My daughter and her husband and daughter, age 7, will be visiting Orlando in April. The do not want to go to Disney World, but do want to go to Sea World. If they only have time for a couple more things to do or see, what would you recommend? Thanks
You will love Sea World! Make sure you check out the playland area of Sea World-in the uppermost northeast corner of the park. It's unreal-your 7 yr old will love it! My favorite was the Titantic exhibit on International Drive! It is fantastic. When you get your ticket-you find a passenger/crew name on it-you become that person for the tour. At the end of the tour-there's a big wall with the passenger/crew list & you get to see if you were a survivor or not. The tour guide also takes on the roll of one of the passengers. The entire tour is awesome..do yourself a favor & go see it!
Another fun thing for the 7 year old is Lego City..at (I think it's downtown Disney.) There you will find varied shops, Wolfgang Puck's restaurant for lunch, there's a big Rainforest restaurant you'd enjoy across the little lake from Lego. There are oodles of umbrella lego tables, where kids can create-(adults do it too). Wait til you see the humungous dinosaur made of legos in the lake!
My 5 & 10 year old grandsons loved Legoland!
There are may sightseeing things to do on International Drive..and at night? It's like a trip back in the 60's-when teens just 'cruised' down the main street! Bumper to bumper cars..both ways..people chatting from car to car..it's a trip!
Just outside of Orlando-is Kissimmee..and OLD TOWN. Many shops, rides-a fun place to visit for all..down a brick street lined with shops, mechanical bull, kiddie rides, etc.
Ripley's is a joke I thought, but there is this (I think it's called-) The House of Wonder..a lopsided house on International Drive..you can't miss it. That was fun also. Have fun!
My recommendation is pretty much the same as Sharon's. We went to Sea World for the 8th time this past Thanksgiving and we love it (DS 9, DD 7). Downtown Disney is my kid's favorite thing, even more than the actual theme park. They love Legoland (and it's free!). There is also a McDonald's there that is really reasonable. If you eat at the Rainforest (which is awesome!!!) call ahead for priority seating. If you get a chance, walk around Celebration. It is one cool little town. We were there around Christmas so everything was decorated. There are several little cafes including one with pizza and a drink for around $3.00. It is a nice break from the hectic pace.
We went last spring to WDW and Universel while in Orlando. I have been to Disney many times over the years an young kids should see the Magic Kingdom as it is truely a wonder, but at nearly $50 per person per day it is almost out of reach. We enjoyed Universal much more than Disney an I will never spend any more of my money at MGM. We also went to Busch Gardens in Tampa with the wonderful zoo and rides. I expect that if you ask my daughters that they would go back to Busch Gardens over Disney or Universal. If they are looking to save some money while in the area use priceline to book their rooms. Last year we stayed a t a Clarion for $35.00 per night in April so we got two rooms so the girls would not have to hear me snore.
We've been to Florida two times, and our favorites by far are the water parks, and Quest at Downtown Disney (Quest is probably better for older kids though, it is also expensive. It is filled with virtual reality things).
We really enjoyed downtown disney too. It is magical at night. There is a lot of adult entertainment in areas, but kids can go many places too. We also had dinner at the Rainforest and everyone enjoyed it.
There are two Disney water parks. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Typhoon Lagoon is our favorite. It is a tropical with fun and relaxation. They even have a salt water pool with creatures you can snorkel with. In my opinion Blizzard Beach is best for older kids. Our teen boys loved it because they had some awsome water slides. The two parks have a very different feel from one another.
There is a delightful place on N. Bass Road in back of the Walmart off of Rte 192 in Kissimmee. It is called the Osceola County Historical and Pioneer Museum. It is a cost effective ($2 suggested donation for adults) oasis in the hustle and bustle of busy Kissimmee. It is an actual "cracker house" built around the turn of the century that was moved to the site. There are outbuildings, an exhibit and even real orange trees among the landscape. It is a relaxing, bucolic setting and the guides are informative and cordial. I dragged my husband there away from the condo pool and even he liked it. :-) I highly recommend it for a refreshing change from the amusement parks.
The only thing I'd recommend skipping is "Splendid China" -- if it's still in business.
You could go on an Airboat ride. Those are a lot of fun, you get to see a lot of flora and fauna. Gatorland is also a fun place to go to. My favorite airboat ride in Florida is called Twister Airboat Rides. Take 528 east, take the 520 exit south, and it is on your right hand side just after the river right before 95. Here is a link. Christy :)
Oh, there is a coupon for 2 bucks off per adult on the link.
Here is a link that might be useful: Twister Airboat Rides