Florida’s Best Theme Parks
Whether you love screaming at the top of your lungs, hugging characters, watching shows, or simply enjoying a fun and action-packed day out, you can’t argue that a theme park experience is the perfect break from normality. There are countless theme parks all over the world, but when it comes to the Mecca of the rollercoaster land, you have to cast your mind towards Florida.
This has long been the go-to for family fun, mainly for Disney World and Universal, and Orlando is where most of the fun is centred. It’s also quite easy to find a cheaper flight heading to the Sunshine State nowadays, meaning that more and more people can enjoy all the thrill and spills of this action-packed city. One thing a theme park holiday to Florida/Orlando is, is tiring with a capital T; you will need comfortable shoes for all that walking!
So, which theme parks do you need to be heading to on your Floridian adventure?
Walt Disney World
We’re going to lump four parks and two water-parks into one category here, but bear with me. You have the magical and downright fantastic Magic Kingdom, all the high energy rides of Hollywood Studios (my personal favourite), the educational fun of Epcot, and the nature and ‘awww’ factor of Animal Kingdom. All have signature large rides and rollercoasters, shows, attractions, and of course, characters. My personal favourite is Hollywood Studios, because I love Tower of Terror! Aside from this you have Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach, the two Disney water-parks, which are like theme parks themselves. No visit to Florida is complete without a bit of time with Mickey Mouse.
Again, we’re lumping two parks together – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The massive rides are mainly at Universal, rather than Disney, so for those who want to scream at the top of their lungs, this is the place to head. The Hulk rollercoaster at Islands of Adventure was my personal favourite, and believe me, it is massive and very fast! Universal Studios is good for anyone into film production too, and the new Minions attraction will prove very popular indeed.
Remember Shamu? Well, it’s not the original Shamu anymore, but SeaWorld is home to the famous killer whale show, the tear-inspiring dolphin show, sea lions, rays, and even a polar bear. You will of course find the big rides here too, with Kraken a serious thrill ride, as well as Manta, a floorless rollercoaster. Make sure you make time for the shows, because they’re what makes SeaWorld famous.
Part of the same group as SeaWorld, Busch Gardens is located in Tampa, and is home to big rides again. Probably not as easy to get to if you’re centring yourself where most of the large parks are, in Orlando, you will need a car or to find a bus tour heading to this part of the state. Busch Gardens is based on nature, so this is a good one for anyone into animals and wildlife, with thrills and spills thrown in.
These are the main theme parks, although there are other parks which are more water-based, such as Aquatica, and Discovery Cove (my personal favourite). All the parks offer discounted entry if you buy bulk tickets, for example, if you buy a five days’ Disney pass, it will work out cheaper than buying five individual days, so do a little planning before you go and work out how many days you need for each park.
It’s impossible to see everything Florida has to offer in terms of high octane theme parks, but throw on a pair of comfy shoes, a hat to protect you from that hot sun, and get ready to scream at the top of young lungs!