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

Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Aquatica


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

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



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



With Diagon Alley delighting the Potter people, Springfield USA luring Simpson fans worldwide and the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride still high on visitors' lists, Universal Studios Florida gives its sister park more than a run for its money....  Read More

Epcot ®


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

South Orlando
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

Magic Kingdom® Park
Photo courtesy of Visit Orlando


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



From the towering sight of Hogwarts Castle as you explore the Wizarding World's Hogsmeade to the colorful fun of Seuss Landing (ideal for the littlest one in your party) and the old-school flume-ride fun of Jurassic Park to the innovative...  Read More

Disney's Animal Kingdom ®


Chase after the yeti on the peaks of the Himalayas, shoot the Kali Rapids on a lush and beautiful Indian river, go back in time to find dinosaurs on a prehistoric, dark-ride journey and delight in a colorful, fun musical presentation of "Finding...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.