Family travel in Orlando

Why Orlando takes the crown as America's top family destination

Orlando's family-centric philosophy shines through its top-notch theme parks, captivating attractions, and enlightening venues. From the magical world of Disney to the exhilarating Universal Orlando Resort, every aspect is designed for unforgettable experiences for all ages. Embrace Orlando as the ultimate dream destination for family adventures.

Orlando is the ultimate destination for a family vacation. With an abundance of attractions and activities catering to kids of all ages, it is hard to get bored here. The city is home to world-famous theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando, all offering thrilling rides, colorful characters, and dazzling shows. Beyond the major theme parks, however, Orlando has a variety of smaller attractions that are equally appealing to children. Gatorland is a unique park that provides up-close experiences with Florida's native alligators, while attractions like Fun Spot America and Crayola Experience provide interactive experiences for younger visitors. The city also caters to families with its wide array of kid-friendly dining options. From themed restaurants like T-Rex Café – where guests dine among animatronic dinosaurs – to character dining experiences at Disney, there's something to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Is Orlando a child-friendly city?

Not only is Orlando a child-friendly, but it might also be the most child-friendly destination in the country. The city offers a wide variety of attractions and experiences that cater to families with kids of all ages. It’s home to world-renowned amusement parks like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando Resort that promise endless entertainment for kids.

Along with the major theme parks, Orlando boasts numerous other family-friendly attractions like the Crayola Experience, Gatorland, and the Orlando Science Center. Orlando also offers a wide range of family-friendly dining options, accommodating various dietary needs and preferences. Many restaurants feature kids’ menus and entertaining themes, ensuring a delightful experience for the entire family. The city also provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for families traveling with children.

Where to go and what to do as a family

Orlando offers a wealth of kid-friendly attractions and activities, ensuring families can keep even the most discerning child entertained. From endless theme parks to space centers to alligator parks it seems like every corner holds family-friendly treasures. While Orlando boasts countless attractions catering to all ages, we’ve handpicked a few exceptionally kid-friendly destinations that should not be missed.

Disney World

Disney World is the ultimate kid-friendly destination. Captivating the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike, this magical wonderland consists of four distinct theme parks, each offering its own experiences. Magic Kingdom is the iconic park featuring Cinderella’s Castle and is home to enchanting lands like Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Adventureland. Guests can enjoy classic attractions, meet beloved Disney characters, and experience dazzling parades and fireworks. EPCOT combines future-world technology with a global showcase, offering educational and cultural insights. Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes children behind the scenes of their favorite movies with thrilling rides like the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Finally, Disney’s Animal Kingdom blends adventure with nature conservation education in a vast, immersive wildlife setting.

Universal Orlando Resort

If you need something sugary to offset the afternoon low, stop by Voodoo Donuts. This location of the quirky Portland-based doughnut shop sells fan favorites like the Maple Bacon Bar topped with maple frosting and bacon, and the Voodoo Doll – a doll-shaped donut filled with raspberry jelly and topped with chocolate frosting.

Universal Orlando Resort is another Orlando haven for families. Comprised of three theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay – the resort caters to children of all ages with its wide variety of attractions, shows, and immersive experiences.

At Universal Studios, kids can step into their favorite movie or TV show with attractions like “Despicable Me” and “E.T.” At Islands of Adventure, young kids can explore superhero-laden Marvel Super Hero Island or step into the pages of their favorite storybooks in Seuss Landing, while older kids can ride mega coasters like the Incredible Hulk Coaster. Universal’s Volcano Bay is a tropical-themed water park ideal for cooling off on hot days. Completing the experience is Universal CityWalk, which offers family-friendly dining and entertainment options.


Start at the end

If you want to avoid the crowds when you visit LEGOLAND (and trust us, you do), start your day at the back of the park and work your way to the park's front entrance.

LEGOLAND Florida is a fun, kid-friendly destination designed specifically for children aged 2-12. This interactive theme park offers a mix of more than 50 rides, attractions, and live shows all inspired by the world-famous LEGO bricks.

Children can build, play, and engage with their favorite LEGO themes, including Star Wars and Ninjago. The park also features Miniland USA, a mesmerizing display of iconic American landmarks built entirely from LEGO bricks, as well as a botanical garden and a water park. Additionally, the LEGOLAND Hotel provides themed rooms for a full immersion experience.

Fun Spot America

Fun Spot America is a family-owned theme park in Orlando with a range of attractions. Older kids gravitate toward roller coasters, go-kart racing, and bumper cars, while younger visitors can enjoy a variety of gentler rides, the iconic Ferris wheel, and a dedicated kid’s zone.

You can also get an up-close-and-personal look at Florida’s most famous residents – alligators. In partnership with Gatorland, the park includes Gator Spot, a distinctive attraction where visitors see these oversized reptiles up close. You might even get the unforgettable opportunity to feed them. With its combination of thrills, spills, and wildlife, Fun Spot America offers an engaging and fun-filled visit for children of all ages.

How to get around Orlando with kids

Navigating Orlando with kids is a breeze thanks to its extensive family-friendly transportation options. Renting a car provides the most flexibility and convenience, allowing you to travel at your own pace and visit attractions outside the city. Many rental companies offer car seats and booster seats to ensure the safety of your little ones.

The efficient I-Ride Trolley services the International Drive area and connects major attractions, shopping venues, and restaurants. For visits to theme parks, take advantage of the free shuttle services offered by many hotels. Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort also provide internal transportation systems – including buses, boats, and monorails – to help facilitate movement within the parks. This can save you time, parking fees, and the hassle of driving.

About the author

Emy Rodriguez Flores & Jennifer SimonsonOur Orlando guide was written by two brilliant authors: Jennifer Simonson is a proud Texan native who has travelled extensively around The United States, with Orlando being a staple on her tours. In fourth grade she wrote an essay proclaiming her lifelong commitment to exploring the globe and has not looked back since. During her travels she loves engaging conversations with strangers, finding the best ice cream, trying her hand at surfing and nature-filled hikes. Emy Rodriguez Flores is a travel journalist who grew up in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and Orlando, Florida. His dad was a pilot, which encouraged him to travel the world suitcase first and questions later. Before he was ten, he developed a fear of small steps at Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica.