A world of wonder and adventures sits in one of Florida’s metro cities, Orlando. From magical amusement parks to awe-inspiring science centers, the city is built to breathe life to every child’s fantasy. The perfect family-centered city, some may say, but the top tourist attractions in Orlando prove that it’s more than just its kid-friendly resorts. With the emergence of world-class Orlando hotels, golf courses, and gardens in the area, this side of Florida promises an unforgettable retreat for all types of travelers. 

But all gardens and shopping centers aside, what puts Orlando on the map of every traveler is its adventurous spirit, which awakens the small child in us much like what fairy-tales did for us when we were little. Either you’re traveling with a kid or you’re a kid at heart, below are some of the top family-oriented tourist attractions in Orlando you shouldn’t miss.   

Top Tourist Attractions in Orlando 

Orlando’s SeaWorld 

            Address: 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, Fl

Orlando Hotels Nearby: Renaissance Orlando, Townplace Suites, Hilton Grand Vacations

An aquarium and a roller coaster ride usually don’t meet in one place, except when you’re in SeaWorld. As one of the most prominent family-centered tourist attractions in Orlando, this recreational hub provides endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Inside SeaWorld, you can watch whale and dolphin shows and get up-close with rare marine life. Our favorite: a dolphin nursery where you can get insider tips on taking care of these friendly, intelligent creatures. 

As if learning and interacting with diverse aquatic animals isn’t enough, SeaWorld also lets you in on another surprise. When you’re done with all the interactive shows, you can explore the park’s exciting water rides, including the Kraken Virtual Reality Coaster and the Manta Coaster. Plus, if you happen to drop by on a Saturday or a Friday night, you can enjoy the park’s full firework display for free.  

Walt Disney World Park

            Address: 1375 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, Fl

Orlando Hotels Nearby: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Hilton Orlando, Wyndham Grand Orlando 

You haven’t seen the best of Orlando yet if you haven’t booked a day trip to Walt Disney World. A magical place for adults and children alike, this enormous theme park is the epitome of every child’s dream. With four amazing parks to explore, it’s difficult to make the most out of all its corners in one day. The complex is huge, making it important to map out your visit, especially if you wish to explore more than one park. Tip: it’s hard to squeeze two parks in a day, let alone all four. If you have time, explore one park at a time so you won’t miss out on one important thing: investing in memorable experiences. 

The first park, the Magic Kingdom, which puts Cinderella’s Castle in the limelight, is most-visited for its majestic architecture. Here, every fairytale quickly becomes a reality. But if you’re more interested in spacecraft and animals, you should stop by Epcot’s Spaceship Earth and Animal Kingdom. The park also gives you a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making through Hollywood Studios, which is filled with actual studio spaces. Complete with props, special effects, and all the Hollywood hoorah, this park is custom-fit for movie enthusiasts. 

Capping off your Walt Disney experience is a fireworks display, which is held every night in the theme park. So if you’re itching your way to a proposal or a perfect family date night, you can never go wrong with Walt Disney World. 

Typhoon Lagoon

            Address: 1145 East Buena Vista Boulevard, Orlando, Fl

Orlando Hotels Nearby: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Hilton Orlando, Wyndham Grand Orlando

If petting dolphins can’t fill your unquenchable thirst for water activities, booking a trip to Typhoon Lagoon will surely do. Built by Disney for families and solo travelers, Typhoon Lagoon is complete with water sporting activities that spell fun, adventure, and recreation. 

As one of the best tourist attractions in Orlando, the water theme park is jet-set at providing you a wide variety of activities. Pro surfer or not, the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool gives you all the highs and lows you’ll need to brush up on your surfing skills. This, in addition to waterslides and kiddie rides, can keep your muscles on the move if you’re looking for something more interactive. 

After the heart-pumping water activities, you can end your day with a ride down a peaceful river and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Eat, relax, and have fun. Everything you’ll ever need to beat the summer heat is here at Typhoon Lagoon. 

Universal Studios Florida

            Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL

Orlando Hotels Nearby: DoubleTree by Hilton, Hard Rock Hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

A working studio and a theme park in one? Well, that’s not the only thing that makes Universal Studios Florida a complete tourist magnet. Centered on giving you a glimpse of filmmaking, this studio was built in collaboration with designers who collaborated with award-winning writer and director, Steven Spielberg. One of its main highlights is the Island of Adventure, which allows you to dive into a world of fantasy. 

A name fit for the otherworldly experience it offers, Universal’s Island of Adventure gives you an all-in magical adventure. Nestled around a lake, the park’s design was greatly influenced by a 1950s Hollywood film set. Get ready to enter the world of witchcraft and wizardry as you hop aboard Hogwarts Express to tour Hogsmead village and Hogwarts castle. Complete with restaurants and themed shopping centers, this recreational park can keep your imagination alive. 

Not a Potterhead? How about a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with your Marvel superheroes? Or perhaps a water adventure at Jurrasic Park River Adventure or a walk around Poseidon’s Greek temple can keep your adrenaline pumping? With so many possibilities, Universal’s Island of Adventure gives fun and excitement a new face. 

Discovery Cove

            Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL

Orlando Hotels Nearby: Renaissance Orlando, Townplace Suites, Hilton Grand Vacations

Just next to SeaWorld is a recreational hub that flaunts saltwater habitats, Discovery Cove. Although the two amenities are known for their water activities, they are very much different in terms of what they offer to tourists. Unlike SeaWorld that showcases water rides and dolphin shows, Discovery Cove is focused on providing guests a day of recreation. 

Here, you can simply bask under the sun or explore natural marine life by signing up for an underwater experience. If swimming with the dolphins and stingrays has always been your life-long dream, Discovery Cove can give you all that and more. Swim, snorkel and enjoy a tropical drink by the beach — everything you’d want in a beach get-away is here. 

Aside from its pools and beaches, you can also explore its peaceful river and aviary. Just make sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons. Discovery Cove is extremely popular among tourists, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit this wonderful park. 

Exotic Animal Experience

Address: Quinlan St, Orlando, FL

Orlando’s theme parks can, without a doubt, spark your imagination, but if you want to step out into the real world for a day, nothing beats a visit to the Exotic Animal Experience. A 7-acre facility that houses diverse species, this privately-owned park gets you up-close and personal with different animals. Instead of watching kangaroos, deer, and sheep from afar, you can enjoy a rare close encounter with them and learn more about how they socialize. 

Unlike conventional parks, this interactive zoo promotes sociability between its guests and animals, making the experience more memorable. Feel like getting a hug from sloths and lemurs? Step into the Exotic Animal Experience and prepare to bring home fond memories. Just make sure to follow the park’s rules and regulations to avoid disrupting the animal’s natural habitat. 

Kennedy Space Center

            Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL

Looking for something a little more out of this world? Just about an hour away from Orlando lies the dream destination of every aspiring astronaut, the Kennedy Space Center Complex. Just one glance on its entryway and you’d know you’re in for a galactic adventure. 

The Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit site if you’re in Florida. Aside from seeing space shuttles up-close and meeting real-life astronauts, you can also immerse yourself in spaceship-themed exhibitions. From an exquisite shuttle launch ride to an astronaut training simulator, this recreational center can ignite your senses and appreciate science in ways you never knew you could.  

Main Take-Aways

From a simple city, Orlando has sprung into one of the best family destinations for its spectacular theme parks and recreation centers. When visiting the top tourist attractions in Orlando, don’t forget to spend enough time in each site to give yourself a chance to enjoy and explore. After all, traveling is not always about how many places you’ve visited, but how you spent your time appreciating (and feeling) the magic in every city.