For families with small children, Orlando is obviously one of the most popular holiday destinations in the US, perhaps in the world. It has the most family friendly attractions, fun theme parks and spectacular nighttime shows to fill a full year so no matter what your family’s particular interests there is bound to be something to suit in Orlando. But taking little ones on a vacation presents its very own set of challenges and issues. We have tried to make this as worry-free as possible with this list of 10 tips you should consider when taking children to Orlando.
- Gatorland Admission
- Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show
- Eat and Play Card – 1 Card for 4 Travelers
- Crayola Experience Admission
- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
- Boggy Creek Airboat Ride
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
- Blue Man Group
- Walt Disney World® Resort Magic Your Way Ticket
- Universal Orlando™ Theme Park Tickets
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Although both parks are great options, Disney does a better job of catering to young children with their themed rides, shows and activities. Height requirements at Disney tend to be far more inclusive for young kids, allowing them to ride more attractions than they would at Universal. Character meet-and-greets are also plentiful, giving small children the opportunity to meet Mickey, Buzz Lightyear and Elsa, amongst many others. All four Disney parks are suitable for small children, with Magic Kingdom being the most popular. Read More...
If a child does not meet the height requirement or simply does not want ride a particular attraction, Disney’s Rider Switch program allows both parents the opportunity to experience it separately. While one parent waits with the child, the other rides the attraction. Once they come back, the child will stay while the second parent experiences the attraction without having to wait a second time.
Much like Disney’s Rider Switch, Universal’s Child Swap program caters to those families with young kids who are not able to or do not want to ride a particular attraction. One parent waits with the child in the Child Swap Zone (often near the attraction’s loading area) while the other parent waits in the normal queue. Once that parent is finished experiencing the attraction, the child is switched without the family having to wait in the queue again.
Theme parks are large places with thousands of people, and children oftentimes get lost. Although all parks follow strict procedures for a lost child, it is often a good idea to prepare for this situation before even arriving at the entrance. Designate a meeting place in case the family gets split up, such as large fountain or a recognizable store. Young children should also be aware that they can always reach out to theme park employee for help. These employees can be recognized by their themed clothing or nametag. It is also a good idea to clip the parents’ telephone numbers to the child’s shirt, especially if the child is too young to speak for themselves.
Strollers are widely available at an affordable price, and save you a lot of hassle at the theme park transportation centers. They can be rented from any park guest service office and usually cost between $15 and $20. Double strollers are offered for families with multiple children. Renting a stroller from the theme park itself saves you the hassle of having to constantly having to fold and unfold your own stroller, as that is the only way that they are allowed on public/theme-park transportation.
Keep the kids busy during long wait times by finding the hidden Mickeys. These can be hidden anywhere in the park, from picture frames and door knobs to fountain lights and Cinderella’s castle. Over 1,000 hidden Mickeys have been found at Disney so far, so bring a detective log, a pen and get to hunting! Waiting times can stretch up to 90 minutes at peak times and that’s a lot of time to fill for young ones.
Many all-inclusive resorts in the Orlando area offer activities such as paddle boarding, rock climbing and scavenger hunts. A great choice in Orlando is the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. They have everything from evening marshmallow roasts to arts & crafts sessions and a full arcade. A smaller resort with a pool area or nature walk would also be a great option to keep the kids entertained. Read More...
Two of the most popular Orlando babysitting companies in the city are Kidz Night Out and The Babysitting Company. Whether you’re looking to have a spa day or a night out, both of these companies come to your own hotel room to watch the kids. All babysitters are individually screened and CPR-trained, and have passed thorough background checks. Although both companies ask for reservations to be made 24 hours in advance, they are often able to assist with last-minute bookings as well.
This is a free event hosted by the Enzian Movie Theater every other Thursday. They show kid-friendly movies and encourage everyone to bring a blanket and snacks. This fun family event is held at Central Park and starts promptly after sunset. Kids games will usually be set-up at the park to keep them entertained while they wait. Because this outside activity is fully dependent upon Florida’s unpredictable weather conditions, any cancellations will be posted on the Enzian Theater’s Facebook page.
- Address: 1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL
- Tel: +1 407-629-0054
Home to over 500 animals, the Florida zoo is open daily and has various educational programs for young kids. These include safety demonstrations and meet-and-greets with different species. Guests can partake in giraffe feedings throughout the day, as well as a rhino encounter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The zoo also offers an aerial adventure course for kids, including zip-lining, as well as a water playground for the little ones. Read More...