Theme Park Recommendations

Epcot theme park with globe

I’m NikkyJ and I’m happy you’re here for your theme park recommendations!

If you’ve been looking to plan the perfect trip to any of the Florida theme parks, then you’re in the right place!

I’ve helped lots of theme park goers jump start their solo vacations to parks around the world, by providing concise, detailed gems to make the most out of any trip.

That’s what I’m all about and that’s what you’ll find on ThemeParkHipster.

Theme Park Recommendations

I created this resource page to easily list recommended services, products, and companies that I use and/or those I know are valuable. This way you can quickly find great products and services all in one place.

You can save thousands of dollars all from one page!

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.

Best Theme Parks in Orlando

I have listed my top theme parks in Orlando for solo travel. They are arranged in the order of best to worst based on my experience and conversations with other solo theme park travelers.

  1. Epcot
  2. Universal Studios Florida
  3. Islands of Adventure
  4. Animal Kingdom
  5. Disney’s Magic Kingdom
  6. Busch Gardens Tampa* (not in Orlando, but definitely worth the trip over)
  7. Hollywood Studios
  8. SeaWorld Orlando

Free Theme Park Planners

Destinations in Florida

Destinations in Florida is a Florida based travel agency specializing in Disney World, Universal Orlando, Disney Cruise and Florida vacations.

They are the local travel experts I use to help plan my theme park vacations. They will help you plan your family vacation, all at no cost to you.

Laura is my discount vacation connection at Destinations in Florida and you can let her know that I sent you over. Call her at 877-918-8941 or Request a Price Online.

Read why you need a theme park travel planner here.


Cheap Orlando Theme Park Tickets

Undercover Tourist

Since 2000, Undercover Tourist has provided authentic attraction tickets at discounted prices, as well as insider planning tips and excellent customer service.

With over a million downloads of the top-rated Wait Times App, Undercover Tourist helps families save time and money on their vacation to Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, Universal Studios Hollywood™, SeaWorld® Orlando, SeaWorld® San Diego and more attractions in Orlando, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Discounted rates, free shipping and flexible refund policies make Undercover Tourist the trusted name in attraction tickets.

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.

The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.

They also care for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals.

SeaWorld Entertainment also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild.

The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 28,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

SeaWorld Theme Park Locations
  • SeaWorld Orlando (FL)
  • San Diego (CA) SeaWorld
  • SeaWorld San Antonio (TX)
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (FL)
  • Williamsburg (VA) Busch Gardens
  • Adventure Island® (FL)
  • Aquatica® Orlando (FL)
  • San Diego (CA) Aquatica
  • Aquatica San Antonio (TX)
  • Water Country U.S.A (VA)
  • Sesame Place® (PA)

Cheap Hotels in Orlando

Hotels.com

Hotels.com® offers more than 300,000 properties in 60 countries – from hotels and B&B’s to condos and all-inclusive resorts.

Hotels.com also specializes in providing accommodations during sold-out periods.

I know the lodging accommodation experience is an important part of your trip, so Hotels.com offers travelers the information they need to book the perfect trip–all backed by the Hotels.com Price Guarantee.

My absolute favorite thing about Hotels.com is that it offers a FREE night. When you book 10 hotel nights through their website, you’ll receive one night free.

You may get one of your nights at a participating Disney area hotel for free.

The 10 nights can be booked throughout the year.

Vacation Rentals Orlando

5 best resorts near disney

A vacation home is another great option where you can get a wonderful deal on lodging for your Florida vacation.

Top Villas is one of the world’s leading luxury villa rental specialists with more than 4,000 luxury villas in over 50 of the world’s finest vacation destinations.

I am a fan of vacation home rentals with resort amenities for families or friends traveling to Disney on an extended vacation.

Learn how to pick the best vacation home for you here!


Local City Deals

Groupon

Groupon is one my favorite discount sites where I buy great deals for different restaurants and activities to do in any city I visit.

Groupon believes in building the daily habit in local commerce, offering a vast mobile and online marketplace where people discover and save on amazing things to do, see, eat and buy.

Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day where Groupon would give us the option to purchase discounted theme park tickets.

In addition to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Entertainment tickets, Groupon helps you enjoy even more local attractions such as Fun SpotKennedy Space Center, and I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing for the low!

Read how to get your Busch Gardens Tampa Bay tickets at a cheap price on Groupon.

