10 Best Things To Do Around Orlando’s International Drive
Orlando began its tourism boom when Walt Disney World was established in the city in 1971. Universal Orlando Resort followed decades after and opened for business in 1990. These two major attractions became the backbone of tourism in Orlando. Orlando is known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World” and rightly so.
These world-class destinations opened many business opportunities and other tourist attractions and tourism-related businesses in the city. Lake Eola Park, a 43-acre public park became the center of attraction of the city offering relaxation, converts, and events, and the fountain in the park has become the iconic symbol of Orlando.
Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the world. Offering amusement parks, themed restaurants, beautiful scenery, numerous parks and gardens, museums, and even proximity to the Kennedy Space Center, this city is truly the best place to visit with family or friends.
Many companies also choose Orlando for their conferences and conventions because the Orange County Convention Center located in Orlando can house hundreds of visitors. The convention center is the second-largest convention facility in the United States.
Visitors will never run out of things to do in Orlando! Travelers visiting Orlando for the first time will want to head out to International Drive. This famous area is a hub where many top attractions and restaurants are found. Here are some of the activities you’ll want to check out on International Drive.
Activities in International Drive
ICON Park Orlando
Experience a 360-degree view of the skyline and overview of the entire city of Orlando by riding the Wheel at ICON Park. This famous attraction sits at the center of International Drive and has become the icon of Orlando. This 400-foot observation tower is the tallest observation wheel on the east coast of the United States.
The fascinating 20-minute ride soars above the city. Bring the entire family and share a private capsule, or bring the gang, and try the Sky Bar Party flight. After your flight, you’ll want to visit the other attractions of ICON Park including Madame Tussauds and Sea Life. With over 40 restaurants, bars, shops and attractions, and free parking this is our sport to play, night and day.
International Drive is home to numerous interactive museums where children and adults will love learning while playing. For the “chocoholics” out there, The Chocolate Museum and Cafe and World of Chocolate Museum are two museums which boast hundreds of chocolate flavors. These factories will show visitors how where chocolate comes from and how chocolates are made.
For something unusual and amazing exhibits, illusions, and interactive art don’t miss Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, and WonderWorks. WonderWorks is an amusement park for the mind combining over 100 hands-on exhibits meant to kick start the imagination. The upside down the architecture of WonderWorks which exhibits unique and creative works attracts plenty of curious tourists.
Other museums worth a visit is Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition which features a recreation of the ship’s interior and guided tours, and the Skeleton Museum at ICON Park Orlando featuring over 500 real skeletons.
Orlando nightlife can be majestic and thrilling. Tourists can book a helicopter night tour above Orlando and experience the scenic view with commentary from the pilot of the theme parks below. The helicopter route passes over Walt Disney World where lucky participants can catch a view of the fireworks display, Universal Studios, and ICON Park Orlando.
For people who may be afraid of heights, but still want that adrenaline rush, opt for a sixty-minute Airboat Adventure at night in Orlando. This truly unique boat ride will tour tourists through the dark swamps where they can observe lurking wildlife and the picturesque natural setting of Orlando.
Arcade and Games
Around International Drive, activities perfect for kids and kids at heart abound. One of the more popular activities is an experience at America’s Escape Game. There are six different themed escape rooms available for five to 15 individuals. These escape rooms offer problem-solving, and brain-teasing puzzles that’s perfect for building camaraderie and teamwork among groups of individuals. Some puzzles are also available for kids ages 12 and up. Fun, challenge and mystery all in one!
The Whirly Dome also located on International Drive offers WhirlyBall, as well as arcade games, bowling alley, pool tables, laser tag, and F1 simulator. Playing WhirlyBall, a sport combining basketball, lacrosse, and hockey while riding in an electrically powered machine, similar to a “bumper car” will bring out the competitor in all of you! It can be played by kids 54 inches tall and above.
For car and go-kart enthusiasts, head out to Magical Midway or I-Drive NASCAR Kart Racing Track when you’re feeling the “need for speed.” Magical Midway Thrill Park offers go-karts, bumper cars, boars and an indoor arcade. Visitors may opt to buy an all-access ticket to try out all the activities or individual passes for specific activities.
I Drive NASCAR offers go-kart racing and features a trackside restaurant. There are a few reminders when going to the I-Drive NASCAR Kart Racing Track: race participants should wear closed shoes; people wearing skirts are not allowed to race, and participants should be at least 4 feet 7 inches or 140 cm tall for karting.
