Orlando Guide: Attractions, Restaurants & Unique Experiences

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Orlando: The City Beautiful!

While Orlando is home to our country’s most famous theme park, there’s also so much to see in The City Beautiful beyond the theme parks!

Did you know…

  • more than 40 restaurants in Orlando have been given the famed Michelin Guide honors!
  • there are more than 100 lakes in Orlando offering countless opportunities for fishing, boating, gator watching, and more!
  • Magic Kingdom wasn’t the first theme park in Orlando! (Can you guess the first one?
  • over 60 million tourists Visit Orlando each year!

Our friends at Visit Orlando (Orlando’s Only Official Website) offer a plethora of resources to help you plan the most epic visit to Orlando! 

Miami Mom Collective loves to provide resource guides to help busy moms take the guesswork out of planning! We’re excited to share our favorite hotels, restaurants, and “off the beaten path” activities and experiences in Orlando! 

Spring Break, summer vacation, Fourth of July, Fall Break, Thanksgiving or Christmas Holidays – or even a random Tuesday… it’s always a good time to plan a trip to Orlando. We hope this guide will help you discover some of Orlando’s hidden gems and create special memories with your family.

Planning to visit Disney World? We’ve got a Guide for that too! Check out our Disney Guide here. 

Where to Stay in Orlando

There are plenty of quality options of where to stay when you Visit Orlando. However, with more than 130,000 rooms available across 400+ hotels, it can feel overwhelming when you think about where to start!

We’re excited to share two of our favorite options. One is central to Disney and the other is easily accessible to Universal. Both of the great options below will provide a perfect backdrop for creating family memories in Orlando to last a lifetime!

Magic Village Trademark Collection by Wyndham has two lovely properties: Magic Village Views and Magic Village Yards both conveniently located to Disney World. In 2 minutes you can arrive at Animal Kingdom and in 15 minutes you can be at the Magic Kingdom!

Magic Village is a luxury community with 3 and 4 bedroom condos that are equipped with all the comforts of home including a washer and dryer, BBQ grill, and full kitchen. Some units even have a hot tub! Guests have access to concierge-style service and can request housekeeping. 

Our kids love the zero entry pool, sand volleyball court, giant chess and art installations at the Clubhouse! There is a restaurant on site and the resort is easily accessible to dozens of other restaurants, shops and attractions.

We’ve made many memories at Magic Village throughout the years on girls’ trips, family getaways, birthday celebrations and more! Our family feels right at home the moment we turn into the property. 

Tip: Be sure to take advantage of their Florida & Georgia Resident Rate, Military and Veteran Discounts, and deals for AAA Members!

3151 Pantanal Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34747

We recently discovered this brand new resort filled with its own vibrant fun! Hotel Landy offers on-site dining, an in-house Starbucks (Mama needs her coffee), a Candy Bar (tell or don’t tell the kids, your choice!) fitness center, an arcade, a pool and the cutest food truck and outdoor green space with games for the whole family! Our kids played bocce ball and corn hole for hours!

My daughter will forever remember the cookies and milk at turndown service for her birthday!

Location is everything and Hotel Landy delivers! There’s no need to waste precious time in traffic while you’re on vacation. Hotel Landy is easily accessible to Universal and the surrounding area and the hotel parking is a breeze. 

The spacious rooms accommodated our family well and we will certainly keep Hotel Landy on our list to visit again! 

7800 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL, US, 32819

Unique Experiences In Orlando

Dezerland Park in Orlando is the biggest indoor entertainment spot around where you can enjoy 20+ indoor attractions including: Karting Orlando, Bowling Orlando, Jump Start Trampoline Park, Laser Tag, Mini Golf, The Pinball Palace and more! Grab your gel blaster at Orlando’s exclusive black light combat arena and enjoy a family battle of Toxic Blast!

We loved the Orlando Auto Museum which boasts a $200 million collection of 2,000 iconic cars including The Batmobile!

Close out your visit with a stop in Arcade Orlando where you’ll find classic retro games and all the coolest new ones too! Grab an affordable rechargeable card and have a blast! There are games for kids of all ages!

There’s food options on site including pizza, ice cream and more so you can truly spend an entire day here.

