Central Florida basks locals and visitors in its consistently pleasant climate, an off the beaten path hidden gems, and some of the best entertainment options in the world. One thing thing you can’t miss when visiting? Florida theme parks!
In the “Sunshine State,” two exceptional cities, Davenport and Kissimmee, shine brightly. Davenport is tranquil, with calm lakes and golf courses, perfect for unwinding. On the other hand, Kissimmee serves as your portal to adventure, a brief drive from Orlando’s iconic Disney World.
With over 20 amusement parks nearby, choosing the perfect one feels daunting. That’s where Element Vacation Homes come in. Apart from offering spacious, kid-themed rentals in both Kissimmee and Davenport, we’re also conveniently located near these renowned amusement parks.
Ready to roll? Hop on!
Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World
- Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/magic-kingdom
- Address: Bay Lake, FL
- Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday: 9 am – 10 pm
Monday & Friday: 9 am – 6 pm
When it comes to family outings, parents and teenagers may not always see eye to eye. But one statement garners unanimous agreement: Disney World is the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Year after year, throngs of visitors from around the planet flock to Disney World. And within it is Magic Kingdom Park — the heart of Walt Disney World Resort and a quintessential Orlando experience. This enchanting park whisks visitors into a world of fairytales and adventures.
As you enter, you’re greeted by the iconic Cinderella Castle, a globally recognized motif representing Disney’s Magic. The park is divided into themed lands like Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and a few others.
You can journey through the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh, set off on a daring adventure with Pirates of the Caribbean, or enjoy a charming carousel ride on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Don’t forget to snap photos with beloved Disney characters throughout the park. There’s also a parade that goes all around the park. You have to be at the right place at the right time for it, but it’s totally worth it!
Magic Kingdom is one of the best theme parks, perfect for families with kids of all ages and adults looking to revive their inner child. The nightly fireworks and laser show, “Happily Ever After,” is the perfect way to conclude a spellbinding day.
Islands of Adventure
- Website: universalorlando.com
- Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9 am – 8 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm, Friday: 9 am – 7 pm, Saturday, Sunday: 9 am – 8 pm
From delicious food served at the Lost Continent to kid-friendly attractions like Seuss Landing, a whole range of immersive experiences awaits at Islands of Adventure.
Potterheads can’t miss the chance to walk inside Hogwarts Castle on the ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”. There’s also the Hogwarts Express, but you can only hop on it if you have a 2-park ticket, as it takes you from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios and the other way around.
Next, travel back in time to the Islands of Adventure and wander through a prehistoric past in Jurassic Park River Adventure. Aching for a high-speed ride? The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Marvel Superhero Island will scratch that itch. For an even more throttle, check out VelociCoaster – it’s the talk of the town!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios
- Address: Bay Lake, FL
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9 am – 9 pm
Another feather in Walt Disney Cap is Hollywood Studios. Loved by film aficionados, It’s Disney’s version of Universal Studios, and some argue, even better. Here, you don’t just watch your favorite Disney films; you step right into their action, adventure, and fantasy.
Take a wild ride on the high-speed coaster, Aerosmith-themed Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, or Plunge into the unknown with a ride on the spine-tingling Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Kids who don’t like dark spaces and are scared easily should skip this one.
Alternatively, take a journey to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. And let’s not forget the colorful world of Toy Story Land. Shrink down and wander around Andy’s backyard. Join Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the Slinky Dog Dash coaster and the Alien Swirling Saucers. There are no height restrictions for this attraction.
- Website: seaworld.com/orlando
- Address: 7007 SeaWorld Dr, Orlando, FL
- Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm, Friday, Sunday: 9 am – 9 pm, Saturday: 9 am – 10 pm
Just an hour’s drive from Kissimmee, you’ll find SeaWorld Orlando. This marine-centric theme park brims with opportunities for close encounters with aquatic life. Think live shows, rides, and sea-inspired attractions.
SeaWorld Parks aren’t just a source of amusement; they’re also a learning environment where kids can study the marvels of marine life while having a blast. While marine life naturally fascinates most youngsters, SeaWorld’s educational programs cater primarily to kids aged five and above. Meanwhile, the whale-watching and dining experiences offer delightful moments for both young adventurers and grown-ups.
It’s worth acknowledging that SeaWorld has faced past controversies due to questionable practices. However, they’ve made significant changes in recent years and have reoriented their mission around education, conservation, and welfare of sea animals.
Legoland Florida Resort
- Website: legoland.com/florida
- Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm, Saturday, Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Step (carefully) into the world of Lego. Set in the picturesque area of Lake Eloise, a visit to Legoland is heaps of fun, and it just so happens to be the grandest LegoLand ever created.
This playful park is designed with families in mind, catering to young children and early teens. But adults with a geeky heart and passion for all things Lego will love Legoland, too.
