This central Florida city outdoes every other destination on the East Coast in terms of its family vacation offerings.
boasts four Disney parks (Hollywood Studios, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom) and two Universal parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure). Other amusement parks include SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild, and the limited-entry (and therefore less hectic) Discovery Cove, known for its dolphin swims. Get behind the wheel of a race car at the Daytona 500 Experience. Travel to the coast to visit Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach, the East Coast surf capital. Wakeboarding is huge in Florida; learn the basics at Orlando Wakeboard Academy. For slightly less strenuous activity, check out the Orlando Premium Outlets for bargain designer-brand shopping. Seasonally, Major League Baseball spring training is a big draw.
Dinner shows are very popular due to their all-ages appeal. The three big ones are Pirate's Dinner Adventure, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, and Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show. For live performance in a theater setting, Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil are in permanent residence. Or, for a real Orlando experience, catch an Orlando Magic game at Amway Arena.
Photo Credit: Fireworks over Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World, Orlando (Disney)