Family Fun in Orlando


Fun is vital for families of all kinds – and queer families know that no place in the world offers more nonstop family fun than Orlando. From its incomparable array of theme parks to its excellent STEM/STEAM-friendly venues where science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics take center stage, Orlando is an unparalleled destination for rainbow family members of all ages to laugh, learn and love. Here are just some of the hundreds of family fun options that Orlando has in store.

Museum of Illusions Orlando at ICON Park

Theme Park Fun

EPCOT's great lineup of family fun includes Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, where guests shrink to the size of Chef Remy to race through Gusteau's restaurant, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action. Brand new to the EPCOT scene is Journey of Water, a "Moana"-inspired all-ages attraction that allows guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from the skies to the oceans and back again.

Disney's Hollywood Studios is chock full of family-friendly fun. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway takes guests through the movie screen where they join Mickey, Minnie, and friends. The Disney Junior Play & Dance is a high-energy musical celebration where families can sing and dance along with Disney Junior characters like Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, Timon and Mickey Mouse. The live show Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy features beloved characters from the Cars movie series. The colorful, 11-acre Toy Story Land features three themed attractions, Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! And Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, set on the remote planet of Batuu, features two signature attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Over at LEGOLAND Florida, Pirate River Quest is a family-friendly treasure hunt led by a pirate in search of a lost treasure, while the new Peppa Pig Theme Park (the first of its kind in the world) features multiple Peppa-themed rides, interactive attractions, live shows, themed playscapes and water play areas catered toward little ones. The Lego Movie World offers three attractions based on the The Lego Movies: Unikitty's Disco Drop, Battle of Bricksburg and The Lego Movie Masters of Flight.

Orlando Science Center

At SeaWorld Orlando, Sesame Street Land is an immersive chance to stroll through Sesame Street, meet Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster, enjoy themed attractions like Abby's Flower Tower, and dance along with the Sesame Street Party Parade. Dolphin Cove is one of the largest interactive dolphin pools in the world, offering guests an up-close view of bottlenose dolphins from both above and below the surface of the water. Pipeline: The Surf Coaster is the first coaster of its kind, including a dynamic surfing launch and "wave jumping" motions for a one-of-a-kind ocean adventure. Meanwhile Ice Breaker features four launches, both backwards and forwards, that culminate in a reverse launch with the steepest vertical drop in Florida.

Aquatica Orlando features Kata's Kookaburra Cove, a family play area for kids under 48 inches, with the Zippity Zappity tube ride, beginner's body slides, and waterspouts for kids to splash under. KareKare Curl features two-passenger rafts that allow riders to go high up on a vertical wave wall for a feeling of weightlessness. Riptide Race is Florida's first-ever dueling waterslide where guests race side-by-side at top speeds from a 68-foot tower. And the new Reef Plunge offers twists and turns though 330 feet of fiberglass while riders zoom past a vibrant array of marine life.

Universal Studios Florida has numerous rides that your kids will love, including E.T. Adventure, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, Hogwarts Express and the Animal Actors show. The new Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast, part of Minion Land, is a one-of-a-kind, game-based adventure where guests encounter immersive environments, nefarious villains and tons of mischievous Minions. The Bourne Stuntacular is a cutting-edge live-action stunt show based on Universal's blockbuster Bourne film franchise, blurring the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of never-before-seen entertainment.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Educational Fun

Just moments from downtown Orlando, the Orlando Science Center has been delighting families with interactive fun for more than 60 years. Its explosive Kaboom! live show explores the science of combustion, and its massive telescope is the largest publicly accessible one in Florida. For children under eight, Kidstown is a place to splash, climb, tinker and explore as they partake in imaginative roleplaying, teamwork and creative play. For older kids, The Hive: A Makerspace encourages play with 3-D modeling software, 3-D printers, circuit boards and more.

WonderWorks on International Drive offers more than 100 fascinating hands-on exhibits for all ages spread across six engaging Wonder Zones, taking a closer look at the science behind classic attractions like roller coasters.

Step into a world of mind-boggling fun at Museum of Illusions Orlando at ICON Park, home to more than 50 crazy and immersive exhibits that will trick your eyes and then teach you about the brain science behind each illusion.

Just an hour from Orlando at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Planet Play is a multiple-story experience for kids aged 2 to 12, bringing space down to earth in an indoor, interactive activity area. And the new show All Systems Are Go! launches viewers into space with the beloved Peanuts crew in an exciting immersive experience featuring state-of-the-art puppetry, lights and sounds.

by Dale Pauly

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