Scream if you want to go faster!
There’s no denying that if you’re looking for the ultimate theme park thrill, then Florida is the place to go. Orlando is packed with more theme parks per square mile than seemingly anywhere else in the world, all full of rollercoaster fun, ride heaven, and parades to make you smile. It’s borderline impossible to visit Florida, specifically Orlando, and not have a smile on your face.
The downside of this is that there are so many parks, you might not know where to spend your time. The thing with holidays in this sunny part of the world is that unless you target your time, and give it a little pre-thought, you’re going to spend your hours wandering around aimlessly, wasting precious hours.
To help make your time easier, here’s a guide to the theme parks you can scream at your top of the lungs in when you visit Florida.
Busch Gardens, Tampa
For anyone who loves wildlife and nature, this is a great choice. Now, it’s not a serene kind of place despite the setting, it’s actually scream central, packed with huge rides, such as SheiKra, as well as more nature-based rides, such as Serengeti Safari. Animal encounters are the norm here too. You can buy passes in conjunction with Orlando parks too, such as SeaWorld, to give you more value for money.
Discovery Cove, Orlando
This is one for those seeking serenity! Almost like a castaway island, Discovery Cove limits the number of guests per day, so it’s never packed, and you have to pre-book in order to get in. Swimming with dolphins, feeding rays, interacting with tropical birds, sunbathing, eating until you can’t eat no more (this is an all-inclusive deal), and snorkelling, are all activities to pack into your day.
Whether you’ve been or not, everyone knows SeaWorld for the famous whale Shamu. Whilst Shamu isn’t there anymore, there are still killer whales, dolphins, rays, colourful fish, and all manner of other marine-life to enjoy, as well as rides, such as the fantastic Manta, where you swoop through the air on your front, before flipping onto your back. This park is also bigger than you think, so you will need your walking shoes. Don’t miss the dolphin show, Blue Horizons, it’s totally breath-taking.
Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, Orlando
We’ll lump these two together because they are actually co-joined and sit next to each other. Decide whether you want to visit both, or just one, and buy your ticket accordingly, in order to save money. Universal Studios is one for the film buffs out there, where you can learn how films are made, as well as scream your lungs out on one of the massive rides, such as The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman.
Alternatively, Islands of Adventure has many rides to grab your attention too, such as the huge Incredible Hulk Coaster. Remember that this particular park also includes the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a must visit for fans of the film. Walk through Hogwarts and you won’t fail to be amazed, try butterbeer, choose a wand, and ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, for a true interactive thrill.
This is a water park specifically, but there are many differences to it which make it worth a visit for the day. Again, you can lump together SeaWorld tickets with Aquatica, as well as Busch Gardens, so decide where you want to go and order packages to cut costs.
The main attraction here is the massive water slide, where you ride through a tube surrounded by dolphins, colourful fish, and swooping rays, before chilling out in the sun along the lazy river perhaps.
Disney World, Orlando
The ultimate theme park and entertainment district in the world! Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot make up the main parks, as well as two water parks – Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach.
The best advice for visiting Disney World is to work out how many days you want to spend in each park, and to buy your ticket bundle. You will find unlimited bundles for 14 or 7 days, but if you’re wanting to visit other parks in Florida, then it’s no good buying a 14 day pass, as you’re going to be wasting money. Work it out and buy accordingly.
Each park is certainly worth a day or two’s visit for each, and Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, certainly deserve two days each. The parades are amazing, and a good way to cut the time you’re waiting for big rides is to head there during a parade time; so catch the morning parade, and head to big rides during the afternoon one, to see if the queue time is less. You can also take advantage of the Fast Pass service.
There is far too much to mention where Disney World is concerned, but the best advice is to sort out your ticket needs, wear very comfortable shoes, remember sunscreen, and to try and fuel up on breakfast to get you through the day. There’s simply far too much to see!
As you can tell, Florida is a theme park lover’s dream!
Photo Credit: Kevin Timothy