Expect several Lego-fied reconstructed cities, iconic landmarks, Lego-themed rides, and an interactive zone of PLANET LEGOLAND® where you can showcase your assembly prowess.
For the little ones, Coastersaurus offers a kid-friendly roller coaster experience amidst a prehistoric jungle setting—an ideal introduction to thrill rides. Another standout attraction is Miniland USA, boasting nine sections that showcase scenes from across the nation. Pirate Shores, Kennedy Space Center, and a miniature representation of New York City are fan favorites.
- Website: gatorland.com
- Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
Head to Gatorland in Orlando for a quintessential Floridian experience. Known as the “Alligator Capital of the World,” Gatorland is a wildlife park and theme park rolled into one. It’s an ideal way to take a break from the futuristic attractions and tech-heavy rides to reconnect with nature.
At Gatorland, you can observe massive adult gators and tiny hatchlings swimming just a few feet away. Bravehearts will love the close-up encounters with these seemingly menacing reptiles.
Prefer to admire from a distance? We don’t blame you. Admire with comfortable room at a must-see Gator show. Or stroll the walkways while the alligators laze about in sun-dappled swamp. Gatorland also features the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line — an exciting adventure that lets you glide high above alligators and crocodiles.
Fun Spot America
- Website: fun-spot.com
- Address: 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd, Kissimmee, FL
- Hours: Monday – Thursday: 2 pm – 12 am, Friday: 12 pm – 12 am, Saturday, Sunday: 10 am – 12 am
If you’ve settled into one of our comfy Kissimmee rentals and are in the mood for some amusement park fun without the hassle of big crowds and Orlando traffic, look no further than Fun Spot America, conveniently situated right here in Kissimmee.
Zoom around on go-karts, take a spin on the carousel, or ride towering roller coasters until your belly flips! The arcade games are loads of fun, too, especially if your stomach needs a break from all the highs and lows of the amusement rides.
What sets Fun Spot America apart is its family-friendly atmosphere and laid-back vibe. It’s an excellent amusement park for kids and kids-at-heart without the bells and whistles of larger theme parks. For those with limited time, this is the ideal choice. A half-day is more than enough to experience the very best of it.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
- Website: buschgardens.com/tampa
- Address: Tampa, FL 33612, United States
- Hours: Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
Go beyond Orlando and dive into Tampa to discover Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It’s a rare mix of a zoo and a theme park, gaining popularity for its incredible roller coasters and animal encounters.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Busch Gardens boasts some of the most exhilarating coasters in Florida, such as the Floorless Dive Roller Coaster and SheiKra and Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest thrill-ride attraction! Love animals? The Serengeti Safari and Jungala experiences provide incredible opportunities to get up close and personal with magnificent creatures from around the world.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/animal-kingdom
- Address: Bay Lake, FL 34747, United States
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 am – 7 pm, Saturday, Sunday: 8 am – 7 pm
Animal lovers, to the front! If you’re all done with SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, gear up for the next furry-friendly park on our list: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Disney’s magic meets the wonders of the natural world.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has various themed areas. Pandora, The World of Avatar, is like stepping into a fantasy world of inspiring, glowing forests with the insanely popular Avatar Flight of Passage ride.
Then there’s the Journey to Africa, where Kilimanjaro Safaris offers an up-close encounter with incredible animals amidst the stunning African landscape. And let’s not forget Expedition Everest, an unmissable super-speed roller coaster set against the majestic backdrop of the Himalayas. When night falls, “Rivers of Light” takes center stage, with a hypnotizing water, light, and music show.
- Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/epcot
- Address: Epcot, Bay Lake, FL
- Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 9 pm
Get ready for a fantastic journey to Epcot, one of the many wonders of the Walt Disney World Resort. Epcot Center is a must-visit for adults or curious teens. Epcot, short for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, seamlessly merges education, technology, and entertainment into one incredible experience. It’s split into two sections: Future World and World Showcase.
In Future World, Spaceship Earth is the main draw, where you trace humanity’s advancement from ancient eras to the present day. Another big hit is Test Track, where you can design your virtual concept car and even take it for a spin. Next, the World Showcase invites you to explore 11 beautifully crafted pavilions, each representing a distinct country with global flavors, entertainment, and live shows.
For toddlers and young teens, Epcot may not have the same appeal as some of the other parks in the area, but rest assured, they won’t be bored for a single second. Attractions like Frozen Ever After, The Seas With Nemo & Friends, and Spaceship Earth are amusing for all and have no minimum height requirements.
Explore Central Florida’s Amusement Parks
After a day filled with excitement at Central Florida’s amusement parks, coming back to your vacation rental in Kissimmee or Davenport will feel like pure bliss. And if the kids still have energy? Let them entertain themselves in the Galactic-themed bedroom or Jurassic Arcade.