The Ultimate Orlando Bucket List for 2015

NOTE: The following article is a Guest Post, written by a third-party author.
There’s a lot to do in Orlando, but what are the ‘must-dos?’ Follow along as I share my bucket list for having fun in Orlando this year. From well-known rides like Space Mountain to lesser-known adventures and experiences, as well as brand-new attractions that are not to be missed, this guide will help you make the most of your time in Orlando.

Tempt Your Taste Buds with New Downtown Disney Dining Experiences
If you’re anything like me, you want to try new places to eat during your vacation. Luckily, in Orlando there are always new places popping up.

At Disney Springs, the reinvention of Downtown Disney, two exceptional dining experiences are opening in 2015. Morimoto Asia, helmed by Iron Chef star Chef Morimoto, will feature exhibition kitchens, waterside seating, a cocktail lounge, long bar, grand hall, open terraces and eclectic Asian flavors.  At The Boathouse, dining is set to be equally immersive.  Boats from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s will be docked on the waterfront outside, with guided tours via an Italian-style water taxi or aboard an Amphicar (an amphibious vehicle) offered every 20 minutes. In addition, live entertainment, daily flag ceremonies, and bugle song performances will make the atmosphere one of nostalgia yet bring to life the charm of a waterfront town center. In keeping with its theme, The Boathouse’s menu is full of fresh seafood and raw bar selections.

Take On Amped Up Thrills and Spills at Orlando Theme Parks
Orlando theme parks excel at adding thrilling new things to do each year. Busch Gardens recently debuted the extreme drop-tower ride Falcon’s Fury. As the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, Falcon’s Fury promises extreme belly-flipping drops from a height of 335-feet. On top of that, you plummet at speeds up to 60mph. Sounds intense! And awesome.

Love water attractions? Adventure Island unveiled Colossal Curl this year, too. The funnel/wave combo mega slide holds up to four passengers, which means it’s the ultimate family thrill.

Conquer the Coasters of Orlando

For a rush of adrenaline, take my coaster challenge. Your theme park plan is as follows: ride the best, most-beloved coasters throughout Orlando theme parks, like Incredible Hulk, Space Mountain and Manta, during your vacation. This mission is best suited for those 12 and older.  But, if you think you can handle it, here are the coaster requirements for each park:

[Walt] Disney World
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Hollywood Studios)
Universal Orlando Resort
  • Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure)
  • [Hollywood] Rip Ride Rock It Coaster (Universal Studios)
  • Dueling Dragons (Islands of Adventure) 
  • Manta
  • Kraken
Busch Gardens
  • Sheikra
  • Cheetah Hunt
  • Montu
  • Kumba 
  • Scorpion
Tackle the coaster challenge. It’s the perfect bucket list for those who seek the biggest thrills! 

Make the Most of the Magic Kingdom
Sometimes you want to hop around [the Walt] Disney World [Resort]. Other times, it’s best to spend all day at one park. For instance, you can mark the Magic Kingdom off your bucket list by devoting an entire day to the most iconic [Walt] Disney World attractions. If you plan your day right, you can have breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and Friends in the morning, dine with Cinderella at lunch and have dinner with Beauty and the Beast.

Want to experience the best Magic Kingdom attractions? Be sure to ride Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain. Don’t forget about the enchanting new Fantasyland section of the park. It’s my favorite spot to explore. Must-do’s for Fantasyland include riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Journey of the Little Mermaid. Squeeze in the Festival of Fantasy Parade, a Mickey Mouse meet-and-greet, and end-of-the-night Wishes fireworks finale and you’ll have made the most of your day at the Magic Kingdom.

Encounter Favorite Characters in New Ways
Ever since the movie Frozen premiered in winter 2013, it has taken audiences by storm. If you’ve caught Frozen Fever, you’ll definitely want to put Disney’s Frozen Summer Fun on your Orlando bucket list. Set for June 17 through September 7, it’s a special event featuring Anna, Elsa, Finn, Olaf and friends. Meet the girls, sing their songs and celebrate the love of this new Disney classic.

Over at SeaWorld, friendly sea lions Clyde and Seamore are debuting a new show – Sea Lion High. The show takes place in an aquatic-themed high school where laughter and education go hand-in-hand (or flipper-in-flipper).

Explore the Other Side of Orlando
Want more from your Orlando vacation than the typical theme park fun? Venture further from the pavement for one-of-a-kind Central Florida adventures. Glide through the grasslands aboard an airboat ride with Boggy Creek, or swing through the skies and over gators on Gatorland’s Screamin’ Gator Zipline. Explore even more of the scenic side of Orlando at Forever Florida, an outdoor activity center with safaris, horseback riding, ziplines and excursions centered on the Florida landscape.

Interact at the All-New I-Drive 360 Complex
The I-Drive 360 Complex packs a lot of entertainment into one complex. Tour Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, view aquatic life up-close at Sea Life Aquarium and see SKELETONS: Unveiled. Even better, you can get a fantastic view of the city aboard the 400-foot Orlando Eye, opening May 4, 2015. The larger-than-life observation wheel is the centerpiece of the complex and offers an affordable way to see the sights. Plus, there are several new restaurants to try out: Yard House, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Naru Restaurant and Sushi, Tin Roof and Tapa Tora.

Jot these things to do down on your Orlando bucket list for an excellent adventure in the Sunny State.

Ashley Dickey is Reserve Orlando's travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

PHOTOS: Used with permission. OTPN/Ashley/Disney/Forever Florida. All rights reserved.

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