The Best Theme Parks In Orlando, Florida

Theme Parks, Orlando, Florida, Disney World

Although there are dozens of spectacular theme parks across America, few compare to those located in Orlando. The city is home to nearly a dozen different venues from Disney, Universal, and LEGO. And with so many options, there is a little something for everyone.

 

Visitors can enjoy heart-pumping rides, alternate realities, and up-close views of nature’s finest beasts. So grab your sunscreen, fanny pack, and swim shorts to enjoy all of Orlando’s simply remarkable theme parks.

 

1.

Epcot Theme Park Orlando

Though he never saw his plans completed, Walt Disney penned an epic space-themed amusement park to introduce visitors to the future of technology. His grand idea was to present the American public with models of mass transport systems, sustainable housing, and a utopian city.

 

Epcot, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Ralph on Flickr

In 1982 Walt’s plans were finally achieved, as Epcot theme park opened to the general public. Today’s visitors can traverse through the futuristic park and explore remarkable technologies through rides, attractions, shows, and hands-on activities. The largest section of the park, Future World, offers a variety of pavilions that showcase new gadgets, technologies, and simulations that represent the future of technology.

However one of the most popular attractions in the resort is Mission: SPACE, a simulation designed to give guests the feeling of travelling to Mars. Nearly 2.5G of force is applied to riders, to simulate the intensity of travelling through the vast unknown.

Besides technology, Epcot also offers a variety of restaurants and venues dedicated to international cuisines and cultures, making it one of the best theme parks in Orlando.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 9:00 – 21:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $109 plus tax
3 to 9: $105
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528 highway. Continue for nearly 10 miles, then merge onto I-4 W. Take exit 67 to Epcot Center Dr.

 

2.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Check out Universal’s Islands of Adventure for epic thrills that the whole family can enjoy. Universal’s Islands of Adventure is made up of several different universes from comics, novels, and films, offers visitors an up-close encounter with their favourite pop culture characters.

Guests can hop aboard high-speed roller coasters and rip through surreal realities in Marvel’s Super Hero Island. The comic-themed area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure gives kids and parents the chance to experience maximum adrenaline with the Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, and Doctor Dooms Fearfall. Even the most intense of adrenaline junkies will walk away with a grin on their face after a spin on each ride.

 

Universal's Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Cory Disbrow on Flickr

However, for a more relaxed experience, patrons can shop and dine in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The zone, inspired by J.K Rowling’s novels, presents an authentic experience inside of Hogsmeade Village, Hogwarts Castle, and the Forbidden Forest. Best of all, wanna-be witches and wizards can munch on chocolate frogs and butterbeer in small cafes to sneak away from busy lines.

And of course, guests surely won’t want to miss the other awesome attractions in the zones dedicated to King Kong’s Skull Island, Seuss Landing, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, and The Lost Continent.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 9:00-22:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $115 plus tax
3 to 9: $110 plus tax
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528 highway. Continue for 15 miles, then take Florida’s Turnpike to South Kirkman Road. Take exit 75A, then head left on Vineland Road.

 

3.

SeaWorld Orlando

Nature lovers can rejoice in the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite marine animals at SeaWorld Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando offers guests intimate encounters with marine life of all sizes, shapes, and types from every corner of the globe. SeaWorld Orlando consists of countless aquariums, which are classified by the term ‘seas’. Each sea offers a look into the lives of marine animals from different habitats, which can be found in either fresh or saltwater exhibits.

 

SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida
Photo by jen&co on Flickr

Most notable, however, are SeaWorld’s Dolphin and Orca theatres, where live whales perform a series of stunts and acrobatic performances.

Nonetheless, SeaWorld Orlando offers more than just aquariums and marine shows, as there are also a handful of rollercoasters and rides named after popular aquatic beasts and environments.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 9:00-21:30

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

6 and up: $105 plus tax
5 and under: Free for 2019

 

Location:

7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528. Continue for 10 miles, then take exit 2. Turn left onto Orangewood Boulevard, then take a right onto Central Florida Parkway.

 

4.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Everything is awesome when you are part of a team! Or when you are in Orlando, Florida’s very own LEGOLAND, the park dedicated to the tiny Danish bricks that have won children over since the mid-’50s.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort is one of the only standalone theme parks in Florida. Since it isn’t linked to any of the other theme parks, it possesses a very original and authentic feel.

 

LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Orlando, Florida
Photo by jen&co on Flickr

 

As the name suggests, it is dedicated entirely to LEGOs, with numerous shops, rides, and attractions that both children and adults can enjoy. However, it definitely belongs on every top list of Orlando theme parks.

