Orlando Tourist Attractions

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Orlando florida Theme ParksFlorida, especially Orlando is world famous for its action packed theme parks, with the best, state of the art rides in the world. You cannot go to Orlando, and not go to any of its water parks and theme parks. The first theme park in Florida was Disney, and since then more and more have been built, such as, Universal Studios, and many more. Some of the parks are designed mainly for younger children such as Magic Kingdom and other Orlando Tourist Attractions.

On the downside of all these great Theme Parks is that they get so busy, you have to wait over an hour for a 5-minute ride. However a solution has been made. Some theme parks have introduced a ticket called a Fast Pass, you get a ticket that tells you what time to come back, and when you do there is a special line and get on the ride up to 4 times faster than usual. As the time allotted to you is usually several hours away, this can be a drawback as you may have wandered off to another part and be immersed in something else when you should be taking your place in the queue.

As a general rule, you should get to the Parks as early as possible in the day – and that means before 8.30 am – then there’ll be a rush for the best rides but it is well patrolled. The Parks are less crowded in the morning and you might plan to leave around 12 noon, back to your hotel or apartment for a couple of hours to avoid the heat of the middle of the day and then go back again around 4 pm – most Parks stay open until 10 pm or later (there are different opening and closing times depending on the time of year so check this out). In Orlando, Theme Parks are busiest in the last two weeks of the year as well as at Easter time.

The Orlando theme parks are so extensive, that it is worth buying a guide book before you go to learn about them, decide what you want to see and then plan your schedule. Do leave some “rest days”, days when you don’t have an action packed itinerary. Tickets are widely available online but try and plan ahead. For example, it maybe that a 4 Park Flexticket is what you need – costing about 200 dollars (with some reduction for children under 10 years). It allows you 14 days admission to Wet ‘n Wild, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Sea World. This is only one example of combined tickets. And remember although shopping might not be on your itinerary, you’ll have to give a few half days to this activity.

A small tip, arm all children of 10 years and under with an Autograph Book, they’ll have great fun collecting autographs and getting photographed with the stars of all the parks.

Be warned – plan ahead. The list of 10 things to do below is one list of ten, but Orlando has so many sightseeing tourist attractions everyone will have their own list.

1. Universal Studios
Universal Studios Florida is the largest studio in the world outside of Hollywood. It is huge and is now a complete entertainment park. Universal Studios has over 40 amazing computer animated rides, and in the world famous Nickelodeon studios, you can go and watch and possibly take part in a show. Some of the best rides there are Back to the Future, as well as Men in Black. Universal Studios has something for all ages, though the children remember the rides as the most fun. There are Movie sets to be viewed and you can have your picture taken with ET! There is the CityWalk with all kinds of on-going entertainment, restaurants galore and nightclubs, plus shopping to beat the band. You might consider spending some of you stay in Orlando in the Universal Studios Hotel – this will give you a special pass to the Park attractions.

2. Islands of Adventure – Universal Studios
Universal Studios is split into two parks, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure. When you order a ticket, you can buy a two-day ticket, which includes entry to both parks. Visitors from the UK look for special deals – three day passes for the price of two, etc. Two day passes cost approximately 100 dollars for adults and slightly less for children. You’ll need two days to enjoy the best Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have to offer. Islands of Adventure is packed with rides that you only ever imagine, such as The Hulk, and Duelling Dragons, though beware these rides are not for the faint hearted! Some think this is the best theme park in Orlando, at any rate it should be right at the top of your list! There are five different islands Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, Marvel Super Hero Island and would you believe - Toon Lagoon. From their names you can guess the theme of each island/park.

