Walt Disney World: Walt Disney World operates four top-drawer theme parks every day of the year: Magic Kingdom, the most popular theme park on Earth, is a more spacious iteration of the original Disneyland in Anaheim, Ca, the park that started it all, and is brimming with attractions that have been cherished since Walt’s day; Epcot is a new-brew version of an old-style world’s fair; Disney’s Animal Kingdom blends animal habitats with theme-park panache, and this year has a new Avatar-themed land, Pandora, gorgeous to behold with two new rides, one fast-paced (Avatar Flight of Passage) and one soothing and slow (Na’vi River Journey); and Disney’s Hollywood Studios presents a show-heavy salute to movies, Star Wars in particular. All of the parks, but particularly Hollywood Studios, are undergoing major construction projects to introduce new attractions in time for the resort’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
Universal Orlando: Often surpassing Disney in adrenaline and cunning, Universal Orlando’s two parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, plus its new Volcano Bay water park, command great respect and get the blood pumping a bit stronger and are home to immersive sections devoted to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Beyond Disney and Universal: Venture beyond the Big Six theme parks and you’ll find more breathing room and more focused experiences. The gardens and marine mammals at SeaWorld Orlando make for a slower-paced excursion. Five water parks (including Volcano Bay) flow with energy: Typhoon Lagoon and Aquatica for family-friendly slides, Blizzard Beach for more aggressive ones, and Discovery Cove for VIP swims with dolphins and reef fish. South of town, Legoland Florida, one of the world's best parks for very small children, charms with Old Florida touches, while Gatorland celebrates the region’s original locals.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.