Spacious, Family-Friendly Suites Minutes from Walt Disney World
After the success of Disneyland in the 1950s, Walt Disney turned his sights on central Florida for his next amusement-park venture: Disney World. This time, he made sure to build his sprawling dreamland in an area secluded enough to provide plenty of room for growth. In the years since, the area in and around Orlando has proven itself capable of supporting a bumper crop of family-friendly offerings, not just from Disney but from a host of other suppliers of whimsy as well. With its colorful pink, blue, and yellow façade, playground, and water volcano, Grande Villas Resort holds its own among the area's many resorts—and all within short driving distance of Disney World and other major theme parks.
Like a home away from home, all of the resort's suites come with fully stocked kitchens, master bedrooms, and whirlpool-jet tubs. Foldout sleeper sofas in the living room accommodate additional friends, family, and 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 suite, overlooking the resort's two pools or palm-studded gardens.
Orlando: World-Class Shopping and Theme Parks
Located about 6 miles from Disney World and Universal Studios, Grande Villas Resort lies within easy reach of the amusement parks that put Orlando on the map. But with a network of nearly 100 lakes and canals, Orlando has plenty to explore beyond the amusement parks. Malls and trendy retailers dot the major intersections in upscale Thornton Park. And about 20 minutes to the north, smaller boutiques and chocolatiers line the brick-paved streets in Winter Park.
Still, most families can't resist the allure of seven major theme parks within a 10-mile radius. Disney characters come to life at the 107-acre Magic Kingdom, where Cinderella Castle towers over gentle children's rides and adrenaline-pumping roller coasters. The park's Fantasyland is currently undergoing an expansion that will eventually leave it doubled in size thanks to the application of a piece of cake imported from Wonderland.