Arguably the leading theme park destination in the world, for families and thrill-seekers alike, there’s nowhere quite like Orlando. With the arrival of Walt Disney World® in the 1960’s and Universal Orlando®, Seaworld® Orlando and Legoland® Florida following soon after, this small Florida city firmly established itself as the USA’s go-to holiday destination. Travellers come in their thousands to visit Orlando’s big-ticket theme parks, and it’s easy to see why. With innovative rides, endless entertainment, beautiful surroundings and both luxury and affordable accommodation aplenty, Orlando stands alone as the one-stop-shop for all things family fun.
As magnificent as the worlds of Walt Disney and Universal may be, a venture beyond the theme park gates reveals another side to Orlando, where rich cultural scenes, striking nature reserves, world-class shops and restaurants all find their home. Whatever your agenda, some downtime spent in Orlando’s inner-city ensures you’ll appreciate and enjoy the magic and mania of the theme parks all the more.
From hotels to rides and everything in between, here’s a brief run-down of things to know and expect from your Orlando getaway…
No Orlando holiday is complete without exploring the region’s epic theme parks. Here’s our round-up of the region’s top theme parks not to be missed.
Comprised of four main theme parks, Walt Disney World® is Orlando’s largest and, some will say, most magnificent of parks. For the young, and the young at heart, you’ll find all your favourite childhood moments come to life at Magic Kingdom®, where the Cinderella Castle remains the standout. The other three parks, Epcot®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® and Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, are just as outstanding. Be sure to make a splash at the waterparks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, too.
Have the most epic of underwater adventures at SeaWorld® Orlando, where ocean animals, rides and dazzling shows come together. SeaWorld® Park is known for it’s thrilling live shows, while Discovery Cove® offers relaxing swims with dolphins and an idyllic oasis away from the rides. SeaWorld®’s waterpark Aquatica® is another favourite, with fast-paced water rides, more animal encounters and extra doses of excitement the order of the day here. Just a few miles from their neighbours, SeaWorld®’s Busch Gardens® and Adventure Island® are not to be missed either.
Universal Orlando® comprises of two immersive theme parks, Universal Studios® and Universal’s Islands of Adventures®, both of which offer fun for the whole family. From adventures with the likes of Spider-Man™ and Shrek, to discovering the world of Hogwarts with Harry Potter™, there’s plenty to entertain at these two amazing movie-inspired offerings. Traveller’s are also eagerly anticipating the arrival of Universal’s Volcano Bay™, a brand-new park where thrills and spills will meet a tropical paradise. Volcano Bay™ opens early Summer 2017.
Central Florida’s latest theme park and another major player in Orlando is Legoland® Florida. Specifically centred around families with children between the ages of 2-12 years, Legoland® boasts interactive shows, rides, amazing LEGO displays and so much more!