Florida Travel Blog - Destinations in Florida

Florida Travel Blog 

Travel destinations, beaches and attractions and things to do in Florida. Documented by RESIDENTS of Florida.

Over 30 Top Family Resorts in Orlando Florida

Best Orlando Family Resorts

Orlando is renowned for its abundance of resorts primarily due to its status as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, particularly for its theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. 

These theme parks attract millions of visitors each year, creating a high demand for family resorts in Orlando Florida. Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts.

Additionally, Orlando’s favorable climate, with year-round sunshine and mild temperatures, makes it an attractive destination for travelers seeking leisure and relaxation beyond theme park visits.

The presence of numerous family resorts in Orlando is also a result of strategic planning and investment by hospitality companies aiming to capitalize on the city’s tourism industry.

Overall, Orlando’s reputation as a hub for resorts is rooted in its combination of world-class theme parks, favorable climate, and strategic positioning within Florida’s tourism landscape.

As a result, the city continues to attract visitors from around the globe seeking memorable and immersive vacation experiences at its diverse array of resorts.

family resorts in orlando florida - Magic Kingdom
These crowds are indicative of the millions of people who come to Orlando to visit theme parks like the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.

The Theme Park Resorts

As noted, theme parks bring millions of people to Orlando, they also have some creative and attractive resorts created for their visitors. Below we start our list of the best theme park resorts. We follow with resorts outside the boundaries of the theme parks. 

Disney World Resorts and Hotels

Walt Disney World Resort offers a variety of hotels to choose from, catering to different budgets and interests. They can be broadly categorized into three tiers: Basic, Moderate, and Deluxe.

  • Basic Disney Resorts

These are the most budget-friendly options, offering basic amenities and rooms that are typically smaller than other tiers. They’re great for those who plan on spending most of their time at the parks and want a clean, comfortable place to sleep at night. Basic Resorts include:

family resorts in orlando disney world
These two characters represent the beginning of the growth of a park, a city, a state, and a magical experience for millions of children.
  • Theme Style Disney Resorts

These resorts offer a step up in theming and amenities compared to Basic Resorts. They typically have larger rooms, more dining options, and sometimes unique features like pool slides or character dining experiences. Theme Style Resorts include:

orlando family resorts at disney world - Pop Centuery Resort
One of Disney World’s more budget-friendly resorts is Pop Century.
  • Luxury Disney Resorts

 These are the top-of-the-line resorts at Walt Disney World, offering the most luxurious accommodations and amenities. They typically have large, themed rooms, multiple pools, signature restaurants, and special benefits like extended theme park hours or private fireworks viewing. Deluxe Resorts include:

    • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Guests can see African animals from their balconies at this resort.
    • Disney’s Beach Club Resort – A New England-themed resort located on the shores of Disney’s BoardWalk. The Boardwalk is a fun place we enjoy at night.
    • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – A Coney Island-themed resort with a lively boardwalk atmosphere.
    • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – A futuristic-themed resort located near Magic Kingdom. Our stay at the Contemporary with kids several years ago was a highlight of our children’s growing up with Disney characters.
    • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – A Victorian-themed resort with a luxurious spa and beautiful gardens.
    • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – A South Pacific-themed resort with a beachfront location.
    • Disney’s Riviera Resort – A European-themed resort with stunning views of Disney Skyliner.
    • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – A rustic, nature-themed resort with a beautiful lodge and campfire activities.
    • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – A New England-
      best family resorts in Orlando Florida - monorail
      One benefit, although costly, of staying in some of the better resorts at Disney World is transportation to the parks from the resort.
      themed resort located on the shores of Disney’s BoardWalk.
    • There are also other Disney Vacation Club resorts that can be rented by points or booked through a travel agent.
    • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin – These two hotels are located on the same property and are not technically owned by Disney, but they offer many of the same benefits as Disney Deluxe Resorts. We have stayed is these hotels and found them to be convenient and lower room rates than the other Disney resorts in this category.

We can easily include all of the Disney Resorts in the Top Family Resorts in Orlando. Disney’s foundation is based on the family and entertainment across the spectrum of the entire family unit.

The Universal Themed Resorts

Universal Orlando Resort owns and operates several on-site hotels, each offering its own unique theme, amenities, and benefits for guests visiting the Universal theme parks. These hotels cater to a range of preferences and budgets, providing convenient accommodations for guests looking to immerse themselves in the Universal Orlando experience.

things you need when flying

However, we cannot suggest that all of their resorts qualify for the top family resorts in Orlando Florida because the themes are not necessarily inspired for children.

