There’s More to Orlando Than Theme Parks ~ Best Family Vacation Spots Around Orlando

Orlando Florida is so much more than a famous mouse, wizardly worlds, and traffic jams. In fact, Orlando has so more to offer your vacationing family. Orlando has some of the most diverse vacationing spots in Florida. So, when planning Florida vacation, do not forget about these spots to make your Orlando family vacation happy for everyone. Now, let’s explore some of Orlando’s great vacation spots.

Orlando Family Vacation

Best Orlando Family Vacation Spots

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden

Although the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden are just outside of Orlando, it is worth the drive. At approximately 25 minutes outside of Orlando, the Central Florida Zoo has everything your family needs for a day of fun. Animals, zip lining, splash pad, and even a train ride are just a few things to keep you busy. When here my kids love watching the animals in the morning when they are active. As the animals start to settle down for the day, we enjoy the splash pad usually followed by the train ride. If your kids love thrill and adventure, make sure to sign them up for zip-lining through the zoo. It gives kids a whole new view as they are gliding over the animals in their enclosures.

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

Seahorses, jellyfish, and sharks are just a few of the sea life that you and your family will see when you visit the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. Not only can kids have fun while they explore the Rockpools, but they will also love all the shows and feeding times. Before you go, I would suggest ordering your tickets online. I would also recommend upgrading your tickets to include the behind the scenes tour. Going behind the scenes will allow your family to have a 25-minute tour where kids can learn about the food preparations and life support system for the sea creatures. 

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is perfect for all family members. Your family will be thrilled to spend hours here. Between the Theatre shows, and hands-on learning kids are sure to have fun. Throughout the day, there are many different shows for your family to watch. Shows run almost hourly, so there is always something to watch. The Orlando Science Center wants kids to learn science in innovative ways, that they will remember for forever. Also, the Orlando Science Center is big on the STEM learning process. 

Orlando Starflyer

Orlando has made history yet again with the opening of the Starflyer. The Starflyer is the world’s tallest swing ride. You and your family will rise over 400 feet above Orlando and be swinging approximately 50 miles per hour. The Orlando Eye is right next door and offers riders a unique experience. The Orlando Eye is a gigantic Ferris Wheel. The Starflyer is not for small children though. Due to safety precautions, each rider has to be over 44 inches. Also, it is not recommended for other apparent medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart conditions. 

Church Street Station and Sun Rail

Formerly called the Old Orlando Railroad Depot, Church Street Station is now a place for shopping for fun and unique souvenirs, restaurants and bars. It is also still used as a station for the newly built SunRail. Families can enjoy shopping or jump on the SunRail that runs from Sandlake Road in Orange County up to DeBary into Volusia County. At the end of July 2018, the SunRail is expected to be completed down to Poinciana in Lake and Polk County. What is more fun than a day of shopping and SunRail train rides?


I love SeaWorld; I don’t care what anyone says. Kids love SeaWorld, and they love learning about sea life. At SeaWorld, kids can watch the sea lion and otter show, or watch the dolphin show. They can also feed many of the sea life too. Some of the sea life that they can feed are the sea lions, stingrays and baby sharks. Kids can also interact and possibly touch the dolphins too. Kids will also learn about all of the rehabilitation that SeaWorld provides for animals, such as manatees and turtles. 

See, an Orlando family vacation has so much to offer. From thrilling rides, to calm SunRail rides, Orlando has it all. Including a vast array of different animals for kids to learn about and be interested in too. It is safe to say; mom and dad may learn something new also.

Have you had an Orlando family vacation? If you had to name your favorite Orlando family vacation spot, what would it be? 

Give the Gift of Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes – Coming to Amway Center in Orlando!

Marvel Universe Live Amway Center


The holidays are here and you know what that means: gift buying. Here’s an idea: give the gift of a great family experience! If you’ve got fans of Super Heroes in your household (and frankly, who doesn’t?), I’ve got a great idea for you: tickets to Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes. The action-packed show for kids of all ages plays Amway Center in Orlando for seven performances January 12-15, 2018. With tickets starting at just $15, it’s an affordable and fun event for families. And here’s even more “super” news: use code MOM20 at checkout when purchasing online and save 20%.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

About Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes

Marvel fans, assemble for this live, legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands in this all-new, spectacular arena stunt show. Produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes is performing at Amway Center from January 12-15, 2018 for seven performances. Tickets are on sale now.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax make their live production debut bringing their courage and misfit wit to Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes. Alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk, Black Widow, Wasp and Iron Fist, the Guardians of the Galaxy help fight the scheming, menacing and loathsome villains Loki, Yondu and Green Goblin. Audiences will join in the quest that sparks new feuds with old foes, pitting student against mentor, sister against sister and brother against brother.

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

Witness cutting-edge special effects, aerial maneuvers, pyrotechnics, martial arts, motorcycle stunts and vast 3D video projection mapping in this completely new thrilling adventure. Fans of all ages will be immersed in the Marvel Universe and experience it all with their family…LIVE!

