Orlando with Little Kids: One Week Itinerary

This article contains affiliate links, which means that I might make a small commission if you click on the link or make a purchase after following the link. There is no extra cost to you, and I only recommend places and activities that my kids and I have personally tried and loved 😊.

Orlando, Florida is a classic vacation destination for families with young children. I just got back from a one week trip to Orlando with my kids who are 8, 6 and 5 years old. I did a ton of research before we went to discover the best places to play and stay with LITTLE kids in Orlando. And I am so excited to share all of the details of our vacation, which turned out even better than I imagined! If you’re thinking of visiting Orlando with little kids (6 and under), read on for details about where we stayed and what we did on each day of our vacation!

Related: The Best Beach Destinations for Kids

Getting To Orlando

We are based just outside Toronto, Ontario and while many families from the Greater Toronto Area choose to drive down to Florida, we opted to use our travel credit card points and fly to Florida from Pearson International Airport in order to save ourselves time.

We departed from Toronto Pearson Airport and chose to fly into Tampa International Airport instead of Orlando. We did this for a few reasons. I have previously flow into both the Tampa and Orlando airports. The Tampa airport is a much less busy airport and my experience there was always been quick and easy (both flying in and out), which is definitely what I’m looking for when traveling with kids.

Even though Tampa is a bit of a farther drive from Orlando, we chose to stay in a rental house at the northwest edge of Orlando, which is actually a fairly easy drive from Tampa. My biggest tip if you choose to fly into Tampa would be to plan to drive at times other than rush hour (i.e. early morning or late evening) as traffic can be heavy during the day. The drive without traffic is about 1 hour 10 minutes. With heavy mid-day Spring Break traffic it still took us less than 2 hours.

Where to Stay in Orlando

I did a ton of research before deciding on a rental house in Orlando. And I ended up absolutely LOVING where we stayed. I chose to rent a house through VRBO, which I’ve used many times and always been very happy with.

We ended up renting a house in the Kissimmee resort community of Windsor Hills. I chose this house for a few key reasons. First, (and possibly most important to our family), we needed an Orlando rental house with a private backyard pool. After long days out at the theme parks or exploring the city, it was so nice to be able to escape the crowds and relax in our private pool and hot tub. We also loved that there is a community water park that included a splash play area, water slides and a big, warm resort style pool!

Windsor Hills Resort: One of the best places to stay with little kids in Orlando, Florida.

Of course, proximity to all of Orlando’s theme parks and attractions was also important to us. Our house rental in Windsor Hills resort was a 10 minute drive to Disney, 25 minute drive to Universal and 45 minute drive to Legoland! We also drove out to the Kennedy Space Center in about an hour.

Our rental house had 4 bedrooms, including two superhero and Disney themed bedrooms for kids. The kids also loved having our very own game room and theatre right in the house!!

If you’re looking for a rental house in Orlando for a large family, or to be shared between two families, I highly recommend this one (this is the exact house we stayed in on our trip). Or check out the many other amazing rental units in Windsor Hills!

The Best Things to Do with Little Kids in Orlando

Ok, the obvious Orlando attraction for families with young kids is Disney. HOWEVER, our family personally is less into Disney as we are into many of the Universal movies and shows, so we opted to visit Universal Studios instead. We also visited the Kennedy Space Center and LEGOLAND Florida. A detailed day-by-day itinerary of our Orlando vacation can be found below.

When purchasing our Universal Orlando tickets, we got a 2-day, 2-park pass, which also came with 2 additional free days at the time of our purchase (so a 4 day pass in total). We chose the 2-park pass as it allows you to visit both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in the same day. And, for the Harry Potter fans like us, this also allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express between the two parks!

Day 1: Islands of Adventure

The day after arriving in Orlando, we started our vacation at the Universal Orlando Resort, which is made up of two distinct parks: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. We spent our first day at Islands of Adventure where we loved the Dr Seuss themed area, which has cute play areas and gentle rides that are perfect for little kids.

We then rode the Pteranodon ride and river ride in Jurassic Park, which turned out to be some of my favourites of all the rides in the Universal theme parks. We also had some great character encounters in Islands of Adventure, including meeting Betty Boop!

Day 2: Universal Studios

On our second day, we chose to visit the other Universal theme park: Universal Studios. Universal Studios is home to many of my kids’ favourite movie characters so a big highlight of our day here was meeting Transformers, Sing characters and Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse!

