Best Seniors First Orlando Trip - Pick Your Pace!
Things for Seniors to Do in Orlando
Orlando has evolved into a large and diverse city with something for everyone. And when it comes to seniors, this destination delivers in a big way. There are plenty of things for seniors to do in Orlando, from "seeing the world" in Epcot, enjoying the gorgeous Florida flora, fauna, weather, shopping, the arts, and more. The only question will be how much you can pack into your seniors' first Orlando trip.
The Theme Parks
The parks are masterful at offering up various levels of excitement in terms of rides and attractions. The theme parks are a feast for the eyes and are becoming more popular with the senior crowd. And if you love the outdoors but want to avoid the masses of the parks, you are in luck!
Epcot is a great place for a senior's first Orlando trip to begin. Enjoy all the flavor and excitement of Disney at a slower pace. They offer great entertainment, including boat rides and the world showcase where cuisine and shopping from countries around the world are plentiful. Epcot is known for many festivals throughout the year, including the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival.
Disney's Hollywood Studios is another excellent choice for seniors. The shows are exciting and face-paced but super entertaining.
Disney's Animal Kingdom is at a slower pace and can be hot and humid. Still, the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition and a stroll through the Pangani Forest Exploration Train to see the animals up close makes a great day.
If you love the outdoors but want to avoid the parks' crowds, you are in luck! Orlando offers a surprising amount of rivers, natural parks, trails, and wildlife refuges. Many of them are free of cost, and all will deliver a great taste of Florida nature and a nice respite from the crowds and the hustle from the city and the parks.
- Lake Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is one of the area's most beautiful offerings. It is the largest natural beauty. Located in Winter Garden, the preserve has over 3430 acres of natural beauty and wildlife. Whether it is your seniors' first Orlando trip or fiftieth, they will enjoy the exotic bird watching and leisurely stroll through the park.
- Wekiva Island may offer up a higher level of outdoor activity. Located just north of Orlando in Longwood along the Wekiva River, they offer canoes, kayaking, and paddleboard rentals, as well as a cute little beer and wine bar. With a $2.00 entrance fee, this is a day on the water and enjoying Florida's natural springs at a bargain rate. And by the way, alligators are highly unlikely to be found in these waters.
- Bok Tower Gardens in nearby Lake Wales offers something great every season. Bok offers remarkable experiences for artistic, cultural, and spiritual enrichment. Explore the towers, the gardens, dining, and shopping and watch for a full calendar of special events like concerts and exhibitions.
- Downtown Winter Park offers a visit to a quaint and historic town with lots of restaurants, a few specialty boutiques, and wine bars.
- Lake Eola Farmers Market is known as "Orlando's Farmers Market." They offer locally made foods, local vendors, and a beautiful picnic area. Stroll along the lake, and you may even catch some live music.
Free Things For Seniors to Do in Orlando
Believe it or not, Orlando is the No. 1 most affordable vacation destination among top US Cities as ranked by USA Today. There are many free or low-cost things to do, including opera, outdoor adventures, arts, and culture. Here's a list of our favorites:
- Disney Springs - The dining, shopping, and entertainment district offers free admission and covered parking.
- Disney's Boardwalk - Be transported to the turn-of-the-20th-century Atlantic City and catch some free entertainment,
- Universal CityWalk: Parking after 6 pm is free in this 30-acre entertainment and shopping complex.
- Old Town: Visit a Florida community of yesteryear with authentic architecture, storefronts, and more.
- Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards Tours and Tastings are offered free every day. Enjoy the 80 acres of vineyards and learn about winemaking.
- Parks, Gardens, and Forests Start with Lake Eola Park or explore some of the others.
- If nightlife is your thing, catch nightly opera at Lowe's Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Watch the Wheel at ICON Park and its nightly lighting spin by to heights of 400 feet. Catch movie night at Lake Eola Park, or tour Orlando Brewing starting at 6 pm1226 avg.
Restaurants and Bars for Seniors
Orlando offers a plethora of restaurants. Regardless of your taste and budget, you are sure to find many options to tickle your taste buds.
- Disney Springs, offering free admission and parking, may be the perfect place to get your Disney fix without the roller coasters and rides. You can grab lunch or dinner or just stroll through the shops and catch some entertainment. This is the perfect night out.
- International Drive, known to the locals as I-Drive, is an excellent choice for budget-friendly, convenient, and familiar chain restaurants.
- Capone's Dinner Show takes you on a fun trip back to gangland Chicago and a great dinner. This is the perfect evening out when traveling with the family since it is fun and exciting for the entire family.
- Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Show is perfect for mystery lovers. You'll witness the "crime," then get to help solve the crime while you dine. This is another excellent choice for a group of various ages.
Culture and Art
The art scene in Orlando is surprisingly vibrant. There are a few "must-sees" if you are a fan of the arts, sciences, and history.
- The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is located in Winter Park. It is sometimes referred to as the Morse Museum of Stained Glass because of its vast collection of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Visitors will see American art pottery, paintings, and other fine collections from the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Orlando Museum of Art is perhaps the most well-known art museums in Orlando. They house ancient and contemporary collections. Visitors will enjoy textiles and pottery from Africa and Mesoamerica, American paintings and cultures, and modern graphics. They have a full calendar of visiting exhibitions. A morning or afternoon visit with a picnic under the oaks makes for a great day of culture and relaxation.
- Orlando Science Center is another good choice for any age group. It is a hands-on science museum that features exhibits, live programming, theater, and other events. Be sure to check what is scheduled during your visit and check out their site to reserve your tickets. Pompeii: The Immortal City is visiting in January and an example of their great exhibits.
- Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is your place if you love botanical gardens and zoo animals. They house hundreds of zoo animals and vast and beautiful botanical gardens.
If you are looking for things for seniors to do in Orlando, don't overlook the chance to take advantage of the many opportunities within a few hour's drive.
- Kennedy Space Center sits just an hour east of Orlando and offers a chance to visit the Atlantis space shuttle up and close, see a rocket launch or even try the astronaut training experience. While you're there, make time to visit some beautiful east coast beaches like Daytona Beach.
- Beaches sit within an hour or two of Orlando. Visit the sugar sand of Clearwater Beach or Anna Maria Island to the west or gorgeous Atlantic coast Daytona Beach to the east.
Tips for Seniors First Orlando Trip
Like all trips, planning will ensure a great trip packed with thrills and excitement. Here are a few tips.
- If your seniors suffer from any physical concerns, pay attention to the signage that warns against riding if you suffer from certain physical conditions.
- Disney does not offer senior pricing but looks for reduced admissions at smaller attractions and restaurant specials.
- Some of the parks and excursions require lots of walking. The best attire is comfortable shoes, light, breathable clothing, and a light jacket or sweater,
- Rain can pop up quickly, so bring an umbrella.
- Stay hydrated. It is easy to suffer from heat exhaustion in the Florida sun.
- Have fun and bring out the child in you!
Vacationing at Walt Disney World in Orlando can be overwhelming and a little bit intimidating, even for the return visitor. There are so many attractions and thousands of things to see and do.
Orlando is much more than theme parks these days! Explore the Orlando outdoors, and you will find that it offers an abundance of natural beauty, outdoor activities that will chill you out, or get the adrenaline pumping, unusual wildlife, and lots of ways to explore.