The 10 best amusement parks in Orlando

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Index

  • Disney's Magic Kingdom
  • Universal Studios Florida
  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • Universal Island of Adventure
  • Legoland Florida
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Discovery Cove
  • Epcot
  • gatorland
  • Aquatica Park

Orlando, Florida is the world capital of amusement parks: I don't think there is a city in the rest of the world that can boast, within its territory, the presence of so many theme parks!

In the lead, of course, there is Disney World, followed by Universal Studios and Legoland. In short, there are a little for all tastes.



If Florida is the destination you have chosen for your trip to the United States, Orlando is practically a must.

Which amusement parks to visit? Well, that's up to you. To help you choose here is a ranking of 10 best amusement parks in Orlando:

Disney's Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom "the place where dreams come true" is the first, and longest-running, theme park in the fantastic world of Disney World.

Born in 1971, with his fairytale castle has become the symbol of amusement parks all over the world. It doesn't matter if you are 4 or 40 years old: Magic Kingdom is able to fascinate everyone, young and old, and to offer everyone the opportunity to have fun.

The park is divided into six different worlds, which all rejoin in front of Cinderella's castle: Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventurland. Each of them is made up of attractions that represent their spirit.



What to expect?

As we said, Magic Kingdom is made up of six worlds, each of which hosts different attractions, in keeping with the main theme of that world.

Fantasyland

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Ready to enter the realm of fantasy? Fantasyland is the place where the kingdom of fairy tales turns into reality.

This is where you can see the wonderful Cinderella's Castle, Cinderella's Castle, soaring through the skies with Dumbo, in Dumbo the Flying Elephant and on the magical ships of Peter Pan's Flight.

Also in Fantasyland, you can get on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (the Seven Dwarfs mine train), have tea with the mad hatter at the Mad Tea Party and hear Belle's stories at Enchanted Tales With Belle.

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is the land of the future, where science fiction and spaceships dominate: go on a mission with Buzz Lightyear in the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, enter the Mostropolis power plant with Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and fly into space with the Space Mountain intergalactic train.

Adventurland

Do you want a nice adventure? Then Adventurland is the right place for you: jump on the flying carpet and discover the world with The Carpets of Aladdin, or go on an exciting journey with Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.


Frontierland

If the good old West is your thing, then the world for you is Frontierland. Immerse yourself in the world of Tom Sawyer at Tom Sawyer's Island, dive into the river of Splash Mountain and board the border train of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.


Liberty Square

In Liberty Square, discover the story of the men who made America great in the Hall of Presidents, and step into the haunted world of Haunted Mansion.

Due to its fame, Magic Kingdom and its attractions tend to be particularly crowded, so if you decide to visit it, remember to arrive early and plan your visit carefully, going straight to the most popular and crowded games, and leaving for last are those that attract fewer people.

Opening Hours

Disney's Magic Kingdom is open every day by 9: 00 22 to: 00.

Cost

Il cost of tickets for Disney Magic Kingdom varies based on the date you choose to go, the number of days you purchase it for, and your age.

Day tickets are divided into three price ranges, with the minimum cost of the ticket varying according to the period of visit.

If you decide to visit Disney Magic Kingdom in a period when there are few visitors, you pay less, while on the busiest days the cost of the ticket increases:


Value (less crowded periods)

  • $ 103,00 for children (ages 3 to 9)
  • $ 109,00 for adults (ages 10 and up)

Regular

  • $ 113,00 for children
  • $ 119,00 for adults

Peak (periods of greatest crowding)


  • $ 123,00 for children
  • $ 129,00 for adults
Buy tickets for Disney's Magic Kingdom

Universal Studios Florida

Do you want to experience the thrill of entering a real movie studio and seeing the scenes of your favorite films shot? At Universal Studios Florida you can do this and more.

Located inside the Universal Studios Orlando amusement park, Universal Studios Florida offers its visitors numerous attractions dedicated to Universal's most popular films. The experience, certainly different from that offered by Universal Studios in Los Angeles, where films are still being shot, is still one not to be missed.

