Things for couples to do in Orlando

There is no shortage of family entertainment in the theme park capital, but it may come as a surprise to hear about the growing list of things for couples to do in Orlando.

Whether it’s couples’ cooking classes, a hot air balloon ride for 2, or dining on a hotel rooftop with views of Disney’s nightly fireworks, you’ll find a whole host of activities to tick off the couple’s bucket list. From action-packed adventures, to romantic date-night ideas, read on for our round-up of things for couples to do in Orlando…

Try a date-night cooking class

Truffles and Trifles Date Night

You can put a unique spin on your next date-night dinner with Orlando’s endless offering of cooking classes.

Couples things to do in Orlando

A couple cooking together

Whether you want to learn new skills, pick up some fresh ideas or just have a fun night out together, you’re bound to find something to get you sizzling.

Probably the most sought after date-night class is held at the Truffles and Trifles cooking school, where it’s more than just the food getting hot. In fact over the years, more than 20 couples have tied the knot after meeting at the monthly Date Night class, usually held on the second Saturday of the month.

The class is open to singles and couples alike.

Ride in a hot air balloon

Orlando Balloon Rides

It’s on the bucket list of every traveller, and it’s a great way to share the experience of a lifetime: a hot air balloon ride will see your relationship  soaring to dizzying new heights.

Whether you want to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or just experience an adventure together, a hot air balloon ride gives you and your loved one a glimpse of Florida as you’ve never seen it before.

Things to do in Florida

Take a hot air balloon ride

You can book a sunrise flight through Orlando Balloon Rides on any day of the week. Once you’re airborne the pilot will point out Orlando’s most interesting sights, from its famous theme parks to its orange groves, forests and swamps.

After landing, a traditional champagne toast  is held to celebrate your special experience.

Watch the sun set over the city

 The Orlando Eye

You can take your relationship to a whole new level on the 400 ft Orlando Eye observation wheel. Located at the i-Drive 360 complex on International Drive, the wheel offers breathtaking views over Central Florida from a bird’s eye perspective.

Things to do in Orlando

The Orlando Eye

There are a variety of tickets and packages available for families, groups and couples. One of the most popular being the Champagne Experience; a sunset flight with champagne served by a personal host.

The gentle journey round the wheel takes you and your significant other high above the hubbub below, delivering spectacular views in every direction.

Dine on a hotel rooftop

Eleven at the Grande Hotel

For those in search of romantic experiences in Orlando, the ‘View at Eleven’ dinner package definitely delivers.

Couples can take in the sunset and Disney’s nightly fireworks while enjoying dinner and cocktails on an open-air verandah at the very top of the Reunion Grande hotel.

The rooftop patio at the Reunion Grande

The rooftop patio at the Reunion Grande

Located 11 floors up, the Eleven restaurant serves signature entrees and great steaks along with an impressive wine list and cocktail menu. The ‘View at Eleven’ menu features a selection of delicious soups, salads and tapas dishes, with patio seating available on a first come first serve basis.

To dine at Eleven guests must be staying on-site at Reunion Resort. There are a fantastic selection of Reunion Resort vacation homes available in a range of styles and sizes, although couples may prefer the smaller and more intimate condos at the Reunion Grande.

See our Reunion Grande condos

 

Picnic by a swan-filled lake

Lake Eola Park

A popular spot for picnics, feeding the swans and renting swan-shaped paddle boats, is Orlando’s lovely Lake Eola Park.

Located in Downtown Orlando, the main feature of the park is the swan-filled lake, famous for its majestic fountain which changes colours at night like a light show. Also at the park is the Walt Disney Amphitheatre, which hosts many exciting events and performances all year round.

Orlando lake

Lake Eola, Orlando

Couples can eat a picnic next to the lake, rent a paddle boat for 2, or wander around the park while soaking up the warm Florida sun. There’s also a farmer’s market held at the park every Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Tee off on a top golf course

Reunion Resort Golf

For couples wanting to golf together, there is a never ending line-up of golf courses in Orlando – and if you opt to stay at one of the villas or condos at Reunion Resort, you’ll have access to 3 of the best.

The resort is the only destination in the world to boast 3 signature golf courses designed by legends, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. All are award-winning courses famed for their unique and challenging layouts.

Reunion Resort golf

Golf at Reunion Resort

You can choose from a range of golf packages, or you can brush up on your golf skills together at the on-site golf and putting academies.

Golf at Reunion Resort

Relax and recharge together

The Spa at Reunion

After an afternoon of golf or other activities, couples staying at Reunion Resort can make the most its exclusive Boutique Spa.

The luxurious 5-room sanctuary is located in a private spot close to the Reunion Grande, and offers a range of soothing massages, signature facials and body treatments for individuals and couples alike.

