Best Amusement Park in Florida

Isabella Sanford, Reporter

   Florida consists of many different theme parks, some of the most popular being Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and their respective water parks. 


   Some may argue that children grow out of the Disney parks as they age, or that some kids are too young for the rides at Universal. However, most parks have places for people of all ages, so whether that’s been eight years old or 30 years old, Florida has a park that accommodates the age.


   The best “group” of amusement parks is Disney World. Opening in 1965, Disney has grown from one small park to four large main parks and two water parks. It’s sometimes said that Magic Kingdom is for the younger generation since the park focuses on princesses and princes, but adults can enjoy that park too. There are many different rides, such as “Space Mountain,” “Haunted Mansion” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” that the older generation of folks who attend the park still enjoy. 


   The other three main parks of Disney World are Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot. With the newest attraction of Hollywood Studios opening recently, it has brought a lot of attention to that park. With the new “Rise of the Resistance” ride as well as the “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run,” ride, many newcomers, as well as veterans, have started to flood back into the park to experience the Star Wars attractions.


   Epcot features an around-the-world experience, showcasing different countries and their cultures. Each country can sell food, souvenirs, and even have a ride or attraction to go with it. On top of that, it’s a great park for older kids and adults to appreciate diversity and cultures that may be different from their own.


   Animal Kingdom is a good park for Animal lovers and those who are fascinated and appreciate nature. With the recent addition of Pandora, a fictional paradise based on the movie “Avatar,” the park has had an increase in visitors of all ages. This park has attractions for all ages and personalities, whether that’s a rollercoaster lover, like “Everest,” or someone who loves slow-moving rides, like the “Na’vi River Journey” in Pandora. Like Epcot, this park also features an around-the-world type layout, but instead of focusing on individual countries, it focuses on continents and the wildlife that thrives there.


   The two water parks of Disney World also feature slides and rides for all ages. The water parks consist of several body slides, raft slides, lazy rivers and wave pools. This makes it fun for the whole family without leaving anyone out.


   Disney World is a great group of parks, but what individual amusement park in Florida is the best, not including any of the Disney parks? Some may say Volcano Bay, a part of the Universal Studios theme park, or Seaworld and the corresponding water park, Aquatica. 


   In the first place, there’s Universal Studios, a great park for the older crowd of kids, but still accommodates the youngsters, too. It has wonderful on-site hotels and has attractions that include people of all ages. The park also has its signature “butterbeer” which comes frozen and just cold.


   Coming in at a second place, there’s Volcano Bay. It may be a water park, but it has many features that other parks do not. There are wristbands that check people in for a ride and allow them to go somewhere else until it’s their turn to ride.  There are multiple lazy rivers, the original slow-paced and relaxing one, and the fast-paced one with a very strong current.


   Finally, in third place, there’s Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens has many different attractions, including scarier rides like Sheikra and also rides perfect for young children that are featured in the Sesame Street part of the park. It provides many different food options and restaurants, whether it’s a sit-down meal or a grab-and-go meal.


   There are many different theme parks in Florida, but these are the top three (not including Disney World because all the parks go hand in hand at Disney). Sure, some may argue that Seaworld is better because it teaches people how to appreciate aquatic creatures, or that Busch Gardens should be higher on the list because it provides a place for everyone. But, when you visit Florida for the amusement parks, it’s because of the rides and the attractions, not the message behind it.