Beyond its world-famous theme parks, Central Florida also boasts a unique array of affordable entertainment options suited for all ages. The next time you vacation in the area, consider venturing a bit off the beaten path to check out some of these attractions that each come in at an economical $30 or less.
If you’ve seen Orlando represented in television or movies, you’ve probably seen the quintessential establishing shot of Lake Eola and the city’s iconic swan boats. The swan boats are run by the local Orlando government and offered for rent on a first-come, first-served daily basis. The boats are designed to hold up to five people and are powered by pedals. You can enjoy thirty minutes in a boat on the lake for an affordable fifteen dollars, payable at the swan boat dock on North Rosalind Avenue, downtown.
Free to park and free to enter, Disney Springs is a great way to get a Disney experience without shelling out lots of dough. Here, you will find more than one hundred themed shops and pop-ups, more than sixty unique dining options, and twenty-three attractions, shows, and events. Though some activities, like catching a flick at AMC Dine-In or seeing a live show at the House of Blues will cost you, most of the Springs is free to peruse at your own pace without individual admission prices.
For an outdoor adventure at a very cost-effective price, head to Blue Spring State Park in Orange City (about 45 minutes outside of Orlando). Blue Spring is the winter home of hundreds of gentle manatees thanks to decades of conservation efforts. Admission to the park is only $6 per vehicle and there is a camp store and gift shop available for any goodies you may need throughout your day. If your travels take you to Central Florida in the summer months, you can even take a dip in the temperate 72-degree waters yourself and swim, snorkel, tube, or kayak in the spring.
Perhaps the priciest on our list, but an experience that is truly one of a kind is the Wheel at ICON Park in Orlando. Current ticket prices are about $28 for adults, but you can find deals online if you plan ahead and buy your ticket before arriving. The wheel is 400 feet tall and offers a leisurely eighteen-minute experience where you can behold views of the city and theme parks you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
And if watching your wallet extends to choosing a play to stay, rest assured that Central Florida has ample affordable hotel options. The Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport are all excellent choices, as are Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, and Best Western International Drive. If you’d prefer to stay close to major theme parks, check out the Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista and the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista.