Orlando has become universally synonymous with Disney World, and rest assured the cartoon mouse pretty much dominates the area. Much of the financial success of the Orlando area can be attributed to the grossly unbalanced tourism industry in Orlando in comparison to other parts of the state. Disney obviously employees many performers and entertainers, and once the mouse ears come off, they contribute to the burgeouning Orlando entertainment scene. The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is a local favorite, offering all of the classics performed by a group of very talented actors. There is also Mama’s Comedy Show, which is set in a smaller venue and encourages audience participation. If you aren’t too shy that is probably worth a visit.
For nature lovers and thrill seekers, Central Florida is also home to Discovery Cove, where you can swim with the dolphins and relax on the lazy river, which features a waterfall and cave. If you’re looking for even more excitement, then try iFly Orlando; a wind tunnel that allows you to experience the exhilaration of jumping out of an aeroplane without actually jumping out of an aeroplane.
Any grown ups who visit Disneyland will be pleased to know there is one attraction they cannot miss: Around the World at Epcot Center. No expense has been spared in this recreation of different parts of the globe, the employees all hail from the different countries they are assigned, adding to the authenticity of the experience. Its no substitution for actual globe trotting, but once you enjoy a Bellini in Italy, a perfect, cool margarita in Mexico, and a glass of grower champagne in France, there’s a small chance you might forget you are in a Florida theme park.
Outside of the them parks, the dining scene in Orlando is mostly geared toward small town tourists, and there is a disproportionate number of chain restaurants compared to ones with local flair. There are a couple of exceptions that are worth the visit: Chatham’s Place has been around for many years, and still impresses the locals with it’s hospitality and uniqueness, and Café Tu Tu Tango is a fun restaurant with the recurring theme of “Food for the Starving Artist” and features art work from local painters and photographers on the wall, all of which are for sale.
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