When you think of Orlando, Florida, you probably conjure up images of Mickey Mouse, Diagon Alley, and all the theme parks. However, there’s so much more to do in the city beyond visiting Disney World and Universal Studios.
Years ago, my parents bought park hopper tickets for Disney World. We only used about half the days on the ticket, so we’ve been talking about making a return visit later this year to use up the rest of the pass. To make the most of our time, we’ll be staying at one of the IHG hotels near Disney World. This will be our first trip as a family in years, so I’m really looking forward to sharing these memories from my Orlando bucket list with them.
Experience the Magic at Disney World
I haven’t been to a Disney property since I was in my teens, and I’m looking forward to reliving the magic. I’m excited to see all the new rides, check out the entertainment options, chase down my favourite princesses for photos and autographs, and watch the fireworks at night. As a food lover, I’d especially like to visit during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, but that will depend on my family.
Head to Hogwarts at Universal Studios Orlando
I love Harry Potter, and I can’t wait to visit Universal Studios to explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Thoughts of shopping on Diagon Alley, tasting butter beer, and splurging on way too much Harry Potter merchandise are filling my mind. I can’t wait!
Become an Astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center
While not directly in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is also on my bucket list for this trip. I’m looking forward to renting a car and driving out to Cape Canaveral to visit this spot, where NASA launches rockets into space. There is a museum that details the work of NASA, displays rocket ships, and offers tours of the grounds. With the right timing, you can even purchase a ticket to watch a launch! I’ve been fascinated by space since I was young, and I really wanted to go to space camp here, so this will be really fun to visit.
Spot an Alligator on an Airboat Tour
In my mind, Florida is synonymous with the Everglades. While heading to southern Florida is too far for this trip, the next best thing is to go on an airboat tour of the swamps near Orlando. The tours give you a glimpse of Florida wildlife and let you spot exotic birds, turtles, and maybe even an alligator.
Stuff My Face With Tasty Food
The city of Orlando has a growing culinary scene, and I’m especially looking forward to tasting the Vietnamese offerings in the city. In the 1970s, refugees settled in Orlando, making its Little Saigon neighborhood the largest Vietnamese community in the state. It’s also home to lots of delicious traditional Vietnamese fare. Never one to pass up a good food event, I can’t wait to check out Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District, which features a revolving collection of food trucks.
What would be on your Orlando bucket list?