Have you ever wanted to surprise the kiddos with a Christmas vacation? Orlando has it all – from the happiest place on earth (eh hem Disney World) to Seaworld, LEGOLAND, Universal Studios & and so much more downtown making it an epic holiday destination. Take all those things that would normally be pretty amazing on their own and add in Christmas decor and holiday cheer – now that is something magical that leaves you filled with spirit!
Our family has been to Orlando a lot, after all my wonderful sister lives there. However, we have never gone during Christmas – what?! It was time to experience one of our favorite destinations all decked out. This was our most southern stop on our Christmas road trip – and we arrived with bells on!
We have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite! If you have any questions about Orlando or our trip please shoot us an email!
There is no shortage of accommodations in this area, so you need to do your research when finding a hotel that is right for your family – and boy do we have the spot for you! We stayed at The Grove Resort & Spa, Orlando’s best kept secret (and yes we are sharing it – it is way too amazing to keep to ourselves!).
This is the premier family resort – and honestly you could spend your entire vacation here. Our room had three bedrooms and three baths (o.m.g.), a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and balcony overlooking the lake and fountain. We talked about moving in permanently (not joking). The Grove Resort was opened in 2017 and everything still smells and looks brand new.
We arrived on Christmas Eve, and had the most magical experience for adults and children alike. Two of Santa’s elves visited our room from the North Pole – bringing cookies made by Mrs. Claus, milk in santa boot cups, small elf toys, a book from Santa himself, and a special key so Santa would be able to bring by presents. Our kids laughed and danced with the elves while enjoying cookies and reading stories. It was something that we will never forget, and pretty amazing that they offer such spectacular services.
Not only is the resort only 6 miles away from Disney World, but they offer a FREE shuttle to the park as well! Talk about convenience. If a day at the parks is not for you, maybe relaxation is? The Grove Resort & Spa has its own water park (Surfari has a lazy river, water slides, kids pool/splash park, and zero entry pool) and 3 resort pools, plus a hot tub, private cabanas & poolside food & drink service. Be sure to check out the FlowRider Surf Simulator.
Guys – it only gets better. On site is Flip Flop’s Family Fun Center, packed with the newest and most immersive arcade games that the whole family will love. You can redeem your winnings for prizes or play a round of glow-in-the-dark mini golf! A separate activity center for kids with scheduled fun programs throughout the day. And parents – there is a SPA. I had the pleasure of getting a massage and it was wonderful – from the ambiance and tranquil setting to the magic hands of Carolyn, it was a much needed recharge for this mama.
On top of all that, there is a small grocery store where you can get groceries delivered right to your room and they provide pack and plays at no extra cost. Whew – just go ahead and book your stay, you will thank us!
Seaworld – The animal exhibits, live shows and seasonal events make SeaWorld an ideal destination. We love a day with animals – and SeaWorld has some of our favorites! The park is completely decorated for Christmas, and now Sesame Street Park is open! This was a huge hit with our littles, and the evening parade is a lot of fun (get your spot early). The park is very crowded around the holidays, but there wasn’t much of a wait in Sesame Place for character meet and greets.
LEGOLAND – This was our first visit to LEGOLAND Florida – and it was SO much fun! It was about 50 minutes south from The Grove Park Resort, but an easy drive. We arrived 10 minutes before the park opened – pro tip: when the park opens, go directly to the back where the more popular rides on for zero wait! Our 4 year old got her LEGO drivers license, a highlight for her! She also got to drive her own LEGO boat. There is so much to do and see here, making it a nice getaway from the crowds of Orlando. The characters were out in their holiday outfits – really adding to the atmosphere.
Valencia Restaurant – We had breakfast here every morning and let me tell you… they serve Mickey waffles! Such a fun and delicious start to our morning. We ate at this full-service restaurant for dinner every night as well and ordered everything from the Filet Mignon to Chicken Alfredo. Everything we ordered was cooked to perfection and the staff goes above and beyond to accommodate the littles.
Longboard Bar & Grill – Located in the Surfari Water Park, this is the perfect place to take a break from the pool and recharge with delicious food. Eat there or have the food delivered to your pool chair! Try to cuban sandwich – mmmm.
Antonio’s Pizza – Located in Alfresco Market at The Grove Resort, you can have pizza, sandwiches, and salad delivered right to your suite!