EDSee Orlando: What to Eat, See and Do in Orlando
Your bags are packed, your plane tickets are booked, and the Crystal Village is on its way to Tinker Field. You’re ready for the two-day party rampage that is EDC Orlando, but are you ready to take the streets of O-Town in your off hours?
Whether you’re arriving early Thursday or hanging around afterward during Sunday’s off day, there are tons of things to do in and around the area worth your extra time and money. Maybe you want to grab a delicious bite before the festival begins or perhaps catch some culture at a super cool exhibit. Maybe you want to meet LeVar Burton or Harry Potter.
Whatever your pleasure, there’s plenty to do, and we’ve got the inside scoop.
Theme Parks and Other Attractions
You already know Orange County, Florida, is home to more theme parks per square mile than some small towns have kids. It’s the holy mecca of amusement parks, but even a 250,000-square-foot entertainment icon can’t afford to get stale. Universal Studios dropped a bunch of new must-sees, from a Transformers 3D ride to a Despicable Me Minion Mayhem simulator. Of course, the coolest addition is the Harry Potter-themed Hogwarts Express train ride, which transports you from Hogsmead in Universal Studios proper to Diagon Alley in Islands of Adventure.
SEE ALSO: A Raver’s Guide to Orlando Theme Parks
Outside of Universal, we suggest checking out the Orlando Eye, a 400-foot-tall “Observation Wheel” (read: Ferris wheel), which gives riders clear views of the city skyline, surrounding theme parks and even Cape Canaveral. Come Sunday, we suggest stopping by the 15th annual Orlando Japan Festival. You can win raffles and cosplay contests, or just check out the stage shows and vendors. Get your epic nom on at the World Food Championships going down throughout the weekend in nearby Kissimmee. When Saturday’s last note bangs, celebrate with a ton of great local brews at the Central Florida Chive Craft Classic. O-Town’s best breweries are going head to head for your affection until 2am, and if you hurry, you can catch the fun. And if you’re a Star Trek or Reading Rainbow fan, don’t miss the chance to hear LeVar Burton speak Thursday at Rollins College.
SEE ALSO: EDSee Orlando
Orlando isn’t just roller coasters and Mickey Mouse. It’s a city full of art and culture worth exploring. If you haven’t had enough spooky time, stop by the Mummies of the World exhibit currently featured at the Orlando Science Center. Be enchanted by the Technicolor abstract paintings of Harold Garde in the 70-year retrospective exhibit on display at the Orlando Museum of Art, and then stay to peruse the MetaModern mid-20th century exhibit down the hall. If you’re trying to avoid museum cover fees, you can opt for a few free play performances at the One Act Festival presented by Project Spotlight, the University of Central Florida’s student-run theater organization. Or you can just wander the walkways of Central Park in the city of Winter Park and take selfies with the seven large-scale sculptures on display as part of the Art on the Green exhibition.
SEE ALSO: On the Road to EDC Orlando
It’s just like the Checkers commercial jingle says: “You gotta eat.” It’s easy to eat a bunch of fast food when you’re living the festival life, but Orlando has so many great new eateries, you’d be a fool not to take advantage. Try the Coop for delicious and affordable Southern fare from the same brilliant chef who brought Orlando’s famed 4 Rivers Smokehouse BBQ chain. Hit up Mamak for awesome Asian street food. If you don’t mind droppin’ dollars, get the stellar sushi at Kappo. For a meat-eating hipster paradise, try Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbacoa. Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen has your back with next-level noms and high-quality beer suds; plus, it’s conveniently located in the JW Marriott, in case you need a place to stay after slipping deep into a food coma.
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