Orlando is the destination of every family’s dreams! After all, who doesn’t want to visit some of the best theme parks that this world has to offer? Add in some of the best entertainment and you have a vacation that your whole family will love.
While a trip to Orlando is amazing, there is still some planning that you will need to do to make sure that you see and experience everything that you want to while you are there. It’s a well-known fact that you’re not going to want to get to your last day in this spectacular city and find that you haven’t been on any of your favourite rides yet or you haven’t eaten at two of the restaurants that you wanted to try. Planning ahead will prevent you from missing out on all the good things you want to do while you’re there. (Kooshy Kids recommends that download and use the TripIt App for your holiday planning).
How to Get There?
Virgin Australia offer direct flights from Australia to LA (the best stop-over place for flying to Orlando) and have recently cemented themselves as Australia's most family friendly airline by approving sleep devices such as the Kooshy Kids Kooshion - making long haul travel more comfortable for families.
Other family friendly airlines that will take you direct from AU to LAX include:
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Delta Airways
Flights from LA to Orlando (LAX to ORL), Florida take around 4.5 hours and the following airlines will take you there cheaply and comfortably (and we support them because they support us!)
- Virgin America
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
Where to Stay in Orlando
There is a plethora of choices when it comes to accommodation in Orlando, and you will be able to choose a hotel on a theme park property or off. The pros and cons of each are numerous and it is a personal preference for many people. Here are a few of our favourites...
Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge
You and your children will love looking out the window to see the gazelles, giraffes, and other animals wandering around the grounds. The waterslide and pool are the perfect escape from the crowded theme parks and you will love keeping your kids busy with the numerous crafts and African drumming lessons.
This resort is a fifteen-minute drive from Disney, but you get a large villa complete with a fully equipped kitchen. Your family will love spending your days at the on-site water park or participating in the multiple activities. This is basically paradise within paradise!
JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
The large rooms at this hotel will give you and your family plenty of space to spread out during your stay. When you aren’t out exploring, you can relax in the winding lazy river and pool, enjoy a Saturday evening film, or participate in arts and crafts.
Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort
Every suite at this resort has a kid friendly theme and you can reach the theme park within ten minutes by foot. Your children will love dining with their favourite characters at the hotel restaurant as well as participating in the luau shows that are held twice a week.
Best Places to Dine as a Family in Orlando
If you can believe it, there are more places to eat than there are to stay in Orlando, and that makes it really hard to choose where to dine as a family. It can take some work to decide on where to eat a meal, but Kooshy Kids has discovered some of the best places for you!
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium – City Walk – Universal Orlando
Yes, this place is full of chocolate and other decadent goodies, but you will also find plenty of other delicious cuisine to devour at mealtime. Your servers will be dressed in Victorian-era costumes as they bring you meals that include southern fried chicken blt, cheddar bacon burger, and fettuccine alfredo. They have a wonderful children’s menu as well and don’t forget to leave room for their amazing desserts. Kooshy Kids loves it here!
Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs
If true Irish grub is what you are craving, then you and your family will want to head over to Raglan Road for some authentic fare. The adults can enjoy a pint, and everyone can eat the best fish and chips or shepherd’s pie they have ever tasted. There is free entertainment every evening, so no one will be bored as they eat and have a fantastic time pretending they’re Irish for a while.
T-Rex Restaurant in Disney Springs
We don’t know of any child that could resist dining amongst dinosaurs. As soon as you enter, you will be greeted by the massive creatures and their sounds as well. Everyone’s favourite seems to be the fifteen-foot-tall T-rex. Your kids will love the dinosaur shaped Jurassic Chicken Tidbits and the Paleo Pizza, but you might prefer the Guac-asaurus Burger or the St. Louis Style Ribs.
What to Do with Kids in Orlando
- Disney Theme Parks – There are plenty to choose from including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium – Have your children help you find the oddest exhibit out of the hundreds that are on display. We bet that you will see some really weird things here!
- Universal Studios – There are two parks here as well, including Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
- Float down a stream in a tube– Floating down a stream in a tube is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. Kelly Park and State Reserve is a great place to go, but we love Blue Springs State Park because you can see manatees when you are there.
- Sea World – This theme park has rides as well as dolphins, sea lions, and other animals to keep your little ones entertained.
- See a basketball game and cheer on local team Orlando Magic.
- Gatorland – Ride the zipline over the gators and feel your heart race. Of course, this is perfect only if you have older children!
- The World of Chocolate Museum – Your entire family will love learning where chocolate comes from as well as eating different samples from around the world.
- Legoland - Waterpark, theme park and hotel in one, this place is a great full day of entertainment for all Lego lovers.
You might think that Orlando is dominated by theme parks, and while that is mostly true, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy when you are there. In fact, you can find hundreds of activities to keep your family busy in Orlando without ever stepping foot in one of the theme parks.... but they really are awesome and you MUST visit at least one!
As always, Kooshy Kids wishes you happy and safe travels x