The children´s paradise may just be the most magical place on earth. Orlando´s world of theme parks is the place where boys become pirates and girls turn into princesses, at least for a day. For any first-timer a visit can be a little overwhelming. Here is a little rundown on what you need to know.
WALT DISNEY WORLD: 4 theme parks – Magic Kingdom is perfect for all ages and has more to offer the younger members of the family than the other parks. Epcot is split into two sections, World Showcase and Future World. World Showcase represents 13 countries where you can stroll along a walkway as you experience sights, sounds and tastes of each country. It´s perfect for older kids and adults. Hollywood Studios is dedicated to the world of showbiz, in particular the golden Hollywood years of the 1930s and 1940s. Two of Disney´s most popular attractions are here – Hollywood Tower of Terror and Rock´n´Roller Coaster. Perfect for young and old. Animal Kingdom offers animal encounters, rides, shows, safaris, the marvelous rollercoaster Expedition Everest. It is perfect for all ages.
UNIVERSAL: 2 theme parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The two parks are independent entities that can either be visited separately or combined by purchasing a two-park ticket. They are both within walking distance of each other, divided by Universal Orlando´s dining and retail complex City Walk. If you are into Harry Potter, Universal is the place for you. Both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure offer The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
SEAWORLD: The place is as the name suggests a marine park. There are close encounters with the mammals of the ocean, thrilling rollercoaster rides, a water trip on a barge to Atlantis and lots of live shows featuring orcas and dolphins and more.
DISCOVERY COVE: Here you pretty much spend the day in the water. If you like action and/or activity, this is paradise. You snorkel in an artificial coral reef called The Grand Reef amongst sunken wrecks, side by side with elegant rays and through schools of tropical fish. You also get to hang on to a dolphin´s fin while it skims across the water with you in tow. Unforgettable.
LEGOLAND: Obviously this theme park is built for kids. Any kid who has ever built anything with LEGO will have a time of their life at LEGOLAND. It is a perfect destination for families traveling with small children.
BUSCH GARDENS (Tampa): Technically speaking, Busch Gardens is located in Tampa, an hour and a half by car from Orlando. But Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are partners so a two-park ticket might be an option if you want something unique. When you enter Busch Gardens´ Serengeti Plain you will think you are in Africa. It is the biggest outdoor zoo in Florida and you can see all the exotic animals of Africa either from the Serengeti Railway train or by choosing the Skyride. There are also several rides for thrill seekers at the theme park.