Wildlife And Outer Space In Orlando

By: Mark Whichard

So, time for your annual holiday. And everyone in the family wants to do something fun, but maybe not the same thing. It's more than likely that you don't want to go to three or four places to satisfy everyone, nor to split up the family into different vacation spots.

The answer? Orlando.

Indeed, rarely has such a small city packed such a punch for giving the vacationer more than they ever bargained for.

There is of course Disneyworld for starters. More than a few families have found that place diverse enough fun enough for everyone in the family for their whole vacation.

I can almost hear you saying: "So, that's one famous theme park. But we've got a whole vacation and don't want to be driving everywhere to find some variety and some great fun. Oh well, maybe we'll just go to New York or to California..."

Well, before you do something that drastic, let me tell you more about Orlando. You want theme parks? How about the seven world class theme parks in Orlando? Not to mention three water parks. And dozens of other classy attractions. One commentator claims that you would need 67 days to take in all of Orlando's attractions.

So, let me tell you about some of them.

How about Gatorland for instance? Why a park devoted to these fearsome alligators and crocodiles? Well this isn't Iowa and there are a huge amount of these reptiles in the Florida swamps. This 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve is home to thousands of crocodiles and alligators; and though Orlando is a most friendly city, these 'hosts' at Gatorland may give you a bit more of a scare than you bargained for. Besides 'gators and crocs, you'll also find here an aviary, a petting zoo, a nature walk and reptilian shows such as Gator Wrestling, Jungle Crocs of the World, and more.

Educational offerings include viewing the breeding process and other wildlife programs.

Another famous attraction is Busch Gardens, in Tampa Bay, about an hour drive from Orlando. The gardens are a fair distance from the hustle and bustle of Orlando, and easy to get to, which is a selling point for some tourists.

Busch Gardens brings the wonders of Africa close to home. There are more than 2,000 animals here, in a natural setting, though some of the thrills for both kids and adults include a roller-coaster ride and the Sky Ride cable car, with an excellent view of the park. The park also features the Serengeti Railway. There is also the Haunted Lighthouse, which is a 4D show for kids over seven. You can see KaTonga, a musical celebrating African fables, and the tomb of King Tut of Egypt. We can also recommend the rides at the Land of the Dragon. And don't worry; you don't have to hunt for your meals, as there is a wide range of dining at the Gardens.

Changing directions quite a bit, Kennedy Space Center invites you to embark on "Mankind's Ultimate Journey".

Just 45 minutes from Orlando NASA's launch headquarters is located on a huge island wildlife refuge. In fact, it's about eight times the size of Manhattan.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex gives you a rare opportunity to tour NASA's launch and landing facilities. You can get a feel for space travel with their interactive simulators and live shows. Have you seen space rockets on TV or in the movies? Well, here you can see how big they really are. You can also meet a real member of NASA's Astronaut Corps

Enough for a few days? Keep in touch and we'll tell you a lot more about a city that's bound to be one of your favorite vacation spots for a long time to come.

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