Orlando is the perfect family holiday destination; from the glorious sunshine to the magic of meeting favorite fairytale characters, the city is full to bursting with things to do. The only problem is when there are the inevitable arguments about what to do next! To ensure you can call a ceasefire before the fight turns into a full blown war, we’ve outlined the best ways to thrill and chill in Orlando – whether you’re looking for the scariest rides in town, or a relaxing afternoon with the little ones, we’ve got it covered!
NEW FOR 2011!
Thrill: Cheetah Hunt, Busch Gardens
The newest attraction at Busch Gardens is a thrill ride which turns a cheetah safari into an exhilarating experience! Mimicking the way the cheetah hunts its prey, the rollercoaster speeds across green plains and sends riders spinning in all directions as they experience the natural habitat of the animal. With top speeds of 60 miles per hour and a drop of 40 meters, this ride is not for the fainthearted – but is a huge rush! Due to open in late May, make sure you don’t miss it!
Chill: Serengeti Railway, Busch Gardens
After the thrills and spills of the Cheetah Hunt, the Serengeti Railway is a much more relaxing way to get up close with the wildlife. The railway takes riders through the Congo, Nairobi and Stanleyville to see giraffe, zebra, antelope and more – all at a leisurely pace. It’s perfect for young children who will be entranced by the animals and love the train.
Thrill: Dragon Challenge, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios
A petrifying ride inspired by the fourth Harry Potter book, this attraction makes each person choose whether they want to ride an aggressive Chinese Fireball or a ferocious Hungarian Horntail – before the two dragons twist, loop and swing around the tracks – almost colliding multiple times! With vertical loops and a g-force roll this ride will make you hold on tight!
Chill: Flight of the Hippogriff, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Islands of Adventure
If you’re looking for something a little more serene but still with a magical theme, the Flight of the Hippogriff rollercoaster is a fantastic family-friendly alternative. On this ride you’ll learn how to approach a hippogriff correctly, before spiralling through all the popular settings from the books – from Hagrid’s cottage to the pumpkin patch. It’s not too scary and a perfect starter coaster for younger riders.
Thrill: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
One of the most famous Disney rides (there’s even a film based on it!) Tower of Terror is petrifying! The ride tells the story of the Hollywood tower hotel – a creepy place where strange things happened. Without ruining the whole experience, the ride culminates in a wonderful view of the whole theme park, and a long drop… You’d better have a strong stomach!
Chill: Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, Disney’s The Magic Kingdom
If you’d rather keep your feet on solid ground, nothing says Disney more than one of the famous Parades – a perfect chance for the whole family to see their favourite characters, hear the classic Disney tunes and maybe even get a picture! The most famous Disney Parades take place the Magic Kingdom – the current parade is a lively music procession titled ‘Celebrate a Dream Come True’ and includes Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, Aladdin and more!
COMING IN 2012!
Thrill: The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Universal Islands of Adventure
An Islands of Adventure favourite, this amazing simulation ride makes you feel like you really are swinging from the rooftops with Spidey. The ride is now being enhanced with HD animation – enabling riders to see details such as electricity arching through Electro’s body and just how strong Spiderman is up close! This ride will leave you breathless.
Chill: Despicable Me, Universal Islands of Adventure
Only announced this week, the Despicable Me attraction will be a high-tech 3-D adventure with the characters of the film; including Gru (one of the world’s greatest super-villains), daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and Gru’s not-so-bright pit crew, the minions. On this attraction, riders will be spellbound by the interactive adventure, which evolves into a whole family dance party. Guaranteed to have everyone on their feet and laughing.