Orlando may be one of the easiest destinations from central and eastern Canada to reach. Home of the famous Disney world resorts, theme parks in this central Florida destination are so overwhelming that they have their own listing on the local weather channel. We found direct flights from Ottawa, Toronto and Syracuse for less than $75 (plus the usual plethora of taxes) each way. A three and a half hour flight, thousands of hotel rooms available and when combined with a lower US dollar, an inexpensive Orlando escape may be just the thing to do this spring. It may actually be cheaper and easier to head south than stay in Canada if you are looking for a weekend get away.
There are loads of things to explore as a couple, even if you stay away from the craziness of the theme parks.
As marriage therapists, we are always going on and on about regular date nights and romantic interludes with your partner. It is about how adding fun adventure excursions (anything that gets your adrenaline up) is necessary to keep the love alive.
Orlando has a number of grown-up attractions that are more than PG-13. The Treasure Tavern, a bawdy variety dinner show is a great way to get in touch with your inner pirate. The saucy alter ego of the well known family pirate show, Treasure Tavern is the story about Greta Von Keegal (lamenting her dead husband, Long Dick), the tavern’s outlandish bar maven who runs a cabaret show with a cast of talented Cirque du Soliel type performers and comedians. Dinner is a three course prime rib affair. The servers are in wench costumes and participate throughout the show all the while flirting with you through your dinner. The whole evening is $49 a person, and is a great night out. Bring your camera for those naughty pirate facebook pictures.
Orlando isn’t famous for being a sports town but is home to the NBA team The Orlando Magic. The less than one year old Amway Center is impressive and easy to get to. Blues bands and buskers entertain outside for a festival feel, and the tickets are easy to get and inexpensive. We saw Michael Jordan (along with his Charlotte Bobcats) while we were there, handsome as ever. And between the dancers, entertaining mascot, and fast paced basketball it was a great way to experience the NBA in a five star sports facility.
For couples looking for more luxury, the Peabody hotel on International Drive has a $450 package that includes an overnight stay, bottle of champagne, dinner at the Italian steak house, breakfast, spa services, cocktails and a VIP turn down service. The spa at the Peabody emphasizes serenity and overlooks their meditation gardens and pools.
One of our favourite experiences in Orlando was the air boat rides on the big and small Lakes Toho. Just 20 minutes south of Disney, the airboats with their kevlar bottoms go over everything and fly through the shallow, marshy water. It was fast, thrilling and this experience of nature is unique to the Florida everglades. They give you headsets and explain details of the abundant wildlife. Spring is the best time to see the alligators and we must have come within 10 feet of fifteen medium to very large alligators. Baby gators, ospreys, eagles and fish were all plentiful in this pristine lake. Wild pigs and rabbits were visible on the shoreline. The rides with either the large Boggy Creek company or smaller outfitters run about $40 an adult.
Another great adult excursion in Orlando guaranteed to get your adrenaline up and bond you as a couple is a three lap drive in a two seater IndyCar at the Indy racing experience. Other suggestions include horseback riding or doing a zipline Safari through 4,700 acres of untamed wilderness in south central Florida. Of course you can always go manatee sighting on many of the inland water ways for something completely different.