Orlando, Florida is one of the most popular cities in the United States for vacationers, which is no surprise when you consider it is home to not only Disney World, but also a plethora of other theme parks. How will you decide which activities are worth a visit? This handy guide will help you pinpoint some of the very best activities if you’re traveling with children.
1.Go Visit Mickey
If you never have, you must, and chances are even if you have, your kids will insist you go again! Disney World is an Orlando must for any visitor with children. Its four parks ensure days of family fun that’s well worth the cost, as Disney parks spare no expense on attention to detail. It’s not strictly necessary to visit all four parks, especially if your family can agree on which ones they’re most interested in. If you’ve never been before, here’s the rundown:
Magic Kingdom: This is essentially Florida’s version of the classic Disneyland. There’s the Cinderella Castle, as well as the rides you remember from when you went to Disneyland as a kid. There are also newer rides and experiences from more recent movies like Monsters, Inc. And of course, the Magic Kingdom is probably the best place to meet up with characters like Mickey and Minnie.
Epcot: This might be the park with the most appeal to parents, as it’s actually quite educational. Epcot has a dual focus on science and world travel, and of course, it has the super-cool giant “golf ball” thing that kids will itch to go inside of. It’s also a great place to dine in a “foreign” restaurant, as well as meet princesses Mulan, Snow White, and Belle in their respective “countries.”
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: This is Disney’s answer to Universal Studios. Though there aren’t quite as many rides as in the Magic Kingdom, the rides they do have are mainly focused on Star Wars and Toy Story and are totally awesome. Additionally, there are lots of other attractions, such as a Frozen musical show and an Indiana Jones stunt spectacular.
Animal Kingdom: Basically a zoo and amusement park packed into one, this is a great park to visit when you’re a bit tired of Mickey. Most of the rides are Avatar-inspired, so this can be a fun park for older kids. There are also Lion King and Finding Nemo shows, so it’s definitely a full day of entertainment.
2. Cast a Spell with Harry Potter
Though Disney World is a must-do for most kids, Harry Potter might beat it for some. Kids will relish the chance to ride the Hogwarts Express, choose a wand in Diagon Alley, and taste their very own butterbeer. Unfortunately, in order to get the full Potterworld experience, visitors must purchase park-to-park tickets that allow them to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios Florida (contains Diagon Alley) and Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (contains Hogsmeade). Luckily, the experience is so top-notch, it’s well worth the extra cash. Young visitors will especially delight over the opportunity to cast “real” spells using interactive wands you can purchase. Wear your wizarding robes for the ultimate effect!
3. See Some Bones
Not for the faint of heart! But if your kid loves dinosaurs, bones, and general weirdness, Skeletons Museum of Osteology is an awesome place for a family to spend a few hours. Featuring 500 real animal skeletons in lifelike poses, Skeletons is a great place to marvel at nature’s precise engineering. Well-organised and labeled exhibits make sure you understand what you’re seeing, and a fun scavenger hunt through the museum ties the whole experience together, especially for younger children.
4. Float Down a Real Lazy River
When you just can’t stand any more crowded theme parks, why not relax in one of Florida’s natural wonders? A popular outdoor activity here is tubing the waters of the gentle natural spring in Kelly Park. While it won’t take you around in a circle like the lazy rivers at water parks will, Rock Springs Run is beautiful, natural, and a nice 68 degrees year-round. Tubers can float slowly for about 25 minutes and walk back in 10-15 for another go. Bear in mind that this park is extremely popular, and during summer months, you must be waiting when the park opens in the morning, or you won’t get a spot. Bring your own tubes or rent them just outside the park.
5. Laugh Your Way Through Dinner
Looking for an evening out with the family? A surefire winner is the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, where you’ll be entertained with mind-reading, disappearances (and reappearances) of audience members’ belongings, and plenty of kid-friendly jokes. While you’re enjoying all that, you’ll also enjoy unlimited fresh hand-tossed cheese and pepperoni pizza, along with salad, beer, wine, soda, and dessert. Come early and enjoy some of the other attractions also located at WonderWorks, which include a ropes course, laser tag, and a 4D motion theatre.
6. Visit a Yummy Museum
It would be hard to say no to the Chocolate Museum! Indulge your sweet tooth as a family, and visit this delicious museum filled with 25 amazing chocolate sculptures. You’ll learn about chocolate’s origins, how chocolate is processed, and sample plenty of the best from around the world. Perfect for kids with budding culinary passions, as well as everyone else who just plain loves chocolate.
7. Go Blue
If your kids are old enough to sit through an evening performance, you won’t want to miss Blue Man Group, which performs at Universal CityWalk. Blue Man Group is a riotous spectacle of music, color, technology, and performance art, perfect for any age group. Part comedy show, part dance party, part rock concert, this unforgettable multi-sensory spectacular will be a highlight of your Orlando trip. Though it’s located at Universal, tickets are separate, and you do not need to buy a park ticket.
Enjoy your trip to Orlando, Florida!
About the Author
Chezlani Casar is a librarian who loves traveling to new places, especially with her family. Working with Vacome Luxury Rentals, she hopes to bring smiles to the faces of travelers from around the globe.