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Hotel at a Glance: 3-Star Top-Secret Hotel Near Universal Studios
When you arrive at this 3-star hotel, the first thing you’ll notice is that all of the wonder of Universal Studios is right at your doorstep. Once you walk out the doors, you’re just minutes from losing yourself down the dark corridors of Diagon Alley, fighting Doc Ock with Spider-Man, and watching interactive live shows.
- Onsite dining: After a long day at Universal, fill up on your favorite entrees at the hotel’s onsite TGI Fridays.
- Burn calories day or night in the 24-hour fitness center, which makes workouts more enjoyable with a 42-inch HDTV.
- Cool off in the outdoor pool while kids splash in the kiddie pool.
- Pet-friendly rooms: Feel free to bring Fido along.
Orlando, Florida: World-Famous Theme Parks and Cultural Surprises
Located in the center of Florida, Orlando may be forever associated with the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks—the world’s most-visited entertainment resort. Spanning roughly 30,000 acres, it encompasses four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. There’s no shortage of things to do here: begin your day by boarding a rocket-shaped three-seater that climbs to 180 feet before entering a deep black tunnel and racing past stars, satellites, and constellations. Walk across the park to sample Moroccan cuisine for lunch, or ride a dune buggy through a haunted mansion. Before heading back to the hotel, take in the nightly fireworks, laser, and water show. One of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is also home to Universal Orlando—which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—SeaWorld, and Gatorland.
Those hoping to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary 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 work 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, where you can a rover across a simulation of Mars or race on a 70-foot pinewood derby track.