Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Orlando’s Lesser Known Attractions – Part I
Anybody contemplating a holiday in Central Florida, or more specifically – Orlando, will be more than familiar with the big name attractions that draw millions of visitors to the area every year. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Sea World are all as familiar as Coca-Cola. There are however many more attractions in the Orlando Metropolitan area that not only provide a welcome break from the ‘big boys’ but are worthy of a visit in their own right.
Magical Midway, situated on International Drive and just two blocks south of Wet’n Wild Water Park, is right up your street if you are an adrenalin junky! Magical Midway features two elevated go-cart tracks, the Space Blast Tower, which lifts off at over 3 G’s to a height of 180 feet plus bumper cars and bumper boats! Recently added is the Star Flyer. The chairs rise to 230ft and centrifugal force sends you at speeds of up to 54 mph as the central tower spins. This is reputed to be the only tower ride of its kind in the USA. Cost $22. 95 for a 3 hour armband, which gives Unlimited Go-Karts for 3 hours and Unlimited Midway Rides for 3 hours or $6. 00 each per Go-Kart Ticket and $7. 00 for a Star Flyer Ticket.
For a much more sedate outing, why not pay a visit to World of Orchids on Old Lake Wilson Rd. World of Orchids is a working greenhouse which displays thousands of plants in an enclosed tropical rainforest as well as shipping them nationwide. The greenhouse covers over an acre and as well as having streams, waterfalls and parrots, also has a one thousand foot boardwalk to take you out into the wetlands. And another bonus is that admission is free.
Aircraft enthusiasts are catered for at both Fantasy of Flight and also the Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum. The former is located just off the I-4 south of Orlando heading towards Tampa. Here over 40 airplanes, many of which are restored to original flying condition, are displayed in three hangers. Visitors can even board the last airworthy flying boat, a Sunderland. Also on view is the only B-26 Marauder still flying plus a B-24 Liberator and two P51 Mustangs.
At the Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum you will find numerous restoration projects on the go as well as many beautifully preserved and fully functional military aircraft. Unlike similar restoration facilities where the workshops are off-limits, here you are free to wander around the workshops and talk to the restoration staff. Should you wish, you can even take a course in restoration and get a free ride in a B-25 bomber at no extra cost.
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