Though the target age is 2-12, plenty of fun can be found around every sharp corner. Kids can construct their own models in the building zone, stroll through LEGO New York, interact with recreated scenes from Star Wars, or design their own computerised LEGO robots.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort even has a beautiful and pristine botanical garden for adults and children who need to take a breather and enjoy some fresh air.

 

Hours of Operation:

10:00 – 19:00 (Park closes at 18:00 on weekdays)

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

3 and up: $100 plus tax
3 and under: Free

 

Location:

1 LEGOLAND Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head south on FL-417. Continue on FL-417 to Old Grade Road. Take exit 48, and continue on FL-540 to Cypress Gardens Boulevard.

 

5.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Few places are as highly regarded by children as Disney’s Magic Kingdom – making it one of the must-see theme parks in Orlando.

After completing Disneyland California, Walt Disney shaped a vision to create an even bigger and more complete theme park. The park would offer everything that Disneyland California had – but with more. That idea eventually manifested itself into Disney World, and more specifically Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

 

Disney's Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Andrew Browne on Flickr

Today’s visitors can now explore that dream, by taking a stroll into Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The first of the four parks are comprised of multiple different lands, such as Frontierland – a tribute to the American West, Tomorrowland – a fantasy space with future tech, or Adventureland – a dedication to exploring foreign territories.

 

Each and every land offers unique restaurants, games, rides, and souvenirs that can only be found in that area. Guests can also interact with life-sized movie characters, who stroll through the park offering to take photos with both kids and adults alike.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 9:00 – 22:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $109 plus tax
3 to 9: $105
3 and under: Free

 

Location:

1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528, and continue for 18 miles. Take I-4 W, then take a right onto exit 67. Continue on Epcot Center Drive.

 

6.

Aquatica Orlando

Due to Orlando’s mild climate, the city always remains fairly warm. Meaning that even in the spring and autumn visitors scramble to find shade and cool off. Thankfully, Aquatica is the perfect theme park to do just that.

Aquatica is an expansive Orlando water theme park owned and operated by SeaWorld, that is neatly nestled right across the street from its sister park.

Weary holiday and vacation goers can hop into a variety of pools, rivers, and waterways to cool down after a day strolling around under the Florida sun.

 

Aquatica Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Andrew Browne on Flickr

But don’t be mistaken – Aquatica isn’t just for cooling down. The park also offers some pretty thrilling rides, such as the incredible Dolphin Plunge. Riders barrel into a dark channel of corkscrews until they finally reach an underwater tunnel that shoots them through a dolphin aquarium.

 

The aquarium is home to numerous Commerson’s dolphins that often race alongside riders, and perform dazzling underwater tricks. Best of all, Aquatica offers an all-day food pass, allowing guests to choose from one different meal every hour.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Thursday, 9:00 – 18:00 & Friday to Sunday, 9:00 – 19:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

3 and up: $70 plus tax
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528, and continue for 10 miles. Take exit 1, the continue onto International Drive.

 

7.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

580 acres of exhibitions, wildlife preserves, and safaris grant Disney’s Animal Kingdom the title of being the largest theme park in the world.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is dedicated to educating and preserving the natural world and its many species. Therefore it provides spectacular views of the animal kingdom’s finest beasts.

 

As with the other Disney theme parks, it is split into multiple sections. The Asia section transports visitors into wild environments home to animals such as tigers, Komodo dragons, and flying foxes.

 

Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Allen Castillo on Flickr

 

Meanwhile, the Africa zone invites adventures to explore a safari filled with rhinos, giraffes, hyenas, lions, ostriches, and many more large beasts.

However, the kingdom wouldn’t be complete without a prehistoric section, honouring the great beasts which once roamed the planet. Ancient fossils of a tyrannosaurus rex, brachiosaurus, and mammoth can all be found throughout the throwback section, appropriately named Dinoland U.S.A.

To top things off, visitors can purchase ‘after hours’ tickets, where they can enjoy the theme park lit up by fantastic light shows and stunning displays.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 9:00 – 22:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $109 plus tax
3 to 9: $105
3 and under: Free

 

Location:

2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head south on FL-417 S for 17 miles, then take exit 3. Follow W Osceola Parkway.

 

8.

Universal Studios Orlando

Check out one of the best Florida theme parks when you enter into a cinematic world of adventure at Universal Studios Orlando. Universal Studios Orlando goes above and beyond in its quest to deliver an authentic movie experience to patrons.

