#FlyWashington Magazine Summer 2018 | Page 53

SEAWORLD, DISCOVERY COVE AND AQUATICA, SEAWORLD’S WATERPARK Splish and splash at the SeaWorld Parks. There is a lot to love at SeaWorld, and a move towards more educational programming doesn’t mean less fun — really! The animal experiences are a neat way to get up close and personal with a variety of sea life and inspire a love of all creatures, great and small. Away from the touch tanks and aquariums there are thrilling rides and roller coasters. The newest attraction at SeaWorld Orlando is Infinity Falls. Built for families, riders (42” and taller) will brave the rapids before shooting down the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride! Aquatica is a state of the art waterpark featuring relaxing spots for adults, kid-friendly play areas and extreme slides for the most adventurous. Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort that includes aquatic activities like snorkeling and gear, animal experiences, and food and drink for the day. Discovery Cove admission doesn’t come cheap, but it does include 14 consecutive days of access to SeaWorld and Aquatica, which makes the sticker shock sting a little less. UNIVERSAL RESORT ORLANDO Older kids in tow? Budget your time for Universal Resort Orlando. Families with kids beyond the elementary school years may want to spend a few days at Universal Studios and their sister park, Islands of Adventure, with some wet and wild fun at Volcano Bay — the newest theme park at Universal. Whereas a day may be long enough to hit all the things that will hold the interest of pre-tweens, older ones may wish to use their Orlando vacation time on the thrills at Universal rather than the gentler fun at say, LEGOLand or The Magic Kingdom. Fans of the boy wizard won’t want to leave without visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. There is a lot to do for the younger set, but unlike some of the other parks, little ones are not the focus. The latest attraction set to up the thrill factor when it opens in Spring 2018 is Fast & Furious Supercharged! Get up close with the cars and characters from the movie franchise before embarking on a harrowing escape adventure. WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT The granddaddy of the Orlando theme park family is the Walt Disney World Resort. Beloved by generations of visitors, Disney has built an empire out of making magic for families. Divided into 4 parks (plus 2 waterparks, the “town” of Disney Springs and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex), you could spend your entire vacation without leaving the massive 40 square mile Disney property. The Magic Kingdom is the oldest, and some might argue, the best loved part of Disney World. Centered around Cinderella’s Castle, the six themed “lands” of the Magic Kingdom are a perennial favorite. Here is where you will find classic attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Princess Fairytale Hall. Under the towering Tree of Life on Discovery Island, The Animal Kingdom is home to a menagerie of exotic animals in Africa and Asia, a prehistoric world of dinosaurs in DinoLand USA and at Pandora — The World of Avatar, guests can leave Earth for a bit to explore the world of the Na’vi. A familiar geodesic sphere beckons visitors to Epcot, where the world of tomorrow is on display at Future World. Explore new technologies and our planet from the ocean floor, on land, and from above with interactive displays and rides. Epcot also houses a World Showcase, with pavilions highlighting the best of 11 countries. The magic veers to the silver screen sort at Hollywood Studios. Brand new for the summer in 2018 is Toy Story Land. Woody and Buzz will be joining the likes of Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Indiana Jones and a host of folks from Star Wars. GETTING THERE Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Reagan National Airport (DCA) both offer multiple nonstop daily flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO), making it quick (120-minute flight) and easy to get there. United Airlines and Frontier Airlines both offer nonstop flights from IAD to MCO, while JetBlue Airways and American Airlines offer nonstop flights from DCA to MCO. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort WHERE TO STAY For a vacation that is the perfect balance of Disney meets luxury, stay at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Have as much or as little Disney as you like with plenty of adult activities like world-class dining and spa as well as complimentary childcare so parents can recover from theme park hopping with a day at the only adults-only pool on Disney property. An exclusive Four Seasons Resort Orlando amenity is access to the Disney Planning Center. Located in the lobby and staffed by Disney Cast Members, guests can use the Disney Planning Center to purchase Park tickets, upgrade their tickets, request Disney services such as a VIP Tour, make Disney Dining reservations, and have any Disney related questions answered. Four Seasons also offers multiple opportunities for Disney Character Experiences from a twice weekly breakfast “The Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and Pals” or for a more exclusive encounter, a breakfast with Anna and Elsa from Frozen can be arranged at one of the resort’s private event spaces. Explorer Island offers multi-generational fun with a 5-acre water park with two water slides, a family pool, splash zone, lazy river winding around a “ruined” mansion, climbing wall, and more. Look forward to beach volleyball, basketball, a video gaming center, outdoor movie nights on the Starstruck screen, oversize checkers, you name it! www.fourseasons.com/orlando SUMMER 2018 51 FLYWASHINGTON.COM