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Thursdays Off the Beaten Path: Orlando’s ICON Park

Welcome to Thursdays off-the-beaten path – a collection of ideas for day trips and getaways from Walt Disney World when you need a bit of down time or otherwise want to explore more of what Central Florida has to offer as a local or guest.

Last time we visited downtown Winter Garden’s Farmers Market and Plant Street Market. This week we’re headed in another direction – to ICON Park in Orlando!!

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As always, information on all of these activities will be accurate as of the time of posting, but I encourage you to verify independently that they are open and available when you plan to visit, as well as double checking any rules that might affect your time spent there. You can find ICON Park’s website right HERE

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The Wheel

Location: ICON Park is hard to miss on the Central Florida skyline, but to spend time there you’ll want to head to 8375 International Drive in Orlando, about 30 minutes from Walt Disney World. There's a garage with free parking on site, so no need to stress finding a space.

Cost: ICON Park offers a wide range of different tickets and packages, but today we’re looking at the ICON Park Play Pass, which currently costs $69 and gets you access into or onto The Wheel at ICON Park, Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life aquarium, the Pearl Express, the Starflyer swing, the Museum of Illusions, and the 7D Motion Theater – along with $5 to use at their arcade, In the Game. Once you get your pass, you have 30 days to make use of it to visit each place that's included. (One visit per attraction.)

The biggest thing about these passes – or likely any visit to ICON Park – is going to be access to two of the most prominent things on the Orlando skyline: The Wheel and the Starflyer.

The Orlando Starflyer bills itself as “The World’s Tallest Stand-Alone Swing Ride” at a whopping 450 feet tall. You’ll be asked to leave your phone safe on the ground and then you'll be seated with a friend (or alone – but they’re double seats), secured with a seat belt and in-between-the-legs harness, and taken high into the air to enjoy some amazing views of the Orlando skyline.

No pictures from in the air because you can't take your phone (for good reason) but Maddox decided to ride with me at the last minute and he loved it!! I was so proud of him.

Then you can make your way over to The Wheel – that 400 foot tall thing that looks like a ferris wheel that you can see from what feels like everywhere in the area. There’s a bar at the bottom if you want to grab some drinks for the slow ride to the top. And if you time it just right, you can hit the top of the world right as the sun is setting on the horizon. (We managed to do this and I don’t know if I could ever repeat it so perfectly but I’ll forever be trying.)

You can purchase individual tickets for each of these attractions, but the folks over at ICON Park were kind enough to gift us with Play Passes, so we also took some time to explore ICON Park’s other offerings.

We especially loved The Museum of Illusions. It’s a small space but we spent well over an hour exploring and taking fun pictures. If you plan to include this spot in your travels, give them a call first to make a reservation for when you plan to arrive. Reservations seemed relatively easy to get, but I’m sure they need them to be sure to manage how many people plan to be inside at once.

In addition to these attractions, we also checked out the 7D Motion Theater (campy but we had fun) and spent some time in the In the Game arcade. We’re looking forward to going back another day to see the little Sea Life aquarium and Madame Tussaud’s, which never disappoints if you go in ready to laugh. The little Pearl Express train is also included with the Play Pass if you have little ones in tow.

Where should we head next week?? If you send us somewhere new we’ll do our best to credit you here!

Note: The folks at ICON Park were kind enough to invite us out to experience these passes, so this post is sponsored in that respect but all opinions, as always, are my own.

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You can find my complete guide to making the most of your runDisney race weekend RIGHT HERE. And while those are on hold, you can find my guide to running trails on Disney World property RIGHT HERE.

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Please join me on Instagram for my day-to-day adventures living a mile from the magic. And join the conversation over in our community on Facebook!

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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.

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