Anyone who likes roller coasters, nostalgia, and immersing themselves in settings that bring their wildest fantasies to reality will love the Sunshine State. Big thrills and spills, awe-inspiring experiences, and year-round sunshine abound in America’s amusement park mecca, which caters to all ages and tastes. Thrill-seekers adore the dangerous rides that get more heart-stopping with each debut, while traditionalists enjoy riding the old ones over and over.
Amusement parks in Florida cater to people of all ages. No one appears to be too old or too young. Amusement parks in Florida attract tourists from all over the world, and keen ears can pick up on the various languages spoken by park visitors. Amusement parks in Florida are proof that fun is an international language. More than 50 international destinations are served by Orlando International Airport.
Here are the 11 best amusement parks in Florida, 2021 edition.
Consider the Magic Kingdom to be the mother of all theme parks. Despite the fact that there aren’t many high-octane thrills here, it is still the world’s number one park. With famous rides, beloved Disney characters, and so much more, the park, which originally opened its castle doors in 1971, preserves the enchantment of fairy tales.
Whether you have young children and want to do activities in Florida with them, consider yourself a child at heart, or enjoy the nostalgia of the past, you’ll feel completely at home during your villa vacation in Florida. Take a surreal interplanetary journey on Space Mountain, savour one of Casey’s delectable foot-long hotdogs, marvel at the dramatic parades, and revel in the stunning and extravagant fireworks displays.
You’ll need at least two full days (maybe more!) to get your bearings between the rides, snack hunts, and character sightings. It’s not for nothing that it’s known as the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
It debuted on May 28, 1999, alongside CityWalk, as part of the Universal Orlando Resort’s expansion of Universal Studios Florida. Vacation Like You Mean It is the resort’s tagline.
Islands of Adventure is based on an exploration journey, with guests embarking on an adventure to see a variety of themed islands. Originally, there were six islands in the park.
In 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the enormously successful Harry Potter franchise, was added as the seventh. Since the resort’s inception in 1990, it has been Universal’s largest investment. After a large rise in attendance as a result of the development, Islands of Adventure ranked seventh domestically and twelfth worldwide in 2013, with over 8.1 million visitors.
Many guests will be dressed in robes and wielding wands as they make their way to Hogwarts for a broom ride on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or a stroll through Hogsmeade hamlet with a butterbeer in hand. Make sure you have a park-to-park ticket if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express, which runs between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
Skull Island, the eighth island, debuted on July 13, 2016, and is based on the King Kong film franchise.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a zoological park located in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando, inside the Walt Disney World Resort. It is the world’s largest theme park, covering 580 acres, and is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is ‘perfect’ for animal lovers, as the name implies. Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of several opportunities to see newborn elephants, gorillas, and tigers, to name a few. Expedition Everest provides the most thrills on the coaster front (which has a plot twist like no other).
The Pandora section, which is based on the film Avatar, brings the film to life in every Na’vi way possible. For the Flight of Passage, a 3D experience that simulates riding on the back of a banshee, you’ll need to get a FastPass. There’s no other ride in Florida quite like it, as evidenced by three-hour wait times.
Universal’s Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay, also known as Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, is a tropical-themed water park located inside the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. Volcano Bay was the first water park built by Universal Parks & Resorts, and it replaced Wet ‘n Wild as the water park at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal’s Volcano Bay, the newest addition to the Orlando waterpark scene, offers thrills and experiences not found at other area splash zones, such as its TapuTapu wearable technology, which keeps you in line and alerts you when it’s time to ride, or TeAwa, the Fearless River, a thrilling inner-tube river ride that’s anything but lazy.
With 19 attractions spread out across 25 acres, it’s simple to see them all in a single day. You’ll be astonished at how many various ways there are to crash down the slope of a “volcano,” and how much fun it is to do so.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a theme park located in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando, at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith were once the most popular attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Land, as coveted as it is now, attracts massive crowds, where customers of all ages are made to feel toy-sized. The park has been flooded with families eager to ride Slinky Dog Dash and other themed attractions since it opened. Meet and greets are expected, so bring your autograph book if you want to meet Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the cast.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a sci-fi land where, among other things, you can sail the Millennium Falcon. It’ll undoubtedly be a game-changer for theme parks.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre animal theme park in Tampa, Florida with an African theme. The park, which is owned and run by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, regularly attracts over 4 million visitors each year.
