Orlando is a fascinating blend of kids who are enthused about meeting Mickey and grown-up businesspeople who are less than enthused about the prospect of spending a sunny day locked up at their firm's annual executive retreat. If you're going to Orlando this month for an off-site, or to attend the Kid Power 2001 conference (May 6-9), here are a few grown-up diversions.
For an outing that's a little more satisfying than the teacup ride, head over to Lake Eola Park, one of the city's most charming urban oases and the site of the outdoor Orlando University of Central Florida Shakespeare Festival. May fifth is the last night to see Shakespeare's As You Like It, and tickets are available online. Lake Eola Park, Rosalind Avenue; http://orlando.citysearch.com/profile?fid=16&id=11311075
Ditch the Conference Center
Only 20 minutes away from the Magic Kingdom lies another, slightly wilder kingdom. Gatorland, an old-style tourist attraction from the 1940s, is home to nearly 750 of the scaly beasts. Don't miss "Gator Jumperoo," in which the crawlers leap for whole raw chickens. 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail; www.gatorland.com
Escape the Airport
For a real taste of Florida, take a seven-mile cab ride to the East Lake Fish Camp restaurant, off of Boggy Creek Road. Feast on a meal of gator, frog's legs, and catfish. 3744 Big Bass Road, Kissimmee; 407-348-2040.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.