Amanda's Guidebook

Amanda

Amanda's Guidebook

Theme Parks
It's what most people come here for, even when they come "for business".
Gatorland Global® provides a dedicated conservation program for Gatorland and has the simple mission to protect, conserve, and educate the public on alligators and crocodiles in Florida. Gatorland supports conservation research of critically endangered crocodiles across the globe.  Special features include gator wrestling and photo ops with baby gators and snakes. Half-day adventure zoological-style theme park. Lmk in advance and I may be able to access discounted tickets. https://www.gatorland.com/
100
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Gatorland
14501 South Orange Blossom Trail
100
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Gatorland Global® provides a dedicated conservation program for Gatorland and has the simple mission to protect, conserve, and educate the public on alligators and crocodiles in Florida. Gatorland supports conservation research of critically endangered crocodiles across the globe.  Special features include gator wrestling and photo ops with baby gators and snakes. Half-day adventure zoological-style theme park. Lmk in advance and I may be able to access discounted tickets. https://www.gatorland.com/
It's Disney World. Be sure to set aside a full day for any one park! (Maybe 2 days for Magic Kingdom) If you'd like to eat in a full-service restaurant, book your reservations well in advance.
107
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Walt Disney World Resort
3111 World Drive
107
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
It's Disney World. Be sure to set aside a full day for any one park! (Maybe 2 days for Magic Kingdom) If you'd like to eat in a full-service restaurant, book your reservations well in advance.
I mean, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter alone is worth it. New Velocicoaster. Animatronic velociraptor photo ops. Small and Medium kids areas. Strong recommendation to do a Park-to-Park pass (and an express pass if possible). The train between parks is adorable (and air conditioned) and is different in each direction. My 14 year old (almost 15 she says, I don't believe her) niece recommends the roller coasters and butter beer. I agree with her. Most underrated attraction: Poseidon's Fury (walking tour). All Universal dining is really high quality for theme park dining. Mythos (Universal IOA, Lost Continent) has been extremely highly rated for YEARS but you'll need a reservation.
14
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Universal Orlando Resort
6000 Universal Boulevard
14
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
I mean, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter alone is worth it. New Velocicoaster. Animatronic velociraptor photo ops. Small and Medium kids areas. Strong recommendation to do a Park-to-Park pass (and an express pass if possible). The train between parks is adorable (and air conditioned) and is different in each direction. My 14 year old (almost 15 she says, I don't believe her) niece recommends the roller coasters and butter beer. I agree with her. Most underrated attraction: Poseidon's Fury (walking tour). All Universal dining is really high quality for theme park dining. Mythos (Universal IOA, Lost Continent) has been extremely highly rated for YEARS but you'll need a reservation.
Excellent for the space enthusiast! Half-day theme park. I recommend starting early and finishing your day off at the National Seashore.
8
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
NASA Kennedy Space Center Fire Rescue Station #2
8
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Excellent for the space enthusiast! Half-day theme park. I recommend starting early and finishing your day off at the National Seashore.
Great coasters and really excellent exhibits. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are both AZA accredited zoos and offer educational shows and programs. They also fund extensive conservation efforts and take care of locally injured wildlife of all sorts until they can be released. Seasonal concerts and events. My nieces love the Sesame Street play area and I'm honestly pretty jealous that they get to play in it.
286
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
SeaWorld Orlando
7007 Sea World Dr
286
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Great coasters and really excellent exhibits. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are both AZA accredited zoos and offer educational shows and programs. They also fund extensive conservation efforts and take care of locally injured wildlife of all sorts until they can be released. Seasonal concerts and events. My nieces love the Sesame Street play area and I'm honestly pretty jealous that they get to play in it.
Hands down the best water park I've ever been to and I'm a 3 gen deep Floridian. Highly recommend renting at least a lounger (comes with all-day wait staff, a bit more security, guaranteed seating, and a lock box. I did one lounger for every 2 people last time I went and that worked out fine. Wear flip flops or water shoes. SUN. SCREEN. HYDRATE. The line system is legitimately revolutionary. All Universal dining is really high quality for theme park dining.
