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Things to Do and Places to Visit in Orlando, FL

Welcome to Orlando, Florida: America's wetlands capital, a water-world of gators and airboats, space centers and sculpture gardens, theme dinners and thrill rides, and so much more... read more »

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  • By Sarah Sekula Forever Florida, south of Orlando, is 4,700 acres of fun. Not only is it a quiet respite for nature-lovers, it is also a magnet for thrill seekers. Either way, you will likely enjoy every minute of it. It's an outdoor adventure -- among the treetops near Orlando. First, hop into the safari buggy, a swamp mobile made of recycled car parts. To one side you'll spot the largest herd of Cracker Cattle in the state of Florida, a critically endangered breed that the Forever Florida team is committed to protecting. On the other side: bromeliads above and neon-green duckweed crowd the ponds below. It's Old Florida at its best. Wide-open spaces abound, and you will easily slip into relaxation mode. After the nature ride, it's time to gear up and climb the tower to the first "zip" at Florida EcoSafaris.   Minutes later you're hurling yourself off the launch pad and soaking up the scenery. The surrounding lush and rugged landscape is a treat. Scan the treetops for bald eagles; look around on the ground for deer. There are alligators, wild turkeys are roaming around and even peacocks. It's truly the wild side of Florida that you don't see every day. You are inside of a wildlife conservation haven, after all. This perfectly preserved parcel of land actually includes nine beautiful ecosystems. Forever Florida has a significant focus on minimal disruption to the environment, and the whole zipline system was built and is maintained with that focus in mind. Not coincidentally, some of the(delete first some of the) some of the profits from Florida EcoSafaris' offerings are donated to the conservation effort. The owners, Dr. William and Margaret Broussard, lost their son to Hodgkin's disease nearly 20 years ago. The last wish of the 29-year-old, who dearly loved wildlife and the environment, was that they protect the surrounding ecosystems. In turn, the couple slowly amassed the Forever Florida property, parcel by parcel. As you go through the series of ziplines, you become more and more comfortable with it. In fact, even if you're afraid of heights, you can still give it a go. They've seen all types try it, from 8-year-olds to grandmothers. Once you're back on the ground, you'll be walking along the Florida Trail, one of eight national historic pathways running from Miami to Pensacola. If zip lining isn't your cup of tea, never fear, there's plenty to keep you busy. Consider taking a horseback ride that takes you through a creek and along a historic trail, enjoying a home-cooked meal at the visitor center or bringing a tent and setting up camp. It's the perfect getaway, whether you're after adrenaline or just seeking a heavy dose of R&R. Orlando Tickets & Discounts  Visit Orlando is an official seller of Forever Florida  discount tickets and to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows. Save time and money on your visit to Orlando. Sarah Sekula is a national travel correspondent who lives in Orlando and regularly contributes to USA TODAY, CNN.com, NBCnews.com, FOXnews.com, ISLANDS, Scuba Diving and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons. Follow her journeys at SarahSekula.com, @wordzilla on Twitter or wordzillapics on Instagram.

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    Outdoor Orlando: Ziplining Among the Treetops at Forever Florida
  • The amazing acrobatic displays and colorful characters that have been dazzling guests at Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba since 1998, just got a bit more sensational. Two new acts have been added to the 90-minute show at Disney Springs giving families seeking fun nightlife and entertainment in Orlando an even bigger reason to ooh and aah in wonder and delight. The new acts, a Russian Aerial Bamboo performance and a trio of freestyle break dancers, join other recent additions that have been made in an effort to refresh the show while maintaining its original charm. And for this, the original choreographer, music composer and lighting designer returned to seamlessly integrate the new performances. For the first time in the United States, Russian couple Alexander and Ekaterina Abramov performs their art form originating in China. Aerial Bamboo involves a pole-shaped apparatus, originally made of bamboo, suspended from the ceiling, with attached loops used for a variety of tricks and stunts - requiring unprecedented amounts of trust from the married duo. The B-Boy trio brings a new level of physically demanding form of dance for the first time to any Cirque du Soliel stage. The break dancers Josh Ortiz ("Incredible Josh"), Jean Carlos Lloret ("Bebo") and Dmytro Li ("Flying Buddha") execute acrobatic tricks and moves, including flips and spins, to music with their own individual styles. For early arrivers, La Nouba's preshow has also been recently refreshed. In 2014 a new hilarious clown duo joined the show and they're both named, Pablo. The clown team brings all new laughs and comedy routines beginning 15 minutes before the regular show start time. Orlando Tickets & Discounts Visit Orlando is an official seller of La Nouba. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.

