For adrenalin addicts and roller coaster fanatics there’s only one place to go for the holiday of a lifetime – Florida! Orlando is the world centre of theme parks, holding five of TripAdvisor’s top ten amusement parks in the world for 2017, and is unrivalled as a holiday destination for family-friendly travel. Disney dominates the Florida theme park scene, but Universal’s film-themed rides are also huge contenders alongside a number of other water and adventure parks. Let’s take a look at some of the best!
Magic Kingdom is the most famous of Disney’s parks, where you can find the iconic Cinderella Castle. The kids can meet all their favourite characters and watch the parades, and the whole family can get their thrills on some of Disney’s best-known rides like Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and It’s a Small World. The park is always being updated to feature Disney’s most recent releases, and there are more than enough rides to cater from all age ranges from toddlers to teenagers.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure park brings to life famous films, stories and characters with hair-raising rides and impressive special effects. Marvel superheroes, Jurassic Park dinosaurs and King Kong all make appearances, alongside more child-friendly attractions like Toon Lagoon and Seuss Landing. Our top pick is the 3D animated thrill ride based on The Amazing Spider-Man.
Animal Kingdom is Disney’s nature themed park, with a big focus on animal conservation. It’s main landmark is the Tree of Life, and the park is divided into six areas each with its own theme. Guests can go on safaris and jungle treks to see endangered animals in high quality habitats, enjoy water rapids and thrill rides, and learn about the animals that feature in Disney’s most beloved stories. In May 2017 Disney welcome a new attraction to the park, based on the magical world of Pandora from Avatar.
Travel around the world and take a look into the future at Epcot, a Disney park dedicated to technology and culture. World Showcase consists of 11 sections each dedicated to a different country where visitors can explore the landscape, culture and cuisine of the nations, while Future World features displays and interactive activities for visitors to learn about recent technological advancements and imagine the world of the future.
Universal Studios is the go-to attraction for film and TV buffs – the park is a real motion picture studio where visitors can explore the sets of their favourite films and shows. There’s a New York street set, a Hollywood sidewalk recreation and a San Francisco backdrop, as well as rides, a 4D Shrek attraction and a Woody Woodpecker-themed kidzone. It’s also known for its seasonal events, most notably their Halloween Horror Nights, Mardi Gras and Christmas celebrations.
Wizarding Worlds are starting to pop up across the world, and while you can go to the UK attraction on a much smaller budget, Orlando is still home to the first and the best. The attraction consists of two parts – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – that allow you to experience the magic of Hogwarts and relive Harry’s adventures. Take on dragons in the Triwizard Tournament, escape from Gringotts Bank, and board the famous Hogwarts Express.
What’s your favourite Florida theme park? Are there any you are dying to go to?
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