Non-Disney Things to Do in Orlando

By Aliah D. Wright Jun 20, 2014

Sure, people think Orlando, Fla., and Walt Disney and his world come to mind. But there are plenty of other things to do here that aren’t remotely Disneyesque.

SHRM has partnered with Visit Orlando to create a microsite for attendees of the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition with information about the city and all it has to offer. For things to do beyond the theme parks, visit

The site “contains links to discounted tickets to the world-famous theme parks, but it also contains maps and directions, transportation, dining, and local entertainment,” says Feborah Dixon, a SHRM meeting planner. “Attendees are already talking about it on our Conference Community and taking advantage of the information and other discounts throughout the city through just showing a conference badge or signing up for an Orlando Magic Card.”

Some suggestions:

1. The River Ventures Swim with the Manatees activity ( allows visitors to swim with these sea cows for just $45.

2. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex ( is about an hour from Orlando. One-day tickets are $40, and visitors can enjoy exhibits and shows, take a bus tour of the complex, experience the Space Shuttle Atlantis, view 3-D space films in IMAX, see the Astronaut Hall of Fame and enjoy a host of other attractions.

3. Shop till you drop! Visit for cool things to do; scroll to the shopping section for a list of area malls.

4. View the Tiffany glassworks at the Morse Museum of American Art (; 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, Fla.

5. Paddle the swan boats around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and feed the birds.

6. Join the likes of Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson and dine at Chef Eddie’s, a soul food restaurant at 3214 Orange Center Blvd. in Orlando. (It’s closed on Mondays, however.)

7. Cook your own food in a boiling pot or on a sizzling rock at Colorado Fondue; 1016 E. Semoran Blvd., Casselberry, Fla.

8. Enjoy food and drink or visit upscale shops on Park Avenue ( in Winter Park, Fla.

9. Catch a movie and a bite to eat at the unique downtown Plaza Cinema Café; 155 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, Fla.

10. Taste award-winning cupcakes from two-time Food Network Cupcake Wars baker Hollis Wilder at Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly bakery, at Waterford Lakes Town Center; 711 North Alafaya Trail, Orlando, Fla.

11. Nosh on burgers at Hamburger Mary’s on historic Church Street in Orlando.

12. View historic homes from the water via a pontoon boat ride through Lake Osceola on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour (

13. Dine on “ugly ends” at The Ravenous Pig restaurant; 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, Fla.

14. Eat and shop at the indoor, upscale Mall at Millenia; 200 Conroy Road, Orlando, Fla.

15. Catch the nightlife along 30 acres at Universal City Walk (

16. Visit a plethora of museums, including Wells’ Built Museum of African American History (full list:

17. Have dinner and drinks while watching a movie at the Enzian Theatre; 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, Fla.

18. For the vegan in you, have an organic vegan meal at the Dandielion Communitea Café; 618 N. Thornton Ave., Orlando, Fla.

19. Take the kids to see a choo-choo at the Trainland International Trolley & Train Museum, which features one of the country’s largest indoor train tracks; 8990 International Drive, Orlando, Fla.


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