The increasing availability of cheap flights to Orlando has made the surrounding area a popular tourist destination for those drawn by the call of such famous household name attractions as Universal, SeaWorld and, of course, Walt Disney World. The vistor from overseas may not appreciate that the area offers many other, less well-known attractions. I will write about 5 of them now.
Sea World is, of course, hugely popular but Gatorland offers a chance to get to know some of Florida’s freshwater wildlife. First opened in’49 this theme park and wildlife reserve offers the chance to get to know alligators and crocodiles in close-up. Thousands of our toothy friends live in Gatorland which includes educational facilities and a breeding marsh. You can watch wresting shows while you are there.
If you are looking for a theme park that is like no other, then the Holy Land Experience may be for you. In this theme park and museum you can walk along re-creations of ancient streets and feel immersed into biblical times. Lifelike re-enactments will portray key events from within the Bible. This theme park may not be for everyone – some may feel that it is a money-grabbing attempt to exploit religious belief but others will find that the Holy Land experience is moving, enjoyable and educational.
In’21 Edward Bok founded Bok Tower Gardens as a bird sanctuary and today the site is a popular attraction for those who love nature. containing a botanical gardens and a historic tower. The site (near Lake Wales) is home to over one hundred species of birds and much other wildlife. The historic marble Singing Tower contains a set of carillon bells which fill the garden with music daily.
Comedy fans should not miss the chance to visit the SAK Comedy Lab in central Orlando, famous for improvisational comedy and theatre. There are seasonal show throughout the year but the long running “Duel of Fools” is its famous long running attraction. This show features two teams improvising against each other. Past shows have included game shows and “Fourplay: The Improvised Musical” – a humorous Broadway send up.
Medieval Times (found across the US) offers that quintessentially American tourist experience, the medieval re-enactment. Whilst you eat your “royal” banquet in a corner of this dinner theatre, styled as a mock up medieval castle, you will be entertained by medieval sword fights and jousting. You will be invited to through your support behind a knight and root for him as he battles bravely.
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