Walt Disney World (13.8 miles:- 19 minutes)
A truly massive theme park covering over 27,000 acres or the size of San Francisco or Greater Manchester in the UK.
Walt Disney World Resort is the world’s largest theme park featuring 4 separate major theme parks which are Disney's Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios as well as two water parks.
Disney World in Florida is the flagship of the worldwide Disney theme park empire and is the most visited resort in the world.
The Magic Kingdom was the first of the parks to open and it is here that you will find a land of fairy tales and Disney characters including the iconic Cinderella's Castle which looks quite magical when illuminated by the evening firework display which is a must see for many visitors to Orlando.
Epcot is a theme park dedicated to the celebration of human achievement as shown through technological innovation and international culture. The IllumiNations firework show which encompasses fireworks, music and lasers is outstanding and one of the best displays we have seen.
Universal Studios Theme Park ( 25.2 miles:- 36 minutes)
The number one movie and TV based theme park in the world. At this real working motion picture studio you’ll go behind the scenes and beyond the screen as you experience an incredible array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions including Transformers The Ride 3-D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, The Simpsons Ride, Revenge of the Mummy and Shrek 4-D and loads more. Not forgetting too the totally magical ET ride. We first went on this many years ago and did again when we visited in January and we were as impressed by it as much as we were the first time we experienced it.
The park is divided into two - Universal Studios and The Islands of Adventure. You can now board the Hogwart's Express from Hogsmeade Station which takes you to "King's Cross" station in Universal Studios (or travel in opposite direction from Kings Cross). You will need to purchase a park to park ticket if you want to board the train at either station and visit both parks.
We visited in January of this year and it was really good in terms of how quick the queues were for all of the rides. Most were no longer than 5- 10 minutes waiting time with the exception of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride which was over an hour. In peak season all of these rides will, I am sure, have much longer waiting times. We loved all of the rides especially flying over the grounds of Hogwarts on the Forbidden Journey although this ride was too much for my 80 year old parents!
Loved too Jurassic Park River Adventure but did get very wet, which just added to the fun.
We started our day in Universal Studios and then after lunch caught the Hogwart's Express over to the Islands of Adventure. Whilst both parks were fantastic I think next time we go we would spend the majority of our time in Islands of Adventure because we preferred the rides and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Legoland Florida (23.3 miles:- 36 minutes)
LEGOLAND is Florida's newest theme park. It is a 150-acre family theme park located in Winter Haven, just 36 minutes southwest of Florida Delight and is located on the former Cypress Gardens. One family who recently chose to rent our villa did so because one of the main reasons they were coming to Florida was to visit Legoland as they had a young family so it was a good theme park to suit that age group because of its family rides, interactive attractions, shows, restaurants and beautiful landscaped gardens all designed for young families with children aged up to 12 in mind. Our villa was the perfect choice of location being central for both Legoland to the south and Disneyworld to the north.
Legoland in Florida is the biggest LEGOLAND Park ever and offers a unique mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including spectacular LEGO models and other interactive elements for the whole family to enjoy together.
After only recently opening, it has now expanded to include a Water Park, the water park attraction features a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure all based on the popular DUPLO Safari product range.
Seaworld (20.8 miles:- 27 minutes)
Seaworld is a wonderful theme park with a great mix of rides, roller coasters, shows and other attractions and appeals to people of all ages, thrill seekers and animal lovers alike.
Seaworld is my favourite theme park in Orlando and the shows are totally magical. We spent a day there in January 2015 and went to two shows. The first was The One Ocean show, featuring killer whales in the Shamu Stadium which was both funny and stunning. We then had time for a leisurely stroll across the park, stopping for a light sandwich lunch en route, to watch the Blue Horizon show which was totally breathtaking and featured dolphins, tropical birds and acrobats. Friends who live in Orlando had recommended the Pets Ahoy show which has dogs, cats, ducks and even pigs in it and is meant to be hilarious. We didn't get the time on this occasion but it is on our list to see next time we visit.
The sharks were an amazing sight and a fantastic way to observe them in the glass tunnel.
I am not normally a fan of roller coasters but at Seaworld I was persuaded by our son to go on Manta and then Kracken. I was so pleased that I had finally overcome my fear and found both rides totally thrilling and can't wait to go on them again soon.
Seaworld is a really fantastic family day out and has so many things to do and see there.
Busch Gardens (63.9 miles: 1 hour 4 minutes)
Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay is a large theme park where you can go for a great day out for all the family with plenty of exciting rides, great attractions for younger children and the opportunity to see a range of animals and birds such as gorillas, meerkats, elephants, giraffes and cheetahs. Observe the animals as you walk along the pleasnt, shadey walkways or by hopping on board one of the four replica locomotives that make up the Serengeiti Railway that take you around the park. Or you can enjoy the fun of an off road African safari jeep experience where you will get the chance to see the animals up close when you take a ride on the Rhino Rally which is suitable for children aged 3 and upwards when accompanied by an adult.
As well as Busch Gardens being well known for having some of the best roller coasters in the area there are also a range of shows at various times during the day or you can go behind the scenes at the Animal Care Centre.
Busch Gardens puts on a number of different events during the year. From May 22nd-June 28th 2015 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there is the Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival.
Busch Gardens is open from 10 am to 7pm