Family reunions - magical gatherings in the International Drive Resort Area
Reconnect. Celebrate cherished family memories. Enjoy being together. Make some new memories. Have fun. Laugh until you cry. This is what family reunions are all about.
There is no better place than the International Drive Resort Area. In the center of the best that Orlando has to offer for family gatherings…six of the world’s most famous theme parks (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Water Park, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay Water Theme Park), great restaurants, renowned shopping experiences, mega entertainment complexes, smaller family style attractions. What are you waiting for?
Whether your family is looking for the thrill of the theme parks, playing on one of the area's golf courses or the endless selection of shopping and dining, the I-Drive area provides the perfect place for families to spend time together in Orlando's tourism corridor. Check out accommodations, attractions, dining, shopping, dinner shows and nightlife venues.
With more than 100 resorts and hotels of all sizes and offerings, accommodations are available to fit every reunion budget from exclusive resorts with spas to suite hotels to budget-minded properties. And they are all close to the fun and excitement with the I-Ride Trolley Service that will deliver you to almost any location in the resort area. Park the car. Leave the driving to the Trolley conductor and enjoy the fun way to get around International Drive! And taking the Trolley will save visitors dollars while traveling around the I-Drive Area.
It's a bargain: Single cash fare, $2.00 per ride; child cash fare, $1.00 per ride (ages 3 to 9 with paying adult); senior fare 65 and over, $0.25 per ride. Unlimited ride passes are available: (one-day pass, $5.00 per person); (three-day pass, $7.00 per person); (five-day pass, $9.00 per person); (seven-day pass, $12.00 per person) (14-day pass, $18.00 per person).
The reunion fun starts here! Check out a few possibilities and start planning!
- It's all about the view at the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye! At the heart of the I-Drive 360 complex, this exciting, 400-foot-tall observation wheel provides breathtaking views of Central Florida in all directions within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules.
- Where does family, fun and fitness come together? At Outer Limitz Indoor Trampoline Arena! The best trampoline in Central Florida!
- Escape the ordinary at Ripley's Believe it or Not with its Orlando Odditorium filled with the unusual.
- Do you dare lie on a bed of nails at WonderWorks.
- At Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition, explore full-scale recreations of Titanic's most famous locales, including her grand staircase, first class parlor suite, veranda cafe and promenade deck. Historians in period costume portray famous Titanic notables, sharing stories of her passengers and crew during a guided journey.
- Where else can you swim with dolphins in the morning at Discovery Cove and encounter Harry Potter in the afternoon at Universal Orlando.
- 360 degrees of non-stop fun is what it's all about at I-Drive 360, Orlando's new $250 million entertainment destination and home to the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. Located in the heart of Orlando's popular International Drive, the line-up of the newest attractions are world-famous Madame Tussaud's, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Skeletons: Museum of Osteology.
- Check out Blue Martini, at Pointe Orlando, with a modern design including an expansive outdoor patio overlooking International Drive. Known for offering 42 signature Martinis, specialty cocktails, fine wines & spirits and appetizers, the premier martini bar is popular for cocktails, happy hour and nightlife.
- Play Whirlyball along with the latest games and activities at WhirlyDome.
- The gators have arrived at Fun Spot America with Gator Spot, a 15,000-square-foot extension of Gatorland. The addition includes three ponds to house baby gators, giant gators and crocodiles. A separate building house a white gator.
- Glow in the dark at Putting Edge.
- Eat, drink and play at Dave & Buster's.
- This is your chance to fly! Fun Spot America's thrill ride, Air Raid, let's riders experience the sensation of flying in an acrobatic airplane. The Air Raid sends riders round and round and upside down at up to 4G forces.
- Learn to Belly Dance and eat authentic Greek food at Taverna Opa.
- Named after an artist's life, Cafe Tu Tu Tango is fun and has a bohemian attitude with a tapas-style menu. It also supports local artists with a vast selection scattered throughout and non-stop eclectic entertainment.
- Laugh yourself silly at the Orlando Improv Comedy Club.
- I-Drive welcomes one of South Beach's hottest dance clubs, Mango's Tropical Cafe. With 55,000 square feet of entertainment space, the massive restaurant and nightlife destination offers high-energy entertainment for a wide variety of tastes. Guests will enjoy Salsa, Bachatta, Reggae and Pop performances with Floribbean Cuisine and tropical cocktails.
- Start your engines! I-Drive NASCAR includes: state-of-the-art go-kart racing, bowling and arcade games, a sit down restaurant / bar, meeting space and more.
- Calling all Parrotheads! Have a cheeseburger in paradise at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.
- Sing pop classics at Howl at the Moon.
- Do the "Happy" dance at Madame Tussauds Orlando! The wax figure of singer-producer-fashion designer Pharrell Williams has been added to the red carpet!
