Family holidays in Orlando, FloridaOrlando: where dreams come true
Orlando, Florida is synonymous with Disney World, renowned as one of the world’s ultimate family holiday destinations. It’s difficult to argue with searing sunshine and jaw-dropping theme parks, but there’s a lot more to Orlando than Mickey Mouse. While thrill-seekers flock to the city to test their nerve, even vacationers who don’t enjoy heights or insane speed can savour a memorable holiday in one of America’s most pleasant states. From first-rate dinner theatres to world-class golf resorts, as well as renowned shopping districts and a range of outdoor hotspots, there’s something for all the family in Orlando, Florida.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when pondering a family trip to Orlando. The first impulse might be to book into the Walt Disney World Resort, but a better option could be to rent Orlando properties in one of the outlying boroughs. By doing so, you can explore the delights Orlando has to offer without being confronted by a gaggle of excitable children at every turn! When booking with HomeAway Holiday Rentals, you can rest assured that your property will be clean, spacious and well-equipped. Some apartments are even equipped with pools, games rooms and home cinemas. Whether you choose to set up base in the Davenport area, in Kissimmee or in Haines City, here’s a rundown of the top attractions in Orlando, Florida.
Tips for great family breaks in Orlando, Florida
We might as well start with Disney World; a place as integral to Orlando as the Empire State Building is to New York. Home to four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses and 24 themed resorts, Disney World holds more than enough wonders to entertain a family for a fortnight. The kids will step into a fantasy when they set eyes on Cinderella Castle or the exotic wildlife at Animal Kingdom, while parents will be spoiled for choice by a myriad of on-site restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. Disney World even boasts an annual food and wine festival, if you fancy planning your break around this event.
Those on a mission to spend will find Orlando to be equipped with a whole host of designer stores. Whether you’re after Gucci bags, Tiffany diamonds or humbler wares, you’re unlikely to return to your apartment empty-handed after treading sidewalks that are flanked by 52 million square feet of retail space. The kids will enjoy kitting themselves out in the latest clothing from big brands that have yet to hit the market back home. Of Orlando’s nine world-class malls, the upscale Mall at Millenia is certainly worth a visit. Aside from fashion, you’ll also find plenty of shops selling antiques, perfumes and pretty much everything else downtown.
From award-winning performing arts, diverse celebrations and international art exhibits, Orlando certainly knows how to cater for those with a taste for culture. The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts showcases vaunted works by African artists, while both the Orlando Ballet and Orlando Opera are excellent choices for a fine evening out. Aside from the year-round staples, the festival season brings an element of glamour, with the Florida Film Festival arguably the most star-studded. The Orlando International Fringe Festival also hosts some of the best theatre productions in the world, including a selection of kids shows that will keep the younger ones satisfied.
Kennedy Space Centre
No trip to Orlando would be complete without a day at the Kennedy Space Centre. Kids and adults alike will be enthralled as they explore its launch headquarters and size up its space suits! There’s also the chance to experience interactive simulators, take in live shows and snap pictures of massive moon rockets and space probes. As part of the dining options, you can choose to grab a bite while posing questions to a veteran NASA astronaut! Why not check out the Space Centre’s events calendar in advance to make the most of your visit?
Yes, it’s another theme park – but you can’t talk about Orlando without mentioning Universal Studios. Film buffs will be in their element, while the kids can inhabit the world of their favourite cartoon and comic book characters. The park is split into Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, with the latter’s rides including sense-altering attractions such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the famous Jurassic Park River Adventure. Universal Studios, meanwhile, lets you dive into the big screen and get lost among an array of rides, shows, film sets and food stands, including Shrek 4-D, Alien Attack and Revenge of the Mummy. Eat, drink, shop and explore everything on offer in the entertainment capital of Orlando.