Couples activities in Orlando

A couple’s massage

Particular favourites include the Just for Couples massage, his and her’s facials and  exfoliating hand and foot treatments.

The spa at Reunion Resort

 

Zip line over alligators

Screamin Gator Zip Line

Clip in and zip off on a journey together over alligator-infested swamplands – if you dare!

The new Screaming’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland will take you along 1,200 feet of high-flying adventure from some of the tallest zip line towers in the world. You’ll launch from heights of up to 65 ft and soar over hundreds of giant alligators and crocodiles at speeds of over 30 miles per hour.

Gatorland Orlando

Zip line over alligators

It may sound scary but it’s an incredibly entertaining and educating experience, made all the better by sharing it with that someone special in your life.

Kayak under a full moon

The Full Moon Kayak

There are an array of kayak tours in Orlando, but none are so suited to couples as the monthly Full Moon Kayak.

Available through Adventures in Florida, this tour takes you on a nightime kayaking trip on the beautiful Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Get your romance A-game on as you paddle side-by-side under the light of the full moon.

Kayaking in Orlando

Kayak under a full moon

An experienced guide heads the tour, regaling you and your fellow paddlers with ghost stories as you raise a toast to the stars. All kayaking equipment is provided, as well as snacks and refreshments.

Go wine tasting

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

For the perfect wine lover’s day out, head to the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, a stunning country estate in Clermont, just west of Orlando.

You can take a complimentary wine tour whilst soaking up the views of the rolling Florida countryside, which stretches for miles in every direction. After the tour you can head to the wine tasting counter and sample a selection of award-winning wines ranging from dry to sweet, with red white and sparkling options.

Wine tasting in Orlando

Wine tasting

Afterwards you can browse the large retail area. Couples may want to stock up on the picnic sets, food items and wines before heading off for a romantic picnic in a peaceful spot nearby.

Get flirty on a cocktail tour

Downtown Orlando Tours

The Crafty Cocktail Tour is a great evening out for couples who enjoy a tipple together.

Run by Downtown Orlando Tours, the evening takes you to some of Downtown’s finest cocktail bars, allowing you to sample a variety of tasty hand-crafted drinks while learning about the history and culture of Downtown Orlando.

Things to do in Orlando for couples

Get flirty on a cocktail tour

The tour takes place every Saturday from 6.30 – 8.30pm and features an array of stops at Downtown’s best cocktail bars.

See a burlesque show

Couples on the prowl for romance with a side of playful will find it in spades at the Peek a Boo burlesque show.

Voted ‘Best Burlesque’ by Orlando Weekly readers, the show, held at the Las Vegas-themed Stardust Lounge, is a titillating blend of comedy, daring and extravagance.

Led by Orlando’s resident burlesque queen Blue Star, the Peek a Boo ladies stage their cheeky performances once a month, with a hefty helping of dancing, sequins, feathers and garters.

The Peek a Boo Ladies image courtesy of Dixie Lee Photography

The Peek a Boo Ladies (image courtesy of Dixie Lee Photography)

The show is a great date-night idea, and is best enjoyed after a few cocktails from the lounge bar.

A romantic horse ride

Why not surprise someone special with a romantic horse ride at dawn or dusk?

Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides offers horseback riding at the exquisitely beautiful Rock Springs Run Reserve near Orlando. Dedicated riding trails take you through the reserve’s rich woodlands and along the shoreline of the Wekiva River.

Things to do in Orlando

Horseback riding

The surroundings are loaded with local wildlife including bears, birds, reptiles and fish that you can spot from a safe distance.

If you’re booking an Orlando vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact the Top Villas travel team today.

Additionally, the Top Villas concierge service can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

 

Spending a weekend in Orlando

Whether you’re drawn to theme park thrills, or the array of other attractions, Orlando is a top spot for a weekend break.

While it is ideal family territory, the ‘City Beautiful’ is attracting more weekend visitors than ever before, drawn to the shops, restaurants and other highlights. If you’re thinking of spending a weekend in Orlando, check out this handy guide to making the most of your trip…

The Millenia Mall

The Millenia Mall

Where to stay

If you’re spending a weekend in Orlando and you’re not sure where to stay, it makes sense to cut down on travelling time by opting for accommodation that’s close to the main highlights.

You’ll find some fantastic vacation homes at the Encore Club in Kissimmee, located in a private and peaceful resort just a stone’s throw from Disney World.

Available for stays of 3 nights or more, Encore Club vacation homes work out better value for money than hotel rooms for multiple guests. They also offer more space and privacy, as well as luxury features like swimming pools, game rooms and home theatres.

Encore Club villas

A living room in an Encore Club vacation home

There are an array of resort amenities to enjoy during your stay, including a water park, restaurants, bars, a fitness center and a clubhouse.

