Orlando City Guide: Fun Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
Since moving to Florida we’ve wanted to visit new cities near us and while we’ve been to Orlando a number of times we had only visited amusement parks. We wanted to see what else Orlando has to offer and decided to spend some time checking out Downtown Orlando and other nearby areas to find the best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks!
When is the Best Time to Visit Orlando?
Orlando has a lot to offer visitors year-round. If you’re looking for the time of year with the best weather, November-March is your best bet! The temperatures are mild and humidity is typically far lower than in the summer months. June is the start of the rainy season in Florida so if you plan to visit Orlando in June be prepared for some daily rain whereas July through September (and sometimes even part of October) are the hottest months!
How to Get to Orlando
Getting to Orlando by Plane
The fastest and easiest way to get to Orlando by plane is by flying into Orlando Airport (MCO). If you can’t snag a cheap flight to Orlando Airport the next place I’d check is Tampa Airport (TPA) which is roughly 1 hour 30 minutes from Downtown Orlando.
Getting to Orlando by Car
If you happen to be taking a road trip to Orlando then you’re in luck! Despite the I-4 traffic being some of the worst in the country, once you’re in Orlando it is a great city to drive around besides the certain hot spot areas, *Disney Springs*, being a bit more congested. After driving many many times from Sarasota to Orlando I can tell you that the I-4 traffic doesn’t really ever ease up. Just be patient and know that it could add 30-90 minutes to your travel time.
Tampa to Orlando: Approximately 1 hr 30 minutes by car.
Miami to Orlando: Approximately 4 hours by car.
Jacksonville to Orlando: Approximately 2 hours by car.
Atlanta to Orlando: Approximately 6 hours by car.
Getting to Orlando by Train
The less popular way to get to Orlando is by train but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked! If you happen to live in Florida (or have access to Amtrak) you can also travel to Orlando by train.
How to Get Around Orlando
Getting Around Orlando by Car
I personally believe the best way to travel around Orlando is by driving your personal vehicle or by renting a car. The downtown Orlando area is fairly walkable but there are many activities that are spread out and more easily accessible by car. In addition, Orlando does offer public transportation options but they are limited to certain areas and timing can be difficult to nail down, especially if you’re in a pinch for time.
Parking in Orlando: As someone who maps out everything I do by examining the parking situations of places I visit, I personally didn’t feel like parking in Orlando was too bad. There are a lot of places you can park for free for 2-4 hours depending on the location. We’ve even visited Orlando on a holiday weekend before and I felt like parking downtown was still ample. I think the only place that I found it more difficult to find parking was the Mills 50 area but I also visited there around lunchtime! After a few hours of exploring that area, I noticed a number of spots.
Getting Around Orlando by Public Transportation
If you want to travel around Orlando by using public transportation there are some options for that. I will note that I have yet to use any public transportation in Orlando and I’ve heard some mixed reviews. The downsides are mostly related to timing and limited locations. However, there are two major modes of public transportation in Orlando, the LYNX and LYMMO.
LYNX in Orlando
The LYNX is Orlando’s bus service that provides travel in the City of Orlando, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake Counties. It also covers parts of Polk and Volusia Counties. You can purchase a single ride on the LYNX for $2 or you can get an all-day pass for $4.50. If you want to buy an all-day pass make sure you tell your operator when boarding then pay. I recommend downloading the LYNX PawPass app for more information about the LYNX to help you better plan your Orlando itinerary!
LYMMO in Orlando
LYMMO is a fare-free circulator that provides service to downtown Orlando. There are four different routes it tends to. // MAP OF ROUTES
ORANGE LINE – Runs north and south throughout downtown Orlando. Buses come every 5 – 7 minutes during office hours and every 15 minutes during evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Orlando City Hall
- Orange County Regional History Center
- Orlando Public Library
- U.S. Post Office
- Orange County Courthouse
- LYNX Central Station
- Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
GRAPEFRUIT LINE – Provides east and west service between the Parramore and Thornton Park neighborhoods. Buses come every 10 minutes during office hours and every 15 minutes during evenings, weekends and holidays.
- Orlando City Hall
- Amway Center
- Orange County Health Department
- Orlando City Stadium
- U.S. Federal Courthouse
- Lake Eola
- Downtown Publix
ORANGE LINE, North Quarter Extension – Operates in a loop along Livingston Street, Magnolia Avenue, Marks Street, and Orange Avenue, providing service to downtown Orlando’s North Quarter, with buses arriving every 20 minutes.
