The tourist Mecca of Orlando is home to magical theme parks and attractions inviting visitors to embrace their inner-child and lose their inhibitions. Fun is encouraged to the maximum with a whole host of exciting activities for every generation of the family to enjoy.
Running straight through the heart of central Florida is Orlando’s main tourist strip, International Drive. Also affectionately known as I-Drive, 11.5 miles of family entertainment awaits the avid ‘traveller’.
Hop aboard the highway of fun
Whether your preferred mode of transport is your hire car, your legs or the I-Ride Trolley, International Drive is easy to travel. Worried about getting lost? Don’t be, enter the 21st century and download a helpful App or maps before you go. If you’re not comfortable with new fangled technology you can pick up a printed map along the way. But most useful of all are the 10ft high markers along its route – 105 in all – which will help you navigate your way around.
If you don’t mind the company of other tourists the easiest and most stress-free option is the I-Ride Trolley. It’s a pretty cost effective option too with adults travelling for $1.25 per ride and seniors over 65 only paying $0.25 cents. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult get the best deal as it’s completely free. The I-Ride Trolley service runs from 8am to 10.30pm daily.
Stop for a bite to eat
As you could literally spend all day on International Drive, it’s a good job there are over 150 restaurants to satisfy your appetite. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner taken care of! You’re bound to find your favourite food here and perhaps some new flavours you’ve never tried before. With so much choice every budget is catered for too.
Scream if you want to go faster
Don’t forget to bring your ‘swimmers’ as the I-Drive has 6 theme parks with water rides located along its strip. You’ll find Wet ‘n Wild, Aquatica Water Park, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for plenty of screams and splish-splashing.
Get your ‘wings’
Ever fancied having a go at that simulated skydiving you’ve seen on TV? You know the one where people in boiler suits hover in the air with hilarious stretched faces due to the effects of G-Force? Well at iFLY Orlando you can. In fact the whole family can because it’s even safe enough for very young children. But if you really want to fly sky high, opt for a helicopter tour instead.
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt
If those holiday bucks are weighing you down, the 485 shopping outlets on International Drive will gladly take them off your hands. These include Orlando Premium Outlets, Festival Bay Mall and Pointe Orlando. You’re sure to find plenty of ‘I heart Orlando’ souvenirs and Disney themed trinkets for the folks back home. Leaving you to indulge in guilt-free shopping for yourself and scoop up some discounted designer gear.
Into the night
As the sun goes down the Drive comes alive for some grown up fun. Head to Universal CityWalk for its concentration of bars and clubs of all types to find your favourite hangout. Sit back or take to the floor, but most importantly enjoy yourself, you’re on holiday after all!
Ocean Florida offers twin centre holidays USA which allow you to split your time between Orlando and another amazing destination on your Orlando holidays in 2013.
Authors note: My name is Jake and I work as a copywriter for Ocean Florida, an independent UK-based tour operator specialising in the USA.