Disneyworld in Florida – Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando

Disneyland Florida is a recreational complex in Orlando that houses 4 theme parks and a whopping 23 hotels. The parks are spread out on an area of 43 square miles – the size of San Francisco. Needless to say, there is a lot to see and do in the „Happiest Place on Earth“, from exciting roller coasters and movie sets to lifelike replicas of famous cities and extensive zoos. Disney World is a must if you are visiting Florida with children or want to let out the inner child yourself.

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OPENING TIMES, PRICES AND DIRECTIONS

Disneyland’s theme parks and hotels are open every day of the year, usually from 9 am to 6 pm or later. Opening times vary depending on the particular park and the season. Animal Kingdom, for example, opens its doors a bit earlier, at 7 or 8 am. If you want to be the first one there, you should book your stay at a Disney hotel. During main season the theme park lets hotel guests in 1.5 hours early, although not all rides will be running at that time. Walt Disney World sees a lot of visitors at any given time, with up to 52 million guests a year. You will hardly ever find the parks empty. However, there are fewer people in January and from September to November. Hurricane Season in Orlando lasts from August to October, so visitors should bring their rain gear.

The entrance fees vary according to the ticket type. It is possible to buy a one day ticket for every park separately, costing 109 USD. Alternatively, you can buy tickets that are valid for multiple days. The more days, the cheaper the price. The 10 day pass, for example, will only cost you 52 USD per day.

If you do not want to limit your stay to one park, just choose the “Park Hopper” option. For 65 USD more you can access all 4 Disney Parks. This ticket also gets cheaper if you buy it for more than one day. The “Park Hopper Plus” ticket for 85 USD includes additional attractions like the Blizzard Beach Water Park. If you plan in advance, you can find early bird deals and discounts for resort guests on the official website. Disney also offers multiple kinds of annual passes.

From your vacation home in Cape Coral you can reach Disneyland in around 3 hours by car. Starting in Miami, the car ride takes roughly 4 hours.

DISNEYLAND FLORIDA´S MAGIC KINGDOM

Magic Kingdom was opened in 1971, which makes it the oldest Disney Park in Orlando. It is also the most visited theme park in the world. In 2017 alone Magic Kingdom attracted more than 20 Million people. It is here that you find iconic sights like Cinderella’s Castle, complete with the famous Disney Logo. A train connects the six different areas. And this is only the part visitors can see. Thanks to Walt Disney’s perfectionism Magic Kingdom was built on a 108 feet elevation. The entire infrastructure is housed underground where it cannot disturb the magical atmosphere above.

Passing through the entrance, visitors find themselves in “Mainstream USA”, a replica of your typical American small town with gift shops and restaurants. Sophisticated construction techniques make the street leading to the castle seem longer than it actually is – almost like an optical illusion.

Adventureland takes guests on a journey through exotic lands. Here you can fly with Aladdin’s magic carpet, take a boat tour in lush jungle surroundings and ride a coaster through the duplicated set of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Frontierland captures the spirit of the Wild West, with authentic saloons, cowboys, Indians and showdowns at “High Noon”. This park houses the white-water ride Splash Mountain as well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a Gold Rush-themed rollercoaster with animated Western heroes. Little guests enjoy the animatronics bear show at the Country Bear Jamboree Theater, and the Pecos Bill Café serves Mexican Food to hungry visitors.

Reminiscent of the American Revolution is Liberty Square with its colonial buildings. Here you can see all US Presidents on stage, take a relaxing boat ride and get jump-scared in the haunted house. Fantasyland is a must for all fans of classic Disney movies who want to get close to Cinderella, Peter Pan and Pinocchio. A posse of clowns entertains the guests, and the newly added “Enchanted Forest” lets you visit the underwater world of Arielle.

Science Fiction lovers will feel right at home in Tomorrowland. Here you can see how people living 100 years ago imagined the future. Space Mountain, a popular attraction since 1975, takes you on a Space Shuttle ride through the galaxy. “Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor” is a new comedy show featuring the stars of the movie, and spectacular fireworks light up the sky above Magic Kingdom in the evening.

DISNEYLAND FLORIDA EPCOT

This futuristic theme park opened in 1982 and was intended as a “permanent world fair”, celebrating technological advancement. Walt Disney himself had ambitions to turn Epcot into a real city. After his death, however, this plan was canceled, and Epcot became a theme park with two areas: Future World is dominated by Spaceship Earth, a giant sphere that rests on three columns. Inside a coaster takes visitors on a journey through the history of communication – from stone tablets to the Digital Age. “Innoventions” presents milestones like roboters and nano technology, while “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” houses one of the world’s largest aquariums. In the pavilion “The Land” guests take boat rides through an extensive greenhouse and learn more about innovative methods in agriculture. If you want to know what paragliding feels like, the simulator “Soarin” is perfect for you.

The second area, “World Showcase”, features 11 different countries – all with authentic architecture, music and restaurants. Here you can ride a boat in Mexico, get up close to Norwegian Trolls, watch a VR movie about China and discover Viking artifacts. Most of the staff in the pavilions are natives of their respective countries, which adds to the realistic flair.

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS IN FLORIDA

In this theme park everything revolves around the world of film. Star Wars fans should visit Echo Lake, where the flight simulator Star Tours takes you on a galactic trip with R2D2 and C3PO – or better said, one of 96 galactic trips, as every ride comes with a new surprise. At the adrenalin-filled show “Jedi Training”, little guests can show their lightsaber skills, and the ABC Sound Studio provides insight into the making of the Science Fiction franchise. Spectacular stunts await you at the show “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!”, while the musicals at the Hyperion Theater are a must for fans of the movie “Frozen”.

The Muppets perform on Grand Avenue, a replica of the famous street in Los Angeles, and Toy Story Land tells the tales of Cowboy Woody and Buzz Lightyear. “Toy Story Mania!” features a 4D cinema and captivating mini games. On Mickey Avenue you learn more about the life and legacy of Walt Disney, while acrobatic skills are on display at the “Block Party Bash” parade.

DISNEYLAND FLORIDA’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Exotic animals are the stars of this newest addition to the Disney theme parks. Here, visitors go on jeep rides to see giraffes, elephants, lions and other African species. Tropical animals like hippos, gorillas, vervet monkeys, pythons and tarantulas live next to the “Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail”, and the fictional kingdom of Anandapur is home to Asian animals like komodo dragons, tigers and gibbons.

The park also features prehistoric animals. DinoLand USA presents a real T-Rex skeleton, and visitors can go on a fossil hunt in the sand. Of course, Animal Kingdom has no shortage of exciting rides. The flight simulator “Avatar Flight of Passage” takes you to the moon Pandora, and if you want to catch a glimpse of the Yeti, you can do so on the roller coaster “Expedition Everest”. The park’s main attraction is the “Tree of Life”, a 144 feet artificial tree whose bark is engraved with the pictures of 300 different animals.

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Bastian

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