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Top Orlando Resorts for Families

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In kid-friendly Orlando, nearly every resort or hotel is family-friendly. Here are some standout choices:
 

Orlando Resorts with Awesome Lazy Rivers

JWMarriottOrlando.jpg
Grande Lakes

If your family loves to float along a lazy river, you'll be spoiled for choice in Orlando. Of course, you'll find fabulous lazy rivers at many of the area theme parks and waterparks. Or you can up the ante by staying at one these resorts where you can relax in an inner tube and let your cares drift away.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

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Loews Hotels & Resorts

Open since spring 2014, the Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort offers value-priced rooms and moderate-priced family suites with separate sleeping areas and mini kitchenettes.

Four Seasons at Disney World

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Concept art, Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Set to open in August 2014, the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World offers 444 rooms and suites, many of which deliver spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks display. The lakeside resort is located inside the gates of Disney World in a residential setting minutes from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Disney World

Photo of Animal Kingdom Lodge,  ©  Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
In addition to four theme parks and two waterparks, Disney World also has 22 themed resorts, that range from "Value" and "Moderate" to "Deluxe" properties with on-site kids' club and spa. All the Disney World properties have giant grounds, and most offer opportunities for active recreation such as horseback rides to canoeing. All guests -- even at the Fort Wilderness campground-- enjoy the same set of perks, such as the free Disney bus system, free Magic Express shuttle from the airport, and Extra Magic Hours in the parks.

Portofino Bay Hotel

Photo of Portofino Bay Hotel, ©  Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
The Portofino Bay Hotel is one of three resorts at the Universal Orlando theme parks complex. Guests enjoy convenient access to the two theme parks via a free watertaxi shuttle, or by a garden walkway. Guests also get a great perk: front-of-the-line access to popular rides. The Portofino Bay Hotel has beautiful Italian-inspired architecture, an evening kids club, and a large freeform lifeguarded pool with a fun waterslide and sandy "beach".

Hard Rock Hotel

Photo of Hard Rock Hotel, ©  Teresa Plowright
Photo © Teresa Plowright
Another great choice at Universal Orlando, the Hard Rock Hotel has a large freeform lifeguarded pool with sand beach, "Camp Li'l Rock" with kids' activities, and convenient access to the two theme parks by a free watertaxi shuttle or a garden walkway. Guest get front-of-the-line access to popular rides. The Hard Rock brand features rock memorabilia.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort

Photo ©  Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright
This busy place emphasizes on-property fun, with two water parks, Nickelodeon theming and characters, and pool games and entertainment designed by "Nick". Guests can take free shuttles to the theme parks.

 

Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton.
Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton.

This luxury property shares 500 acres with the J.W. Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. On-site activities at Grande Lakes include golf on a championship course, a biking trail, fly-fishing, kayaking, and eco-tours. The Ritz-Carlton has plenty of grown-up pleasures (dining, golf, spa), but is family-friendly also, and offers Ritz Kids Club, kids menus, and family packages.

JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes

Photo courtesy of Grande Lakes Orlando.
Photo courtesy of Grande Lakes Orlando.

The JW Marriott shares 500 acres with the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. A heated lazy river pool is a special draw for families. Guests have access to the Ritz Kids Club and the spa at the Ritz-Carlton resort; meanwhile, guests at the Ritz-Carlton have access to the J.W.Marriott's pools.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
This Orlando resort sits on a gigantic 1500 acres where features include nature trails, horseback riding, golf, lake watersports such as kayaking and paddleboats, and a half-acre pool with waterfalls and waterslides. This property also has a Camp Hyatt kids' program and a child care center.

Gaylord Palms

Photo courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort.
Photo courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort.

Gaylord Palms is a giant property with over 1400 rooms and 2 million square feet, set on 63 acres just a few minutes from Disney World. A signature feature is a 4.5-acre glass-covered atrium with three themed sections on different regions of Florida. Guests at Gaylord Palms will also find an outdoor recreation park., a large kids' club, and special events such as ICE!, a ticketed winter-time attraction with ice sculptures, ice slides, and more.

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