A half hour outside of Orlando, Lake Buena Vista is best known for its world-famous attraction: Disney World. When you’re not exploring the theme parks, cooling off in the Typhoon Lagoon, or meeting Disney characters, there are plenty of other great activities in the area to keep you entertained - but Disney World is so big that it takes days to really see it all!
Disney World is an amazing destination for people of all ages. You’ll see tourists come here from all over the world. Take your children to the Magic Kingdom Park, where they can meet famous Disney characters such as Elsa from Frozen, Snow White, and Mickey Mouse. Walk through Cinderella Castle, or go on a Jungle Cruise, where you’ll sail through rivers that look like places in Asia, Africa, and South America. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an amazing place to see animal species of all kinds, and is one of the largest animal theme parks in the world. See a reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, learn about fossils, and get an up close look at animals like African elephants, gorillas, lions, tigers and monkeys.
Days at Disney World can be very hot and humid, so escape the heat by heading to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon to cool off on wave pools and water slides. Between April and May, try to make it to Disney After Hours, where the park stays open an extra three hours for a magical night experience. Don’t miss the new Star Wars theme park at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, either. You won’t need to worry about good places to eat during your stay. Visit any of the resorts near Disney World for a great breakfast or dinner, or stay in the park and choose from places like a 50’s style diner, a Hawaiian cafe, a German Biergarten, or events like cheese and beverage seminars.
Exploring Disney World can truly take days, but there is so much to do outside of the park, too. Florida is known for its great golfing, and Lake Buena Vista is no exception: golf lovers will enjoy the Tranquilo Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, and the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club. For some peace and quiet, visit the beautiful Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve, where you will feel like you have gotten away from the city entirely in this wilderness area. With four miles of hiking trails and a well-maintained visitor center, you can spend a leisurely morning or afternoon on the trails or at an educational program from children or adults.
Universal Orlando is another incredible destination with theme parks like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Wet N’ Wild Water Park, and over 25 amazing rides. Or head to SeaWorld Orlando where you can see sharks, tropical fish, manatees, dolphins, and penguins as well as ride on some great roller coasters.
Within the Walt Disney World park complex, there are many resorts to choose from with themes like the Art of Animation Resort, the Pop Century Resort, the tropical Old Key West Resort and the Port Orleans Resort, which is designed to look like the French Quarter. There are also more upscale options like the Hyatt Regency or the Buena Vista Palace. While there are no vacation rental options inside the park, there are many condos for rental nearby that are a quick trip to the park.
Within Walt Disney World, there is an entire network of transportation that can help you get to where you want to go. Many people find that they don’t need to rent a car when they are at Disney World due to the ease of getting around via bus, monorail, and boats that connect all the hotels and theme parks. Outside of Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista is not well-served by public transportation. However, LYNX, Orlando’s bus service, operates in the greater Orlando area and bus 50 goes from the LYNX Central Station in downtown Orlando to the Downtown Disney West Side Supershop, where you can easily connect to the Walt Disney World public transportation network.
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