Christmas at Ritz Carlton Orlando: Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate

Christmas at Ritz Carlton Orlando: Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate

Christmas is the most memorable time for us, and we celebrate it following our family traditions passed from generation to generation. Usually, we gather with extended family; sometimes, it exceeds a hundred people, but recently we adopted this tradition to take a luxury trip and relish new experiences. And last year, it was Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. This time, we chose Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and the stay was beyond all expectations. Here is our Ritz Carlton Orlando Review.

It is located at 4040 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32837.

It is a palace nestled in 500 acres of stunning natural landscape with lake and golf courses. This property includes a Ritz Carlton and JW Marriot Grande Lakes. Altogether, they offer three spacious swimming pools, including a relaxing slow-moving lazy river where our kids spent many hours enjoying the warm water. Our kids grew gills there; I am sure your kids would love it too.

How to get to Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

If you fly, the closest airport would be the Orlando International Airport.

You can rent a car or take an Uber from the airport or get transportation from/to the airport provided by the Resort. Call them in advance for details.

If you drive, follow these directions:

From Interstate 4 East or West

  1. Take exit 72 onto 528 East
  2. Exit 3A
  3. Take right onto John Young Parkway 
  4. Turn right onto Central Florida Parkway
  5. Entrance to Grande Lakes Orlando will be on the left

From South Florida Via Florida’s Turnpike

  1. Take Florida’s Turnpike North to exit 254
  2. Follow signs to 528 West
  3. Exit 3
  4. At bottom of exit, turn left onto John Young Parkway 
  5. Turn right onto Central Florida Parkway
  6. Grande Lakes Orlando will be on the left

We arrived in our own car. The valet parking fee is 40 dollars per day, but here is a life hack for you.

Our room at Ritz would accommodate comfortably only four people, so instead of getting the larger suite, we booked a room at Marriot vacation club which is 15 minutes walk from Ritz and comes with free parking. Besides that benefit, it offers a list of family-friendly activities each day, such as dances, games, competitions, bingos, movie nights. We met many families with the same age kids there and had a delightful time, so it was a great addition to our Ritz stay.

Ritz Carlton Orlando, Review

They decorated the Hallway with stunning Christmas Trees, ornaments, and sparkling garnish. We were in awe when we found a ten-foot-tall eatable gingerbread house. That was amazing!

Read this Exceptional Christmas Ritz Carlton Orlando Review
Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Eatable Gingerbread House.

Check-in time at Ritz is 4 pm, but we arrived around 9:30 am, left our luggage at the front desk, and went to explore the property.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. A pathway around Grande Lake.

The lake is captivating and full of wildlife; we saw birds, butterflies, and fishes. After a long drive, a stroller walk on the path through the peaceful landscapes was just what we needed. Kids were collecting acorns and rocks; I was taking pictures. I thought life was so good at Ritz!

Ritz-Kids. Ritz Carlton Orlando Review

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Ritz-Kids Club.

Make a reservation in advance, and Christmas time is always busy. So we could book a spot for one of our children, and another was on a waiting list. Luckily, someone canceled, and Michael and Maria both got in.

The ritz-kids club is complimentary for two children per family between ages 4 to 12 and costs 100 dollars for an additional child. It worked for us perfectly. Although we have three children, our youngest is only three years old and naps between 1 to 3 pm. So if you stay at JW Marriot, you can also bring your children 100 dollars per child per day.

Kids went there every day with excitement because they offer a variety of activities, from crafts to petting bunnies. Of course, our kids played video games there and watched some movies. They would do it the whole day, but three hours at Ritz-kids are pretty structured, and supervisors play board games with children, educate them on the pets they have. This location had pet bunnies, a tiny alligator, and turtles. Besides these animals, we saw a squirrel that believed she was a pet and would play hide and seek with kids.

Another perfect activity to release kids’ energy is a splash area with a playground.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Splash Area.

Ritz also owns two hawks that live on the property, and when it is sunny, a guy that takes care of the birds takes them to a restaurant “to work”. Hawk’s work is to scare wild birds away from the outdoor tables. He sits on a worker’s hand, and birds do not dare to approach.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Hawk.

Ritz Carlton Orlando Restaurants.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Highball&Harvest Interior.

While kids are occupied, Kevin and I have three whole hours to ourselves.


This restaurant pays legacy to its namesake, both the cocktail and how trains transported Florida’s harvests. The menu features ingredients from local farms and the resort’s own garden.

Kevin and I got food from a regular menu, he got a cute hamburger that looked like a mushroom, and my choice fell on market fish (that day it was cod) with squash. I like my food was low on sodium. I added more salt to make it taste salty rather than salty. We enjoyed a long noninterrupted lunch and had a romantic walk around the lake.

Our kids ate lunch at the kids club. You can order food there or bring it from other restaurants.

