Walt Disney World Theme Parks Orlando
By James | Last updated October 6, 2023
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There are four Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando and two water parks. You also have Disney Springs complex, including The Landing.
If you are in a hurry you can do each of the four main theme parks in a day by picking and choosing your rides and shows but to do them justice your really need to allow longer
There are many different types of tickets available for the parks. We share our easy guide for all of these options in our Disney World Tickets post. This has the latest deals, options and prices for you. To skip the review and go straight to the latest prices, check them out below.
Our top tip for saving big on Disney Ticket Prices
For the best prices, you will want to compare a few sites. Prices differ even from the official Disney site. You are likely to get a great deal if you shop around.
Magic Kingdom is the original Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando and is pure entertainment and escapism in true Disney style. It appeals to all age groups, young and old with entertainment top of the menu. There are thrill rides for the more adventurous, gentler rides for the less adventurous. You also have lots of shows, parades and fireworks.
Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is very different from Magic Kingdom. It is much more educational than entertaining and suits a more “grown-up” audience. There are a couple of thrill rides but in general it caters for a more inquisitive audience.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in direct competition with Universal Studios. Like the Magic Kingdom it combines rides, shows, parades and fireworks, all built around a television and film studio theme.
Animal Kingdom is the newest Walt Disney World theme park and is Disney’s interpretation of an animal safari park/zoo. Again there are lots of rides, shows and parades but no fireworks for obvious reasons.
Blizzard Beach is a water park set in an alpine ski resort setting and is similar in many ways to Wet ‘n’ Wild, the original Orlando water park.
Disney’s first water park, River Country closed some time ago following issues with some of the cement water slides and bacteria. In January 2005 Disney announced that it would not be re-opening and there is now speculation as to what might take its place.
Disney Springs is an entertainment area with restaurants and shops. It’s a beautiful setting with located near Lake Buena Vista and is great for an nice evening walk and shop. There are some great restaurants here to try with options for a quick eat or a more luxury dinner.
If you have small children with you, then on some rides you can do what is called a “Baby swap” or “Switching off” to allow both adults to go on the ride without having to queue in line twice. Tell the attendant you want to ‘”switch off” and they let the first adult on the ride. At the end of the ride, the parents swap the baby over and the second adult then goes on the ride.
Theme Park Parking
If you arrive by car, then there are large car parks (parking lots) at all the Walt Disney World theme parks; some of them are free (like Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Springs) but you have to pay to park at the four main parks; Magic Kingdom (at the Ticket and Transportation Center), Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
At some parks you can walk if you are parked close to the entrance, otherwise you can catch one of the regular road-train trams that circulate around the car parks all day.
Do remember where you are parked as some of the car parks are unbelievably large; you will see row numbers painted at the end of each row by the tram stop; each row also has a character name associated with it that the tram driver will advise you of when you board the tram
Theme Park hopping
If you park hop, remember to keep your parking ticket to avoid having to pay again (a parking ticket is valid for all the car parks on the day of purchase).
Riding the monorail
A monorail service connects the Ticket and Transportation Center with the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
If you take the monorail then if it is not busy, ask the attendant on the platform if you can travel up at the front of the train with the driver; you get a fantastic view from the cab.