Listed below are the best tourist attractions and best things to do at International Drive.
International Drive is an 11.1 mile (17.9 Km) road, which is the main tourist strip in Orlando. In and around International Drive are tourist attractions, theme parks, water parks, entertainment options, hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants.
SeaWorld Orlando – Must Visit Theme Park
SeaWorld Orlando is a mix of marine zoological park and theme park. Orlando’s Sea World has an amazing range of sea animals including Killer Whales (Orca), Dolphins, Penguins, Sharks, Stingrays, Cownose Rays, Manatees, Sea Turtles, Sea Lions, Otters, Greater Flamingos, Pelicans, tropical birds and many more. SeaWorld’s shows featuring Killer Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions and Otters, are world famous. SeaWorld also has some of the best rollercoaster and rides in Orlando, including Mako (Orlando’s fastest, longest and tallest roller coaster), Kraken, Manta and Journey to Atlanta. SeaWorld Orlando also has a terrific children’s play area which the kids will enjoy. SeaWorld is a must visit attraction for tourist in Orlando. SeaWorld has faced criticism for its Orca (killer whale) breeding program. Sea World has committed to no longer breed Orcas in captivity.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Great Rides
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the theme park for the serious thrill seeker. Divided into eight islands, Islands of Adventure offers a wide range of rides from roller coasters, 3-D audio-visual simulation rides, teacup ride, river rafting water ride, rapid water ride, free-fall and more. There is a wonderful children’s island called “Seuss Landing”, which has attractions based on Dr Seuss’ characters. The two newest islands at Islands of Adventure Universal – “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” – have renewed visitor interest in this thrilling theme park. Visitors will get wet in the 3 exciting water rides at Islands of Adventure; so do carry a towel and change of clothes.
Universal Studios Florida – Popular Theme Park
If the neighboring sister theme park of “Islands of Adventure“ is aimed at those seeking an adrenaline rush, Universal Studios Florida offers the more conventional theme park experience. In addition to some exciting rides, Universal Studios Florida also offers live shows, live musicals, parades, 4-D movies, dedicated children’s play area and more. Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Universal CityWalk (an entertainment complex) boardwalk between the two theme parks and the Loews Hotels, collectively make up Universal Orlando Resort. Unlike Disney, Universal offers enticing discounts for multi-day, multi-park visits.
Helicopter Tours of Orlando – Unique Views Of Orlando
Helicopter Charter companies, based out of International Drive, offer helicopter rides of Orlando’s main tourist destinations. It’s a unique experience to get a bird-eye view of famous places in Orlando. The thrill and exhilaration of touring in a helicopter makes this activity special. These Helicopter charter companies offer a wide variety of tour options. Orlando’s helicopter rides are reasonably priced. The Helicopter tour companies located around I-Drive are Air Florida Helicopter Charters Inc, Air Force Fun Helicopters Tours and International HeliTours.
Shopping On International Drive – Great Bargains
International Drive is a shopper’s paradise. “Orlando International Premium Outlets” at the Northern end of I-Drive and “Orlando Vineyard Premium Outlets” at the Southern end offer great bargains. There are many company outlet stores, factory stores and clearance stores at both these locations and all throughout International Drive. “Artegon Marketplace Orlando” and “Pointe Orlando” are two other major shopping complexes in I-Drive. Shopping is one more reason why tourists flock to International Drive.
Aquatica Orlando – SeaWorld’s Fun Waterpark
Aquatica Orlando is a Water Park, which along with SeaWorld and Discovery Cover forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando. This thrilling Water Park has tube slides, wave pools with white sand beach, racing slides, pod slides, raft slides, tunnel slides, twisty slides, dip slides, rapids, lazy river, kid’s water play area and more. The main highlight of Aquatica Orlando is “Dolphin Plunge”, which is a fast underwater tube slide with black-and-white Commerson’s Dolphins swimming around.
Discovery Cove Orlando – Memorable Experience
SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove gives visitors an unique opportunity to touch, feed and swim with Dolphins. Visitors can walk underwater in scuba gear in the Grand Reef. Visitors can touch the fishes in the Reef and watch large sharks through a glass enclosure. Discovery Cove has a bay area, a heated tropical river, waterfall and caves. In addition to marine animals, Discovery Cove also has a large aviary where hundreds of birds live in their natural habitat. Visitors can feed birds from their hands. Visitors to Discovery Cove Orlando will have a memorable experience.
Magical Midway – World’s Largest Slingshot And More
Magical Midway is a Thrill Park that claims to have the world’s largest slingshot. The two colorfully lit tall columns of the Sling Shot can be seen for miles. Visitors are dropped from a height of 390 feet. Other thrilling things to do at Magical Midway are Starflyer (360 degree swing that rises to 230 ft), Go-Kart (three tracks for Go-Karting), Space Blast (vertical free fall), Arcade Games, Trampolines, Merry-Go-Round, Bumper Cars and more.
WonderWorks Orlando – Fun Place For The Family
Orlando’s Wonder Works is an amazing building to look at. The structure looks as though it is upside down and its columns seem to be crumpling. WonderWorks has over 100 interactive exhibits such as earthquake simulator, 4D theatre, laser tag, rope challenges, virtual sports and more. It’s an ideal place for the family.
