Visiting Orlando – A “Theme Park Free” Family Travel Guide

We live only an hour outside of Orlando and we love that we have this exciting destination right at our fingertips.

Orlando is known for its world-renowned theme parks and once you have been you can totally understand why. They are pretty amazing. We have been Disney Season Ticket Passholders for the last 4 years and have been to all the parks more than we can count.

For Lucille’s 5th birthday she asked for a family vacation to Orlando. The bad news was our annual passes had just expired and we weren’t going to renew until after Christmas. She had her heart set on Orlando so Scott and I had to find a way to make it work.

This started me on a search for fun “theme park free” things to do and let me tell you there was no shortage.

Must Stay

  • Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive – When staying in Orlando, location is everything. We wanted to stay close to the action because when you have to go back and forth to your hotel for naps, forgotten pacifiers or bedtime you don’t want to spend a ton of time in the car. We loved staying at the Wyndham on I-Drive because it was close to everything. There were so many restaurants, shopping and attractions just a short walk away. We loved that this was the official hotel of I-Drive 360 and all the fun it had to offer (more details on that below). We stayed in the Family Suite which included a King bed and a bunk bed. The girls couldn’t contain their excitement as they crawled up on the top bunk to watch their own personal TV. We usually have a hard time all fitting in one room as a family of 5 but this hotel room was so spacious we didn’t feel one bit cramped. There was so much room that even with the pack n play and all of our luggage we could still have a dance party (and we definitely did).The grounds were beautiful. The girls loved the pool and I loved Gatorville, the on site restaurant, and its delicious margaritas. It was so nice having the convenience of a great restaurant on site, they were even so accommodating with my husbands diet restrictions which made things a million times easier on us. We really had a great time during our three days at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, this is a great option for families traveling to Orlando.

    When I told Wyndham about our wonderful stay they were kind enough to offer their BEST AVAILABLE RATE to all of my readers (no min nights required)  CLICK HERE TO GET 30% OFF YOUR ROOM BOOKING.

    Everything from the Starbucks cafe in the lobby (with other tasty treats) to quiet and tranquil areas around the property to sit and read, we couldn’t have asked for more from our stay. Thank you to the kind Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive staff for being so wonderful, we will hopefully see you again soon.

 

Must Do

  • I-Drive 360 – Right next to the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive  is Orlando’s newest entertainment destination, I-Drive 360. The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium, countless restaurants and a lushly landscaped Courtyard featuring a $1.5 million water show are just a few of the many things that make I-Drive 360 a great place to take the family. My girls talked about the Orlando eye for days and days after we took a ride. They started off a little scared but were so fascinated by the whole experience and kept asking to go back.I was shocked to see how much fun they had in Madame Tussauds wax museum. The whole family got into character and really had a blast.Of course the aquarium was a hit with all three. Our favorite part was walking through the shark tank with the transparent floor, the girls were mesmerized. We spent so much time at I-Drive 360 and kept wanting to go back for more. I highly suggest planning a visit for your family next time you are in Orlando.

 

  • Orlando’s Crayola Experience – We decided to try the Crayola Experience for the first time on my daughter’s birthday. We pulled up to the Florida Mall and we were shocked when we saw the vibrant colors in front of us. We weren’t expecting how much fun we would have. I think scott and I had just as much fun as the kids and we kept glancing at each other with this look of “holy smokes this is so cool”. We were there for about 4 hours but my kids could have stayed even longer if we let them. Their favorite part had to be the playground (because what kid doesn’t like climbing), making their own crayons and the spin art (my favorite too). There were activities for all ages and I loved how educational it was so I will definitely be taking my girls back for a home school day.

    Orlando’s Crayola Experience was kind enough to share their lowest ticket price with my readers with our own special coupon code. $16.99 plus tax for a day filled with fun.

CLICK HERE to purchase and USE CODE: GRAYRUBY

And because they are amazing they gave me two tickets to give away to one of you! Make sure you are following me on Facebook because I will be hosting my giveaway there this week!

Here is a fun video of our adventures at Orlando’s Crayola Experience

 

 

 

Must Eat

  • The Sugar Factory – Out of all the places to eat in all of Orlando my daughter choose The Sugar Factory as her birthday dinner. Now I totally understand why. The insane milkshakes are Instagram worthy and the ambiance was fun and exciting. It was a bit noisy, which is great to drown out the sound of my clan. Just keep that in mind if your kiddos don’t like that. There is a window outside where you can walk up and enjoy a sweet treat if you aren’t feeling going inside.

 

We had an action packed few days in Orlando and we didn’t step foot in a theme park once. What a great trip and a memorable fifth birthday for my big girl.

 

What is your favorite thing to do when you visit Orlando? Are theme parks a must or do you like to check out the other attractions?

 

Do you have any questions regarding vacationing in Orlando with your family? Leave a comment below and maybe your question will be the start of my next post!

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