Here is a list of the resorts operated by Universal.

  1. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: Inspired by the charming seaside village of Portofino, Italy.
  1. Hard Rock Hotel: Designed with a rock ‘n’ roll theme, this vibrant hotel caters to music enthusiasts with stylish accommodations.
  1. Loews Royal Pacific Resort: Transporting guests to the South Pacific, this tropical-themed resort offers lush landscaping, serene lagoons, and Polynesian-inspired decor.
  1. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Inspired by the retro-chic style of the 1950s and 60s, this family-friendly resort offers affordable accommodations with a nostalgic flair. Guests can enjoy two large pools, a lazy river, a bowling alley, and a variety of dining options, including a classic diner and a food court. We consider this as the best of the family resorts in Orlando by Universal.
  1. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites*: Part of Universal’s Value category, this beach-themed resort offers affordable accommodations with a relaxed surf vibe.

These resorts offer a variety of amenities, including early park admission to select Universal Orlando theme parks, complimentary transportation to the parks, and other exclusive benefits to enhance the guest experience during their stay.

family resorts in Orlando Florida - Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the Universal Studio parks has been extremely successful.

The Problem with Disney and Universal Resorts

While staying at Disney or Universal Resorts offers numerous benefits and conveniences, there are several reasons why many people may choose not to stay at these properties and choose some of the top family resorts in Orlando. These reasons include:

  1. Cost: Disney and Universal resorts tend to be more expensive compared to off-site accommodations in the surrounding area. Some travelers may prefer to allocate their budget towards other aspects of their vacation, such as dining, souvenirs, or additional experiences near Orlando.
  1. Limited Flexibility: Guests staying at Disney or Universal on-site resorts may feel restricted by the theme park-centric nature of these properties, as they are often designed to keep guests immersed in the theme park experience. Some travelers may prefer the flexibility of off-site accommodations, which allow them to explore other attractions, dine at different restaurants, and experience local culture beyond the theme parks.
  1. Crowds and Noise: Disney and Universal resorts can be busy and bustling, especially during peak travel seasons. Some guests may prefer a quieter and more secluded environment away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, where they can relax and unwind without the crowds and noise.
    best luxury resorts in Orlando for families
    The Disney World Grand Floridian is one of the best resorts in Florida. During season it will cost $2000 per night to stay there. Other Disney resorts may be as low as $650 per night, but offsite resorts can be much less.
  1. Lack of Privacy: With so many guests staying on-site, Disney and Universal resorts can sometimes feel crowded and congested, particularly in common areas such as pools, restaurants, and transportation hubs. Some travelers may prefer the privacy and seclusion of off-site accommodations, where they can retreat to a quieter environment after a day of exploring the theme parks.
  1. Preference for Variety: While Disney and Universal resorts offer a wide range of amenities and activities, some guests may prefer the variety and diversity of options available off-site. From boutique hotels and vacation rentals to budget-friendly motels and luxury resorts, off-site accommodations offer a range of choices to suit different preferences and budgets.

The decision to stay at Disney or Universal resorts depends on individual preferences, family needs, priorities, and budget considerations. While these resorts offer many benefits for guests seeking an inclusive theme park experience, some travelers may find that off-site accommodations better suit their needs, preferences and desire to see other parts of Florida.

The Top Family Resorts in Orlando Outside of Theme Parks

We have established that both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios have some great resorts in Orlando, yet there are other resorts with equal if not more amenities, attractions and services than the theme park resorts.

Top Family Resorts With a Waterpark

Orlando World Center by Marriott

In our view, one of the best and most reliable water park resorts in Orlando – near Walt Disney World. Water slides, lazy river, kid-friendly and a quality staff. More pictures and rates.

Coco Key Water Resort

Budget-friendly, covered water park and shuttle to theme parks. Near all the action on International Drive. Built for kids of all ages! More pictures and rates.

The Grove Resort & Water Park

One of the cool water park resorts in Orlando for families. Just 6 miles from Disney – suites have washer dryer and living room. Trip Advisor Best of the Best family resorts in Orlando. More pictures and rates.

Holiday Inn Resort Suites & Water Park

One of the closest resorts to Disney World – Kids love it – discounts for Florida resident and AAA. All suite rooms good for large family and many dining options. More pictures and rates.


Flamingo Waterpark Resort

Flamingo Waterpark & Resort can meet any budget issues you have. Rooms and suites with a waterpark just outside your door. More pictures and rates.