What to expect?

What can you expect from your visit to Universal Studios Florida? Many, many things! Taking a cue from the sets of Los Angeles, catapult visitors into their favorite films: from The Simpsons to Despicable Me, from Fast and Furious to Harry Potter, there are many adventures waiting for you at Universal Studios Florida. Here are the ones you absolutely cannot miss:

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

The most famous street in the magical world of Harry Potter has been rebuilt in every detail, including the most famous shops and the left Knockturn Alley. After taking a tour, you enter the Gringott, the bank run by the Goblins, where you set off on an exciting ride into its darkest recesses.

If you have an Explorer Ticket, you can go through the wall of the King's Cross Station to reach platform 9 and three quarters and go up sull’Hogwarts Express, which reaches Hogsmeade's Station on Island of Adventure.

Production Center

This is the connection point between Universal Studios in Los Angeles and those in Orlando, the place where you can immerse yourself in some of your favorite films.

So do not miss the attractions, some in 3D, which will catapult you directly into the magical world of cinema.

Take part in the epic battle between men and machines in Transformers: The Ride 3D, set off on an adventurous honeymoon with Shrek and Fiona in Shrek 4-D and enter the chaotic world of Gru and his Minions in Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

New York

Fly to New York, and take a ride on Delancey Street with the Blues Brothers, or travel back in time to the Ancient Egypt of the Mummy with Revenge of the Mummy The Ride.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, you will be catapulted into the adventurous world of Fast & Furious with the brand new attraction Fast & Furious – Supercharged (opening scheduled for spring 2018).

Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone

The Woody Woodpecker's KidZone is the area dedicated to the fun of the little ones: watch the animals act in Animal Actors on Location !, jump on the flying bicycle and save ET in ET Adventure and set off for a fun exploration in Curious George Goes to Town.

What about Woody Woodpecker? Well, he will take you on a roller coaster of Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster.

Opening Hours

Universal Studios Florida is open every day from 9: 00 to 19: 00.

Cost

The cost of day tickets to Universal Studios Florida starts from $ 105,00 for children and $ 110,00 for adults if you choose the formula Value, which allows access to the park only at certain times.

with the formula Anytime it is possible to access the park at any time; the cost in this case is $ 119,00 for children and $ 124,00 for adults.

Buy tickets for Disney's Magic Kingdom

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando is more than an aquarium, and even a simple water park!

Here you can not only see the most interesting marine species up close, but also have fun and experience spectacular adventures on its fantastic attractions.

What to expect?

Paths to discover marine environments, live shows and amazing roller coasters are the protagonists at SeaWorld Orlando. Here are the ones you absolutely cannot miss:

Face to face with the animals

SeaWorld is not just an aquarium, but a real sensory and emotional experience that leads you to discover the magical underwater world.

Ad Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, you will find yourself face to face with 5 different species of penguins, while a Dolphin Cove you will see dolphins swimming both above and below the surface of the water.

Belugas, but also walruses and seals, you can meet them on the journey to the Arctic of Wild Arctic.

Orca Underwater Viewing e Shark Encounter offer you the chance to see some of the most feared species of the underwater world up close.

by TurtleTrek is the section dedicated to sea turtles and the challenges they face every day to survive in a sea made more and more inhospitable by man.

Also not to be missed is Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, la Stingray Lagoon, where you can pet these friendly relatives of the races.

Finally, don't miss the chance to enjoy a good meal by being close to the killer whale tank with Dine with Shamu.

shows

The protagonists of the shows offered are some of the most beautiful and majestic mammals that inhabit the oceans.

Dolphin Days stars the Bottlenose Dolphins, the cutest and happiest dolphins in the Ocean, while in One Ocean and Ocean Discovery the killer whales take center stage.

Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion High presents a nice curtain featuring a sea lion.

Attractions

There is no shortage of roller coasters at SeaWorld Orlando too. Among the most interesting races there are undoubtedly Mako, Kraken unleashed it's Manta.

Also not to be missed is the trip to the submerged city of Atlantis, Journey to Atlantis, which ends with a spectacular dip in the rapids.

