I had been hearing a lot of good things about the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort located inside the prestigious Golden Oak community so on a recent trip, I decided to check it out for myself. The reality behind this resort went so far beyond my expectations, I hardly know where to begin. I guess I’ll just have to begin… at the beginning.
Their exemplary service began even before we arrived. I received an email asking for details about our trip and our traveling party so they could customize a welcome package for us and suggest experiences. They also offered to make dining reservations, golf tee times, transportation to/from the airport, and anything else we needed for our stay.
Another pleasant surprise right at the time of our reservation was the phrase, “No Resort Fee.” So many resorts have begun adding a resort fee that covers use of property facilities and internet. With the Four Seasons Orlando, at the time of our reservation and of this writing, there is no resort fee. Those charges are included in the regular rate. The only “upcharge” I found was for valet parking. It is $26 per night and mandatory if you have a car since there is no option for self-parking.
At check in, we received our room keys and a map of the property, of course, but we also received a gift pack for my son. It was a bag (he got to choose the color) and some small items. The biggest hit was the passport. The passport had a location listed on each page and a place for a stamp. Once all stamps were completed, it could be turned in to Lickety Split, located near the lobby, for free ice cream. I offered to buy my son an ice cream, but that wasn’t good enough. He wanted to travel the resort to collect the stamps. It actually was a great way to learn one’s way around and my son was ecstatic when he got his free ice cream.
I had planned to spend most of the afternoon at the pool and I’m so glad we did. Prior to hitting the water, we stopped at PB&G for lunch. The food was tremendous, but be prepared for large portions. A friend and I chose to split the Club Sandwich. There was so much turkey on it I could barely fit it into my mouth. It tasted incredible, but be sure you’re hungry. On the side, we had the garlic, truffle, Parmesan fries. I think I could eat an entire plate of those, hungry or not.
After lunch, my son wanted to go to the lazy river so we went. I had prepared myself to get into some cold water, but knew I’d get used to it. That wasn’t the case at all! The water was heated to the point that we could get right in. We found a few inner tubes and began bobbing our way down the river. It’s a great river for all ages. There are a few spots where it goes to 4 feet instead of 3, but for the most part, it’s 3 feet all the way around. For kids or adventurous adults who want a wetter experience, there are waterfalls and cannons to go under, but they are relatively easy to avoid if you want to go around them. There are a few water guns that can be controlled by spectators that cannot be avoided as easily, but during our time, they often weren’t manned and when they were, I found that the kids didn’t squirt water at the adults.
We also spent time at the large family pool. At one end of the pool, there is a beach entry that is great for little ones. We headed to the other end where there were stairs to get in along with a bench around some of the perimeter making it a great place to relax. The water wasn’t as warm as the lazy river, but one could still tell it was heated. The deepest point of the pool at 5 feet had a volleyball net, but for the most part, it was about 4 feet, which was a great depth for my son to practice swimming. A friend and I spent part of the time supervising my son while enjoying poolside service of beverages and appetizers. A server came to our chairs regularly bringing by a pitcher of water and cups and anything we ordered. We never needed anything that wasn’t taken care of quickly. As we were preparing to leave the pool area, the dive in movie began to play. My son wasn’t really interested so we only saw the beginning, but I was surprised at how bright and clear the screen was even though it was still daylight out. The movie could be watched all the way around the family pool area.
These two areas only make up a small portion of the pool area overall. There is an adults only pool, which, because I had my son along, I just passed a glance at, and a splash area for children. The splash area looks like a ton of fun, especially for smaller children. It is large and has plenty of shaded areas to keep little ones out of the sun. There are even teepees with cushioned floors. By the splash area is a water slide that looks like a lot of fun, but we ran out of time before we had a chance to try it. I guess we’ll have to do it next time.
Find out more including details about Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort’s restaurants, our room, and Walt Disney World Resort benefits in Part Two, which will be available on Friday, March 25.