Guests can utilise shuttle bus services to the theme parks from just outside the resort, or make the most of great value car hire available via the Top Villas concierge team.

If you want to venture out of the resort, the surrounding area of Kissimmee offers plenty of highlights like the many and varied bars and restaurants along the Bronson Memorial Highway. There are also some pretty parks and lakes in Kissimmee, as well as an array of great golf courses.

The Encore Club

The Encore Club water park

See our Encore Club villas

Theme parks and attractions

A weekend in Orlando wouldn’t be complete without at least one trip to its world-class amusement parks.

Disney World, with its multiple theme parks, offers the most variety, with everything from the African plains of the Animal Kingdom, to Cinderella’s soaring castle in the Magic Kingdom.

If theatre is your thing prepare to be blown away by the park’s live entertainment. You can watch Finding Nemo – The Musical, Beauty and the Beast and many more state-of-the-art musicals. There’s also the La Nouba show by Cirque du Soleil, probably the most spectacular acrobat show you’ll ever see.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Universal Orlando is also worth at least a one-day visit if you’re spending a weekend in Orlando. There are two sensational theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, as well as the Volcano Bay water park, set to open in Summer 2017.

If you don’t fancy visiting theme parks on your weekend break, there are a number of other recent additions to Orlando’s attractions portfolio.

The i-Drive 360 complex has become a major tourist draw, boasting a 400 ft giant ferris wheel, as well as a Madame Tussaud’s, a Sealife Aquarium and an array of restaurants and entertainment venues.

Things to do in Orlando

La Nouba at Cirque du Soleil

Slightly more unusual things to do in Orlando are becoming increasingly popular too.

The iFly Orlando experience for example, offers people of all ages the opportunity to take a dive in an indoor skydiving simulator.

Where to head for shopping

If you want to combine a weekend in Orlando with some serious retail therapy, then be prepared to shop ’til you drop.

Orlando is almost as famous for its shopping malls as it is for its theme parks, with discount designer shops and high-end boutiques wherever you roam. There’s the Florida Mall and the Mall at Millenia, both offering high-fashion stores as well as restaurants, bars and kids play areas.

Shopping in Orlando

Shopping in Orlando

Outlet shopping is also a huge draw, this can be found in abundance at Orlando’s two Premium Outlets – both offering heavily discounted goods from the likes of Armani, Calvin Klein, Guess and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Great golf courses

Orlando may be home to some the best theme parks and shopping malls on the planet – it’s also every golf lover’s dream.

In fact, there are more than 170 golf courses and over 20 golf academies in Orlando. Whats more, it is home to more pro golfers than any other city in the world – and it hosts some of the most prestigious golf tournaments.

If you’re spending a weekend in Orlando, you’ll find a multitude of stunning courses to tee off on. There are 2 championship 18-hole Greg Norman courses at the Championsgate Golf Club, located just a few miles from our Encore Club vacation homes. Other courses nearby are the Falcons’s Fire Golf Course in Kissimmee, and Disney’s 3 world-class courses.

Golf courses in Orlando

Golf courses in Orlando

If you fancy extending your weekend in Orlando to a stay of 5 nights or more, then we we offer a great range of vacation homes in many other top resorts in Orlando.

In particular, Reunion Resort is a favorite for golf vacations, being the only resort in the world with 3 signature-designed courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Watson – but you have to stay there to use them.

See our Reunion Resort villas

 

You can contact the Top Villas concierge team to book tee times on your behalf, and to secure the very best green fees.

Where to eat and drink

If you want to spend your weekend sampling the city’s dining and nightlife, you’ll find an almost endless array of places to try.

One of the best places to head is the new Disney Springs complex, a great spot for all-round dining and entertainment.

Styled as a bustling waterside promenade, the complex is free to get in, and it’s packed with unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind eateries and top-notch entertainment.

Chief among the restaurants here are The Boathouse, a swish waterfront seafood and steakhouse with its own marina for a variety of boat rides. Also excellent is Morimoto Asia, a contemporary warehouse-style eatery with multiple dining spaces and a Pacific-fusion menu.

Dining in Orlando

Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

The Universal Citywalk is another great venue, packed with excellent shops, restaurants and nightlife.

Not far from Universal is International Drive, where you’ll find an astonishing variety of restaurants in the ‘Restaurant Row’ district. There are more than 25 casual and upscale eateries to choose from, including popular places like Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar.

There are a number of fantastic dinner shows around International Drive too. A top choice is the Outta Control Magic Dinner Show at Wonderworks Orlando, which costs around $30 per adult, including unlimited pizza, salad, beer, wine, soda and dessert.

What to do Downtown

When you think of Orlando you may imagine Walt Disney World, but the Downtown district actually contains none of the theme parks.

The perfect place for a relaxing weekend, Downtown Orlando is a vibrant area, where you can wander around dozens of pretty parks, take in the city skyline and explore the many art galleries, museums and historic sites.

Lake Eola Orlando

Lake Eola in Orlando

Church Street is one of the oldest and prettiest neighbourhoods in the city, it is also home to some of the best bars and nightclubs. A great place for a sundowner is Latitudes, a rooftop bar high above Church Street, with spectacular views over the city.

The iconic Lake Eola is another don’t-miss attraction if you’re Downtown, located just a stone’s throw from the Church Street area. There’s a huge park with an open-air amphitheatre. There’s also a massive swan-filled lake where you can take boat rides on charming ‘swan boats’ while you soak up the iconic Orlando skyline.

There are a number of other parks and gardens to visit in Downtown Orlando, and some fascinating museums and art galleries like the Orlando Museum of Art.

If theatre if your thing, you can head to the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, famed for bringing Broadway-quality theatre, ballet and concerts to the Downtown district.

If you’re thinking of spending a weekend in Orlando, or you want to book a longer stay, then contact the Top Villas travel team for more advice and bookings. 

Additionally, the Top Villas concierge service can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

 

 

The High Life: Travel by Private Jet

thehighlife

Life is so much easier when you can enjoy car-to-plane access, never have to put a hand on your own luggage and organise hassle-free trips abroad at your whim. Private travel is on the rise and, somewhat surprisingly, a lot more affordable than the rumours would have us believe. Modern travellers are seeking one thing – luxurious convenience, and it seems like private air travel is the way forward.

Private Jet Charter, a full service private jet company, confirms that around 38% of all private jet travel is leisure related and set to keep growing. While flying private is typically more expensive than booking a first class flight, it is no longer just in the exclusive realm of uber rich oligarchs or corporate VIPs.

So what draws leisure travellers to private air travel and what do you get for your money?

milehighdining

Mile High Dining
With a full compliment of crew and drinks on board, you’re unlikely to run out of bubbles before you reach your final destination. It’s not unusual for guests to request food from their favourite restaurants to dine on during their trip, with demand for Michelin starred nibbles at 42,000 feet becoming a regular occurrence. Cabinets are kept fully stocked with drinks for passengers and crew are on hand to ensure passengers are attended to, with every aspect of the flight effortlessly luxurious from take-off to landing.first class service

First Class Freedom
The joy of booking privately is the amount of control you have over how, when and where you fly. If you’re wondering what you can get away with if you’re paying for a private experience you’ll be surprised to know that guests can stipulate every detail of their flight – from choosing an aircraft that allows smoking, to having pets on board without having to be confined to a crate. If you really need to travel abroad tomorrow morning, chances are you could have an aircraft waiting on the tarmac at a moments notice.

discover-everywhere-private-jet-charter

Destination Anywhere
One of the main benefits of travelling via private aircraft is the ability to travel where larger chartered aircraft physically can’t. Some of the most exclusive resorts around the world rely on private jets to transport their affluent guests from door to door. From St Barts in the Caribbean, where most islands are simply too small for larger runways, to up scale ski resorts such as Chamonix, where the physical landscape limits runway access, having access to a fast, regular air travel is important.

It’s not only up-scale resorts that attract private travel – one of the largest tourist destinations in the world, Disney World Orlando, has catered to the private jet crowd. A private airport (known officially as “Lake Buena Vista Airport”) once used to sit on park ground, but now quietly remains disused near the current car park – the more attractive mode of transport for modern visitors.

It is easy to see why the convenience of private travel has long been coveted during the history of aviation, and is only set to grow further.

If you would like to know more information about how you can organise to travel privately, please contact our travel team who will be more than happy to help.



How to Spend A Million Dollars in Aspen…

Home to four incredible skiing mountains, a full line up of annual festivals and the regular occurrence of casual celeb spotting, Aspen is known as America’s richest winter destination, the location to be all year round.

From the snowy bliss in skiing season to the countless activities in the warmer months, Aspen is deemed as a luxurious destination to any visitor. Flooded with top-notch celebrities, the renowned winter paradise is popular amongst the rich, famous and virtually anyone who owns a private jet. With the A-list status tracing back to the early sixties, the lasting prestigious appeal continues. Boasting countless exquisite features, an Aspen getaway is designed for the more extravagant traveler, where the vacation is assured to be a higher end lifestyle experience.

aspen

When to go?

In terms of crowds and prices, ski season, December- March and summer during the festival peak are the most popular periods. Summer time promises the bliss mountain experience with temperatures as high as 70s, whereas September is quieter, filled with bursts of natural colour and the thinning out of crowds. June is popularised for rafting in the best snowmelt-fuelled rapids and autumn for the falling of leaves, holding a gorgeous image.