Don’t forget! Save 20% off select seats with code MOM20. Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires January 11, 2018. 

Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

It Will Be 5 O’Clock Everywhere When Margaritaville Resort Orlando Opens in 2018

Margaritaville Resort Orlando opens 2018
Photo Credit: Margaritaville Resort Orlando

It will be 5 o’clock everywhere when Margaritaville Resort Orlando opens! If you want to visit – you’re in luck! If you want to live there – you’re in luck too! The Margaritaville hotel, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, vacation homes, and a water park – all in one spot! You’ll be able to live life as if you’re in a Jimmy Buffet song! I can’t wait!

Paradise is definitely starting to take shape! Check out this recent aeriel video:


Margaritaville Resort Orlando will be a new, one-of-a-kind vacation escape in the heart of Orlando. A resort community inspired by the laid-back Margaritaville lifestyle, masterfully designed to be your new happy place. A 187 room Margaritaville hotel, a massive lagoon-style pool, soft sand beaches, and best-in-class retail, dining, and entertainment, including a twelve-acre water park. With vacation homes, luxury condominiums, and timeshares, you can Escape to Your Paradise

Margaritaville Resort Orlando will be themed around the coastal, paradise vibes of the popular laid-backed Florida based singer, Jimmy Buffett. It will be constructed on the 305-acre parcel of land on U.S. Highway 192 (aka Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy) in Osceola County near the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Back in the day, the theme park Splendid China, sat on the site, which closed its doors in 2003. The hotel is expected to have luxurious rooms and a water park. In addition, a “lagoon-sized” pool is also planned. The development plans also include a “FinCity” arcade, a St. Somewhere Spa, a planetarium, a Son of a Sailor fishing school, paddle boarding and kayaking. Additionally, 200,000 square feet of retail space will be built, as well as approximately 1,000 homes to purchase. The resort is scheduled to open in phases.

Photo Credit:

Bring Paradise to Your Timeline!
Follow Margaritaville Resort Orlando on Facebook for the latest news and updates about this unique, new, vacation location!

Island Themed Instances are on Instagram!
Video, views and news are all available to the faithful Margaritaville Resort Orlando Instagram followers!

Wasting Away, (Blogging Away) in Paradise!
The curious, intriguing and informative Margaritaville Resort Orlando Blog offers a bar side view of life from this special place in paradise!

As information becomes available, I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date!

The Newest Orlando Attraction – Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Next time you’re in Orlando – start your engines – VROOOOOM! and head to Andretti Indoor Karting. Located across from the North end of the Orange County Convention Center, in walking distance of I-Drive, Andretti Indoor Karting offers free WiFi, great food, drink & fun.

Andretti Indoor Karting
The new 150,000+ square feet indoor climate controlled facility features High Speed Electric Superkarts on a two-level modular track, 12 lanes of Bowling, over 120+ Arcade Games & Prizes, an Extreme Ropes Course with a curved Zip Line, 6 CXC VR Racing Simulators, Multi-level Laser Tag, 7D HD Dark Ride Interactive Motion Theater and a Full Service Restaurant & Bar. At Andretti Grill you’ll find fresh American favorites and pizza made in a Brick Pizza Oven. Relax in the full service bar and lounge while taking in all the action.
Take a break from the local theme parks and the hustle and bustle of Orlando at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games for a guaranteed full day of fun!
10 Ways to Play Under One Roof
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the newest premier entertainment and event destination featuring heart-pounding attractions, delicious cuisine and unique event spaces under one roof.
The Orlando location, the first in Florida, announces the soft opening date of Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. with 150,000 square feet of excitement at every turn and complimentary, ample surface parking.

