Our favourite place to stay when we visit Orlando, Florida is International Drive. Being a short car ride to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and with lots of great restaurants and attractions on your doorstep, we feel staying here is a great option for those that want to be in the heart of the action.
Here are out top 5 attractions to visit on International Drive
Pirates Cove Mini Golf
We thoroughly enjoyed Pirates Cove mini golf. Voted “Best in Florida” by Orlando Magazine, their adventure golf courses are renowned for their innovative hole designs, lush tropical landscaping, and fun pirate theming.
Beware though, it will bring out the competitiveness in people young and old, Mr. W almost had a tantrum when I nearly beat him!
Sleuth’s Dinner Show
Sleuths is a mystery dinner show where you become the detective. With a number of dinner show scenarios, this family-friendly entertainment is served up with laughs galore. All your food is included in the ticket price as well as unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks.
If you are looking for something different to do we can highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
Ripley’s is a place where you can see the odd, strange and downright weird. If you are a curious person then Ripley’s is for you. From fertility statues to shrunken heads, to the Mona Lisa made from burnt toast it is all here in this interactive museum. Our teenage son found it particularly interesting.
As Robert Ripley once said, “I have traveled in 201 countries and the strangest thing I saw was man”. If you have ever seen the inebriated people on Cardiff’s ‘Chip Alley’ on a Saturday night you will know exactly what he means.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, perhaps you’ve always wanted to try skydiving but have been too scared then try IFly Orlando and you won’t be disappointed.
This indoor skydiving experience is fun for all ages expect the very small, a vertical wind tunnel with a smooth column of air pushes you up and enables you to ‘fly’. Safety is taken seriously and all participants wear a helmet and special suit and with a little training you will be doing jumps, acrobatics and flying in the air in no time.
We can’t talk about our top attractions on International Drive without mentioning CityWalk, the entertainment, food and shopping complex. At the entrance to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, we always go to CityWalk on our first day in Orlando.
With a 20 screen cinema complex showing Imax movies, a number of shops such as Fossil and a Universal Studios souvenir shop, mini golf, and The Blue Man Group show we can happily spend a few hours here. There are also some great eating and drinking spots including the world’s largest Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump’s shrimp shack based on the movie Forest Gump and a great bar at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
Our Top Tip
Discount coupons can be picked up for many attractions in most hotels and supermarkets. If you can’t find what you need it is always worth searching online.
Where To Stay
There are some great places to stay to suit all budgets on International Drive. For a hotel with great facilities, we like The Hyatt Regency Orlando, for spacious suite style rooms, ES suites Orlando is the business and for a fun atmosphere with early park entry privileges you can’t beat The Hard Rock Hotel.