New Additions & Venerable Classics in Orlando: the Best of the Theme-Park Capital



If you're going to drop your hard-earned cash at a theme park, being an informed consumer is imperative. The Disney complex alone, including the childhood fantasy land of the Magic Kingdom, exotic nations (not to mention fascinating live residents) of Animal Kingdom, sparkling liquid allure of Typhoon Lagoon, big-screen excitement of Hollywood Studios and the futuristic, multicultural playground of EPCOT, houses more parks than you can count on one hand. Add in Universal, SeaWorld and the myriad independently operated attractions vying for your leisure dollars and you've got some big decisions to make. Are you after the biggest roller coaster bang for your buck at a Disney venue? On the lookout for the best shows and interactive rides?  Maybe you’re searching for a dreamlike water park to help your family beat Orlando's formidable heat or feed the animals? Maybe you'd like to combine all three and opt for zip-lining over the alligator marsh at Gatorland? Well, whether you want to soar like Harry Potter at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure or just drink the Butterbeer, our Top 10 Theme Park rundown is a great place to begin your research. And if neither time nor money are any object? Easy: stay for two weeks and hit every single one.




Combining signature thrill rides and movie magic, Disney's Hollywood Studios is the only place where you can enjoy tot-friendly Muppetvision in 3D, then plummet 13 stories on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! Experiences here, particularly for...  Read More


9
Seaworld


This park has its share of thrills in the form of rapids and half-pipes and bullet-fast water chutes but what makes it truly special is its wildlife (in particular, its stars: the Commerson's dolphins) and the serene and playful ways in which...  Read More




SeaWorld is where education meets entertainment. Marvel in the tech advances and sensory immersion (it feels almost literal) as you follow the life journey of a sea turtle in the mercifully air-conditioned TurtleTrek. And for more of the latter,...  Read More


7
Epcot ®


EPCOT is now ubiquitous with both Disney and Orlando, but it's actually an acronym, standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and one of its two sections – Future World – is an ever-evolving testament to that very idea,...  Read More


6
Walt Disney World ®


Laid-back and all-ages friendly (with a few killer slides and rides to satisfy the thrill-seekers in your crew) Typhoon Lagoon offers up the cool waters the Orlando heat makes you crave all while enveloping visitors in the Disney magic they've...  Read More


5
Disney's Animal Kingdom ®


SeaWorld parses from every column, from the educational to the adrenaline-infused, to create a well rounded theme-park experience that will delight young and old. In the technologically spectacular column: TurtleTrek 4D, an all-ages experience...  Read More




With its Springfield USA addition luring Simpson fans worldwide and the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride still high on visitors' lists, Universal Studios Florida will soon be nipping at its sister park's heels as Diagon Alley – the newest...  Read More


3
South Orlando
Gatorland
Photo courtesy of Visit Kissimmee, Florida


It bills itself as "Orlando's best half-day attraction" and we tend to agree. In a city that often puts people at odds with their budget (time and/or money) with so many amazing parks to visit, Gatorland does the day's schedule for you: half...  Read More




Welcome to where it all began. Magic Kingdom may be the first of Walt Disney World's theme parks, but it's no less relevant. Recent years have seen doubling of New Fantasyland with the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and other noteworthy...  Read More




Not that it was in much danger before, but the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter more or less cemented Islands of Adventures' place atop the list of must-visits for Orlando-bound theme park enthusiasts, adding Harry Potter...  Read More


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Meet A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and roughly 15 as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster enthusiast,...  More About A.D.

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