Aspen as you can tell showcases some of the best homes, landscapes and activities all perfect for each extravagant guest. You may wonder then, how could you possibly spend a million here in a week? Very easily for those who love a good splurge!

Firstly, staying in the most elaborate, lavish homes. With Aspen famous for it’s 5 star accommodation, vacation rentals and top celeb homes, you’re spoilt for choice on a vacation home. Ranked the 11th most expensive zip code region in America, whether you’re looking to rent or buy a home on your trip, the investment is worthwhile for a top-notch time away.

966

Extra services galore! Staying in a vacation rental means an endless supply of extra amenities available for you to indulge in. Enjoy bottles of the finest wines, champagnes, chef service, a personal trainer, armed or unarmed security, a butler, waiter, high end bath products and much, much more for a truly lavish vacation (all of which we can offer in our properties).

Designer stores – For those heading to Aspen with a true love of shopping, you’re in for a fabulous treat. A handful of the most famous names have recently made their debut to Aspen including Dolce & Gabbana, Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone and Burberry, the perfect antidote for any shopaholic. Whilst shopping, why not buy a designer ski jacket at Monclear, an esteemed clothing brand to look super trendy when hitting the slopes.

Take a trip down to the spa – The notable St Regis Remede Spa is the most luxurious spa in all of Aspen. Prided as a sanctuary for A listers, you’ll receive nothing more than the top treatments and utmost relaxation. Their most famous package is 6 hours long which includes a 60 minute massage, 60 minute facial, 60 minute scrub, light lunch, mani/pedi and access to all the amenities  such as the oxygen lounge, hot tubs or steam caves.

aspen 1

Walking on the wilder side – If you’re more of an adventurer, grab the chance of participating in the many outdoor activities available. From horseback riding, cycling or hiking through the mountainous trails, there’s more than enough to do on your trip. Best experienced in the summer months, grab the chance of absorbing the heart warming atmosphere as you go. The ‘Grottoes’, caves on the Independence Pass , along the Roaring Fork River are known to be a fantastic spot to explore on your hike.

Festivals – No trip is complete without heading to one of their fantastic festivals including Aspen’s Music Festival in the summer and Aspen’s Idea Festival.

Lastly, book a private gourmet dinner party – With the esteemed Tim Goodwell, a Food & Wine ‘Best New Chef’ having recently opened Ricard Brasserie & Liqor Bar in Snowmass, book yourself a private dinner with him. Cooking up a fancy French feast, indulge yourself in 9 perfectly crafted, sumptuous courses in your own room, where Goodman himself prepares the plates. Including an array of the finest wines to pair with the dishes, the overall experience immerses you into utmost luxury.

Where Millionaires Ski

where millionaires ski

France has long been home to some of the finest ski resorts. World class snow, wine and accommodation attract thousands of millionaires each winter, so where do the rich and famous ski? Where are the best places to indulge your senses and splash some cash? Find out below.

introducing courchevel ski resort

Courchevel is the flagship for millionaire ski haunts and where you’ll find some of the most elusive and affluent guests. Synonymous with glamour, the Courchevel ski resort has had a rapid rise to fame, thanks to a large influx of wealth from all over Europe and most notably Russia.

With the breath taking views of Mont Blanc looming on the horizon, it is easy to see why this resort is so appealing and why the pounds, dollars and Rubles have flooded in. Beautiful landscape aside, the Michelin starred restaurants, world class shopping and well-groomed slopes have helped to draw in the guests and made Courchevel the famous skiing hotspot it is today.

The Courchevel area is split into four main villages; Le Praz, Courchevel, Moriond and Courchevel itself. Courchevel is the main prestigious hub, where the richest can be seen splashing their cash. It’s not unusual to see a Ferrari idling in the McDonald’s drive through, or celebrities visiting pricey shops and restaurants. While you’d be hard pressed not to spend thousands on your trip here, not everything is aimed at the über rich, with plenty of opportunities available for those looking to ski on a budget in both Moriond and Praz.

introducing chamonix

Chamonix is a ski resort at the base of Mont Blanc that is steeped in alpine history. From its Victorian roots, this resort has risen from a simple climbing base to hosting the Winter Olympics, emerging as one of the leading locations for all-mountain skiing – a favourite past time of the ever growing millionaire skiing population. Known as “le grand ski”, Chamonix is a rite of passage for any budding skier, with blissful pistes for all difficultly levels.

Away from the slopes Chamonix has many delightful features that attract the gentile elite. Private accommodation is often extravagant, with most private vacation rentals offering chauffeurs, cigar selections and personal chefs to entertain their guests before they ski. Shopping is also an absolute must here – with an abundance of high end stores suited to those with a higher budget and smaller, niche boutiques hidden amongst the sedate Victorian architecture.

Whereas Courchevel oozes glamour and showbiz, Chamonix remains a cosmopolitan, down to earth location that still meets the demands of the rich and famous.

For more information about any of these resorts or services mentioned, please contact our travel experts.

Top Villas 2015 Disney World Christmas Guide

While Disney World is magical at any time of year, it’s especially so during the holidays. This Christmas there’s more merriment than ever before, so we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you find your way around…

he Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

he Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Magic Kingdom

Add some very to your merry at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Taking place in Magic Kingdom through to December 18th this fab festive frolic offers live entertainment, festive fireworks and enchantment for all. The wintry wonderful entertainment kicks off at 7pm to midnight with complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. Special holiday entertainment during the event includes Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas! Dance Party, “Celebrate the Season” musical stage show starring favorite Disney characters, and “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks spectacular.

Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks spectacular

New this year in Tommorrowland, the acclaimed contemporary a cappella group VoicePlay gives guests an unforgettable holiday concert experience between performances of “ A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” at the Rockettower Plaza Stage.

Disney characters dressed in their Christmas best will be available for meet and greets throughout the park. In addition, don’t miss Queen Elsa from “Frozen” as she uses her incredible powers to transform Cinderella Castle nightly into a glistening ice palace for the holidays during “A Frozen Holiday Wish” castle lighting show.

Mickey Mouse presides over the holiday festivities during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

Mickey Mouse presides over the holiday festivities during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

Also for the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests. Festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse gives guests a boat load of Christmas cheer. The Jingle Cruise boats are given a unique holiday name, and the Skippers share a slew of seasonal holiday jokes throughout the tour.

Jungle Cruise transforms into 'Jingle Cruise' for Magic Kingdom guests

Jungle Cruise transforms into ‘Jingle Cruise’ for Magic Kingdom guests

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 can be purchased for the following dates. December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18th.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A spectacular light display boasting millions of glittering lights, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is perfectly synchronised to a high-energy holiday symphony. This magical display of Christmas lights can be seen on the Streets of America through to Jan 3, 2016.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests can add more sparkle to the dazzling holiday celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the Merry & Bright Dessert Party, which includes an incredible view of the Streets of America, festive treats and delicious drinks through to Dec. 30. For an extra special holiday experience, the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception, offered Jan. 1- 3, 2016 gives guests a memorable and magical evening with spectacular views of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The reception includes an exclusive, reserved viewing area, snacks, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a themed gift to commemorate the holiday season.

Epcot

One of the most beloved holiday traditions at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional instills the Christmas spirit through the retelling of the Christmas story by celebrity narrators, accompanied by a masterful orchestra and choir. The Candlelight Processional is performed three times each evening, 5:00, 6:45 and 8 p.m., through to Dec. 30. Celebrity narrators for this season include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, America Ferrera and many more. Too add to the ambience a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package is available.

Epcot's Candlelight Processional

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional

Experience holiday traditions from various countries throughout World Showcase during Holidays Around the World through to Dec. 30. Share in the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music, interactive storytelling and time-honoured traditions.

Epcot features special holiday merchandise perfect for every shopper’s Christmas list. Santa’s Village in American Adventure and Christkindlmarkt in Germany feature extra special shopping experiences with unique Christmas ornaments and holiday items.

Holidays Around the World Mexico Pavilion

Holidays Around the World Mexico Pavilion

While shopping, guests can stop by the Future World Fountain Stage for a joy-filled performance by “Joyful!” This spirited ensemble uniquely blends the soulful expressiveness of gospel and inspirational music with the sounds of jazz, R&B and urban music. The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa, plus the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – Holiday Edition,” a laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.This spectacular light display boasting millions of glittering lights is perfectly synchronised to a high-energy holiday symphony and is capped off with a flurry of snow.

Illuminations Reflections on Earth

Illuminations Reflections on Earth

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost in Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the holiday season for a special photo opportunity. Mickey and Minnie dress in their holiday best, which makes for the perfect Christmas card photo.

Disney Springs

Holidays at Disney Springs

Holidays at Disney Springs

Disney Springs is decked with holiday décor to bring Christmas cheer to holiday shoppers and guests. With each neighborhood’s unique decorations and exceptional entertainment offerings, Holidays at Disney Springs is the perfect opportunity to experience the spirit of the season while shopping for loved ones. And don’t forget to whisper a Christmas wish to Santa at the Marketplace!

