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Child care will be provided during session hours, Wednesday through Saturday at the Gaylord Convention Center. The total cost will be determined based on how many children sign-up, with the maximum cost to be no more than $10/hour.
Complete the sign-up form by following this link to indicate your interest. An AILA staff member will contact you to confirm participation closer to the conference. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Considering bringing your family to the Annual Conference? You are traveling to a top family vacation destination so of course you want to bring your family along. But you also know how busy you will be attending sessions and meetings and wonder if it's possible to juggle it all? Below are some tips to help you wade through all the various considerations. While the following tips might not work for everyone, as a mom who has been to Orlando many times, here are my suggestions to make the decision to bring the family easier.
What do I do with my kids during the day?
Bring the family, go to the sessions during the day, and take advantage of AILA's childcare-which is available Wednesday-Saturday at the Gaylord Convention Center (the total cost based on how many children sign-up, with the maximum cost to be no more than $10/hour). Orlando is hot in the summer and the parks can get crowded during the day. So this is the perfect excuse to attend the sessions by day and go to the parks at night. Plus, going to the parks at night is my favorite time to go - they are often less crowded, you'll have cooler temps, and you get to see the lightshows and fireworks. Still feel like you might want to go to the parks during the day? My go-to-choice for families are the water parks. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Universal's Volcano Bay™ are my top picks. They are generally less crowded, kids love them, and they are cool! They also tend to be less expensive than the regular parks. Just don't forget to bring your sunscreen!
Where should I stay?
If you're going to a park, then I recommend staying at either a Disney or Universal hotel (depending on which park you are attending). By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of some exclusive theme park benefits. For example, if you stay at a Disney resort, you will have access to Disney's Magical Express®- a free shuttle from the Orlando International Airport to the Disney resorts. In addition, a stay at a Disney resort includes free transportation to the parks and special access to select parks during Disney's Extra Magic Hours which means you can get into certain parks an hour before those not staying at a Disney resort. If you plan to go to a park during the day - I would go early while the temperatures are still cool, it is less crowded and then go back to your hotel and swim! Orlando resorts generally have terrific pools, and this is a great way to unwind and let your kids have some fun without all the expense. AILA has negotiated great rates at some terrific properties so this will probably be your best opportunity to stay onsite. And, there will be an AILA shuttle from the AILA Disney and Universal hotels to the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center so you don't have to worry about renting a car. If convenience is your priority, then staying at the Gaylord might be the best option for you. You will have quick and easy access to the onsite childcare, conference sessions, shuttles to the parks, a great pool, including the Cypress Springs Water Park featuring a double FlowRider- the Wake Zone and other kid-friendly activities. Whatever your preference, there is a hotel option that will fit your family's needs.
Which theme park should I go to?
If you have young children, then the Magic Kingdom is the obvious choice. Star Wars or Toy Story fan - Hollywood Studios is the park for you. Animal Lover - Animal Kingdom is for you (and staying in a Savanah room at the AILA room block is an experience you won't want to miss!). Epcot is perfect for its beautiful gardens, international food, and slower pace. Just make sure you buy your theme park tickets early and do the Fast Pass as soon as possible so you can at least get 3 rides in with relatively low wait times. Still not sure what park to pick? Then opt for a Park Hopper Option so that you can visit to multiple parks. Older children, adults, and Harry Potter fans will enjoy Universal and if you stay within the AILA room block at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort* you will receive Universal Express Unlimited™ ride access and Early Park Admission (valid theme park admission required). Don't forget that AILA's signature AC event at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ -Hogsmeade™ in Universal's Islands of Adventure™ is included with your AC conference registration so you can still get the best of the theme park experience without purchasing anything additional.
AILA theme park discounts?
Those planning to go to a Disney Theme Park can call 407-566-5600 to purchase discounted Special Meeting/Convention Theme Park Tickets. Advance purchase lets you skip the lines at the Theme Park ticket windows, save money, and customize your free time to suit your individual agenda. Attendees seeking Universal Theme Park discounts can show their conference badge at any Universal ticket counter to get discounted after 2 pm tickets.
Not a theme park fan?
You don't want to spend all your time in a theme park? Consider a short-day trip to the Kennedy Space Center. It's extremely inspiring and educational for the whole family and it is only an hour from Orlando. Along the way, you can stop for some sun and fun at one of Florida's beautiful beaches - Cocoa Beach!
What are the dining options?
Each AILA hotel has plenty of dining options onsite. However, Orlando also has a ton of restaurants outside of the resort areas. You can use a ride-share like Uber or Lyft and will have access to literally hundreds of restaurants on International Drive (I- drive) that will fit any family's price tag. One of my favorite restaurants on I-drive is Café Tu Tu Tango. Disney Springs is another great family destination if you are looking for a large choice of dining options and entertainment. It has over 60 restaurants and entertainment options and if you have a dinosaur obsessed child in your family- T. Rex is a must! Ragland Road in Disney Springs is one of my family favorites. Kids will really enjoy the live Irish music and dancing. And don't forget to treat yourself to a fun dessert at the cupcake ATM at Sprinkles! Plus, if you are staying at a Disney resort then you can use the complimentary Disney transportation. First time to Disney with young children? I would recommend making reservations for a Disney character breakfast. This is probably your best opportunity to meet the characters as they come to each table. My favorite is Chef Mickey's. Sick of eating out? I also like to stop by a local grocery store such as Whole Foods and pick up breakfast, drinks, and snacks to keep in my hotel room so that we aren't eating out for every meal.
Still not convinced?
This year AILA is hosting its Signature AC event at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ -Hogsmeade™ in Universal's Islands of Adventure™. This may be your only chance to experience an amusement park in such an intimate setting. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is extremely popular so having the ability to navigate one of the most popular attractions in the world in a private event is the best excuse I can think of for taking the leap to attend the AC with your family. And what is even better, children are free with an accompanying adult annual conference attendee and/or registered conference guest. If you want more time or access to more of the park, AILA has negotiated a special $49 after 7 pm Base Ticket to access the Universal Studios Florida OR Universal's Islands of Adventure until the park closing at 10:00 pm. Purchase this add-on ticket when you register for the conference. For Harry Potter fans, this will give you access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Diagon Alley™. However, don't forget that included with your conference registration, all attendees can enjoy the attractions at Universal's Islands of Adventure™ starting at 9:00 pm, followed by the private event starting at 10:00 pm at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Hogsmeade™ in Universal's Islands of Adventure™. All rides, attractions, and stores will be open for attendees to enjoy in the private event area. Attendees can start using express lanes for rides starting at 10:00 pm. Highlights of the event include attractions such as Hogwarts™ Express, Hogsmeade™ Station, Harry Potter™ and the Forbidden Journey, Three Broomsticks™, Hogwarts™ Castle, and Ollivanders™ Wand Shop.
I hope you find these tips helpful and your family enjoys Orlando as much as mine does!
AILA Senior Director, Education and Resources
Questions? Feel free to reach out to any me or any AILA staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Royal Pacific Resort ™ & © 2018 UCF Hotel Venture. All rights reserved.
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s19).
Royal Pacific Resort TM & © 2018 UCF Hotel Venture. All rights reserved.
* Requires theme park admission. Valid at Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. Not valid at Universal's Volcano Bay or at Pteranodon Flyers™ at Islands of Adventure. Excludes separately ticketed events. Park-to-Park admission required to board the Hogwarts™ Express. Benefit valid only for guests of Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel® and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, for the number of guests staying in the room for the length of hotel stay. Available during normal theme park operating hours only. Additional restrictions may apply, and benefits are subject to change without notice. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2019 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.