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    Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba Adds New Acts at Walt Disney World
  • Are you ready for your escape? Whether it's from the frigid weather or the routine of school and work, we have ten ways to play this spring in Orlando for the family, the adventurous, and everyone in between. Vacation or staycation - we're ready to bring on spring in Orlando! THEME PARKS Universal Studios Orlando The Big Easy comes to Universal Orlando complete with a bead-tossing parade (1.8 million beads!) and live music with bands and performers spanning the decades and genres during Universal Studios Mardi Gras, February 06 - April 16, 2016. Laissez les bon temps rouler at the French Quarter Courtyard with jambalaya, gumbo and Zydeco music. Walt Disney World Thirty million multi-color blooms are bursting at the most magical place on earth. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 02 - May 15, 2016, features whimsical topiaries - the hottest royals from "Frozen", Anna and Elsa are among the newest botanical creations - Outdoor Kitchens for delicious farm-to-table eats, and live music on the weekends with the Garden Rocks concert series. SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew and BBQ returns weekends, February 13 - March 06, 2016, with top classic rock and country bands performing live, and Central Florida's top local smokehouses. SeaWorld's Sweet & Smokin' Barbecue joins the tasty spread too. The spring event honors the men and women in our Armed Forces, with a special salute and offers to those in the military. SEE ALSO: Orlando Spring Break: Top 10 Things to Do WATER WHIMSY LEGOLAND Florida Resort Spring is a splash at Legoland Water Park, which reopens in mid-March. Visitors can slide, soak and catch a wave before or after spending time at the 150-acre toy-brick inspired theme park that features rides, shows, and attractions. Orlando Watersports Complex If your idea of diving into fun doesn't include slides and water spouts, check out Orlando Watersports Complex. Not tied to a theme park, you can wakeboard, kneeboard and water ski whether you're just learning how to balance, or turning pro - dive in! LAP OF LUXURY Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Four Seasons brings Fun in the Sun in a minimum four-night deal that includes a $50 resort credit. The kids can roam in the five-acre "Explorer Island" water park with lazy river, slides and splash zones. Special spring break activities include s'more and pizza making, and balloon artistry. For the adults, mixology and cooking classes, yogalates and golf clinics are on the spring break agenda. SEE ALSO: Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Orlando ACTION & ADVENTURE Wild Florida Wanna see what Central Florida looked like 1,000 years ago? The airboats at Wild Florida glide you through more than 100,000 of wetlands - into protected swamps, marshes and rivers of the Central Florida Everglades. No theme parks or housing developments - the only humans are you! Kennedy Space Center Explore the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Apollo/Saturn V Center, even have lunch with an astronaut. Younger visitors have a Rocket Garden and Children's Play Dome to round out their out-of-this-world experience. NATURE LOVERS   Wekiva Island Locals know about this popular spot for boating, canoeing, fishing and kayaking. If you just want to sit back and soak in the beauty and sunshine, rent a cabana - it comes with comfy seating, grills, and a place to store the treats you bring with you. Stop by a store for an inflatable for a relaxing float on the river. Blue Springs State Park As a manatee refuge, the gentle giants are drawn to the warm water during the winter and spring. That means you can see hundreds of manatees on the spring's overlooks. Hike, picnic and if you can't get enough - camp overnight. Our theme parks, water parks and outdoor attractions offer the much needed cold weather escape for the whole family. Let Visit Orlando make planning your vacation even more fun. Request a free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit. Using #BringOnSpring, follow our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more information and the latest updates on all that's fun to do this spring in Orlando.

