Your Guide to Theme Parks in Orlando

The destination of Orlando is the mecca of world-class theme parks and amusements. Visitors of all ages can enjoy adventures, thrills, and a fantastic display of imagination. Walt Disney World brings the magic like no other park, while Universal Resort Orlando is known for its endless excitement and bringing your favorite movie and TV characters to life. The water babies amongst us will love the aquatic adventures of SeaWorld Orlando, and it will be hard to drag the littlest ones away from LEGOLAND Florida Resort. 

There is not another destination on earth that can match Orlando, Florida, for iconic theme parks. You will never run out of memory-making fun and adventures in Orlando, where you can be a princess, a superhero, or even a wizard for the day. 

The theme parks in Orlando can be overwhelming, even for a repeat visitor. Our Guide to Theme Parks in Orlando will help you get the most out of your visit. It is natural to want to do and see all that Orlando has to offer. It is simply not possible to do that in one visit. Accept that you can't do it all in one visit and plan the perfect trip to hit your top priorities, and then put that next holiday on the calendar now! Every park offers thrills, imagination, and tons of fun. But each park is unique. The trick to a great trip is to find the best fit for your interests and age group.

Walt Disney World, possibly the most popular Orlando theme park is vast, at 40 square miles, which is twice the size of Manhattan. Despite common belief, the theme parks are not all in Orlando. Disney's Animal Kingdom is 20 miles from downtown Orlando. It is essential to plan ahead to make your itinerary efficient and to get the most out of your visit. This also means you don't have to stay at one of the on-site resorts to be close to the parks, although there are many perks to staying at one. 

When you choose your theme parks, you'll want to think about your age groups and whether they are into adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, an excursion with Harry Potter on the Hogwarts Express, or an exploration of the world.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is where it all began, and it remains the granddaddy of all theme parks. Packed with nostalgia and memory-making fun, this is a must-do for families with young kids. The epic Cinderella's Castle beckons, and Mickey Mouse and his friends roam the grounds. Disney offers 6 parks, all distinctly different and each targeting different groups, but equally imaginative and fun. 

Disney's Magic Kingdom

The most well-known Orlando theme park is Disney's Magic Kingdom. This is the best park for young kids, who will be in awe at the site of the epic Cinderella's Castle and will never forget their first ride on “it's a small world.” The rides are entry-level and designed for the little ones. The older kids will thrill to Space Mountain. The Magic Kingdom offers 40 rides and attractions and lots of themed dining and shopping. This is, after all, "The Most Magical Place on Earth." 

The Magic Kingdom offers six themed lands, each with a different vibe and experience. The first area you'll encounter is Main Street, U.S.A. Take a quick tour of the park on the Walt Disney Railroad. Stop into Frontierland. You won't want to miss Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain, which are the biggest thrills in this area. Grizzly Hall will have you dancing with the audio-animatronic Country Bear Jamboree and you can check your shooting skills at Frontierland Shootin' Arcade. 

Explore Adventureland with some of Disney's most classic attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. Chill out in the animatronic bird-filled Enchanted Tiki Room. Adventures include swashbuckling pirates, magic carpet rides, and treks through Africa and Asia. Liberty Square is the spot to hang out with the happy haunts of the Haunted Mansion and listen to what the presidents have to say at the Hall of Presidents. 

No trip to Orlando is complete without a visit to Fantasyland. This is home to Cinderella's Castle. You can soar high with Peter Pan on his flight or take a rocky ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. And don't miss a trip around the globe on "it's a small world." Hop on Dumbo the Flying Elephant to soar through the sky or enjoy Enchanted Tales with Belle. You may even end up playing a part! And don't miss the Mad Tea Party. Finally, visit Tomorrowland for a visit to the future. Take a ride on Space Mountain and enjoy Disney's Carousel of Progress. 

Watch for the fantastic fireworks display and the Main Street Parade. This is where memories for a lifetime are made for the little ones. 

Disney's Animal Kingdom

This is the Orlando theme park for animal lovers and Avatar fans. You'll be transported to some of the world's most remote locations. Explore amazing rainforests, savannas, and jungles in an immersive wildlife experience. This is one of the best parks for visitors of all ages. There are six lands at Disney's Animal Kingdom, where you'll be transported across the globe.

The newest land is Pandora- The World of Avatar. This attraction is based on the hit movie. Bioluminescent rainforests and rivers that glow await you as you embark on a fantasy trip above the moon. Avatar Flight of Passage takes you on a winged flight on a banshee over the moon and through an imaginary world. Float in a reed boat on the Na'vi River Journey searching for the Shaman of Songs. You'll pass caves, bioluminescent rainforests, and glowing rivers with mysterious creatures. 

Enter the lush world of Oasis for fantastic animal viewing opportunities with wildlife like otters, storks, and porcupines in this natural setting.

Discovery Island is home to the epic Tree of Life with hundreds of carvings and a secret in the tree trunk. 

Africa gives you a fantastic look into the continent and its wildlife. Take a popular Kilimanjaro Safari in an open-air vehicle to explore the Harambe Wildlife Preserve to see cheetahs, gazelles, and more. 

Asia offers an exciting whitewater rapids raft ride. Be prepared to get wet. Take a jungle trek and ride Everest Expedition with exciting loops and curves through caves and up the mountain. 

