If you're planning an Orlando vacation and you want information on sights, restaurants, entertainment and discount Orlando hotels and resorts as low as $39, as well as first-class resorts, then you've come to the right place!
What most visitors think of as Orlando actually includes Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista as well. Walt Disney World® Theme Parks are mandatory magic for Central Florida visitors. The spires of Cinderella Castle are familiar around the world as the symbol of The Magic Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney's original park in Lake Buena Vista. Cinderella Castle is a fantastic backdrop for playful rides and roaming characters like international celebrity Mickey Mouse. EPCOT® is a two-part educational and cultural attraction designed to challenge the mind and satisfy the senses. Here, you can sample a warm croissant at a bakery in France; tap your foot to an authentic oom-pah band in Germany; learn about the age of dinosaurs; and take an exhilarating trip through the human body all in one day! Disney-MGM Studios allows visitors to see Disney animators creating wonderful characters and explains movie-making on an entertaining back lot tour.
Universal Studios shares the movie-making theme of Disney-MGM Studios, but attractions are presented quite differently here. At Universal, promoters say you can "ride the movies." The rides provide an entertaining look at famous movies of the past -- such as "Kongfrontation," where guests meet King Kong on the New York subway. Jaws, Earthquake, Ghostbusters and the works of Hitchcock are among the park's other movie attractions.
The latest excitement at Universal is Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time, a live action and state-of-the-art film adventure featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cast of T2.
Visitors to Central Florida will want to explore natural attractions as well as fantastical ones, and Sea World is a wonderful place to start. New attractions include the "Pacific Point Preserve," a sea lion and seal habitat which mimics the rocky, northern Pacific coastline; and "Manatees: The Last Generation?" an up-close look at the endangered sea cow. Sea World's newest attraction is Wild Arctic, which takes visitors on a chilling adventure to experience the natural beauty of the arctic. Visitors come face to face with real polar bears, walruses, harbor seals and beluga whales. The highlight of a visit to Sea World is the "Shamu: New Visions" show during which killer whales interact with trainers, defy gravity in breathtaking leaps; and make a big splash (and a wet audience!) with a flick of the tail and 52 degree water.
A mecca for visitors from around the world, Orlando is known for its international ambiance. Splendid China is a new major attraction in Kissimmee, taking visitors on a 10,000-mile journey through 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture. Many of the country's landmarks are re-created in miniature in this unique location. The replica of the Great Wall is considered its main attraction. The original three-foot building blocks were replaced by one- and two-inch-long bricks and more than six million of these were laid by hand to create this incredible 2,600-foot-long version of the 4,200-mile-long original. The miniaturized re-creation of Beijing's Forbidden City and Imperial Palace also are must-see attractions at Splendid China.
Dinner attractions are very popular here and center around themes, whether of an era or an ethnicity. At Arabian Nights, for example, chariot races entertain guests during dinner. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Kissimmee allows you to cheer on a knight to victory. Wild Bill's Wild West Dinner Show re-creates the spectacle of the Old West. Downtown Disney® Pleasure Island celebrates New Year's Eve every night with laser lights and dancing in the streets. Church Street Station in downtown is a nighttime entertainment complex, hosting a variety of different clubs and restaurants.
Shopping areas have as much variety as the local attractions. Souvenirs of your adventures for yourself and to take back home are easy to find. Outlet centers and factory stores abound here and offer some of the best bargains in town. Shopping areas are also popular for their fun environments, such as at the Church Street Station Exchange, Downtown Disney® Market Place or Old Town in Kissimmee.
Water fun is everywhere in Central Florida, though it's not a beach destination. Wet 'n Wild in Orlando, Water Mania in Kissimmee, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are four water parks where visitors can beat the Florida heat -- and have a slipping, sliding, good time of it! The newest, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park combines water with "snow" from a "freak Florida snowstorm," creating snowy slopes.
Botanical beauty flourishes in several parks which offer breathtaking displays of lush plant life. Cypress Gardens, a short distance away in Winter Haven, shows off stunning outdoor floral displays as well as world-class waterski shows daily. Bok Tower Gardens, is a serene sanctuary abounding with azaleas, camellias and magnolias. Leu Botanical Gardens is the home of the largest camellia and formal rose gardens in the South. A World of Orchids displays thousands of rare and exotic examples that flourish in a state-of-the-art, air conditioned, tropical rain forest garden showcase.