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Go with the Flo.

Byline: Matt Sprake

I'VE been constantly told my kids need to be a bit older to properly experience Florida.

This summer I discovered that could not be further from the truth.

Florida is the perfect holiday destination for young children - and big kids like me - whatever the time of the year.

I grant that there are height restrictions for most of the rides in the theme parks, but my wife Marion and I already knew our daughters, Belle, seven, and fouryear-old Emma, wouldn't be climbing on any white-knuckle roller coaster rides.

However, we found that there is so much more to holidaying in the Sunshine State than the scary theme park amusements and Disney World. For instance, swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove, which beats a rollercoaster ride any day of the year.

This all-inclusive resort, which is right next to Orlando's SeaWorld, allows you to swim in warm waters with stingrays and dolphins, or to just laze around on the powder white sand.

We all soon realised, that the crystalclear waters are absolutely perfect for youngsters to become comfortable with swimming in the sea, and also for their first experience of snorkelling.

In fact, we couldn't get them out of the water, especially after we moved on to stay at CoCo Key on International Drive. Not only is this a great hotel, it has its own water park with trained lifeguards on duty. If, after all that larking about in the water, you need a bit of time on dry land, then by all means visit a theme park - great fun, even for grown-ups.

Most parks offer a 'parent swap' scheme so you don't have to miss out on the fun. Just collect a Fastpass, and take turns with your spouse to enjoy the thrills. You jump to the front of the queue, leaving your kids safely accompanied by the other parent.

Orlando really isn't just for older kids and adults. It's a perfect holiday destination for families of all ages.

FACTFILE: A two-week, self-catering holiday to Orlando with Jetsave staying in a Bronze Home, is from pounds 1,195pp (child pounds 795pp) - or pounds 3,980 for a family of four. The deal includes return BA flights from Gatwick, free car hire and Kids Eat Free cards. Go to www.jetsave.com or call 0871 664 0294.

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FL0-RIDA: The Sprakes swim with dolphins FUN IN SUN: Belle and Emma at CoCo Key
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Nov 21, 2010
Words:406
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