There's no shortage of attractions in the sunshine state. Tourism is an important industry for Florida's economy, so there are plenty of offerings for visitors who'd like to be entertained while visiting. With so many choices, you're bound to have some hits and some misses.
Some visitors enjoy themselves so much at Florida's attractions that they return again and again. And others come away disappointed or feel they spent too much money on the experience. Many of those visitors take to TripAdvisor to review their experience to help others.
Determining the Most Under and Over-Rated Attractions in the United States and Florida: The travel website Hawaiian Islands analyzed TripAdvisor’s reviews to determine what real visitors felt were the most overrated and underrated tourist destinations in the United States, and by extension, in Florida.
Specifically, the site looked at more than 17,000 TripAdvisor reviews for attractions in all 50 states, and then ranked them by posts which contained declarations of "overrated" or "underrated."
How Did Florida Fare?: Florida had one attraction that made the list of underrated attractions and two attractions on the overrated list. Unfortunately, one of those attractions was found to be the most overrated attraction in the entire United States.
The Overrated Florida Attractions: Hawaiian Islands found that Universal Studios' Volcano Bay Water Park had 39 reviews out of every 1,000 that were disappointed by their experience. Volcano Bay Water Park ranked first out of all of the overrated experiences on the list.
Specifically, the park has a 3.5 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. A one-day ticket to the water park only is $70 for adults and $65 for children as of this writing, and many reviewers found the admission price too expensive for the amount of time you have to wait in line, which limits the number of rides you can complete before the park closes. The price of parking, lockers, and food was also heavily criticized.
Google reviews were more generous at 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many reviewers compared the park's beauty and vibe to Hawaii.
Legoland: The second Florida attraction that TripAdvisor reviewers felt was overrated was Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven. This attraction came in at number 10 out of 20 and earned 4 out of 5 stars from TripAdvisor reviewers. Although many reviewers admitted that children had fun at the attraction, many commented that the whole experience was expensive, with an extra cost at every turn that was hard to resist with excited children in tow. Some noted issues with resort rooms, like wear on the furnishings, which might not be expected at a higher price point.
The admission price of this attraction is less than Volcano Bay, at around $85 for adults for a one-day ticket. Yelp reviewers gave Legoland 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Many said the rides were enjoyable for kids but lamented that some restaurants were closed.
The Underrated Florida Attraction: The news wasn't all bad for Florida. It scored one underrated attraction on a list of 20 - Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, which came in number 11 out of 20. 98% of TripAdvisor reviewers indicated that they would recommend the attraction.
To be fair, admission to this park is significantly cheaper than the others, at only $15 for adults and $6 for children. Most reviewers found the gardens - which feature flamingos, Florida flora, waterfalls, and koi ponds - to be peaceful and more than worth the modest admission price.