Regional Rollercoaster Road Trip IV – Florida

     Because Florida has become one of the world’s Meccas for amusement and theme parks, it certainly deserves its own entry in this series. In this edition, travel time and distance are fairly insignificant since the parks are clustered around Orlando, Florida. In fact, the only park truly out of the Orlando area is less than 90 miles away in Tampa.
     But we will begin in Orlando, a major destination for families from all over the world because of its concentration of family activities of all types.
     The king of these venues is still Disney World, in the suburb of Orlando known as Lake Buena Vista. Disney World is made up of several separate but connected theme parks, all of which have their own thrill rides and rollercoasters. The Magic Kingdom has its Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad, Epcot has Test Track, Animal Kingdom has Primeval Whirl, Disney-MGM has Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, just to mention a few.
     Also in Orlando is Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which boasts a number of coasters, including the Incredible Hulk Coaster and Dueling Dragons. A separate venue, called Universal Studios has Revenge of the Mummy the Ride, and Back to the Future the Ride, for example.
     Even Sea World Orlando has gotten into the thrill ride game, with Kraken and Journey to Atlantis.
     For a diversion and a break from Orlando, travel West on Interstate 4 to Tampa, a distance of about 85 miles, to visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay which boasts a number of notable coasters, including SheiKra, Gwazi, Montu, Kumba, and Cheetah Chase.
     This compact little trip certainly deserves at least a week.


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