Sea World - Busch Gardens, Orlando
If you're looking for rollercoasters then this is the place to go to. They are fabulous!
Whilst not strictly in Orlando, Bush Gardens is always seen as a place to visit whilst in Orlando. We took the hire car for the short one hour journey. This was our third theme park of the holiday.
I suddenly found out that I was rollercoaster junkie and was happy to get on the scariest rides imaginable. They trick to going on these rides is to ride with the ride. Enjoy being thrown about rather than being nervous about falling out!
The best ride had to be SheiKra. 200 feet up, 90 degrees straight down!
Then came Kumba which was brilliant for it's twist and turns. I'm not sure how many times it turned you upside down, but they do say that it gives you a sense of what it's like to be weightless.
Gwazi is a wooden rollercoaster, which actually is tow rollercoaster runnong on two different tracks. If they get the timing right it's like the two rides are heading towards each other!
We also had go on the Rhino Rally, which was fun. We were actually quite lucky in the queue to this ride. It had been shut for a couple of hours during the normal afternoon thunder storm and although a few hardy souls were still queuing through the rain we came along when the queue was small and the ride just opening up again!
There is more to Busch gardens than just rides though as they have some great animals and we especially enjoyed the elephants with their keepers.
Most of the family (over 48" tall) will enjoy this one so long as you don't mind getting wet. There is a drop at the end of the ride but it's relatively short. If you want to get really wet, as you exit the ride you cross a bridge - warning... stay behind the glazed section when the next raft comes down the drop specially if you have small children. Bigger kids need to brace themselves if they are up to the challenge as the wave that comes up WILL knock you backwards - and yes you WILL get wetter than you've ever been before!
A traditional wooden coaster ride right near the park entrance so you tend to start on this one but it's not for the faint hearted or those of a delicate disposition. Be prepared to have every bit of your body shaken. I felt like my brain had been scrambled!
About a hour and a half's drive from the hub of the Orlando parks, less if you're staying in Kissimmee. If you have a car or the chance of a shuttle you should make the trip.
Excellent white knuckle coasters, lovely setting, opportunities to escape from the rides if you wish. Great family day out. We have always been blessed with quiet days there. The atmosphere is more relaxed than at Disney or Universal but for the thrill seekers the rides are definitely more challenging, however there are of course lots of rides that smaller kids can enjoy. If you time your lunch right you can eat in Morroco at the Desert Grill and take in a 25 minute show at the same time.
Bush Gardens is located about an hour away from Orlando itself but is well worth the journey. If you wish you can take time out and go Tampa Bay afterwards as this is a further 15 minutes from this theme park.
Bush Gardens is a cross between Drayton Manor and Alton Towers in the UK except 10 times better for both animals and rides. I think after Universal studios that this was the best park to visit for pure thrills and fun.
We did not drive or cab it here but one of my friends found out about a coach leaving from the Premium Outlet store on International Drive each day costing about $8. The park's entry was reasonable has well although i can not remember how much this exactly was. Worth it though.
Although not in Orlando this theme park is well worth the journey. It is located in Tamps (approx 1 hours drive away).
As well as some of the wildest roller coasters in Florida it also boasts a safari with many rare animals (eg white tigers).
Great for the kids (or young at heart adults)