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Overview

The world's ground zero for fantasy, the theme parks of Central Florida dish up a spectrum of experiences to please every taste. Promoters started attracting tourists to the cypress swamps and prairies of this region more than 60 years ago, starting with Owen Godwin, the founder of Gatorland. In the 1970s, Walt Disney World started a chain reaction that continues today, with big-name parks elbowing for space and adding rides and shows on an annual basis. Surrounding these meccas of family entertainment are mega-resorts with top-notch golfing, dining, and spas, catering to business travelers headed to some of the largest conventions in the ...

The world's ground zero for fantasy, the theme parks of Central Florida dish up a spectrum of experiences to please every taste. Promoters started attracting tourists to the cypress swamps and prairies of this region more than 60 years ago, starting with Owen Godwin, the founder of Gatorland. In the 1970s, Walt Disney World started a chain reaction that continues today, with big-name parks elbowing for space and adding rides and shows on an annual basis. Surrounding these meccas of family entertainment are mega-resorts with top-notch golfing, dining, and spas, catering to business travelers headed to some of the largest conventions in the world. Between the major parks are amusements galore, most of the family fun variety, from miniature golf to indoor skydiving, dinner theaters and water parks. During the summer rainy season, visitors vanish into a retail maze inside acres of shopping malls. But don’t miss the natural attractions that this region has, too, including quiet cypress-lined lakes and parks with boardwalks perfect for birding.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Sandra Friend for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, fall, and winter