Everyone knows Orlando for its family fun filled attractions like Disney World but there is so much more you can do than spend all of your time at Disney. This past summer we spent 10 days in Florida and found all the fun things to do while on family vacation in Orlando. To help other families plan a fun filled family vacation in Orlando, I’ve created this guide to help navigate you through all the must sees and dos while visiting!
Family Vacation in Orlando, Florida
Where to Get a Rental Car in Orlando
Honestly, the best and easiest way to get a rental car is to grab one at the airport. We checked the pricing and car options for many of the cars before going with Enterprise. They provided us with a 2021 Chrysler Mini van for our family vacation in Orlando and it was nice. I’m not a minivan mom but I’m not going to lie, all that space made me question if a minivan should be in our future! The car was also sanitized and came with extra wipes if we wanted to wipe it down additionally too.
Where to Stay in Orlando
First things first, there are a ton of options on where to stay in Orlando and they can range from affordable to costly all on the same strip. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando – Lake Buena Vista which was out of the main areas but still super close to everything. We were surrounded by food options and only had to drive a few miles to reach everything we wanted to do.
What to Do in Orlando
There is literally so much to do so I’m going to touch on all of our favorite attractions while on family vacation in Orlando!
Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles (including white alligators!) some of which have appeared in movies, tv shows and commercials.
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot than a cool alligator show but man, did they knock our socks off! We got to meet Chester up close and personal and hear him growl. We got to hold tiny baby alligators to larger ‘toddler’ sized ones. We even got to hand feed dozens of full grow alligators as well!
Visiting Gatorland in Orlando ended up being my personal favorite attraction and it was THE coolest experience ever! 10 out of 10 recommend! 🐊
Nothing says summer like spending time in the water which is why we started off our vacation at Aquatica Orlando! Aquatica is one of a kind with water rides, slides, lazy rivers, a sandy beach front wave pool, and more! ☀️
We had such a blast discovering everything Aquatica had to offer and would love to visit again!
Okay, who knew that SeaWorld Orlando had rides as well as animals?! Not I, so it was a huge surprise to find out there was over 200 acres of sea themed rides!
We tackled them all from Sesame Street neighborhood to the Mako hypercoaster aka the tallest and fastest ride in Orlando!
In between all the rides we checked out the orca and dolphin shows which were fascinating! The whole park reminded me of why I used to want to be a marine biologist! I seriously can’t wait to visit again and learn even more about marine life. 🐬
I’m not quite sure how we made it to 3 boys and hadn’t visited LEGOLAND Florida until now. There was sooooo much to do that one day just wasn’t enough and we are planning another visit!
From the water park to the LEGO worlds to all of the 50+ rides that allowed all of the boys something to do, it’s hands down #BuiltForKids!
Have you been before?! What’s your favorite world?
So when the Medieval Times AZ opened here in Scottsdale I was so stoked to attend the grand opening! The boys loved it but B was too young to enjoy it so when we saw Medieval Times Florida we knew we HAD to check it out!
The boys had so much fun cheering for our knight(go green!) and eating with their hands! Evan was the only one who remembered our AZ visit so Max and B were enthralled the whole time! You all will have to check my upcoming reel/stories to see all their reactions!
If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area or here in the valley and want something thrilling and different to do, definitely look into Medieval Times for a knight(🤣) to remember!
Where to Eat in Orlando
Talk about a food scene! The Orlando food scene has so much to offer. Being so close to Disney World, you can visit all the shops and restaurants at Disney Springs and take advantage of all the fun treats without ever entering the park itself. There’s also LOTS of delicious options outside of the big attractions that give you a delicious bang for your buck. Here are a few of the places we stopped at while eating in Orlando.
Earl of Sandwich
Breaking in our family vacation in Orlando, we started with Earl of Sandwich aka the creator of #theworldsgreatesthotsandwich 🥪
There were so many options but I decided to go with the thanksgiving turkey sandwich. It was filled with turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce & mayonnaise and is was sooooo freaking good! 🤤
We also tried a wrap, salad, and a slice of rainbow cake and it was all yummy!
Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs
If you’ve never visited a Planet Hollywood before and you have a love for movies then you’re missing out! Seeing the restaurant filled with movie props and costumes is so cool! My favorite prop at this location was the titanic wood piece that Rose floated on while letting Jack freeze. Definitely worth checking out what a location near you has!
The Sugar Factory
If you have never visited The Sugar Factory you are missing out! We stopped by for a hosted visit and had a blast! From the pride burgers to the mountain climbing shakes, you can’t go wrong! 🙌🏻
The atmosphere was loud and every time there was a birthday guests, all the staff came out with flaming desserts and danced to perfect music selections. Also, the goblets of delicious drinks may seem expensive but I’m telling you they are worth every penny. They are filled to the brim and delicious. Oh, and did I mention you get to take it home if you can’t finish it?! 🍭
Chicken Guy at Disney Springs
We checked out Chicken Guy while in Orlando and it seriously hit the spot! The chicken was crispy yet soft and full of flavor, the fries were seasoned to perfection, we tried ALL 22 dipping sauces which were 🤌🏻
We also indulged in the Mac ‘n’ cheese was my favorite thing we ate. And just to make sure we were stuffed to the brim, we finished our meal with an Oreo shake. I would 10/10 recommend checking out while on family vacation in Orlando!
Living in Arizona as long as we have its no surprise that we have a strong love for Mexican food. The first night we arrived in Orlando for family vacation we looked for a nicely rated Mexican food option and stumbled upon El Patron.
They were a bit different from food here on the west coast but man, was it delicious! Every dish was fresh, the margaritas were good, queso was top notch, and service was amazing. We ended up eating here 2-3 times more before we left because we loved it so much!
Though technically not food, I am a huge Coke fan. Coke is typically my drink if choice so when we saw that Disney Springs had a Coca Cola World store, I had to check it out. I opted for a rainbow #pride drink complete with rainbow gummy bears on top! 🌈
As you can see, we enjoyed our family vacation in Orlando to the fullest. With so much to eat and see I don’t think you could go wrong planning a family vacation to Orlando!