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Plan your next vacation in Orlando, Florida! Orlando is full of fun activities for the young and young-at-heart alike with wild airboat tours, beach excursions, Disney dining experiences and swimming with manatees and dolphins. Here is our 5 things ... 

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Certified reviews by travelers like you.

Clifford M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Brilliant tour. Great knowledgeable staff. Well worth the money

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Linda B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Would have to say the most wonderful experiences ever. We had a great Captain, Brian and guide Shelly were both welcoming, fun and informative. We saw approx 6 Manatees and 1 baby calf. Three of them interacted a lot with us as they are very curious creatures. There are obviously some rules you have to obey to protect the animals which was fine. We just floated there on pool noodles and the manatees came up to us to check us out. One nibbling on a girls hair and nuzzling her. I got some great underwater footage of them playing with us. Such gentle giants. Would highly recommend this tour even if you are not a great swimmer. 10 / 10.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

staciwes

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Highly recommend this tour for a fun filled day of space exploration. The highlight was lunch with an Astronaut - a delicious buffet with a speech by the astronaut with a video presentation followed by professional photo with him. Other highlights are the Atlantis and Saturn V exhibits you could spend hours at each plus the mulitiple IMAX movies that are included. Worth every penny! Our driver Nicky was the best!

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

R N W New Zealand

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2016

Our trip was to interact with nature and local ecology. Visiting manatees is best done in winter months when water is clear and the manatees are in the springs in great numbers seeking warm water. In summer/autumn water is still warm and murky so not such a good experience, although we did see and swim with manatees. The airboat trip was a bit short and lacking biological or ecological narration. This could be done better.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

nanna

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

This trip was just magical. Dolphin tours were fantastic. Red was the tour guide and he looked after us all day. Loved atlantis exhibit, lunch with astronaut was great. Dont bring a bag as the lockers are a nightmare with crowds. Arrive early and beat the crowds. Be aware that if you do lunch with astronaut and up close and personal tour you will not have much time at the saturn v exhibit which is the bees knees. If you are a space nut then do this over twondays and really enjoy it.

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

Janice G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Loved the whole experience. The limousine was immaculate and having breakfast with 5 characters was memorable for both my daughter and myself. Would highly recommend it

Doing what: Disney Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey's Disney Contemporary Resort

Meagan T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

This was a great tour, and a great way to see the everglades and rivers of Florida. All of the tour operators were great, and Madeline was fantastic and very helpful.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Tamara S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

This was the best time ever! J Low well she is very informative, and helped with my daughters class assignment. We had close up encounters with the manatees. The captain took extra time with my 6 year old to help her get right up to the manatees. I highly recommend this tour.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

David R

3 star rating: Worth doing
October 2016

A few days before departure we were notified that we could not be picked up at our hotel as previously organised. We had booked into this hotel in Nov 15 as this is where they picked up from but our tour guide stated they hadn't picked up there for 16 months. This was not good enough. We then had to sit on the bus on the return as we went all round the 'Disney Hotels' to drop off other people although they drove very close to our hotel when we arrived back to Orlando. This made the drop off after 7pm which was very late. To get to some of those 'Disney Hotels you were going all around the place. Need to set specific pick up locations and stick to them. Would not book if same bus company was used. They stated that they had no control over the route.
Enjoyed being back at Kennedy Space Center but although the 'lunch with the Astronaut' was good and the Up-Close tour great, you lost time to look around properly. SR

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

TS Australia

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2016

Florida Dolphin Tours are rubbish at handling this tour. I will be contacting them directly with my complaints. Go by yourself and avoid this company at all costs.

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

BIG DOUGIE

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

Great day out dolphins following boat only wish I had spent time on pier fishing at only 8 dollars thanks viator

Doing what: Clearwater Beach Day Trip from Orlando with Optional Sea Screamer or Deep-Sea Fishing

lynn c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

amazing. had a really good view of mum and calf. the guys on the boat are so helpful and make you feel so relaxed. wonderful time

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Eric G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Red was a great tour guide...tattooed tough guy from New York or New Jersey, I don't know, but he had a fun sense of humor and was a great host. He was there every time we needed him.

The day: Board double-decker tour bus at designated pickup location and take ride to KSC with some good tour info along the way. About a hour ride. Dropped off with clear instructions and tickets at KSC and re-grouped at Atlantis. A GREAT presentation and center with both exciting and humbling aspects. The shuttle launch sim was just OK don't expect a Disney Mission to Mars kind of experience but worth it if there is little wait. Otherwise, spend time in the exhibits. We bought the extra package that included the extended facility tour and a mediocre lunch with an astronaut. I am not certain that part was worth it and we wish we would have had more time to spend at the exhibits, especially the Saturn exhibit...we ran out of time before we could see much of it. The extended bus tour did not contain as much as we thought it would and we were not able to go inside the VAB or see the crawlers up close. I am not sure what the short tour would have been so nothing to compare against. We need to go again. We boarded the bus at about 1730 for the ride back to Orlando and hit some bad traffic so the day wen't longer than planned, but it was still comfy and Red took great care of us.

The cost was worth it except I would opt for the basic package next time.

Thanks to Florida Dolphin Tours for a great day!

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

Arlene C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

Red was great and very enthusiastic. He made everyone's trip very enjoyable by being informative and approachable. This trip was really great for any who wants to get away from the theme parks and spend a day on a nice beach.

Doing what: Clearwater Beach Day Trip from Orlando with Optional Sea Screamer or Deep-Sea Fishing

Eric G

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2016

5-stars for Madeline AKA J-Lo for a great tour! Funny, friendly, informative, good driver!

The day:
0830 breakfast buffet at Ponderosa...not great. The day's low point...but it gets better!
Shuttle bus 1.5 hours to Crystal River
Don wet suit, board boat, and spend 2 hours looking for and swimming with manatees. We got to see 5 to 7 of them, but water conditions sucked murky and I recommend going in winter when the whole lot of them are around summer is the off-season for manatees in the rivers. Bring a change of clothes and a towel.
Board bus and eat a good bag-lunch ham/turkey/cheese sandwich, chips, cookies, fruit-cup, capri-sun, bottled water. Recommend adding sandwich choices for people who can't eat pork etc.
Drive about 30 minutes to wildlife sanctuary and stay there about 1.5 hrs. Basically a zoo for rescued animals. It was OK, but would have preferred more time with manatees or on airboat.
Back on bus for about an hour to airboat place. Fun 30-minute boat ride of 1 hour there despite weather threatening to cancel it, plus friendly southern hospitality from Tom and Jerry's airboat captain and gator handler.
Back on bus one last time for 1 hour ride back to Orlando.

Overall fun and with the cost. We would go back just for the manatees but in Winter. Thanks Florida Dolphin Tours for a great day!

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

SUETYR Isle of Man

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2016

The tour started with a hotel pick up at around 8 am followed by an all you can eat buffet breakfast at the Ponderosa Restaurant in Orlando. Our tour guide known as J Lo was very entertaining and helpful giving details about our planned activities and raised points about the local history during the bus journey. Our first stop was at Crystal River. Snorkels are available but hire of wet suits for 10 is recommended as the water is cold. As manatees are wild, sightings are not guaranteed but we managed to see some and swim with them. Manatees are protected and swimming near them is highly regulated. Also, the river is shallow in some places so visibility can be affected by silt being stirred up from the river bed. After our swim we were given a pack lunch consisting of a ham roll, crisps, biscuits and a drink to eat on the bus on the way to Homosassa State Wildlife Park. After this we travelled to Lake Panasoffkee where we enjoyed an airboat ride where bug spray is highly recommended ! We were told during the hot weather alligators tend to only be seen at night but we managed to see one guarding her nest. We started back at around 5:30 pm and it was an hour back to Orlando and subsequent hotel drop off. It is a long day but very interesting, I don't think it would be suitable for young children.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Russell J

3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2016

Wouldn't have bothered with breakfast too rushed or the airboat ride saw a couple of juvie gators
Or the packed lunch!!.
Homossassa springs is great if you time it right, there are manatees that live around the springs all year and are fed by the park rangers at certain times of the day.
Our bus left 10 minutes after a feeding session so not everyone had the opportunity to see the manatees from the underwater observation deck.
The driver wasn't very good at explaining things so when we got to Crystal river to get wet suits extra 10 on top of ticket price it was a little chaotic to say the least.
However, watching the information film on the coach about interacting with manatees did save a bit
of time.
The boat driver and guide were both really helpful and informative and made the whole experience
enjoyable for everyone on our boat.
I was quite surprised how quickly they spotted a couple of manatees and within ten minutes there
was a boatload of us in the water swiming with these huge animals.
Don't be fooled by the name Crystal river, the water is quite murky, but you are in the manatees
natural environment so you can't complain too much.
Swam with three manatees and watched another two over the next 45 mins.
Prices in the gift shop are a little steep for what's on offer, but the dvd with pictures and film of your
swim with the manatees....priceless
For all the europeans reading this, Be prepared to be tipping all day!
breakfast, airboat captain, Homossassa springs donation, manatee skipper and guide, bus driver
along with 10 for the wesuit hire, our party of four tipped in the region of 220.
Bearing in mind this is on top of the ticket price, it starts getting a bit expensive, after all, you only wanted to swim with a manatee not all that other stuff, right?
Having said that, there's no driving or navigating or toll roads or parking to worry about.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Mike C

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2016

This was a great day out and the only reason it does not have 5 stars is that it was 'off-season' for manatees and there are much better companies to use for the airboat ride than Tom and Jerry's. Overall it was fun and I would do it again.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Laura P

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2016

Great tour! Breakfast was good, the bus was comfortable and the tour guide was friendly. Would recommend going in winter if you can as we only swam with one manatee and saw about four, but that and #39;s something that can and #39;t be helped. Overall it was a lovely experience

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Christina C

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2016

Had a great time! Breakfast/lunch verygoid! Manatee swim was fantastic! Bus ride and guides were great/entertaining. Only thing I did not like was the constant need for tipping! We paid $120 for the trip, yet continually a tip seem to be required? The airboat driver asked for $5 (x20 people)?

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Alicen Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

Marvellous Tour. Great to swim with the manatees, nice zoo and great fun on the jetboat. Lunch was tasty. Only thing I really didn't need was the breakfast. It was good, but we had that provided at our hotel and it made for a late start to the day.
Madeleine was a super guide and driver throughout the trip - very knowledgeaqble and personable.

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

Augustine M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2016

food was excellent..buffet style..short speech by Jon McBride,our astronaut was inspiring and inspirational for the younger generation..well organized...definitely worth the money

Doing what: Kennedy Space Center Ultimate Experience: Dine with an Astronaut and Up-Close Tour with Transport from Orlando

tulumbas United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2016

It's cool if you're ready to spend some time in wetsuit on the wind

Doing what: Swim with Manatees at Crystal River plus Everglades Airboat Adventure

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