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    Top 10 Ways to Bring on Spring in Orlando
  • LEGO fans everywhere who are anticipating the release of the The LEGO Movie Sequel can breathe a sigh of relief. LEGOLAND Florida has premiered a "mini-figure" sequel called THE LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure during a recent red carpet event, complete with blasts of confetti and TV celebs. The  theatrical attraction adds more kid-friendly things to do at Orlando's area theme parks. The 12-and-a-half-minute experience reunites Emmet and friends in an all-new short story that combines 3D animation with interactive "4D" effects including wind, water and fog. In addition, a fun interactive game gets the audience screaming and pointing at the large screen during a key point in the storyline. Some of the original cast lends their voice to the movie, but Will Ferrell's absence is called out humorously during the movie, noting the price tag being too high for his return. A new evil mastermind, "Risky Business" is introduced in this movie and played by comedian actor, Patton Oswalt. You also won't hear the earworm song, "Everything is Awesome" from the original movie, but the new 4D version does a playful take on the catchy tune made popular in blockbuster. TV stars (Aubrey Anderson-Emmos, of ABC TV's Modern Family, Joey Bragg of Disney Channel's Liv and Maddie, Isabella Moner, of Nickelodeon's 100 Things to Do Before High School) along with Youtubers (The Eh Bee Family and Family Fun Pack) attended the event and walked the red carpet after the premiere. Our young Visit Orlando reporter was on hand to get their reactions. The biggest reactions came during the participation part of the movie where the audience started screaming and pointing at the large screen and "helped" Wyldstyle find the right shaped LEGO to overcome a problem. On Saturday and Sundays in February, guests can be their own master builders during the new LEGO Movie 4D Weekends featuring special LEGO building opportunities, meet-and-greets with the movie characters and a Brick-tastic Fireworks Finale. Orlando Tickets & Discounts  Visit Orlando is an official seller of LEGOLAND Florida discounted tickets  and to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows. Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.

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    LEGOLAND Florida Premieres The LEGO Movie 4D
  • One of the most anticipated events every spring in Orlando is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, new food, new topiary displays and a new musical play garden will take center stage for this 90-day celebration of all things that bloom, March 2 - May 30, 2016. Here are a few highlights of what to expect at the 23rd Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Food continues to be a growing trend at the festival. New at the Outdoor Kitchens will be flavors of the Caribbean at La Isla Fresca and locally grown produce at the new Cider House, including heirloom apples grown at Epcot's own The Land pavilion. Additional new flavors will be featured as well, at the festival's 11 other Outdoor Kitchens: Urban Farm Eats, Pineapple Promenade, Fleur de Lys, Florida Fresh, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews, Primavera Kitchen, Lotus House, Bauernmarkt and Jardin de Fiestas. SEE ALSO: Top 10 Ways to Bring on Spring in Orlando  The trio characters Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, nephews to the explosive Donald Duck, will be making their premiere in topiary form inspired by a 1943 Donald Duck comic book called "The Victory Garden" at the Epcot front-entrance garden display with Donald and Daisy. A new playground will sing with musically themed activities inspired with musicians-in-residence topiaries of Disney's Fab Five characters. The Harmony Gardens musical playground debuts with interactive drums, chimes and xylophones, an area where children can create their own musical sounds and a net climb. Anna and Elsa topiaries will travel to the Norway pavilion festival landscape following their 2015 debut along World Showcase Plaza in a scene from the blockbuster Oscar-winning animated film, "Frozen." Special weekend events include: April 1-3 - Art in the Garden Weekend spotlights nature through the works of plein air artists; April 8-10 - The new Family Fun Weekend presents outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy and a Festival Center focus on bugs with Disney's Animal Kingdom specialists; April 22-24 - Earth Day Weekend celebrates our planet with special appearances and activities; April 29-May 1-Florida Fresh Weekend features the state's edible bounty from Apalachicola to Zellwood. The Garden Rocks concert series will present pop bands with music spanning four decades. This year's lineup kicks off March 4-6 with The Orchestra starring former members of ELO and will also include new-to-the festival acts like Bad Company. Each weekend at the Festival Center, guests can dig in for a complimentary hands-on Gardening Seminar experience and create a take-home souvenir or grab a seat to hear tips from experts on a broad range of topics. The center also offers signature festival merchandise, food and beverages. Orlando Tickets & Discounts Visit Orlando is an official seller of Walt Disney World tickets. Find discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks, attractions, sporting events and dinner shows - we have it all! Save time and money on your visit to Orlando.

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    New Details Released for Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2016

Find Hotels Near Popular Landmarks in Orlando

  • 192 Flea Market0 Hotels Nearby
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  • Alligator Lake19 Hotels Nearby
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Find Hotels Near Popular Airports in Orlando

  • Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM)
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  • Orlando Intl. Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando Sanford Intl. Airport (SFB)
  • University of Central Florida (UCF)

In and Around Orlando

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