Dewayne Bevil on Attractions
Theme Park Ranger
8:35 AM EDT, April 11, 2013
April is a sandwich month for Orlando attractions, resting between the spring break and summer vacation crowds. It's a tasty time for locals because the theme parks are less congested and the temperatures aren't as high as they will be.
Here are five attractions to check out before heat and humidity become our constant companions.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
It's part scavenger hunt, part role-playing game, part interactive magic, part Disneyana. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, which debuted at the theme park in early 2012, sends guests on missions armed with "spell cards" that activate special effects built into stores and other attractions. The instructions gathered there help folks foil the plans of villains such as Ursula ("The Little Mermaid"), Scar ("The Lion King"), Doctor Facilier ("The Princess and the Frog") and Chernabog ("Fantasia"). The bulk of the Sorcerers stations are out in the open and in the Florida sunshine, so an early trip should mean less threat of another evil: sunburn. The game is included in regular Magic Kingdom admission. (disneyworld.com)
This day resort, sister park of SeaWorld Orlando, is known for its swimming with the dolphins feature. It also has diving and snorkeling opportunities, exotic sea life, an aviary, a pristine beach and the newish Freshwater Oasis, which showcases otters and marmosets. Florida residents get a discount rate, which varies depending on the date, and it's less expensive to go in April than when the busy season ramps up in May. (discoverycove.com)
Ollivanders at Islands of Adventure
The wand shop hatched in the mind of author J.K. Rowling is a tiny piece of magic at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Although the experience is primarily indoors, it's brief and preceded by a slow, sweaty line that winds out into the theme park's version of Hogsmeade. Take advantage of fairer weather to make the queue less temper-testing. (universalorlando.com)
EcoPark Admission at Forever Florida
You can spend an entire day exploring the zip-line-based rides of this Osceola County eco-attraction, no sweat. The combo price allows access not only to its three-hour zip-line course but other features such as the Rattlesnake, a zip-line/roller-coaster hybrid that operates purely on gravity; the serene Cypress Canopy Cycle, where guests pedal through the treetops; the Panther Pounce, a tethered (but scary) free fall; and more. (floridaecosafaris.com/ecopark)
Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom
This additional-charge tour is literally a hike behind the scenes of the theme park, which includes hovering above hippos and other close animal encounters. Bonus: An informal meal set up on the savanna, where you should spy the new zebras of the Kilimanjaro Safaris. (www.disneyworld.com)
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