Universal Studios: one of the top attractions for little kids in Orlando, Florida

This is also where you’ll find the Minions and Simpsons Worlds, which are home to several more great little-kid-friendly rides.

Day 3: Harry Potter World

Our family is full of Potter heads so we dedicated a full day just to visiting the Harry Potter sections of the Universal Parks. Hogsmeade Village and the Hogwarts castle are located in Islands of Adventure, while Diagonal Alley is located in Universal Studios. We chose to start our day in Hogsmeade Village where we drank Butter Beer, bought wands at Ollivander’s Wand Shop and rode the little-kid friendly Flight of the Hippogriff rollercoaster. We then rode the Hogwarts Express over to Diagon Alley in Universal Studios.

In Diagon Alley, we used our wands to cast spells at stations throughout the park, including our favourite which was an umbrella that pours rain after performing the correct wand motions! We also loved watching the massive fire-breathing dragon on top of Gringotts and taking in the live musical performance of the singing Sorceress. Just outside Diagon Alley, you’ll also find the Knight Bus and the houses of Grimmauld Place.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, plan to spend lots of time in Harry Potter World. After one day we were able to do a lot, but there were still more rides and experiences that we didn’t get to, mostly because it was so popular and busy.

Day 4: Windsor Hills Resort Water Park

After three days at the Universal Theme Parks, we were ready for a “rest day”. (I use quotations, because is there ever really a rest day when traveling with kids?!) We chose to spend our morning swimming in our amazing private backyard pool and then spent the afternoon splashing and playing at the amazing water park in our resort community. The Windsor Hills water park has a great splash park area with small slides for little kids. There are also two larger water slides for bigger kids (my 6 year old was able to ride these and LOVED them!). Fair warning that the water in the water park is quite chilly, but it is a welcome way to take a break from the heat on some of the very hot Orlando days.

The water slides at Windsor Hills Resort community in Orlando Florida

There is also a fantastic, very warm resort style swimming pool with plenty of lounge chairs. Beside the pool there is an arcade room and a little shop that sells ice cream, which makes this a great place to spend the day!

Day 5: Kennedy Space Center

On our fifth day in Florida, we decided to take a drive out to the coast and visit the Kennedy Space Center, which was approximately a one hour drive away from our rental house. The Kennedy Space Center was not your average museum. It turned out to be a very hands-on, interactive and little-kid-friendly experience. There were so many fun little play stations for the kids throughout the Kennedy Space Center, including a chance to climb through a miniature version of the International Space Station and some large slides that allowed kids to take a fun ride from one floor of the building to the next. A big highlight for young children is the incredible Planet Play, which is a new solar-system themed indoor play area.

Day 6: LEGOLAND Florida

To finish off our amazing one week trip to Orlando, we chose to spend our last day of fun at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort. After the very large and busy Universal Orlando parks, visiting LEGOLAND Florida was a great low-stress theme park experience. LEGOLAND is a much smaller park and is much less busy than some of the larger parks. The height requirements on most rides in the park are much lower than at the larger parks, so very young children are able to ride almost every ride in LEGOLAND, and many of them can even be ridden unaccompanied by an adult! For example, my youngest child who is 5 years old and about 43 inches tall was able to go on almost every ride in the park, including the 3 LEGOLAND roller coasters!

LEGOLAND Florida: one of the best attractions when visiting Orlando with little kids

For very young children (3 and under) there are tons of very gentle rides, which makes this a great options for families with toddlers and preschoolers. We also loved that there were many play structures and lego-building stations throughout the park!

Day 7: Swimming & Heading Home

On our last day, we spent the morning swimming in our backyard pool before heading back to the Tampa Airport to fly home.

Where to Eat and Other Fun Things to do with Little Kids in Orlando

If you’re looking for more entertainment or restaurant options while in Orlando with little kids, both Universal and Disney have incredible shopping and entertainment areas that are accessible to the public even without a ticket into the parks. At Universal Studios, we loved eating, shopping and accessing the entertainment at Universal’s CityWalk. Each morning before entering the parks we picked up a tea or coffee at the CityWalk Starbucks. We also enjoyed grabbing a bite to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and Fat Tuesday. For dessert, we loved the delicious and unique chocolate creations at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. There is also a movie theatre, mini golf course and tons of great shopping available at Universal CityWalk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *