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Orlando with a Family
Carrying the moniker of “The City Beautiful,” Orlando has accessible public beaches, sun, and a plethora outdoor activities. Families on a budget or families simply looking out for a great deal should consider buying the Orlando Magicard, which offers discounts on local accommodations, car rentals, restaurants, rides, parks, and shows.
Where to Stay with a Family in Orlando
For families wanting the ease of securing accommodations in conjunction with an attraction, there are several hotels in the area combining full-service hotel living with state-of-the-art water parks. CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort features a 54,000 square foot water park, providing amenities and facilities satisfying visitors of all ages. Based in Kissimmee, Florida and situated within easy access to Orlando International Airport and Orlando attractions, Clarion Resort Hotel and Waterpark is a resort with two pools and an expansive waterpark—it’s a place where every member of the family will be easily and happily accommodated. Minutes away from Walt Disney Word Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Gatorland, Universal Studios Orlando is the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, where children of all ages can revel in kid-friendly entertainment, meet Nickelodeon characters, make waves in the hotel’s interactive water parks and pools, and most importantly, get slimed. All suites have kitchenettes and private master bedrooms. For families geared towards wandering through the Walt Disney World theme parks, there is Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a tropical island themed paradise. Located by the Magic Kingdom theme park, this resort is outfitted with a 40-foot volcano pool and waterslide. Kids can also check in at the Never Land Club, a supervised activity center that lets parents steal away for a dinner in town.
Most children (and adults) have an inevitable inquisitiveness about nature and animals. Discovery Cove will satisfy this appreciation for live creatures and provide entertaining, education experiences. This resort-park is a tropical, all-inclusive escape that gives visitors the chance interact and swim with dolphins, to explore the beauty of an underwater universe through snorkel excursions. Another option for experiencing Orlando’s marine life is the Orlando Manatee Tours, providing visitors with a chance to experience encounters with these majestic, marine mammals. Guests will be hosted by expert guides and shuttled by boat to manatee habitats, where families can swim alongside these graceful marine creatures.
Families searching for speed and action should make a trip to Fun Spot Action Park, an amusement park where adults and children can race (each other) in go-karts, ride in a 101-foot Ferris wheel, and challenge each other in bumper cars.
The warm temperatures in Orlando make it easy for visitors to plan outdoor excursions. Families who like the sun and the putting greens should consider Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Awarded by Orlando Magazine, as “Best in Florida” for miniature golf, Pirate’s Cove welcomes visitors into a golf course that has been transformed into the world 18th century buccaneers complete with dungeon, dramatic waterfalls, and sunken pirate ships. The park offers a variety of packages so families can play for as long or as little as they choose.
Located in Plant City, just a short drive from Orlando, is Dinosaur World, an outdoor museum that transports its visitors to the time of dinosaurs. Life size models of dinosaurs, up to eight feet tall, are scattered across native terrain, giving families an up-close experience of these now extinct creatures.
Places to Eat with the Family
Orlando offers a myriad of dining options that satisfies both picky and adventurous palates. Families who have an Italian flair should check out Buca di Beppo, a homey, neighborhood restaurant serving authentic, family-style Italian fare. Diners who want a view and a meal, should make their way to Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, directly nestled Florida’s Deleon Springs State Recreation Area. Breakfast lovers can order morning-inspired meals until 4pm, where your pancakes are made tableside on a griddle, in front of your eyes. Like all urban centers, it is not difficult to find a McDonald’s in Orlando, but it won’t be easy to find McDonald’s Club Safari anywhere else. A safari-themed restaurant offering traditional menu items as well as specialty Bistro Gourmet options, this eatery will placate any picky eater. Want to eat your cheeseburger inside the ancient ruins of Greece instead? Families can take themselves to McDonald’s Ancient Ruins. Decorated with broken columns, beautiful friezes, and stone walls, families will go back in time, while retaining access to their favorite McDonald menu times.