Explore Orlando's lesser-known (and often less crowded or expensive) attractions 

Be a tourist in your own town

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Manatee skeletons
  • Manatee skeletons

Skeletons: Museum of Osteology

If you survive your spin aboard the Starflyer and feel the need to memorialize the occasion with a memento mori, stumble next door to Skeletons for Orlando's best selection of bone-based souvenirs. You can browse through the gift shop up front for free and even buy a defleshed feline for your mantelpiece, but the Museum of Osteology in the back is worth the $10 admission fee (with advance online purchase). This is the most macabre family-friendly educational attraction at the Icon 360 complex, featuring the real remains of over 500 animals, reconstructed in dynamic poses amid detailed dioramas. Highlights of the collection include an elephant, a giraffe and a 22-foot-long orca, but our favorite is the case full of live flesh-eating beetles. Because there's nothing kids enjoy more than watching a rotting carcass being devoured by insects! Much like the Starflyer, you'll probably want to save eating at one of the Icon complex's many restaurants until after your tour. skeletonmuseum.com

click to enlarge Flying lemur skull with flesh-eating insects
  • Flying lemur skull with flesh-eating insects

Fun Spot

A one-day parkhopper ticket at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando now costs upward of $175, but you can find some of our area's finest thrill rides for less than one-third the price at Central Florida's two Fun Spot locations. Start your day at the Kissimmee location next to Old Town with Mine Blower, which opened in 2017 as the only wooden roller coaster in Florida with an upside-down barrel roll. This intense coaster is a blast, but far bumpier than a nearly brand-new ride should be, so you might as well get it out of the way before braving the 300-foot-tall Skycoaster, which is the tallest free-fall ride of its type in the world. Then head to the other Fun Spot off I-Drive (a $10 fee makes your day pass valid at both locations) for a few flights on Freedom Flyer, the first (and still best) virtual reality roller coaster in town. Fun Spot stays open until midnight, and the parks' competitive go-kart tracks are far more enjoyable when they're not baking in the sun. fun-spot.com

click to enlarge Mine Blower at Fun Spot Kissimmee
  • Mine Blower at Fun Spot Kissimmee

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