Renting Near W.D.W.
Why we moved to Florida and choose to rent a house near Disney World

Other Orlando Theme Parks

Even though we love the Mouse, there are many other theme parks to visit in the Orlando, Florida area.

Universal Studios Photo  

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios and the newer Islands of Adventure parks tend to be geared more towards teens and older. Although there are a few attractions specifically for smaller children, those attractions are split between the two parks.

New attractions include the Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster (a great thrill ride) and the Fear Factor Live attraction, both at Universal. (Hope you have a strong stomach...) If your timing is right, you’ll even get to view official tapings of Fear Factor on location at Universal Studios. Blue Man Group will soon be added to the mix. Check out OrlandoRideGuide.com for a list of Universal Orlando Rides and a list of Islands of Adventure Rides

SeaWorld Orlando

We recently visited SeaWorld Orlando for the first time since the 1970s. SeaWorld park has grown up quite a bit since our long-ago visit. We had family with small children visiting with us and the kids (ages 4 and 2) loved the sea animals. Shamu has a great new show (and we learned you can have dinner with Shamu now). Now that we have annual passes (2006-2007) for Sea World Orlando, we plan to make frequent visits to Sea World.

Orlando Theme Parks Photo  

 

If you have only one day to visit SeaWorld, make it a point to do some very careful planning as soon as you enter the park. Pick up a times guide and map out your day before you do anything else. Take careful notice that SeaWorld runs on a tight schedule and it is often difficult to make it across the park from one show to another. Show up early for live performances. Many fill to capacity quickly - especially during busy days. Also note that the doors typically close once a show begins and entrance is not permitted - even it you're just a minute late. The last and most important tip is to make sure to attend the earliest performances available for programs involving animals. These shows can be cancelled at a moment's notice due to weather or animal behavior. If you plan to attend the last Shamu show of the day and it gets cancelled, you'll be very disappointed. We know - it happened to us while taking a friend on his first visit to SeaWorld. We later learned that Shamu gave birth the day after our visit. Check out OrlandoRideGuide.com for a list of SeaWorld Orlando Rides.

Cypress Gardens

Located southwest of Orlando in Winter Haven, Florida, Cypress Gardens is one of Florida’s oldest theme parks. Famous for water ski shows, this is another park we had’hadn't visited since the 1970s until just recently. Cypress Gardens was unexpectedly shut down just before we moved to Florida. It was later purchased by a new owner and reopened in late 2004. In August 2005, a brand new water park was added. The gardens are as beautiful as we had remembered. We have annual passes and look forward to returning for special concert performances and attractions. Check out OrlandoRideGuide.com for a list of Cypress Gardens Rides.

We took a trip down memory lane in late 2006 with a senior member of our family who last visited Cypress Garden in 1953. During that visit he had his photograph taken with one of the famous southern belles. He was delighted to learn that the belles still stroll the grounds of Cypress Gadens and had a new photo taken. Being a kidder, he commented on how the belles hadn't aged a day in over 50 years since his last visit!

Also in late 2006 we visited Cypress Gardens for their holiday display of lights and special shows. We enjoyed the Christmas carols played by the band in the center gazebo, the holiday ice skating performance, and the Christmas play.

 

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