Tubing By Orlando The Best Non Disney Experience

Whenever we think Orlando, we think Disney and amusement parks. And YES they have some good ones! But there are also some other cool attractions for families by Orlando that are Non Disney related. One of our favorites is tubing by Orlando! Our favorite place to go tubing in Florida is down the clear waters of Kelly Rock Spring.

Also, be sure to check out our Florida Road Trip as this is a stop on the route!

The Best Tubing by Orlando is at Kelly Rock Springs

Kelly Rock Springs is about a 30 minute drive from Orlando but it is so worth it! You won’t even believe you are that close to Orlando when you get the Spring and see the beautiful spring and trees all around you.

You are welcome to bring your own floating device (something like this super cheap one on Amazon) but if it easier you can stop at the bar up the street and rent some heavy-duty inner tubes to use. To do that you will go to: Rock Springs Bar and Grill (4939 Rock Springs Rd Apopka, Florida 32712). It is literally a small older building so pay attention and just look for the fence area filled with inner tubes. Then you know you are in the right place.

Inner Tube Rental_ Rock Springs Bar and Grill

These inner tubes are big so bring some bungee cords or some other way to secure them to your car. Our bike rack worked pretty well.

Loading up for some tubing by Orlando

Once you get the park you will have to pay to get in. $3 to $5 depending how many people are in your car. Also note that the park states it usually is filled to capacity by 10am in the hot summer months. So if you are trying to go in the summer you will want to get there early to get in.

We went in December and we were the only one’s there for a while. The water was cool, but not unbearable and with the sun out it was really nice!

Park your car and walk a little ways to get to the beach area – which is in the middle of the inner tubing spring trail. You can leave your things here and then carry your tubes up to the top of the spring.

When we were walking on the trail we were kind of confused on where we were going but if you just keep walking up from the beach area you will eventually see the signs and find the starting spot of the spring/river.

Tranquil waters for tubing by Orlando

There is a nice overlook area so if not everyone in your party is going to be tubing make sure they come with camera in hand to capture some great pictures. It looks like a jungle!

KellyRockSprings

When you are ready to get in you will want to carefully walk over the rocks, drop your tube in, and jump on! We really loved how absolutely crystal clear the water was. You could see straight to the bottom and the colors were so beautiful.

Family tubing by Orlando

Once you get in your tube be ready to go. The water is moving at a decent pace and your tube is going to be ready to start floating down to the beach! P.S. don’t let kids in first unless you have a good hold on their tube, the current will take them straight down river.

OrlandoTubing2

Once everyone is in you take off and down the river you go! As you get away from the entrance spot you really start to feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. There is lush vegetation on either side of you and you can’t see anything but green on both sides.

Spend all day tubing by Orlando

Some of our kids were a little freaked out and DID not enjoy it. They were afraid something was going to jump out at them or bite their butt through the middle of the inner tube! I don’t blame them it was definitely a little bit scary with all the mangroves around you and you are just floating down the river with no where to go.

Then some of our kids absolutely loved it! I have to say I was a little uncertain at first . . . but it really was beautiful and such a cool experience.

Some of the kids got out of the tubes and actually swam along next to us for most of the time. The nice part about that was the water was so clear that we could see them the whole time.

Tubing

Once you get down to the end you can decide to go over by the beach (swim hole area) and be done with tubing or else you can keep going until you come to a blockage in the river where you can get out and carry your tube back up by the beach area.

OrlandoSprings

It wasn’t super warm when we went and I can only imagine how refreshing the water would feel on a super hot Florida day – thought it is a lot busier in the summer! When you are in the Orlando area block a day out to come hang out by the spring, eat a picnic lunch, and go tubing down the river 1, 2 or 10 times! Plus the beach area was perfect for little kids to hang out and place! So take a time-out from all the theme parks and try some tubing by Orlando!

Here’s a list of a few things to bring with when you’re tubing by Orlando:

Innertube – It can be heavy duty or just a plain old pool innertube.

Keens – There are a lot of rocks and mucky mud at the bottom of the river. Protect your feet!

Snorkel Gear – With the crystal clear water, bring some goggles and a snorkel!

GoPro – This experience prompted us to get a GoPro. We actually stopped at Best Buy on the way home to get one!

Here is our Friday Family Chat as we are tubing by Orlando!

For more info on tubing by Orlando you can check out the Kelly Rock Springs Flier here.

Check out our post on another Fun Non Disney thing to do by Orlando: Showcase of Citrus and here are some great ideas if you want to hit the Florida Beaches!

