Theme Parks and Water Parks a Few Hours Away from AMI

The one thing Florida is known best for, besides the gorgeous beaches, is the variety of theme parks and water parks. Whether it be Disney, Universal, or the ones in between, we are sure there’s a park you’ll want to visit on the list below:

Amusement Parks:
Giraffe Feeding at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers 335 acres of African- themed rides, live shows, restaurants, and shops. Best known for their thrilling rides (the park contains a whooping 21,297 feet of roller coaster track), Busch Gardens Tamps Bay also features one of the largest zoos in all of North America, which includes over 12,000 animals. They even have a variety of immersive tours including one in an open air vehicle on the parks Serengeti Plain, where you can hand-feed giraffes. How cool is that?!
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 10pm

LEGOLAND: LEGOLAND Florida is a fun amusement park made up of our favorite childhood toy, legos. This theme park/water park has over 50 shows and attractions, including; a lego creation zone, a kid-safe rock climbing area, and so much more! The water park features a wave pool and lazy river. This is the absolute perfect amusement park for the kiddos to create and explore.
Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
Hours: LEGOLAND Theme Park is open every day of the week from 10am – 7pm
LEGOLAND Water Park is open every day of the week from 10:30am – 6pm

Seaworld: We did an entire blog on Seaworld, check it out!

A Street in Harry Potter World in Universal

Universal Studios: An amusement park where guests get the opportunity to”ride the movies” is what Universal Studios Orlando is all about. This theme park/production studio features tons of attractions and live shows. Lets not forget about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Islands of Adventure, which are two additional theme parks within Universal Studios. Whether your’e soaring through the sky on the E.T Adventure ride, traveling underground on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride, or exploring the eight different themed islands. There are attractions for everyone at Universal!
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: All three Universal park are open every day of the week at 9am, closing times vary.

Disney, Disney, and More Disney: 
Disney, everyone’s heard the name, but if you haven’t visited one of the many Walt Disney World theme parks, you are missing out! There are 4 parks, excluding the 2 water parks, that makes Disney World what it is. Below is information on each of the 4 individual amusement parks.
. Epcot: Epcot is a 300 acre Disney theme park that is split into two sections, Future World and World Showcase. Future world explores science and technology with its attractions. The World Showcase area lets you travel to different countries without stepping out of Florida. I would say Epcot is the ideal theme park for adults, but don’t worry, the kids will enjoy it as well.
Address: 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 9pm
. Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the 4 Disney amusement parks and highlights Walt Disney’s commitment to conservation and nature. The park is home to 250 different kinds of species of animals, with over 1,700 animals all together. Animal Kingdom is the largest animal-themed park on the planet. The park also has tons of different live shows, parades, and of course fun rides.
Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830
Hours: Sunday through Tuesday open 9am – 10pm
Wednesday through Saturday open 9am – 10:30pm
. Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Magic Kingdom is my favorite out of the 4. as

Disney Characters Pose in Front of Cinderellas Castle in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

soon as you walk into the park you are overcome with enchantment. From the gorgeous castle, to the lovely sites and sounds of Main Street U.S.A., the park is absolutely charming. Magic Kingdom also offers rides, firework shows, and daily musical parades featuring your favorite Disney characters.
Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Hours: Monday through Wednesday open 8am – 11pm
Thursday through Sunday open 8am – 10pm
. Hollywood Studios: Formerly known as MGM Studios until 2008Hollywood Studios allows its guests to step behind the scenes of Hollywood, with live action shows, exciting attractions, and backstage tours. Everything in the park almost blends to look like one giant movie set, bringing the Hollywood feeling to central Florida. Just like all the other Disney parks, you’ll also find rides, restaurants, and shops in HollyWoood Studios.
Address: 351 S Studio Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 8am – 10:30pm

Water parks

Typhoon Lagoon: One of the two Disney World water parks, Typhoon Lagoon is a super fun way to soak up the Florida sun. Take a relaxing ride down the lazy river, lay out in the sun on their sandy beach, ride their thrilling water slides, and so much more! While you’re at Typhoon Lagoon you have to take the family on the ride Miss Adventure, a whitewater adventure ride that just happens to be the longest ride in Disney water park history!
Address: 1145 East Buena Vista Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 8pm

