If you were asked to name 10 reasons why you vacationed in a certain place, you would probably start slowing down as you reach 5 or 6. But with Florida the list goes on and on. Theme parks are the obvious choice and could fill more than 10 places without a doubt just on theme parks alone.
Starting at the top
1. Magic Kingdom - Everyone young and old will find this just the most magical place to visit, from the minute you park you vehicle, you can feel the atmosphere. The staff are friendly from the minute to step from your car. Where else can you choose how you approach the park entrance? By Monorail, it takes you round the edge of the Lagoon, past some of Disney's resort hotels, depending which way the Monorail is running will depend on which hotels you see. Or take the Ferry Boat to the park entrance, the ferry glides across the Lagoon, giving you the opportunity to take your first shots of Cinderella's Castle. Space Mountain is also seen from here plus some of the Resort Hotels. Once at the gate, you are then able to see the Characters open the Park with Mickey Mouse being the guest of Honour. The turnstiles are then opened and you are then allowed to wonder around at your leisure through the different lands created to make this one of the most memorable days of your vacation. From the Tiki Rooms to the afternoon Share a Dream Come True Parade, you will find it all too much to take in, in just one day. We recommend you allow at least 2 days if you have not been there before. The Parade's are just out of this world, showing character past and present, but you need to prepare, the best positions start to be taken 2 hours before the parade starts. This is also a good time to visit the attractions you have missed should you feel that the parade is not for you. You will be sorry if you miss it.
2. Epcot - This is a different type of theme park all together. This is split in to two areas. Before I begin, if you are wondering what EPCOT means, then here you are. Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Future world if you wish. The first part is all future world, how things could be in years to come, including some of the most exhilarating rides available. TEST TRACK is a must for any car enthusiast, where as Mission: Space is for those budding Astronauts in the family. This is truly a fascinating place. Then things just get better. The World Showcase is created around a beautiful lake, surrounded by 11 countries of the world. Each themed to match the country, some of them include restaurants, gift shops, attractions and shows. Time just flies by as you walk from one country to the next. The sights, sounds and smells that you experience is just fantastic.
3. Animal Kingdom - A much quieter park compared to some of the others, the pace is much slower and can also be one of the nicest days out. A good mixture of animals and attractions will make this a winner with all family members. Festival of the Lion King is a show not to be missed by any Lion King Fan. Join the circle of life as you sit in the theatre, and see the performance you will remember for years to come. Magic and Humour is all thrown in, this is the show for you all. Kilimanjaro Safaris is next, you travel through the savannah, passing wild animals most people will never get the chance to see close up, Giraffes, Rhinoceros, Elephants and Hippopotamus are just a few of the animals you will see on this jungle trip. Kali River Rapids are sure to cool you down after returning from your jungle trip. All together another fantastic day out.
4. MGM Studios - Scenes from Hollywood start your day off as you walk down the streets of this make believe film studios. Fantastic thrill rides like the Tower of Terror will have you screaming for more. Take a Limousine ride with Aerosmith on one of the fastest rollercoaster's you will encounter. Live shows throughout the day from Beauty and the Beast will bring memories flooding back for young and old. You can get close to the action and get a feel of what it's like to be in the spotlight. Playhouse Disney is a must for the younger guests, fans of Bear in the Big Blue House, Winnie the Pooh, Rolie Polie Olie and Stanley all appear on stage and bring the BIGGEST smiles to those little faces you will see all day. The best end to your day at MGM Studios is FANTASMIC. Mickey and friends perform in front of a massive crowd, fountains, flames and music bring a fantastic end to a fantastic day. This is one show you will be talking about for some time to come.
5. Seaworld - Seals, Dolphins and Killer Whales, this is what you can expect to await you when you visit this Aquatic Theme Park. The wild life here are just fascinating, if you are a fan of Flipper or Free Willy, this is the place for you. View the surrounding Orlando sky line when you ride the Sky Tower in the centre of the park. Shows throughout the day show just how intelligent these animals are. You even get the chance to feed the dolphins and the stingrays. Watch Shamu and his trainers as he performs amazing stunts, in and out of the water. Not exciting enough? Dare to go on Kraken, Seaworld's Rollercoaster. This is awesome, not for the faint hearted. The ride is floor less, you basically hang from your seats as you are twisted and turned through a series of corkscrew turns and steep drops, glued to your seat with the shear speed of the ride. Ride it if you dare, You have been warned.
6. Discovery Cove - Dolphin Lovers are in a world of their own here. Both Swimmers and non Swimmers can enjoy a day with their favourite animal. Interacting with these amazing creatures face to face. For a day to remember for ever. Souvenir Photo's are also taken for the guests to remember the time they have had there. Although one of the more expensive days out, it is probably by far the very best for some guests.
7. Island of Adventure - Thrill Ride fans are in for a treat. The Hulk must be the FASTEST off the mark Rollercoaster in Orlando, you feel like you have been shot from a gun when this ride starts, the adrenaline really starts pumping. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman is a 3D thrill ride, like nothing you will have been on before. Dropped from a multi storey building, you are plummeting to your doom when Spiderman comes to your rescue. Phew that was close. Seuss Landing is a great place for preschoolers to enjoy themselves with A Cat in the Hat, Caro-seuss-el, the merriest Merry Go Round ever made, things just don't stop here. The youngsters will just love it.
8. Universal Studios - Lights, Camera, Action. From Shrek 4D to Twister - Ride it out, this is a great day our for all film fans. The famous Jaws ride will have you on the edge of your seat as you ride the waves of the shark infested waters. Terminator 2: 3D is a must for any fan of Arnie. I could not believe my eyes the first time I saw this live in front of my own eyes. Knickelodeon Studios is a definite must see, especially for the teenagers and younger. You may also be lucky enough to be there on one of the filing days and even get to be in one of the shows. Other shows are also filmed at Universal Studios, so keep your eyes and ears open. This could be your claim to fame.
9. Old Town - Situated on the US192, this is a replica of old style USA, Ferris Wheels, Vintage Car Cruises and Vintage Motorcycle Cruises make this a fantastic place to spend a few hours at the end of your day. There is something for everyone here, A shop where you can buy goods from back home in the UK, have a refreshing beer in one of the bars, have your palm read, the relaxed atmosphere helps you unwind and take in the sights. Unless you are feeling very daring, ride the Skycoaster, glide from around 300ft in the air, over a lake, at speeds of around 60mph, rather you than me.
10. Kennedy Space Centre - Right, you've tested Mission: Space at Epcot, now its time to see the real thing. If you plan your vacation in advance, you may even be lucky enough to see a shuttle or rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. It is also possible to have lunch with a trained Astronaut but this must be booked in advance. You can actually see some of the International Space Station which is being assembled there. The exhibitions are wonderful and it makes you wonder how these machines actually survive the journey they make.
Obviously the things I have mentioned are only a fraction of what you can see and do at these parks, I could just go on for days listing all the fantastic things for you to see and do. All the attractions above (apart from KSC which is around 1 ½ hrs drive) are all within 20 minutes from each other and more importantly 20 minutes from some of the best accommodation Orlando has to offer. Visit www.orlandovillas4u.co.uk for accommodation that will start your dream holiday the way it was meant to be. The attractions above a just a minute selection of what Orlando and Florida as to offer. One thing you can be sure on, to make the most of your time in Florida, Planning is the key. To make the most of every single minute, you should plan each day in advance and try and stick to your plan where ever possible. This way you will get the best value from your park tickets and your time there. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.