Orlando is famous mostly for the Disney attractions and a heady nightlife zone the size of a major city. It is a compelling combination and holidaymakers make the pilgrimage to the Walt Disney World resort in droves. Then they head back there because they often cannot fit all the entertainment into one holiday.
Located south of Orlando in the Lake Buena Vista region, it spans out around World Drive and comprises of four parks: the Magic Kingdom which is full of fairtale vistas and dreams; the Animal Kingdom where a high speed train takes you on safari; Hollywood Studios with its adrenalin fuelled stunts; and Epcot with its high-tech excitement and space age thrills. On top of that are the water parks, the world of sports and the spas and fitness centres.
Then there is the Universal Studios Florida and the Islands of Adventure which has become irresistible since the Hogwarts recreation appeared at The Wiazarding World of Harry Potter.
The region is also famed for its alligators. You can see them at the 110-acre Gatorland, the region's oldest attraction, or just view them in their breeding marsh. Or hitch a ride on an airboat at Boggy Creek and glide through the Everglades. It's a sensational way of seeing alligators as well as turtles and various birds in their natural habitat.
At Seaworld, watching the performing dolphins, getting close up with penguins and visiting the aquarium to see the sharks offers a fun day out.
Throw in an afternoon of culture if you can at the Morse Museum of American Art at North Park Avenue. It is most famous for Tiffany glass. Head Downtown, to the Orange Country Regional History Center for a fascinating look at the historical journey that Florida has taken from Native Americans to the Spanish arrival.
There are two ways to top off what will probably be one of the most amazing holidays a family can take together.
Try a one-hour cruise around Orlando's lakes. Scenic Boat Tour has three sailings that depart from a jetty at East Morse Boulevard in Winter Park. Or, for yet more adrenaline, go indoor skydiving at iFly off International Drive. You get to dive into gusts of air that is travelling at 100mph in a vertical wind tunnel. It's a bit pricy at $60 for two one-minute flights, but there is no other rush quite like it.
Then polish off the trip with a spot of retail therapy. The Florida Mall has a Macy's and Sears amid 200 others at South Blossom Trail. But can you really resist the Orlando Premium Outlets? Located just outside town, the mall offers designer bargains at Barney, Burberry, Armani and a clutch of other factory stores – especially if the exchange rate is good.

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