Many travelers head to Orlando, Florida with a Disney-focused trip top of mind. While time at Disney is certainly well worth a visitor’s time, Orlando offers up options beyond Disney attractions that are just as enjoyable to experience. If you’re looking to round out your itinerary with a versatile list of stops, the following are the top 5 non-Disney Orlando attractions you’re going to be sure to want to see for yourself!
Harry P. Leu Gardens
For as fun and exciting as days spent at Disney theme parks can be, Orlando is often a place full of beautiful hidden surprises that are far from the theme park gates, if only travelers know where to look. One of those destinations is the Harry P. Leu Gardens. Situated on N. Forest Avenue, the Harry P. Leu Gardens is the perfect place to set your sights if you’re looking to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind for a moment and instead, focus on time immersed in the beauty of nature. Walking into the gardens is a little bit like stepping into another world entirely. Covering 50 acres of land, the gardens encompass a wide variety of plants and flowers from across the state, country, and beyond, creating an exotic and tropical escape where you can sit and admire or stroll and let your imagination run free. Within the gardens, visitors will walk by meticulously manicured flower beds that surround lush lakes. Trails through the gardens are lined with oaks and camellias, creating a nearly magical effect that also provides a perfect backdrop for photographers. Don’t be surprised if you end up lingering longer than you planned!
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Florida has long been known for its amazing wildlife and incredible ecosystems. A trip to central Florida is no exception to that rule. When you’re looking to incorporate a stop beyond theme parks while still being wowed by what you encounter, head to the Central Florida Zoo. Situated on 23 acres of land, this zoo is home to over 500 animals and provides a space for visitors to enjoy and learn that’s also complimented by tropical foliage throughout. From the reptile house to the insect zoo, this stop is built around hands-on experiences that highlight the importance of conservation and the creatures that are so vital to the world we live in. Up-close encounters can be booked in addition to general admission for those looking to learn even more during a visit!
There’s no guarantee that you’re going to run into a celebrity besides Mickey Mouse when you make your way to Orlando, but if you put a stop at Madame Tussauds on the itinerary, you increase your chances a bit. This whimsical and family-fun museum is located on International Drive within the parameters of ICON Park. Stepping inside, guests will find themselves face-to-face with life-sized wax replicas of celebrities from across the globe! Pictures are encouraged as you make your way through the galleries that feature musicians, historical icons, and actors alike. You might even run into a marvel superhero or two, so get that camera ready and bring your sense of fun with you.
Many travelers head to Florida hoping to see a gator along the way. If you stop by Gatorland during your time in Orlando, this is something you’ll certainly be able to check off your list! No, Gatorland isn’t a Disney attraction, but it certainly provides that high-energy and engaging theme park vibe for those who crave that moment. Gatorland is considered one of the city’s oldest attractions and is a family fun stop that sprawls across nearly 100 acres. Here, guests can take time to observe alligators and crocodiles in marshy swamps, but the destination also hosts zip lines, rides, and themed attractions too. In addition to alligators, guests can walk through an aviary and little ones can enjoy time in the on-site petting zoo. If you find yourself here on a particularly toasty day, head over to the kid’s splash pad to cool off before continuing your adventures.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf
If a little friendly competition is very much your travel style, and you’re into the idea of Hollywood-themed fun too, then taking time to enjoy Hollywood Drive-In Golf on Universal CityWalk is bound to inspire! Hit up this 18-hole mini-golf course with family and friends and enjoy the sci-fi and movie-themed artwork that makes up the courses along the way. You’ll be perfecting your short game while feeling like a celebrity on CityWalk too.
Book Your Stay in Orlando Today
When you’re ready to enjoy Orlando, the team at Magical Vacation Homes has the accommodations you need and deserve to top off your stay. Reach out today to learn more about our many rental properties and to begin planning your next adventure. We can’t wait to see you in sunny Florida soon!