3. Wet ‘N’ Wild
Wet ‘N’ Wild is one of the best and most visited water parks in all of Orlando, and boasts some of the scariest water rides in the world! They have names like Black Hole, Bubba Tub, The Surge and The Blast. The pools are heated year round and have certified lifeguards, so you know you and your family is in safe hands. As this water park has the best, biggest and most scream inducing water rides and slides, this is a must for everyone! The rides are so scary and dramatic, people under 36” are not allowed and if you’re under 45” you must have an adult with you. But this Park caters for all ages and it’s a fun packed day out for everyone. Younger people will love the Bubble Up and Kids Park – and if mom or dad thinks they’d like to do the Bubble Up, they can’t, you have to be under 12 years to have a go. Day Passes are around 38 dollars and children 9 and under are about 28 dollars. Tickets are available online.

4. Sea World
When someone says to you Sea World, you think of sea creatures, but I doubt you think of Sea Creatures and roller coasters! This park has amazing rides like Journey to Atlantis. You’ll get soaked but the rides are great fun. Sea World has sharks, whales, dolphins, stingrays and loads more sea creatures. Sea World Orlando has much more and great restaurants where you can also watch one of the most famous whales in the world Shamu! Of course, you can also go to Dolphin Cove and from the underwater gallery watch the dolphins swim around. This park will appeal to all ages, but many children rate it the best in Orlando. More adventurous visitors can go scuba diving in a shark-proof cage right up close to sharks – for an additional fee of 150 dollars!

5. Discovery Cove
At Discovery Cove, you can relax, and enjoy those great features. Or if you prefer you could go and swim with the dolphins! Discovery Cove is one of the most relaxing places in Orlando, and at the same time exciting, but it has a high admission price (over 200 dollars including a swim with dolphins and also 7 day admission to another Park such as Sea World). The big plus about Discovery Cove is that admission is restricted and they only allow a rather low number of people in a day - so you won’t be fighting for a dolphin!

6. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach – Disney World Water Parks
Disney World is huge and is made us of several theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, the two Water Parks and so on. Tickets for Disney World are available online before you arrive at the Park. The pricing is complex and depends on which Disney parks you want to visit, how many days you want to spend in Disney World and so on. It calls for special planning!

Typhoon Lagoon is just one of two Disney water parks. It has some of the rides that Wet ‘n’ Wild have, plus more, like a Surf Pool! And why not plunge into Sandy White Beach, that’s looks like something taken from the Caribbean. Or an alternative to Typhoon Lagoon, why not go to Blizzard Beach, the other Disney World Water Park (or if you’re really into water go to both)! You can race on the Toboggan Racers, or why not see if you have the guts to go on the Downhill Double Dipper!

7. Magic Kingdom – Disney World
Magic Kingdom is a great attraction for the kids, but gets packed with people, and you may have to wait for over an hour for some rides, even so, you can tell this place is filled with Magic! Among many attractions in this section is Space Mountain, the Haunted House, Mickey Mouse presentation, Buzz Lightyear and many other fabulous experiences. New in 2005 is planned a Cinderella Celebration and a Night-time Spectacular. Definitely one for younger children.

8. At the Pool
Be sure and take a time off from the Theme Parks and laze around doing nothing – beside the pool. You’ll need to recharge your batteries every now and then. It’s a good idea to go to a Park at 8 or 8.30 am and leave around midday, spend a few hours at the pool before heading back to the Park around 4pm – this way you avoid the heat of the midday sun and get in some relaxing hours.

9. Epcot
This is the Park with a Science and Engineering theme and it will appeal to teenagers in particular. Part of Epcot has pavilions for the different countries in the world covering the different cultures and highlight. It has a Test Track, a section for Space Mission, Turtle Talk with Crush (Nemo’s friend), etc. At nightime, the World Showcase is where the fireworks are (it’s a good idea to dine at one of the international restaurant attached to the country pavilions and watch the fireworks while you eat – see section on Nightlife – Rose and Crown pub).

10. Busch Gardens - Tampa
This is a little outside Orlando but well worth the trip. From African Animals, Birds of Prey and Rhinos to the Budweiser Clydesdales, Busch Gardens has almost 3000 animals and is set amidst wonderful green landscape, this park also has superb rides and roller coasters (Sheikra the latest and scariest addition). Busch Gardens is about an hour from Orlando but there is a Shuttle bus if you don’t want to drive – about $10 a head.