There are -- surprise! -- a number of cool things in Orlando that don't revolve around Mickey, the Hulk, or Shamu. Now that I've covered the monster parks, I'm going to explore some of Central Florida's best smaller attractions.
Kissimmee's main tourist strip is on Walt Disney World's southern border and extends about 2 miles west and 8 to 10 miles east. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway/U.S. 192 is the highway that links the town to WDW and points west. Because it is so full of eateries and hotels, it can be hard to see some of the smaller destinations, though the roadway's guide markers can be quite helpful, as is the U.S. 192 map that you can pick up at any local hotel lobby. Check with your hotel's front desk or the attractions listings for detailed directions and shortcuts that might make finding them a little easier.
Note: The prices don't include the 6.5% to 7% sales tax, unless otherwise noted.
In the International Drive Area
These attractions are a 10- to 15-minute drive from the Disney area and 5 to 10 minutes from Universal Orlando. Most appeal to special interests, but one is free (the Peabody Ducks' show) and another (Wet 'n Wild) is in a class with WDW's top two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
Elsewhere in Central Florida
These attractions are out of the mainstream tourist areas, meaning you won't have to battle heavy crowds. The Central Florida Zoo, Legoland Florida, Orlando Museum of Art, and Orlando Science Center are close enough to incorporate a visit to Winter Park, if you choose to make a day of it.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.