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Luxury Disney WorldFour Seasons Orlando - The Luxury Disney Frontier
You’ve trapeze-d into the Med at the Hotel du Cap. You’ve watched the sun come up while dancing on top of Sky Bar in Beirut. A quick weekend getaway in London? Pre-family, no problem. The furthest thing from your mind at that point was probably Mickey Mouse. But 2.2 kids later, your typical vacation habits have perhaps changed, but your requirement for luxury vacations with top-notch service has not. Enter the Four Seasons Orlando, which may have just singlehandedly opened the Disney frontier for parents like you.
Let’s face it; Disney is a rite of passage for families. After all, depriving your tots of the experience nowadays could result in years of therapy down the line. But instead of sucking it up, the Four Seasons makes it an experience worthy of your discerning pre-children trips. The un-themed, contemporary resort has all the creature comforts of a Four Seasons, but within the gates of Walt Disney World. With its expansive 26 acres there is no need to even leave the resort. A sophisticated family-friendly Disney escape complete with lazy river, kids club and pools await. And if a Disney dream is what your heart desires, there is an exclusive character breakfast on-property, a convenient luxury coach service to the parks (it’s about a ten minute drive) and much more.
Why now: The resort opened last year and the experience could not be more optimal. Everything is still pristine, new and exciting. From an Everglades-inspired spa to the lakeside, luxury community setting, you are sure to be won over. Secure a park view room and let the Disney planning center manage the details of your park visits. Then kick back for the night, enjoying the Disney fireworks from your balcony while the kids have sweet dreams of Disney.
Good for:Families who want to be in close proximity to their magical Disney adventure while enjoying a luxurious resort without an obvious Disney theme.
Suggested stay: 3-5 days
· Over 25 acres of pure family fun on the expansive resort property, including a kid-friendly Explorer Island and Lazy River
· The Disney Planning Center experts who plan your trip so you don’t have to
· Unique and delicious dining from Breakfast with Goofy and Pals to a sophisticated, Spanish steakhouse
· Grown up indulgences like a round of golf or a Sticks and Stones spa treatment
What to know: When staying at the Four Seasons Orlando, you can take in as much or as little Disney as you like. The options on both sides are endless.
Get Lost on the Property
Surrounded by Florida woodlands and bordered by wetlands, The Four Seasons Orlando feels like an escape custom built for your family. You will feel at home the second you arrive. For the ultimate in luxury, reserve the Royal Suite complete with nine-bedrooms, three living rooms and all you might imagine fits a Royal Suite. If it’s not available, have no fear since Families will love the expansive Park View rooms and suites and adjoining options. Bonus: the balcony is perfect for enjoying the Magic Kingdom Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks or the Epcot Illuminations of the Earth show.
The room is also stocked with a welcome amenity like a princess welcome wand and tutu, Florida gator, kiddie robes and slippers and all the child bare necessities. The celebration will begin as soon as you arrive. And if you are looking for something extra special, you can add on a Disney In-Room Celebrationfor a birthday, anniversary or no occasion at all.
Families will not want to miss Explorer Island. For the smaller set (4-12), the Kids for All Seasons (KFAS) complimentary camp has its own facility complete with an erupting volcano and endless crafts, toys and activities. The Hideout is a perfect spot for fun family games and The Mansion has endless tween entertainment from bocce ball and ping pong to a rock climbing wall and sport court. After a long day playing, wind down in the Lazy River complete with waterfalls and rapids or go for The Drop, soaring down the 3-story water slide into the family pool.
And as you prepare for your jaunt at the Disney parks, the princes and princesses in training can visit The Salon located in The Spa at Four Seasons to be transformed into a prince or a princess for a day with the Magical Moments makeover experience.
There’s No Place Like
Home Disney World!
Thanks to the Four Seasons Disney Planning Center your Disney Park experience will be effortless. Let their experts educate you on all the Disney essentials and lingo (i.e. magic bands, fast passes, character dining, memory maker), guide you to the perfect itinerary and then simply direct you to the luxury coach to the parks that runs throughout the day and night. Once at your destination, Disney is the happiest place on earth for families and has everything from stroller rentals to child care centers.
Book a VIP family tourto skip all the lines and gain A-list access to favorite family attractions (Dumbo, Disney Jr. Live, Peter Pan, Under the Sea and other meet and greets, parades and shows). And book everything else special in advance. Far in advance. Or you’ll need extra magic.
The one must-do for any little darling is going to Cinderella’s castle to meet the fairy godmother at the Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique. They use their magic to transform little ones into a mini Disney princess (or prince). From head to toe, the little ones who visited the boutique are easily IDed walking around the park as ringers for their favorite princess (think mini Cinderella complete with a beautiful, blue gown, classic princess hair style, tiara, makeup, glittery blue nail polish and, of course, sparkly, glass slippers).
There truly is something for everyone and your kids will love it so much that you will, too.
Working up Your Appetite
After a fun day at the resort or at Disney, you will work up an appetite. The resort’s restaurants all have fine cuisine with a fun flair such as Capa, the rooftop Spanish tapas and steakhouse (don’t miss the modern interpretation of the patatas bravas and the colifor) to the spectacular breakfast buffet and wood-burning pizzas from Ravello. While all the restaurants are family-friendly, don’t miss the character dining, The Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals at Ravello Restaurant. You won’t know who is happier the adults enjoying the sumptuous breakfast buffet or the kids eating breakfast with Goofy, Mickey and Minnie. It’s the only time you will want mice at your dining table. And a photographer is on site to capture every magical moment.
There are also lounges and casual options. You can have a quick bite at PB&G or Lickety Split, where the gelato display alone will make your mouth water (make sure your stay is long enough to try all the flavors) and the chef’s bomboloni, an Italian doughnut stuffed with nutella will rock your world.
At the Walt Disney World parks, be sure to reserve your character dining early and go for the experience and not the food. Offerings range from dining with Disney Jr. stars to Winnie the Pooh and friends as well as all sorts of prince and princess dining. The standout of the character dining was Cinderella’s Dining at Citrico’s, a brunch with all the Disney Princesses at the Grand Floridian. Cinderella personally welcomes everyone and anyone who is anyone in Disney princess history attends: Princesses Belle, Jasmine, Snow White and Ariel were all there. Plus the brunch was delish. Minnie Mouse waffles anyone?
Fun for the big kids
Tranquilo Golf Club newly redesigned by Tom Fazio is a course that golfers of varying levels of skill will enjoy. The course is very forgiving from tee to green, but the greens are very undulating and tricky. High handicap players will find the course playable and beautiful, and low handicap players will have to hit quality shots to make birdies. After you hit the links, go to The Spa is a transforming experience. The 13,000 square foot spa is decorated with inspiration from the Florida Everglades. Think of calming purple hues and treatment room named after birds of the Everglades like the Osprey, a couple’s suite complete with a bubble wall and 360 degree water views. Be sure to enjoy the steam room, experience shower (an arctic mist or tropical storm awaits) and relaxation room. Then prepare for your treatment like the Signature Sticks and Stone massage. Soak in the signature coriander lime scent and savor the relaxation and PB&J chocolate after your treatment. It will make parents feel like that Disney prince or princess.
With the luxury of the Four Seasons coupled with the enchantment of Disney, you and your family will believe in the magic and vacation dreams come true. But after your Disney vacation, we’re willing to bet you’ll need another vacation soon.
(Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Orlando)