Ritz Carlton Golf Course

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It is the one where the PNC Championship took place. You really can not find a better place to host a grand event like this. The location is vast and beautiful, and the weather is just right, even in December.

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OK! We had already spent several hours on the property and still didn’t see our room. Once it came available, we ran upstairs to see what it looked like. It is my third Ritz-Carlton, and I can tell that all their rooms are the same good. Four hundred square feet suite with two queen-sized beds and a spacious white and sparkling marble bathroom, all smelling nothing but fresh and clean, makes me feel comfortable. I like that each room has a cute private balcony. Finally, I can lay on the bed and relax. Ah! The bed is so cozy! I always sleep well on Ritz’s thick mattresses.

Here is the Ritz-Carlton Orlando room 431:

Ritz-Carlton SPA and Fitness Center

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Vitale, SPA Cafe.

The 40,000-square-foot spa is located in a separate building right in the middle of the property between Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott and comes with a swimming pool. Enjoy the fitness center, swimming, or dining in between, before or after treatments. Ah! What a Christmas treat for a hard-working body and mind.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Fitness Center.

Christmas at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Day two.

Since we had two properties to stay, we split, and Kevin with two older kids stayed at Marriott Vacation Club, and I stayed at Ritz with the younger child.

Tip. Even if you stay at Marriott Vacation Club, you can still enjoy Ritz and JW Marriott Hotel pools.

Our Super Dad made breakfast, and Johny and I joined them. Good thing we have a kitchen!

The forecast says it will be 80 F, so we have our swim suites ready and heading to the JW Lazy River! What entertainment! The river is long and slow, so kids did it three times in a row and wanted more. I like that the water is warm. It is hot, and we can swim even on a chilly morning and never need a hot tub.

After a morning swim, kids play in the sand on a volleyball field. Of course, this boost of activities makes them hungry, a good thing daddy packed some healthy snacks.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Sand Play at the Volleyball Court.

Ritz Carlton Orlando restaurants.

For the second day, we ate lunch at Blue Cafe.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Blue Cafe.

We went to Bleu. It’s an outdoor pool cafe that offers seafood, salads, and burgers. I got delectable fish tacos. Oh! They were so good; I am still salivating recalling their taste, and Kevin got a fish sandwich with fruits, which was just perfect addition. The sandwich was on a smaller side, so I shared one of my fish tacos, and both of us had an ideal amount of food.

There is a Gelato stand right next to the swimming pool. I had never tried the ice cream before, but it felt like New Year was calling me to try something unexplored, so after talking to a seller, I picked the “White Chocolate” one. It was creamy with milk chocolate souffle inside and crunchy white chocolate outwards. It seemed a bit too sweet to my taste, but now I am on the mission to try them all.

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Fun Christmas time at Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Gelatys’ Ice Cream Stand.

Kevin had a “Chocolate Paw” made out of milk chocolate ice cream, and he was satisfied with the taste.

Resort Fee

Ritz Carlton charges 40 dollars daily resort fee and here is what it covers:

  • High Speed Internet
  • Mountain Bike Rental at Grande Lakes Sports (two bikes, one hour/day/room)
  • Driving Range Privileges
  • Two Pool Floats at the JW Marriott® Lazy River Pool
  •  Shuttle Transportation to SeaWorld®, Walt Disney World® and Universal® Orlando (24-hour advance reservations required)
  • Fitness Center Class for two guests (one class per day, per room)
  • Tennis Court access for two guests (one hour per day, per room)
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Bike trail

After lunch, we decided to spend the rest of the day at Marriott Vacation Club swimming pool. It added a good amount of fun. Kids tossed balls competing against each other. Danced, played tag, putt-putt, ran around the playground. In short, all three kids had a total blast.

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Lake Shore Reserve Marriott Vacation Club Swimming Pool.

So if you are looking for something new to do for Christmas, consider adding this location. It provides an impressive luxury experience with great family activities.

This place has 11 restaurants, and for Christmas, they offer a wide variety of activities such as Santa Visit, Christmas Craft, Holiday Carols, Santa’s Teddy Bear Tea, Christmas Movie Night, and much more. I wish we could eat at all those 11 locations and feature all activities, but I think we will save this for the next visit. I hope you liked the Ritz Carlton Orlando Review and will pin it for future references.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

Share this post with friends so you can go together.

Here are more posts you might be interested in What to do at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Resort?

Christmas fun at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN.

7 Best Desserts in Orlando 

7 Best Desserts in Orlando 

Hi friends, I shared The 12 Top Exciting things to do in Orlando with kids in the last post. In this post, I will share the best family restaurants that will double your fun while you are in Orlando, Florida. They all have a great interior, unique atmosphere, great food, and the best desserts in Orlando. Prices are above average (40 dollars and up for an entrée) but fair compared to food quality and ingredients. The restaurants are perfect for a special event or high-end craving food and want to spice your trip with a memorable meal. I also included some tips on how to make these visits more affordable.

