Looking for an adrenaline rush? Chills and thrills? It’s all there in the Florida sun of Kissimmee. So grab your buds and head to the theme park capital of the world where you’ll find venues to take you on over-the-top adventures!
New at Universal Orlando Resort
Escape to an Escape Room? At Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk, their new Escape Room combines the game with the grandaddy of movie adventures at “Universal’s Great Movie Escape.” Choose from the “Jurassic World” or “Back to the Future” films. Or do both. Navigate your way out using high technology and movie clues. Be a part of your favorite movies!
At Universal Orlando Resort, the “Bourne Stuntacular” takes this 30-minute performance to a whole other level. A cutting-edge stunt show blends live-action, special effects, and virtual reality on a huge screen. Special effects like feeling the heat from fire scenes or getting sprayed with water adds to “being in the moment.” Don’t miss it.
Of course, the big draw remains the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.” Take the Hogwarts Express at the King’s Cross Station to the Hogsmeade Station at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. (You must have the Park-to-Park Admission 2-Park Pass or Annual Pass to go between the two.) Check out the people in capes milling around and heading towards the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts multi-dimensional thrill ride.
I recommend buying an Express Pass which gives you fast access to many of the rides and attractions. It’ll save you a lot of time and allow you to enjoy more of the park.
Soak in Orlando’s First Beer Spa
Check out the only traditional European Beer Spa in the entire U.S. , My Beer Spa Orlando. Imagine soaking in a thermal tub filled with foamy, moisturizing hop infusion made with the same ingredients as traditional beer. Then, indulge in their complimentary beer tower where you can try Central Florida’s best local beers to round out the experience or relax in their straw beds, and saunas rooms.
Go Wild at Safari Wilderness
The thing that’s so great about exploring Safari Wilderness is all the ways you can do it. This 260-acre ranch is filled with Asian water buffalo, ring-tailed lemurs, llamas, zebras, pigs, ostriches, and other animals. Get up close and personal with the 40 different species (over 450 animals) in an open-air safari bus, ATV, riding on a camel, kayak or drive through in your own vehicle as you listen to an expert After feeding a camel, I discovered they were really soft, and kind of sweet.
You can add-on feeding the lemurs or guinea pigs, and try a premium cheetah encounter. For a real treat, spend the night in one of their glamping tents in safari base camp. See the night full of stars. Wake up in this natural paradise with a warm cup of coffee in hand and welcome the day with a new perspective. Reservations must be made in advance online only at Safari Wilderness.
Stand Up at SeaWorld’s “Pipeline, The Surf Coaster”
Stand up on the Pipeline at SeaWorld Orlando. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando.SeaWorld Orlando is constantly trying to up their game with new thrill rides. This super-ride lets guests ride standing up on the newest thrill coaster and feel like they’re actually surfing. Feel the power of the ocean in a whole new way, making “Pipeline” your next new obsession.
Jump in SeaWorld Orlando’s Aquatica water park with the Reef Plunge. This new ride is designed to let you splash, twist and turn their way through more than 330 feet of clear tubing, all while moving past dolphins, leopard sharks, and other marine life.
New Dining Options
My favorite place to hang out is the Promenade at Sunset Walk in Margaritaville. There’s so much to see, do and dine. Opening soon from Texas is Cowboy Chicken with slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, healthy sides, sandwiches and salads. I also love Ford’s Garage for their great burgers and salads.
Their new theme for the year, “Kissimmee; The Big, Bold Heart of Florida” really captures the spirit of what visitors will find this year. Make your plans to hang out in Kissimmee this year!
Mira Temkin is a Chicago-based journalist who has a passion for travel and writes about destinations, hotels, food, theatre and events. She is currently a blogger for Orbitz, Travelocity, Splash Magazines Worldwide as well as other print and online publications. Her articles have appeared in Red Tricycle, Highland Park Landmark, Food Wine Travel, JUF News, Modern Jewish Experience and more. When she's not up in the air or on the road, she can be reached at email@example.com.