Visiting Orlando with kids

If you are looking for things to do in Orlando with kids then you may feel overwhelmed. There is a neverending amount of family attractions in Orlando. A large number of these attractions are located in the International Drive resort area and do not involve a theme park. It is very much possible to have a vacation that only involves I-Drive, but most importantly you should include a stop at the iDrive 360 complex for at least one day or night of your Orlando family vacation. The iDrive 360 complex is an attraction, dining, and entertainment complex. Below I detail the four must visit I-drive 360 attractions if you have kids. But know that there is an equally unique line-up of restaurants experiences from full service to fast casual and quick serve. And the best way to see all these attractions plus many others in the surrounding area without spending an insane amount of money is by purchasing the GO Orlando Card.

Getting to i-Drive 360

If you choose to drive to I-Drive 360 you do not have to worry about parking. There is a large parking garage that offers free self-parking as well as complimentary valet. I suggest the valet or you may be looking for parking for a while. It was very busy both times we went on our trip. We used the valet the second time and it was so much easier. If you are visiting Orlando with kids and staying at one of the hotels on International Drive like Hilton Orlando or The Castle Hotel then you can take the iRide Trolley and skip the hassle of driving altogether!

What is the I-RIDE Trolley?

You may be wondering what exactly is I-RIDE Trolley and is it worth the ticket? It is a trolley located on International Drive that has two lines with lots of stops. And yes it is worth the very low cost. The I-RIDE Trolley is a convenient and affordable transportation to hundreds of destinations within the International Drive Resort Area. You can see the trolley map at here. When we stayed at the Hilton Orlando we took it everywhere including SeaWorld (which saved us a good bit of money on the daily parking fee). Plus it is a really fun way for seeing this area of Orlando with kids.

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Know Before You Go on the I-RIDE Trolley

  • It operates daily from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 
  • It only travels exclusively throughout the International Drive Resort Area. 
  • Anyone of any age can ride.
  • It is handicap accessible including two wheelchair positions and an ADA-specified hydraulic lift system, weight limitations apply.
  • Exact change is required for the fare because drivers carry no money.
  • Unlimited ride passes are not sold on the trolley, prebuy them online or at a participating location.

Popular question: How much does it cost to ride?

You can pay two ways: cash each time or buy a pass. Single adult fare is $2.00 per ride and a single Child fare is $1.00 per ride (ages 3 to 9 with paying adult). There is a great Senior citizen (65 and over) fare of $0.25 per ride

I suggest buying day passes if you plan to use it more than once. They offer 1-14 day passes ranging from $5 – $18 making it a great value if you are staying on I-drive and plan to visit a lot of the attractions or SeaWorld.



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The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye

The centerpiece of the I-Drive 360 complex is the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. It’s a 400-foot observation wheel that provides a 360 view of Central Florida. They say on a clear day you can see all the way to Florida’s Space Coast.  There are 30 high-tech air-conditioned glass capsules which contain tablets for an interactive way to explore and learn about the things you see. The full rotation of The Orlando Eye takes about 20 minutes. This has quickly become an icon along IDrive and a must do when visiting Orlando.

Click here to watch our YouTube video of us riding the Orlando Eye



SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando

The SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando is located in the same building as the entrance to the Orlando Eye. This attraction takes the aquarium experience to a whole new level with an interactive underwater adventure that provides a face-to-face experience with more than 5,000 creatures including tons of colorful fish, seahorses, jellyfish, sharks, and more. The aquarium is divided into themed habitats with kid-friendly interactive displays. A big focus is also placed on the aquarium’s rescue and preservation efforts.

This is perfect for families with young children because it provides kid-level viewing opportunities, hands-on rock pool, and a small playground to get the wiggles out.

