There are a quite a few amusement parks in the state of Florida, but the only ones that ever really come to mind are the Walt Disney World and Universal theme parks. And while Disney is awesome, there are so many other amusement parks to enjoy throughout the state. Which means you don’t have to travel to central Florida to enjoy a roller coaster ride or eat a funnel cake. Here are some of the smaller amusement parks around the state that are perfect for a sunny day outing with friends and family.
Adventure Landing (Jacksonville Beach)
This family entertainment center and waterpark has two locations in Florida, both near Jacksonville. It includes two 18-hole miniature golf courses, each with a unique theme, laser tag, batting cages, go-karts, a junior coaster, and an arcade complete with tickets to get some awesome prizes. The first Adventure Landing theme park was opened in 1995 in Jacksonville Beach by Adventure Entertainment Company. Since then, nine more theme parks have made their construction in the United States and continue to bring fun to families who visit every year.
Arcade City (Orlando)
Arcade City is where all the gamers go to have a great time. A large family friendly arcade, all the modern games are stationed here. Players can shoot some hoops, beat up some bad guys, master the claws machine, and attempt to cross the finish line before anyone else. There really is a game for everyone here, so even if there is a non-gamer in the family, there is something to keep them entertained while the family here. There’s only three locations in all of America, and Orlando is lucky enough to be one of them. So make a pit stop at Arcade City and see what kinds of prizes there are to win!
Fun Spot America (Orlando, Kissimmee)
Fun Spot America is a Central Florida’s family owned Theme Park offering 2 locations including Orlando and Kissimmee. Both family theme parks offer roller coasters that are sure to make you scream, multi-level Go-Karts for kids of all ages, family rides, thrill rides, and a huge arcade that will keep even the non-gamer happy for a little bit. There are also special events that go on through both locations around the year, like Easter and Christmas. Fun Spot America is an awesome way to spend the day with friends and family.
Miami Seaquarium (Miami)
There’s a lot to do here at the Miami Seaquarium. While you can swim with the dolphins for 30 minutes, there are also touch pools, where visitors can put their hands into the water to touch the bamboo sharks, cleaner fish, and invertebrates. It’s awesome being able to touch the animals and feel them kiss your fingers. Other experiences here include hanging out with a bunch of flamingos (yes you can take pictures of them and with them), a seal swim, a penguin encounter, and watch a flipper dolphin show, among many other cool activities. Guests can also learn about the 5 of 8 different types of sea turtles that live in the waters surrounding Florida, watch the manatees swim, look at the different tropical fish aquariums, and don’t forget to check out the stingrays. It’s definitely a place to spend an entire day at if you’re in the area!
Old Town Sling Shot and Vomatron (Kissimmee)
An amusement park of sorts, Old Town Slingshot and Vomatron has some thrilling rides to experience. The Slingshot is exactly what it sounds like. You’re situated in a harness and strapped in quite thoroughly before you’re tilted back. Hearing the thrumming of the Springs Machine around you, it vaults you vertically at over 100 miles an hour to heights of up to 150 meters. The Vomatron on the other hand is a different kind of thrill. What looks like a propeller with little seating cabs on each end, riders are then rotated at a speed of up to 70 miles an hour. It then slows down just to go in reverse. The Vomatron was originally made for astronauts by N.A.S.A. because they had to go through different tests to make sure they could handle going up in space. While those two rides are meant for the older kids, there’s some fun for little kids too. Kids are harnessed with bungee cords and can jump as high as 15 feet and are encouraged to try flips if they want to. Old Town is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it sure is a fun way to spend an afternoon if you like exciting rides.
Race City (Panama City Beach)
A fantastic outing for the whole family, Race City Amusement Park has the classic fairground rides like paratroopers, Scrambler (also known as the Merry Mixer in some areas), a Tilt-O-Whirl type ride with the carts shaped like bears, and a roller coaster with other rides specifically for smaller children. There is also go-kart tracks, an indoor black light mini golf underwater themed adventure, bumper boats, a mega arcade with all the coolest video games where you can win tickets to pick out some awesome prizes, and a Skycoaster ride, which is similar to a zipline. The only Skycoaster in Panama City Beach, this is the ultimate thrill ride as you fly in a harness going over 60 miles per hour. You can even share this experience with a friend or two if you want!
Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures (Melbourne)
Okay so this one isn’t really an amusement parks with all your normal thrilling rides. Instead, it’s a group of aerial adventures like zip-lining on multiple challenge levels, a canopy walk that’s 20 feet up in the air or on the ground, and other activities for those who are up for the challenges. Guests are harnessed in at all times for each activity and helmets are encouraged for most of the challenges as well. These activities are good forms of exercise too, so be aware that sweating means you’re having fun.
Wonder Works (Orlando, Panama City Beach)
This isn’t a normal amusement park with thrilling coasters or family fun rides. Wonder Works is actually more than 100 hands on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark creativity in the visitor’s imagination. There are a couple different zones that can be explored: natural disasters, physical challenges, light and sounds, space discovery, imagination lab, and far out art gallery. There is also an indoor ropes challenge, a 4D simulator ride, and a laser tag arena for the kid in all of us.