Opening Hours

SeaWorld Orlando schedules vary from month to month; in general, the opening hours are from 9 to 10, while the closing time is from 18 to 20.

To be sure, you can consult the calendar on the official website.

Cost

Il cost of the ticket admission to SeaWorld Orlando, for adults and children (3 years and older), is $ 99,99. If you buy it one day in advance of the date you visit the park, the ticket costs $ 79,99.

Universal Island of Adventure

There are two different theme parks inside Universal Studios Orlando: Universal Studios Florida, which opened in 1990, and the more recent Island of Adventure.

After crossing the City Walk, the main street of the park, you can choose whether to go to Universal Studio Florida or to visit Island of Adventure.

While the former offers you a unique experience inside a film studio, the latter, albeit inspired by famous films, is more about adventure.

If at Universal Studios Florida you can visit Diagon Alley and Gringotts, at Island of Adventure you will find yourself catapulted to Hogsmeade. This and much more await you if you decide to visit it.

What to expect?

An avalanche of fun! Here's what you can expect from Island of Adventure, Universal's theme park dedicated to adventure.

Plenty of fun and adrenaline-pumping attractions await you if you decide to explore the latest addition to the Orlando park.

Do you want to know which are the most interesting attractions? Now I tell you!

Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Yes, on Island of Adventure you have the chance to visit the village of Hogsmeade, recreated in every detail.

From its station, thanks to a Park to Park ticket, you will have the opportunity to get on the Hogwarts Express and reach King's Cross station, which is located at Universal Studios Florida; but there is more!

Thanks to the Flight of the Hyppogrif attraction, you can mount an imaginary Hippogriff and fly over Hogwarts.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

If you like roller coasters, this Roller Coaster inspired by the Incredible Hulk is certainly the right attraction for you.

Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge – Rat Barges

Jump on the raft with Popeye, and prepare to face the rapids to save Olivia from the clutches of Bluto, in this fun attraction dedicated to the strongest sailor on TV.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider – Man

Put on your goggles and get ready to experience a 3 - D adventure that will catapult you into the fantastic world of Spider - Man.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

A very special cruise, which catapults you to the age of the dinosaurs, with scary T - Rex and other prehistoric animals that suddenly emerge.

Opening Hours

Island of Adventure is open daily from 9am to 00pm.

Cost

As for Universal Studios Florida, also for Island of Adventure it is possible to choose whether to buy tickets with the Value or Anytime formula.

The cost of the Value ticket is $ 105,00 for children and $ 110,00 for adults. If you want to buy the Park to Park Value ticket (which allows you to board the Hogwarts Express) the cost is $ 165,00.

The Anytime ticket costs $ 119,00 for children and $ 124,00 for adults, while the Park to Park Anytime ticket costs $ 175,00.

Buy tickets for Universal Orlando

Legoland Florida

Lego fans come forward! Legoland Florida is the amusement park dedicated to families with children aged 2 to 12.

What to expect?

At Legoland Florida you will find reproductions of famous films and cities made with the famous bricks, many attractions and shows.

Miniland

Miniland is the place where the real and the imaginary world come to life in the form of many environments and landscapes made with Lego: here, then, we find ourselves passing from California to Las Vegas, from Washington DC to the Kennedy Space Center, from New York at Star Wars Headquarters.

Attractions

Before arriving in Miniland, there are many attractions, all to try!

There is Coastersaurus, a wooden roller - coaster that traverses the prehistoric jungle, and the Ford Driving School and Ford Jr. Driving School. There are the Lego Ninjago trains, The Ride, the Duplo Train and Merlin's Challenge.

If your children like to play in the water, Aquazone, Wave Racers and the Boating School are the right attractions for them.

The Flying School, the Kids Power Towers and The Dragon are the attractions suitable for the most daring.

Opening Hours

Before leaving, always take a look at the page of the official website of Legoland Florida dedicated to the opening hours: in some periods, in fact, the park is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The opening hours are usually from 10:00 to 17: 00/18: 00 depending on the day.