Holiday Happenings at ESPN Wide World of Sports

ESPN Wide World of Sport

ESPN Wide World of Sport

For the 17th consecutive year, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will host the Pop Warner Super Bowl & National Cheer and Dance Championships. The event will consist of more than 64 teams from eight Pop Warner regions playing in four age/weight classifications. Throughout the six-day event, 68 games will be played, including the Division I Midget National Championship Game, which is featured on ESPN and ESPN2 throughout the NFL Super Bowl Week. This year’s event will take place from Dec. 4 to 12.

The Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships

The Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships

Disney Soccer Showcase is the ultimate place for top clubs to perform in front of hundreds of college coaches looking for great soccer talent. Boys will participate from Dec. 27 to 30. Girls will participate from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3. Last but not least The Disney New Year’s Baseball Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex takes place from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2. for youth athletes between 8 and 18 years old. Every player selected for the event is automatically enrolled in the MVP Head Start College Recruiting Program at no additional costs, while the event itself allows players to learn from MVP pro coaches in preparation for their upcoming baseball seasons.

For more information or for great value Disney tickets contact the Top Villas concierge team

Festive Fireworks Light up the Night at Legoland Christmas Bricktacular

The Legoland Christmas Bricktacular returns this weekend with a spectacular holiday-themed fireworks extravaganza and a whole host of fun festivities.

Christmas Bricktacular Celebration.

Christmas Bricktacular Celebration.

Bring in the holiday season in lego-tastic style with a 30-foot tall Christmas tree comprised of 270,000 lego bricks, a life-size lego Santa, reindeer and sleigh, festive decorations, lego build activity, a scavenger hunt and brick loads of holiday entertainment.

Legoland Florida Resort's Christmas Bricktacular

Legoland Florida Resort’s Christmas Bricktacular

Meet and greets with lego Santa and Lego Toy Soldier provide the perfect family photo opportunity. There’s also a station where little ones can write a lego letter to Santa and send it to the North Pole, a Jingle Jam and a competition in Duplo Valley with a chance to win an exciting lego prize pack!

Lego Christmas Mosaic

Lego Christmas Tree and Mosaic

The wintertime fun continues each night with a spectacular holiday-themed fireworks show presented for the first time in Christmas Bricktacular history.

Lego Santa and Toy Soldier

Santa and Toy Soldier

Looking for a special lego gift? Select stores will stay open for an extra hour of holiday shopping each night after the park closes. Guests will find a dizzying array of lego merchandise including hard-to-find lego sets, children’s and adult apparel, and great stocking stuffers.

Lego Christmas Souvenirs

Lego Christmas Souvenirs

Included with park admission, Christmas Bricktacular kicks off this Saturday and continues on select dates including December 5th-6th,12th-13th,19th-20th, 26th-30th.

VIP packages are available including an exclusive one-on-one interaction with lego Santa and lego Toy Soldier, a printed photo of your meet-and-greet, a take-home Christmas decoration you create with a Master Model Builder and access to a delicious winter treat station with hot chocolate and cookies.

For more info and tickets contact the Top Villas concierge team.

Orlando to Host Copa America Centenario Soccer Tournament Next Year

Orlando has been announced as an official host for the prestigious Copa America Centenario 2016 to be held at the Orlando Citrus Bowl for the first time in history!

The Orlando Citrus Bowl

The Orlando Citrus Bowl

The newly renovated stadium will host three games in the popular South American tournament said to be the second-biggest event coming to Central Florida since the World Cup in 1994. Now in its 100th year, the Copa America Centenario will take place at venues across the U.S. from June 3-26th featuring the best national teams from South America and CONCACAF.

The Orlando Citrus Bowl will host three games of the tournament including two pool games and a third game that will be either a pool game or potentially a knockout-round game. The games for each venue have not yet been announced, however Orlando is likely be a top candidate to host Brazil and Colombia.

The tournament is expected to bring some of soccer’s biggest stars to the States including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar, Colombia’s James Rodriguez, Mexico’s Javier Hernandez, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez, who helped lead Chile to the 2015 Copa America title.

“From the international tourism, to the significant impact for our local economy and the sheer excitement for the game of soccer, this announcement is another big win for Orlando,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We spent the better part of last year completely reconstructing the Orlando Citrus Bowl so that we could host more high-profile events like this and I’m proud we continue to deliver on that promise.”

“Hosting the Copa America Centenario at the Orlando Citrus Bowl is a great example of what our community can accomplish when we come together for a common goal,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “These events are not only exciting opportunities for our residents, but will draw thousands of people from across the world benefiting our local economy.

Orlando City SC, Orlando Pride and Orlando City B season ticket holders, along with members of other sports-related organisations will be eligible for an exclusive private ticket sale. For more information visit www.ca2016.com.

