ORLANDO — Escape the isolation doldrums this weekend with a virtual trip to Orlando, complete with roller coaster rides, IMAX movies and animal encounters.
Visit Orlando has compiled a list of 20-plus virtual thrills from the theme park capital of the world, including 360-degree online experiences, new Facebook Live broadcasts, live streamings of special films and YouTube videos.
“We recognize that now, more than ever, we all want to escape from reality, even if it’s just for a moment,” said George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando. “Whether you like floating down a lazy river in one of our resort pools or immersing yourself into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we hope these experiences provide a much-needed break from everyday life.”
Virtual visitors can now soar down a 200-ft. roller coaster drop, watch fireworks over the famous Cinderella Castle, zipline over alligators and even learn from experts how to draw Mickey Mouse, all aggregated on Visit Orlando’s blog, VisitOrlando.com/blog.
Watch a sneak peek of new rides at Walt Disney World like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, enjoy character meet-and-greets on the Disney Parks YouTube channel or travel to different worlds virtually like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and experience Universal Orlando Resort with 360-degree videos of some of the most popular roller coasters on Universal Orlando Resort’s YouTube channel.
Relax and virtually float down the winding lazy river that is part of the five-acre waterpark located in the grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort or take a swan boat ride in downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park.
From Gatorland’s School of Croc, a Facebook Live every day at 10 a.m. every showcases animals and adventures. In the afternoon, their YouTube channel shares live-action encounters with animals including Burmese pythons, crocodiles, alligators and monitor lizards. You can also explore a penguin colony at SeaWorld’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
You can now also stream educational IMAX films typically shown in the cinedome of the Orlando Science Center and about living in space, Mars and rocketry or tour Space Shuttle Atlantis during a new series of Facebook Lives from Kennedy Space Center.
Plus, listen to intimate musical performances at the Timucua Arts Foundation, set in the home grounds of the former music director for Cirque du Soleil. The foundation will post daily videos of previously recorded live performances on its Facebook page, also host a Digital Music Flea Market to help local musical artists.
And if you’re still looking for ways to fill your time, Disney Imagineers will give you lessons in theme park design and engineering.