When it comes to Orlando’s abundance of theme parks, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Should you visit one, three, or even five? Should you buy a day ticket, a two-day pass for the same theme park or a three-day park hopper? Which one would provide the most enjoyment? No need to stress – I’ve got you covered!
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
(One of my favourite theme parks in Florida) It’s one of the originals and nicknamed the Most Magical Place on Earth because it’s simply not to be missed. This park is situated in Lake Buena Vista which is about a fifteen-minute drive from Orlando’s touristic International Drive. Whether you have kids with you, or you’re going with a group of friends, you can embrace your inner child for the day by spending your time wandering around the ingenious Walt Disney’s imagination. Featuring the famous Cinderella Castle and different fantasy lands, there is a variety of things to see and do – including riding the roller coasters, taking photos with the characters and watching the daily character parades. I, personally, have never felt as happy as I do when I’m in the Magic Kingdom! (And I’m 26!)
Actually, I take that back. I also love Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, including their respective Wizarding World of Harry Potter sections.
Popular theme park for film buffs. Offering behind the scenes shows of studio life, in addition to more adrenaline-fuelled rides, Universal is known as the grown-up Disneyland. The Universal Studios in Orlando is a ten-minute drive from International Drive and also has the famous City Walk upon entry to the park. This is a street filled with restaurants, shops and bars, and provides a fun time whether you decide to stop off before or after exploring a park. Furthermore, Universal is home to the Diagon Alley section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a must see for any self-respecting Harry Potter fan! Diagon Alley seems to be hidden away at first, but then it is revealed exactly as it is shown in the film – muggles have to walk through the brick wall! As you take those first few steps, you are overwhelmed with just how much the buildings and environment look exactly like the film set. You don’t have to imagine you’re in Diagon Alley because you are actually in it! It’s truly magical.
Going hand in hand with Diagon Alley is the village of Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section in Islands of Adventure. You can ride around Hogwarts Castle on your broomstick, sip on Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks, or even try your luck on the Triwizard Tournament rollercoaster featuring the Duelling Dragons. Hogsmeade provides just as much excitement as Diagon Alley, and you can even take the Hogwarts Express between the two parks! Islands of Adventure itself is also masses of entertainment, with their water rides and different fantasy lands, including the Superhero section which features the famous Incredible Hulk green rollercoaster.
Whether you try one, two, or all three, of these parks – I can guarantee that you will have the time of your life! Embrace your inner child while you can, because it’ll soon be time for you come back down to earth with a thud and return to being a full-time adult.