At long last, the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is open for business, and it does not disappoint — the understatement of the year. With 443 rooms on 26.5 acres, it’s the largest Four Seasons property in the world. Despite the size, the property feels surprisingly intimate and manageable, with no “getting around” hassle factor. The design is spectacular and I honestly can’t remember the last time I was at a property this luxurious that offers so many wonderful spaces for every age.
They’ve thought of everything — not to mention, it’s located within Walt Disney World Resort, with seamless access to endless theme park goodness. The biggest issue, in fact, is deciding how to balance playtime on the property with park time. Fortunately, there’s a steady stream of private Four Seasons shuttles from the hotel to the park that enable families to do a bit of everything, provided they are in town for a long enough amount of time.
The entrance and lobby area is grand, with huge windows overlooking a lake and an expansive garden. They call the architecture Spanish Revival — it’s open, airy and modern with striking sculptures and art installations inside and out. The ambiance is luxurious but approachable, while thoughtful design touches make it unique and interesting.
One of my favorite features of the Four Seasons Orlando is the plethora of appealing spaces for social time. Lounge seating on terraces with beautiful property views is perfectly set up for families and small gatherings.
When you build a property from the ground up with families in mind, it’s easy to offer ideally configured accommodations for stays with kids, and this is the case here. Options include king-bedded rooms with queen-size sofa beds, so that parents don’t have to give up bed space for a single room that sleeps everyone. Rooms with two double beds are available as well. And there is a huge array of suites, including options with two separate rooms and two bathrooms, enabling privacy and space for all.
Guestrooms are designed in neutral tones with a pop of color. All rooms have a private balcony with seating and include Nespresso coffee makers and iPad room controls. Lake or park view rooms are available. Some of the rooms enable families to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks right from their room! Fun.
There is a dizzying array of spaces and places for families to relax and play together … or apart. There’s an adult pool, a family pool, a lazy river and a waterslide. Every one of these pools is gorgeous and offers a different vantage point of the property.
Explorer Island is family central and includes the kid-focused swimming areas, as well as a wonderful Splash Zone with interactive fountains and a zero-entry pool for wee legs. It’s a toddler and school-age paradise.
The Hideout, a tween-teen gaming area, is cleverly positioned behind the Splash Zone so that families with kids of multiple ages can still easily play near one another. If that isn’t enough, The Mansion is an additional family hangout spot, with table tennis, pool tables, croquet and bocce ball. And there’s yet another area with a full sand volleyball court and basketball court.
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Kids For All Seasons, Four Seasons’ complimentary supervised kids’ club, is in full swing here for ages 4-12. We didn’t participate in the program on this visit, but saw the kids out and about playing games and having fun. The program provides the means for parents to get some pool or spa downtime.
Four Seasons offers four dining outlets. PB&G is an open-air venue overlooking the lake, offering Southern-inspired cuisine. We had lunch here and loved it. Fresh ingredients in a casual atmosphere make it perfect for families who want something delicious but low-key. From salmon burgers to lamb taco al pastor to fresh salads, there’s something for everyone.
We also had the opportunity to try Capa, a modern Spanish steakhouse with glorious park views from the 17th floor of the resort. This option is more upscale with pricing to match; Capa is good for date night or one of the special evenings when Kids For All Seasons offers evening programming.
Ravello offers Italian food and Plancha in the Golf Clubhouse offers Cuban-American food. We didn’t get a chance to give them a test drive, but I have no doubt that they are the same quality level as all the other outlets here.
The breakfast buffet is excellent with fresh everything, as well as a cooked-to-order omelet bar. Character breakfasts are offered bi-weekly every Thursday and Saturday; sometimes a third day is added during peak holiday periods.
Lickety Split, the coffee and gelato bar in the lobby, deserves its own shout out. I love this property for having a gourmet coffee outlet! All of the gelato is made in-house.
Our stay was for only two nights, which, as far as I’m concerned, is two nights too short — there’s so much to do here. We didn’t get a chance to visit the 13,000-square-foot spa, which includes couples’ suites. Of course, this hotel is at Disney World, so there’s a whole Magical Moments for Kids spa program.
A Tom Fazio-designed golf course is available for families who want to include golf in their Orlando getaway plans, as well as a full fitness center and tennis courts.
The lobby includes a full Disney Park reservations desk just for Four Seasons guests, and as I mentioned, continuous free private shuttles run from the resort to all the Disney attractions. Disney and non-Disney fans alike will love this property, it’s so well done. Bravo, Four Seasons!
Rooms for a family of four start at $579 per night.
Our CB! Vacation Consultants are family travel experts who can advise on everything from booking rooms to the best strategy to see Walt Disney World and the rest of Orlando’s huge list of attractions with kids of different ages. Learn more and request assistance on the CB! Vacation Consultants home page.
Editor’s Note: Amie received a media package to review the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy.
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