All these restaurants require reservations, and it took us about 2 hours to finish our meals, which was a pleasant break for tired legs and relief from masks on a hot day.

The Best Desserts in Orlando

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen

When you visit Universal Parks in Orlando, stop by at this black-colored restaurant that looks like a factory. You will be surprised by what you see inside.

We were in awe of the great food choices and an impressive amount of desserts.

When you go to a place like that, you always expect they have something to surprise you with. This time the surprise was sweet. Chocolate Emporium is famous for its milkshakes. It’s not only delectable, but it also comes in an immense size. Unfortunately, we made a mistake and ordered two desserts, and one would be enough for our crew of two adults and two kids under nine y.o. So we had to take another one to dessert for the next day for the entire family.

Tip for Universal Parks.

We figured it is worth it to get seasonal passes, which pay itself with two separate visits. One parent should contact the more expensive Preferred Membership for free parking and food/merchandise discounts, and everyone else gets a cheaper seasonal pass. So long as blackout dates are not an issue, this plan works great.


Our Preferred Pass got us a discount at this restaurant.


It is at Disney Resort, but you can dine there even if not staying at the hotel. Just make a reservation. Parking is free.

African restaurant with Indian food. I know it doesn’t sound clear. To make it simple, I will add that the interior is all about Africa, but most items on the menu have curry. I am not a big fan of Indian food, but this restaurant is worth visiting at least once, and honestly, I plan to come back. The food is spicy and delicious. Although bread is not something, I would advertise but get their flatbread, please. It is so good. Freshly made, cooked especially for you, have different flavors, and comes with several dips. The dips’ taste varies from sweet to spicy and everything in between. YUM!

This restaurant is not only beautiful inside, but it also has an outstanding view of the Animal Kingdom Lodge savanna. You can watch gazelles, zebras, giraffes, kudu, ostriches, cranes, and more than you dine. Unfortunately, we came for supper, and it was dark outside, but I plan to visit during the day next time.


Are you an Italian food lover? Lasagna, spaghetti, calamari make you drool? Then visit this restaurant. It is at Disney Springs, and no Disney Parks ticket is required, and parking is free.

This restaurant and its back story melt my heart. It was named after Maria and Enzo, who fell in love at school and separated during a war. Enzo became a pilot, flew to America, and by coincidence found Maria there. This beautiful restaurant appeared due to their “lived happily ever after.” The restaurant is themed as an airport gate. You get checked in by an administrator dressed up as an air hostess. She leads you to a gorgeous dining room decorated with travel-themed wall paintings. The restaurant is spacious with a high ceiling and a beautiful interior.

Food is the same great. Among other dishes, we got crispy calamari, which was the best item on the menu. Some places know how to make them; some don’t. Maria and Enzo are experts in this area.

Kids got ice cream; I got cannoli. Chocolate ice cream is always good. Right? I couldn’t figure out what they made it off; Cannoli had a thick cream that was not too sweet. If you like desserts that do not cause cavities, that would be your choice.

There are also other great things going on at Disney Springs. We were lucky to hear a cover band playing Lincoln Park music. It was a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of different shops and other restaurants at the place.

Joe’s Crab Shack

The place is spacious, and the interior is uncomplicated. Some marine-themed signs here and there, but I liked the aroma most. Once you enter the restaurant, you get wrapped up by this flavor of baked seafood with butter and garlic and something yummy that makes your tummy grumble. There are several Crab Shacks in Orlando. We were next to the Orlando Eye (a sky wheel) with free parking.

This is the most favorite seafood restaurant in Orlando for our family. It provided the same high-quality fresh-made food, excellent service every time we went there, and it was reasonably priced. Kids were begging us to go back, and we were glad to revisit. We liked it so much that we went there three times during our two-week trip. Kids loved crabs, it seemed like it always was not enough, but by the end of the third visit, they got more content.

The big hit would be seafood pot. It provides a great variety and a generous amount of seafood for a reasonable price. We would get one per adult, and kids would order crab legs from the kids’ menu. Everything would be gone; nothing would be left.

Desserts are super sweet, and you can get rice crispy treat crab or a sea star to paint. Adults enjoyed s’mores dessert. Boy, it was a lot of calories!


It’s a chain of Seafood restaurants owned by Landry’s, Inc., the second-largest seafood dining chain after Red Lobster. If this information doesn’t boost your appetite, it saves you money. I would highly recommend you sign up for a Landry Card and save 25 dollars on your next visit to any chain restaurant. This card gives 1 point for each dollar spent. Two hundred fifty points equal 25 dollars. It also helped us to get seated faster.

