Orlando is the undisputed theme park capital of the world. From movie buffs, to thrill-seekers, to science geeks, Orlando's theme parks offer up a smorgasbord of fun for all tastes. With a year round average temperature of 28 degrees Celcius and a mere nine hours flying time from London airports, more British families than ever before are choosing an Orlando theme park holiday.
For many visitors to the Sunshine State, securing a variety of Florida park tickets before departing the UK, makes for some substantial savings. Depending on the time of the year, there's some great discounts to be had if you book ahead — especially if you double up your park tickets with accommodation on site at one of the hotels that accompany many of the major theme parks.
Of the major parks, Disney's Magic Kingdom kicked things off, opening its gates way back in 1971 — although visitors from those fledgling years would notice few similarities to the Magic Kingdom of today. It's currently the world's most visited theme park (and has been since 2009) and today attracts close on 20 million visitors a year. Themed around fairy tales and well-known Disney Characters, Magic Kingdom is divided into six lands — Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tommorowland and Liberty Square. At its heart sits Cinderella's Castle, the iconic Disney symbol. Join Jack Sparrow and take to the high seas on the Pirates of the Caribbean adventure or fly through the skies with Peter Pan and Wendy. Keep an eye out for Mickey and Minnie and a host of other Disney characters that roam the Magic Kingdom grounds.
For the movie buffs amongst us, Universal Studios Florida will take you on set and behind the scenes of many well-known movies and TV shows. From Harry Potter to Spiderman, The Simpsons to Shrek and the Terminator, Universal Studios Florida serves up world-class movie-themed rides and rollercoasters that will have you grinning from ear to ear and eager for more.
Summer days in Orlando can be hot. We're talking real hot. The average top temperature in Orlando in July is a sultry 33 degrees Celcius. For the thrill-seekers amongst us, there's no better way to cool off on a hot Florida day, than hitting up a water park. Why not make it the grand-daddy of all waterparks, Wet 'n Wild. Wet 'n Wild has been dropping temperatures and raising adrenaline levels since 1977. Take on other members of the family on the Aqua Drag Racer, a four-lane race that twists and turns along 120 metres of track before plunging into the landing pool some 20 metres below. For the ultimate in gut-dropping fun, load up at the bomb bay for a six storey fall that's guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Bring yourself back down to earth with a leisurely float around the park on the Lazy River.
Ubiquitous in childhood as the teddy-bear, Lego has played an integral part in the lives of children worldwide. Legoland Florida is aimed at families with children aged between two and 12 but even adults can't help but be impressed by the artistry that has gone into many of the Lego creations on display. All up there's 150 acres of Legoland to explore, more than 50 rides, shows and attractions for mum, dad and the kids.