Kid-Friendly Resort Minutes from Orlando Attractions
It's not every day a kid can ask SpongeBob SquarePants to pass the syrup across the breakfast table. Yet at Nickelodeon Suites Resort’s Character Breakfast, the time-honored pairing of breakfast and cartoons gets an interactive makeover: cartoon stars, like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, join the meal to pause for photos with pintsize diners. The characters may even break into song as the kids enjoy fresh fruit, waffles, made-to-order omelets, and pancakes.
The brunch is one sensory feast of many at the 24-acre resort, which is full of family-oriented activities. At the onsite 4-D Experience, the audience is immersed in each film thanks to special effects such as wind, water, bubbles, and scents. Elsewhere, there's a 3,000-square-foot arcade featuring a host of interactive games.
Two outdoor water parks dot the landscape. Among them: The Lagoon zero-depth entry pool, an Oasis Olympic-style pool, interactive water toys, and a total of 13 slides and flumes. At Studio Nick, audience members often become the stars at nightly live shows such as Double Dare and Family Karaoke. The Mall houses the Kids’ Spa, where youngsters can get dressed up with mani-pedis and gossip about the upcoming lollipop shortage.
Orlando, Florida: World-Famous Theme Parks and Cultural Surprises
Located in the center of Florida, Orlando may be forever associated with Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971, and is now the world’s most-visited entertainment resort. Disney World spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney Marketplace. One can ride Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom in the morning, then sample Moroccan cuisine over at Epcot’s World Showcase in the afternoon before watching the nightly IllumiNations fireworks, laser, and water show. As one of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is home to other theme parks including Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Gatorland.
If you want to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary, you can head into downtown Orlando's vibrant arts district. The neighborhood boasts venues such as CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which hosts family-friendly improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find eight cultural institutions at Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orlando Science Center. Visit the Science Center to take a rover across a simulation of Mars’s red surface or race on a 70-foot pinewood-derby track.
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