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A place where the fantasy world of Walt Disney is brought to life, this mammoth resort is a myriad magical adventures waiting to happen. From the futuristic globe of the Spaceship Earth and the thrilling rides of Disney's Hollywood Studios, to the France, Japan, Germany, Morocco and Italy Pavilions, Walt Disney World encompasses the farthest reaches of the earth and the fanciful stretch of a boundless imagination. After the incredible success of Disneyland in Southern California in the 1950s, Walt Disney decided to expand his empire with the purchase of 27,443 acres (11,106 hectares) of land near Orlando, Florida in 1965. Although Walt Disney himself died in 1966, his vision was realized when Walt Disney World opened to global anticipation and unparalleled excitement in 1972. Since opening, the park has expanded to include four separate theme parks—the original Magic Kingdom with its iconic fairytale castle, alongside Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are also several water parks, themed hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, fireworks shows and endless opportunities for fun!
One of the world's premier amusement parks, the Universal Studios Florida was opened to great fanfare in 1990, and since then has become the 16th most visited theme park in the world, with an estimated turnout 7 million guests per year. The park is split up into several different sections that resemble locations from some of the studio's most popular ventures, which include the like of the Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. The park's famous Jaws ride is one of the park's oldest and most popular attractions to date.
Legoland Florida is a family-friendly amusement park that showcases all things Lego! There are 50 rides and attractions, including the Dragon Coaster, Miniland USA, and Pirate's Cove. You can also watch fantastic shows and grab a meal at one of their many entertaining restaurants. This park is especially geared for children 2 to 12, but it's fun for the whole family!
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lake Eola is an ideal escape without having to leave the city. The lake is a part of a park complex that includes a lovely walkway, which encircles the lake and serves as a running track. The park is a whopping 43.2 acres, which makes it easy to feel like you really have left the city. Visitors can use the picnic facilities located throughout the park, or rent a boat to take out onto the lake.
Blue Spring State Park, located north of Orlando in Orange City, offers visitors a more relaxed and natural Florida setting away from the crowded, noisy attractions and theme parks of the area. Spend an afternoon or plan an overnight stay here in a cabin or at a campsite to take in all the park has to offer. The park encompasses over 2,600 acres and features the St. Johns River's largest spring. It is also the winter home and designated refuge to a large number of manatees. Activities and services of Blue Spring State Park include boat tours, canoe and kayak rentals, hiking and nature trails, camping, picnicking, scuba diving, snorkeling, tubing, wildlife viewing, and a visitors center in which people can learn more about this beautiful park.
In a tribute to the thrilling history of United States' space exploration, the Kennedy Space Center welcomes visitors to climb aboard a full size space shuttle replica, view moon rocks and view science closely. This famous space center is one of NASA's 10 field labs and has been the primary location for space launches containing humans since 1968. This center was where operations for the launch of the Apollo program as well as the Space Shuttle program were, among others, were run from (although some of the actual launches occurred at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.) The overall campus covers 144,000 acres (583 square kilometers), with some 700 different facilities playing a very important role in NASA's operations. At the visitor's center, curious people can take a tour venturing deep into NASA's spaceport facilities, or visit the Rocket Garden, featuring eight massive rockets from past eras. The complex is also home to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
Take a trip to this 70-acre park and see thousands of alligators and crocodiles up close. Visit breeding pens, nurseries and rearing ponds. Children love the site's mini water park, and the petting zoo boasts goats, lambs and other barnyard animals. Make sure to walk the 2000-foot boardwalk winding its way through a cypress swamp. If you get hungry, grab a bite at the on-site Pearl's Smokehouse. The menu features smoked alligator ribs and deep-fried gator nuggets.
Set in a park of more than 100 acres, this 21-acre zoo houses more than 400 animals. Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is in fact a privately owned charitable organization dedicated to the conservation of exotic animals as well as species native to Florida. You'll encounter cheetahs, pumas, alligators, snakes, macaws, hawks, owls and many other animals. The zoo also offers a variety of educational and child-friendly classes and events.
WonderWorks bills itself as a museum “where science has gone crazy.” This attraction will amuse both children and adults and they can pick up some quirky scientific information along the way. This bright, upside-down establishment offers more than 100 hands-on exhibits, including the Bridge of Fire walk-through (which simulates the power of 250,000 watts of electricity), a Mystery Lab and the Earthquake Experience simulation room. Visit for a quirky and educational experience.
A great addition to Orlando's already plentiful attractions, the Orlando Eye is Florida's counterpart to the much-loved London Eye. The 400-foot (121-meter) Ferris wheel takes a total of 22 minutes to do a full round. From the comfort of your high-tech capsule, you can see incredible views of all the major attractions, lakes, and an unforgettable panorama of Central Florida. Clear days afford views as far as Cape Canaveral on the East Coast. Come here at sunset for one of the most romantic vistas in the city.
Amway Center is a prominent sports and entertainment venue in downtown. Orlando The facade and interiors of the center were designed by ace architects and are very eclectically built. The center boasts a variety of facilities, including a concourse, locker rooms, rest rooms, concert stage and more. Events here include Orlando Magic basketball games, other local tournaments, the famed NBA championship, WWE events, concerts, and performing arts shows.
More than a zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom has rides, shows, and safaris to allow visitors to feel like they have truly spent the day among wild animals. See roaming wild animals on Kilimanjaro Safari or pet goats, llamas, and pigs at the Affection Section. Or take a rest and catch one of Animal Kingdom's many shows, from the 3-D 'It's Tough to be a Bug'—where you can experience life from a bug's point of view, to the live action, 'Pocahontas and her Forest Friends'. With rides like the roller coaster Expedition Everest and the TriceraTop Spin, all members of the family are sure to have a full day of fun.