Why waste another minute to explore this fun-loving, sun-soaked city? These electrifying Orlando experiences always leave us breathless and wanting more.
We can’t get enough of the wind on our face as we float carelessly through the air during a tandem hang gliding flight. There’s an instructor at your side but you can control the glider yourself once you’re in free-fly mode. Tandem Discovery Flights are for practically anyone – from the ages of 4 to 90 – and you don’t even need to book, just turn up and you’re away. (Tip: Mornings and late afternoons make the best conditions for flight!).
1805 Deen Still Road, Davenport, +1 863 424 0070, www.wallaby.com.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Only in Orlando can you lap the raceway like a pro in a 600-horsepower NASCAR racing car as you wind around the 1 mile tri-oval track for this exhilarating adventure. If, like some of us, you’re not a daredevil driver, you can also take the passenger’s seat for a ride-along. You reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour while your friends and family cheer you on from pit road. For us, this is an unforgettable experience that makes your grown-up dreams come true.
3450 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, +1 407 934 7639, www.drivepetty.com.
Universal Orlando Resort
The red carpet treatment we’ve received during a VIP tour at Universal Orlando makes us feel every inch like a star. The priority ride and show access and the private character meet and greets are the next best thing to seeing your name in lights. Valet parking, American Express® VIP lounge and VIP Tour souvenir lanyard are included and ensure that your visit is totally stress-free.
5617 Major Blvd., Orlando, +1 407 903 5490, www.universalorlando.com
A daylong Dolphin Swim Experience is set among impeccable beaches and turquoise waters – two things we never tire of. You swim alongside dolphins and snorkel in the natural habitats of fish and eagle rays, then have encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets. There are no crowds and no turnstiles, making this, for our money, the most relaxing day in Orlando. Also, the ticket includes unlimited admission to SeaWorld® and Aquatica™ – very handy.
6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, +1 877 434 7268, www.discoverycove.com.
New Smyrna Beach Fishing Charters
Living the Salt Life on a full-day fishing charter boat with Captain Budd as your mate is a favourite Orlando experience of ours. You venture 30 miles offshore for a chance to reel in that night’s dinner. New Smyrna is an anglers dream with fish biting every day – we promise that just one day out on the water will have you hooked for life. If you don’t fancy a whole day, he can take you out for four or six hours, too.
North Causeway Marina, New Smyrna Beach, +1 386 566 3137.
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning