NEWS

Boomers in Florida: Take a new look at Orlando

Molly Logan Anderson

There’s something magical about revisiting a beloved childhood vacation spot. 

“We like to say that Orlando is a ‘kid at heart’ destination,” says Susan Greer, associate vice president of publicity at the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Take a new look at Orlando and its must-experience baby boomer attractions.

Fantasy of Flight

Why go? Named Orlando’s best-kept secret by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, Fantasy of Flight is home to the world’s largest collection of private vintage and restored aircraft, with more than 40 rare planes restored to flying condition. Fantasy of Flight also has themed immersion experiences, flight simulators, interactive exhibits, daily aerial demonstrations and guided tours.

Bragging rights: Fantasy of Flight is great for boomers because it allows guests to experience the passion and nostalgia of aviation. Boomers will love exploring planes actually used in WWI and WWII.

Cost: $28.95 for ages 16-55; $26.95 for 55 and older

Go now: The best time to experience Fantasy of Flight is October through May, when visitors can partake in hot air balloon and biplane rides, which are only available seasonally.

Insider tip: The 1940s-themed Compass Rose Diner transports visitors to the golden age of aviation and serves soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort

Why go? Celebrate the cultural heritage of 11 different nations at World Showcase and tour tomorrow in Future World. While traversing the park, guests will be amused by live performers and may even be invited to participate in the show. Future World offers a variety of entertainment and shows, all of which focus on technological advancements, innovation and wonder.

Bragging rights: “EPCOT offers a nice combination of rides, dining, shopping, exhibits and special events, so baby boomers can really tailor their experience to fit their preferences,” Greer says.

Cost: $79

Go now: Greer advises boomers to book a trip March through May, during the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival; or September through November, during the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. Both events are included in general admission prices.

Insider tip: Use the FASTPASS system to avoid long waits.

Loch Haven Cultural Pass

Why go? The Loch Haven Cultural Pass grants access to the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center and The Mennello Museum of American Art in Loch Haven Park. At their convenience, guests experience what Newsweek called “one of the best museums in the South,” one of America’s top hands-on science centers, and an eclectic mix of contemporary American folk art and nationally renowned exhibitions of American art.

Bragging rights: Greer says the cultural pass is great for boomers because it shows a different side of Orlando, reflecting its history without a cartoon-character insight.  

Go now: The best time to get the Loch Haven Cultural Pass is during the spring when The Mennello Museum hosts an annual Folk Festival featuring self-taught art, fine craft and folk music.

Cost: $25

Insider tip: The cultural pass saves guests more than 20 percent off regular adult ticket prices. Visitors select a start date and can visit each museum once over a 14-day period.