Orlando Things to Do Tips by Ewingjr98
Orlando Things to Do: 994 reviews and 1,399 photos
Walt Disney World is the name of the 25,000 acre collection of theme parks in Orlando, Florida.
The parks are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. Other attractions include Downtown Disney, the BoardWalk, the Wedding Pavilion, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Walt Disney World Speedway. The park also contains four 18-hole golf courses, a campground, and 32 hotels. The big four parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) all are in the top 10 in attendance rates globally, with the Magic Kingdom's 17 million guests topping the list worldwide. Disney is also the largest single-site employer in the US with some 66,000 workers.
Directions: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Downtown Disney is one of the rare Disney attractions with free parking and free admittance. Downtown Disney includes the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and the West Side. Downtown Disney opened in in 1975 as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, and slowly evolved over the years to its present state. The Marketplace features the Lego Imagination Center along with several small shops and fast food restaurants. Pleasure Island began in 1989 as an area of adult dance clubs and comedy venues, but these clubs closed in 2008 and have been replaced by a few shops and restaurants such as Fulton's Crab House. West Side offers Cirque du Soleil, a movie theater, DisneyQuest, and numerous restaurants such as the Wolfgang Puck Cafe.
Epcot attracts some 10 million visitors each year, making it the third most visited theme park in the US and 6th most visited in the world. Epcot is split between a section focusing on a small section of international cultures, and an area focusing on technology. The international area focuses mainly on North America and Europe, with the only exceptions being Japan and China, thereby completely ignoring the entire Southern Hemisphere, as well as important areas like the Middle East, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
Known as Gatorland Zoo when I was a kid, the slightly renamed Gatorland still offers guests the chance to watch thousands of alligators in a 110-acre preserve. The park opened in 1949, and it is still owned by the original family. I first visited this park in the mid 80s as a 10-year old, and it has stuck with me ever since. In fact I remember more about this little place than the entire three days of Disney World... and it was just a fraction of the cost.
Epcot has two parts, the World Showcase and Future World.
The World Showcase is the most famous of the two parts of Epcot, as it has the various different country pavilions including Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada.
Future World consists of a variety of areas including Spaceship Earth, Innoventions, Universe of Energy, Mission: SPACE, Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, The Land, and Imagination!
American Adventure and Imagination are two of the main areas that I remember from my visit. American Adventure is the feature attraction of the World Showcase, and it features a trip through American history. Imagination is an odd pyramid-shaped pavilion that showed movies when I was a kid.
I am not a Furry Potter--I mean Harry Potter-- fan in the slightest, but I still thought the Harry Potter world at Universal was pretty cool, other the the throngs of people it attracts. The town is so authentic the wood is real wood, the stone is real stone, no plastic junk here. Even the butterbeer is real butterbeer, but only if you pay $5 for the butterscotch and whip cream drink.
While here, we rode the forbidden journey ride in the big castle, the Dragon Challenge roller coaster, and the "Flight of the Hippogriff" family roller coaster. We also stopped in Honeydukes candy store, Dervish and Banges magic shop, and Three Broomsticks pub.
At Universal Studios' Islands of Adventures, one of the more interesting areas is called Seuss Landing. This theme park is designed after Dr. Seuss' books, and is a real hallucinogenic trip back to the 1950s. This area of the park, very popular with the younger children, features The Cat in the Hat ride, a One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish ride, and the The High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride (!).
We rode the Cat in the Hat and the Seuss trolley train, and otherwise just enjoyed the odd sights and interesting characters.
Come hang out with Sneetches, Things (1 and 2), the Grinch and even a few Dog-a-lopes.
Universal Orlando Resort is the second largest theme park in Orlando after Disney World. The resort has a few hotels and two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Universal studios was opened in 1990, and it consists of six different areas: Hollywood, Production Central, New York, San Francisco / Amity, World Expo and Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. Islands of Adventure opened in 1999, and it also has six areas: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (what does Wizarding mean?). In 2009, Islands of Adventure had 4.5 million visitors, ninth among United States parks. Universal Studios has about 5.5 million guests; combined the two parks' 10 million visitors is fourth most in the U.S. behind Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, and Epcot.
Entrance into Islands of Adventure is very expensive, about $80 per adult each day, with discounts for multi-day passes. We rode a ton of rides during our day here including Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Poseidon's Fury, The Cat In The Hat, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Flight of the Hippogriff.
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