The place is popular and gets filled up quickly. Get there for early dining time around 4 – 4:30 pm to avoid crowds. It takes a while to get your food, so don’t worry, you will get hungry when it arrives.


The following four restaurants are on the territory of Disney Parks, so enjoy their fantastic food while you are visiting Disney. You will get a discount if you carry a seasonal pass or a Disney club membership card.


It is in Animal Kingdom Park, and there is no better place to put this Asian restaurant.

This is my husband’s favorite family restaurant on the list. He liked it all over. His food was fantastic, and he was happy with the prices, service, and interior. I have a feeling we will go back. It has a beautiful interior decorated with all sorts of gorgeous pieces of art.

This restaurant had exotic dishes on the menu, and we all were curious about what we were going to get. The home run of the meal was a dessert, which is simply a culinary piece of art. Everything on the plate, including the words and image of Simba, is eatable. And this Lion King dessert was perfect. Usually, desserts taste too sweet for me, but this one was ideal. This melting in my mouth caramel mousse, Chocolate Brownie with Strawberry-Mango Sauce, takes well deserved first place on my desserts list.


If you cancel Disney Dining reservations within 24 hours, they will charge you a fee; however, they will reverse the charge if you call the dining reservations line.

Minnie’s Springtime Dine

This restaurant is at Hollywood Studios.

I think this would be my 2-year-old son’s favorite family restaurant in Orlando because of the Disney Characters that would come out every 15 minutes and would wave to him and other guests. The interior was simple, but the food was good and very expensive. Attention: we paid 250 dollars for two adults and two kids’ three-course meals. Each of us got a salad, entrée, and dessert.

Yay! One of my items on a food bucket list was to try truffle. Those two large flat pieces on the dish in the middle look like tofu, but it is a Black Truffle mushroom stem. Yes, they are that big and delicious. They call it the delicacy of all mushrooms, and now I can say it’s true.

The desserts were exceptionally delicious. My favorite Cream Brulee was gone in a blink of an eye, and I even didn’t share! Our kids got cold desserts. Michael ordered a lemon Sorbet, which made me wonder how they made it? It was completely white but didn’t feel/look like snow. It had a different texture. Undescribable. You have to try to understand.

Crystal Palace

It is a spacious restaurant with a beautiful view from the windows found in the Magic Kingdom Park. I love when I am dining, and sunlight comes through the windows. It makes me feel thrilled and relaxed. And this is how I felt today, having a splendid dining experience here.

And desserts are just beautiful and in a tremendous amount.

I couldn’t eat any of those desserts because they had brown sugar, and I am allergic to it, but I got this raspberry sorbet that was a pure delight on a hot sunny day. Yum! They made it out of strawberry puree, and it even had seeds in it.

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Le Cellier

We found this Canadian/French restaurant at Hollywood Studios.

It is a Canadian restaurant with lots of choices that include maple syrup. Unfortunately, I am allergic to this substance, but one option worked for me, so we all had a fabulous lunch.

Just look at this chocolate ice cream moose! So cute!

So that was my list of fantastic family restaurants. Share in the comments below which one did you like the most.

Also, feel free to share this list with friends. They will be thankful for tasty reference:).

12 Top Exciting Things to Do in Orlando with Kids.

12 Top Exciting Things to Do in Orlando with Kids.

Hello, friends! We just got back from Florida and had a total blast and flood of activities that I am eager to share with you so you too would have a list of the 12 Top Exciting Things to Do in Orlando with Kids. I listed them below in random order with some highlights. Let’s GO!

And I will start with a tip.

Tip # 1. To make the most of your experience, buck and time always, always get deals. The next 5 activities we got from Groupon and their prices were a fraction of what we would get online directly from companies’ sites. You can also use the website for amazing deals.

Helicopter Ride at Maxflight Helicopter Services. 1st of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

This is one of the craziest and awesome experiences I’ve ever had. While it’s all loud and bumpy (if the weather is windy), the view and feelings are just breathtaking. I remember ten years ago when we visited Niagara Falls; there were helicopter rides for just 300 dollars per person. My husband and I were passing by that place on our first-anniversary road trip to Canada, and it was big money, so we decided we will do it but at a different time.

Can you imagine how excited I was when we found one in Orlando for the entire family? Even our two years old son took the ride and said he liked it. You can choose to fly over Disney, Oldtown, and some other places. We choose Old town and Gatorland. I was both nervous and excited.

Water skiing at Florida Ski School. 2nd of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

Water skiing in Orlando seemed too risky for me, but we found this outstanding place in RD Keene park surrounded by luxury villas of celebrities such as Tiger Woods, an owner of West Gate, and some others. Plus, the ski business is owned by Franck Desboyaux. If you didn’t know, they rank him second in the world in waterskiing.

