It’s no secret that Orlando is home to some of the most incredible attractions in the world. However, many believe that the famous city in Florida state is only suitable for younger children.
Luckily, that isn’t the case. There’s plenty for the whole family (including teenagers) to do in Orlando.
As the state of Florida continued to develop itself into the family vacation capital of the world, it’s worked hard to ensure there’s truly something for everyone. This has included developments inside the main two theme parks; Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando as well as some additional attractions.
Table of Contents
- 1. Icon Park
- 2. Busch Gardens
- 3. Indoor Go-Karting
- 4. Go Wakeboarding & Paddleboarding
- 5. Go Skydiving… Indoors!
- 6. Visit Gatorland
- 7. Check Out The Malls!
- 8. Drink, Dine & Shop At Disney Springs
- 9. Head To The Rooftop Driving Range
- 10. Visit Pandora
- 11. Explore Epcot’s World Showcase
- 12. Step Inside The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
1. Icon Park
Icon Park is an 18-acre complex located in Orlando, around 4 miles south of Universal Studios and 8 miles north of Walt Disney World, just off the I4. In fact, even if you’ve never previously been to Icon Park you’ve likely seen the signature Icon Wheel when driving down the I4.
The 18-acre complex has a variety of different attractions including; a gaming arcade, a number of nightclubs, a skeleton museum, Madame Tussauds and an aquarium.
Entry into Icon Park is free, as is on-site parking. When here you’ll be able to dine in one of the various restaurants or shop in one of the five stores completely free. The attractions such as entry into the museum come at an additional cost.
For example tickets, for the Icon Park Ferris wheel retail $29.99 per person although there are often discounts online. I’ve previously found discounts of up to 50% on Groupon too.
There are various different ticket packages available so I suggest checking out the Icon Park website prior to purchasing to see which one might be right for you. Different ticket packages provide different benefits including entry to different museums, skip-the-queue offers and more.
2. Busch Gardens
Around one hour’s drive from Orlando, you’ll find Busch Gardens, Tampa. This theme park is one that’s often overlooked for Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, however, it’s one you should consider visiting especially if you have teenagers.
Busch Gardens opened in 1959 and is an animal-based theme park in which you’ll be able to see over 200 different species of wildlife including Rhinos, Cheetas, Lions, Tigers and more.
Over the past decade, the theme park has received a large investment into its rollercoasters as a result it’s now home to the tallest drop ride in North America – Falcon’s Fury. This ride opened in 2014 at an estimated cost of $6 million and has a 335 free-fall drop.
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Alongside this epic thrill ride, Busch Gardens has loads of other great activities for the rest of the family too including a wildlife Safari, live shows and family-friendly rides.
3. Indoor Go-Karting
Come rain or shine, indoor go-karting is one of the most awesome things to do in Orlando with teens.
Better still, the popularity of indoor go-karting means there are multiple tracks across the city of Orlando.
My personal favourite is the Andretti Indoor Karting arena which is located on Universal Boulevard, just of International Drive.
The karts here are electrically powered via solar panels which are situated on the roof of the arena.
There’s multiple different karts and tracks at Andretti Indoor Karting arena which allows for the Go Karting be suitable for adults and younger kids as well as teenagers!
Alongside indoor go-karting, the complex also has bowling, arcade games and a laser tag arena.
4. Go Wakeboarding & Paddleboarding
Head to the Orlando Watersports Complex to experience wakeboarding, paddleboarding and other incredible watersports.
The Orlando Watersports Complex is highly popular with both tourists and locals and is one of the largest activity centres of its kind on the United States.
Alongside free-ride activities, you can also take classes, purchase and rent equipment.
For those of you who aren’t looking for such a big adrenaline rush consider relaxing on the beach areas and private deck spaces instead.
5. Go Skydiving… Indoors!
Experience the thrills of skydiving without stepping off the edge of a plane in an indoor skydiving arena.
Much like the indoor go-karting experiences, this activity has become so popular with locals and tourists alike that you can go indoor skydiving in multiple locations across Orlando.
With indoor skydiving, there are minimal risks involved – especially compared to standard skydiving.
Yet, you’ll still experience the thrill of floating on a smooth cushion of air.
6. Visit Gatorland
Gatorland is a 110-acre site home to crocodiles and alligators.
This one of the best things to do in Orlando with teens, but also a great way to change the pace of what is often a hectic holiday when visiting the theme parks in the area.
Activities at Gatorland include; watching the gator shows, going on off-road excursions, ziplining over alligators and more!
7. Check Out The Malls!
Orlando is home to some incredible shopping malls and outlets.
You can easily spend one day at each of these incredible locations and save hundreds of dollars compared to the retail price.
Our personal favourite shopping locations in Orlando include; The Mall of Millenia, Orlando Vineland Outlets and Orlando International Premium Outlets.
8. Drink, Dine & Shop At Disney Springs
Previously Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is an outdoor upscale shopping mall.
The fusion of dining, shopping and entertainment makes Disney Springs a great place to visit with teens when in Orlando.
We have an entire article dedicated on things to do at Disney Springs that will no doubt fill you with ideas of what you can do on your visit.
9. Head To The Rooftop Driving Range
TopGolf is an incredible rooftop driving range in Orlando, that’s perfect for teens and families alike who are looking to practice golf.
This 65,000ft complex includes an incredible lounge area that serves food and drink as well as over 100 state-of-the-art driving bays. Each with personalised HDTV, audio and climate controls.
The technology at TopGolf is so advanced that you can even play with specially manufactured balls that have a microchip inside.
These are designed to help you play games with other members you might be visiting the range with or simply record, practice and improve upon your own stats.
10. Visit Pandora
There’s a handful of places at Walt Disney World that aren’t as ‘full-on’ and should definitely appeal to teenagers.
One of these locations is Pandora The World of Avatar which is located inside the Animal Kingdom park.
There are two high-tech rides here; The Navi River Journey and most notably, Avatar Flight of Passage.
11. Explore Epcot’s World Showcase
Another fantastic Walt Disney World park that’s great for teens is Epcot.
Specifically, Epcot’s World Showcase which is the large area separated into countries that span the lagoon in the middle.
Teens and families in general love visiting Epcot due to its educational focus and diversity.
Visiting the Japanese pavilion (specifically the incredible Japanese store at the Japanese pavilion) is what made me want to visit Japan!
So, if you’re looking for an educational and cultural day out as a family with teens then Epcot is perfect!
12. Step Inside The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Finally, to the Universal Studios theme park which is already incredibly popular with teenagers and now even more so due to the incorporation of Diagon Ally and Hogsmede from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Both the films, TV shows and rides here are aimed at a slightly older audience when compared to Walt Disney World, in fact, Harry Potter is just one example. All of this making it one of the best things to do in Orlando with teens.