64
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Universal's Volcano Bay
6000 Universal Blvd
64
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Hands down the best water park I've ever been to and I'm a 3 gen deep Floridian. Highly recommend renting at least a lounger (comes with all-day wait staff, a bit more security, guaranteed seating, and a lock box. I did one lounger for every 2 people last time I went and that worked out fine. Wear flip flops or water shoes. SUN. SCREEN. HYDRATE. The line system is legitimately revolutionary. All Universal dining is really high quality for theme park dining.
About 1.25-1.5 hour drive on West I4. AZA accredited zoo and conservationist partner park to SeaWorld. GREAT coasters (Montu is my favorite coaster in the state). Seasonal events. Educational programs, small and medium sized kids zones. Definitely check out the gorillas and orangutans!! Safari ride is awesome, especially if you can catch it in a light rain. The barbecue is smoked on-site and probably the best food in the park.
524
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
10165 McKinley Dr
524
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
About 1.25-1.5 hour drive on West I4. AZA accredited zoo and conservationist partner park to SeaWorld. GREAT coasters (Montu is my favorite coaster in the state). Seasonal events. Educational programs, small and medium sized kids zones. Definitely check out the gorillas and orangutans!! Safari ride is awesome, especially if you can catch it in a light rain. The barbecue is smoked on-site and probably the best food in the park.
Zoological Experience
Raptor conservation and bird encounter zoological experience. Interactive exhibits and interior facilities will be open when the center determines it is safe. Adopt-a-Raptor opportunity.
8
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
1101 Audubon Way
8
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Raptor conservation and bird encounter zoological experience. Interactive exhibits and interior facilities will be open when the center determines it is safe. Adopt-a-Raptor opportunity.
They take exceptional care of their animals. AZA accredited and 2020 award winner for research. MULTIPLE FUNCTIONAL MOLDAMATICS! If you go here, you should go ahead and stop in "downtown" Sanford.
29
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
3755 NW Hwy 17-92
29
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
They take exceptional care of their animals. AZA accredited and 2020 award winner for research. MULTIPLE FUNCTIONAL MOLDAMATICS! If you go here, you should go ahead and stop in "downtown" Sanford.
Native Florida
Beautiful, well-maintained hiking trails, mostly tree canopied, some sand, on the Florida Trail. TONS of wildlife because it is a state-protected wildlife mitigation area (you'll hear coyotes if you night hike here). Well-marked on All Trails app. Close to great restaurants in the Lake Nona area.
Split Oak Forest
10525 Clapp Simms Duda Rd
Beautiful, well-maintained hiking trails, mostly tree canopied, some sand, on the Florida Trail. TONS of wildlife because it is a state-protected wildlife mitigation area (you'll hear coyotes if you night hike here). Well-marked on All Trails app. Close to great restaurants in the Lake Nona area.
This park is basically a native beast sanctuary. Small gators that get picked up in suburbia are often brought here. Educational tours are available or you can bring your bike and ride the trails. I would not recommend walking this park but biking it is a blast. There is one section of woods where the ground cover is wild spearmint and it smells like gum when you go through. It is fae magic if ever that was a thing. Have your camera ready.
6
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Orlando Wetlands Park
25155 Wheeler Rd
6
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
This park is basically a native beast sanctuary. Small gators that get picked up in suburbia are often brought here. Educational tours are available or you can bring your bike and ride the trails. I would not recommend walking this park but biking it is a blast. There is one section of woods where the ground cover is wild spearmint and it smells like gum when you go through. It is fae magic if ever that was a thing. Have your camera ready.
Rent a watercraft and enjoy the natural springs or drink on the dock. Everything goes at Wekiva Island. Get there near open to ensure access before capacity is reached. Connects to Wekiva Springs State Park and King's Landing launch area. Food trucks and bar.
35
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Wekiva Island
1014 Miami Springs Drive
35
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Rent a watercraft and enjoy the natural springs or drink on the dock. Everything goes at Wekiva Island. Get there near open to ensure access before capacity is reached. Connects to Wekiva Springs State Park and King's Landing launch area. Food trucks and bar.
Hit up Blue Springs in season and possibly see manatees! (Please don't touch, though, as they're SUPER endangered!) Definitely see TONS of gar swim right under you. Short, easy tubing. Get there early before the park reaches capacity!
135
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Blue Spring State Park
2100 West French Avenue
135
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Hit up Blue Springs in season and possibly see manatees! (Please don't touch, though, as they're SUPER endangered!) Definitely see TONS of gar swim right under you. Short, easy tubing. Get there early before the park reaches capacity!
