Florida's Whimsical Terrain
Kara Killen, June 18, 2018
|3 minute read|
Magical Mountains, Winding Waterways and Jewel-tone Jungles – Are We Really in Florida?
The Sunshine State is renowned for being hot and flat. While that may be true for most of our great state, Central Florida is much more than that. Orlando's terrain—you may be surprised to discover-is actually incredibly diverse with roaring jungles, frosty beaches, long and lazy rivers, and mountains so majestic, you'd think you were in Nepal. The following is a guide to the “undiscovered” topography, flora and fauna of the real Central Florida.
Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
If you want to enjoy Florida's most unique wildlife, hop into a hollowed log and glide on a lazy river past Critter Cave, the Fishing Place, the Old Swimming Hole, and don't forget what's hiding in the briar patch—the Br'er Fox's Lair and Br'er Rabbit's Home. Don't be alarmed if you spot honey bears, wolves, ducks and frogs (all of whom speak), in this musically mountainous region.
Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
Board a sleek rocket-shaped ship for your journey through our area's first original mountain. When all systems are GO, you will be launched into the blackness of the universe, whiz past galaxies and constellations—all the while futuristic Starry-O-Phonics sounds echo all round you. Feel the push and pull of gravity as you re-enter the atmosphere and celebrate your unforgettable first flight through this special mountain. And you thought you had to travel to the Kennedy Space Center for this kind of fun.
Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
You needn't journey to the Himalayas to experience Mount Everest. We have one of our very own. Located at 28.3587° N, 81.5871° W, and complete with a gigantic waterfall, you will board a train that takes you up, up and away to the snow-capped summit, only to zoom back down inside and out. But beware! The legendary Yeti will appear before you and, if he fears you are there to create havoc, he will do what he needs to protect his territory.
Maharajah Jungle Trek (Animal Kingdom)
Venture into the mystical Anandapur Royal Forest, a tropical paradise of trees, ruins and wild animals. Legend has it that the area was at one time the hunting ground of wealthy maharajahs. Today, it exists as a preserve complete with towering footbridges and cascading waterfalls. It is home to more than 50 bird species, gibbons, deer, Asian tigers, water buffalo, antelopes, Malayan flying foxes and komodo dragons. The poor, but fabulous, Florida gator pales in comparison to this spectacular lineup.
Volcano Bay (Universal Orlando Resort)
This is the newest landmark to pop up in our divine and diverse domain. Thrills and relaxation flow in perfect harmony. Relax down a winding river or test your bravery on a heart-pumping raft ride. Either way, the only thing set to erupt here is laughter and adventure.
Blizzard Beach (Walt Disney World)
Finally we come to what our tropical peninsula is known best for. Beaches. Don't be fooled by the allure of sand between your toes. Oh no, this beach is more reminiscent of a ski resort. Your view of Mount Gushmore is breathtaking and sliding down its slushy slopes is an unexpected arctic treat. A great way to chill out with the family on your next Florida vacation.