Make us your home page

Florida Theme Park Guide to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens and more


By Michelle Stark, Anne Glover, Amber McDonald and Kelly Stefani, Times Staff Writers
Illustration by Steve Madden, Times Staff Artist
Developed by Alexis N. Sanchez

Are you a Florida theme park fanatic? Send your favorite memories, horror stories (we all have them) or park insider tips to our Things to Do editors at or post to the official Things to Do Facebook page.

  1. SeaWorld, Disney and Universal closing for Hurricane Matthew, Busch Gardens plans to stay open for now


    Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando and other theme parks across Florida are either closing in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, or closely monitoring the situation.

    Universal Orlando has canceled Halloween Horror Nights for Thursday and Friday due to Hurricane Matthew. [Universal Orlando]
  2. What to expect: Universal's Halloween Horror Nights unleashes high-tech horror in The Repository


    Once you step inside The Repository, you'll have to utilize all the memory and problem-solving skills you honed in elementary school.

    Step inside The Repository, an interactive haunted house experience at Halloween Horror Nights.
  3. Unmasking the horror: Behind the scenes at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights


    The first scene you'll see in the American Horror Story maze is season one's Dr. Montgomery attempting to bring his batpig to life.

    The Sheriff isn't doing so hot in Halloween Horror Night's Ghost Town house.
  4. Photos: Endangered gorilla born at Busch Gardens


    There's a new member of the menagerie at Busch Gardens in Tampa. The park announced Thursday that a male western lowland gorilla was born at the theme park on Aug. 18. The baby, Oliver, is being cared for by its 28-year-old mother, Mary, in the park's Myombe Reserve habitat. Mary came to the park in 2010 from a zoo in …

    Courtesy of Busch Gardens
  5. SeaWorld to revamp Kraken coaster with virtual reality headsets


    As if plunging 150 feet down a floorless coaster isn't scary enough, SeaWorld has announced that its Kraken roller coaster will be retrofitted next year with virtual reality headsets to make riders feel like they are undersea being chased by mythical monsters.

    SeaWorld has announced that its Kraken roller coaster will be retrofitted next year with virtual reality headsets to make riders feel like they are undersea being chased by mythical monsters. 
Kraken will be Florida's first digitally enhanced ride experience.
  6. Busch Gardens adds extra free months to annual pass


    Busch Gardens is temporarily extending the reach of its $168 Annual Pass by three months, which means you can get 15 months at the Tampa theme park for the price of 12 months.

    Busch Gardens’ 12-month pass is good for 15 months if you buy by Jan. 3.
  7. Scream-A-Geddon is turning the election into a real horror show with I-275 billboards featuring Trump and Clinton


    A Pasco County "scream park" is finding the humor and the horror in the current election with some clever marketing—two large billboards in Tampa advertising Scream-A-Geddon as more terrifying than a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump presidency.

    The billboards advertise the Scream-A-Geddon horror attraction as scarier than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
  8. Baby animal alert: Fighting extinction, Lowry Park Zoo welcomes birth of rare tiger cub (w/video)


    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo announced Tuesday that on Sept. 11 the zoo welcomed its first critically endangered Malayan tiger cub. With only 250 Malayan tigers left in the wild, the implications of this birth "could be massive in the protection of the species both in the wild and in human care," the zoo wrote in a news …

    Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo welcomed its first critically endangered Malayan tiger cub. The pair will likely be out of sight from visitors for the next few weeks.
  9. What to Expect: Howl-O-Scream 2016 at Busch Gardens conjures a hellish motel and murderous mermaid


    The spookiness at the first night of Howl-O-Scream 2016 began before guests had even entered Bush Gardens proper, when a tram driver ferrying …

    The Black Spot is one of two new haunted houses for 2016 at Howl-O-Scream.
  10. Halloween haunts: Zoo, aquarium, Disney and other attractions tone down scares for kids



    Many attractions tone down the gore for Halloween parties aimed at kids under 12. Here are the biggest ones:

    NEW Creatures of the Night

    Cousins Reagan Kelly, left, and Taylor and Madison Cloversettle take a trick-or-treating break to watch sharks.