You’ve finally decided to take the kids to Walt Disney World! But if you are like most parents, you will only be able to take so many rounds of “It’s a Small World” and so many photos of adults dressed as princesses before you start to feel the magic wearing off fast. Fortunately, there is a way to maintain your sanity while keeping your kids happy.
If you want your home-away-from-home base to be in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom, try the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. This 2-year-old flagship Wyndham Grand property is conveniently located within the gates of Walt Disney World and provides complimentary private shuttle service to the theme parks. Situated on a 10-acre lake, there are countless features catering to kids, both big and small.
Your children will find it nearly impossible to utter the words “I’m bored” and mean it when they have the choice of floating on a lazy river, playing putt-putt, wasting quarters in the arcade or partaking in one of the many daily children’s activities the resort offers; even the littlest ones can enjoy splashing around in the zero-entry swimming pool. And after wearing themselves out, they can pass out in your family-friendly bunk-bed room.
To reward yourself for hours of standing in line to ride Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, book a massage at Blue Harmony Spa (don’t forget to finish off your visit with the Experience Shower.) If you’re the active type, guests of the resort have access to the Rees Jones-designed championship golf course at the nearby Waldorf Astoria Golf Club. And if gluttony is more your thing, you’ve lucked out. The resort offers a spectrum of dining options, from the award-winning deep blu seafood grille (cedar-baked swordfish, anyone?) to Back Bay Pool Bar & Grill, the open-air restaurant that will dropkick you into a food coma with its Krispy Kreme doughnut burger and fried pickles with chipotle ranch dressing.
SeaWorld Orlando/Discovery Cove
If you have time for a non-Disney outing and are craving a dose of reality amid all the fantasy, SeaWorld Orlando and its sister park, Discovery Cove, are unique places to bring the kids. SeaWorld’s newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, begins with a ride component that follows the adventures of Puck, a hatchling, and ends with entry into a frigid room full of ... yep, penguins. At Discovery Cove, the all-inclusive package offers the opportunity to eat and drink your fill and then interact with all sorts of wildlife (i.e., dolphins!) Take the kids for a dip with Flipper to prove you’re the coolest parent around.