The ski instructor assured us that there were zero alligator attacks on this lake since the Civil war. All that together convinced me to try waterskiing, and we had a BLAST! Both Michael and Maria got on within the first three tries and Kevin as well. I was the only one who didn’t manage to get up, but I still had fun.

Oldtown. 3rd of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

It is one of the places that I thought, “meh. Everything is old and outdated, but I changed my mind on the way. Everything was reasonably priced but yet of high quality.

They have an awesome magic show where the magician demonstrates different styles of tricks. I was impressed with the one where you sit very close to the table, and spectators can see all the manipulations from different angles, and yet he still manages to trick us. It was the best 10 dollars spent.

I am not a fan of any hamburgers, but the one from A&W All American Food was juicy and tender and tasted really well, and french fries were fresh made and crispy. And the root beer was just amazing.

I tried my first Garra fish SPA. What a ticklish experience! Cried from laughter.

Wonderworks. 4th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

It is an indoor science-focused amusement park. And it is so fun! From giant bubbles to water illusion and electricity experiments. If your child likes science or loves to explore, take him there—fun for the entire family from 2 years old to 99+.

Wild Florida. 5th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

A great place for animal lovers. We did a lemur and sloth encounter. Kids were thrilled and loved to pet and feed those cute animals.

It is the only place where I saw a giant alligator being hand-fed. It made us all a bit nervous… Highly recommend you watch the show with Crushy.

This is a pedal boat which means one person pedals others push. It goes as fast as you can:))). To be serious, it is an airboat, and riding it gives you an unforgettable sense of freedom. The cool breeze and wildlife around you make you scream with excitement.

Gatorland. 6th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

I would highly recommend their zipline. It was the best one for a while, and now it is one of the ten best zip lines in the US. You go right over gators!

You never know until you try. I never thought I would try an alligator. It is more like I always was afraid to be an alligator’s snack. Well, I tried it there, and I wouldn’t say I liked it. I hope all gators have the same thought when seeing me. Well, this place is all about gators. I think they have a few hundreds of them. Small, medium, huge. Green, browning, albino. You can feed an alligator or watch them “hunt.” When I left the place, I had a feeling like I am not sure I liked everything I saw, but I definitely learned a lot.

This attraction is considered one of the 10 best ziplines in the US and is an absolute must-try. It is long, and you swing over the gators, which makes it extra exciting.

Universal Studios. 7th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

We call it the Park of Harry Potter, which is where we spend most of the time. It’s just so awesome to be a wizard! Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is our favorite ride. Please make sure you check our blog on a visit to Universal Studios here.

Legoland. 7th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

Our kids love this park. It is perfect for kids between 2 and 12—lots of rides and playgrounds. Waterpark costs extra, but it is a perfect place for a hot afternoon. We stayed at the Legoland Hotel; it was super fun and the food there is the best! I have the whole blog post devoted to this cool place. You can find it here.

Tip 2. We got a great deal for the next three places from here. It was a package with a 50 % discount to Discovery Cove, plus 2 weeks in Seaworld and Aquatica, on top of it we got free parking. The deals change, so keep an eye to catch the best for you.

Discovery Cove. 8th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

A luxury place for memorable experiences. Swimming with dolphins, swimming with sharks, feeding exotic birds. It is all here. If you have these activities on your bucket list, no need to travel far; just stop by here. Their lazy river is so cool! You go through caves and swim over treasure chests and cannons. The atmosphere of adventure persuades you wherever you go.

Sea World. 9th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

This is an enormous place with different animal shows and exhibits. The shows are spectacular, and we watched them each several times. Try feeding sea lions and stingrays. The kids were thrilled doing it. Try SeaWorld during the big Holiday season. Last time we were there for Christmas and saw a beautiful ice skating show and the decorations were amazing!

Aquatica. 11th of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

A huge water park for the entire family, baby pools, slides, lazy river, gigantic water playground. Perfect for a hot sunny day. They also have a dolphin slide where the slide goes underwater, and you can see dolphins playing around. Spectacular!

Disney World. 12 of the 12 top things to do in Orlando with kids.

And last but not least is Disney World! It includes four Theme parks that are all by themselves are a separate world.

Animal Kingdom

Ah! My favorite park. I love animals, and watching them is a pure delight for me. We do Kilimanjaro Safaris every time we go there. Great ride, knowledgeable guide, lots of great animals, and a bumpy road:).

Enjoy! I would watch all their shows again and again. I tried Avatar Flight of Passage. Another of their most recent ride is Na’vi River Journey. For more references, check our recent visit to this great park here.


What an outstanding idea of placing 11 countries in one park and run amazing festivals throughout the year! We were lucky that our trip falls into the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Beautiful! The park is great by itself, but during the flower festival, it’s blossoming. If you can plan your trip for one of their seasonal celebrations, do it. You will get extra magic if it is even possible with Disney.