LIME LINE – Connects the Parramore and Callahan neighborhoods. Buses come every 10 minutes during office hours, and every 15 minutes during evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- LYNX Central Station/SunRail
- Orange County Public Schools
- Creative Village
- Bob Carr Theatre
- FAMU College of Law
- U.S. District Court
*Information provided from LYNX and LYMMO websites.
Much like many other cities are doing, Orlando offers a Bike Share and Scooter Share service in downtown Orlando. Just make sure that you obey all traffic laws and don’t ride on sidewalks in Orlando. And please, don’t be that person who parks your scooter or bike in a place that is hazardous. I thank you for that in advance. 🙂
If you don’t want to rent a car and don’t want to use public transportation or have a spot that is too far away to visit, you can also consider using Uber or Lyft to get around Orlando. It can definitely add up in cost so plan your stops accordingly!
Where to Stay in Orlando
If you want to enjoy the many things to do in Orlando besides theme parks you’ll want to consider areas of Orlando and hotel options to make your stay more accessible and fun! These are my two favorite areas to stay in Orlando.
Where to Stay in Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando is where we stay in Orlando when we aren’t planning on visiting theme parks and we absolutely love it! Since we usually visit on weekends the streets were fairly quiet during the daytime (it might be busier on work days or during event days) and we found it to be close to everything we wanted to visit (which we’ll also give info on in this Orlando itinerary).
- PROS: Close to many fun Orlando activities, a walkable area with parks, restaurants, shops, and things to do.
- CONS: Evenings can be noisy but we used a sleep app to make white noise and it drowned out the cars and occasional honking, limited parking at hotels and they charge for valet, not as close to Disney/Universal if you are visiting theme parks.
Hotel Recommendations in Downtown Orlando
Home2 Suites Downtown Orlando: We love this hotel because it is close to many things to do in downtown Orlando and has a lot of walkable options nearby. It is also very pet-friendly which means we can bring our dog, Bentley! Because it’s located in downtown Orlando parking is limited but the hotel offers valet service for ~$26 a night (pretty common in Orlando and the Disney Springs area). There is also a parking garage that we found about 2 blocks away but I think it’s worth paying for the valet. They offer complimentary breakfast each morning and have a small, but nice rooftop pool that is open to all guests. I personally think this hotel is great for a variety of travelers including families, those traveling with pets, those traveling solo, or couples traveling.
Pet Fee: $79
Where to Stay at Disney Springs
Chances are if you are looking at this guide you’re not planning to visit any theme parks in Orlando. But if you are planning to do maybe a day at a theme park and visit other areas of Orlando too or if you want to have that Disney feel, the Lake Buena Vista/Disney Springs area is a great place to stay.
- PROS: Walking distance from a number of restaurants, shopping areas, and more plus close to theme parks if you decide to do that.
- CONS: Depending on the time of year and days you visit it might be more busy than staying downtown so traffic will be more.
Hotel Recommendations in Disney Springs
We’ve stayed at a number of hotels in the Disney Springs area ranging from budget to mid-range hotel options. Here are a few we’d recommend.
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is my favorite of the ones we’ve stayed at so far in Lake Buena Vista. It is within walking distance from Disney Springs and has comfortable, clean rooms.
- My second favorite hotel I’ve stayed at is Holiday Inn Orlando/Disney Springs. It’s also a short distance from Disney Springs but is a bit more budget-friendly compared to the Hilton.
- The Candlewood Suites Orlando/Lake Buena Vista is a little further away from Disney Springs but still close enough to visit easily by car.
Places to Eat in Orlando
Before we visited Orlando we had no idea it was such a foodie city! You can find TONS of fabulous local restaurants, popular chains, cute coffee shops, and so much more. Here are just a few restaurants we have enjoyed in Orlando and we can’t wait to keep adding to the list in the future!
Before visiting Orlando for the first time, I asked for some recommendations of places to eat in Orlando and one of the most mentioned places was by far Reyes Mezcaleria. Wendy Lopez, a Michoacán native, is the executive chef for Reyes Mexcaleria where you’ll find delicious Mexican cuisine, a terrific cocktail list, and over 150 agave spirits available to try.
We went for brunch so I’m anxious to go back and give their regular menu a try sometime. For brunch, we ordered the guacamole which came with freshly fried chips, which is on the regular menu of course, and I’d definitely recommend getting some to share.
I highly recommend trying the Sonoran Fish Tacos which have beer-battered fried snapper, crunchy shaved cabbage, creamy serrano aioli, and pickled red onion. One menu item that caught my eye and I’d like to try next time is the Whole Branzino Veracruz. I saw this whole lightly fried fish delivered to another table and immediately knew I had to come back for it. Regardless of what you order, don’t forget to order some sides like fried yuca, cilantro rice, and esquites!
Location: 821 N Orange Ave, Orlando // MAP (make reservation)
Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa
If you’re interested in trying a unique barbecue spot in Orlando, Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa is a great spot to try in the Mills area of downtown Orlando. Not only do they have the staple barbecue items like ribs, brisket, chicken, and pulled pork you can even find barbecue tacos and seasoned tofu for a vegetarian option. Some of our favorites include the spice roasted chicken, oakwood smoked pulled pork, oakwood smoked brisket, maduros (fried plantains), and mac and cheese.
Location: 1326 N Mills Ave, Orlando // MAP
If I had found a place like Lazy Moon in college you would have found me here every weekend at 1am during my spells of late-night procrastination study habits. I won’t tell you that Lazy Moon is the best pizza I’ve ever had because it isn’t. But it’s pretty darn good, some of the slices are unique, and I like that it’s affordable for the size of the slice you get.
Let me just say, the pizza slices are MASSIVE, like… probably the equivalent of a personal pan pizza each slice. Lazy Moon is a great place to go for a late-night meal (especially after an event or theme park). There are a ton of slice options, even vegan pizza options, but the ones we’ve liked the most are The Buff, a buffalo chicken pizza, and Jason’s Mom – A chicken, onion, mushroom pizza with special sauce, and baked ranch.
Location: 1011 E Colonial Dr, Orlando // MAP
Turci Pasta was a place that I found by chance while in Orlando one weekend. I was playing my usual game of clicking on random pins on Google Maps and found Turci Pasta. This tiny restaurant is located in College Park just northwest of downtown. The second we stepped into Turci Pasta I knew we were going to have a fantastic meal. For starters, we were immediately greeted with the sound of a pasta roller as we watched fresh pasta being made right before our eyes. And that, that’s what sold me.
It was hard to narrow down what I wanted to try first because everything on the menu looked delicious but when the owner recommended the pesto gnocchi with burrata, I knew it was the one. These pillowy potato gnocchi are served with a pesto Genovese sauce and creamy, delicious burrata placed perfectly in the middle. Logan ordered a special tortellini with their homemade three-cheese sauce and prosciutto which was also a knockout.
Although we both ordered menu items that were already paired with sauces, proteins, or toppings. You can also create your own dish by selecting your choice of fresh pasta, one of six homemade sauces, and adding on protein or other toppings that you would like.
Location: 2120 Edgewater Dr, Orlando // MAP (make reservation)
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
If you’re looking for southern comfort food you’ll be floored by the dishes at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ which pays homage to Florida’s rich agricultural by using many locally sourced ingredients. Now we’ve only been to Homecomin’ for brunch but one of our favorite things to order is the fried chicken and donuts which comes with two pieces of Chef Art’s famous fried chicken and homemade mini sugar donuts!
Location: 1602 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista // MAP
Wine Bar George
Interested in grabbing a variety of small places and enjoying a glass of wine? Wine Bar George is the place to be! On Saturdays and Sundays, you can make a reservation for brunch and try one of their brunch cocktails alongside the Wine Country Omelet or Shakshuka.
If you go for lunch or dinner I recommend ordering the Zucchini Hush Puppies, House-Made Hummus, and one of their artisanal charcuterie and cheese boards. Of course, you should also consider ordering some wine and they have an extensive list to choose from! Personally, I think their bottle prices are very reasonable and many have only a minimal mark-up.
Location: 1610 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista // MAP
The Polite Pig
The Polite Pig is a place that we’ve been to a number of times at Disney Springs and I find it to always be consistently delicious. Our favorite menu items are the slider trio which comes with mini versions of their southern pig, brisket, and fried chicken sandwiches, or the butcher board which has a variety of their smoked meats.
Another solid winner is the half chicken which is smoked and seasoned perfectly. I’d even be happy just ordering a variety of the sides. I have enjoyed every side we’ve ordered so far but my favorites are the mac & cheese, barbecue cauliflower, and crispy brussel sprouts. I also recommend trying their seasonal side because it’s usually terrific too!