For more state park fun by Orlando check out: Rainbow Springs state park, Ichetucknee Springs state park, Blackwater River state park, Blue Springs state park, Rock Springs Run state reserve.

Non Disney



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28 thoughts on “Tubing By Orlando The Best Non Disney Experience”

  1. This looks like so much fun! We will be going to Orlando in a few months and would love to try it out. How long does the entire “float” take? And what about alligators???

    • It’s about a 10 minute float. I’m not too sure about alligators, I don’t remember seeing any signs saying they were in the area, but it is Florida, so exercise caution!

  2. Just wondering if you knew the price to rent the tubes know it could have changed but just trying to get an idea thanks

    • I believe it was like $5 a tube or something like that. It was very reasonable. You do have to leave your license or some other form of ID there and then you get it back when you return the tubes.

  3. We’ve been to Orlando before but haven’t heard of this until now. Thanks for the wonderful tips. We’re going back in a few weeks and will give this a go 🙂 Cheers!

    • It does not. We left our stuff down at the bottom and then carried the tubes up to where you start. Yes we took a chance someone could take our things. If you are worried I would recommend bringing a waterproof bag to put your cell phone and keys in.

  4. Thanks for the reminder about this great park. I was looking for some new activities for me and the kiddos this summer and I am going to take them back over here. I haven’t been in ages! There are so many wonderful natural things to do in Florida.

  5. Thanks for this post! We went tubing last week and had a great time–we wouldn’t have known about this without this post! Tube rentals are now $7/tube and parking is $5, so it is a really inexpensive activity that’s great fun. One thing, there was some weather right when we got there and one of the lifeguards was trying to convince everyone that the park would be closed for the rest of the day (it was about 3 pm). Some people who had just gotten there were really angry and left. But we decided to wait it out. About 45 minutes passed and they re-opened the springs. This lifeguard was a real piece of work; I think she was hoping to get the rest of the day off or something. I feel really bad for those people who left!

    • Very cool, glad you found it useful! Thanks for the update on pricing, they changed a bit from when we went. Too true about the weather. In Florida, it can pass quickly so definitely worth trying to wait it out!

  6. Really want to do this but I am petrified of the thought of alligators…feeling like they could take a nice bite out of my 5 year old…

    • Yeah, being Florida, you always have to be conscious of alligators. The park staff wasn’t concerned about it at all and usually there are quite a few people there so hopefully the staff would be aware of it so no one would be in danger. But definitely, be careful and do what feels right to you.

  7. Looks like fun… question – Is this activity suitable for non-swimmers?
    Are the springs really deep? Are the currents strong enough to possibly take you out of tube? & are there lifeguards the whole way?
    Thanks in advance!

    • I’d say you’d want to exercise caution with non-swimmers. The river isn’t very deep, our kids were standing about waist deep at some points, but it is a moving current which can be a problem for non-swimmers. The current won’t take you out of the tube, it’s not that strong, but it is moving. When we were there, there weren’t any lifeguards at all, so be aware of that. Hope that helps!

  8. This looks fab! Quick question – Is this a suitable enough activity for non-swimmers? (Adult)
    Is the spring really deep? Or is the current strong enough to take you off of the tube? Are there lifeguards the whole way round?

  9. This place is great. I lived in Orlando for 5 years and my friends and I would go here all the time. Something that I was surprised wasn’t mentioned in this post is that there ARE alligators in this area. Sometimes you see them, sometimes not. They mostly keep to themselves, sunning on the side of the banks, but personally, my friends and I were always more comfortable renting canoes as opposed to the tubes.
    I am only saying this caution because if you go with kids, keep them near you and keep aware. Most visitors who are not from Florida aren’t used to living with alligators, so they are either overly cautious or not cautious enough.

    • Great catch. We’ll update the post with this info. We recently revisited this tubing area and had a water snake swim right past us. It couldn’t have cared less about us, but it freaked the kids a bit. Just another good thing to let people know before visiting.

  10. My family is heading down to FL in 2 weeks, from MN!!! This sounds like something we would definitely enjoy!!! Can you float as many times as you would like for the one price, or do you pay/float? (We have 6 people in our family!!) Thanks!

  11. Video was amazing. I am trying to figure out things to do other than universal and this is definitely on our list after reading/watching your blog/video. I am sure I (mom) will be the one freaking out about things that could “eat” me but I am also the one going “hey, lets go here!” lol We will for sure be making this a stop for our Florida 2020 trip. Thank you so much!

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