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Top Attractions at Disney World and Universal Studios Resorts

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Magic Kingdom Top Attractions

This is the park where you'll find all your favorite Disney characters and rides. The park is divided into six themed "lands," including Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, and Main Street U.S.A. It’s also where the famous Cinderella’s Castle is located, which many consider to be the best place for viewing the fireworks display that takes place nightly.

Pirates of the Caribbean – This boat-ride takes you back in time, when pirates ruled the Caribbean. The attraction features audio animatronic pirates, including Captain Jack Sparrow, engaging in swashbuckling mayhem. Do this ride whenever, the lines are usually not very long.

Haunted Mansion – The Haunted Mansion is a slow-moving dark ride that is home to 999 happy ghosts that are dying to meet you. In the Haunted Mansion, the ghosts are the jovial, singing type, so it is not too scary. This is another ride you can do whenever, because the line moves quickly.

Splash Mountain – This log ride features a story from Disney’s “Song of the South” film, and climaxes with a big drop into the briar patch. Not only does the ride have that thrill, it also has great audio animatronics scenes that make it fun. We recommend using FastPass for this ride, or going at night.

Space Mountain – Space Mountain is a dark roller coaster through outer space. The roller coaster is entirely in the dark. It is highly recommended you use FastPass or go at night.

Big Thunder Mountain – This is a rollercoaster themed as a runaway mine train on a ride through the landscape of the Old West. Hang onto your hats and glasses, because this is a wild ride. Big Thunder Mountain is a FastPass attraction. If the lines are long, go at night.

Jungle Cruise – This is a 9-minute boat ride through the rivers of Adventureland that encounters hippos, lions, and piranhas, among other animals and natives. However, the real highlight here is the non-stop jokes of the guides who captain the boats.

It’s a small world – This relaxing boat ride features children of the world, singing a catchy sony. The only downside, the song is so catchy, you may be humming it all day. Lines are never that long. Do not use FastPass on it.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Experience twists, turns, hills and drops, but not of the intensity of a thrill ride. You pass through mountain scenery and enter a mine aglow with gems and scenes of the working Dwarfs. At ride's end, the cottage of the Dwarfs comes into view with a dancing Snow White visible through a window. We suggest using FastPass for this ride. If not, do it at night.

Tomorrowland Peoplemover – This is a slow-moving tram ride that offers nice views of Tomorrowland. It makes for a good rest, and for most people. Do this whenever–it’s best at night when the neon of Tomorrowland is lit.

Walt Disney World Railroad – You can board the Railroad at three stations: the station on Main Street; the station in Frontierland; and in Storybook Circus in Fantasyland. You can also depart at any of station, or stay on board for the full 2.5-kilometer tour, which takes about 20 minutes. A recorded narration describes the sights you're seeing. The elevated Main Street station is a terrific fireworks and parade viewing area.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic – This is a 3D film hosted by Donald Duck. Children of the 90s will enjoy the film. Do it whenever–we recommend it as an escape from afternoon heat. Definitely don’t use FastPass on it.

Country Bear Jamboree – A stage show featuring audio animatronics singing bears from the South, Country Bear Jamboree. Do this whenever, do not use FastPass.

Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – A show where monsters interact with guests. The Laugh Floor has humor that appeals to a wide range of audiences. Do this whenever, do not use FastPass.

Enchanted Tiki Room – A 15-minute stage show in a theater-in-the-round, featuring audio animatronic birds. You’ve probably heard these catchy songs before; the fun music and the air-conditioned theatre make it a nice place to take a break.

Hall of Presidents – This show features audio-animatronics of all United States Presidents. Shows begin every half-hour, and there is never any line–do it when the members of your group might need a rest.

Tom Sawyer Island – Accessible only by raft, Tom Sawyer Island offers people a fun place to run and explore. There are caves, an old mine, a bouncy rope bridge, and an old-fashioned fort. Maps are posted -- be sure to check where you want to go, as paths lead in many ways.

Swiss Family Tree House – Explore the ultimate treehouse—and behold breathtaking views—in this attraction inspired by the classic Disney film. Embark on a breezy walk-through tour of the Robinson’s famous home nestled high inside a towering tree.

