Orlando Oddities and Curiosities

Of course you know Orlando’s theme parks, but did you know that they are only a part of what makes an Orlando vacation so magical and appealing? “The City Beautiful” is chock full of entertainment, and there truly is something for everyone here. Regardless of your vacation goals, age, or interests, Central Florida is a dazzling place where unparalleled memories and experiences are just waiting to be discovered. We’ve developed a series of sample itineraries, categorized by interests and travel motivators, to serve as an original guide to the Central Florida area. There will be no theme park recommendations in this series, because chances are that you already have these destinations in your sights. If you’re looking to change it up a bit and try something new, these suggestions will be a perfect fit. See our area from a unique perspective when you take some time to explore, and leave your social media audiences in envy of your shared vacation experiences. You’re already staying like a local in your Contempo vacation home. You may as well have fun like a local, too!

Are you the type to drive out of your way simply to catch a glimpse of the largest ball of twine? Would you happily plan an excursion just to snap a photo of something wild – for a unique conversation piece? Here are some genuinely original ways to spend your Central Florida vacation if you’re seeking something a little offbeat – perhaps eclectic – and very memorable!

DRIP

8747 International Dr #102, Orlando, FL 32819
(347) 855-3747
ilovedrip.com

Dance Show | Rock Concert | Bar Party
A full theatrical love story with dancers performing in paint, flying water and sand backed by a LIVE rock band. Adults only.

Carmine Oddities Boutique

2708 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32804
(407) 421-4120
www.carmineboutique.com

A strange little shop located in North Orlando, the Carmine Boutique caters to those with a special taste for the odd. From two-headed mummies, to strange taxidermy, to century-old occult books, if you have a penchant for the unusual and sometimes frightening, Carmine has something for you.

WonderWorks

Pointe Orlando, 9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 351-8800
www.wonderworksonline.com/orlando/

An indoor amusement park for the mind combining education and entertainment with more than 100 hands – on exhibits for all ages. Inside, you will be able to explore six Wonder Zones: Natural Disasters, Physical Challenges, Light and Sound, Imagination Lab, Space Discovery and the Far Out Art Gallery. Journey through each zone, testing your knowledge, physical capacities and creativity! Become a human lightning rod by touching 10,000 volts of electricity or experience hurricane force winds! Gather up your strength to lift your weight using a pulley system or build up courage to lie down on a bed of 3,500 rising nails. Navigate through space on a mission to Mars and design and ride your own roller coaster! In the basement, you’ll find more thrilling adventures, including an XD Theater 4D motion simulated thrill ride, 3-story indoor ropes challenge course and laser tag. Upgrade to a combo package and stay for the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. Unlimited pizza, salad, popcorn, beer, wine, soda and dessert will be served.

Presidents Hall of Fame

123 S Hwy 27, Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 394-2836
thepresidentshalloffame.com

Once described by Ronald Reagan as a “true national treasure,” the Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont, Florida has featured (and replicated) White House memorabilia since 1960. Originally a popular wax museum called the “House of Presidents,” the attraction changed names in 1990 to reflect its growing exhibitions. Today, the “Presidents Hall of Fame” includes animatronics, White House replicas and, most notably, Americana miniatures.

American Ghost Adventures

129 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 256-6225
www.americanghostadventures.com

In the shadows of the theme park castles lies American Ghost Adventures. The tour leads you through Downtown Orlando and its just not another walk in the dark. This tour that will send chills down your spine as you investigate a real haunted building with EMF detectors and become an amateur ghost hunter. This tour has been voted one of the top 10 ghost tours in the world and one of the top 5 ghost tours in the United States.

Florida Bat House and Bat Barn

Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL 32603
(352) 846-0643
https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/bats

The world’s largest occupied bat houses are located on the campus of the University of Florida. Mostly populated by the Brazilian free-tailed bat, the bat house and barn are also home to Southeastern and Evening bats. The current population, estimated to be 300,000 bats, consumes more than two tons of insects a night. Observers are encouraged to come on warm, calm nights to watch the 10-20 minute show as the skies cloud with bats.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, United States
352-592-5656
http://weekiwachee.com/

Since 1947, Weeki Wachee Springs has been dazzling visitors with its beautiful, mesmerizing mermaids who swim in its cool, crystal-clear waters. This legendary enchanted spring, the only one of its kind in the world, is one of Florida’s most unique roadside attractions. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a magical entrance into a mysterious blue underwater world of mermaids, manatees, turtles and bubbles. And there’s so much more to see and do inside this stunningly beautiful 538-acre park. There’s Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark, with a sandy white beach, swimming area, and 4 waterslides for thrill seekers of all ages. Hop on board a relaxing River Boat Cruise and experience the natural splendor of Florida’s wildlife, flora, and fauna, or rent a kayak or canoe and set off on your own adventure. Take in our entertaining and educational Animal Show and get up close to native wildlife like alligators, snakes, and exotic birds.

