Spacious Villas Minutes from Orlando Theme Parks
After the success of Disneyland, Walt Disney turned his sights on central Florida for his next amusement-park venture: Walt Disney World®. This time, the company made sure to set the sprawling park in an area that was large and secluded so that the fantasy world had plenty of room to grow. In the years since, the area in and around Orlando has proven itself capable of supporting a bumper crop of family-friendly offerings. Grande Villas Resort is within easy driving distance of all of them and fits right in with its pink, blue, and yellow façade and playground.
Like luxurious homes away from homes, the resort’s villas come with fully stocked kitchens, master bedrooms, and whirlpool-jet tubs. Feel free to use the foldout sleeper sofas in the living room to accommodate additional family members or members of the Swedish national cricket team. Two-bedroom units measure more than 1,300 square feet and boast an extra set of twin beds and an additional bathroom. A private screened patio or balcony extends from each villa, offering views of the resort’s two pools or palm-studded gardens.
Orlando, Florida: World-Famous Theme Parks and Cultural Surprises
Located in the center of Florida, Orlando may be forever associated with the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, which now are part of the world’s most-visited entertainment resort. It spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. There’s no shortage of things to do here: begin your day by boarding a rocket-shaped three-seater that climbs to 180 feet before entering a deep black tunnel and racing past stars, satellites, and constellations. Walk across the park to sample Moroccan cuisine for lunch, or ride a dune buggy through a haunted 19th-century mansion. Before heading back to the hotel, take in the nightly fireworks, laser, and water show. As one of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is home to other theme parks including Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Gatorland.
Those hoping to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary can head into downtown Orlando’s vibrant arts district. The neighborhood boasts venues such as CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which hosts family-friendly improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find eight cultural institutions at Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orlando Science Center. Visit the science center to take a rover across a simulation of Mars’s red surface, or race on a 70-foot pinewood derby track.
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