There’s a new place to stay in Orlando, and this hotel conveniently provides some of the fun your family may be looking for on a Florida vacation.
The CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort has just opened on Orlando’s International Drive. It’s the 10th resort in the CoCo Key chain.
The property is not new, but it has been completely re-done from top-to-bottom in a tropical, Key West theme. In fact, it was the first hotel built on Orlando’s popular International Drive, opening in 1970 while Walt Disney World was still under construction. (Disney fans might be interested in the property’s role in Disney history.)
But the brand-new rooms aren’t the main attraction at CoCo Key. That honor goes to the 54,000-square-foot water park right there in the middle of the hotel. The park has water play areas for toddlers, tweens and teens with three pools, three big water slides, plenty of smaller slides and a three-story splash playground.
About half of the water park, including the zero-entry shallow pool and many of the play areas for younger children, are covered by a giant canopy. That’s fabulous for families who have spent a few days at Orlando’s theme parks and need to find some fun out of the sun.
There’s also a quiet pool in a more secluded part of the property if you need to get away from the shrieking on the slides.
CoCo Key is a budget option for an Orlando vacation, with room rates starting around $99 per night. You will pay a resort fee of $19 per room, per night, which covers unlimited admission to the water park and other amenities such as wi-fi.
The rooms at CoCo Key are spacious, and they were definitely designed with families in mind. Some rooms are outfitted with double beds, others with a king bed for mom and dad and a pull-out couch for the kids.
I love the options for larger families. Many of the rooms connect front-to-back with another room, so mom and dad can have a king that adjoins with a double for the kids. One of the debates many parents have is whether or not to splurge on a second room for the kids. CoCo Key offers a $30 per night discount on the second room, which should help you opt for a little privacy (and a second bathroom!).
I’m also impressed with the inexpensive food options at CoCo Key. A double cheeseburger and fries will run you $5.99, and the hotel offers Pizza Hut pizza delivered to your room. There’s also a sit-down restaurant that serves healthier options, including a very reasonably priced full-breakfast buffet.
The resort is cashless, so older kids can be independent and use their wristbands to buy food or play in the arcade. (Which could be dangerous, so be sure you lay out your expectations in advance.)
CoCo Key is a Universal Orlando partner, which means you can book your stay through Universal or directly through the hotel. There’s free transportation to Universal available, as well as shuttles to SeaWorld and Aquatica and (paid) shuttles to Walt Disney World.
I think it’s a great place to stay if you are planning a trip to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this summer.
Even if you opt for different lodging, you can buy day passes to visit the water park for around $19.95 ($14.95 for Florida residents). The amount of passes sold each day is limited, so I recommend buying them in advance online so you aren’t disappointed.