State Park with small entry fee, close to cruise ports. No restaurants or anything but you might see seaturtle tracks and nesting sites in season. Sometimes you'll see a washed up man-of-war (please do not touch beached jellies) and there are always little crabs and clams. Driving trails are amazing. Great location for bird watchers. Beautiful water, lots of seashells. Great place to check out following a day at Kennedy Space Center. NO CELL TOWERS in this area. Idk anyone who gets cell service here. Honestly, it's nice. Drive all the way down to the farthest parking area for clothing-optional beach (Playalinda) but you shouldn't go there expecting eye candy (lol)
11
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Canaveral National Seashore
11
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
State Park with small entry fee, close to cruise ports. No restaurants or anything but you might see seaturtle tracks and nesting sites in season. Sometimes you'll see a washed up man-of-war (please do not touch beached jellies) and there are always little crabs and clams. Driving trails are amazing. Great location for bird watchers. Beautiful water, lots of seashells. Great place to check out following a day at Kennedy Space Center. NO CELL TOWERS in this area. Idk anyone who gets cell service here. Honestly, it's nice. Drive all the way down to the farthest parking area for clothing-optional beach (Playalinda) but you shouldn't go there expecting eye candy (lol)
This is on a WMA, so you can book camping space here for free. Nice easy loop in the dry season, some people rode horses through. One of the few places in Florida you can actually see lighting bugs/fire flies because it isn't sprayed with pesticides. Some endangered native flora grows here. Beautiful for a night hike during a full moon!
Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park
This is on a WMA, so you can book camping space here for free. Nice easy loop in the dry season, some people rode horses through. One of the few places in Florida you can actually see lighting bugs/fire flies because it isn't sprayed with pesticides. Some endangered native flora grows here. Beautiful for a night hike during a full moon!
Food Scene
Every type of food you could possibly want exists somewhere on I Drive.
25
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
International Drive
25
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Every type of food you could possibly want exists somewhere on I Drive.
Local foodies frequent this area. Places to check out include: Prato (Scratch Italian, sustainable business practices!) The Porch (American, bar setting) The Ravenous Pig, Swine & Sons (same owners, gastro-style) Hillstone (American, excellent outdoor scenery!) Briarpatch (cafe) The Coop (fried chicken) Black Bean Deli (modern Cuban fusion) Ethos (VEGAN, try the black bean burger!) 4 Rivers BBQ Fiddler's Green (Irish) Sixty Vines (American, 60 wines on tap)
111
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Winter Park
111
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Local foodies frequent this area. Places to check out include: Prato (Scratch Italian, sustainable business practices!) The Porch (American, bar setting) The Ravenous Pig, Swine & Sons (same owners, gastro-style) Hillstone (American, excellent outdoor scenery!) Briarpatch (cafe) The Coop (fried chicken) Black Bean Deli (modern Cuban fusion) Ethos (VEGAN, try the black bean burger!) 4 Rivers BBQ Fiddler's Green (Irish) Sixty Vines (American, 60 wines on tap)
Local foodies like: RusTeak College Park (American) Armando's (Italian) The Local (American) Ollie's Public House (American) The Tap Room at Dubsdread (American + Golf) PR's Taco Palace (Mexican dive bar) Trevi Pasta The Greek Corner White Wolf Cafe (American) The Hammered Lamb (bottomless mimosas, Greek-ish) The Soda Fountain (old fashioned ice cream)
14
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
College Park
14
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Local foodies like: RusTeak College Park (American) Armando's (Italian) The Local (American) Ollie's Public House (American) The Tap Room at Dubsdread (American + Golf) PR's Taco Palace (Mexican dive bar) Trevi Pasta The Greek Corner White Wolf Cafe (American) The Hammered Lamb (bottomless mimosas, Greek-ish) The Soda Fountain (old fashioned ice cream)
Local foodies recommend: Maxine's on Shine (American) The Osprey (seafood) Kres (steak) Jack and Mary's (greasy spoon/hangover fix) Black Rooster (tacos/mexican) Domu (Japanese, get the wings) Hawkers (Asian street food) Pho 88 (Vietnamese) Ahn Hong (Vietnamese) Quickly Boba & Snow (Asian Fusion) Pig Floyd's BBQ The Waterfront (Seafood) Nile (Ethiopian) DoveCote (American) Thai House Izziban Korean BBQ (All you can eat options) Hot Dog Heaven (local fav) Junior Colombia Burger (personal fav)
92
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Orlando
92
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Local foodies recommend: Maxine's on Shine (American) The Osprey (seafood) Kres (steak) Jack and Mary's (greasy spoon/hangover fix) Black Rooster (tacos/mexican) Domu (Japanese, get the wings) Hawkers (Asian street food) Pho 88 (Vietnamese) Ahn Hong (Vietnamese) Quickly Boba & Snow (Asian Fusion) Pig Floyd's BBQ The Waterfront (Seafood) Nile (Ethiopian) DoveCote (American) Thai House Izziban Korean BBQ (All you can eat options) Hot Dog Heaven (local fav) Junior Colombia Burger (personal fav)
Authentic German food, staff in cute outfits, live German bells and singing, attached bar. Clothing store around the corner (yes, they have legit lederhosen for you, your kids, AND your pets) and German deli next to that. Best deli in Central Florida. Next to the weekend market, very dog friendly area! Antique shops and beer gardens abounding. It's a whole event.
39
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Hollerbach's Willow Tree Café German Restaurant
205 East 1st Street
39
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Authentic German food, staff in cute outfits, live German bells and singing, attached bar. Clothing store around the corner (yes, they have legit lederhosen for you, your kids, AND your pets) and German deli next to that. Best deli in Central Florida. Next to the weekend market, very dog friendly area! Antique shops and beer gardens abounding. It's a whole event.
Nona foodies recommend: Canvas (American, waterfront) Chroma (American, gastro) Bosphorus (Turkish, also in Winter Park) Boxi Park (food trucks, events) Park Pizza & Brewing Toasted (fancy grilled cheeses) Arepa Burger (Latin American)
Lake Nona Region
Nona foodies recommend: Canvas (American, waterfront) Chroma (American, gastro) Bosphorus (Turkish, also in Winter Park) Boxi Park (food trucks, events) Park Pizza & Brewing Toasted (fancy grilled cheeses) Arepa Burger (Latin American)
Cool tour, good wine, free tastings, events. Charcuterie boards and wine available in store and grassy picnic space outside. Do a VIP tasting and get some swag!
48
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
19239 U.S. 27
48
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Cool tour, good wine, free tastings, events. Charcuterie boards and wine available in store and grassy picnic space outside. Do a VIP tasting and get some swag!
Brewery and Vineyard in Plant City (think strawberries, because this is where they come from even when they're marked California). Tastings, flights, and tours. Local events and food trucks.
Two Henrys Brewery
2400 North Forbes Road
Brewery and Vineyard in Plant City (think strawberries, because this is where they come from even when they're marked California). Tastings, flights, and tours. Local events and food trucks.
Tourist Attraction
Great shopping, wide variety of great foods, including some local favorite eateries and many novelty shops. FREE garage parking, free shuttles to the parks during the day. Hot air baloon ride, bowling, House of Blues, the Lego store, etc.
352
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Disney Springs
1486 Buena Vista Drive
352
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Great shopping, wide variety of great foods, including some local favorite eateries and many novelty shops. FREE garage parking, free shuttles to the parks during the day. Hot air baloon ride, bowling, House of Blues, the Lego store, etc.
You have to go through City Walk to get to the parks. Tons of great food options, bars, and a night club style scene for both adults and teens. Some restaurants take reservations online to reduce your wait. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium has good food and can give you the diabeetus in one milkshake. Voodoo Doughnut is a must-try. Bubba Gump's ranks highly on the nostalgia meter and the food is really good.
219
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Universal CityWalk Orlando
6000 Universal Boulevard
219
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
You have to go through City Walk to get to the parks. Tons of great food options, bars, and a night club style scene for both adults and teens. Some restaurants take reservations online to reduce your wait. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium has good food and can give you the diabeetus in one milkshake. Voodoo Doughnut is a must-try. Bubba Gump's ranks highly on the nostalgia meter and the food is really good.
Tourist central! Every orlando-related knickknack you could possibly desire. Madame Tussauds (overpriced but neat nonetheless), "The Wheel"/Orlando Eye MASSIVE (and slow) ferris wheel built to compete with the London Eye, arcade, kiddie train, excessive shopping and all the eateries.
