Swan Boats Suspended In March For Dock Replacement Fleet Expansion
By S.T. Cardinal | on February 27, 2022
Swan boats will not be available for rental in March as the aging dock where the foot-paddle-powered boats are harbored is replaced. S.T. CARDINAL
The much-loved swan boats at Lake Eola Park wont be available for rental in March as the aging dock that harbors the fleet is replaced.
The expanded dock will accommodate the expansion of the swan boat fleet, which is growing from eight to 12. According to City of Orlando public information officer Samantha Holsten, each new swan boat costs $6,100.
This new dock could be moved across the lake years from now. The Lake Eola Park Master Plan, a blueprint to redesign the park to serve the community for the next five decades, included a relocation of swan boat rentals to the other side of the lake where the farmers market is held. Holsten said the dock expansion in March is not part of the master plan, but the dock would be movable if necessary.
Swan boats will be available for rental once again when the new dock is completed in April. For $15, you can get a 30-minute rental on a four-seater, foot-paddle-powered swan boat for a relaxing time on Orlandos most famous lake.
Shimmering Waters Stunning Skyline
Lake Eola is located in downtown Orlando, a slice of the sublime amidst the suburban.
The water reflects Orlandos azure sky before being stirred by a soft wind, which whisks up shimmering ripples across Lake Eola. . .although, strictly speaking, its not actually a lake. The pleasantly cool water springs up from a natural aquifer 200 feet below and is mingled with rainwater from above because Lake Eola is actually a water-filled sinkhole!1 Who knew sinkholes could be so pretty?
Well, cattle baron Jacob Uncle Jake Summerlin must have known because, in 1873, he purchased the tract of land containing it. The glittering sinkhole was a popular spot for settlers to cool down in the heat of the day, so Jake decided to donate the land in 1883, but on one condition it was to be turned into a park that would beautify the city.
Lake Eola Park was born out of generosity. But theres also a shroud of mystery across these waters. Where did the name Eola come from? Its been whispered that Jakes son, Robert, had a sweetheart by that name who tragically died of typhoid fever two weeks before the wedding. . .however, that grim tale of doomed romance has been contested by historians.4 The official answer is. . .we dont know who Eola was. The mystery continues.
Speaking of swan boats. . .I think its about time we start paddling!
Lake Eola Park Orlando Swan Boatsbooking Unavailable On Tripadvisor
Char JFun and lovely at sunset
So much fun! We went at sunset and enjoyed the paddle boat experience. It was busy but not too crowded. Lovely evening and fun! Life jackets for all so felt very safe. Friendly employees. Took our photo for us at end . Super friendly! Fun and upbeat activity for adults snd kidsTravelingMiddleAgersWithTeensLake Eola Swan Boating
This was a pleasantly surprising activity. Our family had a very nice time out on the lake. It rained lightly and the boat roof was sufficient for comfort. My spouse and youngest son did the peddling while my oldest son and I relaxed in the back seat. The attendant who took our initial information was quite nice. The attendants that helped us shove off and return were not friendly, but not rude either. The lake is a beautiful gem in the middle of a busy city. There was on-street parking for one dollar/hour. There were public restrooms nearby. I don’t think we would do this again, but we all had an enjoyable time during this activity.Brenda V
3 hours waiting for boat ride . Excuse was they were closed cu of winds . It was a gorgeous day and no winds. Sat around playing on their cell phones.Odyssey345989Poor customer service
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Would The Real Swans Please Step Forward
In addition to adorable swan boats, youll also see some real, live swans paddling across Lake Eola.
The ancestors of these swans came to Lake Eola in 1922, when an Englishman raising swans in Lake Lucerne, Florida, had to separate his flock after two different breeds got into a battle over territory.6
Today, five breeds of swan swim around the lake, including the Royal Mute Swan, after whom the swan boats are modeled. Even if they werent chosen as models, each swan receives equal care with annual veterinarian checkups. All Lake Eola swans also possess a microchip in case they happen to get lost outside of the park.
Along with shots of the skyline and swan boats, these sweet friends are also great additions to your Instagram feed! And speaking of feed, these swans like getting treats.
Youre welcome to befriend the swans with a tasty morsel, as long as it fits in within their diet. Bread is actually bad for swans and can cause severe dietary problems instead, bring a head of lettuce or some spinach leaves for these feathered friends! Another option is to purchase some special swan-safe pellets from one of the three feeders around the park.
A leisurely walk, some tasty lunch , and a swan boat ride around this beautiful lake are all the ingredients necessary for a picture-perfect day or a fairytale! Walt Disney World, eat your heart out!
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Lake Eolas Famous Fountain
And then theres that famous fountain. Its such a prominent and well-known symbol of Downtown Orlando that it has become the official icon of the City of Orlando. Over the past 61-years it has been one of the citys most photographed landmarks. The original Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain was built in 1957 to celebrate Orlandos 100th birthday. After a lightning strike in 2009 to a system that was aging and already experiencing problems, it was completely refurbished in 2011, to the tune of $1.5 million dollars.
At night the 60-foot-tall fountain comes alive with a choreographed show set to music. The colors of the water and the musical themes change with the occasion or season. The fountain is lit up to honor dozens of different organizations and causes throughout the year. Shows run nightly at approximately 8:00 and 9:30 PM, lasting about 6 minutes. The fountain is impressive any time of day, but is especially beautiful at night with all the bright colors reflecting in the water.
The Lake Eola fountain has received TripAdvisors Certificate of Excellence Award, which is earned by consistently getting great reviews by travelers. The fountain is ranked #45 of 456 things to do in Orlando.
