Planning the perfect family vacation in Florida is always fraught with worry: Have I picked the right time of year? What will the weather be like in Orlando? Will the kids like the vacation home rental I have chosen? Vacationing in the Orlando area more or less guarantees a happy family. The weather is glorious for the majority of the year, the parks are open 365 days** and with Walt Disney World®, Universal Orlando Resort® and SeaWorld® you KNOW that the kids will be happy.
However, ensuring you get the right mix of park to relaxation time can be tricky. Here are some things that might help with planning your perfect family holiday in Orlando.
If you are vacationing with children the chances are that you are travelling in the school holidays, which means it is high season and, whilst there isn’t a lot you can do about crowded parks, you can pick more favorable days to visit them. Tuesday through Thursday are generally quieter than the rest of the week and if you aim to get there as early as possible, you stand a chance of being on the rides before everyone else.
Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets, thus avoiding having to wait in line at Guest Relations. Multi-day passes and Flex tickets save time and money. Try to do the popular rides first and head directly to the back of the park, saving the peak hours for dining or seeing shows. Likewise, late in the afternoon can be a less busy time for the popular rides, so if you missed something, hang on and do it at the end of the day.
Walt Disney World® have Fastpass machines outside some of their best rides. These passes are available free of charge to every guest and set an appointed time range for you to return to an attraction via shorter Fastpass lines. Universal Orlando Resort® has a similar system, only there is an additional charge. Their system offers “express” lines for their popular rides and you don’t have to arrive within a particular time frame.
Staying Comfortable and Safe
Walking round the parks in the Florida sunshine can be exhausting, however there are things you can do to ensure that you are set up for the day properly. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Quick dry materials are excellent if you plan on riding the exciting water rides. Dress small children in swimsuits under their clothing, that way not only will they not worry about getting wet on the rides, they can enjoy the wet play areas too. Try not to take a handbag (purse); instead choose a lightweight backpack to carry valuables in. Lockers are available in all parks, free of charge. Don’t forget the sunscreen! The Florida sun is unforgiving and sunburn can occur within minutes.
Parks and Families
Not all children are happy to stroll along at their parents’ side. Some like to race ahead or wander off, checking out interesting sights or attractions. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to pin a sticker with your information and cell number on your child’s back, just in case they get lost. Always discuss what will happen in the event someone gets lost and designate a meet up area that is easily recognized. Also explain to your children that if they cannot find you, to immediately contact one of the park operatives wearing a badge.
It is simply not possible to complete any one Orlando theme park in a single day, so plan rest breaks, water breaks and aim to come back another day. Refreshed children and adults enjoy themselves much more than tired, aggravated ones and remember, NEVER push your kids to do anything they are not familiar/comfortable with. Let them find their own pace. To them; everything is new and wonderful.
All Florida parks have a stroller rental system. Single and double strollers are available for little ones. Even if your child is slightly older and “doesn’t need a stroller” it might be a good idea to rent one anyway, just in case they need a nap. It is quite inexpensive to rent a stroller and not only will your child have somewhere to rest, they have cup holders and a carry tray so you don’t have to carry bags or drinks around the park.
Walt Disney World®, SeaWorld® and Universal Orlando Resort® offer “child swap” on fast rides. This is where you ride while your partner stays with your child, then you either take their place or go through the ‘Fastpass’ line in order to get on the ride quicker. Definitely worth utilizing.
Florida Rental Villas
If you haven’t already chosen your vacation rental, availability is filling up fast for the peak months, so be sure to book your preferred home as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. We have townhomes, condos, and pool homes to meet every Orlando traveler’s needs. Take a look at our variety of beautiful homes and remember our team is happy to answer any questions you may have, so drop them a line or give them a call.
** With some exceptions.
local call rate: 0845 154 8669
(Lines open 1pm till 10pm UK time)