Florida Guide > Disney Parks
When visiting Orlando, no visit would ever be complete without a visit to Disneyland and their theme parks. In this review I will concentrate on their 4 main theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), although there are others of note, these being Typhoon Lagoon, Disney Quest, Blizzard Beach and Disney World of Sports.
The most famous and the oldest of the parks is Magic Kingdom. Here the park is built around the large Cinderella Castle and has probably some of the oldest rides in Florida. Magic Kingdom has many different areas, these are, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Adventureland and Main street USA. Each area has a theme and immerses the guest in the full Disney experience. Most recently Fantasyland was built that houses the new 7 Dwarfs Mine train coaster. Our favourite ride at Magic Kingdom is the Buzz Lightyear shot em up style ride, where you travel through different areas trying to zap aliens with your ray gun. Scores are added up and put onto the leaderboard for the day. This is great for the younger children as is nice and slow.
Animal Kingdom is the least known of the major 4 Disney Parks and I must admit it is the lowest on my list of 4. Although the park is well thought out and has some excellent rides (expedition Everest) and themed areas, it doesn’t quite have the feel of the other parks or have had the most money spent on it. The main attraction in Animal Kingdom for most will be the tree of life, which is placed in the very centre of the park and acts as a focal and meeting point for most. As the park is very small (compared to other parks), you can generally get around in a morning and do some of the rides more than once. We went on Expedition Everest 3 times when we last visited.
EPCOT is one of Disney’s lost gems as although it looks like there is not that much going on, in each of the main areas there are some very good rides. Some of the best rides here are TEST TRACK (travel up to 75mph in a car around a test track), Mission Space (take a space ship to the moon and beyond to mars). At the end of the day EPCOT puts on the best fireworks show in Orlando around the large lake area. This is really worth waiting for and as there are so many restaurants all serving different cuisines, you can finish the rides; then pop for something to eat before the firework show starts.
The final park (and my favourite) is Disney Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is probably the most complete park in the whole of Florida. This means it caters for all ages really well (from the very youngest to the oldest). What stands this park out from the rest is the fact it has some great shows and some very good rides (Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Rockin Rollercoaster). Shows such Indiana Jones, Pop Idol and Lights, Motors Action really do get the crowd involved and showcase what Disney is very good at. My favourite is Lights, Motors action, where goodies and baddies battle it out in Europe having high speed car chases and high flying bike stunts. This show really is great and involves the audience from start to finish. You even get to see Lightning Mcqueen! ! !
In summary no visit to Orlando would ever be complete without a visit to Disney. Each park offers good value for money (if you purchase a multi park ticket) and each one offers something different without straying too far from the Disney theme. Whether you purchase a regular ticket or a park Hopper one (we suggest the latter) you will have a great time.
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