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After exhausting hours in the parks, head to a waterpark such as Aquatica or Wet ‘n Wild to cool down


For a complete contrast to all the parks, chill out at Discovery Cove. Swim with dolphins, coast down the lazy river and relax on a sandy beach. Only 1,000 people a day are allowed into this stunning oasis of tranquillity, so book ahead. Florida’s hot sunny days and balmy evenings allow holidaymakers to play by both day and night.


So after exhausting hours in the parks, head to a waterpark such as Aquatica or Wet ‘n Wild to cool down before starting the evening entertainment.


The parks have some of the best light and firework shows in the world every night, or head to Downtown Disney and Universal CityWalk – entertainment complexes with restaurants, bars and nightclubs. There are so many attractions to see in and around Orlando that one visit to central Florida is never enough. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not


Florida contrasts with the Walt Disney World Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (facing page) and the citrus fields of Clermont Grove near Orlando (above)


houses oddities like you’ve never seen before and Titanic – The Experience has replica rooms. Then, there are the famous alligators to be seen but definitely not touched. Gatorland on South Orange Blossom Trail is the place to learn all about these toothy creatures and view them safely from a three-storey observation tower.


Airboats and gators Boggy Creek on Lake Toho at Southport Park offers airboat rides to skim over the wetland and spot gators and other Florida wildlife. There are numerous other ways to see wildlife in central Florida, from a hot air balloon or helicopter, by horseback or canoeing, kayaking, cycling or simply walking. Bird-watchers should not miss a trip to 140,000-acre (567 sq km) Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a habitat for endangered species and stopover for migrating birds, at Kennedy Space Center on the Space Coast. See manatees, fish and go boating or hiking on six trails from just a mile


(1.6km) to five miles (8km). The space centre itself, a fascinating insight into the world of an astronaut, attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year. Canaveral is one of 10 national seashores in the country, the 57,000 acres (231sq km)protected by the National Park Service. The beach is a nesting ground for three species of sea turtles and the main entrance to the park is at Apollo Beach, south of New Smyrna Beach.


Further north on Central Florida’s Atlantic coast, Daytona Beach has the tallest lighthouse in Florida, the Ponce de Leon Inlet light, and the boardwalk and pier are where to go for fun and food. Go on the roller coaster and Ferris wheel before pizzas and ice cream. There are watersports galore along the 23 miles





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