Update: We just lost one small attraction. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede has abruptly closed the stable doors. This attraction was practically across the street from Disney, if you can’t make it there, where can you make it? It’s closing doesn’t seem like a good sign for other Dinner shows in town.
The Orlando Sentinel previews the upcoming year for Central Florida’s major tourist attractions and for some of the smaller attractions too. Economic forecasts for the year show that while guests are expected to continue to come to Central Florida, the costs of getting here will go up. That means for the average tourist there is less money available to spend at the attractions.
Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld are better able to absorb these lean periods, but the smaller attractions (like Gatorland, Cypress Gardens, and the Citrus Tower) really struggle to keep the gates open and keep their facilities fully staffed. Back In the day these smaller attractions served as inspiration for the larger theme parks to come. Like the three listed above, they were here long before Walt Disney brought change to the area. I hope they’ll be here for decades to come as well.
So what can you do? Go check out Ultimate Orlando’s list of Central Florida’s smaller attractions, then next time you’re in Orlando, plan a day to give at least one of them some of your love and, importantly, your tourist dollars.