Theme Parks in Orlando, Florida

Theme Parks in Orlando, Florida
Tourists flock to Orlando for the world-famous theme parks, world-class golf courses, tropical climate and fun-filled atmosphere. Walt Disney World is the most popular resort and theme park in the area, but there are other Orlando attractions, too. From mingling with dolphins and stingrays at SeaWorld to battling sharks and aliens at Universal Studios Florida and taking on the Incredible Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure, theme parks in Orlando provide amazing vacation memories.

Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Resort spans more than 40 square miles and offers four major theme parks -- the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, two water parks--Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, four championship golf courses, a shopping and dining destination at Downtown Disney, and 15 themed hotels. Each area offers something different, and it can take days and days to see and do it all.

Theme park hours vary, depending on the season, with the busiest times being the summer and major holidays, when the parks are open later at night. A stay on the resort property features complimentary Disney transportation via bus, boat or monorail, plus outdoor activities such as boat rentals, horseback riding, campfires and relaxing by a beach or pool.

Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 939-1289

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld offers animal interaction opportunities found in few other places. Guests can feed Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, stingrays and sea lions and enjoy amazing animal entertainment with killer whales, otters and even a walrus or two. SeaWorld evolved beyond animals into thrill rides over the past several years, as witnessed by rides like Journey to Atlantic, Kraken and Manta, a roller coaster that opened in 2009.

Special offerings at SeaWorld include back-stage animal interactions, trainer-for-a-day programs and dinner with Shamu. The park opens at 9 a.m. all year-round, and closing times depend on the season. SeaWorld has two sister parks in Orlando: Discovery Cove, a dolphin adventure on the beach in Orlando, and Aquatica by SeaWorld, a water park that combines animal experiences with water slides.

7007 SeaWorld Drive
Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 351-3600
(888) 800-5447

Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort features two theme parks--Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventures, three on-site hotels and a shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Universal CityWalk. Universal Studios offers movie-themed attractions based on some all-time classics like "Jaws" and "ET." At Islands of Adventure, guests enter comic books and kid's books in themed areas, including Suess Landing and Marvel Super Hero Island.

Universal's theme parks open every day of the year, and the hours vary depending on the season. During busier times in the summer and around major holidays, the parks stay open later. Resort hotel guests enjoy special privileges at the Universal parks, including free transportation and express lines at the most popular rides.

Universal Orlando Resort
1000 Universal Studios Plaza
Orlando, FL 32819-7610
(407) 363-8000
(800) 837-2273

Article Written By Lisa Jay

Lisa Jay began writing professionally in 2002. She has written for "Focus" magazine and "The Orlando Sentinel" as well as travel websites in the Central Florida area. She served as executive editor of "The Valencia Source." Jay earned an Associate of Arts in journalism from Valencia Community College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in writing at Columbia University.

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