Hollywood Studios

The highlight would be the Star Wars Zone. If I had to choose just one ride, I would do Rise of the Resistance. It’s a mixture of animation, real actions, and illusion. (I know it’s hard to explain). You participate in an adventure, where you will be kidnaped, escape and get involved in an intergalactic war… And yeah, you will be in the epicenter of the event. Unforgettable impression. My older kids liked it, and they both took it twice and wanted some more.

Magic Kingdom

The park has a lot of rides for the whole family. Our favorite ones are Space Mountain, the Pirates The of The Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, and It’s a Small World.

I hope you liked the list. Let me know in the comments below if I missed any great attractions. And if you find this post useful, feel free to share it with your friends.

Luxury Family Trip to Disney World: 5 Tips and Recommendations for an Epic Trip

Luxury Family Trip to Disney World: 5 Tips and Recommendations for an Epic Trip

It was our first visit of a Disney World as a family of four. And we call it “Epic Travel to Disney World“! Because it was! The weather in January was nice and cool, which helps a lot when you have kids and do outdoor activities the whole day.

Theme Parks

Disney World is known for its incredible theme parks, and a luxury family trip would not be complete without visiting them. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom all offer unique experiences and attractions for visitors of all ages. From thrilling roller coasters to character meet-and-greets, there is something for everyone.

During my family’s luxury trip to Disney World, we made sure to visit each of the four theme parks. Our favorites were Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Magic Kingdom has classic attractions like Space Mountain and It’s a Small World, while Animal Kingdom offers a more immersive experience with its stunning landscapes and animal encounters.

disney world
Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Epic travel to Disney World.

When you go to an enormous place like this, planning is your best friend. Not only you will save time waiting in lines but also will be guaranteed to see everything you wish. We used the “My Disney Experience” app, and it had everything we needed. We booked our special lunches in advance, VIP seating at the shows, fast passes, and much more. So we would see/do everything we wanted.

We also checked Disney World Crowd Calendar to make sure we go during a moderate crowd season.

Kevin is supper good with planning. So this is what we were able to do within two days.


Getting around Walt Disney World Resort is a breeze, thanks to their complimentary transportation options. You have three main methods of transportation at Disney World: the buses, the monorail system, and the boat. All of these options are included with your Disney World ticket.

The buses are the most common mode of transportation and are available to take you from your resort hotel to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. The buses run frequently and are a great option for families with strollers, as they are equipped with wheelchair lifts and designated stroller areas. The My Disney Experience app provides up-to-date bus schedules and wait times, making it easy to plan your day.

The monorail system is a fun and unique way to travel between Magic Kingdom and select resort hotels. The monorail is a classic Disney attraction and offers stunning views of the resort. The boats are another fun way to travel to select resorts and Disney Springs. They are a great option for families who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a leisurely ride.

Disney World. Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

On the first day, we went to Animal Kingdom Theme Park. We all like animals, so it was a brilliant decision.

Festival of the Lion King. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

I am a big fan of performances. So our first entertainment was Festival of the Lion King show. And BAM! It strokes me right away! So spectacular! You would think it’s a kid’s show so it would be sketchy, but no, everything Disney does is of the highest quality.

If you go, it will not disappoint you. The best kids show I’ve seen so far. The quality of the costumes and decorations are stunning. And dances and music are unforgettable. (Check the video).

My kids were watching without blinking. I think they stopped breathing too. The show is a combination of a musical with elements of ballet and circus. Flawless! My kids loved it and so will yours!

It also will impress an adult, too, even if you watched an animated movie and even if you are as picky as I am. This show is the next level of performing the drama.

Although the Disney World Crowd Calendar helped to check the level of business for some activities, you still need to make reservations.

Lunch with Disney Characters

Character Dining

Character dining is a must-do for families with young children. Not only do you get to enjoy a delicious meal, but you also get to meet and take photos with some of your favorite Disney characters.

Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom is a classic choice for character dining. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Cinderella’s castle while meeting Disney princesses.

Another popular option is Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Enjoy a buffet-style meal while meeting Mickey Mouse and friends.

For a unique character dining experience, try Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Enjoy a buffet-style meal with African-inspired cuisine while meeting characters in their safari gear.

Personal Experience: During my luxury family trip to Disney World, we made sure to try a mix of fine dining and character dining experiences. Our favorite character dining experience was at Cinderella’s Royal Table, where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast while meeting princesses. For fine dining, we loved our meal at Jiko – The Cooking Place, where we tried unique dishes and enjoyed a great wine selection. Overall, the dining experiences at Disney World exceeded our expectations and were a highlight of our trip.

