Your guide to International Drive

International Drive – also known as I-Drive – is Orlando’s answer to the Las Vegas strip. It’s essentially the go-to place for all things entertainment, dining and shopping in this part of Florida, as it connects all the best tourist activities this USS state has to offer. With that in mind, it’s easy to get around, with shuttles like the I-Ride Trolley taking you to many of the area’s best pit stops.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can look forward to while cruising along Orlando’s main boulevard.

What to expect

Going from north to south, here are the best road stops along I-Drive.

Universal Studios – Universal Studios is where the magic of film becomes a reality with real life studios, rides and shows modelled after smash hit films. It’s where you can spend mornings wandering through Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, afternoons with the minions from Despicable Me and your evenings on the river ride in Jurassic Park territory. And from May 2017, Universal will be privy to its own waterpark known as Volcano Bay, which will feature 18 attractions with an island theme.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – The Odditorium at Ripley’s Believe It or Not is something you have to see to believe, mostly because you probably wouldn’t buy it if we said that here, you can see shrunken heads, exhibits on the longest-living chicken with its head cut off and galleries packed with optical illusions.

The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye – You can’t miss the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, mostly because it towers 121 metres in the air. It’s Orlando’s version of the London Eye, providing pretty incredible views of Florida’s landscape.

WonderWorks – According to the story, WonderWorks is held in a secret lab that once existed in the Bermuda Triangle before a tornado picked it up and carried it to Orlando, where it crash landed upside down. Nowadays, it’s a museum for the mind, packed with interactive exhibits on light, sound and natural disasters, plus places for laser tag and a ropes course.

Walt Disney World Resort – This dream land needs no introduction. It’s home to seven incredible parks, including the famous Magic Kingdom and two waterparks, a downtown shopping and eating area, as well as the world’s best-known mouse. The Walt Disney World Resort is not only the happiest place on I-Drive, but the whole world.

Where to shop

Along International Drive, you’ve got two outlet malls at your fingertips. First, there’s the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets with stores like Adidas, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Next up is the Orlando International Premium Outlets, which offers much of the same in terms of big designer names. Not an outlet, Pointe Orlando mall is a more laid-back affair, offering equal parts shopping, dining and entertainment with a cinema, bowling alley and Minus5, a massive – and freezing – ice bar.

Eating out

The beauty of dining along International Drive is there’s virtually no limit to what you’ll find here. Since this area is a real tourist hub, you’re going to be presented with a lot of choice, from settings to cuisine. There’s the Pointe Orlando shopping mall, the theme parks and then individual restaurants scattered along the way, where you can expect to stumble across everything from Italian to traditional steakhouses, Cuban food and a whole lot of seafood.

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