Orlando: Home to Seven of the World’s Top Theme Parks and More
ORLANDO, Fla. – With seven of the world’s top theme parks and more than 100 other fun-filled attractions, visitors will find plenty of exciting options to keep the entire family entertained. From innovative new rides to ground-breaking expansions, Orlando is constantly re-inventing itself, giving visitors new reasons to return year after year.
SeaWorld Orlando – The world’s most popular marine life adventure park, features 200 acres (81 hectares) of sea-themed rides, including Orlando’s longest, tallest and fastest floorless roller coaster, Kraken. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is an attraction where guests take a journey alongside a colony of penguins. TurtleTrek, is a unique 3D/360-degree film that immerses guests in the journey of a sea turtle. Shamu’s Happy Harbor is a children’s play area with pint-sized rides. The Shamu show, “One Ocean,” features spectacular whale behaviors and other shows and animal exhibits include polar bears, beluga whales, manatees, sea lions, penguins, dolphins and more.
Discovery Cove – An exclusive island oasis where guests swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and rays and hand-feed exotic birds. It is an all-inclusive, reservations-only adventure that includes a full day of activities, swim/snorkel gear, breakfast and lunch, plus a seven-consecutive-day pass to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark. The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove features swimming adventures, white sandy beaches, relaxing hammocks and snorkeling experiences. The Freshwater Oasis offers wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with otters and marmosets.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Featuring some of the most innovative and technologically advanced thrill rides and attractions, this park consists of seven themed islands: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing and Port of Entry. Guests can swing above the streets on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, soar above Hogwarts on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and feel the fury on The Incredible Hulk coaster.
Universal Studios Florida – With cutting-edge attractions based on pop-culture icons, Hollywood blockbuster films and hit television shows. Visitors can experience an action-packed mission on TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3-D or battle the supernatural at Revenge of the Mummy. Guests can also ride along with Shrek and Donkey at Shrek 4-D and hang out at with America’s favorite animated family on The Simpsons Ride or the Simpsons-themed area, Springfield. There’s also thrill coaster Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, the 3-D experience Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Superstar Parade and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. New in 2014: An entirely new themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park – The future home to Avatar, this park offers exciting adventures and unique encounters with real, exotic animals, plus one-of-a-kind guest experiences with fictional animals and giant dinosaurs from the prehistoric world. Not-to-miss attractions include Expedition Everest, a high-speed train adventure; “Finding Nemo – The Musical,” a live 30-minute musical show; TriceraTop Spin; Primeval Whirl!; DINOSAUR and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A theme park with a complete motion picture and television studio. Feature attractions include the American Idol Experience, Toy Story Mania!; Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show; Disney Junior – Live on Stage!; Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Epcot – Guests visit 11 nations at World Showcase and fast-forward to tomorrow in Future World. World Showcase offers a kaleidoscope of nations – The American Adventure, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and the United Kingdom. Rides include Test Track Presented by Chevrolet (revamped in Dec. 2012), Mission:SPACE, simulating a real space shuttle blastoff; Soarin’, which lifts guests 40 feet (12 meters) inside a giant projection screen dome; and The Seas with Nemo & Friends, a whimsical and visually stunning attraction that has the stars of “Finding Nemo” swimming amid the live marine life of the huge aquarium in The Living Seas pavilion.
Magic Kingdom Park – This quintessential Disney theme park features seven magical lands with attractions, restaurants and shops based on favorite Disney themes of fantasy, yesterday and tomorrow. The New Fantasyland expansion includes the Storybook Circus area with The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini family-style coaster; Dumbo, the Flying Elephant; Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Enchanted Tales with Belle; and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Be Our Guest Restaurant within Beast’s Castle, and the Princess Fairytale Hall for memory-making encounters with the Disney princesses. The 2014 completion of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster will complete the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Other popular attractions include Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and The Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
Busch Gardens Tampa – With 297 acres (120 hectares) of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world, this theme park offers thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos (with more than 12,000 animals), live shows, restaurants, shops and games. The star attraction is Cheetah Hunt, which is Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, featuring up-close animal encounters and taking guests from zero to cheetah three times.
LEGOLAND Florida – Located in Winter Haven, 45 minutes southwest of Orlando, this 150-acre (61-hectare) interactive theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions designed for families with children ages 2-12. The World of Chima is a highly-themed area with an interactive splash battle family ride, a toddler splash and play area, and a mini Speedorz vehicle racing arena, all based on the Cartoon Network Legends of Chima series. New in 2014: DUPLO VALLEY based on a line of preschool building toys featuring new farm-themed attractions geared to toddlers ages 2 to 5.
Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark – Features dual wave pools; two children’s play areas; two lazy rivers; beaches and swimming areas; and plenty of water slides, including the high-speed tube slide, Omaka Rocka, and the Dolphin Plunge, which whisks guests through acrylic flumes amid a lagoon of jumping Commerson’s dolphins. New in 2014: Ihu’s Breakway Falls will be Orlando’s tallest and steepest free-fall waterslide and the only multi-slide of its kind in Orlando.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – Features one of the world’s tallest, fastest free-fall speed slides in a whimsical “winter” setting. It is the largest of Disney’s water parks, with 22 water slides and “icy” bobsled runs that stay comfortably warm and thrillingly fast.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Offers guests twisting tides, roaring rapids and relaxing rivers. Whether navigating the nine water slides, swimming with sharks and tropical fish or conquering waves in the largest wave pool in the U.S., this exotic paradise promises to be the wettest water adventure ever.
Wet ‘n Wild – Orlando – Offers a variety of multi-passenger thrill rides with loads of special effects. Blastaway Beach covers an acre (.40 hectare), features a 60-foot (18-meter) sandcastle, 17 slides, two splash pools and more than 100 soakers, water jets, cannons and waterfalls. The park is open year-round with heated pools in the cooler months.
Adventure Island – Located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island’s 40 acres (16 hectares) of water-drenched fun in the sun feature the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. There are slides, waterfalls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions.
Blue Man Group – The wildly successful live entertainment experience has a permanent home at Universal CityWalk. The group entertains audiences of all ages with their live stage show which takes art, technology and music to a whole new level.
Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” – Located in Downtown Disney’s West Side, this show features a renowned blend of acrobatics, special effects and more than 60 international artists performing in a 1,671-person theater.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Set within an 11th-century, European-style castle where heroic knights display astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay on horseback.
Pirate’s Dinner Adventure – Entertains guests of all ages with a display of special effects, aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay and dynamic duels. The dining experience features the classic story of good vs. evil with the perfect blend of action, adventure, comedy and romance.
Sak Comedy Lab – Located in the CityArts Factory in downtown Orlando, offering improv comedy shows.
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows – Presents nightly performances of original comedy mysteries with dinner and dessert. Visitors enjoy mystery, improvisation and audience participation as they help solve a crime or play a cameo role in the show.
Treasure Tavern – This two-hour dinner show features a three-course meal and a cast of comedians, acrobats and dancers themed to a Caribbean outpost.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens – Showcases hundreds of rare or endangered animals, including cheetahs, Amur leopards, Indian rhinoceros, and some of the most venomous snakes in the world. There’s also ZOOm Air Adventures zipline experience.
Citrus Tower – Located in Clermont providing a panoramic view of rolling hills, spring-fed lakes and citrus trees from three Tower Observation Decks. The Tower offers in-season fresh citrus fruit for sale, either to take along or for gift shipments. A restaurant and gift shop are also on the grounds.
CSI: The Experience – This traveling exhibition combines the entertainment of the hit show with real-life scientific and investigative techniques. Guests play the role of crime scene investigators and solve multiple mysteries at the hands-on exhibit featuring props, special effects, crime-scene re-creations and two crime labs.
Dave and Buster’s – This 40,000-square-foot (3,716-square-meter) upscale arcade features 170 different games, including Skee-Ball, video-racecar driving and simulated golf, along with a sports bar and restaurant.
Daytona International Speedway – Home of the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 NASCAR races, offering exciting racing, guided Speedway tours, and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Dinosaur World – Located in Plant City with more than 200 life-size dinosaurs. In the new Dino Gem Mine visitors can take a bag of mineral-enriched mining rough and pan through it. There’s also a boneyard where participants uncover a life-size 27-foot (8-meter) replica of a Stegosaurus skeleton in the sand.
Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf – This 36-hole golf adventure features Fantasia Gardens, an 18-hole miniature golf course with a theme taken from Disney’s classic animated film “Fantasia,” and Fantasia Fairways, an 18-hole challenge course designed with strategically placed bunkers and hazards.
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park – A five-story, indoor, interactive theme park that combines Disney’s magic with cutting-edge technology. Guests climb aboard a real river raft on Virtual Jungle Cruise, ride a roller coaster of their own design on Cyber Space Mountain or become part of a human pinball game in Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam. Some attractions require a separate charge.
Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf – An interactive miniature golf experience with two 18-hole wacky, elf-sized golf courses. One course carries the zany, snow-covered Florida theme found at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, while the other takes a more tropical, holiday theme, with ornaments hanging from palm trees.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – As the host to more than 350 events a year, this is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre (93-hectare) facility features multiple competition venues.
Fun Spot Parks – This theme park offers extreme go-kart racing and tons of family thrill rides. The Orlando location features the White Lightning, Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster and Freedom Flyer, an intense steel coaster.
Gatorland – One of Central Florida’s first attractions, Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles and a petting zoo, bird sanctuary, mini water park, eco-tour and action-packed outdoor entertainment, including daily alligator wrestlin’ shows.
