Orlando for Infants
Age range: Newborn to 3 years old
Let’s face it: For most children in this age range, it doesn’t matter which theme park you visit, as they will enjoy your company anywhere. With that being said, some theme parks are better suited for little ones than others. For example, Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park is an obvious choice for this (or any) age, with countless amazing sights and sounds to stimulate your child’s senses.
Likewise, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is specifically geared toward kids, and SeaWorld Orlando has plenty of opportunities to enjoy close encounters with a variety of gentle creatures. And don’t forget that Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure has an entire land devoted to beloved Dr. Seuss characters.
It’s also worth noting that children under 3 get free entry into most of Orlando’s theme parks, water parks and attractions, and other amenities are available for parents with very young children. For example, each park has comprehensive baby-care centers with a host of amenities. They also offer conveniently located diaper-changing stations in select locations, including men’s women’s and family restrooms. Check with your theme park destinations for more information.
As with theme parks, some of Orlando’s indoor and outdoor attractions will have more appeal for this age range than others. With that being said, it’s never too early to expose children to the arts and sciences, and Orlando has some fun choices in that regard.
Located in Loch Haven Park, about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, the Orlando Science Center provides kids with countless hands-on learning opportunities. In the same park, the Orlando Museum of Art hosts monthly “Art Adventures” where children can learn about colors, shapes, lines, textures and more.
About an hour from Walt Disney World Resort, Dinosaur World is a self-guided, outdoor museum that’s sure to amaze young minds. Featuring more than 200 life-sized dinosaur exhibits in a natural setting, it also has a dinosaur-themed playground, interactive exhibits and boardwalks winding through shaded, natural areas.
“Mild” is a better watchword than “wild” at this age, so take a stroll around Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. In addition to a mile-plus-long walking path, the park has paddleboats shaped like swans, a fountain that lights up at night, and plenty of shaded, grassy places to sit and relax. Plus, this park is at the center of all of downtown’s acclaimed dining options.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Gatorland has some unique (and safe) ways for young children to enjoy the outdoors. First, Gator Gully Splash Park has a host of interactive, animal-themed water toys and splash areas. Allie’s Barnyard gives kids the chance to pet goats, llamas and other friendly critters, and colorful birds can be fed at the Very Merry Aviary. Last but not least, the Express Railroad provides relaxing train rides for your whole group.
In all, Orlando has more than 5,000 restaurants representing a wide range of cuisines, and many of them cater to families with young children. In other words, even when your children are this young, you won’t have any problems finding dining options.
If your children are old enough to appreciate it, this might also be the ideal time to delight them with character dining opportunities at theme parks. Walt Disney World has numerous options, including classic Disney animated characters at Chef Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Other toddler-friendly eateries at Disney include Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs and Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, with the latter offering the chance to see giraffes, zebras and gazelles grazing outside the window.
Universal Orlando offers meals with Marvel super-heroes and Despicable Me characters. And at Christmastime, SeaWorld hosts dinners with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Check with the respective parks for more details.
With your children being this young, resorts and hotels with connected suites are a great idea, giving mom and dad a chance for some time together while the little naps in an adjacent room. Options along this line include Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center Orlando, Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, Reunion Resort, Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort and Westgate Palace Resort. We also have many vacation home rentals to choose from.