Orlando’s Top Attractions That Don’t Involve Theme Parks

by Abby Golder

Orlando, Florida may seem like the ideal spot for a dream vacation. After all, the city is home to some of the world’s most famous amusement parks. Whether you’re hitting up the town with Mickey Mouse and friends at Disney World, exploring the wonderful world of Universal Studios, or even visiting Sea World to marvel at their spectacular aquatic animals, Orlando has a theme park that will surely satisfy your needs.

However, if you’re uninterested in amusement parks, or you’re feeling more adventurous and you want to get more in touch with what Orlando has to offer, keep on reading. Though the city is well-known for its theme parks, that isn’t all there is to do in Orlando. Here are a list of Orlando’s top attractions (that don’t involve theme parks.)


The NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the perfect place for space enthusiasts and those interested in more educational excursions. The facility offers visitors a one of a kind space travel experience, where guests are invited to engage with a plethora of space-related artifacts provided by NASA. Here, you can meet a former NASA astronaut, touch a moon rock, view the real space shuttle Atlantis, take a tour of a NASA spaceflight facility and observe a real Saturn V moon rocket. Visiting the Kennedy Space Center can take up most of the day, so make sure you show up early.


This world famous attraction is a 400-foot tall ferris wheel that is located fairly close to Orlando. Safely enclosed in an air-conditioned capsule, visitors are lifted to new heights, allowing them a 360-degree view of Orlando. From the Orlando Eye, riders are provided with fantastic views of the bustling downtown area, the theme parks, the city’s amazing landscape and the breathtaking scenery. Though the Orlando Eye doesn’t require the same amount of energy and stamina as, say, exploring the streets of Orlando, the experience is equally as exciting. This attraction is your perfect tiny getaway from the noise of the city, if only for a short while.


It’s no secret; Florida is well-known for its alligators. Gatorland is exactly what it sounds like: an alligator-themed attraction that prides itself on being the alligator capital of the world. Ideal for a family outing, Gatorland is a wildlife preserve that houses a wide variety of alligators and crocodiles. The park features a plethora of fun activities that range from petting zoos, animal shows, and a brand new zip line. Gatorland also boasts an off-road excursion, where visitors can travel into the swamps close to the everglades and see these behemoth reptiles in their natural habitat.


Effortlessly weaving through the Floridian wetlands, guests who go on a Boggy Creek airboat ride will be able to witness all of Florida’s natural beauty. These exhilarating rides bring visitors closer to Florida’s wildlife. In addition to seeing its stunning wetland backdrop, riders will be able to see the amazing creatures that live in the local area which range from exotic birds to the American alligator. Boggy Creek Airboat Rides are a unique way of becoming acquainted with Orlando’s natural surroundings.


Wonderworks is 35,000 square-feet of educational fun. Listed as one of the top attractions in Orlando, Wonderworks offers visitors countless science-based activities that are perfect for anybody. The facility offers over 100 hands-on exhibits that are meant to stimulate the mind and educate visitors; therefore, Wonderworks prides itself on being a “theme park for the mind.” Some exciting activities here include an indoor ropes course, laser tag, and a 4D XO Motion theater.


If you ever have an opportunity to visit the world famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, don’t pass it up! The museum has an impressive collection of wax figures that are modeled after countless celebrities, super heroes, and other public figures that are guaranteed to amaze. At Madam Tussauds, you can snap a few photos of your favorite celebrity or fictional character and you can even take home a souvenir of a wax hand that you’ll get to create.


You may have seen the show Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, but have you ever considered checking out the museum? Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is inarguably Orlando’s strangest attraction, with plenty of odd exhibits that will have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. The museum’s Odditorium houses a large array of strange and unique artifacts and sites, from shrunken heads and a legitimate vampire killing kit to a shooting gallery and a real wild spinning vortex tunnel. It’s no Disney World or Sea World, but it certainly is something that you won’t ever forget once you leave Orlando. Needless to say, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not isn’t an attraction you’d want to miss out on.

While it’s no secret that an amazing Disneyworld vacation is one of the most feasible options when traveling to Orlando, there’s plenty more the city has to offer! The list above doesn’t even scrape the surface of all the attractions in the city, so be sure to get out and explore for yourself. Or, if you’ve had enough vacationing and you’re ready to make the move, contact our experts to get a look into the amazing properties this city has to offer.

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