While a fun-filled holiday at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort or SeaWorld Orlando might top many a child’s wish list, a full slate of action-packed and entertaining rides, shows and experiences mean that grown-ups will have an unforgettable time in Orlando – with or without the kids.
At the Walt Disney World Resort, your choices are limitless. Brave the triple threat of the Disney mountain range at the Magic Kingdom – Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. You’ll be glued to your seat at Disney-MGM Studios as cars come dangerously close to disaster in Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. Take a high-speed thrill ride on Rock ‘n Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith or an ill-fated lift ride on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. For a peaceful experience in the outdoors, take in the Maharajah Jungle Trek or the Pangani Forest Expedition Trail at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. To add a little spice to your day, look for exotic animals on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, twist and turn on the Kali River Rapids, travel back in time to go face-to-face with a dinosaur or scale the heights of Expedition Everest to encounter the mythical yeti during a thrilling roller coaster ride. And, Disney film favorites come to life in stage presentations featuring the stars of “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King.”
A day spent at Epcot is all about discovery. Discover the how, what and why of the world we live in through explorations of the oceans, space, earth and even the human mind in Future World. Out-of this world experiences include Soarin’ over the redwood forests of California on a hang glider or heading for Mars on Mission: Space. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes of the eleven nations represented in the World Showcase. Time your visit accordingly and you could be in for an extra treat. The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, held in May, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, held each autumn, are visitor favorites with plenty of fun for everyone.
Universal Orlando Resort offers two distinct theme park experiences, of particular appeal to adults. You are invited to live the movies at Universal Studios Florida where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into scenes from your favorite films and television shows. From Hollywood classics like “Jaws” and “I Love Lucy” to today’s blockbusters like “The Mummy” and “Shrek,” you couldn’t find a better place to be part of the action.
The Trainer-for-the-Day program at Gatorland allows visitors the opportunity to get as close as they want to huge alligators or crocodiles. This fun-for-the-whole-family (kids 12 years or older) and older) experience is not for the weak at heart. It will be your job to work along side the Gatorland staff as they feed, train and interact with rare and amazing gators and crocs. Plan on getting a little dirty, and by all means, make sure and bring your camera.
At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you are invited to explore five themed islands – each one filled with unique thrills. Roam with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, laugh along with the cartoon characters that inhabit Toon Lagoon or explore the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss, the creator of “The Cat in the Hat,” at Seuss Island. Thrill seekers will feel right at home as they battle evil villains alongside Spider-Man and spiral out of control on The Incredible Hulk Coaster on Marvel Super Hero Island. Before you can catch your breath, you will be engaged in a battle between two fierce dragons – Fire and Ice – as you twist, turn and come within inches of making contact with the other coaster on the Dueling Dragons roller coaster in The Lost Continent.
In recent years, SeaWorld Orlando has introduced two new shows that spark the imagination of guests of all ages. Introduced this spring, “Believe” showcases the park’s killer whales in a beautifully choreographed story of a child’s belief in his dreams that will have you revisiting your childhood hopes and aspirations. Not to be outdone, the park’s dolphins and false killer whales are the stars of “Blue Horizons.” A breakthrough theatrical spectacular featuring aerialists and world-class divers, it tells the story of a young girl’s adventure in a place where the sea meets the sky. Get your adrenalin flowing with a water-coaster ride to the lost city of Atlantis or a heart-racing encounter with Kraken, the roller coaster named for a mythological sea monster.
As night falls, the excitement builds at Orlando’s theme parks with special nighttime shows, fireworks spectaculars and themed parades. It’s a show you won’t want to miss.
You may also want to treat yourself to some unique theme park experiences that hold special appeal for adult visitors. Take a break from quick-service meals and enjoy a fine dining experience inside the theme parks. Or learn how the parks make the magic that you experience every day as a guest on a special VIP or Behind-The-Scenes tour. And, an amazing animal encounter is sure to create holiday memories you will be talking about for years to come.
Information courtesy of Orlando Visitors Bureau