The “Ski Lift” at Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach: The second Disney water park is Blizzard Beach, a park modeled to look like a ski-resort that melted into a water filled utopia. Blizzard Beach is home to Mount Gushmore ,one of the tallest and fastest water slides in the WORLD! Featuring raft rides, water slides, and a one acre wave pool, Blizzard Beach is a fantastic park for some fun in the sun.
Address: 1534 Blizzard Beach Drive, Orlando, FL 32836
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 8pm

Volcano Bay: Universal Orlando’s only water park, Volcano Bay, is a much newer park compared to the others. Taking the place of Universals old water park, Wet N Wild, Volcano Bay Opened in 2017 and is packed with the perfect mix of thrills and tranquility. Experience the different water slides inside Krakatau, the 200ft tall Volcano that’s also the parks main representative. The most interesting part of Volcano Bay would be the fact that they use TapuTapu, a wristband that will hold a guests place in long lines without the need of them standing there. Now that’s convenient!
Address:  6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 9pm

Adventure Island: A little less of a drive compared to the other water parks, Adventure Island is located in Tampa and is 30 acres of watery fun! There are 10 thrilling water slides, a 17,000 square foot wave pool, and plenty of kid friendly attractions as well. There is also dining options so no one in your group goes hungry.
Address: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 7pm

Kids complete a pool obstacle course at Adventure Island

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Orlando, FL

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

Take a dip, a slip, or a plunge into the cool waters at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. The water park features numerous slides, a lazy river, and cool summer fun. The picture above shows the giant wave pool right along the Disney park beach shore. Soak up some rays and then cool off in the water.  A great one or two day trip from Anna Maria Island.  Another option to cool off from the Summer Heat is to visit Blizzard Beach very close to Typhoon Lagoon.


The park also has a surfing school for those interested in learning. The controlled environment is ideal, and lessons are offered on select days before the opening of the park. More information on the camp can be found by contacting them directly at (407) 939-7529.  Don’t forget we have surfing camps on Anna Maria Island as well!

The park consists of 11 rides including the shark reef. Included with your admission to the park is the opportunity to snorkel on the artificial coral reef within the park. You can get an up close look at sharks, stingrays, and schools of fish. The reef is 10 feet deep and a chilling 68 degrees so be ready to take a deep breath before you jump in!

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Orlando Florida

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Roar with the lions; monkey around with the prime-apes; growl with the tigers; laugh with the hyenas! You can do all this and more at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The goal is simple here. Get in touch with nature, and teach conservation so that it can be enjoyed by future generations as well! Being located only two hours from Anna Maria Island makes Animal Kingdom a great Orlando day trip.


There are many exhibits to see around the park, and many can be viewed while riding the Wildlife Express Train. In addition to this tour, there are more personal tours which will take you closer to becoming one with the wild. You can learn about how the Disney cast members take care of over 1500 inhabitants of the park in a Backstage Safari, test your physical limits in Expedition Everest, or embark on a Wild Africa Trek where you’ll cross rope bridges and get a great view of the wildlife.

There are also 12 dining options to choose from within the park, including Rainforest Cafe, each with their own unique style and atmosphere.

Park hours for summer 2013 are 9:00AM to 8:00PM Monday-Thursday and 9:00AM to 7:00PM Friday-Sunday with differing hours on holidays.

In addition to the other Disney parks here are some more Orlando parks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Visiting Disney World from Anna Maria Island is a perfect one or two day trip that is sure to provide another level of entertainment.  Bring the Hollywood magic to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. If there is one thing Walt Disney World does amazingly well, it is bringing the movie experience to life within Hollywood Studios. As you walk around the park you will feel as if you’re the main character on set of the next big movie release. The iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel as well as Mickey’s magical hat from Fantasia can be found within!


If that doesn’t satisfy you join Phineas and Ferb as they make the movie of all movies detailing their summer vacation! There’s no better way to celebrate the summer season than with the ultimate summer break stars.

If you’re seeking a thrill you can ride the Rock’n Roller Coaster which will have you grooving to Aerosmith tracks or catch the Lights, Motors, Action! extreme stunt show.

