It can be truly daunting to try and understand all the options for visitors to the Orlando area. There’s tons of information about the two main theme parks, Disney World and Universal, but many first-time visitors don’t realize that there are also numerous lesser-known parks, which we’re referring to as secondary theme parks. Take a look at your options and decide if one of them is worth your visit.
Often referred to as the third major theme park in the Orlando area, SeaWorld may be smaller than both Disney and Universal, but make no mistake: what it lacks in size it makes up for in enormous entertainment opportunities. It’s especially recommended for kids, but everyone can have a great time and enjoy watching popular shows, riding roller coasters, and appreciating the more laid-back pace.
For fans of NASCAR, there is no better spot to visit than Daytona USA. This historic raceway is not in Orlando proper but is a short drive away. Not only can you see where decades of races have taken place, you can check out some truly high-tech motion simulators and see memorabilia from the greatest racers of all time.
Many people believe that Disney World was the first theme park in the Orlando area, but in fact Gatorland was. It opened all the way back in 1949 and is still owned by the founding family today. They’ve resisted pressure to turn it into a money-making machine, and have instead stuck to the simple, humble beginnings. Admission prices are low, and you have lots of options, including a 1-day ticket, intimate after-hours flashlight tour, annual pass, or a trainer-for-a-day experience.
Florida folks love Legoland, and so do visitors to the Orlando area. Unlike other theme parks in the region, Legoland puts its entire focus on the 2-12 age group. This 150-acre theme park is totally interactive and broken into ten themed zones. In total there are 50 rides, shows, play areas, shops, restaurants – and even a working factory that shows guests exactly how Legos are made. This park is a must-visit for Lego fans.
Fans of WonderWorks describe it as “a theme park for the mind.” You’ll be intrigued from the moment you see the upside-down building, and it just gets more mesmerizing when you step inside. You can feel a 5.3 earthquake, discover what it’s like to be in a 65 mile per hour hurricane, lay on a bed of more than 3,000 nails, or virtually swim with sharks. For the traveler interested in science, there is no better theme park in the Orlando area.
As you can see, Orlando has a lot to offer including major and secondary theme parks.