Lake Eolas Famous Fountain
About Lake Eola Swan Boat
When Orlando was a much smaller city, just finding its wealth from the citrus trade, Lake Eola was part of its downtown. Today, Orlando is the fifth-biggest city in the United States, yet Lake Eola Park still stands there, perfectly preserved, at its heart. Of course, the park has developed a few new amenities over time, including an outdoor amphitheater and one-mile running path around its perimeter. Most iconic amongst the area’s entertainments, though, is the Lake Eola Swan Boat. Visitors can rent these swan-shaped paddle boats, each capable of holding five adults as they cruise around the Lake, enjoying views of the surrounding neighborhoods and listening to the unsatisfied sighs of swans who wish they were ducks.
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Where To Park At Lake Eola
One of Lake Eolas strengths is also its weakness. Lake Eola Park is located right in the heart of Downtown Orlando. And like most other busy downtown districts parking can be an issue. Since we were there during an off time of day, there were some street parking available. That was a blessing and certainly saved us the frustration of bumper to bumper traffic all vying for the same occasional empty spot.
If you park on Washington, Central, or Rosalind you will have to feed the meter. Free parking is available on Eola Drive . Otherwise, there are a number of paid parking lots and parking garages nearby, ranging in price from 3-10 bucks. Uber is also a good alternative, as any parking violators are swiftly towed.
NOTE:For the most up-to-date information on Lake Eola parking, its best to ask your GPS-enabled device prior to arrival. The physical address is 512 East Washington Street, Orlando Florida.
Lake Eolas Scenic Sidewalk is .9 Miles Long
Swan Boat Fleet Expands To 12 With New Paint Jobs
ORLANDO, Fla. Orlandos iconic swan boats have returned to Lake Eola after more than a month of renovations.
During a ceremony Friday, city leaders unveiled the changes made to the boats and dock at the northwest corner of the lake.
The swans are the most recognizable icon in our city, District 3 Commissioner Patty Sheehan said. Were so happy to have our live swans and also have an experience. People love these swan boats.
The boats have been closed since early March so the city could reconstruct a new dock to accommodate a newly expanded fleet from eight to 12 swan boats.
The project was $105,000 and included a new dock constructed with modern materials and LED lighting.
People understand what a great investment this is and people love this and we already had people waiting in line ready to take rides this morning, Sheehan said.
The refurbishments also included painting the boats to reflect each breed of swan and renaming them after some of Lake Eolas most famous residents.
It was so nice to see Queenie and have a boat named after her because shes such a special swan, Sheehan said. We finally got her a mate and she had babies and now we got five black neck swans there. The rarest swans.
The swans are available to rent for 30-minute trips around Lake Eola on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
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The Sights Along Lake Eolas Scenic Sidewalk
As we entered Lake Eola Park the serene scene looked exactly like I had seen on those fabulous Florida postcards. The colorful and contemporary high-rises of Downtown Orlando provide the perfect backdrop for this popular lakeside destination. The sidewalk that encircles the lake is just under a mile long . Even without a Fitbit on your wrist, walkers, joggers, and runners can easily keep track of distance. Hubby and I visited Lake Eola on a weekday in March, in the middle of the day. It was a less-busy time so we were able to stroll the scenic sidewalk at a leisurely pace, purposely pausing from time to time to enjoy the peaceful scenery.
Along the way we saw people reading books, relaxing on the lawn, feeding the swans and other birds inhabiting the park, sightseeing from the rental swan-shaped paddle boats, and grabbing a bite to eat at the Relax Grill. The spectacular view of Orlandos skyline was gorgeous, just as expected. And since it was springtime in Florida, the flower beds were bubbling with beautiful blooms. They may not be your typical daffodils, since spring flowers are different here in the subtropics, but the botanical beauties in this climate do provide an awesome flower fix any time of year.
Lake Eola Black and White Swans
Lake Eola Bird Feeding Stations
Lake Eola Springtime Flower Blooms
Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Swan Boats Available to Rent
The Relax Grill at Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola The Iconic Symbol Of Downtown Orlando
Orlando Florida, the vacation capital of the world! Though the Sunshine State is synonymous with Disney and other world-class theme parks, its so much more than that. Over the years Orlando has evolved from a small citrus-centered city to the rapidly growing cultural metropolis we see today. But with that evolution, one thing has remained unchanged the iconic symbol of Downtown Orlando: Lake Eola! With its graceful swans and majestic fountain, it is still the center of The City Beautiful.
Whether youre a tourist desperately searching for a respite from Mickey and his exhausting magic, or a life-long Floridian on a mission to see more of this great state, Lake Eola Park provides the perfect place to simmer down, loosen up and chill out. Ive lived in Florida for 18 years, and until recently, never spent any quality time at Lake Eola. Sure, hubby and I have driven past the famous fountain a million times, and even stopped once with our grandson to check out the awesome Lake Eola Christmas Tree . But when our daughter moved to the Downtown district it was a clear sign Lake Eola needed further exploration.
Lake Eola Park Downtown Orlando
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Lake Eola Park Swan Boat Rentals
The City of Orlando rents pedal-powered swan boats on historic Lake Eola so guests can view the park from the lake and enjoy the fountain up close. Tickets are only available at Lake Eola and cost $15 for a 30 minute rental. We accept debit or credit only.Boats can seat up to five people and have a weight limit of 1,400 pounds. Pets and service animals are welcome. A wheelchair accessible boat is available.
What Is Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is a lovely square park in the heart of Downtown Orlando. It has a sidewalk that circles the lake, perfect for dog walking, running or jogging. Plus, its a haven for wildlife with so many birds living in the park. Its also full of mature trees, beautiful flower beds and has a fantastic view of Orlandos skyline too.
Lake Eola Park is also home to the Walt Disney Amphitheater which is a beautiful rainbow stage structure and open air seating, perfect for seeing a concert, movie or play. Its such a beautiful space, with the lake in the background.
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