A Look at Orlando’s More Grown Up Theme Parks

Dated: 11/30/2018

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If youre an animal fan, Sea World cant be beat. This park offers a unique look at sharks, dolphins, penguins, whales, and countless other species. The shows here are superb, not just the signature Shamu show, but also the dolphin, sea lion, and bird shows. Theres even a show where everyday cats and dogs show off their amazing training. This park also gives its visitors a one of a kind chance to interact with the animals. You can pet and feed stingrays, nurse sharks, and even dolphins. For those who want rides, there is Atlantis and Krakan, a water ride and roller coaster, respectively. Expedition Arctic provides a ?helicopter ride? up to Sea Worlds realistic arctic base, where you can watch polar bears and beluga whales play and touch the real ice walls. A local tip: If you dont mind getting wet, up front and center, right in front of the platform, is the best seat in the house for the Shamu show. Just be careful of your camera equipment. When they say splash zone, they mean it!

Universal Studios Orlando definitely has a more adult feel to it. This park, while still kid friendly, has more adult and teenager aimed attractions and a more playfully sarcastic attitude. (One of their favorite sayings in the shows is, ?This isnt Disney folks. We dont have to be nice to you.?) If you want more intense rides and the kids have gotten too old to enjoy Country Bear Jamboree, this might be the choice for you.

The first Universal park, simply called Universal Studios is a good option. The rides here are fun, but a little tame for the more adventurous visitor. The real gem of this park is its shows. The Blues Brothers show is great for anyone who enjoyed the movies or even just likes the music. This performance happens right in the street and usually gets the whole crowd dancing. The Monster Make-Up show is definitely a cant-miss experience as well, both the costume and makeup museum inside and the show itself. The Terminator 3D and Shrek 3D shows are also great stops and a good way to get out of the hot Florida sun. For the ride lovers in the group, there is Revenge of the Mummy. This ride more than makes up for the tameness of the others, combining animatronics, pyrotechnics, and a great roller coaster. The lines for this ride tend to be long, however, so get there early. The Men in Black ride is another good one, especially for those who enjoy video games.

For the roller coaster lover, Universals Islands of Adventure is definitely the way to go. Some of the best roller coasters in Orlando can be found there, including the Hulk and Dueling Dragons. Spiderman is another big favorite, combining 3D screens and actual movement in a way not usually seen in theme park rides. There are three water rides as well, which is great if youre visiting in the summer.

When visiting Orlando, remember that Disney isnt your only option. There are many great parks out there that are all worth a try.

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Mike Najm

With a multi-cultural background and bi-lingual, Mike moved from South America to the Central Florida area in 2001. His careers have been in both the finance and technology industries over the past 15....

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