Magic to Light Up the Night Show – Cinderella’s Castle transforms into a piece of living art at this nighttime show honoring the art of Disney storytelling. The show starts at 9:45 PM (21:45).

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade – Experience magic as Magic Kingdom park comes alive with music and dancing in this parade celebrating Fantasyland. The parade starts at 3:00 PM (15:00).

Read more about Magic Kingdom at Wikipedia

Universal Studios Top Attractions

This park makes you feel like you're in a movie set with rides, shows, and attractions inspired by popular film and television productions. The park consists of eight themed areas – Hollywood, Production Central, New York, San Francisco, Diagon Alley/London, World Expo, The Simpson's Springfield, and Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is now open in Universal Studios Florida, while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade is next door at Islands of Adventure.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – This 3D ride puts you right in the middle of the action as you face the bank’s stringent security, while navigating the underground vaults. You’ll encounter Harry, Ron, and Hermione along the way, but you’ll have to evade the wrath of Voldemort, Bellatrix, trolls and other creatures who stand between you and a safe return.

The Simpsons Ride – Ride along with The Simpsons as they visit Krustyland. Is somebody trying to sabotage the park? You'll find out as you join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and enter the carnival. Once you board your vehicle, you’ll take a wild ride through the park... flying, floating, and crashing through Krustyland's stunt shows and thrill rides.

Disaster! A Motion Picture Ride...Starring YOU – Watch scenes from some of Hollywood's biggest movies and see live demonstrations that show you how amazing stunts and special effects were created. Then you'll board a San Francisco subway car for your chance to be an extra in the climactic finale of the film. you'll experience an earthquake that causes the ground above you to open up and rain down huge chunks of debris.

Revenge of the Mummy – This is a roller coaster unlike anything else. The ride catapults guests at speeds up to 72 kph in darkness. you'll plunge in total darkness, surrounded by huge fireballs, swarms of beetles and an army of mummies. Universal Studios has taken all the thrills and excitement of “The Mummy” movies and placed you right in the middle of the action.

Terminator 2: 3D – This show is a mix of live action stunts, special effects and amazing 3D film-making, featuring characters from the Terminator movies. Show times vary, check your park map for times.

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack – Enter Men In Black's top secret headquarters. Then, board your training vehicle and ride through the streets, taking aim at the aliens who have escaped from their intergalactic prison transport. The ride's outcome is based on your score. Each seat is equipped with a laser gun and gaming system that records each rider’s score.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you start the ride climbing straight up. A moment later, you're screaming 17 stories down at 105 kph. you'll rock out to a song YOU pick. And, it's all recorded on video. Edit your adventure into a music video, and buy a copy to take home. Orlando's tallest roller coaster also features several exciting elements, including the world's first non-inverting loop.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D – This thrill ride blurs the line between fiction and reality!. As a N*E*S*T recruit, you’ll be on the front lines of an intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons. You’ll fight alongside Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, trying to keep the Allspark from falling into enemy hands.

E.T. Adventure – Board your flying bicycle and sneak E.T. through the woods – past the police and scientists searching for him. Then take off and fly over the city. At the end of your journey awaits his magical planet, filled with creatures who greet you in song.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – Join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on a hilarious 3D ride. The adventure begins in Gru’s home, where you’re recruited for his latest scheme – one where you’ll become an actual Minion.

Shrek 4D – Join Shrek and his wise-cracking sidekick. you'll gallop through a haunted forest, ride on the back of a dragon, and plunge over a waterfall in order to save the day. After entering the dungeon, you’ll enter a theater, where 3D glasses bring the experience to life. You’ll see, hear, and actually FEEL the action as moving seats, wind, mist and special effects put you inside this fairytale adventure.

TWISTER...Ride It Out – Grab onto the railing or you'll be sucked into the swirling a tornado. you'll withstand the powerful winds, deafening roar, and pounding intensity of a monster storm with a mind of its own. A voracious beast, the twister will destroy everything in its path! The Twister's piercing sound system runs at 110 decibels, as loud as a rock concert.

