11 Ways to Experience Luxury in Orlando
VIP Theme Park Magic, Presidential Suites and Fine Dining
ORLANDO, Fla. – While Orlando offers countless unique adventures for all budgets and tastes, high-end experiences give visitors exclusive, unforgettable ways to experience another side of the destination.
The VIP treatment ranges from lavish five-star hotels and extravagant chef’s tables to private behind-the-scenes and no-line tours in the Theme Park Capital of the World®. Here are some of the top luxury experiences not to be missed:
1. Disney’s “Enchanting Extras”
Whether visitors are celebrating a special occasion or treating the family to a well-deserved splurge, exclusive Disney World add-ons elevate any vacation. There are more than 70 high-end experiences available, like the Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, with a private safari and dinner on the park’s vast savanna. While visiting Epcot, guests can upgrade to attend the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party, which invites guests to enjoy exclusive seating to view the nighttime fireworks show and savor delicious desserts, snacks and drinks inspired by the feature film, “Frozen.” Guests can also opt to take to the waters on a private yacht for the fireworks show at Epcot. Star Wars fans can get the ultimate VIP treatment with the Star Wars Guided Tour at Hollywood Studios, a new add-on seven-hour experience, which includes two stage shows “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” and “March of the First Order” — as well as the nighttime spectacular, themed dining experiences, character meet-and-greets and more. The Minnie Van transportation service lets guests ride to the parks in style. Guests staying at any Walt Disney World Resort can arrange their own private Disney vehicle, driven by a cast member, right from their phone. For an exclusive experience at Walt Disney World, visitors can book a personal VIP Tour for A-list access in the theme parks, or for a peek at backstage magic.
2. Universal Orlando’s Private VIP Experience
Universal Orlando Resort’s VIP Experience invites guests to build their own itinerary and choose to ride attractions as many times as they’d like. A guide meets guests for early entrance to the park and provides priority front-of-the-line access to all attractions. The time saved not waiting in line makes room for behind-the-scenes tours, prime seating for shows and plenty of fun trivia about the parks and attractions.
3. Discovery Cove, Orlando’s Dolphin Paradise
Book a private cabana and enjoy a relaxing day at Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort where guests can swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and rays and hand-feed exotic birds. The thrill of a deep-water dorsal fin tow on the back of a bottlenose dolphin is the highlight of the day, but guests also can snorkel with tropical fish, feed tropical birds or just relax beneath the swaying palm trees. Attendance is limited to ensure an extraordinary experience.
4. Cinderella Carriage and Spaceship Strollers for Walt Disney World
Parents can surprise their little princesses and young Jedis with an extra magical experience by renting a carriage- or spaceship-themed stroller for a day in the parks. Fantasy Strollers will roll out the red-carpet and provide round-trip, luxury transportation as part of the experience.
5. Fine Dining and Celebrity Cuisine
Sublime dining is always at the top of a vacation dream list. Orlando delivers with an expanding restaurant scene spiked with celebrity chefs, including Art Smith of Homecomin’, Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Asia and Rick Bayless of Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs. They join the ranks of chefs like Todd English of Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. Local chefs are making a mark, too, with James Beard nominees like Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park and Prato in Winter Park, Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon in downtown Orlando and James and Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. Many venues offer private chef’s tables, like Highball & Harvest, where chefs dole out five delectable courses steeped in local fare and a passion for culinary ingenuity, and the AAA Five-Diamond Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where guests can enjoy up to 11 courses – everything from caviar to Maine scallops to Japanese beef. Those wanting to enjoy breathtaking views of Walt Disney World fireworks can escape to Capa Steakhouse & Bar atop Four Seasons Resort Orlando, or Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando for views of the resort’s golf course and nearby fireworks at Epcot.
6. A Day in Winter Park
This historic little gem of a city on Central Florida’s pristine chain of lakes features world-class shops, al fresco dining and the world’s largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany works at The Charles Hosmer Morse American Museum of Art. Relax on a private ride with Champagne on the old-fashioned Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour that glides past waterfront mansions, or stay at The Alfond Inn, a jewel-box hotel with its own notable art collection.
7. Suite Accommodations
Orlando’s luxury resorts offer top-notch, residential-style suites in many award-winning hotels, including the Rosen Shingle Creek,Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. All come with the finest amenities and services, ranging from in-room 24/7 butler service to spectacular views. Guests of the Presidential suite at the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, can enjoy views of Magic Kingdom Park fireworks from the 1000-square-foot (93-square-meter) private terrace. Golf fans will appreciate the Villas of Grand Cypress, with lavish four-bedroom villas directly on the course and the Presidential Suites at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando offering picturesque views of the Waldorf Astoria Golf Course and Bonnet Creek Nature Preserve from three private, walk-out terraces. For a luxury hotel experience with a small, boutique feel, both The Alfond Inn in the quaint neighborhood of Winter Park and the Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando offer well-appointed Presidential Suites.
8. Golf like a Pro
Orlando has some of the finest courses in the world, and world-class golfers recommend the Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf at the Grand Cypress Golf Club, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge and two courses at the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge in Winter Garden – the Panther Lake Course and the Crooked Cat Course. The luxurious Tranquilo Golf Club,open to guests of the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, which recently underwent a $2.5 million renovation, was designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio. Topgolf Orlando near International Drive offers the VIP Priority Pass, allowing members to select a specific date and time, up to 7 days in advance, to be added to the top of the bay list.
9. Pampered Relaxation
Escape to an opulent spa with unusual treatments like the Sticks and Stones Massage at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, using sculpted basalt stones and birch wood massage sticks. Try the World at Your Feet Reflexology at The Spa at the Orlando World Center Marriott, or the Mokara Spa at in the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate for the Mokara Body Quench, wrapping guests in a warm cocoon. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando, Grande Lakes offers homegrown luxury, with spa treatments using herbs grown in the resort’s organic garden, honey produced by on-site bees and citrus fruit plucked from local orchards. The spa’s Grande Hammock Experience takes guests to the rooftop eco garden to enjoy a “zero-gravity” hammock massage, while the Barber Shop offers luxurious treatments created for men.
10. Personal Shopper Services
Let a private shopper do the legwork at The Mall at Millenia, Orlando’s upscale shopping center. Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s all offer personal shoppers who will assemble a variety of outfits, complete with shoes and accessories, and have them ready in a private fitting room. Plenty of pampering is part of the experience, from bubbly Champagne to shipping services. This is one luxury service that’s free – you don’t pay for the shopper, just for the items you purchase.
11. Box Seating at a Concert or Game
There’s no better way to experience a performance than from the comfort of private, well-appointed seats, complete with spectacular views and VIP services. Downtown Orlando’s Amway Center, home to big-name performances and sporting events, offers exclusive seating, concierge-level services and access to VIP bars and lounges for suite ticket holders. Soccer fans catching a game at downtown Orlando’s Camping World Stadium can enjoy celebrity-status with premium seats, club-level amenities and an exclusive outdoor viewing area.