Spring break tourism: Spotting hidden gems in Central Florida
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 07:40:54 AM EDT
The start of spring break is almost here -- and that means, it's your chance to play tourist for a few days.
The world already knows Orlando for Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld, but there are plenty of other unique, exciting, and affordable things to do here -- if you know where to look.
Our journey begins as we go back in time at Titanic The Experience on International Drive in Orlando.
"You're taken through the history of Titanic, through its construction, through its sailing, what life was like when you were on board," says Mike Acord, an actor and tour guide at the attraction.
You can tour every room and every deck, then relive the fateful night she sank.
"We have over 100 actual pieces taken from the wreck site," says Acord. Those artifacts include glimmering jewels, playing cards, money, and a three-ton section of the ship, which was pulled from the bottom of the sea.
"It's a real human experience, and it's something that's very enlightening for a lot of people," says Acord.
Titanic The Experience costs just $20 for adults, and $12 for children -- making it one of the best values in Central Florida.
From there -- you can float, spin, twist, and twirl at our next stop -- iFLY Indoor Skydiving, also on International Drive.
"It's exhilarating, it's refreshing, it's amazing," says Nick Romeo, a spokesperson for the attraction.
One half-hour session at iFLY is equal to nearly three jumps out of a plane.
"You actually have four fans above you that are sucking you up," says Romeo. "And then as the air goes up, it dissipates, so you're not gonna go too high at that point. There's always an instructor flying, and you're always one on one with the instructor.
Anyone three and older can lift off, with prices starting at $60.
And if you think iFLY is a thrill, our next attraction packs a big bite -- Gatorland in Orlando.
"There's a lot of wildlife in here, you never know what you might see," says Tim Williams, a spokesperson for Gatorland. "We've got the Gator Wrestling Show, the Gator Jumparoo Show, and we've also got the Up-Close Encounter Show."
Not to mention high-flying fun with the Screamin' Gator Zip Line.
"We have five zips and a walking bridge," says Williams. "It's the only place I know of where you can zip over the top of alligators and crocodiles."
Sure, you've probably heard of Gatorland before... but we're calling this a hidden tourist gem because of the value.
"Florida residents right now it's $9.99, parking is free," says Williams. "If you want to see something that's a lot more laid back and natural old Florida, this is where you need to get is Gatorland, best value for your buck."
Something else cool -- over the next few weeks, a new panther exhibit will open at Gatorland.
For more information about Gatorland, click here.
For more information about Titanic The Experience, click here.
And for more information about iFLY Orlando, click here.