ORLANDO: Family Fun Abounds Near Orlando Hotels
If wild animals, fun-filled theme parks, lush tropical nature and Mickey Mouse appeal, then booking a hotel in Orlando is a must. With good weather conditions year-round and several of the globe's greatest themed entertainment opportunities, Orlando leaves visitors captivated by its manmade glitz.
When to visit based on priceThe best time to visit Orlando is whenever school is session, because this is a family destination, and that’s when families come. That means plan on visiting between January and March, when the little ones are in school.
Key attractions and having FunThere are so many world famous attractions and theme parks in Orlando area that it’s difficult to know where to start. The truth is, plunk yourself in Orlando and you are guaranteed not to be bored.
Universal Studios is a major draw, with so many different experiences for your pleasure. Where else in the world can you actually star in a Star Wars Adventure movie? If you go, plan to be there when the gates open, and go right to your favorite adventure, before the crowds get there and lines get ridiculous.
Disney World goes without saying is the largest draw in Orlando, with multiple adventures to explore. There’s fun and adventure for all ages, from It’s a Small World which has been bringing smiles to little kiddies for years, to Space Mountain, a ride that can still whiten most faces. Plan more than one day at Disneyworld if possible, because one is never enough.
Then there’s Sea World, where you get to cool off as you are splashed by the dolphins in the show. If you plan ahead and see if you can get a reservation, you can actually get an “in the water tour and swim with Dolphins at Discovery Cove.
If your there in the heat, you may just want to spend a day at a water park. We have just the thing, at the Orlando Wet N Wild Waterpark. One of the best and most fun “rides” in the waterpark is in the “Bubba Tub”.
Another fun adventure that’s sure to pump up your blood pressure Dad is Orlando’s Gatorland Adventure. You actually can latch up to a Zip Line and soar above the alligator breeding marsh containing well over a hundred live toothy jaws just waiting for you to fall. If you’re really brave, how about signing up for “Trainer for a day”? Get “hands on” time with live gators.
If you have ever dreamed of squeezing into a formula one race car and speeding around the racetrack in Daytona, well here is your chance to try. The Richard Petty Driving Experience at Disneyland just might fit the bill, and the seat. With a bit of training you will soon find yourself in the seat of a six hundred-horse power Formula One NASCAR. Zip around the track at speeds up to 100 MPH or more as your wife (or husband) takes a video of a lifetime.
ShoppingIf you need a little shopping time there are multiple options available to you in Orlando. You can find designer brands and many well-known stores at The Mall at Millenia as well as the Florida Mall.
If you’re seeking top designers and exciting fashions, then it’s off to International Drive and Orlando’s Premium Outlet Stores.
Keep in mind that you will have plenty of opportunities for vacation shopping on Main Street, Disneyworld and also Universal Studios. You might even get on the plane home with a new set of “ears”.
NearbyNot far from Orlando, the 450-year-Old city of St. Augustine is quite refreshing after a few days of nothing but busy in Orlando. Stroll the quiet historic streets; sip morning coffee with fresh baked croissants and other baked goods. You’ll find some awesome little boutique stores to wander through. And of course, if you still need a beach fix, you will find over forty miles of beautiful sandy beach.
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Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Near Florida MallWhat Guests Like The quiet and comfort is what is highly spoken about. Visitors enjoy the closeness to the major attractions without the crowding that you would normally get from other hotels. The price of the hotel is also much more affordable compared to some of the others throughout the area. Have a good time spending the night w......ViewRooms from$49.99
International Palms Resort OrlandoWhat Guests Like The pool is amazing and gives off the aura of a true first class resort. There is an area designated specifically for children, making it much more family friendly than many other resorts. The resort also has an alligator show called Alligator Alley for families interested in a bit of onsite entertainment. The resor......ViewRooms from$60.00
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorldWhat Guests Like Guests enjoy being a part of the action when they stay within the walls of this hotel. The hotel provides the fun and excitement that the guests are looking for during their vacation, without having to go far or off grounds to get it. The Renaissance Orlando has many different amenities, especially for the children ......ViewRooms from$129.00
Days Inn Orlando Universal MaingateWhat Guests Like Guests that come to the Days Inn are welcomed by the exceptional staff that is working at the front desks. The Days Inn is able to help with all of the needs that you have, including the lug-gage or finding the ideal place to visit for dinner. The waitstaff can help you find a room or find your reservation that you ......ViewRooms from$62.10
Metropolitan Resort OrlandoWhat Guests Like This hotel opens everyone up to the idea of staying somewhere beautiful and welcoming. With many luxuries around each of the corners, and the ability to pay an affordable price for what you’re getting; this is the vacation destination for some people that are going on their vacation. The attractions around the......ViewRooms from$35.00
Hyatt Regency OrlandoWhat Guests Like Guests love the fact that staying at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, they are within walking distance to the Orlando Sea World and Convention Center. When not out shopping or visiting attractions, the lush grounds and especially well-designed and spacious pool is an excellent place to relax. Rooms are well appointed, an......ViewRooms from$260.00
Best Western Orlando Gateway HotelWhat Guests Like Guests that stay within a Best Western never want to leave. They are able to get the comfort that they would not be able to find anywhere else but home. With large beds, large bathrooms and all the extras that come with staying in the hotel. You’re able to go home with a comfortable aura around you after your ......ViewRooms from$73.00
Days Inn & Suites Orlando/UCF Area Research ParkWhat Guests Like Guests that stay with the Days Inn provides them with everything that the whole family would need while they are on vacation. Make the most of the hotel with the extras that are provided in the room, in the hotel and also around the hotel. This is a beautiful area, and you can enjoy the fun in the sun with a little ......ViewRooms from$59.25
Lake Buena Vista HotelWhat Guests Like Guests that stay within the Comfort Inn love the feeling of being safe at home. Not only are the beds more comfortable, but they provide additional space as needed if you’re bringing a large family with you. Enjoy all that comes with the amenities of the hotel, while also knowing that you’re within close......ViewRooms from$169.99
Rosen Inn, closest to UniversalWhat Guests Like Enjoy being able to stay within a hotel that welcomes both you and your kids. Many of the amenities are kid related, which provides a nice way to view your vacation without having to worry about anything else. The hotel has recently been updated and provides more rooms than ever for you and your family to stay in. E......ViewRooms from$69.99
CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort-OrlandoWhat Guests Like CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort provides the fun that family needs without having to leave their hotel to get it. This is something that any family is going to want when it comes to spending some time out in the sun. The families that stay here enjoy the fact that they do not have to get many tickets to many attract......ViewRooms from$69.00
Quality Suites Universal SouthWhat Guests Like Guests enjoy the comfort and quality that they get within the walls of the hotel along with the affordable price that they pay for it. Enjoy all that comes with this hotel when you plan your next vacation. Have access to the nearby attractions, but also to the amenities that are offered throughout the hotel. You do ......ViewRooms from$57.99
Ramada Orlando DowntownWhat Guests Like Guests love the downtown proximity for shopping at the Mall at Millenia as well as being close to the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium for games. The hotel features complementary wireless Internet service, always a winner, for keeping in touch with family, friends and the boss. When gallivanting about town it’s alw......ViewRooms from$49.00
Metropolitan ExpressWhat Guests Like Guests enjoy that the hotel has been around for a while but has updated recently. They enjoy a hotel that knows what they are doing and what their guests like when they stay with them. With a room built for each guest and many amenities to keep you busy within the hotel, you will not want to leave the hotel for anyt......ViewRooms from$118.00
Travelodge Inn and Suites Orlando AirportWhat Guests Like Staying at the Travelodge Inn and Suites puts you in the vicinity of Orlando’s activities while being close to the airport. Shopping and dining is available at the nearby Florida mall, the Orlando Watersports Complex and more. If your son or daughter is attending school nearby at the Florida College of Integrat......ViewRooms from$47.00
The Florida Hotel and Conference CenterWhat Guests Like Whether you’re here on business or pleasure, this hotel offers something for everyone. Located conveniently to area attractions, including SeaWorld and Universal Studios vacationers are thrilled. Everyone loves the convenience of the Florida Mall right next door accessed directly from the hotel. The complement......ViewRooms from$152.00
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Local expert's tips
Orlando Summer Vcation - Local expert's money saving tips!
One of the best things you can do besides the obvious in Orlando with your young children is take them to the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Wait! Take the kids to a market? Relax; it’s not just a marketplace, although there are great things for you adults there too. But also located here is the LEGO Imaginations Center. Have your camera at the ready as you approach this magical bright store, because your children’s eyes with light up as they see the large purple dragon at the entrance.
Whether your child is pre-school or still living their life as a child at 30, there’s something for everyone. Kids build Lego cars and race, build and play with all things Lego. All that activity and entertainment, and it’s free.
For the whole family, there’s the excitement of Cirque Du Soleil where you all get to hold your breath in anticipation of what’s to come.
There are lots of daily free shows for children at the DJ Kids Dance Party at Waterside Stage, adults at the Raglan Road Live Music-Patio Stage or the adult club at Paradise 37 Entertainment.