Click here to watch our YouTube video of the kids walking through SEA LIFE

Know Before You Go to the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

  • It is open every day of the year, 10am to 9pm. But the last entry is at 8pm.
  • They sometimes close early on nights that have special events, so check the website before you plan a visit. 
  • Check with the ticket desk to find out if there are any interactive dive shows in the ocean habitats during your visit time.
  • Special talks and feeding times take place daily throughout the aquarium.
  • You can add to your experience with upgrading to the VIP pass.
  • Take the photo at the beginning because they offer a really cute book at the end with those photos included. The kids love the book and seeing us in it! The best photo souvenir I have ever seen!
  • Thay do not permit food and beverage inside the attraction. 

Popular question: Is the SEA LIFE Orlando admission price worth it?

YES! I do feel it’s a good value. The prices are reasonable, but could definitely add up for larger families: $20/adults, $15 for kids, ages 3+ — regular pricing. There are some discounts available for Florida residents, online pre-purchases and combination tickets with the other attractions at i-Drive 360. The facility though smaller than most aquariums is impressive. It’s educational, fun and an experience every family member will enjoy. Skip a touristy dinner spot and go here! You will see similar pricing at most well-kept aquariums. For a frame of reference, it’s $25 adult and $20 per child to visit the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

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Madame Tussaud’s

Madame Tussauds has built a world-wide brand by featuring lifelike wax figures of history’s and pop culture’s most iconic people. I have visited a few across the US and this one is my favorite because it is very kid friendly, featuring people and characters that even my three year old recognized, Like Kung Fu Panda and Taylor Swift.  My son loved getting his photo with his Harry Potter crush, Emma Watson. They have tons of props to use in the photos with the “celebrities.” For example, you can put on boxing gloves and robe while getting your picture taken with Muhammad Ali. You will have a chance to get silly photos taken with a variety of stars from award-winning film actors, to historical and modern world leaders, sports stars, music legends as well as figures important to Florida.

Click here to watch our YouTube video of the entire Madame Tussauds Orlando

Know Before You Go To Madame Tussauds Orlando

  • Open daily 10am – 10pm
  • You can take your stroller through but a width restriction of 36″
  • Allow yourself 45-60 minutes to walk through and pose for photos
  • There is no time limited on being inside the museum, so go at your own pace
  • The entire museum is wheelchair accessible but they do not have any onsite for use
  • Interesting historical facts about Madame Tussaud are here and worth a read.

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SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology

SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled is a unique family attraction in Orlando that has over 40 exhibits featuring more than 400 real animal skeletons. All of the skeletons were donated by zoos and other places. Don’t worry, none of the animals were hunted for their skeletons.  My kids were amazed at the size of some of the bones (both small and large). Some of the things you will see: elephant skulls and tusks, bears,  all kinds of birds, fish, whales, sea turtles, eggs and much more. They have scavenger hunts for all age levels, even the young ones like mine. The friendly and knowledgeable staff along with the REAL skeletons displayed in the most natural position possible make this inside attraction a must visit when in Orlando.

This attraction would also make for a great school project or homeschool field trip.  There are also upgraded activities that you can do, for an additional charge. I would love to go back when my kids are older to do the CSI activity where you try to determine how certain animals died based on their pathologies.

Know Before You Go to SKELETONS: museum of osteology

  • Open daily from 10am-10pm
  • Plan for 60-90 minutes to explore the museum
  • Ticket prices: Adults (12+): $19.99 | Youth (3-11): $12.99 | Children under 3: FREE
  • Order tickets online to save!
  • It is not in the same building as Orlando Eye, but in the same complex 

Plan to explore Orlando’s new entertainment area: I-Drive 360

These four attractions are reason enough to visit the Idrive 360 complex when in Orlando with kids. But if you need more reasons or are wanting to spend an entire day here, then you are in luck. After visiting these four attractions head over to Arcade City or load up on sweets at Sugar. There is something for everyone here, children or no children. Learn more about this entertainment area and find additional things to do with kids in Orlando by visiting i-drive360.com.

Have you been to any of the I-Drive 360 attractions in Orlando with kids or alone? Do you plan on going soon?

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DISCLOSURE: This post was written in collaboration with Visit Orlando. As always, all opinions and fun are my own and unbiased. This post may also contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  All photos & video are mine and cannot be used without permission.