Families with Kids
Like no other destination on Earth, Orlando — Theme Park Capital of the World® — was practically designed for kids … but the fun doesn’t stop at our theme parks. Throughout the destination, your family will discover attractions, dining, outdoor activities and feature-packed resorts that will turn your time in Orlando into memories that will last forever.
Family Fun at Orlando Theme Parks and Water Parks
No matter the age of your children, you’ll find the perfect parks to enjoy together in Orlando. If you’re traveling with younger kids, you might consider Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando’s main park, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort. All of these options have loads of features to keep little minds filled with wonder.
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Older kids will also find much to love at those Orlando theme parks, but as they age, they’ll be ready for bigger thrills and refined pursuits. Accordingly, look into Disney’s Epcot and Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios Florida, and Discovery Cove, a unique day resort where you can swim with dolphins.
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For even more fun in the water, turn to Orlando’s water parks. These include Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Universal’s Volcano Bay, Aquatica® Orlando, and LEGOLAND Water Park, entry to which is available as an optional upgrade with regular park admission. And that’s just the start of all the wet and wild ways to have fun in Orlando.
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Family-Oriented Orlando Attractions
While you’re enjoying Orlando’s theme parks and water parks, don’t lose sight of our indoor and outdoor attractions. There are more than 100 of them in the area, including dozens of family-friendly options in the International Drive area, Orlando’s main tourism district.
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For starters, you can get an incredible view of Orlando from 400 feet in the sky at the ICON Orlando, located at the ICON Orlando 360 dining and entertainment complex. Other family attractions here include SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Arcade City Orlando, and Madame Tussauds Orlando — home of DC Entertainment’s Justice League. Right next door at the Vue at 360 entertainment center, older kids won’t be able to resist the challenge of the 450-foot-tall Orlando StarFlyer, the tallest swing ride in the world.
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Just down the street, Pointe Orlando — a walkable dining, shopping and attractions complex — has WonderWorks, an upside-down building described as an indoor amusement park for the mind. The whole family can also enjoy bowling, billiards, video games and other fun activities, not to mention some great food, at Pointe Orlando’s Main Event Entertainment.
Less than a mile from Pointe Orlando, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has a host of wonderfully weird exhibits from around the world. If you’re more interested in action-oriented experiences, check out iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving, I-Drive NASCAR and Andretti Indoor Karting & Games.
International Drive even features a classic amusement park: Fun Spot America, which has a location near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. For more outdoor fun, the whole family can live the pirate’s life on two championship, 18-hole courses at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Or, discover a brand-new way to golf at Topgolf Orlando.
Even more attractions are waiting for you beyond International Drive, starting with Gatorland. In addition to its titular stars, this longtime Orlando landmark has fun for little kids in the form of its Gator Gully Splash Park, Allie’s Barnyard and Very Merry Aviary. Meanwhile, older children will have a blast at the parks’ Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.
For a completely different type of reptile, head to Dinosaur World, a self-guided outdoor museum with more than 200 life-sized dinosaur exhibits. It’s about an hour from Disney. If your kids are more interested in space than dinos, take them to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, about an hour from downtown Orlando on Florida’s east coast.
Orlando also has a lot of family-friendly outdoor adventures that are off the beaten track — literally. North of Orlando, Blue Springs State Park, DeLeon Springs State Park and Ocala National Forest provide opportunities for swimming, fishing and picnicking, among other activities.
You can also hike or bike the West Orange Trail, a 21-mile paved path that starts in Winter Garden near Disney and runs north to Apopka. And in Lake Nona, about 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport, the whole family can play tennis together in a professional setting — and at no cost — at the United States Tennis Association National Campus’ Nemours Family Zone. (However, registration is required).
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For pulse-pounding excitement on land, take the wheel at Revolution Off Road. Or, fly through the trees at Forever Florida — Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild! or Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. You can also get wild on the water at Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides and Boggy Creek Airboat Rides.
Family Feasts in Orlando
Thanks to themed dining, mealtime in Orlando can be a family adventure. An original in that regard is Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, located close to Disney in Kissimmee. Here, you can dine like royalty while cheering on knights in a recently re-imagined show that’s presided over by a queen instead of a king for the first time in the attraction’s history.
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Hosted by WonderWorks on International Drive, the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show offers all-ages entertainment too — not to mention unlimited food and beverages. Once your kids are a little older, they’ll appreciate Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show and Capone’s Dinner & Show, which also boast unlimited food and drink.
Naturally, Orlando provides a wealth of opportunities to dine with beloved characters — and real-life living legends. At Walt Disney World Resort, for instance, you can arrange dinner dates with Disney Princesses at Epcot’s Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Winnie the Pooh and friends at Magic Kingdom’s The Crystal Palace, and classic Disney characters at Chef Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
At Universal Orlando Resort, children will love breakfast with the Minions at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort’s Despicable Me Character Breakfast. And anyone who’s into comic books won’t want to miss the chance to eat with Captain America, Spider-Man and other superheroes at the Marvel Character Dinner at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
You can even enjoy a meal while getting an incredible view of sharks at SeaWorld’s Sharks Underwater Grill. For another real-life dining experience you won’t forget, book Lunch With an Astronaut at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.
Play Where You Stay at Orlando Hotels & Resorts
Hotels and resorts with connected suites are an ideal option if you’re traveling with younger children, allowing parents to enjoy some alone time while kids get some down time. Choices along this line include Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center Orlando, Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort and Westgate Palace Resort.
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Resorts with on-site water parks are always a hit with kids, and Orlando has several to choose from. They include The Grove Resort & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld and Reunion Resort.
Naturally, hotels and resorts at theme parks have lots of extras that your children will appreciate. For instance, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is set in the middle of a 46-acre wildlife preserve, complete with hundreds of majestic animals. And Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has more than 1,100 family suites with designs influenced by The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and other cartoon classics.
Animated antics are also found at Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, where kids can sleep with the Minions in Despicable Me-themed suites, while Jurassic Park suites make every night an adventure at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. And at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel, the new Future Rock Star suites have everything your budding musicians need to rock out while they’re in Orlando.