Friday, 21 August 2015

My Orlando, Florida Travel Tips: International Drive


International Drive Orlando Florida Travel Tips

I have a feeling that unless you're staying in a private villa or on Disney or Universal property, that it's probably more than likely that you will be staying on or around International Drive. International Drive, or I-Drive as it is also commonly known, stretches for over 11 miles and is a hub of tourist activity. Think restaurants, shops, attractions, museums and more. So I thought that today I would do a round-up of some of my favourite places to visit on International Drive. You might also want to take a look back through the rest of my Orlando, Florida Travel Tips series as Universal Studios, which I've dedicated a whole post to, Islands of Adventure and a few of the malls, again which I've wrote about in more depth, are situated on or around I-Drive.

Wet N Wild Orlando Review

Wet 'n Wild

One of the first things that you'll see on International Drive, well I guess it does depend on which exit you take, is Wet 'n Wild. If you want to cool off from the Floridian sunshine and heat then a trip to Wet 'n Wild has to be on the cards. There's a wave pool, several great and exhilarating slides, a lazy river and even a four lane racing mat slide. There are also a few other water park alternatives in Orlando with two of the biggest ones being located on Disney property but Wet 'n Wild is located right of Orlando. If you would like to hear a bit more about Disney's two water parks in a dedicated post then just let me know and I will get to work on that.

And whilst Wet 'n Wild is probably the most enjoyable on a hot, humid day, the rest of my International Drive must-visits are perfect for those afternoons and days when the weather takes a bit of a turn for the worse. For tips on how to prepare for the Floridian weather conditions (click here).

Ripley's Review Orlando Florida

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium

Fans of the books or TV show (does anyone else remember either of them?) will surely enjoy a trip to the aptly named 'odditorium'. Take a self guided tour of the weird, wonderful and wacky at your own pace. There's plenty of interactive exhibits that the whole family will enjoy and I have a feeling that if you've ever been to Ripley's before then you will most probably have had your photograph taken beside the massive Goodyear tyre that is a photo-op to good to resist. It's times like these that I wish I knew exactly where our family photographs were from that first visit to Orlando. 

Wonderworks Orlando Review

Wonderworks

This is easily one of the most recognisable buildings in all of Orlando. Chances are if you've been doing your homework when it comes to your Orlando, Florida vacation by reading some of the guide books or even the blogs, then you will have seen this building pop up in every single one of them. 
Wonderworks describes itself as an amusement park for the mind and is a great alternative to the theme parks that you immediately think of when it comes to Orlando. Again, much like Ripley's, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy and on top of all the fantastic exhibits there's also a glow in the dark rope course, a lazer tag arena and a 4D XD Simulator Ride. And if Orlando does something particularly well it's 4D simulator type rides. 

Titanic Orlando Florida

Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition

Another interactive museum well worth a visit in Orlando is Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition. If you're a fan of attractions like The London/Edinburgh Dungeons where trained actors dress up as the characters and take you through the story and the attraction then you will enjoy the tours that Titanic have to offer. But what really makes this a special attraction for me is the fact that there are over 400 artifacts, including the second largest piece of the Titanic ever recovered as well as full-scale recreations of some of the most famous and beautiful areas of the ship, such as the Grand Staircase, as pictured. Sadly Jack Dawson won't be at the top of it waiting for you. That is the only downside to be fair. Hehe.

iFly Orlando International Drive

iFly Orlando

Again, a bit like Wet 'n Wild, depending on what exit you take to arrive onto International Drive, iFly Orlando can even be seen from the Interstate. If you've ever wanted to try skydiving without the need for a parachute or a plane then you might want to pay iFly Orlando a visit. There's also a free observation deck which makes it the perfect pit-stop come rain or shine and kids from the ages of 3 and up can participate and adults too, if you're brave enough of course.


The Orlando Eye

As one of the newest attractions to hit International Drive (it's that new that it just opened this month), The Orlando Eye is Orlando's take on the observation wheel. Now I've never experienced The London Eye or any similar observation wheels but something about this photograph of The Orlando Eye has me already excited about booking tickets for when I visit next year. Being able to see everything that I love about Orlando from above sounds and looks absolutely fantastic. Just look at that Floridian sunset! 

World's Largest McDonalds Review
The World's Largest McDonald's

Whilst this isn't technically an attraction, in the traditional sense of the word, I couldn't write a blog post about International Drive without including this I-Drive icon! I can remember the very first time that we, as a family, visited 'The World's Largest McDonald's' and we really were blown away. I couldn't believe how big it was and as an ten year old, when we first visited, I really was like a kid in a candy store or more like a kid in what would be my version of a candy store. In addition to the regular McDonald's menu (doesn't McDonald's taste SO much better in the US?!), The World's Largest McDonald's also has deli food, pizzas (yup pizza at McDonald's) and basically food, drink and desserts that you would never expect to find there ordinarily. It also has a gigantic play area. At ten, me and my brother, who was six at the time, were in heaven.
But it appears that 'The World's Largest McDonald's' as we know it will be very different and pretty soon from the sounds of it. The fact that it's being completely demolished, with a new one being built practically next door, is a little heartbreaking as I adore how kitsch and unique the current one is. But if you know anything about Orlando you know that they are always building, updating and renovating to make things even bigger and better.

There's also plenty, like I'm talking a crazy, unimaginable amount of miniature golf places, loads of outlet stores and shops and everything else that you could or would expect from a busy tourist area such as I-Drive (restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas and dinner shows).

Which one of my picks sounds like the best bit about International Drive to you? Do you have a favourite place or attraction? And what would you like to see me write about in next month's Orlando, Florida Travel Tips post?

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11 comments

  1. I've never been to Florida but I visited the Ripley's believe it or not in Piccadilly in London so if I ever do go on holiday here I'll be sure to check this one out!

    Maddie // itsthatplacecalledhere.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's definitely worth a visit Maddie! :) That's great to hear that there is one in London too!

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  2. This is making me want to go back to Florida so badly, half these things didn't exist when I last went!

    www.teaandpost.com

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    1. Oh I feel the exact same Lauren! :) They're always building exciting new things all the time aren't they?

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  3. the giant mcdonalds looks amazing and so much fun! I so wanna go to Flordia now! :P

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. It really is Pam! :) It's so much fun!!

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  4. Eek I have less than two weeks to go until my very first visit, I'm going to sit down with your posts this weekend and make notes! So excited. Planning a full trip report on the blog when I get back!

    Amy | Get Glam

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    1. Ahhh that is so exciting Amy!! :) I hope that they are of some help to you!
      I can't wait to read all about your trip!!

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  5. I've been to Disney several times but not since I was 19. Now at 31 my family are planning our last full family holiday to Disney, Florida. There will be 11 of us including 2 kids aged 10. This will be my first trip abroad since I was 19 and, honestly, I'm scarred.

    I don't even own a passport, how do I go about even starting to plan this? We have until May 2017 to save and pay my mum back as she's deal with the finances initially. Could you do a post on What to do if going abroad for first time, like the necessaries?

    Also I'm taking my partner of 7 years who has never been to America, is there anything he MUST see? And is there anywhere romantic I could take him in an evening? We are going to be staying near Universal which is about as far in the planning as we have got.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Wendy Xx

    www.bumpkinbroke.com

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    1. I can definitely recommend how to go about planning the holiday as I've helped plan the trips for the past three or four visits! :) I can certainly do posts on everything you want to know about and if you have any questions you want answered ASAP just send me a tweet or even an email Wendy and I will do my very best to help.

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    2. That would be awesome Ellis, I look forward to those posts :) xx

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