Theme park accommodations for families
By Sonia Esther Soltani
Busch Gardens in Tampa (Courtesy Busch Gardens)
There’s no better way to treat the whole family than a vacation to a theme park that offers a massive array of exciting rides, fun activities, and encounters with some of the kids’ favorite characters. With so much to do at the top family-friendly theme parks in Florida you’ll certainly want to stay longer than just one day. That’s when staying at on-site properties or partner hotels comes in handy!
Disney World On-Site Hotels
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Courtesy Disney)
There are so many reasons to stay on-site when you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort with your kids. First of all, you’re in complete immersion into the magical atmosphere the park creates for its visitors. Then you save a lot of valuable time and money in transportation as the hotels have complimentary shuttle for their guests. It means more time to enjoy the park’s fabulous attractions. Transport from Orlando International Airport is also included, making it a breeze for the family to reach the accommodation. And because children can never have enough of Disney entertainment, there’s the opportunity to access the parks during extended hours. Staying in one of the fantastic Disney Resort Hotels, like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, will also give you the opportunity to enjoy swimming pools with slides and kid-friendly programs after your day at the park. If that’s not enough to convince you, then maybe Disney’s current accommodations discount might!
Universal Orlando Hotels
Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Courtesy Loews)
Here again, staying on-site offers so many advantages to families who can choose between two categories of hotels, either moderate such as the Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort or more luxurious like the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. All offer complimentary shuttle services and family-friendly amenities. Take the Cabana Bay Beach Resort with its two large swimming pools, lazy river and bowling alley for instance, it’s an ideal base for your vacation in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You and your kids will get thrilled on the park’s multi-dimensional ride, 3D attractions and enchanting Hogwarts Express. And with Universal often offering admission and accommodation vacation packages like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Exclusive Vacation Package, families are sure to find big savings during their visit.
Saddlebrook Resort (Courtesy Hilton)
Like many of Florida’s major theme parks, Busch Gardens is one that you’d have to spend a few days in to fully experience. The 300-acre Tampa Bay park is home to over 12,000 animals, ensuring kids have a mesmerizing experience, and besides the vast array of fauna and flora and safari opportunities, it also features some seriously thrilling rides such as Falcon’s Fury that stands at 335 feet making it the tallest free standing drop tower in North America and the slightly more sedate but no less exciting Cheetah Hunt, a triple launch coaster that simulates the run of a cheetah and affords great views over the scenery. Staying at one of Busch Gardens’ hotel partners like Saddlebrook Resort and Comfort Suites Tampa Fairgrounds might win you some exciting freebies depending on the park’s current vacation offers. Free nights when you book a specific number of nights, free parking, free transportation, and multiple-day admissions are only some of the many things you can score! You’d also have access to discounts on food and merchandise, giving parents plenty of money-saving opportunities during the visit.
(MORE: On the budget? Find more money-saving deals for your next family getaway.)
Hilton Orlando (Courtesy Hilton)
Stay at a SeaWorld partner hotel like Hilton Orlando and Orlando World Center Marriott and benefit from many perks, depending on the packages they offer like their Kids Free Vacation Package. For families that wish to stay five or more nights, these partner hotels offer your fifth night for free and you might even receive an automatic upgrade to enable unlimited visits for the whole duration of your stay. And if that weren’t enough to help you create a great family vacation, they also add free or discounted front-of-the-line access for attractions, early entry on select days, discounts on in-park dining and stores, reserved seats at the park’s most popular shows, and a lovely personalized cup to take back home into the mix to guarantee savings. So if your kids dream of getting familiar with dolphins, arctic animals and other mammals, take them to SeaWorld as a treat they will be raving about for a long time.