This must-see area in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is packed with rides and attractions. A favorite for princesses-in-training: Enchanted Tales with Belle. Guests are led into the library where Belle and Lumiére give them a chance to take part in the telling of the princess's story.
Disney's Animal Kingdom offers a new Wilderness Explorers program with sticker badges and field guides geared to kids ages 7 to 10. Topics include studying the animal inhabitants of the park, learning animal nutrition, and combing through a dig site to identify fossils.
SeaWorld Orlando opened the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin exhibit in May 2013. Nearly 250 penguins, including four Antarctic species, are part of the exhibit. The highlight: a chilly ride through the South Pole that offers up-close encounters with the penguins.
Calling all Tranformers fans: Universal Studio Florida's attraction Transformers: The Ride -- 3D opened in June 2013. The ride begins when guests enter the NEST facility -- the headquarters for the government operation that partners with the Autobots to protect Earth from the Decepticons. While inside, they're recruited to help protect a powerful energy source that would allow the Decepticons to destroy the planet. Guests board EVAC -- an Autobot created exclusively for the attraction -- to save the day.
Wet 'n Wild's new Blastaway Beach features a 60-foot sandcastle with more than 160 interactive toys and 16 slides. It's great fun especially for super-hot days!
The travelling exhibit Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog is open at the Orlando Science Center through September 2, 2013. Kids can jump aboard the Birdwell Island ferry, complete with seagull sounds and clanking ship bells. Another fun feature: T-Bone welcomes both families to a bone-shaped beach where can hunt for buried treasure and seashells.
Drive about an hour to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where the space shuttle Atlantis made its debut in June 2013. The accompanying exhibit offers more than 60 interactive features including operating a crane and playing a Blast Off game.
Disney's newest lodging option, the Art of Animation Resort, has a wing of rooms decorated in The Little Mermaid theme. Other movie themes at the resort include Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King. Disney's Art of Animation Resort also boasts the largest pool of any Disney resort property and features underwater speakers.
Swing by Downtown Disney's West Side to bowl a game or two at Splitsville Luxury Lanes. The complex offers a full restaurant, outdoor seating, and live entertainment.
In 2014, Walt Disney World plans to open the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland while Universal Orlando will expand its popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction to include a much-anticipated ride on the Hogwarts Express.