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Disney's Art of Animation Resort

1850 Century Drive, Bay Lake, Florida

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)

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Visited: 2013-04-01 | Submitted: 2013-04-08 16:31:49.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

location, location, location

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You are paying for location and Disney flavor. The decor is precious, but the facilities are not top of the line (cheap linens and toilet paper, full beds instead of queen, etc.). The kids will love it, and you don't have to drive or pay for parking. Buses throughout the complex were readily available in under 20 minutes, except for Magic Kingdom, which always seemed to take longer, despite hour of day.

Tips for Families

Bring a stroller, even for older children. Buying one at a consignment sale (I got a $20 sit and stand for my 5 and 6 year olds) is cheaper than renting, and even airlines will check them free at the gate. Even the hotel is sprawling, and the children will be exhausted after a day of Disney parks. If you wish to swim, check out the 3 pools. Nemo is biggest and noisiest, but the Cars pool is perfect if you have older members or infants -- they can rest in the shade inside a Cozy Cone!

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Discovery Place

301 N Tryon St, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Average user rating (2 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2012-11-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-20 15:38:29.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Discover fun at Discovery Place

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Discovery Place offers hands on science fun and learning for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. Imax movies are available for an additional fee, but two 3D features are included with regular admission. There is a great room for preschoolers, who may be young for some of the other exhibits.

Tips for Families

Bring dry clothes for toddlers and preschoolers -- the water table is great fun, but aprons don't always cover entirely! Plan for meeting up or staying together -- there's so much to see and do, children and grownups can easily wander. When you're done, wander down 7th street to Imaginon, the amazing children's library and theatre. On summer days, you might head down Tryon to The Green for a picnic (restaurants are available, too) and splashing in the fish fountain (clean bathrooms are available for changing -- you'll need it!).

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The Schiele Museum

1500 E Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, North Carolina

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2013-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-20 15:15:00.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Super science and history at the Schiele

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The Schiele is a fabulous, family-friendly museum of science and natural history. The permanent exhibits are primarily of mounted animals, geology, and people groups, but the temporary exhibits (usually for a few months) are quite good. Don't miss the hands-on children's room or the planetarium. Also, there is a living history farm, with a trail to Catawba and stone age villages. Pack a picnic and enjoy a good hike. Ice cream is very reasonably priced in the gift shop for a post-visit treat!

Tips for Families

Check the website for reenactors -- they are great! If your child doesn't like loud noises, check upon farm area entry to see if they will be using muskets. If they are, they'll warn you of the time.

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Carowinds

14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Average user rating (5 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2012-10-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-20 15:00:22.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Carowinds rocks

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We love Carowinds! There are rides for everyone in the family, and fun shows to watch. Food is available for purchase, but you can also bring a picnic and eat adjacent to the parking lot. During October, be forewarned that some of the Scarowinds decor is out during the day and can be quite gruesome.

Tips for Families

Measure at the front gate -- arm bands make getting on rides easier (they don't count for water rides, where they measure with shoes off).

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