Never heard of International Drive Orlando? Neither had I! International Drive is an 11 mile stretch of highway outside of downtown Orlando that has a fair share on things on offer for those vacationing in Orlando, like the anti-mall I recently wrote about. While there is a lot on International Drive for kids, it’s definitely not only for kids!
While here, you can take advantage of the i-ride trolley to get around, but it isn’t free. It’s 2 bucks for adults per ride and 1 buck for children. We just drove and parked and that was fine. I feel like the trolley might be unnecessary but that would be up to you. For restaurant coupons here’s a whole bunch for this area of town.
I’ve made a little map that I starred places that I’ll mention in the post below. I know Orlando is all about Disney, but I think you’ll be surprised how many other amazing things are on offer here!
Things to do in Two days on International Drive, Orlando
Of course there are SO many more things than what I’m listing but these are ones I did and a couple I didn’t get a chance to but would like to go back to one day. What’s missing from this list? Lots of water parks, malls, mini-golfs, and even full theme parks. See a full list here.
Are you dying to get to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? ME TOO! I didn’t make it on this trip. We spent our time at Disney, although I did go to Universal Studios when I was a kid and loved it. This isn’t actually on I-drive, but is listed as part of I-drive per their website. It’s just down the road. You can see on the map embedded above. They’ve got a variety of parks like Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. Check the website for ticket variations so you can spend a WHOLE DAY here! This would be day one. Tickets are $155 for a day and a mere $5 discount for little kids.
Sea World / Aquatica (Sea World’s water park)
Have strong negative feelings toward Sea World? Seen Black Fish? I know. I thought the same and now that I’ve visited wrote a whole post sharing my thoughts on what I think about if you should visit Sea World. Check that out.
Beyond that, It’s a huge attraction and there are aspects of Sea World which are great for kids. For example, the new rollercoaster Mako which is the tallest in Florida. Tickets are about $69 per person, ages 3 and up. Aquatica tickets are about $38 right now. With all passes, look at the options as you can usually add-on special things or find deals. If you come here come early, do Sea World first, then the water park and be out of there by lunch!
There is also Discovery Cove where you can swim with dolphins but it’s not something I personally feel comfortable promoting as it seems cruel to me.
I-Drive 360: Sea Life / Orlando Eye / Madame Tussauds / Legoland
Three of the above mentioned are together in one building (not Legoland). You can individual passes to each of these or you can do group passes that save you money. Legoland is actually in Winter Haven but they offer it in this pass which is why it’s mentioned. They will shuttle you out for free. For all four it’s $95 for kids and $99 for adults. You might have to choose either Sea World the first morning or this combo of places.
- Sea Life. If you’re not keen on Sea World but want to see an aquarium, there is Sea Life. Tickets are $15 if you buy ahead.
- Madame Tussauds. This is the wax museum which is famous for making exact duplicates of wax celebrities. They actually take hundreds of measurements so when you see the people, you’re seeing them at their real size. Honestly, a wax museum to me is a little “ehh” but I did find it fascinating to see how SKINNY these celebrities are. I’m telling you, it’s shocking. Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie are so skinny I can’t see how they ever eat anything. Tickets are $20.
- Orlando Eye. This one was of my favorite things I did in Orlando! I love being on ferris wheels and this is owed by the same people who own the London Eye. I found out because I wondered if they stole the name, ha ha. They didn’t. Tickets are $20.
- Legoland. *** LEGOLAND IS NOT ON I-DRIVE*** I have included it because it comes with the package offered and there is a free shuttle. If you choose to go to Legoland for a couple of days, then it’s best you drive out to Winter Haven and check in at a hotel. I am writing a follow-up post with information on Legoland and what you can get up to in Winter Haven, as I spent two days there.
Artegon Marketplace for lunch
I enjoyed Artegon so much as I just love buying from local artisans. I’m a shopaholic at heart and over time (3 years in India will do this) I’ve stopped caring about name brands as much and really like buying handmade things I’ll use and wear instead of souvenirs. I was so impressed with this space which is the “anti-mall” and has over 150 local artisans selling everything from crocheted baby clothes to spicy homemade hummus. I wrote a whole post about Artegon you can read here.
Helicopter tour over Orlando at sunset
You can take this with Air Florida and comparable to the prices where I went in Hawaii, the rates are shockingly low at $20 a person for the shortest tour. While tours start at I-Drive you can also head all over Orlando on different tour packages and fly right over Disney!
America’s Escape Game
These interactive puzzle escape games are getting so popular all around the world and lucky for you there’s one in Orlando. There are many game options for small groups for example, “Secure the White House and stop a missile attack while you still can!”. Single players are welcome or up to 10 people. Games are best for ages 12 and up although they do not enforce this age limit and anyone can play, they just may not understand the puzzles. This is a great way to spend your evening.
Minus5 Ice bar
I’ve wanted to go to one of these since I heard of it 7 years ago in London. Sadly, I didn’t make it on this trip. I have so many reasons to go back! If you want a little bit of nightlife your last night, the Minus5 Ice Bar would be a great option (here are a list of more nightlife options). There is a lot to do at night. If you were here without kids you could even skip all the above except Universal and spend a couple of days there then spend your nights out on the town on International Drive, not having to go downtown.
Hotels for International Drive
There are so many nice Orlando hotels and we stayed at the B Resort and Spa (full review coming soon) which is a Disney affiliated resort, we did not stay at a hotel on International drive.
There are so many hotels in Orlando and so much to see that you’ll have to think about where you’d like to be located for a full vacation. To me, I-drive is a two-day thing max, so I don’t see it being necessary to switch hotels if you’re on a week-long vacation. If you’d like to stay this side of town there are so many options from Hampton Inn’s and Best Westerns to Embassy Suites. Here’s a full list from Agoda, my go-to booking site. Check the right side below the map.
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