P.S. Don’t be fooled if there is a long line. From our experience, it always moves pretty fast!
Location: 1536 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando // MAP
Looking for something sweet? Check out our list of the best desserts in Orlando.
Fun Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
For this Orlando weekend guide, we’ll cover a few areas of Orlando including Downtown Orlando, I-Drive, Disney Springs, and nearby Winter Park!
THINGS TO DO IN WINTER PARK
Located just north of downtown Orlando, Winter Park is a fabulous place to add to your Orlando weekend itinerary. It has a number of unique museums and over 70 parks to explore. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Winter Park.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum is one of the most interesting museums we’ve visited. I had no idea it existed until I was researching things to do in Orlando besides theme parks and this is one of the top suggestions. The Morse Museum holds the most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the world.
I was surprised to learn that Tiffany created more than just jewelry. In fact, Louis Comfort Tiffany created a collection of pottery, paintings, glasswork, and stunning leaded-glass lamps and windows. In addition, the museum holds American art pottery, late 19th and early 20th-century American paintings, and decorative art.
Location: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park // MAP
Cost: $6/adults, $5/seniors, $1/students, free for ages 0-11
Albin Polasek Museum
The Albin Polasek Museum is a smaller, living museum in Winter Park but has a beautiful 3-acre outdoor garden where you can enjoy many of the works of Albin Polasek surrounded by subtropical plants. There are over 200 of his works on display and there are also guided tours of the historic residence so be sure to ask what time the tour is when you purchase your tickets.
Albin Polasek was born in 1879 in Frenstat, Moravia (now known as Czechia), and started his career as a woodcarver before immigrating to the United States in 1901. After working as a woodcarver for four years he began training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia where he learned traditional sculpting techniques from Charles Grafly and later was awarded a three-year fellowship at the American Academy of Art in Rome.
After some success, he became the head of the Sculpture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago and stayed in that position for 30 years as he continued to create art.
Later in life, Polasek left him paralyzed on his left side after suffering a stroke. Regardless he continued to paint, draw, and sculpt with his right hand. Some of these works went on to receive worldwide acclaim.
In the year 2000, Polasek was named a “Great Floridian” by the state of Florida, which recognizes those who made significant contributions to the history and culture of the state. Then in 2004, he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the arts in Florida.
Location: 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park // MAP
Cost: $12/adults, $10/seniors and students
Kraft Azalea Garden
When Logan and I were driving around Winter Park we noticed a park with beautiful cypress trees that we immediately pulled over to check out. This spot happened to be Kraft Azalea Garden which is a 5.2-acre lakefront park in Winter Park. The beautiful cypress trees give off a whimsical and mystical feeling as you walk through this quaint forest. I’d say you only need around 20 minutes to enjoy this park but you can spend far longer here if you wish. I keep telling Logan I want to go back and have a picnic here with items from one of the downtown Winter Park restaurants.
Location: 1365 Alabama Dr, Winter Park // MAP
Cost: Free to visit
The Wine Room on Park Avenue
If you enjoy wine then don’t miss the Wine Room on Park Avenue while in Winter Park. It’s the perfect place to stop for a charcuterie and cheese board as you can sip from a selection of over 150 wines from around the world! One of the coolest things about The Wine Room on Park Avenue is that all of the wines can be sampled in either 1 oz, 2.5 oz, or 5 oz pours that you get directly from an Enomatic wine dispensing machine. Think of it as a self-serve soda machine, but way fancier and for wine. This unique concept makes trying new wines really fun and affordable. If you find a favorite, you can also buy a bottle to take home.
Location: 270 S Park Ave, Winter Park // MAP
Mead Botanical Garden
Mead Botanical Garden is named after Theodore Mead who was an American horticulturist, naturalist, and entomologist. In his lifetime he discovered more than 20 new species of butterflies in North America and also introduced the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado to other scientists. He is also well-known for his work on cross-breeding orchids and creating new forms of a number of other flowers and plants.
Visiting Mead Botanical Garden is a great way to experience nature in Winter Park. There are over 47 acres to explore with hiking trails, bike trails, a greenhouse, and a butterfly garden. One of my favorites from my visit was walking on the Lake Lillian Marsh Boardwalk where you can see many different species of birds and dense wetland foliage.