Water activities are always a great option when you’re ready to cool down. Coco Key Water Resort is a family-friendly hotel with a 54,000 sq. foot canopy-covered is a water park which has 14 different water slides and refreshing swimming pools. It’s perfect for the adventurous family.
The resort has may guides and lifeguards to ensure maximum fun and visitor safety. The Aquatica is also one of the most visited water parks in the area because of the thrilling rides, tall slides and wave curl in the water park. Other famous water parks include Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Blizzard Beach, Water Park.
Other water activities near the area include riding a paddle boat at Lake Eola or an hour boat ride at the Winter Park Garden. For people who love to observe sea creatures, take a trip to visit SEA LIFE Aquarium at ICON Park and see the 360° tunnel aquarium and witness the thrilling dive shows. Another popular attraction is SeaWorld Orlando, which is famous for its orca shows, rides, and animal exhibits.
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Truly unique activities to try in Orlando is the indoor skydiving experience at the iFLY Orlando. This attraction lets participants experience the adrenaline rush and the feel of skydiving without actually getting on an airplane and risking your life doing so!
The experience includes two 1-minute sessions of free-fall flight, one-on-one guidance, training and use of gear, and a certificate to prove your flight achievement. This activity could be enjoyed by kids ages three years or older. Note: Participants should weigh less than 300lbs to in order to try the ride.
For people who are into golf or miniature golf visit Pirates Cove Adventure Golf, Hollywood Drive-in Golf or the Congo River Adventure Golf. This is one of the few activities in Orlando that will give visitors a pleasant, relaxed but fun and quiet time. There’s typically an area less noise and more opportunity for people to chat and bond over golf. The Hollywood Drive-in Golf Course is open until 2 o’clock in the morning. Golfing under the moon and stars sounds like a romantic activity for the right couples.
Heading out to Pirates Cove Adventure Golf is a different experience because of the beautiful scenery of the course. Putt through caves, footbridges and under waterfalls all while enjoying the pirate lore. Kids and adults can enjoy the golf course and can choose from easy or challenging holes. When playing golf, it’s a great time to slow down appreciate your surroundings, landscape, and the view.
Day or night, there’s always something to do in Orlando. There are many restaurants and comedy bars that offer live shows, stand-up comedy and great live music on International Drive. Head out to Mango’s Tropical Café and experience a night of dancing and partying where famous DJs hype up the dance floor. Sample a taste of Caribbean cooking at Gatorville Restaurant or Bahama Breeze Island Grille. The choices are endless.
There are also numerous choices in Pointe Orlando, housing 16 restaurants in this place alone. The food in B.B. King’s Blues Club and Pub Orlando will never disappoint. There are also live bands in these restaurants that will set the mood for the entire night.
Another themed restaurant in the area which offers live shows is the Medieval Time Dinner Show. Experience an 11th-century live dinner show set up in a European-styled castle. And if comedy bars are your thing, be sure to visit Orlando Improv Comedy Club for the best in improv and Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar which offers a free show every Friday and Saturday.
Fun-Spot America is a theme park located on International Drive. This amusement park is reminiscent of old-school parks similar to what the circus offered during the 1900s. It offers the only wooden roller coaster in Orlando, the White Lightning Woodie; spinning thrill rides, and kiddie rides like the cadet track. SkyCoasters, at 250 feet, is one of the world’s tallest drop towers. SkyCoasters is literally a jaw-dropping attraction with riders dropped from a tall tower towards the ground, bouncing up and down until it comes to a rest.
Other nearby theme parks include Universal Studios, where you can find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Fievel’s Playground, and E.T. Adventure. For extreme and one-of-a-kind rides, head out to Universal’s Island of Adventure. There is also the requisite visit to Walt Disney World while in Orlando. Experience being a kid again and enjoy the magical world of Disney.
Orlando’s booming tourism business has flourished because of the big name parks as well as the many additional attractions available for all kinds of ages. For any vacation and holiday getaway, it’s always important to plan ahead and do a little research to know what attractions and restaurants most suit you, and also, which places will be most crowded.
Being clear on the goal of your vacation is important. If you want to relax and avoid crowds, remember you can avoid the usual tourist spots and go to the many undiscovered areas of the city. Although Orlando is so well known, people are always surprised and pleased by the variety of activities and hidden spots they can enjoy in Orlando.