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The 6 Best Mini Golf Courses in Orlando


Tennis can be an exhausting, hours-long journey into the depths of your own soul. But, if you miniaturize it, it’s a delightful activity found in game rooms, dorm lounges, cruise ships, and campgrounds — table tennis.

Golf, similarly, can be a intense and unforgiving slog through an impossibly designed piece of horticulture that could otherwise be a lovely public park. But, if you miniaturize it, suddenly it becomes an amazing leisure activity.

There’s just something about mini golf that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, right? Perhaps it’s the themed courses or the whimsical holes, but there’s just something inherent to the activity that helps you forget all of your cares. Orlando, as a great tourist destination, has nearly as many mini golf locations as it does hotels — some of which even offer their own 9-hole course. 

But, while there are many, only a handful are really, truly excellent. Let’s take a look.

Disney’s Winter-Summerland


Image: Disney

Yes, Disney has a mini golf course. It has a few, in fact, and they’re every bit as well-designed and delightful as you’d expect from the kings of themed entertainment.

Winter-Summerland has two courses — one for winter, and one for summer — which each imagine what Santa Claus gets up to during those particular months. In addition to the standard mini golf holes, there’s a distinct emphasis on animatronic mayhem here — with fun gimmicks and mechs to keep you entertained.

The two courses can get a bit busy, with waits for tee times sometimes approaching an hour. That’s particularly strange since it can be somewhat difficult to get to — it’s located just outside Blizzard Beach. But, nevertheless, the wait is worth it at this wonderful and whimsical location.

Hollywood Drive-In Golf

 Hollywood Drive-In Golf

Image: Hollywood Drive-In Golf

If you get to Universal Orlando and have your eyes dead-set on conquering Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Revenge of the Mummy, you might walk right past one of the best mini golf courses in the world without even knowing it’s there.

Located just at the beginning of Universal CityWalk — the Hollywood Drive-In Golf course actually features two cinematically-themed courses. One, “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens,” is modeled after classic horror films of the 1940s and 1950s. The other, “Invaders from Planet Putt,” takes after mid-century sci-fi films.

Both courses are hilariously well-thought out, with clever homages to the film genres upon which they’re based — and Universal put enough money into the courses such that both really stand out as unique in the world of mini golf.

Much like the Disney courses, expect waits on the course while others take pictures with the mechanisms and conquer the difficult greens. But hey, you can’t get too mad — you’ll want those pictures yourself.

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

 Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf

Image: Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

There are a few Pirate’s Cove locations around the Orlando area, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

One location — just outside Disney Springs — can be seen from I-4 en-route to Disney, so you almost certainly have seen it before. And yes, it’s totally fun and worth the visit. If you’re staying on Disney property, it’s a very short Uber/Lyft/Taxi ride away — and, once you’re there, it’s in the same shopping center as a few chain restaurants if you want to make a night of it.

Another location, on International Drive near the famous Wheel at ICON Park, is even better. In part due to its more distant location on I-Drive, as well as the larger footprint, this Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf has just a slightly nicer selection of holes and a bit better theming.

Regardless, you can’t go wrong with any location — Pirate’s Cove is a classic mini golf experience.

Congo River Golf

 gocardusa, Flickr (license)

Image: gocardusa, Flickr (license)

The other sight you’ve likely seen while driving around the Orlando area is that of a downed propeller plane sticking out over a few holes of mini golf. That is another mini golf chain, Congo River Golf.

Much like most mini golf chains, Congo River Golf doesn’t have a weak course in its portfolio. They’re all quite fun — but one does stand out above the others. The Route 192 location near Kissimmee is no doubt the furthest course from either Disney or Universal. However, it makes up for it with sweeping scale and excellent theming.

There are hills and mountains to climb. There are tikis and rock formations to dodge. And, of course, there’s a pit of alligators — real, live alligators — to remind you which state you’ve chosen to vacation in.

Whether you’re looking for family fun, or just a date night for two, Congo River Golf is an excellent choice.

The Mighty Jungle Golf Adventure

The Mighty Jungle Golf Adventure

Image: The Mighty Jungle Golf Adventure

Located on Route 192 just south of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll find a bit more kitschy version of the animal kingdom at the Mighty Jungle Golf Adventure.

While other courses amaze and excite with fun animatronics and wacky hole layouts, the Mighty Jungle keeps it fairly simple — tricky greens, a couple of obstructions here and there, and a few fun animal sculptures.

However, what makes it earn a spot on this list is that it’s one of the best values in the Orlando area — coming it at almost half the price of Disney’s courses. On top of that, its location on the somewhat sleepier side of the Disney property keeps it relatively uncrowded and quiet — a far cry from the insanity you can see on International Drive. If you just want a simple night of mini golf that won’t break the bank, but still is a lot of fun, this is a great option.

Disney’s Fantasia Gardens


Image: Disney

In 1996, Disney was in the midst of what it called the Disney Decade — am expansion project that would see the face of Walt Disney World change dramatically. As part of this expansion, Disney knew that it needed to not only create reasons to keep guests on its property for longer, but also to recreate the reasons guests left its property.

One way they did this was by building their first-ever mini golf course: Fantasia Gardens.

There are, in fact, two courses at Fantasia Gardens, and they’re both worth playing but for very, very different reasons. Fantasia Gardens, the course, is a beautifully themed and whimsical retelling of the film, Fantasia — itself an episodic work exploring iconic works of classical music through animation.

Those holes are fun and family friendly, and they have everything you love about 1990s Disney imagineering: bright colors, incredible mood, and a good bit of humor. In my opinion, Fantasia Gardens is simply the best mini golf course in the world — at the very least, it’s the one that feels the most Disney.

But, Disney also built on the property what has become known as the most difficult mini golf course on the planet. No, it’s not full of loops and pipes and windmills — rather, it’s very similar to real, actual golf. There are sand traps, water hazards, and long par fives. Par, technically, is 72 for the whole course. Bubba Watson, a professional golfer, shot 50 when he played. It’s just that challenging.

All things being equal, play mini golf at Fantasia Gardens. You won’t find anywhere better.