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Outdoor Adventure

 

Hot Air Balloon (header)

 

Orlando's Outdoor Adventures Offer Thrilling Experiences

Named 2017's Best City for Recreation by WalletHub, Orlando offers unique outdoor adventuresthat will get visitors' blood pumping and spirits soaring. Whether one prefersto soar through the air, skim through the water or to keep your feet on solidground, one will find plenty of outdoor recreation options in Orlando.Orlando's varied landscape offers breathtaking vistas of green grass, lakes,rivers and natural springs; tall native palm trees and untouched forests.

 

 

MILDOUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS

CypressCanopy Cycle, located at Forever Florida Ziplines &Adventures in the Wild, features reclining bicycles suspended from a network ofhigh-tension cables, 25 feet (7.6 meters) above the ground.

IndianRiver Queen and Island Boat Lines offer guests daily dolphinand manatee Thousand Island tours.

Orlando Balloon Rides takesguests on an hour-long flight thousands of feet above the tree tops andhighlights spectacular sites around Orlando from theme parks to orange groves.All flights include a Champagne toast, full buffet breakfast and souvenirflight certificate.

Showcaseof Citrus, a 2,500-acre (1,011hectare) working citrus and cattle ranch, produces more than 50 seasonalvarieties of citrus, ripe for the picking. Enjoy a Swamp Safari & Eco Tourwith zebra, Ankole-Watusi, alligators, exotic native birds & more.

StJohns Rivership Company lets guests enjoy enjoy the real Florida and the natural beauty of the StJohns River from the climate controlled comfort of your reserved table onboard.Fresh cooked to order meals, live entertainment, narration and Florida'sfriendliest staff cater to your every need. WinterPark Scenic Boat Tour, located on Lake Osceola, offers hour-long,guided cruises through three of the seven lakes and two narrow man-made canalson the tranquil Winter Park chain. On any given tour, participants may observelarge cranes swooping waterside to snag a large fish or a lazy alligatorlanguishing on a nearby bank, while also learning a brief history of WinterPark, Central Florida's oldest community originally founded by wealthyEasterners in the 1800's.

 

SPRINGSNEAR ORLANDO

BlueSpring State Park is the home to the largest spring on the St.Johns River, making it a designated refuge for the manatee population. Thespring's warm waters make it a popular spot for swimmers, snorkelers and scubadivers.

De Leon Springs State Park offersa variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking trails and narrated boat tours toswimming, canoeing and bird-watching, this state park offers endlessopportunities to experience natural Florida. Kids will enjoy makingtheir own pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant.

KellyParkfeatures a free-flowing natural spring and RockSprings, a clear, swift creek perfect for tubing. The park offers a full-service concession,picnic pavilions, a playground and tent and RV camping spots.

Rock Springs Run State Reserve in Apopka, offers guests a clear kayaking experience in acompletely natural spring with 26,000 gallons of fresh water pumping through itevery minute.

Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka offers 7,800 acres (3,157 hectares) witha natural spring for swimming, canoes for rent and an opportunity to experiencethe natural environment of the area's Timacuan Indians.

 

ORLANDONATURE TRAILS AND PARKS

At Forever Florida Ziplines & Adventures in theWild's horseback trail ride, guests make their waythrough a historic trail and ass through Bull Creek. A knowledgeable guide willprovide insight and commentary about encounters along the way.

Lake Eola Park isa 43-acre (17 hectare) recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando.Visitors can picnic along the shore, enjoy one of the many free concerts at theamphitheater, feed the resident swans or stop by the farmer's market onSundays. Swan boat rentals are a fun family activity and available for anominal fee.  Every Sunday, the park host the Eola SundayMarket, which features local fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, anassortment of local cuisines, beer, wine and a variety of artwork andentertainment.

The Nature Conservatory's Disney WildernessPreserve sends guests through 12,000 acres of protected natural habitat to see conservationin action. Home to more than 1,000 species of plantsand animals, The Disney Wilderness Preserve is an essential part of the Everglades ecosystem and contains 3,500 (1,416hectare) acres of restored wetlands.

West Orange Trail in Winter Garden is Orlando's longest paved bicycle trail, 19 miles(30.5 kilometers) through fields, forest canopies and the towns of WinterGarden and Apopka, part of the nationwide Rails to Trails program. Bicycles androllerblades are available for rent at Bikes and Blades Co.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, located in PolkCounty, offershorseback riding adventures along the miles of unspoiled beauty at the resort.One-hour trail rides are led by our experienced wranglers, where even beginnerslearn the ropes. If one hour isn't enough time to bond with your horse andnature, extended rides are also available.

 

Wildlifeand Bird-watching in Orlando

The Gatorland Bird Rookery was created in 1991 as an alligator breeding marsh and has grown into one of the largest and most accessible wading bird rookeries in Florida. Today, this area provides protected nesting, foraging, and roosting area to over 20 different species of birds, many of which are listed as Endangered or Species of Special Concern. Photographers and birding enthusiasts can enter the park at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and stay until dusk every Saturday.

Lake Apopka is a magnet for nesting and migrating birds, lured by the lake's acres of undeveloped shoreline. More than 360 different species of birds, from Bald Eagles to Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas, have been identified in the Lake Apopka North Shore, more than any inland site in the state of Florida.

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza, held each winter, is a celebration of the rich diversity of birds and other wildlife that make their home on the north shore of Lake Apopka, Florida's fourth-largest lake. The event offers free bird and nature tours, live entertainment, food and Florida artisans. True bird-lovers won't want to miss this event.

Great Florida Birding Trail (GFBT) is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, supported in part by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Orlando has many spots that are part of the trail, including Gatorland, Brevard Zoo and Orlando's Wetlands Park.

 

Zoos,Gardens and Water Adventures in Orlando

BK Adventure offers multiple kayaking packages for a fun guided outdoor experience, including a tour at night, a monkey tour and a sunset package. Some tours even include a picnic lunch and hotel pick-up/drop-off from the Disney and I-Drive areas.

The Brevard Zoo is the only zoo in the country to offer a guided kayak tour around an animal exhibit. As you move through Expedition Africa in your kayak, you can see a variety of animals including giraffes, Southern White Rhinos and Grevy's Zebras. Visitors can also enjoy Florida's weather in a shaded boardwalk, surrounded by untouched wildlife, or with a kid-friendly play lagoon. Through an enriched learning environment, animal enthusiasts will spend their visit alongside more than 880 animals.

Get Up and Go Kayaking is the only tour company in Florida to use clear kayaks, offering a unique window right into the water. Options range from early morning adventures into the crystal clear Rock Springs, to bioluminescent kayak tours and sunset excursions through Winter Park's Venetian-style canals.

Grande Lakes Orlando's Adventure Experiences features interpretive eco-tours offer guided canoe or kayak tours where guests can learn about the history of Shingle Creek and observe the native species such as alligators, bald eagles, osprey and barred owls in their natural habitat. 

Maui B's Paddleboarding offers paddleboard lessons, rentals, yoga classes, and fitness and eco tours throughout Central Florida, including Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach and Cocoa Beach.

Paddleboard Orlando in Winter Park offers standup paddleboard lessons for beginners, unique adventure tours and paddleboard rentals.

Peace of Mind Kayak Tours offers a variety of kayaking tours throughout Central Florida. The Winter Park Chain of Lakes tour sends visitors through the beauty of towering cypress trees with views of million-dollar homes along the shores of Winter Park.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens offers hundreds of animal encounters through its fine collection of rare and endangered wildlife. Visitors can view cheetahs, elephants, leopards and exotic snakes in the zoo's lush tropical environment with 800 species of plants.

Harry P. Leu Gardens has free storytelling for young children on the first Monday of every month. Admission to the 50-acre (20 hectare) park is free on the first Monday as well, so you can explore the park's three miles of paved scenic walkways. Attractions include a butterfly garden, the largest camellia collection outside California and a house museum from the 1880s.

 

THRILLING OUTDOORATTRACTIONS

While Orlando may be best known for its world-classattractions, it is also filled with unique outdoor adventures that makevacations unforgettable. Where else can adventurous travelers zip line overalligators or feel total weightlessness as they are rocketed 390 feet (119meters) into the sky? From mild to the wildest, adventure enthusiasts canalways find something to do in Orlando that is sure to make their heads spin.

 

BuenaVista Watersports at Paradise Coveoffers Jet Ski Rentals on Lake Bryan -- a 450-acre (182 hectare), natural,spring fed lake surrounded by cypress trees and tropical foliage. If you're inexperienced,Buena Vista Watersports offers a free lesson with a professional instructorbefore your ride.

CentralFlorida ZOOm Air Adventures, locatedat the Central Florida Zoo, is an aerial adventure course that allows visitorsto explore the tree tops from an animal's perspective. Families can "ZOOm" fromtree to tree using rope bridges, zip lines, suspended disks and a variety ofunique systems.

Forever Florida Ziplines & Adventures in theWild offers visitors the chance to hop aboardthe Zipline Safari, which takes guests on a treetop nature tour reachingheights of 55 feet (16.8 meters) and speeds up to 25 mph (40.2 kilometers perhour). The first U.S. zip line rollercoaster, dubbed The Rattlesnake, measures 1,000feet (305-meters) long, sending riders flying through the air at 20-mph (32kph)through Central Florida's natural landscape.

iFLYOrlando is anindoor skydiving experience that creates true free fall conditions, just likeskydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane. iFLY Orlando's 1,000 hpvertical wind tunnel generates a wall-to-wall cushion of air, on which yousafely float. There's no parachute, no jumping and nothing attaching you toplanet Earth. It's just you and the air. Find them at their new location onInternational Drive.

OrlandoTree Trek Adventure Park is an aerial adventure course that offers six color-coded courses, with 97 challenginggames and two giant zip lines.

Orlando Watersports Complex offers wakeboarding, water skiing, wakeskating and kneeboardingfor both kids and adults.

RevolutionOff Road is home to many off-road experiences including ATVs,Dune Buggies, and ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Expert riders will help guideyou through more than 200 acres (80 hectare) of tracks and trails that providea challenge to both novice and seasoned riders.

Screamin'Gator Zip Line at Gatorland allowsguests to clip in and zip off on an exciting outdoor journey along 1,200 feet(365 meters) of high flying adventure. Standing over seven stories tall, thesetowers feature multi-level launch pads and breathtaking views from high abovethe treetops. Guests will soar through the air over the theme park's Cuban andNile crocodiles before heading over the Alligator Breeding Marsh, complete withone hundred and thirty alligator watching from below.

Skydive Space Center, locatedin Florida's Space Coast, offers the highest tandem jumps in the world at18,000 feet (548 meters), overlooking the Kennedy Space Center.

Stompin'Gator Off-Road Adventure, running along the waters of the Everglades,takes riders, in monster-style off-road vehicles, to experienceFlorida's natural beauty and various ecosystems.

Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight & Park offers year-round Discovery Tandem Flights and hang glidinginstruction. Using the latest Tandem aero towing techniques to provide thesafest most enjoyable hand gliding experience, Wallaby Ranch offers a trulyunique atmosphere.

WarbirdAdventures give you a chance to fly amilitary aircraft in the front seat with an experienced instructor. Whether youwant a thrilling aerobatic adventure or a smooth straight-and-level flight,Warbird Adventures has a package to fit your needs.

 

Airboat Tours

 

A classic Florida experience, airboat rides offer up-closeand personal views into the beauty of the Everglades. There's no shortage ofoptions when it comes to these tours, with eight companies in easy drivingdistance from Orlando's tourism district alone.

 

Airboat Rides at Midway is locatedhalf-way between the Atlantic Ocean & Orlando, earning the name "Midway."Each one-hour airboat eco-tour through the swamp is an opportunity to see andphotograph alligators, bald eagles, great blue heron, other wildlife and anIndian Burial Mound.

BlackHammock Adventures & Airboat Rides -- takes guests on athrilling exploration of Lake Jesup, which has the largest alligator populationin Florida.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides at Southport Park takes riders through Floridawetlands at speeds up to 50 mph (80 kilometers per hour) for a look at nativewildlife. Each ride offers a unique glimpse of eagles, osprey, snakes, turtlesand alligators. At Boggy Creek's Native Village, guests can see how NativeAmericans used to cook, hunt and live many years ago.

Kissimmee Swamp Tours operates out ofMiddleton's Fish Camp Too and Campground located on Lake Kissimmee, the thirdlargest lake in Central Florida which covers over 36,000 acres (14,568 hectare)and is surrounded by state wildlife parks and recreational areas and protectedwetlands.

Marsh Landing Adventures Airboat Rides offers the closestAirboat Eco-Tour to all the Central Florida Attractions. On a six-passengerprivate airboat, you venture into the headwaters of the Florida Everglades,seeing alligators,wildlife of all kinds, many species of birds and beautiful flora.

Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Tours sends you glidingthrough a natural paradise of swamps, marshes and wildlife in small,six-passenger boats, with high-tech headsets that allow communication amongother passengers and the captain during the ride.

