For most people, a visit to Florida  is incomplete without a visit to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks. Although the magic is decidedly skewed toward families, honeymooners and retirees also find much to love in the larger-than-life attractions.
The Walt Disney World Resort  is, of course, the theme-park center of gravity in the area. Not only was it the first, it’s still the largest and most popular by an order of magnitude. The resort encompasses four “kingdoms,” each of which offer a distinct take on Disney’s family-friendly charm.
The Magic Kingdom  was the first park built in Orlando by Walt Disney; it takes the fairytales-and-fun algorithm behind California’s Disneyland and amplifies it into a self-contained universe filled with cartoon characters and immersive rides and attractions.
At Epcot , Disney’s vision of a futuristic city has been supplanted by science-fact displays of technology, a “parade of nations”–style voyage through the food and culture of several different countries, and a selection of thrill rides that play off each of those themes.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios , the magic of Disney is combined with the magic of the movies, while Disney’s Animal Kingdom  deftly blends live animal habitats, ecofriendly messages, and a handful of excellent rides. Beyond the four core “kingdoms,” the resort also offers water parks, golfing, shopping, nightlife, and a wide array of dining and lodging options.
Although the folks at Disney’s corporate offices would love it if you spent your entire vacation within their self-contained resort (and many people choose to do just that), there are two other major theme-park resorts in the Orlando area. Universal Orlando  contains two distinct parks; Universal Studios Florida  is a Hollywood-themed park, with movie displays and rides and attractions built around popular television shows and movies, while Islands of Adventure  is pure amusement-park play with high-velocity coasters and thrill rides that still manage to pack in plenty of movie-studio synergy.
For years, SeaWorld Orlando  was all but indistinguishable from its sister parks in San Antonio and San Diego, combining choreographed marine-mammal shows, sea-life exhibits, and a handful of decent if unspectacular thrill rides. Today, the main park at SeaWorld Orlando has expanded to include marquee coasters like Kraken , while the resort has also grown to include an excellent eco-minded water park in the form of Aquatica , as well as the exceptional Discovery Cove , which invites a limited number of daily guests for extended and close-up interactions with dolphins.