Orlando: A Global Theme Park Capital

About the City

Orlando has more than 52 million visitors annually. It is also known as the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’ as it is home to ten of the biggest theme parks in the world. So you can surely expect a vacation packed with fun here. Apart from checking out every Orlando Theme Park, there’s tons of other things tourists can do.


Orlando is believed to have a humid subtropical climate like other southern parts of the United States. The two basic types of seasons in Orlando are a hot and rainy season which lasts from May until late October and a warm and dry season from November through to April. The region’s low elevation is the primary cause of its warm and humid climate.

Best Time to Travel

Many believe the best time to visit Orlando is from March to May. This phase offers a great combination of pleasant weather and good prices on travel and lodging (except on weekends and holidays). These months are a great time to book a flight to Orlando. You could also visit during the summer break as well when kids are free from school. However, it gets crowded as many other families are also probably doing the same too.

List of Major Theme Parks

Here’s the list of some of Orlando’s famous attractions:

1.   Walt Disney World

It is considered as the world’s largest theme park resort and contains 2 water parks, 4 theme parks, several hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. The resort is considered the biggest crowd puller when it comes to tourism in Orlando. The property contains 34 hotels and resorts in total.

Your kids have grown up watching Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, etc. They’ll definitely love a theme park based on them. That’s not all! There are other experiences too such as fitness centres, character experiences, spa, sports, shopping, dining, etc. It is indeed a great family-friendly place.

Here are a few theme parks inside Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom

It comprises six themed lands. The first is Main Street, U.S.A. which you arrive at after entering the gates. Here you can take a tour of the park on the Walt Disney World Railroad at certain times. Adventureland is another of its themed lands which contains crowd favourites such as ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. ‘Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room’ is another cool aspect of it.

Next is Frontierland which has the ‘Tom Sawyer Island’ that is great for exploration and the thrilling ‘Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’ is another great option. After that there’s Liberty Square which features the ‘Haunted Mansion’ or ‘The Hall of Presidents’ where one can actually listen to what past and present U.S. leaders have to say.

Then there’s Fantasyland which offers a musical journey around the globe at ‘it’s a small world’. It has some rocky rides at ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’. Experience the soaring heights of ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ and the ‘Cinderella Castle’ among other attractions. Finally, there’s Tomorrowland which as the name suggests is future themed. Its attractions include ‘Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover’, the Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and the very exciting ‘Space Mountain’.

Apart from all its shows and rides (which are bound to make you tired), it offers dining options, fun shops and character encounters. It also hosts two popular annual Orlando events which are Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party during the holidays and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party building up to Halloween. It is no surprise that it’s one of the most popular Orlando theme parks. The experiences it has to offer are fun and exciting for all.


The park is designed to help visitors experience Mother Nature, the seas, space, global culture, the future, etc. The centrepiece of the park is Spaceship Earth which is housed within the iconic geodisc globe. Here tourists will go through the history of communication from mankind’s first cave painting up until today and then tomorrow.

The first three areas in the park: World Nature, World Discovery and World Celebration. It now also features an “other world” themed pavilion with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind’ which is a family friendly, inter-galactic chase through time. ‘Mission: SPACE’ and ‘Awesome Planet’ offer unforgettable experiences.

Further along the park, tourists can visit ‘World Showcase’, which includes homages paid to 11 diverse nations. Here visitors can be part of the culture and enjoy cuisines from a variety of countries. It also features attractions such as ‘Mexico’s Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros’ and ‘Norway’s Frozen Ever After’ and France’s all-new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

If all of these weren’t enough to make it one of the top theme parks there are numerous festivals held at the venue too such as EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, EPCOT International Festival of the Arts and EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. The theme park is a great of a vast variety of experiences and teaches about different cultures too. A great combination of being informative as well as fun.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The theme park is story themed and aims to create an experience where visitors don’t merely watch the story but actually live it. The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers smells and tastes set in a galaxy far away. The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run promises an exhilarating experience while Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance takes the battle to the First order.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway engages people on a cartoon adventure while The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror takes visitors into a different dimension. Drive away at full speed at Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, embark on a snowy musical adventure with First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration or take a ride on the ‘Slinky Dog Dash’ in Toy Story Land.