My kids are still talking about Dezerland! We cannot wait to take them back! 

Tip: Check their website for special deals before you visit! They even offer 25% off on rainy days!

5250 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Disney Springs is filled with world class shopping, more than 60 dining options, and dozens of entertainment options!

Our family loves visiting the Carousel, riding the Train Express, snapping photos with the lego structures throughout Disney Springs, watching the Vintage Amphicar Tours, and enjoying the mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil! We always make a visit to The Disney Store for a fun souvenir and a photo with the princess statues out front.  

Our favorite dining option at Disney Springs is the newly opened Summer House on the Lake! Enjoy endless summer vibes as you step onto the al fresco patio dining space.

The California-inspired cuisine is fresh, filling, and delicious! Don’t forget to make a stop by their iconic Cookie Bar for fresh baked cookie flavors including: Vegan Snickerdoodle, Lemon, and Krispy Chocolate Chip!

1490 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL, US, 32830

The only limit at Cirque du Soleil is your own imagination! The Drawn to Life show is the first ever collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering and it does not disappoint!

Prepare to spend the entire show on the edge of your seat, mesmerized by the high-flying acrobatic stunts accompanied by live musicians and performers from 15 different countries. This family friendly show will be a memory you will never forget! 

Tip: Snag a booster seat for your little ones to help enhance their viewing experience! Note: if you have sensitive kids prepare them for the villain segment towards the end of the show which can feel a little scary. 

1478 Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States

Peppa Pig Theme Park, located just steps away from LEGOLAND® Florida, is the first ever, standalone theme park based on the lovable show! This all-new *inclusive* theme park features 6 themed playgrounds, an indoor cinema, a splash pad, waterslides, exciting rides, and daily live shows.

My kids loved stomping around in “muddy puddles,” visiting Peppa’s House, soaring on Daddy Pig’s roller coaster, and riding dinosaurs just like their favorite show characters. 

Peppa Pig Theme Park is a Certified Autism Center and goes above and beyond to serve families of children with sensory needs. There are sensory guides throughout the park providing insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each of the five senses. 

Tip: This park is ideal for preschoolers, but my 1st grader loved it too! If you’re feeling ambitious, start your day at Peppa Pig Theme Park and end the day with a walk over to Legoland to catch some rides or a visit to the water park. Check the website for ticket deals between the parks. 

Winter Haven, FL, US, 33884

With over 55 rides and attractions, LEGOLAND Florida is sure to entertain guests of all ages! 4-D movies, live water stunt shows, and character meet and greets create memorable experiences for the whole family.

There are ample opportunities for kids to create throughout the park with lego stations all around. You can even build with life-size floating legos at the water park! 

Our kids loved the DUPLO Valley area of the park where we rode tractors, got soaked on Battle of Bricksburg, and climbed through Benny’s Play Ship!

The whole family will enjoy the MINILAND USA featuring scenes from across the country made with 32 millions legos.

Tip: Download the app so you can check wait times, order food ahead, and plan you visit with ease! Also, purchase a $5 lego kit at the gift shop (or bring your own lego man) for trading with the staff around the park! 

1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884, United States

Let your inner artist come alive at Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall.

With over 2 dozen interactive art-based attractions there is plenty to keep the kids (and adults) entertained. Star in your very own coloring page, personalize your own crayon, snap a photo next to the world’s largest crayon, enjoy a live dance party, and create melted crayon masterpieces to take home.

There’s even a play space where you’re encouraged to color on the walls! The 70,000 square foot space has a dedicated toddler zone, playground, and gift shop. If you have young artists in your family this is a must-visit stop on your next trip to Orlando!

Tip: Most of the activities are included in the price of admission but a few are not including the arcade. 

8001 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, Florida 32809

Looking for a fun afternoon or evening out? Include ICON Park on your next Orlando itinerary! Test your fear of heights on the 20 minute ride upward 400 feet on The Orlando Eye and enjoy sweeping views of The City Beautiful.

Snap Insta-worthy photos at the mind-bending Museum of Illusions.

