Orlando may be best known for Disney World but there are lots of unlikely attractions outside the theme park bubble.
Whether you want to go skydiving without a plane, experience a makeshift hurricane or wrestle with a real-life alligator, check out our round-up of unusual things to do in Orlando.
Skydive without a plane
Be prepared to be blown away, literally, when you take an indoor skydive at iFLY Orlando. This impressive skydiving simulator is the perfect way to experience exactly how it feels to jump out of a plane, but without the parachute, the jumping, and the pre-jump nerves! Whether you’re aged 3 to 103, and whether you are flying solo or in a group there are a selection of packages to choose from. Every option includes pre-flight training, plus all the necessary flight gear and friendly instruction from a certified flight guide.
First time flyers can get 2 flights per person from $69.95.
Visit an upside-down mansion
Legend has it that Wonderworks Orlando began as a top secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle, but after an experiment went wrong it was sucked into a vortex and carried all the way to Orlando. Whether you believe the legend or not, you’ll love this quirky attraction which is packed with weird exhibits and unusual things to do.
On the outside, the upside-down building looks like it may well have fallen from the sky, while inside there are more than 100 hands-on exhibits including a mind-boggling inversion tunnel and 6 wonder zones where you can experience the trembling of an earthquake, be blown away by hurricane force winds, land a space shuttle, fly a fighter jet, lie on a bed of nails and play virtual sports. There’s also a glow-in-the-dark ropes course, a 4D motion theatre, a laser-tag arena and a nightly magic dinner show.
General admission is around $34 per adult (13+) and $25 for kids (age 4-12).
Stay in your own private theme park
It’s not just the attractions that are amazing in Orlando, there are some pretty unique places to stay too. This private estate is located just outside the city and come with its own theme park and water park!
Recommended villas in Orlando
Reunion Resort 4500
10 bedrooms – sleeps 24
Reunion Resort 900
9 bedrooms – sleeps 24
Reunion Resort 13000
12 bedrooms – sleeps 28
Perfect for families and large groups, it also has a gaming arcade, a disco room, a mini golf course, a laser tag system and two movie theaters. Other highlights include sports courts, game rooms, playgrounds, a campfire, massage chairs and a huge ice cream cone shaped swimming pool with a slide, hot tub and water fountains.
Kids and adults alike will marvel at the many themed bedrooms styled around popular candy brands and equipped with games, computer consoles and unique customized artwork. The 10-bedroom property offers enough space to sleep 24 guests, however up to 14 additional mattresses can be ordered, adding room for many more guests.
You can rent this home from $1,319 per night.
Watch a rocket launch
It’s not exactly in Orlando but it’s a pretty unique and cool thing to do if you don’t mind driving about an hour to the Space Coast. At Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach Pier or one of the many other Space Coast beaches you get great views of live rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center.
If you prefer to get an even closer look, the Center’s Visitor Complex opens from 9am to 6pm every day of the year. It’s the only place in the world where you can see famous spacecraft, get up-close to launch areas, meet real-life astronauts and train in spaceflight simulators. Admission is $57 for visitors age 12+ and includes the the Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D space films in the Imax Theater and a bus tour.
You can see NASA’s launch schedule here.
See strange exhibits
Located on International Drive, Ripley’s Odditorium is home to hundreds of incredible exhibits that pay tribute to the odd and the strange. The building itself looks like it’s sinking into a massive sinkhole and if that’s not weird enough just wait until you get inside.
Spanning across 10,000 square feet, the museum showcases an unbelievable variety of artefacts including a two-headed calf, an illusions gallery, a section of the Berlin wall and a portrait of the Mona Lisa made out of burnt toast. A few other recently added exhibits are a 6-legged pig, a vampire killing kit and a 14-foot portrait of the Last Supper made entirely from dryer lint.
Entry is around $20 for adults and $15 for kids aged 3-11.
Zipline over alligators
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Orlando then how about taking a trip to Gatorland?
Dubbed the ‘Alligator Capital of the World’, it’s home to alligators and crocodiles of all sizes from babies to 14-foot monsters. There’s also a free-flight aviary, a petting zoo, one-of-a-kind animal shows and thrilling zipline adventures.
Open to all the family, the Screamin’ Gator Zipline soars over the park and travels at speeds of more than 30mph. Standing over seven stories tall, the amazing zip-line towers feature multiple launch pads and breathtaking views from high above the treetops.
Entry is $29.99 for adults (age 13 years and up) and $19.99 for kids (age 3-12 years). A ride on the Screamin’ Gator Zipline is $69.99 per person.
Dine at an epic dinner show
Recommended condos in Orlando
Reunion Resort 636
3 bedrooms – sleeps 6
Reunion Resort 682
2 bedrooms – sleeps 7
Reunion Resort 508
3 bedrooms – sleeps 6
Located near the Orange county Convention Center on International Drive, Mango’s Tropical Cafe boasts 55,000 square feet of dining space and can cater for a whopping 2,000 guests. It hosts an epic dinner show line-up including a belly dancing and flamenco rumba show every night and a mariachi show every weekend. Other entertainment includes salsa lessons, tribute shows, live bands and dance performances throughout the venue.
Mango’s dinner shows are open to all the family and run nightly from 6pm – 9.45pm. For more information visit www.mangos.com
Order a Big Fu*kin’ Donut
The Big Fu*kin’ Doughnut served at Valkyrie is equivalent to around 24 normal ones – and it’s square, too. These whoppers cost $30 and are available by order only, 48 hours in advance. Another inventive choice is the Doughnut Sammich, a giant square doughnut sliced in half and stuffed with a brick of ice cream.
The venue also also offers a selection of tasty beverages to pair with your favorite doughnuts including coffee, sodas, energy drinks and nut milk. There’s bar seating inside and a bench outside for customers with dogs.
Tee off at a state-of-the-art driving range
For the unfamiliar, Topgolf Orlando combines a high-tech driving range with an arcade, a restaurant and full-service bar. Spanning across three floors, there are 102 state-of-the-art driving bays all with a HDTV, music and climate-control.
Using specially-microchipped balls, players aim for targets anywhere from 20 to 215 yards away – the harder the target is to hit, the more points you’ll score if you do. You don’t need to bring your golf gear either as everything you need is conveniently available on site. Food is delivered directly to your hitting bay, and you can order soft drinks, beers, wines and cocktails from the full-service bar.
Once you’re done with your game you can head up to the rooftop terrace and relax in front of the fire pit.
Tempted to book your vacation?
Top Villas offers hundreds of Orlando vacation homes in all of the top regions and resorts. Book with us and not only will you get luxury accommodation at great prices, you’ll also benefit from amazing round-the-clock customer service plus access to a wide range of travel extras such as car hire, attraction tickets or help with arranging a special experience.
Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. It’s easy to check availability, get a quote and book instantly online. Alternatively, submit an enquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.
However you choose to book, we offer complete payment protection and full support. We’re top rated by thousands of travelers on the world’s most popular review sites and also members of ABTA and ASTA.
You can see all of our Orlando vacation rentals here.