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Lunch with Disney Characters. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

Right after the show, we went for lunch with the Characters. OMG! Kids were amazed to see Goofy, Donald, and Mickey coming straight to our table to say hi. I think Maria, who was four years old, thought they were real.

It made her day! For real! To hug and dance with alive Disney characters? What could be more special?


The next stop is the “Finding Nemo” show. Here people move human height toys over the stage. Both my kids love puppets, so they were watching with their mouths open. Great for kids.

Disney World offers a variety of shows that are perfect for a luxury family trip. At the Magic Kingdom, catch the Festival of Fantasy Parade, a colorful procession featuring your favorite Disney characters. The Finding Nemo – The Musical show at Animal Kingdom is also a must-see, featuring incredible puppetry and catchy songs.

For a more adult-oriented show, check out Cirque du Soleil’s Drawn to Life at Disney Springs. This show combines acrobatics, animation, and Disney storytelling for a unique and unforgettable experience.

After the show, we had Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom! Do you like animals? I do. I would never miss an opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. Well, Disney did the best possible and safe way to experience it.

Lions. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

On Kilimanjaro Safaris, you can see lions, wild buffalos, giraffes, elephants, and many more animals without those bars, fences, or cages.

At one place we had to stop because giraffes were crossing ours way. Wow! It gave me chills to be so close to wild nature. All four of us enjoyed the ride at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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Kilimanjaro Safaris. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

At the sunset, they have a beautiful performance led by National Geographic, called Rivers of Light. It’s a story about wildlife told you through images on a water-screen. The water gives the movie a surrealistic effect. Any esthete will get a visual and musical pleasure watching the show. It worth every minute of your time and every bit of your attention. It was a great ending of a brilliant day. After the show, we went back to the hotel tired and excited.

Rivers of Light. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.


One of the most popular attractions at Disney World is the nightly fireworks display. Happening at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios, the fireworks are a must-see for any luxury family trip. The Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After show is a fan favorite, featuring stunning pyrotechnics and projections on Cinderella’s Castle.

Day 2.

We went to Magic Kingdom Park. If you check the map, you see it comprises five parks. We began with the Adventureland and walked around visiting each park. The Magic Carpets of Aladin were one of our first rides. And it was a blast!

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Show with Captain Jack. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

I like that at Magic Kingdom Park you can see a performance at every corner. We met Captain Jack Sparrow with his assistant and even got a certificate, stating that we are licensed pirates:). That was a fun interactive show, and Captain Jack looked like a real one.

Lunch was at the Italian restaurant. Oh! That was a savior and a special treat. We booked it in advance and that afternoon appeared to be hot, but it felt perfect in the cool and luxury place with amazing food and dessert as the grand finale. I didn’t want to leave, but we had so much to do.

Disney Parade.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Full Guide to Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

It is spectacular!

When you are in the park, you already have a sense of holiday, but the Festival of Fantasy Parade lifts you up to the next level of celebration.

In that parade of beauty and fairytale, you will see all Disney characters. If it is your first visit, or if you never watched it from the VIP seating, please do so.

It will give you the best perspective and some characters will even stop by and give you a fist bump. Fun and special. My kids loved it. They’ve been waving like crazy to all the trucks.

My older son is all about quests, so we got hooked up on a game where you get special cards and a map and would hunt for spots with images on the ground located all over the park to find a portal or a station that would tell us where we should go next. We spent playing this game all afternoon till supper. It let us explore every corner of the park and made me feel like we were spies.

Before and after and in between the scheduled events, we would do rides with the least waiting time or the closest ones.

My overall experience is beyond expectations. Miracle after miracle and it’s a pure magic Park.

Tips and tricks

1. Maria was still taking naps, and we were smart to bring a big two-seat stroller with us. We loaded all our stuff on it and she took her usual nap.

I love strollers. You can load everything on and just push them. Pushing is easier than carrying so my advice would be to bring a stroller or definitely rent one when you go to the park with kids younger than 6 years. It is crowded there, and it’s tricky to navigate, but you will be thankful for the opportunity to have your hands free and to move at “adult” speed when necessary.

2. Have comfortable walking shoes and rotate walking activities with watching shows and lunch breaks.

3. As I already mentioned, plan ahead.

Have you ever been to Disney World? It’s an enormous place and two days is not enough to see and to try everything. What would you recommend seeing/doing there?

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Loews Sapphire Falls: 1 great Hotel Near Universal Studios Orlando with Shuttle 

Loews Sapphire Falls: 1 great Hotel Near Universal Studios Orlando with Shuttle 

Hi Friends, we just got back from epic travel to Universal Studios Park and and stayed at Loews Sapphire Falls, a Hotel Near Universal Studios Orlando with Shuttle so I have a lot of exciting information to share with you!

