Going to Florida is a magical holiday for families of all ages, but if you have ever been lucky enough to go, you will now how expensive it can get.
I have already done a post on how to save money on a holiday to Disney World, and many of the same tips carry over.
If you are visiting Orlando, Disney isn’t the only attraction, there are some other major theme parks that are well worth visiting too and I recommend you buy Florida tickets before you go to get the best deals.
5 top theme parks to visit in Orlando
Top of my list is Universal, which has three parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.
Islands of Adventure is a must visit for rollercoaster lovers as it has an extensive range of rollercoasters and attractions. Its different zones include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade, Marvel Super Hero Island, The Lost Continent, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, Skull Island, and Seuss Landing.
Universal Studios offers a more immersive movie experience with Hollywood-inspired rides and attractions, where you can get up close with those naughty yellow minions from Despicable Me, ward-off alien attacks in the Men in Black simulator or get lost in a world of magic at Harry Potter’s Escape from Gringotts ride.
Volcano Bay is a tropical-themed water park with four themed areas, each inspired by various Polynesian islands and cultures, which centres around a 200-foot-tall volcano named Krakatau.
SeaWorld is best known for its aquatic-themed rides and rollercoasters, exhibitions, shows and hands-on animal experiences which are enough to keep the family occupied for the day.
Star attractions here include Mako, Orlando’s tallest rollercoaster, the Shark Encounter tunnel – allowing you to walk through an underwater world – as well as Dolphin Cove and Stingray Lagoon, both of which offer a hands-on experience with the animals.
Legoland Florida features over 50 rides, shows, attractions, shops and restaurants, making it one of the biggest theme parks in Orlando. Legoland Florida also has a separate waterpark, with its own selection of rides and attractions including a wave pool, lazy river and slides.
For a theme park with a difference, Gatorland provides a little extra ‘bite’ since it’s home to dozens of live alligators and crocodiles.
The timetable of live shows and demonstrations here provide a great way of learning more about Orlando’s most famous reptiles, but what will really leave a lasting memory is the park’s much-talked-about zip line ride over the gator-infested swamps.
Forget rollercoasters, if you want to wind down after a busy week exploring, Discovery Cove is the place for you. Dolphin Lagoon is the highlight of any visit as they run 30-minute small-group sessions with the dolphins in the water.
There is also a Freshwater Oasis zone which offers a similar experience with different animals like otters and marmosets, while The Grand Reef is the place to check out some exotic fish with a snorkel set provided. Wind-Away River is a slow-flowing river that passes through landscaped jungles, caves and waterfalls.
Which Florida theme park is your favourite?