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Family Friendly Holiday Travel in Orlando
We recently took a mini vacation to Orlando. It was more like a staycation, since we live just 45 minutes away from the Orlando-Disney area. We travel to Disney often, but for this trip, we decided to stay in a hotel to avoid that late drive home and to have more of a vacation feel. I’m so glad we did as it was a relaxing getaway and a perfect time of year to travel to the parks with all of the holiday decor!
We were headed to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party which happens every year at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a magical time of year at all of the parks, the Disney hotels, shopping areas, and more. It’s the perfect time to plan your visit as you get the magic of Disney plus all the beautiful holiday decorations and you will probably get a glimpse of Santa!
CHOOSING YOUR HOTEL
If you’re planning to visit the parks, you will want to stay close by. Depending on how much you want to spend will determine exactly how close you stay to the parks themselves. Staying on Disney property at a Disney owned hotel can be quite pricey. Disney does own some value hotels that are a little less pricey, but you’re still going to pay quite a bit more than staying off property. Thankfully, the Disney Springs area offers quite a few hotels that are not Disney owned that will save you quite a bit of money while being very close to the parks, and even walking distance to Disney Springs itself. We stayed at the Holiday Inn– Disney Springs. This hotel is at a perfect location.
The hotel, like most in the area, offers rooms with a Disney fireworks view. Our hotel was located walking distance to the newly renovated Disney Springs. There is also free bus transportation to the nearby parks. They also offer a free bus to Disney Springs if you choose not want to walk. This is a perfect choice if you have younger children with you.
Another tip when choosing your hotel when traveling this time of year is checking out the amenities. When traveling with family to Florida, pools are usually a must.
If a pool is a must on your list, you will want to be sure that your hotel offers a heated pool or an indoor pool. Although it does not get as cold as most states in November and December, the water can get quite chilly.
You will also want to check on transportation. Many hotels will offer free buses to the Disney parks as well as Universal and popular areas like International Drive. Even if you rent a car, you will want to consider their free transportation as parking can be as much as $25 per park and the traffic getting out of the parks can be a bit frustrating. Many hotels will offer buses as often as every 30 minutes.
If you’re looking to save money, you will want to choose a hotel that has a free breakfast and free or inexpensive parking!
November and December are perfect months to travel to the Orlando area. There are so many things to see and do during your visit within these months. The Magic Kingdom offers an after hours holiday party on certain nights during November and December.
This is a separately ticketed event which means the park closes to it’s daytime ticket holders and you must purchase a separate ticket to attend the party. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party is a must attend event!
There are special parades, a special fireworks show, character meet and greet, free cookies, egg nog, and hot chocolate, plus it snows on Main Street!
Traveling during the holiday season usually means you will be shopping for all the friends and family on your list! There is no shortage of places to shop in the Orlando area. There are malls, outlets, and my favorite place to shop, Disney Springs!
Not only will you find great gifts for everyone, there is a movie theater, loads of delicious food, and plenty of entertainment for the entire family.
If you’re traveling to Orlando during the holiday season, there are much more things to do besides Disney. Universal offers a Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s! And Universal has a new” Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley™ are transformed with wondrous spirit! ICE is always a fun place to visit located at Gaylord Palms.
November and December are my favorite months here in the state of Florida. The weather is gorgeous and the holidays are so much fun at all of the parks.