Another inexpensive attraction to visit, and almost a “must do” is Florida’s famous Gatorland. You’ll experience hundreds of these nightmare producing ancient creatures, from little “cute” babies for monsters over 20 feet long. You can actually take a Zip-line over a alligator pit is you dare. And the best part is admission can be had with discounts for only $9.99.
A really cooling and relaxing way to end a perfect day, is to grab a coffee or cold drink and visit the Lake Eola Fountain between 8 PM and 9:30 nightly for the exciting and spectacular light show. You might even decide to have a late night picnic with you. The best part is it’s free.
If the summer sun is getting a bit much and you are seeking some indoor activities, we have an excellent suggestion for you, the Orlando Science Center. Here you can explore four floors of exciting exhibits, some with giant screen movies. If you’re lucky enough your family might catch one of the live demonstrations in the Digital Adventure Theater. You also have an opportunity to visit outer space in the Crosby Observatory, where live programs for kids can lead to a career in space exploration.
There is a small charge for admission, but many times they offer free admission. It’s quite the experience and well worth a few dollars.
Check out these free activities in greater Orlando, Florida
The entire market is inside and air cooled for your comfort, and also offers fifteen choices for lunch. Free parking and free admission will start your adventure, and guys, there’s beer on draft to help you relax with Mom “shops till she drops”. Now just to ease you mind, this isn’t your average flea market, offering junk, but one offering booths selling AVON at discount prices, Discount Cellular, multiple pet stores, Graphic Design stores and more.
To make it more of a complete day adventure on a weekend, there’s also a surprise for the kids. Funworld is there too, offering magic acts, acrobatic shows and even a circus.
Take a day trip to beautiful Lake Jesup for a day on the water. While there visit Black Hammock Adventures on Fish Camp Road and check out their airboats while you enjoy the free wildlife show. Featuring alligators, Gold & Blue Macaws, a bull python and turtles. And for that special “selfie” for you and the kids, get your picture taken holding a 3-foot alligator. You also will see up close and personal during the show, “Hammy” their 12-foot alligator.
Interesting note: Lake Jesup is famous for having the largest alligator population of any lake in Florida. Let’s go swimming?
Black Hammock also offers great opportunity for lunch or dinner on the lake, known for having the best fried gator tail in town, and the Lazy Gator Bar and Tiki Bar, both with super happy hours if you adults get thirsty. If the airboats become to exciting to pass up on, it’s still a lot cheaper than admission to other attractions, and well worth it. Just be sure to have your camera ready for that alligator shot of a lifetime.
Take a day trip for an afternoon on a beautiful and quiet beach in the Canaveral National Seashore near the Kennedy Space Center. This trip can be a combination of either the Kennedy Space Center in the morning, followed by a relaxing day for you while the children play on the beach and in safe calm waters. However, there is another option for you, if the beach isn’t sounding so great.
Fort Christmas Historical Park in Christmas, Florida nearby the Space Center is a fun, interesting and learning experience for both children and adults. The park holds a complete replica of the original Fort Christmas and homes around it as they stood during the Seminole Indian Wars between 1835-1842. Your family will learn the history of the Indian wars, as well as what life was like for these early settlers and soldiers.
If you plan your day ahead, bring a picnic lunch or burgers or hot dogs and cooler of beverages along. The park offers three large pavilions and barbeque grills, water and electric outlets. Nearby is a play area with a wooden fort, swings and activities for the youngsters.
If you just can’t get the kids away from the lights, glitter and pizzazz of Walt Disney World, maybe you can at least get some relief from the high costs of being inside it for a half-day, or all day? We’re talking about Disney’s BoardWalk, which is a quarter-mile of unique shops, restaurants and nightlife. Street performers will continually entertain the children, and you can show them how to play the exciting midway games.
Disney’s idea here was to create something as exciting as Atlantic City or the old time Coney Island New York that has entertained the ages. Why, you can even rent a 4 person Surrey bike and cruise up and down the boardwalk. There are choices of sit down dining as well as less expensive grab and go food to enjoy on a bench as you people watch. The Boardwalk Bakery offers excellent sandwiches and like other boardwalks, Disney’s offers pizza slices to go at the Boardwalk Pizza Window.
To get off your feet and catch that ball game with the kids, you just might want to spend some time at the ESPN Club offering excellent food and drinks, as well as a 108-sf television screen in addition to 100 others. Ladies beware, that if you son or husband disappear to the rest room for to long, there are televisions mounted in those as well!