Attractions and Activities

  • Orlando and vicinity is chock full of attractions of interest to all ages.


    The major theme parks (Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World) are not just for kids – whether you bring the family or not, you will find plenty to enjoy there!

    Then there are the so-called “minor attractions.” For a decent list, see “Minor Attractions” from Orlando Theme Park News. This list of 37 things to do – some for kids but many not – could keep you busy for a couple of weeks in Orlando… even if you never walked through the gates of a single major theme park.

    The Major Parks, Complete with Sticker Shock!

    Orlando is, after all, a major tourist destination. People expect to spend money when they come to Orlando for a vacation. And Orlando doesn’t “disappoint.” A major theme park will cost you close to $100 per person. Some examples:

    The Disneyworld mega-park encompasses four complete theme parks, each good for a day’s visit. In addition, there are two water parks and a large shopping and entertainment complex – Downtown Disney. Once you are inside Disneyworld, a true multi-modal transportation system awaits your use. Buses, boats and monorail – and all work with an efficiency that is all too often the exception to what you find in city transportation systems. Disney seeems to make it work. There is no charge for use of this transportation. Technically, you are supposed to hold a theme park ticket or Disney resort room key, but nobody checks. Bear in mind that there is no charge for entering Disneyworld, per se; you pay only when you enter one of the four theme parks within Disneyworld. So you can enjoy Downtown Disney, as well as drive around the 45 square mile complex at no charge. Disney charges $90.00 (as of June 8, 2013) for a one-day ticket for one theme park (Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Disney Hollywood Studios) or $95 for their Magic Kingdom park. Want to “hop” to multiple parks during that one day? Sure thing – but the ticket price increases by $39. Kids 3-9 are charged somewhat (but not a lot) less. Multiple days results in discounts – for example, a three day ticket (one park each day) will run you $262 per person. See Disney’s webpage for all ticket pricing options. Your Conference Chair’s humble opinion is that the major Orlando theme parks (Disney’s and others’) are worth the price, but only during comparatively low-attendance seasons. Fortunately, SIGITE/RIIT 2013 is being held during fall – perhaps the lowest attendance time for Disney and other major Orlando theme parks. Not that there won’t be lines… but at least when you’re standing in one, you’ll be able to accurately say, “it could be a lot worse!”

    Universal charges $92.00 (as of June 8, 2013) for a one-day ticket for one park (Universal has two). Want to “hop” to both parks during that one day? The ticket price increases to $128. Kids 3-9 are charged somewhat (but not a lot) less. Multiple days results in better discounts than Disney offers – a three day ticket (one park each day) will run you $147 per person – the same as a two-day ticket; of course, with only two parks, you might not want to go for more than two days. See Universal’s webpage for ticket pricing. Oh, yes – Harry Potter fans should not miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. They’ve done a great job on it.

    Seaworld Orlando charges $82.00 (as of June 8, 2013) for a one-day ticket. See Seaworld’s webpage for ticket pricing.

    For those of you with small (or maybe not so small) kids, Florida’s newest major theme park may be right up your (of their) alley: Legoland Florida. This park is not in the immediate Orlando area, and is about a 45 minute drive from the conference hotel. But if your have a Lego fanatic in the family, the 45 minute drive will not matter much to them. Admission to Legoland is $79 for adults, $71 for kids 3-12 or Seniors (60+). See Legoland’s webpage for ticket pricing One note for planning: During October, 2o13, Legoland is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


    If shopping is your thing, Orlando has what you need. See VisitOrlando’s list.