Do you enjoy adrenaline-pumping roller coasters? Then head to Busch Gardens, which features a 200-foot-high floorless plunge coaster, a triple-launch coaster, and Florida’s first family spin coaster. Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, is the newest addition. Iron Gwazi, the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid roller coaster, will follow.
But this isn’t just about daredevil drops. The park’s Sesame Street Safari of Fun area, which includes kiddie rides and attractions as well as photo sessions with Elmo and Big Bird, is also a terrific destination for preschoolers. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is also one of the largest zoos in the United States, so animal lovers of all ages can wander through the park and view anything from giraffes and cheetahs to sloths and kangaroos.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is an Orlando, Florida-based theme park. The park first opened to the public on June 7, 1990, with a focus on film, television, and other sectors of the entertainment industry. NBCUniversal owns and operates the park, which includes a variety of rides, attractions, and live entertainment.
The first park at Universal Orlando Resort has classic rides like E.T. Adventure as well as the resort’s newest attraction, Fast & Furious – Supercharged, which transports visitors into the world of the fast-paced film franchise.
There are also rides based on “Men in Black,” “The Mummy,” and “Transformers,” as well as the white-knuckle thrills of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster, which sends riders on a 90-degree climb toward the sky while listening to their favourite soundtrack, and the less intense but still zippy Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Make a point of stopping by the Springfield sector for some Duff beer, Krusty Burger, and other “Simpsons” memorabilia.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Winter Haven, Florida’s Legoland Florida Resort (stylized as LEGOLAND Florida Resort) is a holiday destination. The resort includes the Legoland Florida theme park, the Legoland Water Park, three on-site hotels, and a new independently ticketed on-site park based on the British children’s animation series Peppa Pig, which will open in February 2022.
Legoland was built on the site of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, with the botanical gardens intact and the water park, as well as a few attractions and venues, re-themed to reflect various Lego brands.
This is the place to go if you’re not sure if your family is ready for a theme park on the size of Walt Disney World, especially if you have LEGO fans in your household.
On an interactive Ninjago ride, kids can drive their own LEGO car and boat, brave dragon and dinosaur-themed roller coasters, and put their ninja skills to the test. While waiting in line, keep the kids amused with brick-building zones.
In Orlando, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas, Aquatica parks are open to the public. SeaWorld Orlando is a marine zoological park and amusement park in Orlando, Florida. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment owns and operates the park. When SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando is united with its neighbours Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it creates SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex that includes three parks and numerous hotels.
With an estimated 4.594 million visitors in 2018, SeaWorld Orlando was the ninth most visited entertainment park in the United States.
Shows aimed at educating audiences about dolphins, orcas, and other aquatic animals can be found. SeaWorld Orlando is best known for its marine zoo, but it has also built a name for itself in the realm of high-octane thrill rides, such as Manta, one of the only coasters of its kind in the world, and Mako, a hyper coaster with deep dives, fast speeds, and plenty of thrills. Young visitors can now take a stroll through Sesame Street and interact with their favourite characters.
The finest things to do at Epcot range from the adventurous to the quirky, the delicious to the unforgettable, and the entertaining to the informative, and are sometimes referred to as the “educational park” by uninitiated Disney guests.
Epcot was created to be a park unlike any other, bringing together entertainment, education, cultural appreciation, and innovation all in one Disney park. At a glance, it appears incoherent, with the World Showcase showcasing rides, attractions, and shows from throughout the world, followed by the futuristic and imagination-themed part of the park.
The Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando, has a water theme park called Disney’s Blizzard Beach. With the exception of the melting snow in Cross Country Creek’s ice cave, all water locations are heated. It was the third Walt Disney World water park to open on April 1, 1995.
In 2016, the park welcomed around 2,091,000 visitors, making it the world’s third-most visited water park. Blizzard Beach is open all year with the exception of a winter maintenance closure.
Mount Gushmore, an artificial hill with a height of 90 feet, is home to the majority of the park’s primary attractions. To help people navigate the park, Mount Gushmore is divided by three coloured slopes: green, red, and purple.
A beach chair-themed chair lift, replete with beach umbrellas, and faux snow skis are among the park’s unique features. The park’s scenery and mood are defined by a unique blend of tropical landscaping and simulated melting snow. The mountain is a one-of-a-kind engineering project built in a difficult environment: a Florida woods with a high water table. The building is a whimsical mix of mountain lodges with Caribbean colours and decorations.