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Discover Family-Friendly Orlando Theme Parks

Destination(s): Orlando

Orlando is the one of the most family-friendly destination with many attractions that will make your head spin just to plan it.

For the first time family who want to get the most of their visit with their school age kids in tow. Check out this guide for the way to enjoy Orlando Theme Parks on your first visit.

This guide is created by Amy @ The Q Family - a family travel blogger for The Q Family Adventures Travel blog.

TheQFamilyAdventures.com is a family friendly travel blog that helps to inspire family to travel one adventure at a time. read more about Discover Family-Friendly Orlando Theme Parks

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida

  • 1000 Universal Studios Plaza
  • tel:+1 407 363 8000
  • Visit website
  • Orlando, 32809
Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove

  • 6000 Discovery Cove Way
  • tel:+1 407 370 1280
  • Visit website
  • Orlando, 32821

In July of 2000, Discovery Cove opened its gates and began providing a unique theme park experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. With a maximum of 1,000 guests per day, the park has managed to create an intimate feel – more like you're visiting a swanky resort in the Caribbean than visiting a theme park in the middle of Orlando. The admission price, though hefty, includes all of your needs…
towels, wet suits, lockers, snorkels, masks, sun tan lotion, souvenir photos and parking.

Meals and snacks are included as well (and not just hot dogs and hamburgers either). You'll start the day with a continental breakfast (pastries, muffins, fresh fruit, juices and coffee). You can have a hamburger for lunch if you'd like, but Discovery Cove also offers such items as grilled salmon and pasta primavera. Unlimited snacks such as chips, pretzels, nachos, ice cream and smoothies are available all day. You can also enjoy as much bottled water, soda, beer, and cappuccinos as you like.

If you've booked yourselves into the Dolphin Encounter, the friendly concierge will schedule your time in the Dolphin Lagoon when you arrive. During the 30-minute encounter, you and 5-7 other guests will wade into shallow water and get up close and personal with a very sociable and playful Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Your trainer will guide the dolphin through a series of activities, allowing you to touch and instruct the dolphin. You'll also be able to experience a dorsal tow ride. For dolphin lovers, the extra admission price to include this encounter is definitely worth it.

When you arrive, you'll also want to check on the feeding times at Ray Lagoon so you can make sure to schedule that into your day. You can interact with dozens of rays of all sizes, some up to four feet in diameter. It's an amazing experience to be amongst these gentle and graceful creatures. The Coral Reef is where you'll really get to test your snorkeling skills as you float along amongst the hundreds of brilliantly colored tropical fish and rays. Make sure you find the shark encounter. Don't worry… they're behind thick glass.

You'll want to make several trips down the warm Tropical River, drifting in the slight current, under waterfalls, and through an underwater cave. The river also takes you through the Aviary, where you can hop out of the water and interact with over 250 exotic birds, none of which are caged. Having a toucan land on your arm is an interesting experience. Discovery Cove's beach is a great feature as well. Along
the huge expanse of white, sugary sand, you'll find hammocks, umbrellas, and cabanas for your use. When all the swimming and snorkeling leaves you exhausted, grab a beach lounger and have a nap.
To avoid disappointment, reservations are a must!
read more about Discovery Cove

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

  • 1000 Universal Studios Plaza
  • tel:+1 407 839 3900
  • Visit website
  • Orlando, 32819
SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

  • 7007 Sea World Drive
  • tel:+1 407 351 3600
  • Visit website
  • Orlando, 32821
Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park

  • 1 N. Rosalind Ave.
  • Lake Eola Park
  • tel:+1 407 246 2827
  • Visit website
  • Orlando, 32801

A couple of hours can easily and peacefully drift away while strolling around Lake Eola Park, taking in the floating fountain and watching the white and black swans peacefully paddling across the lake. Established in 1888, the park's 43 acres of land are continuously enhanced with vibrant flowers, perfectly manicured grounds, and charming gazebos. The walking path circling the lake is 0.9 miles in length, perfect for enjoying a healthy stroll or vigorous jog. Shop at the Sunday Eola Market featuring fresh produce, artisan items, and a beer garden with live music. Swan rides are available for rent most days, and there is a restaurant tucked right inside the park called Eric's on Eola. There are about a dozen more restaurants within a short walking distance. read more about Lake Eola Park

Celebration

Celebration

  • 605 Market Street
  • tel:+1-407 - 566 - 4007
  • Visit website
  • Celebration, 34747

Pleasantville literally came to life in 1996 with the creation of the Town of Celebration. As eerie as this might sound, this quaint little town is tucked just far back enough from Disney and its related tourist hot spots to make it a quiet place to spend an afternoon or evening. Start your visit by heading down to Market Street, where you'll find lots of parking on the adjacent streets. If you plan to stay for dinner, you can make a reservation at one of the many great restaurants. Columbia is my favorite,
but there is also Seito Sushi, Cafe D'Antonio, Market Street Café, as well as a few other great restaurants. Then you can spend a couple of hours prior to your reservation exploring the town.

One option for exploring Celebration is renting a NEV – Neighborhood Electronic Vehicle – from Wheelz of Celebration. Much like a golf cart, you can drive around at a pretty good speed. So many of Celebration's residents own NEVs that the town created NEV parking spaces around Market and Front Street. From the comfort of your NEV you can check out the hundreds of beautiful houses, stunningly decorated during the holiday season. Make sure you head over to Eastlawn Drive where you'll see some spectacular multimillion-dollar homes.

Another option for exploring is by foot. Celebration is a very walk-able community, with sidewalks on every street and wooden boardwalks throughout. Boardwalks lead through wetland areas where you might catch a glimpse of the many forms of wildlife that also make their home here. There have been many sightings of deer, turkey, and even alligators. Your last option, and my personal favorite, is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride from Front Street and around the main village. For a nominal fee, you can take a romantic, 20-minute ride while you admire the manicured lawns and traditional architecture.

For those interested in a little window-shopping, there are lots of interesting shops throughout the Market Street area. You'll also find the AMC Theater, designed by Cesar Pelli and inspired by the Cathay Circle Cinema in LA, where Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

After dinner, head over to one of the many cafes and listen to jazz or grab a latte from Starbucks and relax in a rocking chair next to Lake Celebration. You may also want to visit Celebration Hotel. Their beautiful lobby bar is the perfect setting to enjoy a cocktail. This boutique hotel sits just on the edge of downtown and is decorated brilliantly with original art and interesting furniture. Not a bad idea for an overnight if you're looking for a romantic getaway.

There are many events throughout the year to be aware of, including The Taste of Celebration (November), The Celebration Spring Art Festival (April), and The Celebration 4th of July Festival. Visit www.celebrationfl.com to learn more about these and other great events. No detail was overlooked when this community was designed. The intention was to create a cozy, safe, hometown feel and this is exactly what you'll find. Even if this community is not somewhere you'd like to live, you'll still admire the amount of thought and planning that has gone into every aspect of Celebration. read more about Celebration