What stands out about it is that it’s one of the rare Orlando theme parks that puts you in the middle of the action.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The park is zoological themed with floating mountains and thousands of animals in their natural habitats. It consists of six lands, the first of which is Oasis where people can take a tour of the ‘The Oasis Exhibits’ which contains animals like barking deer, exotic boars, giant anteaters, wallabies, etc.

Discovery Island is next on the list and has the iconic ‘Tree of Life’. It even includes a tour at ‘Discovery Island Trails’. Not to mention ‘It’s Tough to Be a Bug!’ which offers family friendly entertainment. Next is Africa where tourists can tour the ‘Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail’. They could consider visiting ‘Kilimanjaro Safaris’ to see exotic creatures in their natural environments. Africa also hosts the ‘Festival of the Lion King’.

Then there’s Asia, which features ‘Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain’which is based on a Yeti that protects a mountain. The ‘Kali River Rapids’  offers incredible thrills and is sure to get you breathing heavily.  ‘Maharajah Jungle Trek’ is a nice slow-paced tour and ‘Feathered Friends in Flight’ exhibits birds from across the planet.

After that there is DinoLand U.S.A. which is themed upon the planet’s past. The ’TriceraTop Spin’ and ‘The Boneyard Dig Site’ are great for the younger ones. While the DINOSAUR is a great option for the more active ones.

The final one, Pandora — The World of Avatar showcases several Avatarmovie themed areas in the park. This is one of the theme parks that is a treat for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Related reading: Top 10 Kids’ Theme Parks Around the World

2.   Universal Orlando Resort

It’s another prominent resort in the city and an absolute treat for Potterheads. The resort has a diverse range of options to keep visitors occupied and entertained. There is a water park, two theme parks and several entertainment, shopping and dining options. The resort contains eight on site hotels which together provide around 9,000 rooms. The facilities are great for staying over while on your trip to Orlando.

Universal Studios, Florida

This park is movie themed and aims to simulate the on-screen experience and entertain visitors in general. ‘The Bourne Stuntacular’ promises adventure filled with action based on blockbuster films. ‘Fast & Furious — Supercharged’ engages people in a thrilling chase.

‘MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack’ simulates battling aliens while ‘TRANSFORMERS The Ride-3D’ engages visitors in a battle to save the earth against the Decepticons. The ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ tests survival and the longest running attraction of the park, ‘E.T. Adventure’ gets tourists to help a lovable alien phone home.

There’s also a part of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ which is a popular attraction here along with ‘Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster’ and ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’. In addition to all the theme parks there’s live entertainment, character encounters, shopping, dining, etc. It’s arguably among the best theme parks in the world for cinema lovers. It should be a fun experience which kids would love. And if you’re savvy and shop around, you can even get Universal Studios tickets at a discount.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The theme park is similar to Universal Studios, Florida and also houses the other part of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’. ‘Jurassic World VelociCoaster’ is sure to get the heart racing with its high speeds and if that isn’t enough there’s the ‘Jurassic Park River Adventure’. On the other hand, Pteranodon Flyers is a good option for the young ones.

‘Skull Island: Reign of Kong’ is a great addition too and has received positive responses. ‘Marvel Super Hero Island’ is filled with superhero themed rides and is popular in this park. Next is ‘Seuss Landing’ which is inspired by Dr Seuss himself and his works are great for the younger visitors. Other attractions include ‘Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls’, ‘Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges’ and Poseidon’s Fury. The park is a great option for families and especially for cartoon and movie lovers.

Other Prominent Theme Parks

Apart from those listed other famous theme parks here include:

  1. SeaWorld Orlando
  2. DIscover Cove
  3. Fun Spot America
  4. Volcano Bay
  5. Typhoon Lagoon
  6. Gatorland

Related reading: 5 Helpful Tips for Traveling with Kids

Final Thoughts

Orlando is a great place to visit not just because of its theme parks but in general as well. There’s plenty of fun things to do in Orlando. The city also has incredible landscapes and important cultural attractions so it’s more than just a theme park hub. There are also many parks and museums in the city too which can be visited if you get free time. Places like Loch Haven Park and John F. Kennedy Space Center are great crowd pullers.

Hotels along with other modern facilities and amenities are easily available as well. One thing to keep in mind though is that these theme parks are extremely crowded so there is a chance of getting lost especially for children. Cell phones can be a good option to help counter this and make sure the trip is fun and memorable without too many hiccups.

Taking all factors into consideration the city is a great place to travel to and theme parks an incredible experience for families.


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