The Ultimate Florida Bucket List Holiday: From Peppa Pig to Circus-themed Bedrooms

With the grand unveiling of America’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park, a wealth of ways for kids to connect with Florida’s stunning wilderness, plus a generous sprinkling of outrageously fun themed accommodation in Kissimmee, there’s never been a better time to head to the Sunshine State.

(Images above and on homepage all Getty Images)
  • All the Fun of the Fair at the Brand New Peppa Pig Theme Park

Cue the squeals of excitement, as Peppa Pig flies across the pond to launch her first standalone theme park! This small but mighty attraction brings the hit show to life with six rides, including the thrills and spills of Daddy Pig’s rollercoaster, nestled beside a whimsical hot air balloon ride, offering a picture-perfect ride that’s also wheelchair accessible.

Alongside the rides there’s also themed play zones, including a splash zone with sprouting fountains and a changing area, so be sure to pack towels and swimwear. Everything is compact and there’s no strenuous walks between rides, making it ideal for pre-schoolers.

The park is situated just steps from Legoland Resort Florida in Winter Haven, although Peppa Pig Theme Park Florida is a standalone park so ticketed separately. Double down on the fun by combining both parks in a single visit, or it’s easy to simply spend the best part of a day with Peppa, stopping for lunch at Miss Rabbit’s Diner for sandwiches and a cup of the infamous muddy puddle milkshake, before catching a live, all-singing-all-dancing show at Mr. Potato’s Stage.

The oink-tastic entertainment continues with meet and greets with Peppa and her family, perfect for a photo-op memento of this truly charming theme park. For more information visit > Peppa Pig Theme Park

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Muddy puddle milkshake at Peppa Pig Theme Park, Florida
Peppa Pig Theme Park Baloon Ride in Florida, USA
  • New Attractions and Behind the Scenes Access at Legoland Florida Resort

Since opening in 2011, Legoland has become the number one theme park for younger kids, with more than 50 rides bringing all the brick-tacular fun. Toddlers are catered for with the gentle Duplo rides and play areas, while the Great Lego Race, a legendary rollercoaster incorporating virtual reality, is a sure-fire hit with older children.

Everything is awesome at Legoland Florida, with new additions including the Legoland story exhibit, charting the evolution of the humble plastic brick from its Danish roots, to becoming the largest toy company in the world. Last year also saw the unveiling of the Lego Movie Masters of Flight, offering a gorgeous, colourful simulator ride suitable for the whole family. And November 2022 will see the opening of the Pirate River Quest, a boat adventure that flows into a family-friendly treasure hunt.

For a once in a lifetime experience, the gold brick VIP includes a tour of the model shop, where you can meet the nimble-fingered makers, watch them working on the latest mini-bricked creations, before trying your hand at rustling up a bespoke model that may even be debuted in the park. For more information visit > Legoland

The LEGO Movie characters Emmet, WyldStyle, UniKitty, and Benny at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. (PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland for LEGOLAND Florida Resort)
Legoland in Florida
  • Check into Kissimmee, a haven for families

Situated in the heart of Orlando, just 25 minutes from the airport and within an easy drive of the theme parks, Kissimmee has been designed specifically as a sanctuary for families on holiday. A staggering 50,000 rental homes are on offer here, ranging from single-family abodes to luxurious 12-bedroom mansions, perfect for multi-gen gatherings.

But it’s the fantastically themed interiors in many of the homes that are sure to delight younger holidaymakers. Take your pick from a Hogwarts dining room at a Harry Potter-esque house, or a circus themed bedroom with a private cinema and vintage arcade game den – Kissimmee knows a thing or two about show-stopper sleepovers!

Circus bedroom at Kissimmee rental

At the Magic Village Yards, you won’t find themed rooms but you will find all the amenities needed for an excellent family holiday, with a gated community of spacious villas and townhouses situated around an outdoor heated pool, an onsite restaurant or patios with barbecues for alfresco dining. Fully equipped kitchens and washing machines also make life a little easier when travelling with children.

Head to Kissimmee’s highly walkable downtown area for mural-clad streets packed with restaurants and boutique shopping. The Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory is a theatrical spectacular, with ice cream making involving clouds of dramatic dry ice, plus a sweet garden at the back with bouncy castles.

If babysitters are on hand, book a date-night table at the recently opened Immersion at London House; the hottest new eatery in town by British chef Rikku Ó'Donnchü, where the epic tasting menu offers an edible education in zero waste, boundary-pushing cuisine.

For more information visit > Experience Kissimmee and Visit Orlando

Magic Village Yards in Kissimmee pool
  • Take a Walk on the Wild Side

As the saying goes, ‘the best attraction in Florida, is Florida itself’, which rings particularly true once you step away from the buzz of the theme parks and explore the stunning natural wonderland that surrounds.

A great spot for a deep dive into nature is Wild Florida, an outdoor adventure park in the family-friendly region of Kissimmee. Here, families can spend the morning with the wind in their hair, gliding across the water on an airboat while spotting spectacular birdlife and menacing looking alligators. Then hop back into the comfort of your car to cruise around the drive-through safari spotting zebras and giraffes, get snappy at the alligator park which is home to over 200 native species, before heading up into the treehouse to hand-feed the resident giraffes their lunch.

Wild Florida feed the giraffes experience

Another epic outdoor adventure on the doorstep is the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, where kids can plunge on zip-lines, swing like Tarzan and navigate trapeze ropes through the forest canopy. There are two difficulty levels, a moderate route for younger explorers or an advanced course for thrill-seekers with a head for heights.

Tree Trek Adventure Park in Florida
  • Tween/Teen-tastic New Rides at EPCOT and Universal Studios

There are plenty of reasons for a return visit to Orlando’s big-hitter theme parks this year. The latest offering at EPCOT, Disney’s second oldest park, is the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy ride, featuring Marvel heroes and hair-raising drops. The storytelling ride rotates a full 360 degrees and boasts the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. For a more mellow alternative, younger children will love the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a 4D adventure offering a rat’s eye view of a bustling kitchen, complete with the aroma of freshly baked bread. C’est magnifique!

Over at Universal Studios, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster is a high-speed adventure climaxing in a daredevil barrel roll over the park’s central lagoon. The adrenaline pumping ride, tying in with the new Jurassic World film, is already being touted as one of the best in Orlando.

Potter-heads will adore Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Studios, an immersive coaster that swoops around the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, before taking a leisurely stroll along Diagon Alley, which adds an extra dusting of magic to this family-centric pocket of Florida.

Universal Studios Jurassic World VelociCoaster
Universal Orlando Resort has created its most life-like animated figure for the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – opening June 13. And it’s none other than Hogwarts gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures professor himself – Hagrid.

How to do it:

Return direct flights from London Gatwick to Orlando International Airport with British Airways (including luggage) for 7 Nights in a 3-bedroom deluxe villa at Magic Village Yards in Kissimmee, self-catering, full size car hire for duration including all insurances: from £5,149 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children aged 11 or under). For further information visit > Purely Travel