85
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
ICON Park™
8375 International Drive
85
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Tourist central! Every orlando-related knickknack you could possibly desire. Madame Tussauds (overpriced but neat nonetheless), "The Wheel"/Orlando Eye MASSIVE (and slow) ferris wheel built to compete with the London Eye, arcade, kiddie train, excessive shopping and all the eateries.
The more locally-travelled tourist site. Tons of shopping and some upscale dining. Regular outdoor events and farmer's market every Saturday morning. Morse Museum of American Art. https://winterpark.org/events/calendar
10
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
South Park Avenue
10
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
The more locally-travelled tourist site. Tons of shopping and some upscale dining. Regular outdoor events and farmer's market every Saturday morning. Morse Museum of American Art. https://winterpark.org/events/calendar
Arts/Theater
Lots of fun for kids and adults alike. I've personally been several times and had my husband "knighted" by the queen. Dinner is included. There are regularly Groupons for this experience.
86
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
4510 West Vine Street
86
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Lots of fun for kids and adults alike. I've personally been several times and had my husband "knighted" by the queen. Dinner is included. There are regularly Groupons for this experience.
Lots of fun for adults and kids. They're accustomed to folks dressing up like pirates so feel free to have at it (I know I did). Dinner is included. Groupon occasionally available.
11
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Pirate's Dinner Adventure
6400 Carrier Drive
11
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Lots of fun for adults and kids. They're accustomed to folks dressing up like pirates so feel free to have at it (I know I did). Dinner is included. Groupon occasionally available.
If you're looking for theatrics, this is for you! https://tickets-center.com/search?kwds=Dr+Phillips+Center&venueId=11807&venueId=17135&venueId=16634&venueName=Dr+Phillips+Center&tagid=212&atid=30001&customExportId=20191127-160130&nid=1&accid=9493575329&cid=400135990023&akwd=dr%20phillips%20center%20orlando&mt=e&network=g&dist=s&adposition=&device=m&ismobile=true&devicemodel=&placement=&target=&random=3514696705713470919&loc_physical_ms=9010285&loc_interest_ms=1015150&vx=0&gclid=CjwKCAjwoNuGBhA8EiwAFxomA0MyYBB7n_EHz6RssMi17ZuuHhr-Y1rD5EgPZsdmg6cmd-67nX1QbxoCa2QQAvD_BwE
34
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 South Magnolia Avenue
34
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
If you're looking for theatrics, this is for you! https://tickets-center.com/search?kwds=Dr+Phillips+Center&venueId=11807&venueId=17135&venueId=16634&venueName=Dr+Phillips+Center&tagid=212&atid=30001&customExportId=20191127-160130&nid=1&accid=9493575329&cid=400135990023&akwd=dr%20phillips%20center%20orlando&mt=e&network=g&dist=s&adposition=&device=m&ismobile=true&devicemodel=&placement=&target=&random=3514696705713470919&loc_physical_ms=9010285&loc_interest_ms=1015150&vx=0&gclid=CjwKCAjwoNuGBhA8EiwAFxomA0MyYBB7n_EHz6RssMi17ZuuHhr-Y1rD5EgPZsdmg6cmd-67nX1QbxoCa2QQAvD_BwE
Great show venue https://www.plazaliveorlando.org/
The Plaza Live
425 N Bumby Ave
Great show venue https://www.plazaliveorlando.org/
Home to the Florida Film Festival, amongst other things. Wednesday night pitcher shows, Sunday kids movies and kids specials. Theater with full service dining. "Eden" outdoor bar. Lovely area, close to the Audobon raptor center. https://enzian.org/
42
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Enzian Theater
1300 South Orlando Avenue
42
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Home to the Florida Film Festival, amongst other things. Wednesday night pitcher shows, Sunday kids movies and kids specials. Theater with full service dining. "Eden" outdoor bar. Lovely area, close to the Audobon raptor center. https://enzian.org/
Neighborhoods
Historic sites, shopping, local dining, local events (especially arts events).
111
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Winter Park
111
il-persuni tal-post jissuġġerixxu
Historic sites, shopping, local dining, local events (especially arts events).
Dining galore, local market on Saturdays, tons of local events outdoors, ample parking.
Lake Nona Region
Dining galore, local market on Saturdays, tons of local events outdoors, ample parking.