Dinoland U.S.A. This is the place for all things dinosaurs. Board a Time Rover and go back in time to see lighting bursts, thunder booms, and menacing dinosaurs. 

Animal Kingdom is full of themed dining opportunities and plenty of shopping to help preserve the memories.  

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Are you ready for your close-up? Explore the fantastic world of movies and meet some of your favorite stars of film and TV. This Orlando theme park is best for movie buffs and Star War fans. Visit a galaxy far far away at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, hang out with Buzz and Woody or catch your favorites like Indiana Jones at Hollywood Studios. The shows are excellent. Experience MuppetVision 3D with Miss Piggy and your favorites. Zoom around the lot and through the streets of Hollywood past iconic landmarks at speeds up to 60 mph on Rock'n'Roller Coaster with Aerosmith music. Blast into outer space with Star Tours. There is something for everyone at Disney Studios. Check out Information on Updated Disney’s Hollywood Studios for more. 


Explore the culture and food of some of the most exciting countries in the world in the World Showcase and learn about the past, present, and future of our planet. Start with the iconic Spaceship Earth geodesic dome and visit the Future world. Explore the stars at Mission: SPACE Adventure and stroll into The World Showcase for plenty of entertainment and a visit to 11 fascinating nations. 

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

Take a splash and enjoy the thrills of a melting ski resort at Blizzard Beach. This park tells the story of a rogue snowstorm that hit Florida, making way for the world's most unique ski resort. The Florida heat returned and transformed the resort into an aquatic wonderland. Rides include the Chairlift, a tube ride down a lazy river, and dueling waterslides. There is plenty to do at this water wonderland. 

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

There are plenty of chills and spills at Typhoon Lagoon, where you'll explore a storm-tossed tropical paradise. Learn about the storm that sent surfboards flying,  boats landing on rooftops, a shrimp boat to the top of volcanic Mount Mayday, and the tropical paradise left behind. There are thrilling Storm Slides to zip downhill, and Humunga Kowabunga will send you hurling 214 feet down. There are plenty of aquatic activities for the little ones too. 

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort is all about movies and pop culture. You'll mingle with the biggest stars in the business in the three incredible Universal theme parks. This is the spot where you can soar over Hogwarts with Harry Potter and swing through the streets with Spider-Man. Universal offers plenty of additional entertainment, shopping, and dining at Universal CityWalk, their on-site resorts, and throughout the parks. 

Universal Studios

You'll rub elbows with the A-List. Race with the family from Fast & Furious or help Transformers save the day. Visit with lovable ET. Here you'll find all things "movie." Probably the most popular area at Universal is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, with lots of wizarding attractions, shopping, and dining. Spend time with the Despicable Me Minions, or take a trip on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit to the music of your own choice at speeds of 65 mph. 

Universal's Islands of Adventure

For explorers and adventurers. Each of the areas is themed to a different fan group. There are rides and immersive theming, as well as plenty of interactive opportunities in each area. Greet your favorite superhero on Marvel Superhero Island, or check out a lineup of themed rides and entertainment, including the latest - Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Comic book fans will want to visit Captain America, Wolverine, and others and ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom's Fearfall, or Storm Force Acceleration. The little ones will enjoy Dr. Seuss and Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. Be prepared to get wet on the water rides! See more about IOA here.

Universal's Volcano Bay

Water enthusiasts who want the latest and most thrilling in aquatic adventures will want to visit Universal's water park, Volcano Bay. Try out their TapuTapu wearable technology that holds your place in line and lets you know when you're up! Ride the TeAwa, the Fearless River, a thrilling inner tube river ride that is certainly not lazy!. There are 19 attractions on the 25-acre campus, and you'll be able to hit all of them in one day. All about Volcano Bay!


SeaWorld offers the best of all worlds with exciting rides and roller coasters, plenty of animal encounters, and many more exciting attractions. SeaWorld has been supportive of conservation projects worldwide for many years, so your visit to SeaWorld is also a chance to be a part of that mission. 

Ride Orlando's only floorless roller coaster on the Kraken, where your feet will dangle as you travel at high speeds. Prepare for a soaking on Journey to Atlantis and take a jet-helicopter ride through the frozen north at Wild Arctic. Even the little ones can enjoy a ride on Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and at Sesame Street Land. Dolphin Cover, Shark Encounter, and much more awaits. Enjoy live shows and get ready for an exciting and fun day. 

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

LEGOLAND Florida offers a theme park and a water park with 50 rides, shows, and attractions spread out over 14 distinct lands. The only challenge is to decide what to do first in this exciting theme park. You'll find thrilling roller coasters and rides and creative play areas with unique building zones. From the LEGO wave pool to the Build-a-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides, and interactive water-play areas, you'll find it all. Ride the Grand Carousel in Fun Town, dare to try the Land of Adventure's Coastersaurus, or join The Great LEGO Race - a virtual reality-enhanced coaster just for kids. Visit MINILAND USA, where you'll see more than 32 million LEGO bricks recreate famous cities, or visit the botanical gardens. Here is Your Complete Guide to Visiting Legoland in Winter Haven, Florida  

When it's time to plan your visit to Orlando, your biggest challenge will be to decide what to see out of all the amazing theme parks in Orlando. Trust us, you won't be able to do it all. That's why millions of visitors return again and again. Pick your favorites and make the most of your stay. Then get next year's visit on the calendar!