The Absolute Best Theme Parks in Orlando for Adults
One of the main reasons people visit Orlando is to visit the epic theme parks. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld are 3 of the top theme parks in the world and offer lots of thrills and entertainment. When traveling with children, the kids will be very clear on their "must do's" and will let you know about it. The little ones will consider a visit with Mickey and seeing Cinderella's Castle and all of the other classic Disney attractions and characters mandatory! And if you are traveling with Harry Potter fans, the priority is to get to Universal to visit Diagon Alley and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
What about adults traveling without children to Orlando and visiting the parks? Where do you start? Here are are our recommendations. If you are traveling to rediscover your inner child, you may still want to stroll down memory lane with a visit to The Magic Kingdom. If you want to test your fear level, you won't want to miss the Tower of Terror and some of the other most thrilling rides. For an international experience, take a world tour at Epcot, where you'll sample the cuisine and libations of many popular countries in the World Showcase, or perhaps visit the International Flower and Garden Show.
Read on, and we'll share with you the most thrilling rides, the best wet, and wild fun, where to spend time with your favorite movie characters, and a whole lot more to help you find the best theme park in Orlando for adults, based on what you are looking for from your Orlando vacation. The best thing about the Orlando theme parks is that regardless of where you spend your time, you can't go wrong. The imagination and theming, the architecture, and the innovation make every park in Orlando a modern wonder and a pleasure to visit. The food, wine, festivals, entertainment, and nightlife will all make for a fantastic trip and lots of reasons to come back.
When comparing Disney to Universal, a general observation is that Disney's theming and architecture are impressive, and sometimes just absorbing it all is enough. Disney offers four different parks and offers lots of attractions in their immersive lands. Universal may have an edge when it comes to action-packed rides and adventure. Both are unique experiences, have plenty to offer to all ages, and are unmatched worldwide. Here’s our take on the best theme parks in Orlando for adults.
Walt Disney World Resort - Beyond the Princesses and Mickey
Disney theme parks are not just for kids! Each theme park offers plenty of attractions, rides, and activities that will make your trip magical and memorable. Add in the fantastic food and entertainment, and you are in for a great time. Every Disney park has something for everyone, including adults. They offer the iconic characters, thrill rides, shows, quick service and sit-down restaurants, and much more.
The Magic Kingdom - While the rides and the theming are targeting the youngest set, the nostalgia of The Magic Kingdom may make it worth the visit. You can ride classic rides like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. After years of being alcohol-free, Magic Kingdom now have several spots where you can enjoy a cold one and watch the thrill of Disney magic as it washes over the smallest visitors for the first time.
Disney's Animal Kingdom - Animal Kingdom is the largest of the Walt Disney World parks and is the spot for animal lovers and frustrated world travelers. Many people consider this to be the best theme park in Orlando for adults. Get a taste of the amazing continent of Africa as you ride the Kilimanjaro Safari, where you'll see baby elephants and giraffes. Try to visit at night for a unique experience as a bioluminescent glow washes over the area. Walk the park's trails and experience everything from tigers to gorillas. Your visit is not complete without riding the Expedition Everest roller coaster, where you'll hunt the Yeti with other passengers. If you're staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, ask for a savanna view and watch the zebras, gazelles, and other animals from your balcony. Taste the African cuisine at the resort venues.
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Movie buffs and Star Wars fans will be delighted with Hollywood Studios. Enjoy live performances, replica displays, fireworks, and shopping. Hollywood Studos is another of the best theme parks in Orlando for adults who enjoy entertainment and the movies. This is an excellent park for visitors that are more into shows than rides. Hollywood Studios also have some of Disney's best restaurants - The top-rated attractions for adults are:
Star Wars - Rise of the Resistance
Toy Story Mania
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - (This one is scary!)
Slinky Dog Dash
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - (Hold on tight! You'll launch from 0 to 57 mph in less than 3 seconds.
Epcot - Epcot is Orlando's most adult-oriented Disney theme park. The World Showcase lets you eat, dine and shop around the world and the cultural aspect is the big draw for adults. They host two significant events that are worth planning a vacation around. In spring, attend the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Show, and in fall, it's the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Explore every country pavilion carefully- there is plenty to see. Plan dinner in one of the countries, but be sure to make your dining reservations in advance. The top Disney attractions of Soarin' Around the World, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After should not be missed. The Wine Walk is a hidden surprise for adults.