Traveling during a pandemic differs from traveling during the usual time. The major difference besides the risk of getting sick is less crowding. There are fewer people and you have to wear a mask pretty much everywhere unless you are swimming or eating.

But read what I put on my family travel blog for you!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. A Hotel Near Universal Studios Orlando with Shuttlet.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

When we got to Florida, our first stop was Orlando. We stayed at a Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. A grand hotel, with a heated pool, hot tub, and amazing food. Great for a family!

We had a group of six people (3 adults and 3 children under 9 y.o.). The room we got was spacious and clean. Beautiful landscapes all over the place.

If you are a gourmet, I would recommend trying the food at a swimming pool cafeteria. The pizza was just… Perfect! I am not a big fan of pizzas, but I ate a lot of them during my life. I will tell you, that one is the BEST. Sounds like nothing special, just a pepperoni pizza, but the crust and cheese are something unbelievable! Just try!

I didn’t take a picture because it was gone before I tried mine and realized that it worth taking a shot. The shrimp and strawberry salad was a grand match to the Amazing pizza. Just delicious!

Tip #1.

At the Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort, you can check-in as early as 7 am on the day of arrival and get an early park admission or use some of their amenities. You won’t be able to get into the room until 4 pm though. And when you check-out (at 11 am) you can use the amenities (pool, restaurants) until they close.

Tip #2

If you are an annual pass holder, you get 10 percent off at the restaurants. We also had a good deal – kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée. I think they constantly run those specials.

Amatista Cookhouse (Caribbean Cuisine)

This is where we had an unforgettable breakfast. A beautiful, spacious restaurant with a high ceiling and lots of natural light made our morning magical. The food was delicious and looked like a piece of art! There were some wait and kids got impatient, but the food and pleasure we got were worth every minute of waiting.

Universal Studios Park.

Water Taxi. Epic travel to Universal Studios Park and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Right after the super breakfast, we went straight to Universal Parks. It was very convenient to get there by boat taxi. The boat station was next to the restaurant, and the ride lasted for about 3 minutes. Ta-Da! And were are at the gate! The boat brought us to Universal Studios Park.

Tip #3

When we get to the park on early admission, we go to the very end where Harry Potter rides are located and those ride before anyone else gets there.


The least crowded time of the year at Universal Studios Park is Black Friday morning. Even fewer people than during Pandemic.

It was not crowded, but they’re still were lots of people. The longest wait on the rides was less than 30 minutes, but most rides had no wait time. Since it was not crowded, we just took rides as we went.

Gringot’s Bank. Epic travel to Universal Studios Park and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

One of my favorite attractions is a Hogwarts ride. I am not too much into the ride itself, but the work they put into the interior and exterior makes me really impressed.

Dining at Universal Studios Park

If you know me well, you know that I am a big food lover and gourmet. Excellent lunch and supper are the same important for me as entertainment. Sometimes even more important:).

We have a few favorite spots in the parks to eat. It depends where hunger catches us. If it is at the beginning of the trip, we go to the Monsters Cafe. The indoor is kinda creepie with screaming TV show scenes and decorations.

It is dark inside and kids cry and want to leave but the food is REALY good so we place a take-out and have a picnic.

Right in front of the cafe, there is a green field with an enormous TV screen where you can comfortably sit, eat, and even nap.

Tip #5

The wait time to the Monsters Cafe during lunchtime might reach 40 minutes but if you place an online order, it will be ready in 10 minutes.

This time Monsters Cafe was closed, and we had breakfast recently, so we went to The Leaky Cauldron for lunch. Three Broomsticks and this restaurant have exactly the same menu but a different interior. It’s worth visiting both.

Portions are big. Would feed an adult man but I am petite so I usually have about a half left. The same is with the kid’s portion. Our 9 years old son eats it all but 6 years old daughter leaves some. And they always choose a pumpkin fizz for a drink.

During our past visits, we tried everything on the menu and our best vote is “Fish and Chips”. We order it regularly, and this time all five of us had the same order. Try their Butter Beer (my favorite). At cold seasons they serve both hot and cold versions. During the warm season, they serve only cold beer, but it is equally tasty.

While mommy and the baby are finishing their food, kids run with daddy to a candy shop to get some sweets. This time they got chocolate frogs and sugar quills.

After lunch, back to the hotel! Oh my! It was a HOT day and just perfect for a swimming pool! We jumped in and did not leave until supper.

Guess where we had supper? Right! At the Amatista Cookhouse! We knew they must have a great menu for supper and we were right! Everything we got was exceptionally great. Same as with breakfast a waiting time was longer than we expected so kids got hungry and impatient plus they were exhausted but behaved pretty well and munched the food in a blink.
After supper, go to the bed exhausted and happy! What a great day!

Tomorrow we are heading to Marco Island. Read about the adventure here.

How would your best day in Universal Studios Park look like?