Your Guide To Orlando Theme Parks In 2023
When it comes to theme parks in Orlando, there’s more than Mickey Mouse to see! There are numerous parks, each filled with many attractions, and they are big! So planning is everything. Did you know that Disney World covers over 40 square miles, and just Animal Kingdom alone is 500 acres? Hollywood Studios spans 135 acres and Discovery Cove offers 22 acres of water fun. So, do your homework, plan ahead and wear comfortable shoes and cool clothing!
Orlando is one of the world’s most popular cities for tourism. The city has an abundance of theme parks and resorts. Every member of the family is certain to find something interesting in Orlando. You’ll optimize your visit to Orlando if you pick the right time of the year and plan out ahead the attractions that you want to visit. Orlando promises to give everyone a fun-filled vacation that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Enjoying your vacation visiting parks in Orlando all comes down to planning. There are plenty of parks to see and most of them feature many attractions. The theme parks in Orlando are huge, which requires detailed planning as one day will not be enough to enjoy all the attractions of even one theme park. Disney World covers more than 40 square miles of territory, and that is almost impossible to cover in a one-day visit. Other theme parks are also huge. If you cannot spend unlimited time in Orlando, (and most people can’t!) you can get the most out of your visit by planning. And don’t forget your comfortable clothes and shoes because you are about to cover lots of ground.
Main Theme Parks of Orlando
Walt Disney World
The Walt Disney World Resort, or simply the Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Florida, close to the city of Orlando. Walt Disney World comprises four theme parks - the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It also includes a couple of Orlando water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, many non-Disney hotels, a resort for camping, many golf courses, and entertainment venues that include the outdoor shopping center, the Disney Springs.
This icon park within Walt Disney World features classic attractions, musical parades, enchanting fireworks, and Disney characters. Cinderella Castle is the main feature of the park. The Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world for thirteen consecutive years and is the favorite of the little ones. .
The Magic Kingdom has unique rides, which include the Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs train, the Barnstormer, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and many more.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The theme park spans a 135-acres area dedicated to the imaginary worlds from television, film, theatre, and music, which draw inspiration from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Like the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios also features many exciting rides such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, Toy Story Playland, Slinky Dog Dash, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and more.
Epcot Theme Park
Epcot is divided into Future World and World Showcase. At Epcot, imagination is celebrated, creativity is encouraged, and countries are united. As with the other Disney theme parks, Epcot features many rides such as Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Norway Pavilion, Journey into Imagination with Figment, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and a lot more.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a zoological theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort that covers 580 acres. The park is themed and dedicated around animal conservation and the natural environment. This park is different because it features the traditional theme park’s attractions while exhibiting many species of live animals, which required special designs and provisions to protect the welfare of the animals. Disney’s Animal Kingdom features several attractions, including the Festival of the Lion King, Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, TriceraTop Spin, Valley of Mo’ara, Avatar Flight of Passage, and many more.
Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks - Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure - Volcano Park, Universal CityWalk Orlando, and several hotels. It combines a theme park and a working studio to give visitors an interactive filmmaking experience. The Universal’s Islands of Adventure features seven themed parks that are dedicated to a particular film franchise, such as The Lost Continent, Seuss Island, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Superhero Island, Skull Island, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as the newest addition. Universal Studios regularly features celebrations and events for the whole family. Universal Studios also features City Walk, a huge entertainment complex that is home to many dining, movies, and shopping establishments.
Sea World is the world-famous theme park and marine zoological park located near Orlando, Florida. SeaWorld Orlando has two sister parks - Discovery Cove and Aquatica. SeaWorld Orlando was separated into different areas, called “sea,” with each area having a unique themed element. The division of SeaWorld Orlando was part of the company’s 50th anniversary in 2014. The areas or “seas” of SeaWorld Orlando are:
Port of Entry
It is the main entrance of the theme park that features a Florida-inspired theme of tropical landscaping and an artificial freshwater marina with a Shamu-themed lighthouse.
Sea of Shallows
The area showcases an exhibit of shallow-water sea animals and the Dolphin Theater.