Cost

The cost of Legoland Florida tickets, when purchased at the ticket office, is $ 93,99 for adults and $ 88,99 for children.

If you buy them online, you can save at least $ 10 per ticket.

Buy tickets for Legoland Orlando

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Boulevard nel Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios is the smallest of Disney's Orlando theme parks that are part of Disney World.

The intention of this park is to offer visitors an experience similar to that of Universal Studios, with attractions based on famous films.

To visit it, it is enough to take half a day.

What to expect?

While it's not overwhelmingly large, Disney Hollywood Studios is worth a visit, as this is where some of the best attractions in all of Disney World are located.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Go on an experience that will literally leave you breathless, with the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: once you get on the train, you will be catapulted into the sinister Tinseltown's and meet all its special guests.

Rock ‘n Roller Coaster

Hop into the Limousine and start your journey to discover the dark streets of Los Angeles to the tune of Aerosmith.

Star Tour – The Adventure Continue

Ready, go, go! Jump aboard the drop ship. Hyperspace and the most popular locations from Star Wars are waiting for you!

Toy Story Mania!

A 4 - D target shooting game featuring some of the most beloved characters from the Toy Story trilogy.

Opening Hours

The park is open every day from 9:00 to 20:00.

Cost

As for Disney Magic Kingdom, the cost of the ticket varies depending on whether you visit it in more or less crowded periods:

Value (less crowded periods)

  • Adults (10 and older) $ 102,00
  • Children (3 to 9 years old) $ 96,00

Regular

  • Adults $ 114,00
  • Children $ 113,00

Peak (busier periods)

  • Adults $ 122,00
  • Children $ 116,00
Buy Park Hopper tickets at Walt Disney World Resort

Discovery Cove

For those who want to live a unique, intimate and intimate experience by getting closer to marine fauna, Discovery Cove is certainly the right place.

Discovery Cove, in fact, is not the typical amusement park, but a real reserve, where no more than 1.300 people are allowed per day.

What to expect?

Those who choose to visit Discovery Cove are given a special moment, something different from everything that other amusement parks offer.

After a 30-minute close encounter with dolphins, you can snorkel in The Grand Reef and swim with otters in the Freshwater Oasis.

At Explorer's Aviary you will have the opportunity to feed parrots, toucans and other exotic birds.

Opening Hours

Discovery Cove is open daily from 9am to 00pm.

Cost

The cost of the Discovery Cove ticket varies according to the experiences you decide to try.

Day Resort

The basic package, which includes unlimited access to The Grand Reef, Serenity Bay, Explorer's Aviary and Wind - Away River, use of all necessary equipment and unlimited access to SeaWorld, starts at $ 180 per day (the entrance to the park is free for children under 2 years).

Dolphin Swim + Day Resort

To be able to swim with the dolphins you must choose the package that includes, in addition to Day Resort, also Dolphin Swim, the cost of which starts at $ 260,00.

Epcot

Let's go back to Disney World! And precisely at Epcot, the amusement park dedicated to the exploration of the present and future world. Sure, it's not as grand as the Magic Kingdom, but it's definitely worth a visit.

What to expect?

Epcot is divided into two distinct parts, Future World, which shows visitors the world of the future and World Showcase, where the world is shown as it is now.

Future World

A large part of the attractions of Future World are dedicated to animals. The Seas with Nemo and Friends is certainly one of the most interesting attractions, which with its games Can You Find Nemo and Dive Deeper, catapults the guests of the park directly into the intriguing and insidious world of the coral reef.

If you are fascinated by the figure of sea turtles, you should definitely see Sea Turtles - Disney Animals, to find out more about the life of these extraordinary animals.

Reef Fish - Disney Animals, is an attraction dedicated to coral reef fish.

Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future and Innoventions are two spaces dedicated to present and future science and technologies.

With Test Track, on the other hand, you can design your car of the future and set off on an exciting, high-adrenaline rush.

Living with the Land is a fun boat trip through the wonders of the plant world.

WorldShowcase

Let's move on to World Showcase, which contains the beauties of the world in one place.