Reptile Discovery Center

2710 Big John Dr, DeLand, FL 32724
(386) 740-9143
www.reptilediscoverycenter.com

The Reptile Discovery Center is a unique facility in which visitors are exposed to a wide variety of reptile species. In the Serpentarium, dozens of the world’s most dangerous and exotic snakes are on display, including a thirteen-foot king cobra and a fourteen-foot burmese python. The outside nature trail features alligators, lizards, tortoises and other reptiles which can be seen up close in their natural environments. The Center is also home to Medtoxin Venom Laboratories. Medtoxin is a commercial venom production facility. Medtoxin collects venom from a wide variety of snakes, which is shipped around the world for making anti-venom and for use in pharmaceuticals and medical research. The Reptile Discovery Center is one of only a handful of facilities in the United States and around the world where venom extraction can be viewed safely in a comfortable setting. Only safety glass separates the viewing public from expert handlers and some of the worlds most dangerous snakes.

Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp

1112 Stevens St, Lake Helen, FL 32744
(386) 228-3171
www.cassadaga.org

Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is a 122 year old community of spiritually-minded people located in Central Florida. Established as a Spiritualist community in 1894, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association™ consists of approximately 57 acres with 55 residences. Those who reside here have chosen to share in a community of like-minded people where they can live, worship and work in harmony with their beliefs. About 25 of the Camp’s residents are mediums who offer counseling from their homes.Welcome to Cassadaga. Designated a Historic District on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1991, the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association is the oldest active religious community in the Southeastern United States.

ICEBAR Orlando

8967 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 426-7555
icebarorlando.com

ICEBAR Orlando is the largest permanent ice bar in the World! Seventy tons of ice is hand-carved into a winter wonderland with lights, music, and the feel of the arctic. A frosty 22 degrees keeps the fabulous frozen sculptures perfect for all your photo moments. A warm thermal parka, fresh gloves, and the opportunity to try world famous drinks are just a few steps from the Florida heat! After your refreshing ICEBAR expedition, slip into FIRE Lounge’s warmth. Featuring Orlando’s best and most popular DJs for evenings of dancing and partying with full service bar, VIP areas with bottle service and delicious new food menu.

Bioluminescent Kayak Tour

VARIOUS LOCATIONS
http://www.visitspacecoast.com/bioluminescent-tours

During the summer months the waters of the Indian River, Banana River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive after sunset with Bioluminescence. A speeding school of mullet swimming under your kayak looks like hundreds of green bottle rockets going off underwater. A manatee or stingray moves much slower underwater, giving a ghostly glow to the illumination. Swirl your kayak paddle or drop your hand into the water to create wild patterns of light. Any movement causes tiny dinoflagellates to emit light. Little is known about these under-appreciated creatures, but they are essential to the existence of most marine life. Tours are 90 minutes and are suitable for beginners. Several outfitters guide tours on the Rivers or into the Lagoon. The best time to go is at the darkest hours of the night, five days before or after a new moon.

Zombie Outbreak

7364 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 745-4068
www.zombieoutbreak.co/florida

Zombie Outbreak is a live action zombie experience! You and your team will use state-of-the-art weapons to clear a military base full of walking dead. This is a real-life video game that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss. The weapons you use are real-life replicas; their size, form and function are similar to real models. Pull the trigger for bang, recoil and muzzle flash. The zombies will be wearing cutting-edge targets to produce statistics of your zombie kills. The stats will be recorded for posterity and bragging rights, don’t forget to aim for the head! Travel through an apocalyptic military base overrun with zombies clearing the undead and surviving the mission. Zombie Outbreak is a totally immersive form of entertainment you must experience to believe!

Escapology

11951 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 278-1515
https://www.escapology.com/

Orlando’s premier live escape game offers a thrilling, mind challenging experience. Teams of up to 6 players race against the clock to find clues, solve puzzles and escape the adventurous game room within 60 minutes! Escapology has 7 interactive game rooms with 7 different themed games.

Orlando Cat Cafe

532 Cagan Park Ave, Clermont, FL 34714
(352) 989-4820
www.orlandocatcafe.com

Imagine a coffee and pastry shop. Now imagine relaxing with that steaming cup of Axum coffee while watching the playful antics or listening to the soothing purrs of adorable, adoptable cats and kittens. That’s exactly the type of atmosphere you will encounter at the new Orlando Cat Café. The Orlando Cat Café is both a cozy coffeehouse with comfortable furniture, premium coffee, tea and pastries, and 12 to 15 cats roaming freely in the spacious 1,000 square foot Cat Play Area/Adoption Area. For a small entry fee, guests can bring their beverage and food and pet and cuddle all the feline residents. But if you want to grab your coffee and go, that’s fine as well. The cat café has a separate entrance to comply with health and food safety compliance guidelines. You can also choose to enjoy your latte in the coffee shop and watch the playful antics through a viewing window into the Cat Play Area.

For information on these and other area attractions, or to purchase tickets, please contact our friends at Visit Central Florida or Kissimmee Guest Services!