Theme Parks Reign Supreme for Kids in Orlando
If Las Vegas is America’s playground for adults, Orlando is surely the children’s version of Sin City. The mere mention of Orlando conjures images of family-friendly attractions, themed restaurants and, of course, enormous theme parks. Exploring these massive resorts can often take days, so planning ahead will allow you to get the most out of your trip. Here are three of the best theme parks in Orlando. Walt Disney World theme parksPerhaps the most famous of all Orlando’s attractions, Walt Disney World Theme Parks is a sprawling children’s wonderland, covering an area roughly the size of Boston. Known as the happiest place on Earth, Disney World is the place where fond childhood memories are made, allowing your kids to see their favorite animated movies come to life before their eyes. The resort is split into four main areas, each with its own unique character and set of rides and attractions to choose from. The Magic Kingdom is the most well-known of the four and contains the iconic Cinderella Castle featured in the Disney logo. Epcot is a massive, 300-acre complex containing thrilling rides and exhibits that celebrate international culture and technological innovation. Visitors can go on safari and see a diverse range of wild animals in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or check out rides and attractions celebrating the magic of film in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Universal OrlandoThe city’s other mega-resort, Universal Orlando is just as thrilling and entertaining as its Disney counterpart. Amid competition with Disney, Universal Studios developed one of the most impressive theme parks in the world, boasting a vast array of roller coasters, themed rides, shows and attractions. Like Disney World, the resort is split into different sections – Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure.Universal Studios has a staggering number of rides based on some of the greatest movies and television shows. Shrek 4-D and Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast will appeal to younger children. There are also heart-pounding rides based on Hollywood classics like “The Terminator,” “Jaws” and “Men In Black.” Over on the Islands of Adventure, kids can explore the spectacular Seuss Landing. Within this 10-acre space, characters and settings from beloved children’s books like “The Cat in the Hat” and “The Grinch” are brought to life. Similarly, one of the park’s newest and most popular attractions is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where we muggles can explore the magical world of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village, brought to life before your very eyes. Discovery CoveFor something a little different from the usual theme park fare, consider taking the family to Orlando’s Discovery Cove -- a more educational and hands-on spin on the traditional aquarium. This simulated Caribbean island retreat gives visitors the opportunity to snorkel in the depths of the Coral Reef to see beautifully colored fish and enormous stingrays. Find some rest and relaxation at the sandy beach, where a daily limit of 1,000 guests per day ensures that the shores never get crowded. For many guests, the highlight of their Discovery Cove visit is getting up-close with some friendly dolphins at the Dolphin Swim Experience.