How to Have a Great Family Vacation in Orlando

There's so much more to do in Central Florida than just Disney World.

Volcano Bay
If you’re a fan of water parks, you’re in luck. Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay opens May 25. Universal Studios Orlando

Theme Park Escapades

We can’t forget about Walt Disney World and the many other theme parks that inhabit the Orlando area — besides, what thrill seeker in your family would want to miss their favorite rides? (Don’t skip Epcot’s Soarin’, a flight simulation ride that recently debuted a new global “journey” for its die-hard fans.) If you want to try something new with the family, try one of Orlando’s various water parks like Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, or SeaWorld and Discovery Cove. (Universal’s Volcano Bay water park is also set to open on May 25.) If you consider yourself a theme park veteran, a water park is a great option that will please speed seekers where they can enjoy endless water attractions and even shark snorkeling! For animal lovers in the family, Discovery Cove is quite the tropical oasis complete with activities like swimming with dolphins, exotic bird feeding and sea otter adventures. Movie fans should also celebrate knowing that Pandora: The World of Avatar is set to open in Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27.

Pandora: The World of Avatar
When Pandora: The World of Avatar opens later this year in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one of the main attractions will be the Na’vi River Journey, where guests set out in canoes and venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. Walt Disney World

Vacation Outside the Box

When searching for a hotel, space is essential for families. You wouldn’t live in a 12’x12′ box, so why vacation in one!? That’s why TripBeat, Endless Vacation is the perfect solution for families looking for roomier options. It’s as easy and convenient to search for, view availability, and book resort rentals as typical hotel accommodations online with the added home-like conveniences in most of their properties. TripBeat, Endless Vacation selection of Orlando properties include many options close to the theme parks and feature great amenities like outdoor pools, lazy rivers and multiple restaurants at select resorts. Although vacationing outside the box is recommended — don’t vacation outside of your budget! TripBeat, Endless Vacation provides a full-service experience along with value packages and low prices that fit any budget.

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There’s always something for the whole family to enjoy around the lakeside promenade at Celebration Town Center. Celebration Town Center

Explore the Unknown

One of our favorite vacation tips is to make sure to set aside time for local exploration. Although we love all of Orlando’s great theme parks and entertainment options, there are also areas of Orlando that we just can’t keep a secret! Celebration, located in Kissimmee, is just minutes from the parks and is a unique walking district that harkens classic Americana. Developed by Walt Disney World as a place for residents to live, work and play, its main Town Center is home to frequent family events, great dining options and a movie theater that visitors can enjoy too. A few short minutes from Celebration, pay a visit to Old Town where visitors are transported back in time with historical architecture and distinctive storefronts. Catch the famous Classic Car show on a Saturday night, then stroll down the beautiful, tree-lined streets and discover unique shopping, restaurants and plenty of family friendly amusements. If you’re looking to escape the theme park area, head out to Winter Park, with its quaint cobblestone streets and many festivals and markets. Immerse the family in a little historical culture by visiting the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum and then dine al fresco among Winter Park’s lush scenery.

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4Rivers Smokehouse

Since the restaurant opened in late 2009, meat lovers have formed a near-continuous line out the door eager to devour meats fresh from the smoker. Larry Nighswander

Despite being known for its magical theme parks at Walt Disney World, there is more than meets the eye to Orlando and Central Florida when it comes to planning your next family adventure. Here are just a few of the countless options that Orlando has to offer, along with our top picks to satisfy the explorers and thrill seekers of the family.

Adventures in Food

Orlando as a foodie town? Believe it. Though many guests to Central Florida first encounter the slew of national chain restaurants on International Drive, there are plenty of local hot spots you shouldn’t miss. For authentic, sticky-fingers barbecue, visit 4 Rivers Smokehouse or try one of Graffiti Junktion‘s outrageous burgers. If gastropubs are your thing, head just north of Orlando to Winter Park, home of the much-beloved Ravenous Pig, where you can feast on wild boar chops, duck confit or shrimp and grits. Love seafood? The nearby Winter Park Fish Co. is a casual port of call that serves up the freshest catches in creative dishes. If you’re staying in a resort that includes a kitchen, why not visit one of Orlando’s many farmers’ markets and pick up fresh Florida strawberries and citrus fruit to include with your breakfast? TripBeat, Endless Vacation is a great option when looking for resort-style accommodations for your entire family. Almost all of their properties and resorts include multiple bedroom options, kitchens and other home-like conveniences at affordable prices that make traveling with family feel sensible and spacious!

Whichever Orlando adventure you choose, we’re certain that there is something for everyone. Ready to start planning your getaway? Visit TripBeat, Endless Vacation for an array of resort-style accommodations perfect for your next adventure. Plus, for a limited time only, Florida Travel + Life visitors save $75†* when booking their 7-night vacations! Hurry, this offer won’t last long!

† Must book by April 12, 2017 11:59 PM EST, and travel by October 1, 2017.
*Destinations and travel times are subject to availability and confirmed on a first come, first served basis. Price includes only accommodations and specifically excludes travel costs and other expenses that may be incurred. Price does not include tax. Promotional discounts may not apply to all properties. Offer may not be combined with any other promotion, discount, or coupon. All-inclusive resorts may charge a mandatory all-inclusive fee. To book travel, you must register and create an account at Free Membership is based on eligibility. Other restrictions may apply. Offer void where prohibited by law. All prices are based in U.S. dollars (USD).

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