Read more about Universal Studios at Wikipedia

Islands of Adventure Top Attractions

This park has the most exciting rides in Orlando. The layout consists of seven themed islands: The World of Harry Potter, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, Seuss Landing and Port of Entry.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Enter through the castle gates and down the passageways and corridors of Hogwarts School of Wizardry. you'll visit Dumbledore's office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement and more. Then, soar above the castle as you join Harry and his friends on a thrilling adventure, coming face-to-face with magical creatures!

Dragon Challenge – Choose your dragon: a Chinese Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail. Then, hold on tight as the two dragons twist and loop in a intertwining roller coaster chase across the sky. Dragon Challenge is actually two high-speed roller coasters – each "dragon" is a completely different ride.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster – You accelerate from zero to 65 kph in two seconds, with a force equal to that of a jet taking off an aircraft carrier. Then, a menacing roar fills your ears. All you can do is hang on as you experience the power of the Hulk, smashing through the sky and down to earth on a high-speed roller coaster rampage. The ride has seven loops during the 2-minute 15-second ride.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The diabolical villains of the Sinister Syndicate have stolen the Statue of Liberty and it's up to Spider Man to save the day. you'll follow right alongside, crashing through the streets, scaling skyscrapers and plummeting to the pavement below in a simulated 120-meter freefall.

Doctor Doom's Fearfall – With menacing robots watching your every move, you're strapped into your seat. The tension builds. Suddenly the countdown reaches zero and you are rocketed, 56 meters into the air, then hurled back down faster than the force of gravity.

Jurassic Park River Adventure – Take a river raft ride through the jungles of Jurassic Park and see dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Suddenly, you're bumped off course and into a restricted section of the park… the Raptor Containment Area. The fences are down. The lights are out. The raptors have broken loose! Chaos surrounds you. Raptors stalk your every move. And your only escape from the terrifying jaws of T-rex is an 26-meter plunge in total darkness!

Storm Force Accelatron – Professor Xavier has enlisted you to help Storm battle the evil Magneto. You must board Professor Xavier's new device, the Accelatron, and help regain Storm's powers. As you speed faster and faster in this spinning power generator, Storm produces thunder and lightning, sending Magneto into a full retreat. This ride is housed in a large, gold-colored dome containing Professor Xavier's power generator. You control how fast your pods spin.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls – Will Dudley Do-Right and his faithful horse, reach Nell in time to save the day? Will you stay dry when you experience the incredibly steep plummet down Ripsaw Falls? Hop in your log for the watery conclusion of this water ride to find out! This is the first log ride to send riders plummeting below the water level.

The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show – The action takes place in a mysterious bay littered with shipwrecks lured to their misfortune by the evil sorceress. you'll be on the edge of your seat as you witness exciting battles between the heroes and villains, explosive pyrotechnics, and stunts.

Read more about Islands of Adventure at Wikipedia

More Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom - This is the park where you'll find all your favorite Disney characters and rides. The park is divided into six themed "lands," including Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, and Main Street U.S.A. It’s also where the famous Cinderella’s Castle is located, which many consider to be the best place for viewing the fireworks display that takes place nightly.

Epcot - This park is divided into two main themed areas, Future World and World Showcase. Future World consists of Spaceship Earth, Innoventions East, Innoventions West Universe of Energy, Mission: Space Test Track The Seas with Nemo & Friends, The Land Imagination! World Showcase is a large area reminiscent of a permanent world's fair containing eleven pavilions, each themed and dedicated to represent a specific country. The countries include: exico Norway, China, Germany , Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - This park offers a behind-the-scenes looks at the making of movies and popular TV shows and provides live original shows. There are also a number of thrilling rides and attractions based on blockbuster movies, which provide exciting stunts and amazing special effects.

Animal Kingdom - This is the newest and largest theme park to open at the Disney World. This park is divided into three areas: The Real, The Mythical and The Extinct. The Real area features live animals in exotic landscapes and provides a safari-like experience. In The Mythical area, guests come face-to-face with magical and make believe creatures. In the Extinct Area, dinosaurs come to life.

Live Entertainment at the Parks

Shows & Character Interactions – All of the parks offer shows and character interactions throughout the day. Show times vary, check your park map for exact times.