Fun Spot America – Theme Park At International Drive
Fun Spot America is a theme park located at the Northern End of International Drive. Fun Spot America offers theme park rides, fairground rides, go-kart racing, arcade games and alligator viewing. Theme park rides at Fun Spot include Orlando’s only wooden rollercoaster, a kid’s rollercoaster, spinning wheel, revolving suspended cars, spinning teacups and more. Fairground type of rides includes a giant ferris wheel, bumper cars, bumper boats, giant swing, kids swing, carousel and more. Fun Spot has multiple level Go-Kart tracks. A fun activity at Fun Spot is Gator Spot, where visitors can view alligators. There are two “Fun Spot America” in Orlando; one at I-Drive and the other in Kissimmee.
Other Major Attractions And Things To Do At International Drive
Listed below are more interesting things to do At International Drive, Orlando. Many of these attractions are in the North and Center of international Drive.
- Restaurants, Dining, Bars, Dinner Shows: Cuisines from around the world is available at I-Drive. There is a wide range of restaurants, fast-food places, bars, restaurants with dinner shows and more.
- Orange County Convention Center: This is the second largest convention center in the United States. Conventions, consumer shows, trade shows and events are held throughout the year at this convention center.
- I-Drive NASCAR Kart Racing: I-Drive NASCAR is an indoor Kart Racing arena. Kids over the height of 55 inches can race here.
- iFLY Orlando: iFLY Orlando is an Indoor Skydiving activity. An indoor wind tunnel simulates the sensation of skydiving and flight.
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Orlando’s “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” has a nice collection of weird and unique artifacts. Spread over 10,000 sq feet, it has 16 themed galleries.
- Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition: This is a large 20,000 sq feet interactive museum based on the Titanic ship. The guided tours, 17 galleries and many exhibits give the visitor a sense of what it would have been like to be on the Titanic. There is also a special Titanic Gala Dinner.
- SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium at I-Drive 360: SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium has over 5,000 marine creatures, including sharks, turtle, stingrays, octopus, clownfish, seahorses, jellyfishes, barracuda and more. Sea Life has a touch-pool, where visitors can touch sea animals.
- Orlando Eye: “Orlando Eye” is a giant Ferris wheel, which is primarily an observation wheel. The 400 feet tall “Orlando Eye” offers spectacular views of Orlando and Central Florida.
- Madame Tussauds Orlando at I-Drive 360: Enjoy life like wax figures of famous personalities from movies, TV, music, sports and history. Combined tickets are available with other Orlando attractions.
- WhirlyDome: WhirlyBall is a mix of basketball, lacrosse and bumper car. WhirlyDome also has a Formula One Simulator, Bowling, Arcade Games and Laser Tag.
- CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort: This is a water park and a hotel. It is located in the Northern part of I-Drive.
- Wet ‘n Wild: The first water park in USA. “Volcano Bay” will replace Wet ‘n Wild.
- Shingle Creek Golf Club: This is among the better outdoor Golf courses in Orlando. Shingle Creek Golf Club is attached to the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.
- Grande Vista Golf Club: This is a hotel and lovely 9 course Golf course.
- Hollywood Drive-In Golf: The entrance is a classic drive-in theatre box office which leads to either an 18 or 36 hole mini golf course. Landscape is based on old horror and science fiction movies, which include a cemetery, robot, giant worms, spiders and more.
- Gator Golf: 18 hole Miniature golf course with alligators as an added attraction.
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf: 18-hole pirate themed miniature golf course. Wooden ship, pond, caves, waterfalls, all these add to the “Pirate” theme.
- Lost Caverns Adventure Golf: This is an 18 and 36-hole miniature golf course. There alligators that can be fed. This Golf course has been refurbished.
- Putting Edge (Glow In The Dark Mini Golf): This is a mini indoor golf course. This is a glow in the dark course where even the golf ball glows. “Putting Edge“ is located at Artegon Marketplace.
- Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf: A 50 feet volcano, waterfalls are the landscapes of this mini golf course.
- Hard Knocks at Pointe Orlando: This is an indoor Laser Tag location. The interior theme is of an urban combat arena.
- SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled!: This is a museum of animal skeletons. Skeletons are posed in life-like motion. This attraction has the element of being unusual and educative.
- America’s Escape Game: There are five Escape rooms where players are locked up and they have to escape based on clues in the room.
- Escapology Escape Games Orlando: Escapology offers live Escape Games.
- Rebounderz of Orlando: “Rebounderz” is also known as “Outer Limitz Indoor Trampoline Arena”. This is an indoor trampoline play area, ideal for young children. It is a great place to host a kid’s birthday party.
- Monkey Joe’s, Orlando: This is a indoor inflatable play center, mainly for children. Kids have great fun bouncing, climbing and sliding in this activity center. It is also a great place to celebrate a kid’s birthday.
- Kings Orlando: Kings Orlando is a restaurant and bar with bowling alleys and billiards.
- Chocolate Kingdom: This is a fascinating chocolate museum and factory. Visitors are taken on a guided tour, where they learn how cocoa beans are converted into delicious chocolates. Visitors can also make their own customized chocolates.
- Artegon Sky Trail: Spread over two levels in Artegon Marketplace, Artegon Sky Trail has rope courses and zip lines.
NOTE: The above listing of the best tourist attractions and best things to do in International Drive is based on the personal opinion of the author.
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