There is plenty to see at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park so be sure to bring along a comfortable pair of walking shoes. You’ll be doing a lot!

Park hours for summer 2013 are 9:00AM to 10:00PM with differing hours on holidays.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639

Disney’s Epcot

Disney’s Epcot

Featuring cuisines from around the world, Disney’s Epcot is a food lover’s paradise all within the World of Walt Disney, and being in close proximity to Anna Maria Island makes it a perfect Orlando day trip destination! 32 dining choices are present across 24 different categories:

African, American, Asian, Bakery, British, Cajun/Creole, Chinese, Cuban, French, German, Greek, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Mediterranean, Mexican, Moroccan, Norwegian, Polynesian, Seafood, Steakhouse, Sushi. Take your pick or try them all (not recommended in one sitting)!


Although the food is the main attraction of the Epcot park, there are 31 attractions to take in as well; themed around the cultures reflected in the food choices. Get a cup of tea from a British coffeehouse, eat a baguette at a French boulangerie, or dine on sushi in a Japanese “Resutoran.”

Disney Epcot park hours for summer are 9:00AM to 9:00PM with differing hours on holidays.  We just visited Epcot over Thanksgiving and the fireworks display was amazing!

If you’re still looking for more theme park options that are not too far from Anna Maria Island, we have compiled a list just for you!

Disney’s Epcot
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639

Disney’s Magic Kingdom | Orlando, Florida

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is one of the six theme parks located at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL. If you want to get the full experience at the Magic Kingdom park an Orlando day trip from Anna Maria Island is a great choice!

Disney’s Magic Kingdom will bring out the kid in you. All of the fairy tales you grew up with come to life in beautiful and amazing fashion. Explore the park and expect to see many of your favorite story book characters roaming and interacting with the guests! Throughout the day parades are held featuring the likes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, and many other recognizable faces!  Be sure to stay late and watch the fireworks show.


Split up into various regions you can take a walk through the Agrabah market just like Aladdin did or venture through areas themed after the Toy Story world. Maybe even take a trip to infinity and beyond with Buzz Lightyear!

Centered in the park is the most famous and recognizable of the Disney landmarks, the Cinderella castle. Although seemingly much taller, the Cinderella castle stands only 190 feet tall. A keen visual trick played by the architects causes the viewer’s perspective to make the castle stand much taller and wider than it actually is.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom features over 38 attractions, 45 shows and entertainment opportunities, 28 dining locations, and 13 events and tours! You can be guaranteed enough activity to keep both you and the kids entertained.

Park hours for summer are 9:00AM to 11:00PM with differing hours on holidays however we always suggest you check with Disney for park hour changes.

More theme park options are also available.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639

Walt Disney World Park Guide | Lake Buena Vista, FL

Disney World Park Guide | Theme Parks in the Orlando, FL area!

So you’re in Florida. What are you going to do now? “I’m going to Disney World!” should be the clear response. Visiting Disney World is a great Orlando day trip option for visitors staying on Anna Maria Island.

Located in Lake Buena Vista, FL, Disney World has six theme parks to choose from each with a differing theme.

Walt Disney World Parks

  • Looking to bring your fairy tale dreams to life? Then we suggest the Magic Kingdom Park!  Magic Park is perfect for toddlers.
  • Interested in getting a taste of the world without having to spend a fortune in flights? Check out Epcot!  Epcot is the most sophisticated park and we suggest High School teenagers.
  • Bring the movie magic to life with the Hollywood Studios Park!  Toddlers will work at this park but there are rides toddlers are too small to ride.
  • Get in touch with nature while touring Animal Kingdom. A great zoo as well as Disney theme park.  Only a few rides toddlers cannot ride.
  • Make a splash at either the Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water parks!  Fabulous for the whole family.
  • Or visit Downtown Disney for shopping, entertainment, concerts and clubs!  Definitely adult related however lego land and two theme based restaurants can make this fun for the whole family.

There are many options to choose from if you wish to get the Disney experience. At the time of this posting ticket prices range from $53 to $95 for a single day ticket. There are also better offers for group purchases and multi-day or multi-park options.  Are you a Florida resident?  If so many passes provide discounts for Florida residents.

Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 934-7639