Orlando is paradise for those who dream of Disney magic. But in the surroundings of this city there are many parks that are also worth a visit. That’s why when I started to organize my route through Florida I wanted to take advantage of the time and include the best parks in Orlando in addition to Disneyland in my agenda.
On the other hand, I couldn’t go to all of them because I didn’t have enough time or money. So I had to decide on the ones that seemed essential on my road trip through Florida. What I do recommend is that when you are clear about which ones you are going to visit, buy the tickets for the Disney parks and the tickets for the Universal Studios park online. I like to have everything organized and prepared to avoid last minute surprises. Another argument for buying them in advance is that you save time in the ticket office queues.
Once I had the tickets in my pocket, the next thing I did was hire a rental car to move around the area. My first destination in the sunny state was Miami. There the first days I used public transport to move around the city. But to go to Orlando I looked for a car so I could take a tour of different tourist places along the coast. Knowing San Agustine was essential. But going to the Kennedy Space Center and visiting iconic beaches like Daytona and Cocoa Beach were also in my plans.
I still had an issue to resolve. And, it was book a hotel close to all the parks. That’s why I decided on the Quality Inn & Suites By the Parks. Well located and very good value for money. It’s a five minute drive to the Magic Kingdom. About twenty from Universal Orlando and also within easy reach of Legoland. The best thing is that the room is spacious and has a small fridge and microwave. The common areas, the pool and the rooms are very clean and everything is carefully maintained.
Now that we have resolved the issues of accommodation and transportation, it is our turn to decide on the parks. The big question that comes to mind before going to Orlando is the same. And it is none other than if I choose the Disneyland or Universal parks.
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Visit Disney World, Universal Orlando or both?
It’s not just about choosing one park or another. Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando WDW Orlando is several theme parks. The drawback is that they are far from each other and that you cannot access with a single ticket. The same goes for Universal. There are two parks that are part of this great complex, to which you have to add an aquatic one.
As you have seen, it was my first time in Orlando and I had many doubts. On the one hand, it’s great that Orlando is the amusement park capital of the world. But the number of resorts and the possibilities they offer is so great that I didn’t know which parks to decide on. That’s why I asked myself the same question all the time: Are the Disney World parks better or the Universal Orlando parks?
- Walt Disney Orlando has 4 different parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. In addition to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, two water parks.
- Universal Orlando is divided into Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.
That’s why if you’re going to make a trip to Orlando for at least a week, my advice is not to focus only on the WDW Orlando parks; go to both. For me Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios Orlando are the two best parks by far for both adults and children. Both are very large and deal with completely different themes. But precisely for that reason it is worth going to both. Now I’ll explain why and which is the best park in World Disney World Florida and the best in Universal:
- Magic Kingdom is the park of all parks. It is the most visited in the world and the second oldest after Los Angeles. It is the place where dreams come true and where you can be a child again for a few hours.
- Universal Studios is for those who are crazy about movies, musicals and shows. On the other hand, it has the extra Harry Potter themed area which is wonderful. Both for lovers of this saga of magicians and for any type of public.
3 Essential Parks in Orlando
Now that I have told you about the Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios in general terms, I am going to tell you what the three essential parks are for me and why I chose them. My trip to Florida was 20 days including a stay in Miami, 5 days in the Daytona area to go to the beaches and the JFK space center and another 4 days in the parks as well as visiting the best outlets in Orlando.
I chose three Orlando theme parks for various reasons. In my case, I couldn’t spend all the days I wanted in the parks. The route was quite tight because, as I just told you, I wanted to get to know other tourist places in the area.
However, if you are going to spend at least a week in the Orlando parks, you can do two days per park instead of one. You can also combine tickets to Magic Kingdom and Epcot or Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
1. Magic Kingdom Orlando
I first decided on Magic Kingdom because the list of all the parks is longer than my pocket could cover at one time. And this park is the one that best represents the spirit of the Disney parks.
2. Universal Studios Orlando
The second park was Universal Studios because my trip was from Spain and I have better opportunities to go to Disneyland Paris as it is close to my country, but the one at the Universal factory is not so close at hand.
3. Legoland Florida
In the selection I also included Legoland. I visited this park for the first time in Denmark, Legoland Billund, and I loved it. Another reason is that in Orlando there is an area of attractions with water and in summer incorporating this option is a great success.
The best parks in Orlando
As I have just explained to you, there are three essentials in Orlando on my list, but you will not be short of proposals. Orlando is the park capital of the world and there are always new projects underway. So if you want a vacation full of fun and adrenaline reserve at least a week to be able to go to all the parks in Orlando. No place in the world has as many as Orlando so I have prepared a list of all the ones I looked for information on. I have not included any animal park because we do not like zoos or spaces that offer tourist activities with fauna.
- Magic Kingdom. The largest and most complete park in all of Orlando. From the magic of Disney characters to attractions to release a lot of adrenaline.
- Hollywood Studios. Here the best are the shows of famous Disney movies like Frozen or The Little Mermaid. There are also strong attractions like Aerosmith’s Rock’n’Roller Coaster.
- Epcot. It is the place where you can travel to different countries of the world and meet Mulan herself without leaving Florida.
- Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They are the two water parks of WDW Orlando. Pools, slides, rapids and the pool with the largest waves in the world. Up to two meters high.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is the theme park that Universal Studios has dedicated to the Wizard Saga. The setting of the park is brutal. The shows and attractions. The only bad thing is that it is divided between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. That means that if you want to visit the two Harry zones you have to have a ticket for both Universal parks.
- Universal Studios Florida. This is a very original park. It’s decorated like a big movie set and there are always lots of movie scenes, dances and musical performances. Many of the attractions are based on 3D simulators.
- Island of Adventure. It is the home of comic superheroes like Spiderman, Captain America or the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.
- Universal’s Volcano Bay is the water park of the Universal Studios factory. It is the ideal place to enjoy the island lifestyle of the South Seas.
- Aquatica Orlando. This water park offers the option of purchasing the ticket separately from SeaWorld. It has heated water, so it’s open all year.
- Legoland Resort. It is made up of two parks. Legoland Park and Legoland Water Park. Water park tickets can only be purchased in combo with the other park. This is the park designed for the families of everyone I visited in Florida.