Dadtography's Favorite Kid-Friendly Themed Hotels in Orlando

Orlando is one of the best cities in the US when it comes to hotels. We have some of the best theme parks in the world as well, and that means many of the hotels in the area cater to kids.

As an Orlando local, we are really spoiled with our access to the area's parks and hotels, and that means our vacations and stay-cation options are top-notch. Below are a few of our favorite kid-friendly hotels in the Orlando area.

Orlando has its fair share of themed hotels. Here are our favorites.

Orlando is a great city for hotels with such a wide variety of resorts. One thing that I love, especially on family trips, is to stay at a themed hotel.

Orlando does have its fair share of themed hotels and we wanted to provide a round-up of our favorites in this post.

Here's a map of our favorite themed hotels in Orlando. Which one is your favorite?

  • Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites - Waterpark (formerly Nickelodeon Hotel)
  • Walt Disney World Polynesian Resort
  • Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge
  • Walt Disney World – All Star Movies, Sports & Music
  • Universal Studios Hard Rock Hotel
  • Legoland Resort Hotel

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Holiday Inn Suites & Waterpark aka Nickelodeon Hotel Orlando

As a family, we've been going to the Nickelodeon Hotel (Holiday Inn Resort) for a few years now. It's located right in the heart of the action very close to Walt Disney World Resort and right across the street from the Marriott World Center in Orlando.

The Nickelodeon Hotel is great because it has a lot for a family to do right inside the hotel itself. The best feature, by far, is the water park located inside the center of the hotel.

Holiday Inn Suites & Waterpark aka Nickelodeon Hotel Orlando
Orlando Birthday Party Ideas for Kids and Adults

What sets the Nickelodeon Hotel apart from the dozens of others in Orlando?

The experience of this hotel is really unique. The water park inside the hotel doesn't hurt. You don't even have to leave the grounds and still have a fun vacation. How many other hotels can you say that about?

I'd also say that it's a great experience and one that's different enough that it's not one of the major theme parks. Going to the theme parks is one of my favorite past times, don't get me wrong. But if you want to go somewhere that's NOT a theme park, I strongly suggest you give the Nick Hotel a try!

How much does the Nickelodeon Hotel cost?

Prices seem to vary depending on the time of year. Peak times include spring break (March), much of the summer and around the end of year holidays.

On the low end, rooms will run you just over $100 per night - sometimes you can even snag a really good Florida resident deal, if you happen to live in Florida. Spring break rates run a little higher, but still under $200 for a standard room.

For larger rooms (like the 3-room suite) or busier times of year, you can expect to pay closer to $300 per night, but the 3-bedroom suites have almost 1,000 sqft of space!

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Hotel - Orlando
14500 Continental Gateway
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 387-5437

Walt Disney World - Polynesian Resort

Okay, so naturally Walt Disney World will be known for it plethora of themed hotels. The Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World is definitely near the top of my list, especially if you like the South Pacific island theme (and I definitely do).

I've lived in Orlando since 1995, but I love to come to this resort, even if it's just for a family dinner so that I can feel like I'm in a far-flung area of the world. The hotel is right on the Disney Tram line as well, which makes it super convenient to get to Magic Kingdom and beyond.

Walt Disney World Polynesian Resort

What sets the Polynesian Resort apart from the dozens of others in Orlando?

With the Polynesian, you really do feel like you're transported to an island getaway, even if you only are just across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom.

Everything about the Polynesian feels like the South Pacific - restaurants, breezeways, inside the hotel and outside on the grounds. The Polynesian is a great way to get away without going too far.

How much does the Polynesian Resort cost?

So this is Disney, don't forget - and nothing at Disney is "cheap", the Polynesian included. During peak times, you should expect to spend $450 or more per night (yes, per night). During spring break week, you may be lucky to get a room for under $650 per night. When school starts up (August / September), prices come down a bit, but not usually below $400 per night. Naturally, you'll pay even more for non-standard rooms and suites.

With all of Walt Disney World right outside your doorstep, it's up to you to decide if these prices are worth it or not. I will say that few experiences can compare to a stay on-property at Disney World.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
1600 Seven Seas Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8423
(407) 824-2000

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Walt Disney World - Wilderness Lodge

I remember my first trip to Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World - it was the late 90's and not long after it had opened.

I especially like this resort during the holidays. Again, being a Floridian, we don't get to experience much of a "winter", so seeing this resort all decorated for the holidays is a real treat.

What sets the Wilderness Lodge apart from the dozens of others in Orlando?

The Wilderness Lodge was modeled after the old resort at Yellowstone National Park, and I think (as to be expected) Disney did a great job capturing the feel of the northwestern classic! I've been to Yellowstone National Park before, and while Florida and the Pacific Northwest have a noticeably different climate, you definitely feel like you're in a different part of the world staying at the Wilderness Lodge.

Definitely check out this resort if a rustic, woodsy theme is your forte.

How much does the Wilderness Lodge cost?

