Orlando for Tweens
Age range: 10 – 12
Your kids are in that middle ground where they feel too sophisticated for “kid stuff” but aren’t so old where they might not still need a comforting hand during some of Orlando’s more thrilling segments. No problem — we can still help you enjoy a perfect family vacation.
Discover: First-Timer Guide to Orlando With Kids
If your tweens are fans of a famous galaxy far, far away, head to Disney's Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort. It already had the largest Star Wars presence of any Disney theme park before the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and it now offers the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon, join the Resistance in a fierce battle against the First Order, and much more.
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Any tween daredevils in your family won’t want to skip SeaWorld® Orlando, either. It’s known as the Coaster Capital of Orlando, and for good reason.
For tweens who prefer fantasy to science fiction, Universal Orlando Resort has them covered with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You can even hop aboard the Hogwarts™ Express for seamless travel between the two lands. (Park-to-Park ticket required.)
Your family will also be able to have more fun than ever at Orlando water parks. They include Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Aquatica® Orlando, Universal Volcano Bay, and LEGOLAND® Water Park, entry to which is an optional add-on to admission at LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
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Another option is Island H2O Live!, adjacent to Margaritaville Resort Orlando near Walt Disney World. Don’t skip Discovery Cove®, either, which is a unique day resort where you can enjoy aquatic adventures together. (Please note that Orlando water parks are subject to seasonal and maintenance closures. We recommend that you confirm your preferred water park’s status ahead of your visit.)
At Gatorland, kids who are 37 inches or taller and accompanied by an adult can soar above the gators on the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. The experience includes a nature walk through the swamp, five breathtaking zips and an exciting swing bridge. Another fun attraction at Gatorland is the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure, where your family boards a 12-foot-tall, off-road monster vehicle for a 15-minute trek through some of Florida’s wildest terrain. And as the name implies, this attraction can’t be beat if your tweens want to feast their eyes on live gators, crocodiles and other animals.
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If your kids are more interested in otherworldly adventures, check out the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Florida’s east coast. Located about an hour from our tourism districts, it has a galaxy of hands-on exhibits and amazing sights related to space exploration.
At ICON Park® in the heart of the International Drive Entertainment District, The Wheel is a great option. The 20-minute ride aboard an air-conditioned capsule provides unbeatable views of the Orlando area from 400 feet up. ICON Park is also home to several indoor attractions, such as Museum of Illusions, Madame Tussauds Orlando and In The Game ICON Park, as well as numerous dining choices.
Discover: Things to Do Beyond Theme Parks
Nearby, Dezerland Park is Central Florida’s largest indoor amusement park. You and your tweens can enjoy a full day of affordable fun there, including the Orlando Auto Museum, Karting Orlando and much more.
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Outdoor go-karting and so much more can be enjoyed at Fun Spot America. With locations in the I-Drive district and next to Old Town in Kissimmee, these family-owned parks also boast roller coasters, thrill rides, arcade and midway games, and other ways for younger children to play.
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In downtown Orlando, you can expose your kids to culture — including numerous Broadway productions annually — at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the acoustically remarkable Steinmetz Hall. Nearby, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando hosts the Grand Bohemian Gallery, showcasing art that includes jewelry, glass and sculpture. And new to downtown’s Church Street District, Fringe ArtSpace hosts a wide range of avant-garde productions, including some that are suitable for younger viewers.
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Tennis, anyone? Located in Lake Nona, about 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus gives tennis enthusiasts of all ages and skill sets the opportunity to watch, learn and play at one of the world’s largest tennis facilities. More to the point, the facility’s Nemours Family Zone has professional-grade courts where the whole family can learn and develop tennis skills, but registration is required.
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Your tweens can experience fresh air and blue skies on horseback with riding opportunities at Disney’s Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Or, look into target archery, trophy bass fishing, skeet shooting and more at Revolution Adventures. For that matter, they can drive an actual tank at Tank America.
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At Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides and Wild Florida, kids will enjoy loud, fast airboats that skim through swamps and across lakes with ease. And at Nona Adventure Park, located close to Orlando International Airport, have a blast with an inflatable aqua park, wakeboarding, ropes courses and climbing walls.
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Themed dinner shows continue to be safe bets at this age, and your children are probably old enough to dine with the mob at Capone’s Dinner & Show. That’s in addition to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, which is family-friendly. Character dining at the theme parks is also still a great choice for this age range.
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Your kids will also likely enjoy some of the themed culinary experiences available at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando’s shopping and entertainment districts. At Disney Springs®, for instance, you’ll find Planet Hollywood, plus fast-service venues such as Pizza Ponte. You can even eat while you bowl at Splitsville Luxury Lanes. You can also introduce your tweens to MICHELIN Guide dining at Morimoto Asia and The Polite Pig.
At Universal CityWalk, choices include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, Hot Dog Hall of Fame, and more.
Many of our resorts and hotels have incredible pools, lazy rivers and other ways for your kids to have hours of aquatic fun. Some of them, such as CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort Orlando, The Grove Resort Orlando, Reunion Resort, and Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas, even have their own on-site water parks. This is also a great age to help your kids’ imagination soar with some of the themed experiences available at Orlando resorts.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, for example, hundreds of exotic animals roam free on a 46-acre wildlife preserve, centered by an upscale, African-style lodge. If your children are more into cartoons than wildlife, the 1,120 family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are designed after beloved Disney films, such as Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King.
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If your kids can’t get enough of The Minions, check in to Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, which has six Despicable Me-themed suites designed just for kids. Similarly, dinosaur-loving children will enjoy the Jurassic World suites at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort has tropical island-themed rooms with adjacent Caribbean-themed kids’ suites.
Plan the Perfect Family Getaway in Orlando
Endless family adventures await in Orlando — and Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com can help you save on admission to top theme parks, attractions and experiences. Take advantage of our free planning tools to discover more ways to save money in the Theme Park Capital of the World.