As a kid you grow up in a world of animated cartoons, movies and television so it seemed fitting to end my visit to America surrounded by theme parks dedicated to just that. Back in the day I’d love watching the Flintstones on a saturday morning, now its all about Minions and Harry Potter with just a splash of the old remixed for the new generation of youngsters.
Orlando is well served in the theme park department what with Disney, Discovery Cove (Seaworld Sister Site) and Universal Studios and Resorts all a short drive from each other. Alas with less than 48 hours to sample it all I got but a glimpse of what was on offer.
The experience started with an evening stroll along the boardwalk at Disney and finished with a full days exploring of the Universal theme parks. Having visited Disney in Hong Kong a few years back it was interesting to catch a look at what a US based park looks like. Obviously the US do things much bigger and had I had more time to get into the park I’m sure I’d have been lost for days trying out all the rides and enjoying the fireworks above the castle.
Discovery Cove is where you can escape the melting hot Florida sun and that’s exactly what I did. Here I go to swim with some dolphins, undertake the Sea Venture experience where you get to walk underwater and just lay around in the sun. Having swam with dolphins already the most fun was donning a big diving helmet and walking around underwater as the fishes swim around you, call it the baby version of scuba diving.
Lastly we come to the Universal Studios and Resorts. A mash-up of all the most popular movies and tv shows you are familiar with all re-invented into rides and shops that seem to go on and on and on. It doesn’t have the charm of Disney (perhaps because I grew up with Disney) and its much loved characters but it does brings you face to face with today’s action heroes. That of course is what the kids want and the mix of activities really reflected that.
I opted to take it easy and sampled the Harry Potter ride and the Minion experience due to my aversion to riding roller coasters that tip me upside down and scare the living daylights out of you.
At the conclusion of the theme park mania in Orlando and my initiation to theme parks American style I can see why they are such a holiday attraction. Everything is there in the one spot to entertain, feed and sleep a family and whether your young or old there is an activity to keep you busy. It’s not everybody’s idea of a fun holiday away but that’s the luxury of travel you can do it however you like, there is no wrong way to travel.