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Florida Theme Parks

As well as being the Sunshine State, Florida is also the capital for Theme Parks after Walt Disney opened his first park around 50 years ago. Since the arrival of Disney, Florida has seen a huge increase in the number of theme parks with Disney alone having grown to a total of 4 and an additional 2 water parks.

Universal Studios followed Disney into Florida opening up it's very own park which is also a working studio and more recently another park called Islands of Adventure which host a number of big thrill rides.

Sea World is a name that many people will recognise and they too have opened an additional park in the last few years which focuses on an "up close and personal" experience with dolphins, sharks and whales.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is the collective name for all the theme parks associated with the infamous name Disney. It is common knowledge that the area of Walt Disney World is approximately equivalent to that of the city of Manchester in the UK!

Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is what many people would associate with being Disney World itself. It is the land of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and of course Cinderella's Castle. The Magic Kingdom is divided into a number of smaller themed kingdoms, each unique and hosting a number of rides and shows. Make sure you catch the Light Parade around 9pm and get yourself a good vantage point early!!! If your visit falls on Christmas Day then you are in for a special treat of a Light Parade - if you are planning on a Christmas Day visit, you will need to get to the park EARLY... gates close and admission is refused once the numbers through the gates have been reached!

Epcot

Epcot is the park that is most commonly known for having the giant golf ball like structure that is visible from miles around. The park exhibits cultures from countries around the globe by allocating streets or sections to that country. Local cuisines can be sampled and entertainment from the countries is put on at the street side and in theatres. Epcot hosts such rides as Honey I Shrunk The Audience and a number of virtual reality games. A must see is the fireworks show across the lake which is spectacular.

Disney MGM Studios

MGM Studios is home to huge number of great rides and shows including the Aerosmith Rock 'n Rollercoster, The Twighlight Zone's Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones Stunt Show and much more. A fireworks show is also put on at the end of the night.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

The newest of all the Walt Disney World theme parks, Animal Kingdom brings the African safari experience to Florida as well as animals from other parts of the world. It is advisable to get to Animal Kingdom as early in the morning as possible to ensure catching a look at the main attractions.

Walt Disney's Water Parks

Typhoon Lagoon, the older of the two Disney water parks is themed around a tropical island which has high speed water shoots and a huge lagoon which generates man made waves every 10 minutes or so. A lazy river can be enjoyed if you can do without the big thrills of the water slides and big waves!

Blizzard Beach is the latest of Disney's water parks and is themed around the sureal surroundings of a snow capped Arctic mountain! Again, big slides and everything that is needed to make your heart beat that little bit faster!

Downtown Disney

It is quite easy to spend an entire day and a night at DownTown Disney! Here you can enjoy dining at a huge selection of restaurants including the largest Planet Hollywood in the world where dining is amongst memorabilia of celebrities from the TV and movie industry.

Why not enjoy a visit to one of the renowned Cirqu du Soleil spectaculars or check out who's playing at The House of Blues. If you like stay up to date with the most current hits either in the music world or on DVD then perhaps you won't want to miss out on a visit to one or the largest Virgin Mega Stores in the world or watch a movie at the AMC 24 Screen Movie Theatre and enjoy the very best in surround sound and picture quality.

If you are over 21 and want to dance the night away and enjoy a drink then Pleasure Island is a must. Bars and clubs of various genres are here including one with a revolving dance floor which can get quite confusing towards the end of the night! They say that every night is like New Year's Eve!

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort comprises of two theme parks - Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The latest addition to the Universal Orlando Resort is City Walk, where you can enjoy the many bars, restaurants and night clubs.

Universal Studios Florida

Experience a behind the scenes look at TV and movie favourites including E.T. Adventure, Back to the Future - The Ride, Men In Black and so much more. As well as being a theme park, Universal Studios Florida is a working studio having been used in movies including Beverly Hills Cop 3 - the park truly is a 'must visit' while in Orlando!

Islands of Adventure

The Universal company extended their popular theme park by adding a completely new park called Islands of Adventure which quite simply is an adrenalin junkie's paradise. In Marvel Super Hero Island, experience The Incredible Hulk Coaster, the 3d Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and more. Get wet helping Popeye save Olive Oil on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges in Toon Lagoon and even wetter on the Jurassic Park River Adventure. If you are in to big rides you will love the Islands of Adventure.

City Walk

At Universal's City Walk you can enjoy a number of themed bars and restaurants. Special mention should be made of the world's largest Hard Rock Cafe where you can dine with views of rock star's memorabilia from Elvis to U2.

Hard Rock Live hosts many a rock concert in it's 3000 capacity arena, so keep your eyes open and follow this link to stay up to date with their schedule - during 2004 and 2005, Hard Rock Live has played host to performers including Maroon 5, Nelly, Willie Nelson, Velvet Revolver, Keith Urban, The Killers and more..

Of course City Walk isn't just about Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Live... it has many bars, restaurants and night clubs of different themes and genres of music from hip hop to jazz.

Wet 'n Wild

Located adjacent to Universal Orlando, Wet 'n Wild Orlando features a full day of fun for the entire family. The name Wet 'n Wild has long been one of the nation's best attended water parks - the world-class signature thrill rides and quality service offer something for fun-lovers of all ages!

Sea World

The Sea World brand is owned by the Anheuser Busch company which you may recognise is the owner of the famous American beer, Budweiser. In Florida Anheuser Busch has a total of 4 parks and all are within easy reach of our villa. Sea World and Discovery Cove are located in Orlando while Busch Gardens and Adventure Land are about an hour away near Tampa. Of course, due to the relationship between the parks and it's various beer brands, you will find Anheuser Busch hospitality areas in the aforementioned parks where you are encouraged to sample their best selling and new brands of beer free of charge!

Sea World Orlando

Visit Shamu the killer whale and watch as these giant mamals jump feet into the air with their human trainers. This amazing show is the star attraction at Sea World Orlando . If you can, make time to view the daytime and evening shows as each is different and memorable.

When you visit the coast in Florida you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two. At Sea World Orlando you are guaranteed to see and even touch the dolphins. Also, make sure you take in the dolphin and whale show which is another of the park's major attractions.

The Clyde and Seymore show is a must see - this team of sea lions will have you in stitches when they get up to their trained (and sometimes untrained!) antics!

In recent years, Sea World Orlando has added a new element in the way of rides and roler coasters. The Kraken is one of the fastest roller coasters ever made - in Orlando there is nothing to beat it as it is the fastest, longest, tallest floorless roller caster... you will reach speeds of 65mph and heights of 15 story buildings... you'll love it!

The Journey To Atlantis quite simply will soak you - if you like to stay dry, stay away! This ride will take you on a log flume style journey through Atlantis and send you plunging from the mountain into the pool below. Beware of the sadistic on lookers at the end of the ride who have paid good money to soak you with water jets!!!

Discovery Cove

At Discovery Cove you can get a real up close interactive experience with dolphins. You will be provided with snorkel equipment, swim vests and everything needed to make your in the water experience with the dolphins a truly memorable one.

Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay and Adventure Island

Quite simply Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre, African-themed family entertainment park located in Tampa, Florida. It features naturalistic animal attractions such as the renowned 80-acre natural setting of the Serengeti Plain, thrill rides like Montu, a massive inverted roller coaster, and live entertainment. When you visit, make sure you take a ride on the Sheikra roller coaster which drops you 90 degrees... straight down at 70mph!

Adventure Island operates on 36 acres next to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The park features several unique water-play areas, thrilling splash rides and a 17,000-square-foot wave pool.

 

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