Sea of Legends
The area features the Journey to Atlantis, a boat ride with the elements of a roller-coaster, and Kraken, a floorless roller-coaster.
Sea of Ice
It was originally named Antarctica, featuring Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin which exits into the penguin exhibit area.
Sea of Delight
The area features The Waterfront, a recreation of a Mediterranean village, and the Sky Tower ride.
Sea of Mystery
The area is home to the Shark Encounter exhibit, the Shark’s Underwater Grill, the Nautilus Theater, and the Sea Garden.
Sea of Power
The area houses the SeaWorld’s killer whale shows, the Shamu Stadium, and the Wild Arctic indoor pavilion.
Sesame Street Land
This area is a children’s area next to Shamu Stadium that features family activities such as Super Grover’s Box Car Derby and a water play area. It was formerly known as Shamu’s Happy Harbor and Sea of Fun.
Discovery Cove is a park made famous by swimming with the dolphins. Visitors can interact with natural ocean life by snorkeling along a coral reef or exploring underwater in a full dive helmet. After interacting with ocean life, visitors can interact with exotic birds in a free-flight aviary that contains more than 250 tropical birds that include toucans and parrots, and more than 30 species of exotic birds.
The Grand Reef, a new attraction that opened in 2011, features a beach with white sand in an island lined with palms and underwater grottos filled with moray ells, reef sharks, and many tropical fishes.
Legoland Florida Resort is a multi-day destination and interactive theme park that features more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions that draw inspiration from LEGO brands and characters. It also includes the LEGOLAND Water Park, the LEGOLAND Hotel, and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat where summer never ends. Kids, aged 2 to 12, will enjoy the various rides at the resort, including Aquazone Wave Racers, Battle of Bricksburg, Beetle Bounce, Boating School, Build-a-Raft River, Build-A-Boat, Coastersaurus, Flying School, Ford Driving School, Joker Soaker, and more. People asking how far is Legoland from Orlando will discover that it takes only about an hour drive from the city of Orlando as the resort is located in Winter Haven, Florida.
Busch Gardens amusement parks were originally developed to be the marketing vehicles for Anheuser-Busch that featured hospitality houses that offer samples of Anheuser-Busch products. The parks also included stables housing many of the company’s Clydesdale horses, which have been associated with the brand Anheuser-Busch. Over time, the parks added rides and attractions that were developed into full theme parks that still promote Anheuser-Busch.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has an African theme, with the park originally tagged as the Dark Continent. The theme park is one of the largest zoological institutions in the US, covering 335 acres and more than 2,700 animals.
Busch Gardens has many attractions including Kumba, Montu, Edge of Africa, Scorpion, Sand Serpent, Jungala, Congo River Rapids, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Saga, Stanley Falls, Phoenix, Serengeti Railway, SheiKra, and Sesame Street. A triple launch roller coaster - Cheetah Hunt, was added to the park in 20112. Falcon’s Fury, an Intamin drop tower was added in 2014. The park constructed Cobra’s Cruise, a steel roller coaster, in 2016. In 2019, the park opened Tigris, a steel launched roller coaster which is a creation of Premier Rides. In 2020, the park will open a hybrid coaster built by Rocky Mountain Construction on the former location of Gwazi.
Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay has become a must-see attraction in Florida. It has a large collection of roller coasters that make Florida the leader of the thrill ride that provides entertainment for all ages.
Planning Your Trip to Orlando
Start planning your trip to Orlando a few months before your trip. Give yourself enough time to research where you want to stay, what you intend to do, and plan your schedules if you are going on a family vacation.
If you plan to go during the holidays, give yourself a few extra months to plan and make your hotel booking. Remember that holidays are peak seasons in almost all attractions in Orlando.
Consider your budget when you plan for your activities during your trip. Check the prices of tickets to the theme parks you plan to visit, and how you will feed your family. Set aside a daily allowance to spend after determining the costs of everything.
Don’t be fooled by the many family experiences Orlando is known for. When it comes to romance, there is plenty to go around.
Vacationing at Walt Disney World in Orlando can be overwhelming and a little bit intimidating, even for the return visitor. There are so many attractions and thousands of things to see and do.