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Disney World is, of course, sunny Orlando‘s most famous theme park, but it’s not the only kid-friendly attraction here. With these park options, you can swap out the Mickey ears for days spent zooming down a log flume or exploring Hogwarts. Here’s are some of your top options for Orlando attractions that aren’t Disney.

Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida | Flickr CC: Rain0975

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

This theme park’s cheeky tagline of “Built for Kids” is not a misnomer. Here, you and your little ones can take a tour of America, stopping at miniature LEGO versions of the Kennedy Space Center, Washington D.C. and Manhattan. When you’re done, you can ride some roller coasters, hit the waterpark’s wave pool, explore a real (re: non-LEGO) botanical garden, and test your engineering knowledge at the Mindstorms interactive station.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center | Flickr CC: Reinhard Link

The Kennedy Space Center

This one is not built with LEGOs. Located just north of Orlando, it’s a great day trip for anyone that’s ever wanted to venture into space. Here, you’ll learn about space exploration through a shuttle-launch simulator, IMAX theater and the rocket garden, where you can explore some historically significant rockets, making it the most educational of these Orlando attractions—not that your kids will notice.

RELATED: Head to these Florida beach bars for a drink after the fun

Harry Potter World

Harry Potter World | Flickr CC: Harshlight

Universal Studios

Welcome to Orlando’s most famous, mouse-free theme park—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Follow in the footsteps of  your favorite characters as you wander through Diagon Alley and its evil counterpart, Knockturn Alley. Once you’ve had your fill of the knicknacks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, you can enjoy a thrilling escape from Gringotts on a Harry Potter-themed thrill ride, or ditch the wizarding world altogether to ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove | Flickr CC: Wendy Piersall

Discovery Cove

Swimming with dolphins is just the tip of the iceberg at this Orlando attraction. You can also feed colorful tropical birds, pet some surprisingly cute stingrays and watch adorable otters play around in the water. Want to get a glimpse of life from a fish’s perspective? Suit up and take a SeaVenture, during which you’ll walk on the ocean floor.

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure | Flickr CC: Robert Lindell

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

You’ll be able to hear gleeful screams before you even enter Universal’s Islands of Adventure. They’re likely coming from anyone riding the Revenge of the Mummy coaster and the splash-tastic Jurassic Park River Adventure. You can also head back into Harry Potter’s immersive wizarding world at Hogsmeade, where you can indulge in some butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, pick up a new wand at Ollivanders and take the Forbidden Journey. During this ride, you’ll tour of Hogwarts before flying high above the castle’s turrets.


Gatorland | Flickr CC: Jim Pennucci


This odd attraction is part theme park, part nature preserve. As the name suggests, it’s home to a whole brood of alligators (more than 130!), which you can feed, wrestle and fly over. The last is the Gator Zip Line, which allows you to zip across 1,200 feet of swampy, alligator infested marsh as the toothy creatures churn below. You’ll want to bring a camera for this one.

Wet 'n Wild Orlando

Wet ‘n Wild Orlando | Wiki CC: Themeparkgc

Wet ‘n Wild [CLOSED]

Need to beat the heat? We’ve got a quick–and seriously fun—fix for you: the Wet ‘n Wild waterpark. Careen down high-speed waterslides on your own, or grab the whole brood and float along the lazy river or hit the Surge, a five-story group tube ride. If you need a little break from all that adrenaline, head to the Surf Lagoon wave pool.

*Featured image: Marco Becerra, Flickr CC

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Elle-Rose Williams
Elle-Rose is an award-winning travel blogger from the UK, who is the editor of She is based in London, but travels as far and wide as she can, as often as possible.
Elle-Rose Williams

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3 thoughts on “7 great Orlando attractions that aren’t Disney”

  1. Kennedy Space Center is EAST of Orlando, not north, and Wet and Wild is dry and dead, being replaced in a few months by Universal’s Volcano Bay, an awesome new Waterpark, adjacent to Universal’s other parks.

  2. The Hulk ride is not in Universal Studios, it’s on Islands of Adventure.
    And the mummy ride is not on islands of adventure, it’s in Universal Studios.

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