If you have kids, do not miss the SeaLife Aquarium complete with real mermaids swimming 360-degree ocean tunnel, the only one in Florida! There are opportunities to learn about underwater ecosystems and even pet an anemone. Our kids were surprised by the mermaid meet and greet at the end of our visit!

ICON Park also has more than a dozen great dining options with everything from BBQ to Italian, ice cream and coffee!

8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides may forever be one of our top Orlando memory-makers! The entire family had the time of our lives and the best part about the visit was not having fight any crowds and getting the joy of slowing down to enjoy the outdoors together.

Imagine the thrill of cruising through the Florida wetlands at up to 50 mph, while enjoying beautiful landscapes and wildlife. We spotted osprey, turtles, and alligators all in their natural habitat. What’s cooler than learning about alligators while getting to see them up close and personal? 

The ride was only half the experience! We arrived early before our scheduled airboat departure and enjoyed the on-site activities. We mined for Florida’s natural resources including rare gems, shark teeth, and arrowheads. Our kids entertained themselves with imaginary adventures on the airboat photo opp near the butterfly garden. We all satisfied our hunger by chomping on some gator bites which the kids will never forget! 

Tip: While it’s a bit of a drive from the center of Orlando, it’s 100% worth the trek! Treat yourself and buy the sweatshirt because if you plan a ride in the fall you may get chilly! 

2001 E Southport Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746

If the word “chocolate” is in the attraction name, it’s bound to be good! Our family learned a lot (and ate our weight in delicious chocolate) at Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour.

This family owned and operated museum of sorts provides a full education in the history and process of creating chocolate from bean to bar. 

Knowledgable tour guides lead guests through a 45 minute interactive experience where you get a first hand glimpse of all the in’s and out’s of chocolate production as well as a briefing in the history of chocolate. Did you know that the cacao seed was first discovered by the Olmecs? (Now you do!) 

After taste testing different kinds of chocolate our kids were able to create their own custom chocolate bars and we stocked up on fresh chocolate treats! If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, treat yourself to a visit to Chocolate Kingdom!

Tip: Factory Tours Begin at 12 pm and are scheduled every hour on the hour until 4 pm. Please call ahead for availability: 407-705-3475. 

9901 Hawaiian Ct, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

We popped in the Orlando Science Center on our way out of town to help the kids get the wiggles out before the drive back home and it did not disappoint!

Orlando Science Center has been bringing science to life for 60 years and more than 600,000 people visit annually!

The kids had a blast excavating dinosaur bones in the DinoDigs exhibit where you can also see yourself on the screen being chased by a T-Rex! The life size Dino skeletons are cool and make for a great photo opportunity with the kids.

KidsTown is an 11,000 square foot space built specifically for kids ages 0-7 to tinker, create, play, and explore! Water tables, building stations, art studio, theater, an indoor playground and story time room are all available in KidsTown.

The Orlando Science Center is also home to the world’s largest cinedome.

My kids were most impressed with the elevators which allowed for views of the tiny alligators and turtles on the 1st floor and the entrance which boasts what seemed like thousands of prisms twinkling in the sunlight! 

Tip: Grab a map when you arrive and check the activity times because you could easily miss some great exhibits trying to navigate the space without a map!

777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL, United States, Florida

  • Kai Asian Street Fare — Winter Park 
  • Kaya — Mills 50 
  • Knife & Spoon – Grande Lakes Orlando 
  • Maxine’s on Shine — Colonialtown 
  • Morimoto Asia — Disney Springs   
  • Pizza Bruno — Curry Ford West 
  • Prato — Winter Park 
  • Primo by Melissa Kelly — The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes 
  • Ravello — Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort 
  • Sear + Sea — JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa 
  • Se7en Bites — Milk District 
  • Selam Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine — SeaWorld Orlando Area 
  • Shin Jung — Mills 50 
  • Sticky Rice — Mills 50 
  • Swine & Sons — Winter Park 
  • The Pinery — Ivanhoe Village Main Street in Downtown Orlando 
  • The Polite Pig — Disney Springs 
  • Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood — Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort 
  • Tori Tori — Mills 50 
  • Twenty Pho Hour — International Drive Area 
  • YH Seafood Clubhouse — International Drive Area 

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