Disney's Water Parks- Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Blizzard Beach offer the chance to chill out and enjoy the Florida sunshine. When looking at the best theme parks in Orlando for adults the water parks can’t be overlooked! Typhoon Lagoon includes raft rides and the intense Mayday Falls. Ride the longest Disney ride on Miss Adventure Falls. Typhoon Lagoon is based on the legend of a whirlwind storm that wreaks havoc and propels boats and surfboards up to the top of volcanic Mount Mayday and leaves behind a tropical paradise. Blizzard Beach is themed on a freak Florida storm that creates a unique ski resort that melts into a beautiful water park. Toboggan rides transform into water slides, and chair lifts carry swimmers. Test yourself on the Summit Plummet with its 120-foot vertical drop.
Disney Springs - Disney Springs is Disney's entertainment, dining and shopping district. Adults will enjoy the live entertainment and excellent dining selections, not to mention the shopping. Some highlights are the Cirque de Soleil show, the AdventHealth Waterslide, Aerophile - The World's Leader in Balloon Flight, and The Edison Live Entertainment. Shop at the largest Disney merchandise store in the world. Enjoy free parking and plenty going on!
Disney Boardwalk - This charming promenade is reminiscent of Coney Island and Atlantic City turn-of-the-century. Enjoy dueling pianos, dancing, and more. Try world-class dining and plenty of activities like arcade games, and be sure to take a Surrey bike ride down the boardwalk.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Resorts comprises Universal Studios, Universal's Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk. From rides to entertainment to good eats and other experiences, there are so many fun things to do at Universal Orlando that it's not as simple as just choosing the best Universal park for adults. There's something for everyone, and you'll want to explore all of it. The "best" is a matter of what you feel like doing! Read our Comparison of Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure for more detail.
Islands of Adventure - This park is probably overall, the best theme park in Orlando for adults who enjoy lots of thrills and spills. Many thrill rides will get the adrenaline pumping for kids of all ages, and the theming of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic Park will transport any visitor. Check out the fast and furious roller coasters on Marvel Super Hero Island and ride the newest ride, the Velocicoaster, where you'll experience the latest ride technology as you race through the jungle against the raptors.
Universal Studios - This is another excellent park for adults. “Meet” your favorite stars, sip on a cocktail and enjoy some of Orlando's most thrilling rides. The adrenaline junkies won't want to miss The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Revenge of the Mummy.
Volcano Bay - This water park is a great way to spend a day or an afternoon enjoying some aquatic fun. Grab a cabana and hang out at Waturi Beach or enjoy the attractions like water slides off the side of the volcano or if it’s more your style, meander down the winding river. This is a great mix of relaxation, thrilling rides, and some more gentle attractions for the faint of heart. It is broken into different themed areas and can make for a romantic afternoon or day.
Universal's CityWalk - Spend a night or two here. Admission is free and so is the parking after 6 pm. It is the perfect spot to try out your karaoke with a live band and backup singers or just watch someone else do it. Dance a little at the Red Coconut Club, or just people watch and window shop. This is a great entertainment and dining district with plenty of atmosphere and ambiance.
SeaWorld Orlando offers a nice mix of attractions, including shows, rides, animal encounters, and more. Thrill-seekers will want to try out the newest hypercoaster, Mako, the floorless Kraken, and the face-down flying coaster called Manta, one of Orlando's top coasters. Animal experiences include a visit to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins, a visit to Dolphin Cove to see the bottlenose dolphins play, and a stop at the Manta aquarium. There are many ways to watch and interact with the animals, enjoy yourself and soak up the sun and a day in the water.
Orlando is all grown up!
The theme parks of Orlando all have something to offer to “kids” of any age. They have amazing rides, non-stop entertainment, fascinating theming and architecture, and rides to challenge even the most hard-core thrill-seekers. Add in incredible food, fantastic shopping, and you are in for the time of your life. Try out some of our suggestions for the best theme parks in Orlando for adults. Spoiler alert! They all are.
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