There are plenty of reasons why people might want to consider taking a holiday to Florida, but right at the top are the various theme parks that have been attracting visitors for years.

Florida is home to the most visited theme park on the world, with the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort regularly attracting more than 20 million visitors on an annual basis - at least before the pandemic impacted on numbers across the board.

We’ve already blogged about why California is something of a mecca for thrill-seekers, but it still has some way to go if it wants to match the 'Theme Park Capital of the World'.

Here’s a few reasons why…

Walt Disney World Resort

Since opening back in the early 1970s, Walt Disney World Resort has become a go to destination for families from all over the globe - so much so that for generations, a holiday to Florida has been a holiday to Disney World.

Disney World is actually more than just one park however, having expanded hugely since the Magic Kingdom opened in October 1971.

The original park remains the most popular of the offerings in Florida and is split into six themed lands that are spread around the iconic Cinderella Castle - which is instantly recognisable across the globe.

Each land features a raft of different rides and attractions, many of which have links to the various Disney films - from classics including the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast through to more modern offerings like Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Magic Kingdom was followed by Epcot in the early 1980s, which is also ranked inside the top ten most visited theme parks in the world. The park is focused more on different attractions as opposed to high-speed thrill rides which focus on things like imagination, discovery and the world around us.

Hollywood Studios is home to seven areas themed around locations from either Hollywood or the movies - including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and Sunset Boulevard - whilst Animal Kingdom rounds out the four theme parks and includes a variety of rides and attractions as well as hundreds of different species of live animals.

Additionally, there are also two water parks - Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard beach - that are also hugely popular.

Universal Orlando Resort

Like Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort is made up of multiple parks with three currently in operation and work ongoing as of early 2022 on a fourth.

The original park - Universal Studios Florida - opened back in 1990 as a park focused on film and television with many of the rides and attractions having a movie theme; including the likes of Jaws, Shrek and King Kong.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure was then added in 1999 and includes further themed areas that include Marvel Super Hero Island and Jurassic Park.

Arguably, the biggest attraction currently is 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter', which opened in 2010 and provides fans of the JK Rowling series to explore the world of Hogwarts.

The Harry Potter attraction is split across the two Universal Parks, with Diagon Alley situated in Universal Studios Florida.

The Volcano Bay waterpark completes the current offerings although a third theme park - Epic Universe - is in the process of being built after development was delayed by the pandemic.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando opened almost 50 years ago and combines a theme park with a zoological park that is home to various aquatic species.

As with both the Disney and Universal parks, SeaWorld Orlando is split into different themed areas that explore different aquatic themes - such as Sea of Delight (the Mediterranean), Sea of Ice (Antarctica) and Sea of Legends (Lost City of Atlantis).

Alongside various thrill rides - which include the likes of the Mako and Kraken rollercoasters - SeaWorld Orlando is one of the few parks in the world which still offers the chance to see Orca shows.

Busch Gardens

Now owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Busch Gardens opened in the late 1950s and has been welcoming a huge number of visitors in the Tampa Bay region ever since.

The park is home to a number of impressive rides that includes SheiKara, which was the first divecoaster to be built anywhere in the USA, and Montu - which was the tallest and fastest inverted coaster in the world when it was opened in 1996.

Alongside the thrill rides, Busch Gardens has plenty to offer smaller guests as well as various animal habitats where you can see a variety of different species during your visit.


Not all families will want to head for a theme park where the rides are of the high-speed, all-action variety and in that case, Legoland Florida - located close to Winter Haven - is the ideal option for those who have younger children alongside them.

The main Legoland Park is the second largest in the world after the original park in the UK and is well suited to under twelves, with a total of more than 50 different rides and attractions, whilst there is also a water park that was redeveloped by owners Merlin Entertainment to carry a lego theme.

A new addition to the Legoland World site is the first standalone theme park dedicated to the cartoon character Peppa Pig, which opened in early 2022.


Away from the big names, there are various other theme or water parks that are worth checking out during a trip to Florida - and they might be more appealing for some due to the fact that the queues will be smaller.

These include the likes of Fun Spot America Park in Kissimmee, Aquatica Orlando and Island H2O as well as the Kennedy Space Centre.

Although the latter isn’t a theme park as such, it’s certainly worth a visit - and not just for those who have an interest in all things space.