Home to the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Orlando draws over 50 million tourists every year. Of course Disney World is the main draw, but there are no shortage of kid-friendly things to do in Orlando, including the myriad Universal Studios Orlando parks. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise Orlando is flush with family hotels. Kid-friendly features at Orlando hotels range from huge waterparks to guest rooms designed specifically for children. We’ve hit up the most popular Orlando hotels, comparing them to one another and give our list of Orlando’s best family hotels. Read on for our picks and start planning your fun-filled Orlando vacation.
From the gazelles and giraffes freely roaming the grounds to the enormous pool with a waterslide, the safari-themed Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge was designed to amaze and delight children. Throughout the day, staff members lead (free) educational activities for children like craft-making, African drumming, or mini-lessons about the where giraffes come from. Here, even the learning is captivating.
As the name suggests, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is situated right inside the Universal Studios Resort Complex, about a five-minute water shuttle ride away from the parks. Rooms here are spacious, with soft, Italian-inspired interiors and a good selection of amenities, including Keurig coffeemakers and optional microwave and mini-fridge rentals. The Deluxe Room adds a beautiful marble bathroom with separate tubs and showers, while the club-level rooms include access to a club room with a free continental breakfast, snacks, and late-night desserts. Families looking for something special for the kids may want to consider booking a Minion Room/Minion Suite AKA Despicable Me Kids’ Suites. These feature separate rooms just for kids, complete with Minion-themed decor and two twin beds or a bunk bed. Noteworthy property features include a branch of the celebrated Mandara Spa, a 24-hour game room with coin-operated attractions, and a branch of Bice Ristorante, an upscale restaurant chain from Milan (though it’s only open for dinner). There are three pools, including a huge main pool with a sandy shore and a waterslide, a lap pool, and a quiet hillside pool on the edge of the resort's grounds.
Although this huge Holiday Inn offers a free Disney shuttle, families with kids may not want to leave it for too long. Along with spacious suites complete with cooking facilities for those who wish to self-cater, there are multiple restaurants, a video game arcade, and even a 4D movie theater. However, the highlight the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando is undoubtedly its two waterparks, which feature saltwater pools, slides, splash features, and a variety of activities. Best of all, guests of the resort can use the waterpark for free.
If you want a bit of luxury with your Disney vacation, you can't go wrong with the Four Seasons Orlando It's situated right in the heart of the Walt Disney Resort, making it easy for those wanting to spend time at the parks, though there's plenty to experience on-site, too. Rooms are huge, with upscale furnishings and furnished balconies, some with views of the nightly Disney fireworks display. There are also four on-site restaurants, one of which offers a weekly character breakfast, plus three pools, a lazy river, a kids' splash zone, and a two-story complex with two waterslides.
Inspired by the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, this large family-friendly resort offers plenty for guests of all ages, with multiple restaurants, a fitness center, two pools, a waterslide, and an arcade room. Getting to Disney's Magic Kingdom is only a boat ride away. Guests have a wide range of guest rooms to choose from. The Boulder Ridge Villas have a cabin-inspired vibe, with lots of wood in furniture and detailing and photo prints of nature scenes on the walls. The Copper Creek Villas and Cabins have a modern, upgraded take on this aesthetic, with sleek furniture paired with faux-rustic interiors. For something extra special, the Yellowstone Suite, the presidential suite offering here, which draws its inspiration from its namesake national park.
A great choice for families looking for easy access to the Universal parks, this resort offers all sorts of fun facilities, including a bowling alley, an arcade, and a huge pool area with waterslides. There are 1,800 rooms at Cabana Bay Beach Resort but only two configurations: Standard Rooms and Family Suites. The Family Suite is the larger of the two options, with separate living rooms plus sofa beds and microwaves (not found in the Standard units). And if you’re looking for a place to stay with kids may be wondering: How far is Cabana Bay Beach Resort from Universal? Well, it's right in the middle, only a six-minute walk from Universal's Islands of Adventure, and there's a shuttle service for getting to attractions further afield. Annual passholders benefit from an annual pass discount, which includes discounts on food and drinks at the on-site Bayliner Diner and on cabana rentals.