Orlando Preview Weekend

Orlando Preview Weekend will be held on Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1 during regular hours:
Sunday – Thursday10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday – Saturday10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Andretti Grill opens at 11 a.m. daily
All Central Florida residents with a valid ID will be treated to a complimentary $10 Play Card to enjoy arcade and non-redemption prize games (additional restrictions may apply).
10 Ways to Play Under One Roof
Located within walking distance of the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, the highly anticipated Andretti Indoor Karting & Games entertainment complex features
•    Multi-level indoor karting
•    Full-service restaurant and bar
•    12 lanes of boutique bowling
•    120+ arcade and prize games
•    Two-level laser tag
•    Six virtual reality (VR) CXC racing simulators
•    7D HD dark ride motion theater
•    Extreme ropes course and curved zip line
•    10,000 square feet of event space
•    100+ HD TVs for sports viewing 
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games features high-speed electric SODI RTX Superkarts. The professionally designed multi-level, banked turn, modular track was created exclusively for the Orlando location by Kart360 with the most elevation changes and banked turns in the world. When the three tracks are combined, the Super Track is the largest indoor karting track in the United States.
Andretti Grill is a scratch-kitchen, full-service restaurant and bar featuring favorites such as Big Green Egg® slow-smoked ribs and wood-fired brick oven pizzas. Guests can catch all the action of their favorite games on more than 100 HD TVs and projection screens while enjoying refreshing libations at the Main Bar or the unique Sky Bar, with a 180° view of the track and LED illuminated domed roof.
No General Admission – Pay as You Play
·  Single adult race is $21.95, Single junior race is $14.95
·  Arcade and prize games: $5, $10, $20*,$50*, $100* (*includes bonus credits)
·  VR CXC racing simulators: $12.95
·  Two-level laser tag: $9.95
·  Boutique Bowling: starting at $24.95 (shoes and socks extra)
·  7D HD dark ride motion theater: $9.95
·  Extreme ropes course: $11.95
VIP Membership
Memberships are $5.95 for a single guest and $14.95 for a family membership. Memberships are
valid for one year from date of purchase and are valid at any Andretti Indoor Karting & Games location. Members enjoy up to 20 percent off karting and attractions plus 15 percent off arcade play and 10 percent off bowling lane rental and meals in Andretti Grill.
About Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the premier entertainment and event destination featuring heart-pounding attractions, delicious cuisine and unique event spaces. The Orlando location, the first in Florida, offers 150,000 square feet of excitement at every turn. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Georgia with two successful locations in Roswell and Marietta. The company also owns and operates the outdoor Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne, Florida. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is located at 9299 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL  32819 at the corner of Convention Way and Universal Boulevard; walking distance from the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center.
Get on the inside track for exclusive specials and promotions for the new Orlando location:

5 Restaurants to Try on I-Drive Orlando

Restaurants International Drive Orlando

Whether you are visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World, you can find lots of different and really, really good restaurants along I-Drive in Orlando to end your day with a great meal. Everyone should visit I-Drive at least once when they are in Orlando because after all, there’s more to Orlando than theme parks!

Restaurants I Drive Orlando
Photo Credit:

International Drive, commonly known as I-Drive, is a major 11.1-mile roadway in Orlando, and is the city’s main tourist strip. The International Drive area is home to the Orange County Convention Center complex, the Pointe Orlando entertainment complex, major hotels, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica (Sea World’s water park), Fun Spot America amusement park, the Orlando Eye Ferris wheel, the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex, museums, themed restaurants, bars, outlet malls, mini golf courses like Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf and other tourism-related properties and tourist attractions such as Air Florida Helicopter Inc, Wonder Works and The Magical Midway. The I-Ride trolley system provides bus transportation along the I-Drive district primarily for tourists and convention attendees. 

Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Located at 8625 International Drive, this spot has a great atmosphere that has artists paint as you eat. It’s a really funky tapas spot with live entertainment plus a patio and a bar. The cafe offers brunch on both Saturday and Sunday with bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Monday thru Friday, 3:30 to 6:30 you can enjoy 2 for 1 drink specials. Cafe Tu Tu Tango offers an entirely small-plate menu that is extensive, eclectic and diverse with everything being prepared from scratch.

Brick House Tavern + Tap

Located at 8440 International Drive, offers Friday, Saturday and Sunday steak nights and offers brunch on Sunday. Brick House also hosts “Happiness Hour” Monday thru Friday with a dedicated drink and snack menu. Daily and seasonal specials make the Brick House Tavern & Tap a fun spot to visit more than once since the menu will be slightly different with each visit.

Copper Canyon Grill

Located at 9101 International Drive in Pointe Orlando, Copper Canyon Grill offers patio seating, private dining room and a chef’s table. It’s a perfect location for lunch or a glass of wine. You can expect an energetic atmosphere and welcoming staff. The menu features a selection of freshly prepared items daily. Copper Canyon has happy hour daily from 3 to 7 p.m. with a nice selection of appetizers and drinks. The restaurant also has a dedicated gluten free menu.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House

Located at 9150 International Drive the restaurant offers two floors, two state-of-the-art bars, four private dining rooms and a picturesque patio. It’s the perrfect place to relax and celebrate. Featuring a diverse wine list of more than 1,200 labels, diners are sure to find their inner Sommelier while they dine. Del Frisco’s offers one of the best happy hours daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., except Wednesday when they’ll keep you happy from 4 p.m. until closing! Dinner is served Monday through Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday starting at 4 p.m. They also offer a dedicated bar menu with some great choices!

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Located at 9101 International Drive, The Oceanaire Seafood Room offers fresh seafood and an outstanding happy hour and bar menu. Only fish from the world’s most reputable suppliers is served, and each dish is carefully crafted to ensure the restaurant’s high standards of quality and flavor are exceeded. The menu is based on market availability, therefore selections change each day. Happy hour is every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday through Thursday it starts up again at 9 p.m. to close in the bar only and on Sunday 8 p.m. to close.

Do you have a favorite I-Drive restaurant?