14 Offbeat and Unique Things To Do in Orlando, Florida

Each year, more than 4 million people visit Orlando’s SeaWorld. The Magic Kingdom, meanwhile, receives a whopping 21 million visitors annually.

Yes, Orlando is a tourist paradise. But the theme park capital of the world has more to offer than just Disney World and its other iconic tourist attractions.

On multiple visits to the city, I’ve spent time looking for the most offbeat, quirky attractions in Orlando. You may have to dig a little deeper, but a wonderfully weird side of Orlando exists!

unique things to do in orlando
The ‘Take Flight’ sculpture is one of the most unique things to see in Orlando.

From odd public sculptures to alligator training to a museum of illusions, here’s a guide to some of the most unique things to do in Orlando, Florida!

Quick Summary: The 5 Most Unique Things To Do in Orlando
1 See the funky art pieces at Lake Eola Park
2 Drool over famous buildings made of chocolate at the Chocolate Museum
3 Drive a real military tank at Tank America
4 Work as an alligator trainer for a day
5 Witness a display of swords and axes at the Knife Museum

Unique Things To Do in Orlando

Drive a Tank With Your Friends

Florida sounds exactly like the kind of place where any random person could drive a tank, doesn’t it?

Tank America is the place to do it. Here, you can ride an FV433 Abbot military tank through jungle terrain. Yes, the genuine thing, in all its 17-ton glory.

Just dress comfortably, gather your friends (the tank can hold a driver and three passengers), and head to the Tank America adventure/theme park on Muskogee Street.

Getting the tank through the mud pit is tricky, but the whole thing is definitely a memorable experience. You’ll get to crush a car with your tank. That’s way more fun than driving a go-kart!

Spot All the “See Art Orlando” Sculptures Near Lake Eola

Public art often makes for the coolest quirky attractions. The “See Art Orlando” collection has a number of unique sculptures and art pieces.

half buried woman lake eola

I really liked the “Muse of Discovery,” better known as the half-buried giant woman. Her head, arms, and legs are visible, but her torso is hidden under the turf. What an awesomely bizarre piece!

That’s one of several unusual art pieces here. Another standout sculpture is Take Flight, a series of a few dozen aluminum and magnesium birds taking off.

Pro Tip: Try to see “Take Flight” at night. The lit-up birds look magical against the shoreline!

All in all, there are nine sculptures within walking distance. You can take a walking tour using the ArcGIS map.

Lake Eola Park has a number of other activities, including a farmer’s market and paddleboating on the water. Paddleboating is one of the best outdoor activities in Orlando.

Pretend You’re a Gatorland Trainer

You might have seen alligators and snakes in exotic parks before. But did you ever imagine what working in these parks would be like?

Well, Gatorland’s Trainer-for-a-Day program will let you do just that. You can hold the baby gators and step into the reptile wrestling arena.

However, there’s just one caveat. You don’t really get a “day” of pretending you’re a trainer in the park—it’s more like a couple of hours.

Alternately, opt for the after-hours Night Shine event at Gatorland instead. Keep in mind that event is way more scary at night under flashlights!

Take an Airport Selfie With Orlando’s Napping Traveler

Some call him “The Traveler.” Others call him the “Airport Napper.”

Regardless of the name, he’s been napping (and bamboozling people) in the hallways of Orlando International Airport (MCO) since 1985.

You might have seen videos of this hyper-realistic statue on TikTok as he went viral a few years ago.

He’s now soundly asleep inside a glass case (presumably to protect him from vandalism) on Level 3 of the airport’s main terminal.

He even got some much-needed touch-ups on the hands of a skilled art conservator recently. Go and snap a couple of photos before the paint loses its sheen again.

View Innovative Art Pieces at the Orlando Museum of Art

orlando museum of art

The Orlando Museum of Art is a pretty standard art gallery, but it’s got some quirky and unusual items amidst its collection.

One of the most interesting series is Kyle Meyer’s “Interwoven.” This group features hand-woven print fabric depicting African men wearing head wraps, which are traditionally worn by women.

The Contemporary American Graphics Collection features more than 400 prints from innovators like Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.

Hey, that’s better than the fake Basquiats the museum once had on display!

See the Sweetest Mt. Rushmore Ever at the Chocolate Museum

Hidden in a strip mall on International Drive is the Chocolate Museum and Cafe. A guided tour of the museum will give you insights into the history of chocolate making over the years.

However, I’m willing to bet the highlight of your visit will be the sculpture room. There, you’ll find more than 20 exhibits of world-famous landmarks like Mount Rushmore and the Eiffel Tower, made entirely from chocolate!

While you can’t eat (or touch) any of those sweet-looking sculptures, the tour does include a chocolate-tasting experience. Expect to spend about 45 minutes in the museum.

Touch a Meteorite at Ripley’s Believe It or Not

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Orlando is worth seeing. After all, you don’t get the chance to touch a meteorite every day!

Among the unique exhibits here are a 3000-pound meteorite, Luke Skywalker’s original Star Wars Lightsaber, and a light show known as the Vortex Tunnel.

When you’re done with the main building, get lost in the Mirror Maze. This hall of LED lights and endless infinity mirrors will challenge your perception (and maybe your sanity!)

Take Some Confusing Photos at the Museum of Illusions

Who doesn’t love illusions? Orlando is one of a handful of U.S. cities with a branch of the Museum of Illusions.

This facility is within walking distance from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not building. Overall, both attractions have similar vibes. But the Museum of Illusions can be better for taking Instagram-worthy pictures.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but I think it’s worth a visit if you’re into oddities and don’t mind spending more time (and money) on attractions that spark curiosity.

The Museum of Illusions has more than 50 exhibits. It requires reservations, so book your time slot ahead of time.

See the Gator Wrestling Statue Outside the History Center

gator wrestle statue history center

The Orange County Regional History Center houses four floors of history exhibits in a century-old courthouse.

The museum is interesting, but even if you don’t go inside, take a minute to see the gator wrestling statue outside the building.

This bronze sculpture recreates an 1884 photo that depicts a man sitting on a gator and restraining it in place. Apparently, this local man would reguarly wrestle gators on Orange Avenue back in those days.

There are actually two other gator statues outside the building, so three gators in total. But only one features a fearless guy wrestling it!

Cut to the Chase at the Randall Knife Museum

For 80 years, Randall Knives has been designing and producing cutting devices for all types of use. They’re so popular they even have a waiting list for new customers.

Even travelers who aren’t interested in knives will be intrigued by the Knife Museum located next door to their factory.

This 9,000-square-foot museum is full of one-of-a-kind pocket knives and military knives. The museum also houses much larger weapons, such as machetes, axes, and swords. How often do you get to see swords in everyday life?

The Knife Museum is only open from 10 am to 4 pm from Monday through Thursday, so plan accordingly.

Find Vintage Shirts in the Milk District

One of the cool emerging neighborhoods in Orlando is the Milk District. I was surprised how small it was — it was more of a micro-neighborhood, really — but it had a handful of fun places to check out.

The City of Orlando website describes the Milk District as “a cultural hub with a progressive lifestyle, music and arts scene, featuring diverse culinary experiences, colorful murals, recreational sporting and music venues, unique shopping destinations, community gardens, award winning bars, coffee shops and more.”

milk district orlando

I found a sweet ’70s-style vintage tshirt at Etoile Boutique, a great thrift store.

Other recommendations for the neighborhood: Walk around and look at the murals, grab sushi at Iron Cow or tacos at Gringos Locos, and enjoy a beverage at Sideward Brewing.

Explore the Six Wonder Zones

WonderWorks Orlando is an upside-down house on the outside, and a huge number of fascinating science exhibits on the inside.

This science-focused amusement park is most popular among families and kids, but adults will find some of the six Wonder Zones worth their time as well: Extreme Weather, Physical Challenge, Space Discovery, Wonder Art, Light and Sound, and Imagination Lab.

The Extreme Weather exhibits is cool because you can feel freezing cold water on your hands and get blasted in the face with 74 mph winds!

If you come with a group of friends, try playing laser tag in a black-lit arena after touring the exhibits. And settle down for the museum’s famed Magic Comedy Dinner Show.

Grab a Quirky Treat From Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut began as one of the weirdest things in Portland, Oregon. But this hipster business has been expanding to the rest of the nation, thanks to its creative donut offerings.

Voodoo has a home in Universal CityWalk, the entertainment and shopping complex. Look for the pink building and customers walking around with pink boxes.

This store is known for its voodoo doll-shaped doughnuts, as well as varieties like the Bacon Maple Bar, Grape Ape, and Dirt Doughnut (an Oreo confection.)

Find Rare Disney Documents at the Public Library

The fourth floor of the public library may not sound like a magical place, but that’s where the Disney Collection resides.

Orange County Library’s Disney Collection features a huge archive of documents that haven’t been digitized yet. The only way to see them is to check the cabinets in the library.

What’s in the collection? Everything you can imagine. There are park recipes, rare books and artwork, newspaper clippings, internal documents, and cast member newsletters dating back decades.

For the Disney enthusiast, it’s a treasure trove. Who knows what documents you’ll find in there?

Other Unique Orlando Activities

For more chocolate-based fun beyond the Chocolate Museum, visit the Chocolate Kingdom for an interactive factory adventure. Tour the factory for a behind-the-scenes look at how their sweet cocoa treats are manufactured.

There’s an awesome mural of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury outside a barbershop at 842 N. Mills Avenue.

Other odd places to consider: The Jack Kerouac House, where the famed author once lived; and the Epic McD, a 19,000-square foot McDonald’s with three stories of arcade games and an expanded menu with discontinued items like McPizza.

If you’ve got a lot of time and an adventurous spirit, Orlando is a great city from which to take a road trip. I suggest driving to Key West (via Miami), or driving up to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.

We also have a guide for quirky activities in St. Augustine, America’s oldest city.

Do you have any other suggestions for offbeat and unique Orlando activities?

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