What to do near Orlando for 30-somethings

Old Jul 27th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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What to do near Orlando for 30-somethings

We are thinking of going to Orlando to go to Disney World (of course), but want to do more than just the parks. I've seen postings for kids & teens, but how about things that would appeal to adults?

We are a couple in our 30s. This is the type of things we like:

* We love the beach- just went to the Caribbean so our frame of reference is a little high. Which beach is the best (finest sand, prettiest landscape, easy to get to)?
* Shopping - my husband loves outlet shopping or any kind of shopping for that matter!
* Adventure type stuff: Loved water rafting, zip lines, kayaking
* Restaurants - trying "local" restaurants with food we don't have at home (California)
* As for the Disney parks- which park would be the best for adults who are kids at heart. We love Disneyland & California Adventure in LA, but don't want an exact repeat since we go there every year.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Hi Chele,

Here are a few suggestions:

Go to Pleasure Island -- it's a Disney Park, adults-only, about $20 cover for the eight or so clubs on the "island." Each club has its own theme, and if you're staying on Disney property you can catch a free bus back to the hotel.

MGM and Epcot are probably the most adult-friendly...but get a Park Hopper and spend some time at Magic Kingdom! In Epcot, a great adult activity is drinking around the world. MGM has the biggest rides.

As far as beaches, Daytona Beach is only about an hour away. Someone else may have a better suggestion, though.

Trust me, anything at Disney World will not be an "exact repeat" of anything at Disneyland...it's a whole different animal
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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There's plenty to do around Orlando for a couple in their 30's.

My wife and I have just entered our 30's, and we hit Disney World at least 4 times a year, so we also try and take in everything the area has to offer.

There are certainly plenty of shops around the Disney World area, and just so much else to do.

Visit http://www.allearsnet.com/btp/beyond.htm -- all about "Beyond Disney" stuff to do!

Have fun!
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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As far as easiest beaches to get to, either Daytona Beach or Cocoa Beach. As far as finest sand/landscape, the gulf beaches.

Shopping? There are outlet malls in the area around I-Drive, Mall at Millenia is an upmarket mall, and Park Avenue in Winter Park is some chains and some independents along with some great restaurants.

For water activities, go to www.floridastateparks.org and look at Wekiwa and Rock Springs.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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You didn't mention the time of year you will be visiting Orlando. Winter months may make it kind of frigid to be visiting a beach, unless it's in south Florida.

Theres' plenty of shopping in Orlando:
http://www.orlandotouristinformation...ping/malls.htm

My favorite park is Islands of Adventure, at Universal, but I really do enjoy them all.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Have you ever been to the Space Center? My husband and I went last year (can't believe in 50 years I've never visited) and we were like kids in a candy store. Very interesting! We stayed overnight at Juno Beach and had a good seafood meal at the Juno Beach Fish House. Unexpected surprise.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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My husband and I like to bar hop around The World Showcase at Epcot. Great fun just don't stand under a tree to watch the fireworks.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Speaking of EPCOT....every year for about 8 weeks they have the International Food and Wine Fest. They have kiosks with food samples to buy, plus lots of great wine tastings and events, many free. They have specialty wine dinners and other fun events. Definitely a great adult time. We've been 5 times.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't know Disney allowed alchohol at their parks!

Hubster- we'll be going in Aug/Sept timeframe.

We also love nightlife- restaurants, nightclubs/lounges!

What do you mean by "gulf beaches"? How far is it from Orlando?
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I live on the Gulf side of FL. The top beaches here are Clearwater Beach, Treasure Island, St Pete Beach and Fort DeSoto Park. Further south are Longboat and Siesta Key.

Timewise you are about 1:45-2:30 away, depending on which beaches you choose.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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I also think you would enjoy Universal's Island of Adventure. GREAT attratcions and theming.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Season's 52 is a great restaurant. It's a chain, but only found in a few locations so far. Otherwise, there was a recent thread about Orlando restaurants with a link to a local guide. Wish I had bookmarked the link.

Winter Park is a quaint area to walk around, shop, have dinner, or a glass of wine. Their's a cute wine bar right on the park.

You can go snorkel with the manatees at Crystal River (about 1.5 hours away). While it's much better in the winter when 250 manatees make the springs their home, there are about 40 manatees that live there year round.

Highly recommend you go to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at Disney. Personally, I believe it's better than O in Las Vegas.
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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ok i dunno if you guys are into animals at all, but i LOVED amazing exotics All these animals were abandoned or living as house pets until they came here so its a lil rescue center. They have tiger encounters, monkey encounters, and we even hung out with some lemurs! im 23 and it was the highlight of my trip. Of course if animals arent your thing they you can ignore this! Its not crowded either, its pretty much a private tour with a guide educating you on these animals, not like a zoo.

http://www.amazingexotics.com/tours.html
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Old Jul 28th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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The kayaking in central Florida is absolutely amazing. I'm sure you can google "kayak Orlando" and you will find lots of great stuff. Another option is tubing -- it's a grand tradition and great fun. The best place in Florida is http://www.floridastateparks.org/ichetuckneesprings/

But I am pretty sure there is a great option closer to Orlando - if you search on this board, it will come up.

I would have given personal recs for kayaking in central Florida but I haven't been - I'm on the west coast (near Tampa) and that's where I've done all my kayaking so far.

If you want a really gorgeous beach experience, you will need to go to the Gulf Coast (the West Coast of Florida). It is a longer drive (probably 2 hours). If you are interested we can give more recs.
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Old Jul 28th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Here's some information concerning Disney nightlife: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com...nightlife.html

I love the Adventure's Club.

We thought that Clearwater Beach was lovely.

How many days will you be at Disney World, itself? If you have less than 4 days and have already done Disneyland, I would advise skipping the Magic Kingdom.

You'll probably enjoy Disney-MGM Studios - try to get a Fantasmic Dinner Package, if you're wanting to see Fantasmic. You may have already seen it at Disneyland and it may not be a priority.

Epcot is my favorite park but not alot of thrills. Animal Kingdom used to be my least favorite but it is really growing on me.

Disney has parasailing and you can rent canoes.



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Old Jul 28th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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I saved this post from a long time ago - still haven't gotten to go but hope to:

Wekiva Springs State Park.

For something your kids will really enjoy and remember forever, go to Wekiva Springs SP (northern part of Orlando - Altamonte Springs area.

Google for more information but...

Wekiwa Springs State Park comprises approximately 7,000 acres of wild scenery that offers an opportunity to see how areas of central Florida looked when the Timucuan Indians speared fish in the spring-fed creeks and stalked the uplands. They left a number of mounds that are still visible today. The main spring pumps approximately 42 million gallons of water each day.

I'd rent canoes or take a canoe guided trip. It is truly an amazing experience. You feel like you are canoeing through "Old Florida".

There's an official website and here's the website of the canoe company working in the park. www.canoewekiva.com. They also have horseback riding.

For a low key experience (and much less expensive!) but one your kids will enjoy and remember forever, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a quieter alternative - and much more real.


www.visitflorida.com has a ton of information.

I recommend having a touring plan for the theme parks: the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (book), www.tourguidemike.com (subscription site) and www.buildabettermousetrip.com (travel agency that also does custom plans) are the three I've used.
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Old Aug 5th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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Hi Chele!

I finally got to ask my son, (25 yrs old) who's into adventure stuff and lives in Orlando, for some ideas. He suggested:

Hang-gliding (sp?) in Clermont (west of Orlando, waterskiing park (with jumps) just off Beachline between the airport and S. Orange Blossom Trail, rock climbing club in Altamonte Springs (north-central Orlando), tandem skydiving in Deland or Titusville (Northeast and east of Orlando, respectively), and horseback riding near Wekiva Springs (northwest of Orlando).

Turns out "drinking aroung the world" at the Epcot World Showcase is very popular with the young adults, or doing "desserts around the world" if you are a non-drinker.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival starts Sept. 28 this year. We've done it twice, and it can be lots of fun, but a bit expensive. Food at each pavillion runs $3 or more for a small serving, and wine starts around $4 and can be higher. It's a great chance to try new things, and we often shared dishes amongst our group.

Hope you have a great time!
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Old Aug 5th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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Here's the Orlando restaurant link: http://tinyurl.com/287n2s

We *really* liked Seasons 52.

How about an airboat trip in the Everglades? It's very adventurous. We did that a few years ago and it's still one of the favorite things I've ever done. Maybe someone can recommend an Orlando-area one. (We did one in Loxahatchee).

My husband and I are both in our 30's. We REALLY like Disney. If you don't want to repeat Disneyland, visit EPCOT and Animal Kingdom and skip the Magic Kingdom. We love roller coasters and had a blast at Islands of Adventure in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa.
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Old Aug 5th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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All the suggestions are good. You asked about outlet malls, and there are several in the Orlando area. One is in Lake Buena Vista right off I-4, and the massive Belz Factory Mall is on International Drive

Ichetucknee Springs is about 2.5 hours NW of Orlando and the best tubing in the state. Canoeing and kayaking on adjacent Santa Fe River is amazing as well.
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Old Aug 5th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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Probably the closest place to Disney/Universal/I-Drive/Lake Buena Vista areas to take an airboat ride would be Boggy Creek Airboat Rides <http://www.bcairboats.com/>.
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