Places to Visit in Orlando
The Splendors of Orlando
Located in world’s most visited tourist regions, the city of Orlando attracts million of visitors every year. The presence of SeaWorld, Walt Disney and Universal Studios makes it a popular destination for family vacations. With myriad of amusement parks, visitors can ride roller coasters, meet favorite storybook characters and watch whales and dolphins performing marvelous tricks. Apart from theme parks, the city features pedestrian streets lined with bars, restaurants, shops and comedy clubs. Opera houses, theaters, museums and ballets of the city perform live arts scene. Known for hospitality, the place has many spas, services and hotels that suit every taste and budget. Here’s list of places to visit in Orlando:
- Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary
Built in 1980s, Basilica of National Shrine of Mary is charming and alluring religious place. The church was built to service large number of Catholic tourists who visit the attractions. It can seat 2,000 people and provides Mass for faithful. The shrine has main church, Mother and Child Outdoor Chapel, Rosary Garden, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, gift shop and Shrine Museum. It has 8 feet marble statue of Mary, which is created by sculptor Jill Burkee. In 2009, it was listed as 63rd minor basilica in US.
- Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove is one of areas major attractions attracting tourists in abundance. Visitors can interact with range of marine animals including bottlenose dolphins. It has coral reef, where visitors can swim with thousands of tropical fish, sting ray and underwater tigerfish and shark located behind protective glass. It also has free-flight aviary, which contains more than 250 tropical birds including toucans, parrots and 30 species of exotic birds. In 2011, a new attraction named as Grand Reef was opened, which features palm-lined island, white-sand beach, reef sharks and many tropical fishes.
- Walt Disney World
Opened in 1971, Walt Disney World is an entertainment complex in Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake. This favorite children destination is spanned in 27,258 acres featuring two water parks, four theme parks, nine non-Disney hotels, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, camping resort, gold courses and other entertainment venues. Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, Magic Kingdom and Epcot Theme Park are some of its highlights that have entertained parents and children. It is most visited vacation resort in the world, with average annual visitors of over 52 million.
With its huge aquariums, touch pools, whale and dolphin shows and list of rides, SeaWorld attracts large family crowd. It is divided into unique themed elements including Sea of Shallows, Port of Entry, Sea of Ice, Sea of Legends, Sea of Delight, Sea of Fun, Sea of Mystery and Sea of Power. The dolphins and penguins display amazing water sports, which will blow your mind. In 2016, it hosted an estimated 4,402,000 visitors, ranking it as tenth most visited amusement park in US and 25th worldwide.
- Universal Studios
Opened in 1990, Universal Studios is a theme park which offers look at film studio and other kinds of entertainment and attractions. It was designed in consultation with Steven Spielberg to give visitors interactive experience, and designed to entertain children and adults. There are two different theme parks- Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. In 2016, it attracts 9,998,000 visitors, making it sixth most attended theme park in US, and ninth most attended park in world.
- Islands of Adventure
Located at Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure has eight unique islands, each designed with unique theme, rides and various forms of entertainment. Initially, there were only six islands, seventh island- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was opened in 2010 and eighth –Skull Island was open in 2016. The eight islands are named as – Port of Entry, Marvel Super Hero Island, Skull Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent and Seuss Landing. In 2013, it attracts more than 8.1 million guests, listing it at seventh position among US parks and 11th position in world.
- Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon is one of most popular water theme parks, with various slides and rides. It is the second water park to open at resort and is home to one of the world’s largest wave pools. Shark Reef in the park gives an opportunity to swim with bonnethead sharks, leopard, string ray and other fishes. In 2016, the park attracted more than 2,277,000 visitors, making it second most visited water park in the world.