- Hop on your broomstick and join in the Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Florida. Take part in all-new experiences as well as returning fan favorites such as file talent Q&A sessions, special panels and demonstrations.
- Treat your taste buds! Taste international flare food on I-Drive with over 150 restaurants!
- Craving a cheese Coney? Cruise in and have a carhop deliver to your car at Sonic, America's Drive In!
- Hear top local and regional bands at live music joint and eatery, Tin Roof. Music ranges from rock to alternative to country music.
- Chill out at ICEBAR Orlando, named the largest permanent Ice Bar in the world with over 70 tons of hand-carved ice! Featured as one of the top 10 bars on Travel Channel's "Extreme Bar Hopping" and "America's Best" on Food Network, this is an absolutely unique experience not to be missed!
- If it's a pirates life for you, satisfy your inner pirate at the giant galleon at Pirate's Dinner Adventure.
- Unplug. Check out from the day-to-day stress. Check into an I-Drive spa for a day or a week!
- Become the detective and step into a world of comedy and intrigue when you solve a murder mystery at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theater.
- The line-up of restaurants at I-Drive 360 features a variety of flavorful experiences and dining options from full service to fast casual and quick service. Popular brand restaurants include Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Yard House, and Buffalo Wild Wings.
- Stock-up for the great outdoors at Bass Pro Shops / Outdoor World.
- What's a vacation without some retail therapy and great bargains? We've got you covered! Orlando International Premium Outlets, Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets and Pointe Orlando!
- Take to the sky with Air Florida Helicopter Charters and see a new view of I-Drive!
- Dance the blues away at B.B. King's Blues Club.
- Play championship golf year round.
- Make unforgettable memories with an I-Drive family reunion!
- Be in Havana by dinnertime! Visit Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar.
- Enjoy I-Drive after dark! There's lots of fun when the sun goes down! Comedy clubs, dinner shows, sports bars... even ice bars!
- Check out the endless excitement at three mega complexes: I-Drive 360, Pointe Orlando and Universal CityWalk.
- Escapology Orlando challenges guests to be their own heroes in a thrilling game of adventure and mystery. Teams of up to six players are locked in a themed room with just 60 minutes to combine clues, solve puzzles and discover the key to escape.
- Hungry? Eat 24 hours a day at the B-Line Diner at Hyatt Regency Orlando. This lively restaurant is decorated in fifties mode, complete with jukebox.
- Planning a visit? Be sure to check out all of the fun events and holiday celebrations on I-Drive.
- It's all here! I-Drive offers over 42,000 hotel rooms, 6 major theme parks, 22 action-packed attractions, 3 entertainment complexes, 200+ restaurants, 550 shops, the Orange County Convention Center and the I-Ride Trolley Service. Questions? Find everything you need to help plan your Orlando vacation! Have the vacation of a lifetime in Orlando's Most Dynamic Destination! Enjoy.
- Check out money saving "Hot Deals" at www.InternationalDriveOrlando.com.
Don’t Forget the Camera…Theme Park Memories!
Be sure to check with the theme parks for discounted tickets for groups as well as special services such as catering, event and banquet space and assistance in event planning. Some parks even offer exclusive tours for groups.
Accommodations cater to families
Most accommodations in the area have programs for family reunions and someone on staff to assist with your planning. Many offer discounts for groups so be sure to inquire when planning your reunion. Where to Stay?
Tips for planning your magical family reunion:
Form a committee to begin planning 12-18 months prior to the reunion. There are magazines devoted to family reunions that are very helpful. Special software programs may be found on-line to assist with the planning.
Select a date and a back up date. Check with family to avoid conflicts.
Determine how many people will be attending and how many rooms you will need.
Think about an itinerary. There are many attractions in the area that are perfect for reunions. Plan activities for the family to do together and also allow some free time for exploring the area. Consider the ages of all member of the family. Use this site to help decide activities and dining options.
Determine budget. Set up an account to keep track of expenditures.
Select an accommodation on I-Drive that is best for your family. Work with the reunion planner at the accommodation. Ask about group discounts for rooms and tickets.
Establish good communications! Everyone needs time to plan and budget for an out of town reunion.
Prepare guest list. It is a good idea to send “save the date” postcards as soon as possible with dates and location information.
Develop program. Book reservations. Inquire about group discounts at dinner theaters restaurants. And theme parks.
For a detailed list and schedule of when to implement planning, visit http://www.visitorlando.com/things-to-do/weddings/reunions-gatherings/
Prepare welcome bags: Sunscreen, program, disposable camera, Official I-Drive Visitors Guide, map of the area, info on the hotel, etc. Make it fun!
After the reunion: Make sure that you have collected all cameras! Prepare a newsletter of stories and photos. All of your great memories from the reunion. Be sure to include an updated list of contact information for each member of the family.