Prices at the Wilderness Lodge are relatively reasonable, for a hotel that's not entry level and on property at Walt Disney World. On the low end, a night will cost you around $300. A far cry from the $500 or even $600 charged at other resorts a short walk from Wilderness Lodge.

Expect to pay more during spring break ($400+ for a "standard view" room), with the most expensive prices coming the week of Christmas where a standard room will cost over $500 per night.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
901 Timberline Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8426
(407) 824-3200

Walt Disney World - All Star Movies, Sports & Music

I'm grouping these three Disney World resorts together because they're unique themes for each, but they are all very similar to each other.

The WDW All Star Resorts are known for their Disney experience, themed atmospheres and relatively affordable prices. If you want to stay on Disney property and not spend a fortune, these are three great options!

What sets the All Star Resorts apart from the dozens of others in Orlando?

Well, first they are on-property at Disney, and these are the least expensive resorts on Disney property. If you want to stay at WDW and you want to do it cheaply, the All Star Resorts are your best bet, especially considering how good Disney transportation is - you likely wouldn't even need to rent a car while you're here.

Aside from location, location, location, the resorts are nice but not "niiiiice", like some of the others. If you spend very little time in your room, All Star may be a good option for your family.

How much do the All Star Resorts cost?

Most of the time, you'll be able to find rates under $100 per night (excluding taxes, of course). These are really the only resorts at WDW that can say they're sub-$100. Off-peak family suite prices will cost around $225 per night, plus taxes.

On the other end of the spectrum, during peak times of year, the All Star Resorts will average just below $200 for spring break week in a standard room and about the same amount the week of Christmas. A family suite would run just under $400 for the same room.

Lastly, it's important to remember that the summer months are peak for All Star because of family vacations, so be sure to keep that in mind when booking these affordable Disney hotels!

Disney All Star Sports Resort

1701 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8401
(407) 939-5000

Disney All Star Movies Resort

1901 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8412
(407) 939-7000

Disney All Star Music Resort

1801 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8436
(407) 939-6000

Universal Studios - Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel is part of the Universal Studios Resort area in Orlando, Florida. Most of us have probably been to a Hard Rock Cafe at some point in our lives - many of us have been to multiple locations, I'm sure.

Well, Hard Rock Hotel continues the theme of the cafe, except you can also spend the night! Yeah, it's pretty awesome. Not to mention, at the hotel, you're right in the middle of the Universal Citywalk experience, which means you've got two theme parks and a whole bunch of other attractions and venues (like Hard Rock Live) right outside your door.

Hard Rock Cafe & Hard Rock Live - Orlando Citywalk - Copyright Dadtography

What sets the Hard Rock apart from the dozens of others in Orlando?

Well, first - it's Hard Rock. It's a little more "mature" than staying at a hotel on property at Disney World. Also, you have Hard Rock Live right next to the hotel. If rock is your thing, this is the place. Both Universal Orlando theme parks are just a hop, skip and jump from Hard Rock Hotel as well.

How much does the Hard Rock Hotel cost?

On the low end, during off-peak times and when there aren't any major events going on at the Hard Rock Live, room rates will hover around $250 per night for a standard room.

During peak seasons and when there's a major event going on, expect prices to go up considerably - upwards of $600 or more per night. This hotel is very popular in the area, especially with families with older children or with couples looking for something different and tends to book out quickly.

If you're looking for a edgy, rockstar style experience you should definitely check out this hotel, and be sure to catch a show at Hard Rock Live while you're here as well!

Hard Rock Hotel - Orlando
5800 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819
(888) 832-7155

Legoland Resort Hotel - Winter Haven, Florida

Ok, so Legoland, Florida is not technically in Orlando - it's actually in Winter Haven, FL, but it's only about an hour's drive from the edge of Orlando so we wanted to include it in this list.

You remember playing with Legos as a kid, right? Well, now you can enjoy an entire theme park and resort based on the childhood favorite!

Legoland Florida Resort

What sets Legoland Hotel apart from the dozens of others in Florida?

Visitors to Legoland Resort in Florida have everything they need right there - a world-class hotel, a water park and a theme park. It's a great destination for travelers coming into Florida from around the world but is also a great "staycation" opportunity for us residents as well!

Wrap all that up and include some of the best toys in the world - Legos, and you've got a pretty nice combination. It'll be nostalgic for the parents and exciting for the kids, all in one big Lego package.

How much does the Legoland Hotel cost?

Legoland is known for having some pretty awesome Florida resident discount packages, so if you live in the state, I'd be sure to check that out first.

During off-peak times of year and with certain discounts, you can get the rate down to just over $200 per night (plus taxes). During peak times (spring break, Christmas), don't be surprised if you see average rates over $300, up to even $600+ per night, depending on the type of room and time of year.

Legoland Hotel - Florida
1 Legoland Way
Winter Haven, FL 33884
(877) 350-5346

What themed hotel rooms in Orlando did we miss that you'd add to our list? Share them in the comments below, along with your experience!

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