Top Ten Orlando Attractions

Top Ten Orlando Attractions
Situated in central Florida, Orlando is the fifth largest city in the state, county seat of Orange County, one of the largest citrus-producing regions in the country, and home to over two million people throughout its greater metropolitan area. The city is known for its year round summer-like weather and a host of attractions and amusement parks, making it one of the most highly visited tourist cities in the country annually.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 and has since become the most visited recreational park in the world. It is comprised of seven different sections: Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Adventureland, and Mickey's Toontownfare. It is also home to some of the most famous rides ever created, including The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Matterhorn, and Space Mountain.

Disney's Epcot

Founded in 1982, Epcot is ranked as the third most visited recreational park in the country. The centerpiece of Epcot is Spaceship Earth, which looks like an enormous silver orb. Epcot is an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and the purpose of the park is to showcase international cultures and promote technological innovation.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Originally opened to the public in 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios, the park features a number of rides, shows, and attractions geared toward movie buffs of all ages. The park spans a colossal 135 acres and consists of six themed areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Streets of America, Animation Courtyard, Pixar Place, and Sunset Boulevard.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Disney's Animal Kingdom opened to the public in 1998 and is the single largest Disney theme park in the world, spanning a monstrous 500 acres. The park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and features hundreds of animals living amongst seven different themed areas: Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Asia, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and DinoLand U.S.A.

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando consists of two connected theme parks, Universal Studios and Universal's Island of Adventure, which together dwarf its sister theme park in Hollywood, California. All Universal Studios rides and attractions are based on famous films from the studio's library, while Island of Adventure contains six themed areas: Seuss Landing, Marvel's Super Hero Island, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Toon Lagoon, and a new area based on the Harry Potter films to open in 2010.

Sea World Orlando

Sea World is perhaps best known for its famous killer whale mascot, Shamu, but it also plays home to scores of other sea-faring creatures who participate in countless shows, exhibits, and attractions throughout the park. Popular areas within the park include Shamu's Happy Harbor; The Waterfront, a shopping and dining area designed to look like a Mediterranean village; and Key West, where guests are encouraged to feed and interact with the animals.

Discovery Cove

Located in close proximity to Sea World, this tropically themed wonderland allows guests to snorkel with exotic fish and swim with bottlenose dolphins. Guests also have the opportunity to interact with rare birds, land animals, and other marine life such as stingrays.

Arabian Nights

Guests at Arabian Nights are invited to dine on a savory three-course meal while watching the story of Princess Scheherazade, who goes on a quest to find the Prince of her dreams. The extremely well reviewed dinner show features an array of stunning horses, extravagant costumes, lively music, and astonishing acrobatics.

Thompson Aire's Hot Air Balloon Rides

Captain Jeff A. Thompson, chief pilot for Thompson Aire, has been taking guests up on hot air balloon adventures for more than three decades. Open seven days a week, the ride leaves at sunrise and provides a peaceful, relaxing way to see Orlando.

Universal CityWalk

Enjoy great dining, live music, exciting nightlife, and tons of shopping at Universal Studio's neighboring CityWalk, which includes, among other things, a 20-screen multiplex movie theater, NASCAR Sports Grille, Hard Rock Cafe, and half a dozen night clubs.

Article Written By Mark Heidelberger

Mark Heidelberger has been writing for more than 17 years, with recent articles appearing on various websites. He has also written, rewritten and developed dozens of feature-film screenplays and manages a number of film and television writers. He holds a master's degree from University of California, Los Angeles in film and television producing.

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