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If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lake Eola is an ideal escape without having to leave the city. The lake is a part of a park complex that includes a lovely walkway, which encircles the lake and serves as a running track. The park is a whopping 43.2 acres (17.48 hectares), which makes it easy to feel like you really have left the city. Visitors can use the picnic facilities located throughout the park, or rent a boat to take out onto the lake.
Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine is officially named as Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. This Roman Catholic Church is located in Orlando and was just an idea in the 1970s, but became a reality in the 1980s and 1990s. Originally built to accommodate the tens of millions of Catholics coming to the area on vacations, the church offers a place for travelers to worship or attend Mass among magnificent statues, sculpted entryways and adorned walls. On the church's property, you will also find beautiful gardens, a museum and a gift shop.
This lovely 50-acre botanical garden is situated on Lake Rowena and promises to offer visitors a chance to escape into Old Florida. Wander miles of paved paths through forests of giant camphor, oaks and palms. The formal Rose Garden is one of the largest in the South, but don't pass up the opportunity to visit the herb, butterfly, palm and bamboo gardens as well. Towering over all this natural wonder is the Leu House. Built-in 1888, it now serves as a decorative arts museum.
Make an escapade to the distinctly thrilling islands of adventure and experience exciting rides. Set foot right into the magical World of Harry Potter or enter an epic battle of good versus evil on the streets of Marvel Super Hero Island. Adventure and thrill, that's what this theme park is all about. All those childhood superhero fantasies you concocted come alive in these Islands of Adventure.
In a tribute to the thrilling history of United States' space exploration, the Kennedy Space Center welcomes visitors to climb aboard a full size space shuttle replica, view moon rocks and view science closely. This famous space center is one of NASA's 10 field labs and has been the primary location for space launches containing humans since 1968. This center was where operations for the launch of the Apollo program as well as the Space Shuttle program, among others, were run from (although some of the actual launches occurred at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.) The overall campus covers 144,000 acres (583 square kilometers), with some 700 different facilities playing a very important role in NASA's operations. At the visitor's center, curious people can take a tour venturing deep into NASA's spaceport facilities, or visit the Rocket Garden, featuring eight massive rockets from past eras. The complex is also home to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
One of the world's premier amusement parks, the Universal Studios Florida was opened to great fanfare in 1990, and since then has become one of the most visited theme parks in the world, with millions of guests per year. The park is split into several different sections that resemble locations from some of the studio's most popular ventures, which include the like of the Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. The park's famous Jaws ride is one of the park's oldest and most popular attractions to date.
One of the first theme parks to open in Orlando, SeaWorld has been operating for more than 30 years. The 200 acres of attractions and animal shows make this a perennial favourite with tourists visiting Florida. Many new attractions and rides have been added to the existing rides which include a laser-fireworks-water extravaganza and high-tech thrill rides. The park also hosts a number of family-friendly events.
Take a trip to this 70-acre (28.32-hectare) park and see thousands of alligators and crocodiles up close. Visit breeding pens, nurseries and rearing ponds. Children love the site's mini water park, and the petting zoo boasts goats, lambs and other barnyard animals. Make sure to walk the 2000-foot (609.6-meter) boardwalk winding its way through a cypress swamp. If you get hungry, grab a bite at the on-site Pearl's Smokehouse. The menu features smoked alligator ribs and deep-fried gator nuggets.
A place where the fantasy world of Walt Disney is brought to life, this mammoth resort is a magical adventure waiting to happen. From the futuristic globe of the Spaceship Earth and the thrilling rides of Disney's Hollywood Studios to France, Japan, Germany, Morocco and Italy Pavilions, Walt Disney World encompasses the farthest reaches of the earth and a fanciful stretch of boundless imagination. After the incredible success of Disneyland in Southern California in the 1950s, Walt Disney decided to expand his empire with the purchase of 27,443 acres (11,106 hectares) of land near Orlando, Florida in 1965. Although Walt Disney himself died in 1966, his vision was realized when Walt Disney World opened to global anticipation and unparalleled excitement in 1972. Since opening, the park has expanded to include four separate theme parks - the original Magic Kingdom with its iconic fairytale castle, alongside Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are also several water parks, themed hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, fireworks shows and endless opportunities for fun!