Encore Resort at Reunion

Our choice for the best family resort in Orlando. $-13 bedroom homes keeping everyone together – great for large families – 10 acre water park included. More pictures and rates.

Best Family Resorts in Orlando Without Waterpark

Evermore Resort

Unique concept with tons of water activities in a large lagoon. Villas, suites and rooms at the Conrad Hotel. Can accommodate large families or meetings. More pictures and room rates here.

Wyndam Grand Bonnet Creek

Excellent resort near Walt Disney world with a little more luxury and a huge pool. Amenities include a spa and transportation to the theme parks. Pictures and rates are here.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Beautiful Orlando Resort for families with lots to do and luxurious accommodations. If your family likes golf, this is the place, but you also have some great water features. More pictures and rates.

Gaylord Palms Resort

Perhaps the best resort in the area. Our choice for style and luxury as the best family resort in Orlando. The atrium is magnificent and the rooms nicely done. Great for conventions also. More pictures and rates.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Theme Park Resorts?

The best time to visit the theme park resorts in Orlando depends on your priorities. Many people say any time is the best time!

Here’s a breakdown of the seasons to help you decide:

For the lowest crowds:

  • Late winter (between January 2nd and Presidents’ Day weekend in mid-February): This is typically the least crowded time to visit Orlando’s theme parks. The weather is usually pleasant, although there can be occasional chilly days. 
  • Late spring (late April through mid-May): This is another shoulder season with smaller crowds. The weather is usually warm and sunny, but not oppressively hot.
  • Early fall (September and early October): The crowds start to pick up again after Labor Day, but September and early October are still good options for avoiding the peak crowds of summer. The weather is usually hot and humid, but there’s a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
orlando family resorts sea world
SeaWorld is part of the “big 3” draws to Orlando. While not the size of Disney World or Universal, SeaWorld is still a major tourist attraction.

For the best weather:

  • Spring (March to May): Spring offers pleasant weather with warm days and cool nights. However, this is also a busy time for tourism, so expect higher crowds and prices.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is another great time to visit Orlando in terms of weather. The temperatures start to cool down after the summer heat, and there’s less rain than in the spring.

For special events:

  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak season for tourism in Orlando, so expect the biggest crowds and the highest prices. However, it’s also the time for some of the parks’ most popular events, such as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the Universal Orlando Summer Horror Nights
  • Halloween season (September and October): The Halloween season is a popular time to visit Orlando, as the theme parks are decorated for Halloween and offer special events such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.
  • Christmas season (November to December): The Christmas season is another magical time to visit Orlando, as the theme parks are transformed into winter wonderlands. There are special events, shows, and decorations throughout the parks.

Here are some additional factors to consider when planning your trip:

  • School holidays: If you’re traveling with children, be aware of school holidays, as these are the busiest times to visit Orlando.
  • Hurricane season: Hurricane season in Florida runs from June to November. However, the Orlando area is
    orlando family resorts
    Orlando family resorts still bring a lot of smiles to a lot of faces. Start your planning now.
    not directly on the coast, so the risk of hurricanes is relatively low.
  • Special offers: Many theme park resorts offer discounts and special packages throughout the year. Be sure to check the websites of the resorts you’re interested in for deals.

Final Thoughts on Orlando Family Resorts

Orlando boasts a diverse selection of family resorts that cater to every budget and style, ranging from upscale and luxurious properties to budget-friendly options. Many of these resorts offer world-class amenities such as pools, spas, golf courses, and dining options, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay for guests.

Orlando is a paradise for families, with an abundance of attractions and activities geared towards children and families. In addition to the theme parks, families can enjoy attractions such as water parks, zoos, aquariums, mini-golf courses, and interactive museums, ensuring endless entertainment and excitement for everyone regardless of age.

Orlando’s central location in Florida makes it an ideal base for exploring other attractions and destinations in the Sunshine State. From the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to the natural beauty of state parks and wildlife preserves, Orlando’s proximity to a variety of attractions and activities ensures there’s always something new to discover.

Overall, visiting family resorts in Orlando Florida offers a unique and unforgettable vacation experience, with something to appeal to every family, whether you’re seeking thrills and excitement, relaxation and indulgence, or quality time with loved ones and friends.

Get Your Orlando Trip Planning Checklist!

Advertisements
Cruise Critic See the world for less Start saving your ideas
Florida Travel Blog
Join our Mailing list!

Get all our latest posts and our monthly Florida Travel Newsletter with the latest posts and Florida Travel News.