Rediscovering Disney World: An Oasis for All Ages

by Jessica Flannigan
Disney World is traditionally known as the land of eternal childhood, theme park rides and come-to-life cartoon characters. So naturally it was the perfect destination to surprise our two young children with - ages one and four - last summer. We were excited for our older son to experience the greatest place on earth and make it magical for him. 

But what we didn’t realize was that Disney World had an extra added perk, for sleep deprived parents of a one year old-- The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. We chose to stay there because of its many amendities including proximity to the parks and a great rate during operating months. And because young children can be challenging to travel with from varying nap times to meltdowns to sugar highs and the inevitable sugar crash, Disney World can sometimes feel like a place where parents have to be on 100% percent of the time. The resort offered a serene refuge from the busy, bustling park atmosphere and offered us a place to get rest and rejuvenate from all the non-stop fun.

So after spending the morning and early afternoon at the Disney parks each day, we boarded our air conditioned bus back to the resort to get set for an afternoon of relaxation. We even became resort voyagers during our stay, by exploring all areas of it every afternoon. 

The five-acre Explorer Island water park is made up of a lazy river, two water slides, a fun splash pad and of course, a pool. The resort also offers an adults-only pool for people who may not be traveling with young kids. The splash pad allowed all of us to enjoy pool time without worrying and constantly stopping our children walking into the deep end. They could safely explore while we watched on from just a few steps away.

The resort was also kid and family-friendly in other ways. Table tennis, bocce ball, beach volleyball and a playground add fun options for any household. The resort also had a kids program for children ages 4 to 12. Whlle we didn’t take advantage of it on this trip, it’s a wonderful addition for many families. 

The complementary pool movies were an added treat for many children. And though our little ones haven’t aged out to enjoy this feature yet, the resort had many options for teenagers too. Its Hideout features video games, iPad tables, pinball and more. This is the perfect rainy day solution  for families with teenagers.And as an extra added treat, families are also given the option of ordering a light lunch.

With no laundry to be done, no dishes or yard work to tend to, my husband and I firmly signed off from work for several days. We got a chance to just be and enjoy our boys.While the parks were filled with fun and are every child’s dream, as two exhausted parents, the resort offered us a vacation within our vacation.  The oasis gem exceeded our expectations in every way. Having traveled extensively with our older son in search of resorts and other travel organizations, finding the ones that are truly kid-friendly changes the game. So run, don’t walk to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World. It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Top five resort amenities to get when traveling with kids:

1. Kid-friendly activities and leisure spaces
2. Kid-friendly restaurants
3. Rooms that can accommodate a family
4. Complementary transportation
5. A general attitude of welcoming children

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