Stationed in Florida and thinking of visiting Walt Disney World this summer? There will be unique challenges obtaining admission to the Parks since they are on limited capacity due to Covid-19. Also remember, Walt Disney World has currently suspended their military discounted ticket. If you find yourself stuck in Orlando without access to the Parks or if you want to have an adventure elsewhere, consider some of these fun and unique attractions available in Orlando away from Disney Parks.
This aquatic adventure is not an aquarium. It’s a fully-fledged interactive experience. If you love marine animals, this attraction will make all your dreams come true. Swim with dolphins, have up close animal encounters, go scuba diving and so much more. Make sure you save a whole day to explore all the wonders of Discovery Cove. For those with special needs children, Discovery Cove is a Certified Autism Center which means their staff has received added training and the attractions meet all the accommodations necessary to make your visit unforgettable for the whole family.
This might seem like an odd addition to this list but Legoland Florida is no regular theme park. Sure it has amusement park rides and a water park all wrapped in a Lego architect’s dream, but what makes Legoland one of my favorite attractions near Orlando is Cypress Gardens. As part of Legoland Florida, Cypress Garden has been a Florida staple since 1939 and is an amazing nature walk with majestic trees and a huge variety of plants. As an added bonus, the tree and plant coverage provide much-needed shade to Florida’s heat. Make sure to bring your camera to take pictures in front of some of the most vibrant plant life you’ve ever seen.
If you visit Orlando and want to stay near the fun but at a more affordable price, visit the city of Kissimmee. Located south of Orlando, this neighboring city provides a slew of military discounts for their most popular attractions. Swamp Boats, Boggy Creek Airboats, Gatorland Park and the Museum of Military History are all located in Kissimmee with some of the best hotel or rental house rates in this area. You can also explore the list of military discounts provided by local businesses.
Orlando Balloon Flights
This might not be realistic for those on a budget but for a special occasion, what could be better than seeing Orlando from the air at sunrise? Orlando Balloon Flights is a privately chartered air adventure in the skies over Walt Disney World. With packages for both couples and families, if you are looking for a unique experience in Orlando, this would definitely qualify.
BATL Backyard Ax Throwing League
A growing trend in the United States, ax throwing has become the unique go-to adventure in many communities, Orlando included. If you’ve ever wanted to try a full fledged Paul Bunyan (or Jason Voorhess) impression, this is your chance to fling an ax across a room onto a wooden board in a controlled setting. They are currently open with Covid-19 precautions and allow same day booking.
As travel becomes more common and attractions have less restrictions, there will be many travel discounts nationwide. Make sure to check with your command for any military travel restrictions in place. Have a great and safe summer!
Erica I. Pena-Vest is a subject matter expert on military leisure travel and has had a very popular discount site for military families for over 10 years. Erica is a tourism industry veteran, public relations pro, social media strategist and recently launched the podcast and blog The Endless Search. She completes her Masters of Art in Professional Communications this summer and starts the coveted UC Berkeley Graduate Certificate Program in Podcasting shortly after. She has been married to her active-duty Naval Aviator husband for 17 years and has two kids, two dogs and a mischievous caique parrot named Queso. You can reach her at www.TheEndlessSearch.com.