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Orlando Mini Guide
Why Would I Visit Orlando?
The majority of people who visit Orlando go because of the huge number of theme parks in the area. The biggest and most popular of these is Disney World
but there is more to Orlando than the parks. A park of sorts is Discovery Cove but it’s more like a tropical five star resort spread out over thirty acres. There, amidst man-made jungles, you can watch the tropical wildlife and swim on perfect sugary sand beaches. Elsewhere in Orlando there’s the University of Central Florida’s Arboretum with over six hundred species of trees and plants beautifully presented in an eighty acre site.
How do I Get to all This Fun?
One of Florida’s chief airports, Orlando International, is right in the middle of all of the attractions and within easy driving distance of the resorts. British Airways and Virgin both operate routes direct from London Gatwick
whilst Virgin also fly from Manchester and seasonally from Glasgow. There’s transport by the Lynx light transit system into Orlando, the Disney Magic Express and also shuttles to the cruise ship docks for Caribbean cruises.
What Should I See and Do in Orlando?
Almost certainly you’re there for the theme parks so go ahead and do Disney and Epcot, Universal Studios and Seaworld but save some time on your trip for some of the lesser known attractions such as Gatorland where you’ll be up close and personal with the scary reptiles. Try too the ‘Holy Land’ theme park which, although a little like the set of The Life of Brian, is an authentic reproduction of the Middle East at the time of Jesus. In some ways it’s almost unnerving there. For more along the lines of the unusual, visit the Shrine of ‘Mary, Queen of the Universe’. It sounds like the place to worship a comic book superhero but it’s actually a very important Catholic pilgrimage site.
What can I buy to Take Home From Orlando?
If you’re visiting any of the theme parks you’re bound to come away with souvenirs be it a commemorative video, a photo with a cartoon character or a cuddly toy. More unusual are the model crocodiles with moving jaws, statuettes of biblical characters and mini representations of the Virgin Mary. Whichever you choose, it’ll be lucky to last a couple of months back home before heading to the car boot sale!
What Should I eat When in Orlando?
Because the area caters for so many overseas visitors, the menus in the restaurants around the city and resorts can contain food from the four corners of the earth, many authentically cooked. Rather than go for what you know, be adventurous and try something from say Nepal, or Argentina or Australia. You’ll rarely get the chance to do so again unless you’re a seasoned traveller.
How can I Party in Orlando?
You can stay around for the end of day festivities in the theme parks or move on to the resort controlled entertainment in the ‘grown-ups’ section. For a more authentic night out simply head down to Central Boulevard or Orange Avenue and enjoy a good time with the locals.