4 Tourist Attractions In Orlando Not Named Disney

by derek on October 20, 2008 · 21 comments

P Ling is a travel writer for Uptake.com, where he writes about hotels and beaches and stuff. He also authors the Triphow blog, where his hotel and destination reviews earn praise from fellow bloggers like Derek Semmler.
So, Derek says he’s going on a family vacation to Disney World, and agreed to let me write this guest post. After mulling it over, I decided that the best thing to do would be to write about something which I know well, and something which might be immediately useful to Derek, and everyone else who reads this.
Considering he’ll be in Orlando soon, and looking to see all the attractions, I thought I’d shed some light on the things to do in Orlando. I mean, ok, so I don’t need to tell you about Disney World and Universal Studios, but as a city, what are the other tourist attractions in Orlando?
If you want a complete list, the Orlando Tourism Bureau has a list of 208 things to do in Orlando in 2008. Obviously, when you’re traveling with family, you want to stick to the family friendly places. Secondly, I’m not including the water parks, amusement and theme parks (good list here), since your primary focus of interest is Disney World. So let’s see what else Orlando has to offer.

Harry P. Leu Gardens has the largest rose garden in Florida, a historic museum from the 1880s, a tropical stream garden, a butterfly garden, and Palm, bamboo and cycad gardens.

Rent a paddle boat and feed the swans. Also a great place for outdoor lunches, picnics or just taking a walk. There’s also a playground for kids. And if you’re there on Sunday, you can also enjoy a lively family afternoon at the Orlando Farmers Market. Oh, and the Farmers Market has a wine and beer garden.

Walking tour of 60 historic buildings spread over 8 blocks surrounded by Orlando’s skyscrapers offers a peek into the City’s past.

Take a guided tour which shows you real space hardware, float alongside the astronauts in the five-story screens at the IMAX theaters, strap into the interactive space flight simulators at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, touch a real piece of Mars and board the space shuttle Explorer.
There’s a lot more – Museums, art galleries, Daytona Beach, riverboats, whale watching, cruises and lots more stuff – so if you want a more complete Orlando experience, you could book yourself into a Gray line city tour, or get Go Orlando cards.
As a side note, I realize this is more of an informative post, than one which calls for debate and discussion. So, in keeping with Derek’s blogging philosophy, let me ask you a question.
Would you rather see informative blog posts like this one, or ones which allow you to discuss an issue in the comments? Which one of these formats do you use on your own blog?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Price October 20, 2008 at 9:31 am

Very unusual insights about Orlando. Thank you P. Ling. No, this kind of posts are quite informative and useful.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Plan for Halloween

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gatwick parking October 20, 2008 at 9:40 am

The Harry P.Leu Gardens are well worth a visit. Much more fun than standing in queues at Disney
gatwick parkings last blog post..Gatwick Parking – Weekend stays – £13.95

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Nick@romandock dot com October 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm

I think both types of posts have usefulness. The only thing though, if all of your posts are like this where there is good valuable information but all just reporting facts and not much to discuss, that perhaps a blog would not be the best format for the website and static pages may be more useful….
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 008

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Ling@Triphow October 21, 2008 at 1:32 am

@Nicole – Glad you found it informative.
@gatwick parking – Totally agree with you on this one. Hate standing in line at Disney.
@Nick – You’re right that a static page would be a more appropriate place to throw info at visitors. A blog post should allow for a discussion. Only thing is, there should be some substance as well. Otherwise, its all a big waste of time, for the blog owner, and the readers. That’s why I usually prefer to write about things which are in the news, so that its a bit informative, and still allows for discussion.
Lings last blog post..Eco-Friendly State Tourism Websites – Part 5

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for the guest post Ling – unfortunately our vacation this time around was booked as an “all Disney” trip but next year we may investigate some of these locations.

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Jayson October 21, 2008 at 2:36 am

I always wanted to check out the Kennedy Space Station – if you go there, Derek, let me know if it’s worth the visit.
Nice post –

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Jayson, we didn’t get there as we stopped for a night at St. Augustine Beach just up the coast and then arrived at Disney. I have always wanted to check it out too and am sure the kids would love it.

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Justin@Airsoft Guns October 21, 2008 at 4:18 am

Those sound like interesting attractions, and on a side note, this is the first guest post I have ever seen on this blog. How interesting. In any case, it’s nice to hear attractions in Florida that aren’t related to Disney, as I think it gets too much hype.
Justins last blog post..CH0581C BOYI Airsoft Shotgun

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derek October 22, 2008 at 9:16 pm

FYI, there have been a couple of other guest posts on this blog. For the record, I am always happy to have them if you are ever interested. 🙂

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Andrea October 21, 2008 at 7:28 am

great links, yeah. the Gardens sounds something like I would enjoy. I wouldnt want to lake eola park for the only fact that last time i was near a swan, it wasnt too friendly. in fact, it was downright vicious. and no, i didnt do anything to provoke it.

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Tony@PC enclosures October 22, 2008 at 1:57 am

We did the classic car parade in Kissimee, it was an excuse for me to be child again, I got to look at some fantastic muscle cars and my son enjoyed it to.
Don’t forget you can get coupons for air boats from the Go Orlando book and it saved us a fortune on a ticket for 4 people.

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Neil@PS3 November 28, 2008 at 1:37 am

I am holidaying in Orlando in June next year so these will hopefully give me a variation on the normal sights and signs

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Justin from Insurancerm December 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm

The wife and I are planning on visiting for our anniversary. It sounds like there’s much to do there. Especially when you compare it to AZ where we are from.
Justin from Insurancerms last blog post..Florida Insurance

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Cartoon Pictures December 11, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I love Toy Story, Finding Nemo and so many of those animation films they appeal to all age ranges.
For more on Orlando things to do, you might like to check out my blog thecartoonpictures
Cartoon Picturess last blog post..south-park stupid

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spot@cool florida February 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm

There are actually LOTS of cool travel sites in Florida if you look beyond Disney and a few of the other obvious/cheesy ones. Thanks for mentioning four of them. There’s also an underwater hotel, a cool music scene in Key West, great bird watching in the Everglades, and more.
spots last blog post..Berlin’s Best Flea Markets

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Stan@binoculars February 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Personally, I love to watch birds. Such fascinating creatures, particularly when you get to know some of their habits. Even when I lived in the city I found there were always interesting bird species to spot in local parks. Highly recommended to anyone who might have an interest in wildlife…

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Graham@Outdoor LCD enclosures March 5, 2009 at 4:40 am

Hooters for me is one of the best attractions in Orlando! But for a family holiday, try the air boats in Kissimmee, we had a fantastic family day out and the kids still talk about it 4 years on.

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Krystian@Hotels Hastings September 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Love the blog, I never went to USA yet, but I saw the website of the Kennedy Space place you posted about and it’s quite cool 🙂
Hope I can visit it one day and see the space shuttle take off.

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Chris September 28, 2009 at 12:47 am

Give me the parks and gardens any day. Always nice to have somewhere to relax and picnic in and amongst all the mayhem of the theme parks.

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Chet@Disney Vacations October 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm

While we always visit Orlando to go to Disney World, I’ve always wanted to tour Kennedy Space Center. Maybe some day!!!

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David@Orlando Villa Rentals February 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

There is a lot more to do than just Disney in Orlando so thanks for the guest post. I would definitely say the Kennedy Space Centre is worth a visit to!

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