Orlando, the heart of Florida, is essentially a giant playground for adults and children alike. Giant is the operative word, as here you will find the biggest, best and most extravagant entertainment complexes in the world. Theme parks the size of towns, water parks like mini-oceans, and malls so big they take a day to navigate are all part of Orlando’s offering. Team that with unthinkably large dinner plates, exotic animals and the world’s best loved movie characters and you have all the ingredients for the most memorable of family holidays.
Theme parks have transformed Orlando from a quiet, rural area into the most visited place in the USA. The Disney dream and its four main divisions are equalled only by Sea World and Universal Orlando, despite the development of countless other theme parks in the region. On a two week trip you can take in all of the main parks comfortably with a bit of forward (and financial) planning.
The iconic turrets of Cinderella’s Castle tower over Magic Kingdom, the most popular park with younger children. Its seven sections each have their own theme, creating a series of fantasy worlds from the Wild West to futuristic. Rides, costumed characters and parades give the feel of a utopian reality where everyone is friendly, crime is nonexistent and the landscape of every child’s imagination is realised.
Epcot will be a hit with anyone interested in cutting edge technology, sci-fi or space travel. In this futuristic park you can experience what it feels like to be launched into space, fiddle with the world’s latest technological innovations and go on a Geosphere ride through past, present and future. Also part of Epcot is the astonishing world show case, where classic buildings from all over the world are replicated including a Mayan pyramid and the Eiffel tower.
Orlando pays homage to the film and TV industry with two exceptional parks. Hollywood Studios is full of living movie sets and streets recognisable to both adults and kids. A Back Lot tour takes visitors behind the scenes for a glimpse into the movie making process, prop rooms and special effects demonstrations. Hollywood Studio’s rival is Universal Orlando, which has long outgrown the original studios. It now incorporates the Island of Adventure theme park as well as the working movie studios and sets.
Orlando’s wildlife experiences range from African safari to deep sea. Animal Kingdom is Disney’s sizable contribution, with recreated world habitats, hundreds of animals and exhilarating rides. Just as exciting, though, is Sea World, where dolphin and whale shows wow audiences. Odyssea, Sea World’s human show, transports you to an underwater world with death defying acrobatics and stunning costumes.
Water parks are a fantastic way to spend the day after tiring theme park exploration. Disney’s Blizzard Beach has slides, chutes and rapids for all levels of bravery and plenty of lounging space and tranquil swimming pools. Discovery Cove is also a great day out; a tropical paradise where you can snorkel the reef and swim with dolphins.
Last Edit by sophie mcgovern on 22/11/2011 EDIT NOW >>