Orlando vacationers both young and old have a plethora of choices among theme parks, water sports, museums, shopping and just about every other activity under the sunny Floridian skies. However, Florida isn’t always bright skies. When it rains, it pours! But don’t let wet weather spoil your good time--Orlando boasts plenty of options for indoor fun and entertainment with the kids.
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park
DisneyQuest is a gaming wonderland composed of five floors and featuring the cutting-edge technology you would expect from Disney. DQ features virtual reality and 3D games such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Virtual Jungle Cruise, CyberSpace Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters, Animation Academy and much more. It is complete indoor Disney fun located in West Side, Downtown Disney. As of August 2010, admission ranges from $35 to $41.
Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center is where learning meets fun. Patrons enjoy interactive learning and discovery through hundreds of exhibits, programs and labs, giant-screen films and planetarium shows. The center is often bustling with kids on field trips, summer camps, scout programs, birthday parties and holiday workshops. As of August 2010, tickets range from $12 to $17.
Titanic, the Experience
Guides and characters such as Titanic notables such as Capt. Smith and Molly Brown, clad in period costumes, take visitors back in time via the 20,000-square-foot exhibit of the legendary, doomed Titanic. During the one-hour tour, visitors travel through full-scale replicas of the grand staircase, first class parlor suite, boilers and promenade deck. They can even feel the wind chill and gaze at the stars in the Atlantic skies. It features more than 200 authentic artifacts and memorabilia from James Cameron’s blockbuster movie "Titanic." This attraction is located on International Drive. As of August 2010, adult tickets are $21.95 and children's tickets (ages 3 to 11) cost $12.95.
Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcades
Putting Edge puts a unique spin on traditional 18-hole mini golf and other games within a kaleidoscope of neon lights and walls, accompanied by upbeat music. It is a popular place to celebrate a birthday or just enjoy a fun family night. It is located inside the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive. Admission is very affordable at around $10 per person as of August 2010.
WonderWorks, Central Florida’s only upside-down attraction, features many mind-boggling interactive exhibits that include Orlando’s only indoor ropes course, a bubble lab, virtual sports, a space shuttle simulation and the XD Theater 4D Motion Ride Experience. WonderWorks is located on International Drive, and ticket prices range from $19.99 to $44.99 as of August 2010.
SkyVenture offers thrills for seniors, kids and everyone in between in the safety of an indoor wind tunnel, the same environment professional skydivers use for practice. It begins with an in-class tutorial after which each participant suits up in flight gear and takes turns diving with the flight instructor. The actual flight experience lasts about an hour with (the equivalent of) two to three real skydives. Children under 18 need a signed waiver from an adult guardian. As of August 2010, flight packages start at $44.95 and go up to $239.95 for a family package, with a $5 discount for kids 12 and under.
In addition to these indoor kid-friendly attractions, Orlando offers a variety of excellent shopping destinations, including many outlet malls with designer name factory stores. Shopping is especially enjoyable for moms and grandmas, and the malls provide great distraction for the kids. Check out Prime Outlets Orlando on International Drive and the Mall at Millenia near the intersection of the I-4 and Florida Turnpike.
Trinidadian-born Kebrina Maharaj currently resides in Miami, Fla. Her innate creative talent was nurtured since the age of 7, when she wrote her first published short story. Maharaj's growing repertoire of stories and commentaries was featured in her island's publications, and she became editor of her high school newspaper. In 2008, Maharaj attained a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Florida International University.