- Created on Monday, 02 May 2005 17:02
- Written by Susan Capparelle
After a day filled with state-of-the-art technology and educational opportunities at Clean ’05, there are plenty of ways to unwind in sunny Orlando. And if you’re bringing your family to enjoy a few days in Florida, a few quiet days enjoying the cool aquamarine waters can be offset by the fun and excitement at any one of Orlando’s theme parks. So go ahead, loosen your tie, kick off your heals and dive into all that Orlando has to offer!Children, and adults with a child’s heart, will love the magic at the Walt Disney World Resort which consists of four theme parks, the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom. With 47 square miles the resort is the size of San Francisco or two Manhattans so keep in mind you may not be able to see half of what’s there in a day or two.
The Magic Kingdom is home of the famous Disney castle and the largest Disney theme park. Its 107 acres house delights for all ages; Fantasyland, Mickey ’s toontown Fair, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and Main St. USA.
Epcot Center, the second largest Disney theme park is divided into two areas: Future World, with attractions based on modern advances and futuristic projections, and World Showcase, where various world cultures are on display. Every night, the 26,000 feet of high-tech lighting at Epcot serves as part of the spectacular IllumiNations Laser Show - a 16-minute grand finale staged over the lagoon at the World Showcase that also featuresdarting laser beams, fireworks and rainbow-lit dancing fountains against a backdrop of classical music.
MGM Studios is the site of the film and television studios of the Disney Company where visitors can "co-star" in a TV show or get a chance to watch a film or television production in the making. And the Animal Kingdom lets you explore the unpredictable world of animals on safari, in a prehistoric world and at stage shows
Another popular family attraction is Universal Studios, a working motion picture studio (the largest motion picture facility outside of Hollywood) with state-of-the-art rides, movie sets, live entertainment, shopping and other attractions. Universal Studios Escape encompasses more than 840 acres and has two theme parks - Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and Universal Studio Florida. Try Jurassic Park Island at the former or such thriller rides as Earthquake, King Kong or Jaws at the latter.
If you need a break from Mickey and theme parks you can take a relaxing canoe ride on the upper Oklawaha River, a narrow, winding river, largely shaded by a canopy of trees, that was used to carry steamboats and barges into Florida's interior in the 19th century. The land on its eastside is part of the Ocala National Forest and is home to deer, black bear and otter.
The Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Air Museum will give you a taste of the world's military history in the air. You’ll see planes that many have only glimpsed in World War II newsreels or read about in history books. And for restoration fans, you’ll have an opportunity to watch the process of restoring vintage warplanes to their old glory. Planes commonly on display include F-101A Voodoo, P-51 Mustang, Boeing B-17 and Russian Mig 21.
On a more peaceful track, try a leisurely cruise through old Florida. For most of the century, visitors have been viewing Winter Park's chain of natural lakes aboard pontoons that wind through canals and tree-shaded gullies. Check out the lakeside mansions and cypress swamps. Or take a balloon ride for two at Orange Blossom Balloons in Kissimmee, Florida where you’ll ride the wind on a spectacular one-hour sunrise flight over the theme parks and resorts, which ends with a champagne breakfast.
For something out of the ordinary, rocket enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – check schedules for rocket launches. And anyone will enjoy a trip back in time at Arabian Nights in Kissimmee where you’ll banquet medieval-style inside the world's largest indoor equestrian arena and enjoy a spectacular and romantic show featuring 50 horses and daring stunts.
There’s something for everyone in Orlando!
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Mac-Gray Corporation’s Lighten The Load™ Initiative
WALTHAM, Mass. — Mac-Gray Corporation, a provider of laundry facilities management services to multi-unit housing locations announced that it received the Carbonfund.org Foundation’s first annual For People and Planet award in the education category. Since Mac-Gray launched its Lighten the Load(TM) initiative in 2008 with Carbonfund.org, they have partnered with 29 academic institutions to offset more than 40 million pounds of carbon.
“This award highlights Mac-Gray’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Our Lighten the Load™ initiative is helping to reduce the carbon footprints of college and university laundry programs, while educating students on the benefits of being ‘green’ in the laundry room,” said Stewart G. MacDonald, Mac-Gray’s chief executive officer.