Family Vacations to Orlando

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Orlando – Family Vacation Guide

The world theme park capital keeps every extravagant promise it makes and then some. Magical for younger kids, end-to-end teen excitement and fantastic for multi-generational family vacations, Orlando’s also cultured, creative and works well beyond Disney, Universal and SeaWorld.

Why Go

  • Theme Parks

    Orlando, Florida is the theme park capital of the world and home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando resorts.

  • Space Coast

    Families with budding astronauts will love the Space Coast. You’ll find the Kennedy Space Center, while nearby Cocoa Beach offers relaxing and breezy ocean time.

  • Close to Tampa

    Legoland Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa are also within easy driving distance of Orlando.

  • Popularity

    Orlando, Florida is the #1 destination in the United States, hosting 68 million visitors in 2016.

  • Nature

    Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and Ocala National Forest are all within 40 minutes drive of Orlando.

What to Do

Seven of Orlando’s theme parks fall in the top 10 attended amusement parks in the country, hosting millions and millions of visitors each year. Families will find iconic theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, in addition to a variety of water parks, dining, nightlife and more. With such an abundance of choices, the only question is where to go first. If you’re not sure which thrilling attractions are right for your family, here’s a quick overview of the top experiences to help you get started.

Walt Disney World

This world-famous spot is home to four massive theme parks full including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there’s no shortage of fun and adventure here. In addition to the theme parks, Walt Disney World contains 36 different hotel resorts, four golf courses, two water parks, a sports facility and an entertainment/shopping/dining complex.

Take Me to Walt Disney World

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Universal Orlando

Harry Potter fanatics will love exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that’s found here. Universal Orlando Resort consists of two theme parks, one water park, five onsite hotels and a 30-acre entertainment/shopping/dining complex. Universal’s two theme parks are particularly popular with teens and tweens and have some more intense rides than Walt Disney World.

Take Me to Universal Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando

The SeaWorld resort area includes three separate theme parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark and Discovery Cove. Each park combines thrilling entertainment experiences with educational animal encounters and in-depth tours. These are also some of the most beautifully landscaped parks in the country.

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Kennedy Space Center

Experience living history at America’s working spaceport. Approximately one-hour east of Orlando, along the Space Coast, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex hosts a variety of historic and interactive exhibits perfect for kids of all ages. Families can get nose-to-nose with the Space Shuttle Atlantis, feel what it’s like to blast into space and stand underneath an actual Saturn V rocket from the days of the Apollo moon missions.

Take Me to the Space Coast

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Legoland Florida

Just 45 minutes southwest of Orlando, in Winter Haven, Legoland specializes in experiences for families with younger children, ages two to 12.  Here you will find more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, in addition to a wide variety of Lego models and scenes, including some models that are over six feet tall and have interactive buttons for kids to play with. The Legoland Hotel opened in 2015 to continue the Lego vacation immersion.

Take Me to Legoland

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Busch Gardens Tampa

A little over 90 minutes west of Orlando is the 300 acre Busch Gardens Tampa theme park offering a number of roller coasters, rides, shows and animal interactions. Busch Gardens Tampa houses more than 12,000 animals to ooh and aah over from 300 different species (many from the continent of Africa) including cheetahs, tigers, lions, gorillas, elephants, giraffes and more.

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Getting Around

For families flying into Orlando International Airport, a rental car is the easiest way to get around. The large interstate highway system makes Orlando a very drivable city. Many of the theme park resorts, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, offer shuttle transportation to and from the airport. All three major theme parks offer complimentary shuttle services from their hotels to the theme parks. In addition, the Brightline express train service now offers intercity travel in Florida, allowing travel between Miami and Orlando in just three hours.

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