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Family City Guide to Orlando, Florida

Updated: Jul 14, 2023



Orlando, Florida is a city that has something for everyone, but it is especially known for its family-friendly attractions. From world-famous theme parks to lesser-known gems, there is something for every age and interest in Orlando.


Here is a more detailed look at some of the top family attractions in Orlando:



Walt Disney World Resort:


This world-famous resort is home to four theme parks, two water parks, and dozens of

hotels. Magic Kingdom is the original Disney park and is home to iconic attractions like

Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Epcot is a theme park

that celebrates different cultures around the world. Disney's Hollywood Studios is a

park that is all about movies and television. Disney's Animal Kingdom is a park that is

home to animals from all over the world.

Universal Orlando Resort:


This resort features two theme parks, three water parks, and a variety of other attractions. Universal Studios Florida is a park that is all about movies and television. Universal's Islands of Adventure is a park that is home to some of the most popular rides in Orlando, including The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Volcano Bay is a water park that is known for its lazy river and its many water slides.

SeaWorld Orlando:


SeaWorld is widely known for its marine animal residents (which has not been without controversy). This park still remains one of the most popular in Orlando. The major draws for families include:

  • Shamu's Incredible Journey: This show takes you on a journey through the ocean with Shamu, the park's famous killer whale.

  • Kraken: This roller coaster takes you on a wild ride through the ocean.

  • Manta: This coaster takes you on a high-speed flight over the park.

  • Penguin Encounter: This is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with penguins.

  • Dolphin Cove: This is a great place to learn about dolphins and even swim with them



Discovery Cove:


Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort located in Orlando, Florida. The resort is home to a variety of animals, including dolphins, stingrays, and tropical fish and is sure to delight your budding marine biologist.


Some of the most popular activities at Discovery Cove include:

  • Swim with dolphins: This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can get up close and personal with dolphins.

  • Snorkel in a coral reef: This is a great way to see the amazing marine life that lives in the ocean.

  • Hand-feed exotic birds: This is a fun and educational experience where you can learn about different types of birds and feed them by hand.

  • Relax on the beach: Discovery Cove has a beautiful white sand beach where you can relax and soak up the sun.

  • Enjoy the water slides: Discovery Cove has a variety of water slides that are sure to keep you entertained.



Gatorland:


Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located in Orlando, Florida. It is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, as well as other native Florida wildlife. Visitors can see these amazing creatures up close, learn about their natural history, and even participate in some hands-on experiences.


Some of the popular attractions at Gatorland include:

  • Gator Jumparoo: This show features trained alligators jumping for food

  • Gator Wrestlin': This show gives visitors the chance to see alligators being wrestled by experts

  • Alligator Breeding Marsh: Visitors can take a walk through this marsh and see alligators in their natural habitat

  • Screamin' Gator Zip Line: This zip line takes visitors over the park's alligator exhibits

  • Gatorland's Swamp Walk: This walk takes visitors through a swamp and allows them to see alligators up close.




Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a great place to visit for families with children of all ages who are interested in space exploration. The complex is home to a variety of exhibits, shows, and attractions that will take you on a journey through the history of space travel.


Some of the highlights include:

  • Space Shuttle Atlantis: This exhibit allows you to explore the real Space Shuttle Atlantis, which flew 33 missions into space.

  • Rocket Garden: This collection of rockets features some of the most iconic rockets in history, including the Saturn V, which launched the Apollo missions to the Moon.

  • Launch Pad 39B: This launch pad is where the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on its final mission. You can take a tour of the launch pad and learn about the history of space launches from this site.

  • Heroes & Legends: This exhibit tells the stories of the astronauts and scientists who have made significant contributions to space exploration.

  • IMAX Theater: This theater shows films about space exploration, including "Hubble 3D" and "Journey to Space" is a great place to visit for families with children of all ages who are interested in space exploration. The complex is home to a variety of exhibits, shows, and attractions that will take you on a journey through the history of space travel.



Harry Potter's Wizarding World of Harry Potter:


Harry Potter's Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must-visit for any family who loves the Harry Potter books and movies. The two parks, Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Florida and Diagon Alley at Universal's Islands of Adventure, are filled with magical experiences that will transport you to the wizarding world.


Some of the most popular attractions include:

  • The Hogwarts Express: This train ride takes you between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: This thrilling roller coaster takes you on a journey through Hogwarts Castle.

  • Flight of the Hippogriff: This family-friendly coaster takes you on a flight over Hagrid's Hut.

  • Ollivanders Wand Shop: This shop allows you to pick your own wand and learn about the history of wandmaking.

  • The Three Broomsticks: This restaurant serves traditional British fare, such as fish and chips and bangers and mash.

  • Honeydukes: This candy shop sells all sorts of sweet treats, including Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a truly magical place that will make you feel like you're stepping into the pages of the books. It's a great place to visit for families with children of all ages who love Harry Potter.



The Wheel at ICON Park:


The Wheel at ICON Park is a 400-foot-tall Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of Orlando. It is a great place to visit for families with children of all ages who want to see the city from a bird's eye view. The Wheel has 36 capsules, each of which can accommodate up to 14 people. The ride lasts about 18 minutes, and during that time, you can enjoy panoramic views of Orlando, including the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando.



