no other! Can you keep your wits about you as you’re plunged into a zombie apocalypse scenario? The 7D refers to light, wind, sound, motion, smell, user interaction and 3D game play, creating the ultimate immersive entertainment experience.
Sea Life Aquarium
Prepare for a swimmingly spectacular experience as you dive into the undersea world of stingrays, sea turtles and sharks! There’s hands-on exhibits where you can handle starfish and anemones, or go hunting for Nemo and friends among the reefs!
Visit the ICON website for full booking options.
There’s a reason this has been voted USA’s number one water park! Not only is it awash with wonderful rides, slides and wave pools, it’s recently become the first water park anywhere in the world to be designated a Certified Autism Centre offering tailored services for children with autism and other special needs.
Many of the rides are suitable for younger children too, with a lower minimum height requirement than some of the alternative parks. The Dolphin Plunge is an absolute must!
General Admission One-Day Pass: $69.99
Save 10% by booking online in advance
Discounts are available if you book a two or three park combo ticket which allows you entry into your choice of SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.
There’s a number of upgrades you can choose from, including fast-track queueing tickets and Cabanas for hire.
The All-Day Dining Deal allows you to eat and drink as often as once every hour for one daily price.
Check the website for full details of special offers, combo tickets and upgrades available.