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Last year, Visit Orlando announced that over 62 million people visited Orlando in 2014, making it the most visited destination in the United States. That’s pretty impressive considering there’s not beach for more than an hour and a half. Orlando’s all about ditching the beach for a weekend and chairs and exploring rides, animals and amusement parks.
If you are a big fan of theme parks, you could spend weeks visiting all of them in Orlando. In all, Orlando has 16 different amusement parks. Some of the 16 parks are divisions of bigger parks like SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and others are independent entities like Legoland and Gatorland. Each park has a unique theme that offers guests a range of memorable experiences. More information on each of the parks is below!
Aside from the theme parks, Orlando is home to a vibrant local art and music scene. Both residents and tourists appreciate world renowned museums, galleries, theaters and a vibrant mix of traditional and modern entertainment from across the globe. Additionally, there are also world-renowned shopping malls ranging from upscale malls like The Mall of Millenia to bargain shopping at the Orlando International Premium Outlets.
Must-Do: Hard Rock Cafe Orlando - The best eye-candy for burger lovers who appreciate loud music
Brunch: Hamburger Mary’s Orlando - Eat, drink and be “Mary”
Like a Local: Todd English's Bluezoo - Known for fresh Florida seafood
Considering all of the tourists, Orlando has a huge variety of resorts, hotels and restaurants to keep visitors rested, relaxed and full.
One of the most beloved resorts to stay at in Orlando is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. The facility is known for hospitality and entertainment, which includes a giant water slide for families to enjoy.
The Holiday Inn Orlando - Disney Springs Area is home to wonderful food and an extremely courteous staff. It is an easy walk to restaurants and Disney Springs.
For those who prefer to stay outside Disney World, The Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando is located right next to Universal Orlando Resort and is just a hop, skip and a jump from Downtown Orlando. It features free breakfast, a pool, a posh business center and a workout facility.
As we mentioned before, Orlando has over 16 different amusement parks! Here are some details about some of the most popular ones.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Since opening its doors in 1971, Disney's Magic Kingdom has been known as the sister of California’s Disneyland. Within the park are six different themed areas, including magnificent Main Street USA, the adventurous Adventureland, and the futuristic Tomorrowland, which houses the the famous roller coaster in the dark, Space Mountain.
Sitting on 300 acres of beautifully groomed and picturesque land, Epcot showcases some of the world’s latest and greatest innovations. The park’s notable attractions include Sea Base, and excellent rides like Spaceship Earth and Test Track, which is sponsored by Chevy. However, one of Epcot’s coolest features is the giant promenade that showcases different countries and parts of our planet.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom delivers a breathtaking zoological park. The park features animals and ecosystems from across the world. On the journey through themed areas like Africa, the Amazon and Mt. Everest, guests get to see almost 1,500 animals.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney's Hollywood Studios allows visitors to virtually go inside of iconic movies. In addition to adrenaline inducing rides, people get to watch stunt shows and get the same perspective that a major movie director would have. Art enthusiasts can devour animation galleries and for those that can appreciate a good scare, nothing beats the Tower of Terror.
Numerous icons from pop culture are brought to life in simulated rides at Universal Studios Florida. Resting on 107 acres, the Orlando-based park allows guests to relive Hollywood classics, like E.T., The Terminator and Back to the Future. While the older crowd might appreciate the classics a little more, there are also recent favorites, such as Despicable Me and Shrek.
Islands of Adventure
Similar to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure brings visitors favorite comic book heroes, wild stories, myths and cartoons to life. Guests can even dine and tour a realistic set of Hogwarts located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Big fans of Jurassic Park can check out the huge dinosaurs at the Jurassic Park River Adventure and kids love playing with the colorful characters hanging out at Seuss Landing.
Orlando’s other amusement parks include,
Orlando is a spectacular destination for the whole family, so a versatile Jeep Grand Cherokee would be a spacious rental for the whole gang and your luggage. A convertible Chevy Camaro would be fun for any couple on a weekend getaway.
Casual clothing, bathing suit, comfortable walking shoes, sunblock, hat, poncho, umbrella, camera, and a couple memory cards for thousands of pictures
List of local FM radio stations by genre:
NPR: 90.7 WFME
Indie: 91.5 WPRK
Country: 92.3 WWKA
Hip Hop: 950.3 WPYO
Rock: 101.9 WJHM