Among its most interesting attractions, the most popular is definitely Frozen Ever After, a journey to discover the places where the famous Disney film is set.

The American Adventure is instead entirely dedicated to the history of the United States, which is told through an interesting 30-minute film. Those who visit will have two exceptional guides: Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain.

Another attraction that you cannot miss is the one dedicated to Mexico: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, a fun boat ride led by the three friendly figures of the three Caballeros.

Characters and shows

As in the best tradition of Disney World, Epcot also offers its visitors various shows and magical encounters with the heroes of Disney films.

Here, then, that the girls will have the opportunity to meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus, or to listen to Alice's story of her journey to the bizarre Wonderland.

It's not over here! At Hiro's Workshop you have the chance to meet Baymax, while at the headquarters you can see Joy and Sadness (Inside Out).

And to end your day with a flourish, don't forget to stop and admire the wonderful Illumination: Reflections of the Earth fireworks show.

Opening Hours

Epcot Amusement Park is open daily from 9am to 00pm.

Cost

The cost of Epcot tickets is the same as Disney Hollywood Studios tickets:

Value (less crowded periods)

  • Adults (ages 10 and up), $ 102,00
  • Children (3 to 9 years old) $ 96,00

Regular

  • Adults $ 114,00
  • Children $ 113,00

Peak (busier periods)

  • Adults $ 122,00
  • Children $ 116,00

gatorland

Gatorland is the right place for those who love reptiles, especially alligators and crocodiles, and offers guaranteed fun for the whole family and close encounters with these fascinating and frightening animals.

What to expect?

Well, lots of alligators, and a sea of ​​adventure! Gatorland's attractions are diverse and suitable for the whole family. Here are some that you can't miss:

Adventure Hour

If you want to experience the thrill of a close encounter with alligators, you must book this tour, which will take you within walking distance of the giant reptiles.

Rookie Wrestling

Go down into the sand arena and experience the full power of these majestic animals.

Stompin’ Gator Off – Road Adventure

Jump on the special monster trucks offered by the park and set off on an exciting 15-minute safari inside the park.

Screamin’ Gator Zip Line

Fear of heights? Then this attraction is not for you. The latest addition to Gatorland, this brand new zip line will literally fly you over some of the park's most interesting spots.

Opening Hours

Gatorland is open daily from 10am to 00pm.

Cost

The cost of the day ticket to Gatorland is $ 29,99 for adults (ages 13 and above) and $ 19,99 for children and teens (ages 3 to 12); those over 65 can purchase a ticket for $ 24,99.

The payment of the ticket only allows access to the park, each of the experiences listed above has an additional cost.

Buy tickets for Gatorland

Aquatica Park

Aquatica Park is SeaWorld's water park: the ideal place to spend a day of pure fun, alone or with the family.

What to expect?

Like any self-respecting water park, Aquatica also offers its visitors fun slides and attractions, suitable for both adults and children.

Slides

The slides, of course, are the protagonists of the park. The most spectacular of all is definitely the Dolphin Plunge, which catapults you into a tube that passes through a pool where orcas and dolphins swim.

TaumataRace, on the other hand, is the classic carpet. Also not to be missed are the more classic semi-covered slides Ihu's Breakaway Fall and Omaka Rocka.

To experience the thrill of climbing on the mega - slide Ray Rush you will have to wait for spring instead.

Fun for the whole family

Of course, slides aren't for everyone, but at Aquatica there are solutions even for the youngest and less daring.

There's cutback Cove, the classic wave pool, and Kata's Kookaburra, with child-friendly slides and games.

Loggerhead Lane is a fun ride on the mats into a gallery surrounded by exotic minnows.

For those looking for a little more adrenaline, there is Roa's Rapids, an exciting descent on the rapids of Aquatica.

Opening Hours

Aquatica is open daily from 10am to 00pm

Cost

The Aquatica day ticket costs:

  • $ 59,99 for adults and children ages 3 and up
  • $ 39,99 for adults and children ages 3 and up if purchased in advance.

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