Wild Florida airboatrides will send you deep into the protected swamps, marshes and rivers of theFlorida Everglades.You'll get in depth look at gators, birds, eagles, cows,trees and plants as you glide through 100,000 acres (40,468 hectare) offederally protected wetlands. Guests can get up close and personal with morethan 200 animals at Wild Florida's Gator and Wildlife Park.

Wild Willy's Airboat Tours send you through the marshes of Osceola County's23,000-acre Lake Tohopekaliga, the Headwaters of the Everglades. From gators,turtles, birds, deer, cows and other wildlife, you'll have a chance to see andlearn about their natural environment while riding our six-and 14-passengerairboats for an hour.

 

HEART-PUMPINGTHEME PARK RIDES

 

Universal Orlando Resort

Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure takes guests through towering castle gates as they make their way down the passageways and corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Guests will walk through iconic locations before soaring above the castle to join Harry Potter and his friends on a thrilling adventure.

Gringotts Bank at Universal Studios Florida is a, multi-dimensional 3D thrill ride that puts guests right in the middle of the action, facing with the banks stringent security measure while navigating the perilous underground vaults. Guests will encounter Harry, Ron and Hermione along the way, but will have to evade the wrath of Voldemort and Bellatrix as well as trolls and other creatures that stand in the way of a safe return to Diagon Alley.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit! at Universal Studios Florida is a high-tech, multi-sensory roller coaster with audio and special effects that create a unique ride experience. Using LED-screen personal touchpads mounted on the ride vehicles, riders choose a song to hear while on the roller coaster and then have the option to take home a music video of their experience following the ride.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure launches riders upward 150 feet (46 meters) and reaches top speeds of 67 mph (108 km/h). The ride has a total of seven inversions and two subterranean trenches during the two-minute, 15-second ride.

 

Walt Disney World Resort     

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain at Animal Kingdom takes riders on a thrilling expedition through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. The adventure propels guests through the mountain and is filled with twists, turns and several other thrilling surprises along the way.

Space Mountain at Disney's Magic Kingdom takes guests on a rip-roaring rocket ride through the reaches of outer space on a roller-coaster-type ride.  

Rockin' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios invites guests to Aerosmith's backstage party. But in order to get there, guests must zoom from 0-95 mph (153 km/h) on LA freeways with the force of a supersonic F-14, take in high-speed loops and turns synchronized to a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack and zip through Tinsel town in the big and loud limo.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios dares guests to brave the creepy facade of a once-glorious hotel for a jolt back in time, as they get on a phantom elevator, shoot up 13 stories and come to a thrilling plummet, only to be brought back up and dropped again.

 

SeaWorld Orlando

Mako, named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, is Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph (117 km/h) as it races along 4,760 feet (1,451 meters) of steel track.

Manta gives guests the chance to fly face-down, in a horizontal position, underneath the belly of a roller coaster shaped like a giant Manta Ray. With a wing span of 12 feet (4 meters), the manta glides, swoops and dives nearly 60 mph (97 km/h), through four inversions. Riders feel as if they are a ray, taking flight effortlessly from sky to sea.

Kraken, born from the tales that struck terror into sailors for centuries, is consistently ranked as one the world's top 10 coasters. .  Using new virtual reality (VR) technology, this thrill ride will takes guests on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. 

 

THRILLING WATER PARK RIDES

 

Universal's Volcano Bay

Ko'kiri Body Plunge, a part of the brand new Volcano Bay water park, sends guests down a 70-degree fall through a drop door. This dizzying 125-foot (38-meter) decent ends with a watery tribute from the volcano god, Vol.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster features four-person canoes sliding upward through the mists and into the dark twists and turns within the volcano before emerging with a plunge through a shimmering waterfall.

 

Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark

Ihu's Breakaway Falls is one of the newest additions to Aquatica. Standing at 80 feet (24 meters) tall, this attraction is the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop towers of its kind in Orlando. The watery free-fall drop lets guests race one another down this thrilling adventure.

 

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

Summit Plummet is the most extreme attraction at Blizzard Beach. The slide rockets guests down a sheer 120-foot (37-meters) slope. Riders plunge 12 stories at unbelievable speeds, hurtle through a dark end tunnel and then emerge in a massive spray of water.

 

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Humungo Kowabungo is fully equipped with three enclosed slides. Riders hurtle 214 feet (65 meters) downhill at a 60 degree angle. This slide is bound to send chills up rider's spines as it takes its passengers and sends them zooming downhill. Passengers will be shocked by an unexpected 5 story drop in the dark.