Orlando, Florida, is sometimes referred to as the theme park capital. You could easily spend a long vacation in Orlando doing nothing but going from one theme park to the next. You could even spend all your time at Disneyworld alone and never run out of things to do. Today’s theme parks are multifaceted entertainment centers that offer far more than rides. They have activities and attractions for people of all ages and interests. Here are the top five theme parks in Orlando.
Walt Disney World
The Walt Disney World complex consists of several distinct theme parks in addition to many hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, golf courses and other attractions. If Disney is your main reason for visiting Orlando, you should consider staying at one of the hotels located within the complex.
- Magic Kingdom Park. This is the most iconic Disney attraction, with rides dedicated to Disney movies and shows. Kids love to have their photos taken with favorite movie characters such as Goofy, Donald Duck and Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One of the world’s largest animal parks. You’ll find thousands of animals here, divided into regions such as Africa, Asia, Discovery Island and Oasis. There’s also entertainment, dining and rides.
- Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, making this one of Disney’s more educational and scientific theme parks. It’s also lots of fun, however, with hands-on exhibits and experiments. There are also Disney characters milling around and foods from all over the world.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Rides and entertainment dedicated to movies. Favorites include Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, The Great Movie Ride, Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
SeaWorld is another attraction that draws millions of people to Orlando. Here you can see an amazing variety of aquatic creatures such as sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sea lions sharks, penguins and much more. The whole family can interact with animals in exhibits such as Dolphin Encounter and Wild Arctic Animals Up-Close tour. SeaWorld also has some exciting rides, including thrilling roller coasters named Kraken and Manta. As with Disney, there are hotels and hotel packages that let you enjoy SeaWorld while staying nearby.
Universal Studios Orlando
Universal Studios Orlando, along with Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is the leading attraction in Orlando for fans of blockbuster movies. Leading rides include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Skull Island: Reign of Kong. There’s a wide variety of evening entertainment, such as Blue Man Group and Hard Rock Live. Another favorite at this theme park is Universal’s Superstar Parade, an interactive event that features giant floats, costumed characters and street performers.
Fun Spot America
Fun Spot America is an affordable, old-fashioned amusement park. It’s a good choice if you want to enjoy traditional favorites like Go-Karts and White Lightening, one of the few wooden roller coasters currently in operation. Fun Spot America is also known for its fun and reasonable bars. You’re also less likely to encounter long lines for rides and other attractions here than at larger, higher profile theme parks.
I-Drive 360 is one of Orlando’s newer theme parks. It’s most distinctive attraction is The Orlando Eye, a 400-foot observation wheel. You’ll also find Madame Tussaud’s, Sea Life Aquarium and the unusual museum, Skeletons Animals Unveiled, where you can see the skeletons of over 450 animals. There’s also live entertainment and many places to dine and shop.
You have plenty of choices for taking a theme park vacation in Orlando. In truth, the above gives you far more than five theme parks, since Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld all contain multiple theme parks.
You have to face the reality that you can’t do all of Orlando’s theme parks in one trip unless you have a month to spare. To avoid getting overwhelmed, it’s best to pick a few destinations that you find especially appealing and that will give your family the most thrills.