What's Fun for Kids in Orlando?

There's more to this city than Disney World. We've got the scoop on the other must-see sites.


Don Ramussen

1. SPLASH! At SeaWorld Orlando, you'll have a full day of fun watching (and in some cases touching) penguins, sharks, manatees, stingrays, and the famous 8,000-pound killer whale, Shamu. But beware: The "splash zone" in Shamu Stadium is more of a soak zone, so choose seats carefully. 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando; 407-351-3600

2. MOVIE MAGIC Known for thrill rides, Universal Orlando's two theme parks also include plenty of attractions for little ones. At Universal Studios, head for Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone and Shrek 4-D; at Islands of Adventure, try the Cat in the Hat ride at Seuss Landing. Universal Express lets you check in at many rides and return later to bypass the line. 1000 Universal Studios Plaza; 407-363-8000

3. DOLPHIN DELIGHT All you need is a swimsuit to spend the day at Discovery Cove, a tropical water park where you can swim with stingrays and snorkel with reef fish and sharks. Lunch, snorkels, wetsuits, and sunscreen are all part of the entry fee. Admission is limited; reservations are necessary. 6000 Discovery Cove Way; 1-877-4-DISCOVERY

4. ASTRONAUT TURF Don't miss a visit to the Kennedy Space Center (45 minutes east of Orlando), where kids can walk through a space-shuttle model and see rockets and launchpads (321-449-4444). At lunchtime, check out the fresh seafood and corn fritters at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville (1475 Garden St.), then head to Canaveral National Seashore, one of the state's most pristine beaches.

5. GATORS UP CLOSE Kids love kitschy Gatorland, where they can handle snakes, feed colorful parrots, and watch alligators leap from the water to snatch their dinner. 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-855-5496; 800-393-JAWS

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