CityPass

CityPASS is a simple way to vacation in Orlando for one set cost.

CityPASS ticket booklets contain prepaid admission to the top attractions in each city. With CityPASS, you pay one substantially reduced price and avoid main entrance ticket lines at many attractions.

CityPASS promises you three things: the most famous attractions, an amazing price, and skipping the main ticket line at many attractions.

For example, Tampa Bay CityPASS: Attractions include:

  • Busch Gardens® Tampa
  • The Florida Aquarium
  • Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center OR Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI).

CityPASS ticket booklets are valid for nine consecutive days, starting with the first day of use.

Get your Orlando CityPass theme park deals here!


Best Books About Disney World and Other Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Planning Guide. Disney itinerary with Cinderella Castle.

The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide: Tips and Tricks for Theme Park Hopping in Florida

This book highlights how to travel confidently to theme parks alone and save money doing it!

This lighthearted handbook will dispel the myths of going solo to parks and will inspire you to create your own travel memories.

The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide will also give a  breakdown on each of the major theme parks in central Florida: Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and SeaWorld.

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World Guide

This is the official Disney guidebook with lots of great tips compacted into the colorful pages.

It’s the go to Walt Disney World guide and a great starter book for Disney vacationers. It offers detailed descriptions of all attractions, resorts, and eateries; offers money-saving coupons.

Fodor’s Travel Walt Disney World with Universal, SeaWorld & the Best of Central Florida

Fodor’s highlights the best of Walt Disney World, including the most thrilling rides, water parks, and shopping and nightlife options.

Fodor’s park experts vet every recommendation to ensure you make the most of your time.

The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

The book authors give expert advice on how to plan your dream Walt Disney World vacation.

The unique advice and touring strategies help you make the most of your first Disney vacation.

It will help you pick the best week, the best hotel, the best food, and how to save the most money.

Halloween Horror Nights: The Unofficial Story & Guide

This book details the mixed events that led to the world’s greatest Halloween experience.

It covers all the behind-the-scenes stories and secrets such as: The Rat Lady and more.

It also tells you the best way to tour Halloween Horror Nights. This annual haunted event is my favorite at Universal. I love reading the stories and insights of past creators in this book.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

The book gives complete secret tips from Disney’s Imagineers that will inspire you to relive the magic year after year.

You’ll learn all the hidden knowledge and stories throughout Walt Disney World resort.

The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando

This book is written by a former Universal Orlando employee.

He gives specific information on every ride, show, and restaurant in the resort, including insider details on Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

It’s my favorite resource book when I need material on Universal Orlando.

The author, Seth Kurbersky, is extremely knowledgeable in all things Universal.

The Walt Disney World Trivia Book: Secrets, History & Fun Facts Behind the Magic

This trivia book contains a unique collection of hundreds of multiple-choice questions. It has lots of secrets and interesting facts regarding all the Walt Disney World history.

A great book to have for traveling.


Theme Park Packing List

ThemeParkHipster Shirts

theme park clothing

Be a part of the theme park experience and become an official ThemeParkHipster rocking the newest collection!

Get yours here!

More Theme Park Essentials

Nikon COOLPIX P530 Camera My go to camera for theme park photography and videography.

It has full 1080p HD video functionality. Easy to use and great for beginners

O2Cool Battery-operated Handheld Water-misting Fan The hot summer theme park days are very tough. Having a water-misting fan on board is a top recommendation of mine to help avoid overheating.

The O2Cool provides up to 1000 refreshing mists in one bottle. Powerful and safe flexible fan blades that requires 2 AA batteries.

Frosty Towel It’s a must have for the scorching days in Florida.

It’s 100% Premium Cotton and made in the USA. The Frosty Towel gives instant relief from heat, the humidity, or hot flashes. It also stays cool for hours.

It is made with all natural plant oils and extracts infused into a premium cotton towel for instant cooling relief.

No refrigeration required.

The towels are individually wrapped, safe, sanitary and convenient.

Hipster Sunglasses The official ThemeParkHipster look.

Bring your hip glasses to all of your theme park trips.

Disney Adult Mickey Mouse Hat No theme park look is complete without a hipster-inspired hat.

It’s also a great item to have to help block the sun.

The best websites to save money at Disney, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and more! I've used them and have been very successful.

Read More Solo Theme Park Travel Tips:

Get your no obligation FREE QUOTE!

Until next time, happy park hopping Hipsters!

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