This sprawling 411-room resort located 15 minutes south of Disney is one of Orlando's priciest condo properties outside of Disney -- but you get a lot of fun for the money. It offers beautiful, kitchen-equipped, one-bedroom villas; daily kids' activities; a top-notch water park with waterslides, shallow play areas, and life guards on duty; excellent restaurants; and polished service. In short: a great place to take the kids.
Located in Disney Springs Resort Area, B Resort & Spa offers easy access to Downtown Disney plus a free Disney shuttle to the theme parks, making it a great option for those families wanting to be near the action. Rooms are sleek, with blue-and-white decor, and are divided into categories like Chic, Stunning, and Captivating. Some have bunkbeds for kids. Along with two restaurants, B Resort offers room service plus The Pick Up, offering breakfast items, coffee, and grab-and-go sandwiches. Highlights include a kids' club, an on-site Disney store selling Magic Bands and souvenirs, a beautiful outdoor pool with fountains, and a 24-hour gym. While most of the resort features are covered by the mandatory resort fee, there’s an extra parking fee for travelers with their own vehicles.
The 650-room upscale Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort is a fun, funky, rock-and-roll-themed hotel that offers priority access to the Universal theme parks. Designed to give guests the "rock-star feeling," there are tons of kid-friendly activities, including a kids' club, arcade, and children's pool. For adults, there are a huge resort-style pool, extensive fitness center, and a Fender guitar lending library. Guest rooms are big, spotless, and contemporary, with lots of extras and modern bathrooms.
Within walking distance of Epcot, this massive resort features a huge range of facilities (most of which are shared with the adjacent Swan property). These include 18 dining options (including a 24-hour cafeteria), five pools, fitness facilities, a huge spa, and even a beach area with paddleboards. And while facilities here are clearly geared toward Disney families, there’s plenty for adults, too, including a convention center. The only real downside? While the resort offers a shuttle to Epcot, do be aware that the Disney Magical Express shuttle service doesn’t stop here.
Its location near Disney in Lake Buena Vista make it an excellent option for families, and the hotel operates a shuttle service to all of the major theme parks in the area. Note that it's not an all-inclusive, and dining options are on the more expensive side, with a few lounges plus restaurants offering American cuisine and seafood plus an extensive brunch/breakfast buffet. Decor is business sleek, and while it's not the kind of place you'd go if you were in the market for a fancy presidential suite, you can get some nice digs here, including bi-level suites with kitchen-style wet bars. Club category rooms include access to the Club Lounge, with breakfast offerings and evening snacks.
This classic property is a great bet for families with kids, offering condo-style rooms with kitchen facilities for those who want to self-cater. A huge refurbishment of the property started in 2017, with a focus on upgrading rooms and facilities to fit a more modern aesthetic, as the property was starting to look dated. Highlights include a number of pools, including a large free-form main pool with a waterslide. There's also a river that flows through the resort and boating activities are available.
Situated in Lake Buena Vista, a short drive from Walt Disney World, this huge resort offers tons for families traveling with children. Although its proximity to the theme parks is a big draw, there’s also plenty right on the property, including three pools (one with a pool bar), a game room with pinball, air hockey, and video games, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and a lovely spa. Other perks include six restaurants and there’s a Disney character breakfast every Sunday.
This kid-friendly property on International Drive Orlando offers plenty of bang for your buck, with a reliable shuttle service and condo-style units that feature fully stocked kitchens (there’s also a restaurant, Palm Café, with room service for those who don’t feel like cooking). The highlight here may be the pools, with pool hours that start early and go late, plus poolside activities (think: arts-and-crafts and movie nights) and a variety of splash areas and water features for children. For older guests, there's also a swim-up bar and an adult pool with a whirlpool.