Private, Tropical-Themed Villas Minutes from Disney World
In 1971, a man named Walt brought a bit of magic to a small town in central Florida by opening Magic Kingdom, a small theme park that would eventually grow into Walt Disney World. Runaway Beach Club's complimentary shuttle runs to and from the park, just six miles away, depositing lodgers amid the thrilling rides and world-famous attractions at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. The resort itself rests on 16 acres of lush landscaping, a welcome oasis of space and privacy after confronting the amusement-park crowds.
Colorful fountains and sprayers decorate the Key West pool, ideal for little ones and families with safety features such as zero-depth entry. The South Beach–themed pool and connected sundeck caters to adults and emanates with the relaxing reggae tunes of The Pioneers and Bob Marley.
Private one- or two-bedroom luxury villas resemble cotton candy with pink, yellow, or turquoise-blue exteriors. The decor inside is colorful and simple; navy-blue carpets frame white beach furniture, plush couches, and striped nautical bedspreads. Full gourmet kitchens come stocked with new appliances and every accoutrement necessary to whip up meals in-house or start a successful rhythm band.
Kissimmee, FL: Gateway to Disney World and Downtown Orlando
Located on the banks of Lake Tohopekaliga, Kissimmee sits about 22 miles from downtown Orlando and just 16 miles from Walt Disney World. The world’s most-visited entertainment resort, Disney World, spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney area. Here, you can ride Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom in the morning, then sample Moroccan cuisine over at Epcot’s World Showcase pavilions in the afternoon before the nightly IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth light show. The success of the park has brought an influx of other theme parks to Orlando, including Universal Studios and SeaWorld.
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 the CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which holds improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find several cultural institutions surrounding Orlando Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art, with a collection featuring pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the Orlando Science Center. Visit the science center to take a rover across a simulation of Mars’ red surface or race model cars down a 70-foot pinewood-derby track.
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