Orlando Science Center:


This museum features interactive exhibits on a variety of topics, including space, dinosaurs, and the human body. You can learn about the solar system, build a model volcano, or even dissect a pig heart at the Orlando Science Center.


Some of the most popular exhibits include:

  • DinoDigs: This exhibit allows you to dig for fossils and learn about dinosaurs.

  • The Wonderlab: This exhibit is a hands-on science lab where you can explore a variety of scientific concepts.

  • The Space Center: This exhibit takes you on a journey through space and time.

  • The Butterfly Garden: This garden is home to over 1,000 butterflies from all over the world.

  • The IMAX® Theater: This theater shows educational films about science and nature.




LEGOLAND Florida Resort:


Perfect for families with younger children, LEGOLAND offers a theme park with LEGO-themed attractions, shows, and rides. It is located in Winter Haven, Florida which is 43 minutes outside of Orlando.


Some of the most popular attractions at Legoland Florida include:

  • The Dragon Coaster: This roller coaster is made entirely of Legos and is a great ride for families with older children.

  • The Lego Movie World: This area of the park is themed after the popular Lego Movie films and features rides, shows, and attractions based on the movies.

  • The Lego City Deep Sea Adventure: This submarine ride takes you on an underwater adventure where you'll see sharks, stingrays, and other marine creatures.

  • The Legoland Water Park: This water park is a great place to cool off on a hot day and features a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions.

  • The Imagination Zone: This area of the park is home to a variety of interactive Lego exhibits where kids can build their own Lego creations.


Peppa Pig Theme Park:


Also located in Winter Haven is Peppa Pig Theme Park, a park dedicated to the popular children's show Peppa Pig. The park is home to a variety of rides, shows, and attractions, all themed after the show. Some of the most popular attractions include:

  • Peppa Pig's Big Balloon Ride: This is a hot air balloon ride that takes you around the park.

  • George's Dinosaur Adventure: This is a dark ride that takes you on an adventure through the dinosaur world.

  • Muddy puddles: This is a water play area where kids can splash around and cool off.

  • Peppa Pig's Treehouse: This is a interactive play area where kids can climb, slide, and explore.

  • Peppa Pig's Party Boat: This is a boat ride that takes you around the park and features songs from the show.



Knott's Soak City


Yet another attraction in Winter Haven, Florida is Knott's Soak City. It is a sister park to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The park is home to a variety of water slides, pools, and attractions for all ages.


Some of the highlights of Knott's Soak City Orlando include:

  • The Big Kahuna: This is the tallest water slide in the park, and it drops you 70 feet down a steep hill.

  • The Beach Blaster: This is a wave pool that creates 6-foot waves.

  • The Lazy River: This is a great place to relax and float along the river.

  • The kids' area: This area has a variety of water slides and pools that are perfect for younger children. There is also a playground and a splash pad.



The Crayola Experience:


The Crayola Experience is a hands-on museum where kids can learn about colors and art. There are over 25 different activities, with the most popular being:

  • The Giant Crayon Factory: This is a 4-story interactive exhibit where kids can learn how crayons are made. They can also create their own custom crayons and see them made on the factory floor.

  • The Color Mixing Lab: This is a hands-on exhibit where kids can experiment with different colors. They can mix their own colors, create color wheels, and even make their own tie-dye shirts.

  • The 4D Theater: This is a theater where kids can experience different colors in a whole new way. The theater uses special effects to create a 4D experience, so kids will feel like they're right in the middle of the action.

  • The Imagination Studio: This is a space where kids can let their creativity run wild. They can create their own art projects, play dress-up, and even make their own music.



Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium:


Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium is a museum that features a wide variety of oddities and curiosities from around the world. The museum is sure to entertain and amaze people of all ages. Here are some of the most popular exhibits at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium:

  • The shrunken heads: These are shrunken heads from the Jivaro tribe of Ecuador. The Jivaro people believed that by shrinking the heads of their enemies, they would gain their power.

  • The two-headed calf: This calf was born with two heads in 1946. It lived for only 15 days, but it was well-known throughout the world.

  • The world's largest ball of string: This ball of string is over 14 feet tall and weighs over 15,000 pounds. It was started in 1972 by a woman named Julia Budden.

  • The world's tallest man: Robert Wadlow was born in 1918 and grew to be over 8 feet tall. He was the tallest man in recorded history.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium is a great place to learn about different cultures and to see some amazing things. It's also a great place to have fun and take some silly photos.




Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens:


This zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, bears, and all sorts of other animals. There are also botanical gardens with over 1,000 different species of plants.


Here are some of the most popular exhibits at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens:

  • The African Plains: This exhibit is home to lions, zebras, giraffes, and other animals that live on the African savanna.

  • The Florida Boardwalk: This exhibit is home to Florida-native animals, such as alligators, snakes, and turtles.

  • The Tropical Rainforest: This exhibit is home to a variety of tropical animals, such as monkeys, sloths, and birds.

  • The Children's Zoo: This exhibit is a great place for children to learn about animals and to interact with them.



