Planning a 3-Day Visit to Orlando: Theme Park Highlights
Walt Disney World® Resort
Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando is made up of four unique parks, so it can be challenging to find time to enjoy all the resort has to offer in a single day. If you are short on time then a visit to the Magic Kingdom is the best way to experience a little of everything, however, if you really want the full Disney experience, you may want to consider spending the entire 3-day trip at Walt Disney World® Resort. But, no matter how long you plan to spend in this magical place, planning is essential, so here are some of the top must-see attractions to add to your itinerary.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
This classic ride is the inspiration for the incredible movie franchise and not to be missed. Guests begin by boarding the ship for a cruise through the pirate-themed ride. The boat ride is quite gentle and ideal for young kids as there is no height restriction but be mindful that very young children may be frightened by some of the scenery.
Pirates of the Caribbean is also a great way to beat the heat if you are traveling in the summer, with a cool place to queue in the dungeons, and a little spray as you travel. Look out for Captain Jack Sparrow hidden in the attraction’s scenes.
2. Space Mountain
Arguably, the most recognizable ride at Walt Disney World®, Space Mountain was the first rollercoaster ever featured at the park. After guests board the rocket ship, they climb to a thrilling 180-feet before being taken on a twisting, turning journey though the darkness.
It is one of the most popular rides at the resort, so be sure to get in early. This wild ride is unsuitable for young children, pregnant women, or people suffering from heart conditions.
3. Pandora – The World of Avatar
Though Walt Disney World® Resort’s Animal Kingdom® is home to some amazing animals, you have never experienced flora and fauna like this before. Pandora is populated by exotic plants and creatures, including floating mountains and glowing plants.
Try the Flight of Passage as you take a thrilling ride on the back of an incredible winged creature taking in the view of Pandora from above. Or experience the bioluminescent rainforest by night in the Na’ Vi River Journey.
4. Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land lets you live the experience of being a toy. Ride along inside Slinky Dog through a series of gentle curves and hills ideal for young kids. Enjoy playing with giant-sized blocks and board games alongside all your favorite Toy Story characters.
5. Happily, Ever After
For the perfect way to end your visit, you can’t beat the nightly fireworks display, Happily Ever After. This spectacular show lights up the sky above the rides and attractions, and the best place to view the show is from Main street which gives you the perfect position to see the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle – simply iconic! Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts to stake out the best view.
6. Seasonal Events
Throughout the year, Walt Disney World® Resort offers several seasonal events to add to the already incredible selection of attractions. During the winter you can’t miss Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom with a parade and snowfall along Main street as well as fireworks and as much hot chocolate and cookies as you can eat! But for summer visitors, Disney’s latest offering is Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which celebrates all things Star Wars and includes a parade, shows and a fireworks display.
Tickets and Packages
At aRes Travel, we offer Walt Disney World® Resort ticket packages with a 3-day pass that allows you to visit one park per day, or for a more flexible option we also offer 3-day Park Hopper® tickets that gives you unlimited access to all the parks for the duration of your stay. The ideal solution if you plan to hit up more than one theme park while staying in Orlando.
SeaWorld® Orlando first opened in 1973 as a research facility and educational marine park and has since expanded to include a water park and an incredible selection of world-class attractions and rides aimed at educating visitors about marine wildlife and conservation. Here are some of the top attractions:
1. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
For family-friendly fun, try this unique trackless ride that takes into the dark depths of the Antarctic to explore the life of the penguin. Here you will meet your penguin guide, Puck who takes you on an amazing journey through the frozen deep and icy habitat. Combine the ride with a visit to the penguin habitat to see real-life penguins up close.
2. Journey to Atlantis
Named for the fabled city of Atlantis, this ride combines the thrill of a rollercoaster with the splash-down fun of a flume ride. With some of the highest and fastest drops found at any theme park in the country, this ride is a must-see experience during your visit.
As fast as the shark for which it was named, Mako is a thrill-a-second hyper coaster that reaches speeds of up to 73 mph and features a drop of 200-feet while zooming through a sunken shipwreck. This ride is not for the faint-hearted, so height restrictions apply.
4. Infinity Falls
Take your family on the latest white-knuckle thrill ride to be featured at SeaWorld® Orlando, Infinity Falls. Guests brave class IV rapids while exploring tropical ruins and experiencing waterfalls, chutes, geysers, and fountains. Don’t worry if you get soaked; family-sized dryers are available after the ride so you can be ready for your next adventure.
5. Animal Shows
You can’t visit SeaWorld® Orlando without catching one of the spectacular animal shows. For dolphin fans, Blue Horizon features a dazzling theatrical display of dancing dolphins, aquatic birds, and amazing acrobats. For playful fun, check out Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High, or the iconic Shamu show.
6. Animal Tours
Get up close and personal with some of SeaWorld Orlando’s beautiful wildlife with their exclusive animal tours. Pet a penguin or feed a seal and take a behind the scenes look at how these animals live and interact with their trainers. It is truly an unforgettable experience.
7. Seasonal Events
Don’t miss a magical evening at SeaWorld this summer with the Electric Ocean event. With DJs, light displays, glowing sea creatures, and a spectacular fireworks display, this is the best way to end your trip to SeaWorld this summer.
But summer isn’t the only time that SeaWorld hosts fun-filled events, the Halloween Spooktacular lets you trick-or-treat among the sea life. You can even spend Christmas at SeaWorld with the festive Christmas celebration featuring additional live shows and Christmas food and shopping galore.
Tickets and Packages
aRes Travel offers discount tickets to SeaWorld® Orlando and highlights seasonal promotions at discounted rates, featuring a selection of great ticket packages to suit your visit including discounted single-park entry or both SeaWorld and Aquatica water park. You can even combine a ticket for SeaWorld Orlando with a ticket for Walt Disney World® Resort to save even more.
Universal Studios Orlando™
Movie buffs will love the amazing attractions and action-packed rides at Universal Studios Orlando™. Split into two equally incredible parks, Universal Studios Orlando™ and the Island of Adventure; it can be a challenge to fit in all the fun into a single visit so here the top rides and attractions you can’t miss. Check out these popular rides and attractions:
1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
It’s not only Harry Potter fans who will get a kick out of this attraction. After spending some time wandering through the amazingly detailed Hogsmeade village, you find yourself transported into the exciting world of a Harry Potter adventure with an airborne quidditch match, close calls with Death Eaters, a run through Hogwarts castle.
2. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Universal Studios Orlando features not only one but two incredible Harry Potter worlds, and the second is where you will find this fantastic rollercoaster adventure which enacts one of the key scenes from the books. Find you way out of the cavernous depths of Gringotts bank and watch out for dragons and Lord Voldemort along the way.
3. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
For a truly immersive movie experience, the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman pulls out every technological trick in the books. With its unique roving motion vehicles and 3D and 4D movie elements, this ride draws you into the super world of Spiderman until you can’t tell what is real or fake.
This is great option for young kids or visitors who aren’t fans of traditional rollercoasters as the thrills are on the mild side with only a few spins, though some of the dark scenes may be frightening for younger kids.
4. Seasonal Events
Universal Studios Orlando™ celebrates all the major holidays in spectacular fashion, and what better place to spend Halloween than the place where movie magic comes to life! But one of the more sensational celebrations are the seasonal Christmas events including the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, Christmas in the Harry Potter Wizarding World and the Universal Studios Holiday parade. It is well worth planning your trip to Orlando around one of these amazing events.
Tickets and Packages
To ensure you use all the attractions that Universal Studios Orlando™ has to offer the best ticket package available is the park-to-park ticket which allows you access to both amazing venues (you can even travel between the two via the Hogwarts Express which is included in the ticket price). You can also combine your visit to Universal Studios Orlando™ with a trip to Volcano Bay Water Theme Park at a discounted price.
How to Make the Most of Your Visit
1. Arrive Early
Orlando theme parks attract huge crowds, long lines, and little time to explore all the amazing attractions on offer. One way to beat the rush is to arrive early. Check the park opening hours online and aim to be outside the gate about 15 minutes before opening. This allows you plenty of time to find parking if you are driving your car or find your way from the bus station. To get in even quicker, buy your tickets online to skip the queue.
2. Find a Map
Before heading off on your trip, it is a good idea to come up with an itinerary for your day; which exhibits to visit, which rides to go on, and when to take snack breaks (which is especially important if you are visiting with kids). A map lets you plan well ahead of time to take the stress out of your vacation.
You can download a printable version the map from the parks’ websites or download the theme park app to have access the map at your fingertips.
3. Check the Schedule
Many of the attractions and rides adhere to a schedule, especially if you are visiting SeaWorld® Orlando, so to avoid missing out on your favorite rides or live show, be sure to check out the schedule online a couple of weeks before you leave.
Knowing the park schedule allows to better plan your itinerary so you can see more of the park in less time.
4. Go on a Tour
No one knows the parks better than the people who work there. Park-organized tours allow you to take advantage of the park staff’s knowledge and give you access to interesting parts of the park. Tours are also ideal if you are short on time and need a little more structure to your visit.
5. Take Advantage of Guest Services
Orlando theme parks aim to be as inclusive as possible, so they offer accessibility features though their guest services. At guest services, many parks offer wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs, as well as strollers for a stress-free family vacation.
There is so much to see and explore in Orlando that you are going to want to come back again and again. Add some of these must-see park highlights to your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.
For exclusive deals on discounted vacation packages for these and other resorts call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.
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