There is no doubt that The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World is the best deluxe resort in the area. A stay at the Spanish Revival-inspired resort comes with on-site recreation facilities that will leave the entire family happy and ready to book a return visit.
Rooms Designed with Families in Mind
Go for a park view room or suite on one of the upper floors of the resort. These rooms are about $200 more per night and absolutely worth it. Facing west, the 80-square-foot park view balconies offer a great view of the pool area and, on the horizon, all four Disney theme parks.
All rooms are spacious and designed with families in mind. The 500-square-foot standard guest rooms feature either one king bed with a sleeper sofa or two double beds; cribs are, of course, available. Amenities include two flat-panel TVs, a small refrigerator, a work desk with two chairs, Bose Bluetooth speakers, a coffee maker, complimentary overnight shoeshine service, twice-daily housekeeping service, and complimentary newspapers, as well as standard Wi-Fi service. Nightstands have four electrical outlets and two USB ports; plenty of additional possibilities to plug in are available throughout the room and the bathroom.
Bathrooms feature a glass-walled shower, a separate bathtub, a vanity area with two sinks, and TV built into the mirror. I loved the thick terry bathrobes, the C.O. Bigelow beauty products hailing from America’s oldest apothecary, and the little lantern with the flameless LED candle meant to add ambience when taking a bath.
Child-size bathrobes, complimentary baby and children’s toiletries, Little Swimmers diapers, and children’s pool toys are available free of charge—and so is the use of a children’s video library.
In the evening, Mom and Dad can sip a pre-dinner drink, courtesy of the in-room Plum, and all can enjoy the spectacular sunset on the terrace. The size of an espresso machine, the Plum keeps track of how many glasses are consumed and adds the cost to your bill. In case you are interested in acquiring a Plum for your home, check out their website.
Later at night, from the comfort of your terrace, feast your eyes on the nightly fireworks at the parks. Watch the Happily Ever After fireworks over the Magic Kingdom at 8 p.m., followed by Epot’s IllumiNations at 9 p.m., with the Star Wars fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as the grand finale at 10 p.m.
Explorer Island, a Paradise for the Entire Family
Explorer Island is the resort’s 5-acre pool area. Grown-ups will enjoy the adult area, encompassing an infinity pool, a comfortable seating space, and attentive staff members who provide everything from fresh towels, free sunscreen, reading material, and a jar with ice water. Guests can order light meals, drinks, and rent private cabanas.
The Four Seasons’ zero-entry family pool comes with two (242-foot) waterslides and a most fabulous splash zone that will keep toddlers happy for hours.
The entire family will enjoy the 11,000-square-foot lazy river, while teens will welcome The Cove, which is the final stop of the lazy river where they can enjoy a water volleyball game.
The entire pool complex features incredible seating areas. From day beds and loungers under palm trees, covered couches, to small tents, and hanging napping pods, the resort invites guests to relax in comfort.
Four Seasons Means Kids for All Seasons
This free children’s program is available to resort guests daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is the only children’s activity program available at Walt Disney World after Disney closed their paying children’s activity centers this year.
The complimentary Four Seasons kids club takes place inside The Mansion, a clubhouse were parents can drop off kids for a few hours or sign them in for the whole day. Activities include arts and crafts, as well as swim and movie time. Staff will also entertain and supervise kids in the adjoining playground. Children attending pool activities must know how to swim proficiently. The program is available for kids ages 4 to 12.
Younger children are also welcome at the club, as long as a parent stays with them while they play.
Behind the splash zone is The Hideout, a fun spot for teens and tweens to hang out with friends. Activities here include pinball, billiards, and the latest video games. The activities at The Hideout are supervised by the Kids for All Seasons team. Children under age 12 may take part in these activities if accompanied by an adult.
A paying in-room babysitting service is available through Kids Night Out, a reliable third-party service. Rates start at $18 per hour for one child, plus parking and transportation fees. http://kidsniteout.com
Magical Moments for Kids
Located in the Sense Spa of the resort, the Magical Moments for Kids experience is an upscale makeover for aspiring young royalty, similar to Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
The Belle of the Ball package ($140) includes a princess hairstyle of choice, crystal hair accessories, makeup, a manicure, a bracelet of choice, and a dose of Pixie Dust. The Royal Treatment ($300) comes with a princess dress of choice, a crystal tiara and wand, and all the beauty treatments of the Belle of the Ball package.
The Princess & Queen package ($480) offers a “Mommy and Me” experience. While the little princess receives the royal treatment, mom is treated to a glamorous blowout, a classic manicure, and a designer crystal hair accessory. All packages come with a commemorative certificate and plenty of fairy dust.
Boys are not left out, as the Shining Knight treatment ($50) will make sure that your little prince gets a handsome hairdo complete with a royal crown, a shield of courage, and a sword.
Food Kids Will Love
The casual buffet breakfast at Ravello features breakfast favorites such as an omelet station, charcuterie, lox, an assortment of fresh breads and homemade jams. At dinner the cuisine is modern Italian: pastas, pizzas, and specialty dishes such as the pan-seared tuna with eggplant caponatta or Parmesan-breadcrumb-crusted veal.
For kids, however, the highlight of a meal at Ravello is the Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals. While not officially noted, his pals are always Mickey and Minnie. The buffet-style breakfast is served on Saturdays and Thursdays (and select Tuesdays during peak school break periods) from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. The character breakfast costs $48 per adult and $28 per child.
If you are looking for a quick bite, check out Lickety Split. Kids will not need much persuasion to give the house-made gelato a try.
For a casual meal on Explorer Island, try PB & G, a lakefront pool and bar grill.
For a parents’ night out, there is Capa. The Spanish-themed rooftop steakhouse serves fresh Florida seafood and Spanish-style tapas.
Good to Know
Shuttle service to the parks is free and by luxury coach. The bus to the Magic Kingdom only goes to the Transportation and Ticket Center, from where you will have to take the ferry or the monorail to the park’s entrance. There is no transportation to Disney Springs. Guests staying at the Four Seasons are better off having a car or taking a taxi.
Last, but certainly not least, the comfort, amenities, and personal service at the Four Seasons is consistent. The staff is well trained, courteous, and most helpful. To make reservations, visit the resort’s website.
This article was first published by Small World Vacations. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter here. For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids by Bob Sehlinger and Liliane Opsomer, with Len Testa.