Orlando, Florida has it all. The weather is perfect all year round, the locals are friendly, and there are tons of great sights to explore and activities to enjoy. With 52 million tourists heading to the city each year, Orlando has quickly become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the US, a favorite, especially for those with families.
Let's take a look at five reasons why Orlando is the perfect location for a family holiday.
#1 – World Class Theme Parks
Orlando is home to some of the greatest theme parks in the world. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Gatorland, and more are proud to call the city their home.
SeaWorld Orlando also deserves a mention, as it ranks right up there with Orlando's best atracting upwards of 5 million guests each year. Here, visitors can ride roller coasters, explore massive aquariums, and see various shows starring dolphins, killer whales and other sea creatures set in over 200 hectares of sprawling parkgrounds. Aside from being one of Orlando's top theme parks, SeaWorld is also a zoological park, with most of the park's denizens consisting mostly of various species of marine life highlighted in a wide variety of exhibits.
Walt Disney World itself is separated into four smaller theme parks, each with their own unique theme and set of attractions.
In the ‘Magic Kingdom’, visitors can enter the magical world of Disney and see Disney favourites like Mickey Mouse and Goofy come to life, while the magic of science and technology is on show in Epcot, a theme park dedicated to the celebration of human achievement. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the third of the four theme parks, visitors can explore the best of Disney’s Hollywood franchises, while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a giant animal conservation park spanning more than 500 acres, exotic animals can be seen roaming an Africa-inspired environment.
#2 – Family Friendly Museums
Orlando contains a number of family friendly museums that are quite fun to explore.
‘Ripley’s Orlando’, a museum dedicated to many oddities, gives visitors the chance to experience a sinkhole in person and are currently featuring some famous fertility carvings through Labor Day. The ‘Orlando Science Center’, a museum dedicated to science, runs a number of entertaining exhibitions that detail recent scientific discoveries. ‘Titanic The Experience’, a museum about the Titanic, also gives visitors the chance to explore a replica of the famous ship complete with actors and actresses dressed up in period clothing.
#3 – Close Proximity to Nearby Beaches
Orlando’s climate is perfect for spending time at the beach. Temperatures rarely fall below 75 degrees fahrenheit, the sun always shines and it very rarely rains. There are a number of wonderful beaches just a short distance away from Orlando.
Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach and Melbourne Beach are amongst the best and can be reached via a short drive by car. All three have long, sandy shores and waves that are perfect for surfing. Family-friendly Daytona Beach, with its hardpacked-sandy beaches, is a particular favorite, especially among visitors and tourists coming from out of town for a quick dip at the beach during the weekends.
#4 – The Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral claim to fame is that it has been the launch site of every space flight from NASA since 1968. One of the top tourist destinations in central Florida, the Kennedy Space Center can easily be reached by car located just an hour's drive away from Orlando.
At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor, families can expect see a number of exhibits, interactive displays, artifacts and memorabilia depicting the history of man's journey into space as well as a glimpse into the future of human and robotic spaceflight and learn more about how they actually work. Life size replicas of the International Space Center and the Saturn V rocket can also be explored, with ‘Habitation Modules’ that give an idea of what life is like for astronauts when they’re in space. A nearby Imax theater also gives the chance to relax and enjoy space based documentaries on a huge screen.
#5 – Orlando's Wonderful Water Parks
Water parks offer a more laid back alternative to the organized chaos and revelry of Orlando’s top theme parks.
Walt Disney World has two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, that are filled with a wide variety of water slides and swimming pools and a slew of other attractions that kids of all ages will certainly love. Both occupy the top two spots, ranking first and second in that order, among the most visited water parks in the world.
Typhoon Lagoon also holds the distinction for having the world's largest outdoor wave pool, with the park drawing over 2 million visitors each year. Blizzard Beach meanwhile, with the iconic Mt. Gushmore and its three differently colored slopes, feature a multitude of rides, water slides and attractions some of which even allow guests to race one another along side-by-side slides before splashing at the finish line. Downhill Double Dipper and Toboggan Racers are two of the most popoular 'race slides' at Blizzard Beach.
Other aquatic water park highlights in Orlando include Discovery Cove, a small ocean park that offers the chance to swim with dolphins, and Wet ’n Wild, a huge ocean park filled with water slides and other fun rides.
The city of Orlando’s motto is “built for families, made for memories”, and it’s certainly easy enough to see why. The city is full of family-friendly attractions and destinations that are sure to entertain both adults and children alike.
Make sure to consider Orlando when you’re planning your next family holiday. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.