Green Meadows Petting Farm – Features a two-hour guided tour to see more than 300 farm animals. Visitors are encouraged to have a first-hand experience by petting the animals, taking train and hay rides, milking a cow and riding a pony. Picnic areas are available.
Harry P. Leu Gardens – A 50-acre (20-hectare) botanical park boasting the largest camellia collection in eastern North America and the Leu House Museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Holy Land Experience – Re-creates the ancient world of the Bible through landscape and architecture and features amazing live dramas throughout the day in the 2,000-seat Church of All Nations. Genuine artifacts, holy sites and peaceful prayer gardens inform and inspire, while young ones enjoy rock-wall climbing or bouncy houses in the Children’s Adventureland.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – The $100-million Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction lets guests get nose-to-nose with the historic spacecraft and “be the astronaut” with never-before-seen multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive, touch-screen experiences and high-tech simulators. Visitors feel what it’s like to blast into space in the Shuttle Launch Experience. Angry Birds Space Encounter includes five interactive stations designed to immerse guests in a new dimension of Angry Birds Space.
Kings Bowl Orlando – A 30,000-square-foot (2,787-square-meter) entertainment venue featuring 22 ten pin bowling lanes, four billiards tables, shuffleboard table, as well as a full-service restaurant and two premium bars.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards – Florida’s largest premium winery. Visitors can take a free tour of the winery, sample wines in the tasting room or purchase a bottle of the award-winning Lakeridge wine at the gift shop.
Magical Midway – Home to International Drive’s most elevated go-kart tracks, intense thrill rides, midway rides and a huge video arcade. StarFlyer, the only ride of its kind in the United States, seats guests in swing chairs suspended 256 feet (78 meters) above ground.
Monkey Joe’s – The 17,250-square-foot (1602-square-meter) play center features wall-to-wall inflatables and separate play areas for younger and older kids.
Orlando Grand Prix – Guests experience kart racing in an air-conditioned, indoor environment. The 70,000-square-foot (6,503-square-meter) space offers two tracks with two different racing experiences. Guests will find electric Italian pro-karts that reach speeds up to 50 mph (80km/h), the latest progress tracking technology and a comfortable lounge area with flat-screens TV and free Wi-Fi.
Orlando Science Center – Offers an observatory, giant screen and 3-D theaters and hundreds of hands-on exhibits on four floors, which offer opportunities to explore, experiment and discover.
Old Town Shopping, Dining & Entertainment Attraction – Features 75 unique specialty shops, eight restaurants and 18 thrilling amusement rides. This free-admission attraction offers the look and feel of a Florida town at the beginning of the 20th century.
Rebounderz Orlando – At 24,000 square feet (2,230 square meters), this is the largest indoor trampoline arena in Central Florida. It features an arena-style trampoline jumper with rebounding floors and angled rebounding side walls, a separate dodgeball arena, a two-lane foam pit and a basketball slam.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium – Housed in a building that appears to be sinking, as though it fell victim to one of Florida’s infamous sinkholes. Guests can explore artifacts, collections, strange art/hobbies and interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd and unusual from around the world.
Scott’s Maze Adventures – Located in Zellwood, featuring a 6-acre (2.4-hectare) corn maze, three-acre (1.2-hectare) tree maze, picnic area, nature walk and various entertainment attractions for public, group and corporate events. Open late September through mid-December.
Showcase of Citrus – This “Old Time Country Farm Store” and “U-Pick Citrus Grove” offers visitors the opportunity to pick up to 60 seasonal varieties right off the tree. Other activities include Eco-Safari tours of 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) in 4×4 vehicles and a free self-guided waterfront walking tour through the grounds.
Splitsville – A 50,000-square-foot (4,645-square-meter) upscale entertainment center – located in Downtown Disney – that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife.
Titanic the Experience – This 17-gallery tour includes full-scale room recreations where authentic artifacts and interactive storytellers in period costume allow visitors to experience the unforgettable sights, sounds and emotions of the most famous ship ever to set sail.
WhirlyDome – WhirlyDome introduces visitors to the world’s first totally mechanized team sport of WhirlyBall, which is a combination of bumper cars, basketball, Jai-alai and hockey. There’s also laser tag, an F1 Racing simulator, bowling and an arcade.
WonderWorks – Orlando’s only upside-down attraction, which features more than 100 hands-on interactive exhibits. Guests experience a three-story ropes challenge and can design and ride their own roller coaster. The Tesla Coil exhibit lets guests become human lightning rods by touching 100,000 volts of electricity.
Zero-G Corporation – Provides a full-day experience featuring a weightless flight that only astronauts have had access to prior to now. Flights depart from the Space Coast Regional Airport.
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