Orlando, Florida - Theme Parks and More
In May 2016, I was invited by the Orlando Tourist Board and Virtuoso to spend 5 days learning/experiencing the best that Orlando has to offer. When you think of Orlando, the theme parks come to mind very quickly as it is the "theme park capital" of the world. Yet there is so much more to Orlando that many us just don't realize you don't need to spend every minute of your valuable vacation inside a theme park.
During the 5 days, I was treated to VIP experiences in all aspects of our jammed packed itinerary by my hosts, Orlando Tourist Board and Virtuoso. From accommodations, to meals, to transportation, to time in the theme parks and other local activities. Below is a short summary of my experiences which I can assist in setting up for your next Orlando Vacation.
Loew's Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando
A true replica of Portofino in Italy, a stay here will have you experiencing the good life! Connected to the Universal Orlando parks by boat launch or a casual stroll along a winding pathway, you can easily hop between the parks and resort in minutes. Multiple dining venues that offer a little something for everyone, but don't miss out on Mama Della's! Ask me about the Virtuoso amenities that are included with your stay when working with me.
High speed roller coasters, Marvel Super Heroes, 4D rides, Simpson, Jurassic Park and of course the Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits you in 2 outstanding parks along with an entertainment district, known as CityWalk. Throughout the year you can enjoy special events such as Mardi Gras, Rock The Universe and Halloween Horror Nights so there's always a good time to visit. Don't short change yourself, plan a 3-4 night minimum stay to take it all in!
Four Seasons Orlando
A hidden gem within the grounds of Walt Disney World! As you drive up to the entrance, you know this property has some "magic" awaiting you. From the dining options that include some Disney characters, to the spa, to the rooms, pool areas and a designated kids/family water park area complete with a lazy river, you may decide to skip the theme parks. Combine your stay with exclusive Virtuoso benefits and outstanding views of the Magic Kingdom, you will not want to leave!
If you need a break from the Disney Theme Parks or you enjoy water sports, then Sammy Duvall is a must for your next visit to Orlando. Located at the Contemporary Resort, your playground is Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. I had the opportunity to Parasail (for the first time) and it was an awesome experience as the views can be up to 20kms on a clear day. You also get a bird's eye view of the Magic Kingdom for a very unique perspective. Jet skiing, water skiing, wake boarding or just a relaxing boat tour are additional options offered for your "escape".
Look no further than Discovery Cove, located just across the road from SeaWorld, for an oasis from the daily rush of Orlando. This "park" is an all inclusive experience as not only can you swim with the dolphins, meals, drinks, towels, sunscreen, snacks, snorkeling, lazy river, bird sanctuary encounter and parking are included in the cost. If that's not enough, park tickets to SeaWorld and Aquatica are also part of your package. After spending the day in Discovery Cove, I have to say it is the best value in Orlando.
The park for kids of "all ages" as once you pass under the railway station, walk onto Main Street and view Cinderella's Castle, you know the magic begins. From the classic rides such as It's A Small World, The Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan's Flight to the "mountain" range of Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad to the new Fantasyland with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Be Our Guest, the memories are just waiting for you. During my visit, I experienced the VIP tour which allows you to maximize your time to the fullest as you "fastpass" your rides of choice, see "behind the scenes" and learn some unique history about the park. I would highly recommend planning 2 days for Magic Kingdom so you can take it all in!