Location: 1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park // MAP OF THE GARDENS
THINGS TO DO IN DOWNTOWN ORLANDO
Harry P. Leu Gardens
I’ve visited a number of botanical gardens over the years and I can confidently say that Harry P. Leu Gardens is one of the best. This 50-acre botanical garden is located just a few minutes from downtown Orlando and is full of beautiful landscaping, and 200-year-old trees, and has a number of special exhibits and events to visit throughout the year.
My first visit to Leu Gardens was during their Fairy Door exhibit which is held annually in the summer until the beginning of November. This exhibit features 20 fairy doors placed around the gardens that will allow you to have a fun scavenger hunt full of whimsy!
Location: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando // MAP
Cost: $15 adults, $10 children
Walk Around Lake Eola Park
On our first time visiting Downtown Orlando we stayed near Lake Eola Park and decided to walk from our hotel around the lake area with our dog. I immediately was smitten with this park because there are so many neat things to do in this area! Not only is it a great green space for taking a walk or relaxing, but there are many events here throughout the year and each Sunday you’ll find a neat farmer and artisan market.
On the lake you’ll find a boat dock where you can rent a swan boat, fitting since the lake has many swans on it! Boats can hold up to four passengers and are available to rent Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-7pm.
Location: 512 E Washington St, Orlando // MAP
Orlando Museum of Art
Wherever I go I love visiting art museums so I had to check out the Orlando Museum of Art. This contemporary art museum has a number of permanent and rotating exhibits so there is always something new to experience. Permanent collections include American Art from the 19th-20th centuries, African Art featuring many different mediums, a vast Indigenous Art collection, and a large collection of contemporary art pieces.
Location: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando // MAP
Cost: $20 adults, $12 seniors (60+), $10 students, children under 6-17 $8, children under 5 free, Museums for All $3 *Some discounted rates may require ID
Orlando Science Center
Next to the Orlando Museum of Art, you’ll find the Orlando Science Center which is a terrific spot for families. There are multiple floors of exhibit halls featuring hands-on experiences to engage visitor’s senses and minds. A few of the exhibits I found fascinating are Food Heroes which highlights the complexities of the world’s food systems alongside sustainability practices to implement in our daily lives. I also geeked out over the Dinosaur area which has a dig area because what person hasn’t been fixated with dinosaurs at some point in their lives? There truly is something for everyone at this massive science center!
Location: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando // MAP
Cost: $24 adults, $22 seniors (55+) and students with ID, $18 children (ages 2-11), Science For All $3
Shop Wall Street Plaza
Near the west side of Lake Eola, you can walk over to Wall Street Plaza, a hub for restaurants, shopping, and nightlife in Orlando hosting some of the yearly special events for holidays and local events. If you’re visiting on a weekend you’ll find that on Friday and Saturday nights the roads are also blocked off for weekly block parties featuring live music and DJ sets!
Wells’ Built Museum
The Wells’ Built Museum didn’t start out as a museum, in fact, it started as the Wells’ Built Hotel. In 1917 Dr. William Monroe Wells opened a medical practice in the Parramore neighborhood of Orlando, an area in great need of a physician because Dr. Wells was one of two Black physicians in Central Florida at the time, and Black citizens were only allowed to visit Black-owned clinics.
After seeing a need for safe room and board in his community, he decided to build the 20-room Wells’ Built Hotel and South Street Casino as a place where friends and family of those in the community could come to stay and locals and travelers could attend entertainment events hosted at the casino. It quickly earned recognition and was found in the Green Book, a guide for Black travelers that was published from 1936-1966.
Over the years big names like Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway came to perform and even stayed in the hotel. Other notable guests include Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson.
In 1957, The Wells’ Built Hotel unfortunately closed, just a year after Dr. Wells’ death. For a while, the building sat empty and in disrepair. At one point the city even considered demolishing it until State Representatives Geraldine Thompson and Alzo J. Reddick fought for its revival as a museum.
In 2000, The Wells’ Built Hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and in 2009 it reopened as the Wells’ Built Museum sharing Black history in Central Florida. This museum features many important personal donations from people in the community including letters, vinyl records, a restored hotel room, and so much more.
Location: 511 W South St, Orlando // MAP
THINGS TO DO ON INTERNATIONAL DRIVE (I-DRIVE)
ICON Park is an entertainment, dining, and shopping plaza with many unique activities such as The Wheel, a 400-foot tall observation wheel, Madame Tussauds, the Museum of Illusions, and many others. I personally enjoy visiting Disney Springs more but ICON Park still has a number of unique attractions worth adding to your Orlando itinerary!
