Located in the heart of Florida, Orlando offers unique experiences for everyone to enjoy. Being part of the Southern Sun Belt, Orlando offers warm and sunny weather year round. Along with world-famous theme parks, a vibrant local art scene, outdoor activities and shopping, Orlando is the go to city for your next religious group trip.
Religious Attractions in Orlando
Holy Land Experience is a living, biblical museum that recreates the land of the Bible. Features include a walled city replica of ancient Jerusalem, the Garden Tomb, Wilderness Tabernacle and Qumran Dead Sea caves. It also includes a musical team that recreates the events of the Bible, along with the museum exhibit Scriptorium: Center for Biblical Antiquities.
Wycliffe Discovery Center is a faith-based organization that features interactive programs, displays and presentations exploring the history, linguistic and cultural issues surrounding the Bible.
San Pedro Center, part of the diocese of Orlando, is located on 485 acres of Florida wetlands and forests. Welcoming groups of all faiths, the center features meeting and retreat space as well as workshops and programs.
Orlando is home to The JESUS Film Project. A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, the “JESUS” film has been seen by a billion people around the world and is still spreading. The organization welcomes volunteers visiting Orlando.
Orlando’s Main Attractions
Orlando theme parks include Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando. Walt Disney World Resort consists of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom along with the water parks Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Universal Studios Florida is a real, working film and TV production studio with an array of shops, restaurants and rides such as Revenge of the Mummy, Men In Black Alien Attack and Shrek 4D. It is the home to the world-renowned Blue Man Group. Universal’s Islands of Adventure Park features the recently opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter, complete with themed rides, shops and restaurant. SeaWorld features close-up animal experiences and the Shamu killer whale show.
The city is home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Playing at the Amway Center opened in 2010, the Magic is the only professional team in Orlando in a “big four” sports league.
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve with thousands of alligators and crocodiles, a children’s water park, aviary and petting zoo.
Two 18-hole miniature golf courses set in a tropical environment with live alligators define Congo River Golf and Exploration Company. Fun Sport Action Park, WonderWorks and Wet ’n’ Wild Orlando are three other action parks.
Orlando Science Center features hand-on exhibits, live programs and a giant film screen. It also includes an observatory that allows visitors seasonal sky-watching opportunities.
Orlando’s vibrant art scene is evident with the Orlando Museum of Art, boasting a permanent collection of American, African and ancient American art. CityArts Factory in downtown is Orlando’s largest arts venue, containing six art galleries and a photography studio. Other options include Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tours of Orlando
Orlando Tour Company provides numerous tour options. “Orlando City Tour” goes around Lake Eola, through downtown and then to Winter Park, where narrated boat cruises are available. Other options include a tour from Orlando to Kennedy Space Center and “Hot Air Balloon Ride with Breakfast,” a one-hour flight over Orlando.
Gray Line Tours provide a one-day tour to Miami and Clearwater Beach. The “Swim with the Manatees” tour visits the crystal clear waters of the manatees, where swimming, snorkeling or boat tours are available.
Orlando’s Festivals and Events
September’s Rock the Universe at Universal Studios, Florida’s largest Christian music festival, features such artists as Switchfoot and Casting Crowns. It includes a non-denominational worship service Sunday morning.
Night of Joy at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a contemporary Christian music festival held in mid-September. Bands have included Newsboys, Jars of Clay and MercyMe. A Christian music festival in May is Waves of Glory at Wet ’n’ Wild, featuring a competition between the bands.
During the first half of May, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is held at Walt Disney World Resort. Presented by HGTV, the festival includes Disney character topiaries, a colorful array of flowers and gardens, live music and special presentations.
While known for its theme parks, Orlando has much more to offer religious groups. From art museums to the Science Center, Orlando Magic and shows, there is never a dull moment in Orlando.