Orlando hotels are the gateway to the ultimate family holiday, where there's a little magic for everyone...
No trip would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort, consisting of four different theme parks. Magic Kingdom Park is where you can experience firework displays, pirate encounters, meet your favourite Disney characters or tour Cinderella's palace. There's also the new Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom Park, which nearly doubles its size. Fantasyland includes a storybook circus, inspired by Disney's Dumbo, where visitors can see astonishing stunts, majestic animals and spectacular entertainment in the big top tents. There's also the Enchanted Forest.
Epcot is another part of the resort. Its nightly sound and light show depicts the history of the earth and its people and there are countless amazing theme park rides. Then there's Disney's Hollywood studios, where visitors can enjoy high-speed rides, meet celebrities, get autographs and enjoy live performances. Disney's Animal Kingdom is the final and largest of the four theme parks, where embarking on an African trek and encountering crocodiles, hippos and other exotic animals is just one of the activities on offer. There are also two water parks in the resort - Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
Orlando isn't known as the world's theme-park capital for nothing. As well as the Walt Disney World Resort, there is also the Universal Studios resort. This includes two different theme parks and a water park, including the Universal Islands of Adventure, which features the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here visitors can enjoy high-speed roller coasters with characters from the books, sample some authentic Harry Potter delicacies such as butter beer and purchase their very own broomsticks.
Then there's the Universal Studios theme park. It's a real working film and TV production facility where you can enjoy an array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions. To cool down after all the excitement of the theme parks, there's the Wet and Wild water park, where some of the most famous rides are the Disco H20, Brain Wash and the Bubba Tub.
To get the most out of your trip, the best time to visit the Universal Studios resort is when one of the many events is taking place. In the summer there are several open-air concerts featuring some of the biggest names in music, as well as Florida's biggest Christian music festival. In the spring is Mardi Gras, with concerts, a parade and authentic Cajun food. Autumn sees visitors enjoying Halloween horror nights, while Christmas includes the Macy's holiday parade and a wintry wonderland complete with the Grinch.
For those with slightly younger families, LEGOLAND is a great day out. With eleven different sections, including Pirate's Cove and Lego City, you're sure to have an action-packed day. Cool off later on in the LEGOLAND water park, where there is a variety of rides, a surf shop and the beach-n-brick grill.
SeaWorld is also one of Orlando's famous theme parks, with underwater rides, shows and exhibits. There are also seasonal events at Halloween, Christmas and New Year.
International Drive is a great base for those wanting to visit SeaWorld, as it's very close by. It's also ideal for those who want to visit Florida's many shopping malls and outlets, Kennedy Space Centre or other areas of Florida such as Miami and the Keys.
Choose Orlando hotels among the theme parks, at Disney, on buzzing International Drive, or go for a quieter stay nearby..
There are numerous resort hotels, ranging from budget to deluxe. You can also hire a themed resort villa, such as an Animal Kingdom villa, or something contemporary at the Bay Lake Tower. For the more adventurous, you can even go camping at the resort's original Fort Wilderness, which has internet access and cable television for those who can't live without their home comforts.
There are plenty of hotels in Orlando, of all types. You will find many major hotel chains are represented in the city. Be sure to check the map before booking to ensure you're in the right location for your needs.
International Drive has hundreds of Orlando hotels as well as cinema complexes and more than 150 restaurants.
You could stay in Kissimmee, which is in close proximity to LEGOLAND and other resorts and offers plenty of hotels, cheap motels and camp sites.
There are three on-site hotels at Universal Studios. The Hard Rock Hotel is described as lively yet laid back, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel recreates the charm and romance of the famed seaside village of Portofino in Italy, and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort is based on a South Pacific theme. Remember that if you're planning to visit the Universal Studios resort at any of the main holiday times, hotels will be quite full so to avoid disappointment bookings should be made in advance.
It's all about family fun in sunny Orlando...
Make magical memories at these wonderful family attractions:
Top five attractions
Walt Disney World Resort
The words “Disney” and “Orlando” go hand in hand and no trip here is complete without a few days in the Disney parks. The four main parks are Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot.
Universal Studios Resort
With the Wizarding World of Harry Potter added to the fantastic line-up at the Islands of Adventure theme park, which sits alongside Universal Studios, this resort is more popular than ever and offers hour upon hour of hair-raising squeals and delighted laughs.
Thrill rides will elicit excitement, though it's the marine shows that really draw the crowds to SeaWorld. Find a seat early to see killer whales, dolphins and sea lions performing for the crowds.
Wet 'n Wild
There's plenty of water-based fun at this large park, with rides, flumes, slides, pools and opportunities to simply laze in the sun at the water's edge.
Many dreams are made into reality at this attraction, where guests can swim with dolphins and snorkel in perfectly created tropical reefs.
Every day is a special day in Orlando, though these annual events will also linger long in the memory...
It doesn't matter when you visit Orlando, the family welcome and party atmosphere never cease. See these events for a different look at this holiday destination.
Orlando Carnival; May: Taste the Caribbean flavours at this annual carnival where parades of dancers take to the streets to a sensational beat. It's been running for years and is a much anticipated event.
Kissimmee Old Fashioned 4th of July: Head to nearby Kissimmee for a look at a Florida of years gone by. Celebrate Independence Day in Lakefront Park, where thousands of pops and bangs fill the ears as the night sky is dotted with fireworks with the kind of American razzle dazzle you'd expect.
Christmas; December: Make the festive season even more special with a holiday in Orlando. It might be the busiest day of the year, but Disney's Magic Kingdom simply cannot be beaten for a Christmas Day treat.