Wet 'n Wild Orlando:


Wet 'n Wild Orlando is a water park that is home to a variety of slides, pools, and attractions for all ages. Some of the best parts of Wet 'n Wild Orlando for families include:

  • The Congo River Rapids: This is a family-friendly raft ride that takes you through a winding river with plenty of twists and turns.

  • The Bomb Bay: This is a water slide that drops you 60 feet down a steep hill. It is not recommended for young children or those who are afraid of heights.

  • The Lazy River: This is a great place to relax and float along the river. It is a good option for families with young children or those who want to take a break from the excitement of the other rides.

  • The kids' area: This area has a variety of water slides and pools that are perfect for younger children. There is also a playground and a splash pad.

  • The water park's location: Wet 'n Wild Orlando is located just minutes from Walt Disney World, making it a convenient option for families who are already visiting the area.

Wet 'n Wild Orlando is a great place for families to cool off on a hot day and have some fun. It is a safe and well-maintained water park with plenty of activities for all ages




Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park:


Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is an aerial challenge course that is located in the pine forests of Central Florida. The park has over 75 different challenges, including zip lines, suspended bridges, and swinging platforms.


Some of the highlights of Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park include:

  • The zip lines: There are over 10 zip lines at the park, with lengths ranging from 50 to 600 feet. The longest zip line takes you over 600 feet across a valley.

  • The suspended bridges: There are several suspended bridges at the park, including a 100-foot-long suspension bridge that is suspended 60 feet above the ground.

  • The swinging platforms: There are several swinging platforms at the park, including a 100-foot-long platform that swings back and forth over a ravine.

  • The Kids Course: This course is designed for children ages 4-7 and has 10 challenges that are lower to the ground and easier to complete.



Gemini Springs:


Gemini Springs is a spring-fed swimming hole with crystal-clear water. It is located in the Ocala National Forest, about an hour north of Orlando. The springs are a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and hiking.


Here are some of the family highlights at Gemini Springs:

  • Swimming: The water at Gemini Springs is crystal-clear and refreshing. There are several areas to swim, including a large swimming hole, a smaller wading pool, and a rope swing.

  • Picnicking: There are several picnic areas at Gemini Springs, with tables and grills. There is also a playground for children.

  • Hiking: There are several hiking trails at Gemini Springs, ranging from easy to moderate. The trails lead through the forest and past the springs.

  • Fishing: Fishing is allowed at Gemini Springs. There are a variety of fish species in the springs, including bass, bream, and catfish.

  • Bird watching: Gemini Springs is a great place to bird watch. There are a variety of bird species in the area, including herons, egrets, and ospreys.



Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament:


Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is a dinner theater located in Kissimmee, Florida. The show combines a jousting tournament with a four-course feast. Guests are seated in the arena and are treated to a night of sword fighting, horsemanship, and pageantry.


The show is set in the 11th century, and guests are transported back in time to a time of knights, castles, and jousting. The knights compete in a series of challenges, including jousting, sword fighting, and horseback riding. The audience cheers for their favorite knight, and the show culminates in a grand finale.


In addition to the jousting, guests also enjoy a four-course feast. The feast includes roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, vegetables, and a dessert. The food is served in a medieval setting, and guests are encouraged to interact with the performers.



WonderWorks:


WonderWorks is an amusement park for the mind located in Orlando, Florida. It is a 35,000 square foot interactive museum that is filled with over 100 hands-on exhibits that challenge your senses and test your brain.


The exhibits at WonderWorks are divided into 10 different zones, each of which explores a different scientific concept. Some of the most popular exhibits include:

  • Tornado Room: This exhibit simulates the experience of being inside a tornado.

  • Gravity Room: This exhibit challenges your sense of balance by making you feel like you are walking on walls or upside down.

  • Mystery Room: This exhibit is filled with optical illusions that will make you question your reality.

  • Kidtown: This area is designed for younger children and features exhibits that teach them about science in a fun and interactive way.



Spookyworld


Spookyworld is an outdoor Halloween-themed attraction located in Orlando, Florida. It is open from September to November and features haunted houses, scare zones, and live entertainment. Some of the most popular haunted houses include:

  • The Asylum: This haunted house is set in an abandoned asylum and is filled with scenes of patients past and creepy doctors.

  • The Graveyard: This haunted house is set in a dark and foreboding graveyard and is full of zombies, ghosts, and other creatures of the night.

  • The Corn Maze: This haunted corn maze is filled with twists and turns, and you never know what's lurking around the corner.

In addition to the haunted houses, Spookyworld also features scare zones. These are outdoor areas that are filled with creepy creatures and actors who are there to scare you. Some of the most popular scare zones include:

  • The Carnival: This scare zone is set in a creepy carnival and is full of clowns, carnies, and other freaks.

  • The Woods: This scare zone is set in a dark and foreboding forest and is full of all sorts of creatures that go bump in the night.

  • The Swamp: This scare zone is set in a murky swamp and is full of alligators, snakes, and other swamp creatures.



These are just a few of the many family attractions in Orlando. With so much to choose from, you're sure to find something that everyone in your family will enjoy.

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