Location: 8375 International Dr, Orlando // MAP
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Classic arcade games, a two-level, laser tag area, realistic VR experiences, and indoor go-kart racing – These are all activities you’ll find at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. Although all of the experiences I mentioned are fun, if you can only choose one, definitely consider the indoor electric go-kart races! This go-kart area consists of many winding hairpin turns, straightaways to maximize your speed, and best of all? It’s indoors and climate-controlled!
Location: 9299 Universal Blvd, Orlando // MAP
Cost: Prices vary by activity and package
WonderWorks perfectly combines science, mystery, education, and imagination with science exhibits, a laser tag arena, an indoor ropes course, and even a 4D simulator ride. WonderWorks has a cheeky story of Professor Wonder who had a secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle. While working in his lab a tornado experiment went terribly wrong carrying the secret lab hundreds of miles and landing upside down!
When you arrive at WonderWorks and begin to walk through the lab, you’ll notice that everything will be upside-down so you have to then walk through the inversion tunnel to be turned right side up and begin your adventure with over 100 science exhibits.
Location: 9067 International Dr, Orlando // MAP
Cost: Ticket packages start around $25
Check out An Escape Room
Escape rooms have become increasingly popular throughout the years and Orlando has a number of them to choose from! I was late to hop on the escape room trend but after visiting my first one I was hooked. If you haven’t visited an escape room the best way I can describe it is a real-life game board mixed with a story (like a murder mystery dinner but with far more hands-on experiences). Two of the most popular escape rooms are The Escape Game Orlando which has seven rooms that can host between 8-12 players and Escapology has 11 private game rooms that can host 2-6 players but can accommodate larger groups if told in advance.
THINGS TO DO AT DISNEY SPRINGS
Disney Springs is a collection of shops, restaurants, activities, and attractions in Lake Buena Vista near the Disney parks that has often been called a “mini Disney town.” The best part? It’s free to visit!
Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Enjoy one of America’s favorite games at Splitsville Luxury Lanes. This retro-modern space has two floors of 10-pin bowling, billiards, live music, and fun bars! Not to mention if you want to get something to eat while you bowl, they have a full kitchen and you can order menu items and drinks to be delivered to your lane.
Cost: $20-30 per person
Take A Ride on the Aérophile Balloon
The astonishing Aérophile balloon is always one of the first things you’ll see when arriving at Disney Springs. Custom-built for Disney by a company in Paris, this balloon is filled with 210,000 cubic feet of helium and can ascend up to 400 feet! It can hold 30 people (including the pilot) and offers epic views of Disney Springs and the surrounding areas.
Cost: $25 adults, $20 children (under 10)
Check out Live Music at Disney Springs
There are many spaces at Disney Springs that offer live music and you’re sure to find something every day of the week!
- Waterside Stage: Open-air venue along Lake Buena Vista that has a variety of live performances nightly.
- Exposition Park: Near the food truck park you’ll find a variety of live music entertainment of different varieties.
- House of Blues: This iconic building resembles a general store in Louisiana and features many popular musicians and up-and-coming acts in all different genres.
- Paradiso 37: This fun bar has nightly Latin music where you can enjoy salsa dancing.
- Raglan Road: Enjoy Irish step dancing performances on the outdoor terrace of Raglan Road Pub from 6pm-10pm daily.
- Riverboat Square: This plaza hosts a variety of street performers.
- Stargazers: Located on Planet Hollywood’s street-level patio lounge and features performances by singer-songwriters.
- Sunshine Highline: Outdoor stage near Starbucks that has a variety of local and international music performances using common and lesser-known instruments.
- Waterview Park: Mini amphitheater near the Boathouse and overlooking Lake Buena Vista. Has live music and weekend DJ dance parties.
Go Shopping at Disney Springs
Of course, Disney Springs has a wide variety of stores including popular stores like Anthropologie, Columbia, UNIQLO, Lululemon, and Zara to name a few. Being Disney, there are of course a number of Disney-themed stores as well for apparel, art, souvenirs, and food. Check out the many stores at Disney Springs here.
Psst, if you are a Disney Passholder you can get discounts at many stores and restaurants at Disney Springs.
As we continue to explore more in Orlando we’ll be sure to update our list of things to do in Orlando and places to eat! What are some of your favorite things to do in Orlando besides theme parks?