 

The theme park contains countless movie studios, where many of Universal’s biggest films were created. Thus, guests can tour through many of the past sets, which were used for mega hits such as Jaws, Jurassic Park, King Kong, Psycho, and a handful of others.

 

Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Ashish Aggarwal on Flickr

However, Universal Studios Orlando offers far more than just a tour of past sets. It also contains dozens of epic thrill rides, roller coasters, musical shows, and throwback restaurants scattered throughout the eight different zones of the park.

Every zone of Universal Studios Orlando offers something special for both kids and adults. There are 4-D experiences dedicated to Shrek, roller coasters based off of Harry Potter’s Gringotts, and cinematic shows with pyrotechnics and lasers.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 8:00 – 2:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $115 plus tax
3 to 9: $110 plus tax
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528, and continue for 14 miles. Take exit 4 onto Florida’s Turnpike, and continue for 5 miles. Continue to merge onto exit 259, then take exit 75 A onto Florida 435. Take a left onto Vineland Road, and then a final left onto Universal Boulevard.

 

9.

Discovery Cove

Swim with some of the ocean’s most brilliant creatures in the beautiful pools at Discovery Cove theme park in Orlando, Florida. The third theme park owned and operated by SeaWorld Orlando gives kids and adults the chance to encounter marine animals in an extremely personal setting.

The most popular attraction at Discovery Cove is certainly the dolphin swim, where guests can swim, touch, and play with live bottlenose dolphins. Yet dolphins aren’t the only creatures that guests can swim with, as there are also coves containing beautiful tropical fish and stingrays.

 

9100678914 58bb388250 k 300x200 - The Best Theme Parks In Orlando, Florida
Photo by Mike and Kerry on Flickr

After a swim, visitors can tour through the free-flight aviary built with waterfalls, rainforest vegetation, rivers, and sandy beaches. Nearly 250 tropical birds reside inside the space, many of which can be fed, held, and pet.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 7:15 – 17:30

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

3 and up: $149 plus tax
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head west on FL-528, and continue for 9 miles. Take exit 2, and take Orangewood Boulevard. Turn right onto Central Florida Parkway and continue to Discovery Cove Way.

 

10.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Disney’s Hollywood Studios places movie fanatics right in the heart of their favourite films, via rides, attractions, shows, and themed restaurants.

Of course, the theme park gets its name from its authentic replica of Hollywood Boulevard, which is the entry point that welcomes guests into the park. Once you’ve strolled past the avenue, guests can enter into numerous different lands, such as Toy Story Land, Sunset Boulevard, and more.

 

DIsney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida
Photo by Jennifer Lynn on Flickr

 

Expect to see Cars, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., and many other animated films represented through various attractions and rides.

However, after Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars, they decided to pack the park with content from the popular saga. There are light shows, movie sets, theme rides, and more all dedicated to the epic series that continues to create new content.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 21:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

10 and up: $109 plus tax
3 to 9: $105
2 and under: Free

 

Location:

351 S Studio Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head south on FL-417 S, and continue for 18 miles. Take exit 3 and enter onto W Osceola Parkway until arrival.

 

11.

Gatorland Orlando

Sink your teeth into hours of wild fun and adventure at Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World”. As the name suggests, Gatorland is full of the scaly beasts that are both a source of fascination and wonder for many. Which certainly makes it one of the most interesting theme parks to visit in Orlando.

 

The park prides itself on its wide variety of gators, as there are massive 14-foot behemoths, rebellious teens, and small babies known as ‘grunts’.

 

Gatorland, Orlando, Florida
Photo by C. Watts on Flickr

Many other species of animals can also be found at the park, such as wild cats, birds, snakes, and tortoises. Visitors can get up close and personal with much of the wildlife, via petting zoos and live shows.

Those who are extra adventurous can hop onto the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, and soar over crocodile and alligator breeding grounds full of Cuban and Nile crocs.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00

 

1 Day Ticket Prices For Ages:

13 to 54: $29.99 plus tax
5 and up: $24.99 plus tax
3 to 12: $19.99 plus tax

 

Location:

14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837

 

How to Get There From Orlando International Airport:

Head south on FL-417, and continue for 11 miles. Take exit 11, and continue south on Highway 441 until arrival.

Avatar
Ryan is a content copywriter and sales marketer that hails from the rugged landscapes of Idaho. Dreams of wild adventures and a life without limits drove him to leave a corporate job in 2017, so that he could catch a one-way flight to Europe and forge his own tales. His key interests include hiking, biking, sampling local cuisine, and studying the psychology of foreign cultures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RECOMMENDED