OBSCURE ORLANDO (family-friendly tourist attractions)

Safari Wilderness Ranch

Think Orlando and what springs to mind: theme parks, right? 

But there are LOADS of other less-obvious attractions that the whole family can enjoy. Your first stop should be a reliable car hire provider, such as Avis, so you can explore the city at your leisure. 

Florida is subtropical which means it can get pretty steamy. Ward off those sticky temperatures with a trip to Wet ‘n Wild water park. New to the park is BLASTAWAY BEACH. The largest family-friendly water play area in the entire state – this sandcastle-themed attraction includes pools, water cannons, 15 slides, and endless fun for the kids. If you prefer a slower pace, grab an inflatable and float your way down the gently flowing Lazy River. Heaven! 

Get away from the bustle of the tourist crowds with a visit the SAFARI WILDERNESS RANCH. This family-owned working ranch stretches over 260 acres, which you can choose to explore by four-wheel-drive, or by camel. Yes, you read right. Camel. Now, this is not a zoo, or a purpose-built wildlife park; this is an actual game ranch that specialises in exotic species such as African Watusi cattle (with the long horns) and gorgeous Austrian Haflinger horses. Not only will you get to find out about all the animals, you’ll get to learn about the Florida’s unique ecosystem. Make sure you book ahead!

For a fascinating glimpse back in time, visit TITANIC, THE EXPERIENCE. Using faithfully recreated sets, scaled down replicas, and real-life actors, this doomed passenger ship truly comes to life. Listen to the story of that fateful night, and view genuine memorabilia recovered from the ship. Perhaps most breathtaking is the Grand Staircase, recreated to scale and instantly recognisable from the award-winning James Cameron movie, Titanic. 
If you’re a fan of everything weird and wonderful, you can’t miss a trip to RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT. Their Orlando Odditorium is filled with eye-widening exhibits such as shrunken heads, Siamese piglets and a picture of the Mona Lisa made from burnt toast. This quirky, crazy attraction will make you laugh, gasp, and shake your head in disbelief. As the name suggests, you truly have to see it to believe it!

For a high-adrenalin adventure, visit the ORLANDO GRAND PRIX. This 70,000 square foot indoor complex includes tracks for all ages (children must be over four-feet tall). The electric Italian pro-karts reach speeds of 50 mph, while the children’s junior karts can go up to 25 mph. It’s fast-paced fun for the whole family, and the perfect option for a wet afternoon. 

For more information on Orlando: www.visitorlando.com

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