Answers from Our Experts (3)
If you are into certain aspects of theme parks, it is worth a trip to Universal Studios just to check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I actually bought an annual pass just so I could explore Hogwarts castle and hang out with wizards (lots of people come dressed up in black cloaks and pointed hats)! My advice is to make sure you're at the park right before it opens and then when you're in, head to one of the station's selling Butterbeer — the frothy beverage comes in a keepsake mug, too! After that, get in line for the ride of your life in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You'll sit in a cart with a few others and move through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with Harry Potter! The technology used allows you to see things such as Dumbledore's office, which is displayed on a screen in front of you, but the really cool thing about it is that you feel like you're actually in this adventure with Harry — and not just watching him. You're with him as he fights off dragons and so much more! This outdoor activity isn't just for kids. Adults can get in on the fun, too!
Since O-town is famous for the obvious theme park activities (and those are considered outdoors), I’m going to introduce you to a few new outdoor activities that you probably didn’t know could be done in Orlando.
The first would be the beach. Who wouldn’t want to lay on a lounge chair, sip a fruity cocktail and look out into the infinite ocean? Orlando is just a car ride away from some of the best beaches in the state. Another popular outdoor activity in Orlando is golfing. Orlando’s Bay Hill golf course is home to the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer invitational — this course attracts thousands of golfers each year to use its exquisite facilities. Not a golfer? Try going for a walk around downtown Orlando’s famous Lake Eola. You’ll see beautiful views, maybe catch a few swans passing by and don’t forget to bring a picnic basket! Eating lunch on the grass looking over the lake is an outdoor favorite for locals and visitors.
I’ve always thought one of the coolest activities in Orlando is at Orlando Watersports Complex, where you can water-ski, wakeboard, or waterskate via the cableway or behind a boat. Besides being one of the state's top locations for international watersports events, the complex is open to the public for riders and skiers of all skill levels. In fact, trainers there offer lessons to people with absolutely no experience at all.
Another outdoor must-do is a kayak or canoe trip down Wekiva River. From the rental shop inside Wekiwa Springs State Park, visitors can rent all the equipment they need for a float down this pristine river where turtle, alligator and otter sightings are commonplace. Afterward, spend some time cooling off with a swim inside the spring, which is always a refreshing 72 degrees.
Finally, zip lining has officially reached craze status in Orlando, which means you’ll find this exciting but not overly challenging activity all over the area, including Forever Florida, Central Florida Zoo, and now Gatorland, where zippers zoom over alligators watching from below.