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Florida Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

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Universal Orlando, which features The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is one of many theme parks in Florida.

© Arthur Levine.

Before we get to the park listings, here are some resources to help you plan your theme park vacation or day trip:

Florida's theme parks are listed alphabetically:

Boomers!
Dania
(954) 921-1411
Huge family entertainment center.

Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa
(813) 987-5082
It's a thrill ride park. It's a zoo. It's two parks in one! And it's worth the one-hour journey south (from Walt Disney World). Adjacent, separate admission waterpark.

Cypress Gardens
Winter Haven
Note that Cypress gardens closed in September 2009. It reopened as Legoland Florida in 2011.

Discovery Cove
Orlando
(877) 434-7268
SeaWorld Orlando's sister attraction lets guests get up close and personal with dolphins and other animals for a unique boutique theme park experience.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Lake Buena Vista
(407)W-DISNEY
Not quite a zoo, not quite a theme park, Walt Disney World takes a dash of both, mixes it with pixie dust, and creates a unique and engaging hybrid experience.

Disney's Hollywood Studios (Used to be known as Disney-MGM Studios)
Lake Buena Vista
(407)W-DISNEY
The smallest of the four Walt Disney World parks, Disney's Hollywood Studios is a bustling paean to the Hollywood of your dreams. With the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, it is the home to WDW's most thrill-packed rides.

Epcot
Lake Buena Vista
(407)W-DISNEY
Walt Disney World's world's fair-like park includes Future World, which focuses on emerging technologies, and World Showcase, which features pavilions devoted to a rainbow of nations.

Fun Spot America
Orlando
407-363-3867
Small amusement park includes coasters, go-karts, and other rides.

Fun Spot USA
Kissimmee
407-397-2509
Small amusement park includes a SkyCoaster bungee ride, go-karts, coaster, and other rides.

The Holy Land Experience
Orlando
(407) 367-2065
You won't find the Holy Roller Coaster here (although, that may not be a bad idea!) or any other traditional park rides, but you will find religious-themed exhibits, theatrical productions, and other attractions.

Islands of Adventure
Orlando
(407) 363-8000
The state-of-the-art theme and thrill ride park at Universal Orlando.

Legoland Florida
Winter Haven
Lego-themed park for the 12-and-under set.

Magic Kingdom
Lake Buena Vista
(407)W-DISNEY
The focal point and, by far the most popular, if not the most charming, of Walt Disney World's four parks, the Magic Kingdom is the east coast version of Walt Disney's prototype, Disneyland.

Miracle Strip Amusement Park
Panama City Beach, FL
This is the third version of the small seaside park. It offers a number of vintage and traditional rides such as a Scrambler and a Tilt-A-Whirl. It does not have a major roller coaster, although there has been talk about resurrecting the Starliner woodie that used to be at an earlier incarnation of the park (and was briefly relocated to the now defunct Cypress Gardens).

Old Town
Kissimmee (near Walt Disney World)
(407) 396-4888
A strip mall filled with gift shops that grew into a mini-amusement park.

Sam's Fun City
Pensacola
(850) 505-0800
Small amusement park, mostly geared to younger children. Includes a waterpark.

SeaWorld Orlando
Orlando
(877) 434-7268
No longer just the happy home of Shamu, SeaWorld has some great rides, a second park where you can swim with dolphins, and a separate, highly themed water park.

Silver Springs
Silver Springs
(352) 236-2121
Its Glass Bottom Boats have been showing guests the underwater wonders of the Silver River since 1878. Other attractions at the nature park include a Jeep Safari and an alligator show. Separate admission waterpark nearby.

Universal Orlando
Orlando
(407) 363-8000
No longer a one-day respite away from Disney, Universal Orlando is a destination resort in its own right. Learn about its two theme parks, three hotels, and more.

Universal Studios Florida
Orlando
(407) 363-8000
The movie-themed park at Universal Orlando.

Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista
(407)W-DISNEY
Learn about WDW's four parks, two waterparks, many hotels, and other info.

Wannado City
At the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida
Indoor theme park

Weeki Wachee Springs
Weeki Wachee Springs (near Tampa)
(877) GO WEEKI
The park with the famous mermaid show now also features a waterpark.

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