To book accommodation near the Orlando Citrus Bowl contact the Top Villas concierge team today.

Ignite This Season’s Spirit With All-New Festive Fun At Disney World’s Epcot!

Disney’s Epcot park will ignite this season’s spirit with all-new entertainment offerings as well as seasonal favourites during its renowned Holidays Around the World celebration which kicks off this month.

Christmas by Candlelight

From November 27 – December 30, 2015 this magical event will come alive with a whole host of exciting entertainment offerings including the Christmas Candlelight Processional with all-new songs and celebrity narrators, Epcot’s exciting World Showcase complete with new twist on old seasonal favourites and plenty more to ensure this years’s Christmas at Disney World Orlando soars to new heights!

JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season

JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season

The magical Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Disney World, held at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Featuring a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir, this festive performance takes place every day at 5, 6.45 and 8.15pm. For an extra special yuletide experience guests can purchase the Candlelight Processional Dining Package including starter entree, dessert and beverage at select Epcot full-service restaurants and guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional.

Holidays Around the World Mexico Pavilion

Holidays Around the World Mexico Pavilion

Other Epcot offerings include soulful performances at the Fountain Stage in Future World each day with two merry musical ensembles. The soulful band American Music Machine will lend a modern twist to favourite Christmas tunes at this lively stage show with new musical arrangements, dances, and a brand new look with nostalgic holiday hits, including “White Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “All I Want for Christmas is You.” And for spirited renditions of holiday classics, guests also can sing and dance to the music of “Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season.”

Holidays Around the World China Pavilion

Holidays Around the World China Pavilion

In addition to the joy-filled stage performances, Holidays Around the World immerses guests in holiday celebrations and traditions from various countries throughout World Showcase. Amid joyful music and festive treats, treasured traditions spring to life as storytellers share their countries’ holiday heritage. International holiday experiences around the World Showcase include the musical Canadian Holiday Voyageurs at the Canada Pavilion, the colorful Chinese Lion Dance at the China Pavilion, a festive mariachi band and vibrant dancers at the Mexico Pavilion, and a lesson about the “spice of life” by a Moroccan drummer at the Morocco Pavilion. Guests also can enjoy the music of the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers and greet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Adventure Pavilion.

Illuminations Reflections on Earth

Illuminations Reflections on Earth

The celebration comes to a joyful conclusion each night with “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a laser, light, and fireworks spectacular capped with a dazzling seasonal finale.

To book your own Disney Christmas package, or to find out more about events during your stay in Orlando, please contact our concierge team who will be happy to find you the best deal.

Embracing the Adventure of a Vacation Rental

It’s in those dark moments at your office desk that you can’t help but imagine clichéd paradise – palm trees, hot sandy beaches, cool ocean spray. It’s all too tempting to simply stick with what we’re comfortable with and just plough through it.  But this shouldn’t be the case.

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#NationalStressWeek has highlighted the growing issue of stress in our modern lives.  Stress often rears its ugly head with both physical and mental symptoms and can take over the lives of the most unassuming people. Being able to find an escape and return to a relaxed state is key to living in the modern world.

Thankfully, it is now easier than ever to book a last minute getaway and experience a life of relaxing luxury away from our usual 9 – 5 lives.

Let Go of Organising (I Dare you!)

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If you’re spending money on a trip why do all of the legwork? With all the travel options available to you, there is no need to put in so much effort organising the perfect trip. Sit back, relax and let experienced travel experts find your perfect accommodation.

Equally, don’t fuss once you’re arrived at your destination. Any concierge service worth their salt will just be a phone call away – don’t be afraid to make the most of this service. Be exhilarated with your new found freedom and strip yourself away from your everyday responsibilities.

Keep your Creature Comforts

orlando vacation rental kitchen

Just because you’re jetting off on a luxury adventure doesn’t mean that you should let go of what makes you relaxed and happy at home. In fact, keeping hold of certain creature comforts can help guide you into a state of utter relaxation. This could be anything from your favourite brand of coffee or your favourite magazine or book. It is always worth checking to see if you can purchase your selected brand once you’ve arrived at your destination, or simply contact your concierge to see if you can have it delivered to your accommodation on arrival. The best vacation rental companies will allow you the flexibility of bringing a small piece of your home lifestyle into your vacation home.

Embrace Nature

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Take the opportunity of travelling abroad to bathe your senses in both new and old experiences. In our hectic work lives we often to forget to sit and smell the roses. Travelling abroad is the perfect time to do this without being limited by tight deadlines and also works as an exercise in withdrawing away from the pressures of work.

Staying away from the main tourist accommodation traps can help you reach these areas. Selecting a luxury home away from the hustle and bustle of high rise hotels helps to satisfy that lust for adventure we often forget in our adult lives.