Every season is the perfect time to start planning a visit to Orlando and a stay in one of our luxurious and comfortable Magnolia Villas seasonal sanctuaries, but today we would like to introduce you to the wonders of two in particular. We know you are busy people and it is hard to find the time to research your vacation destination in all the spare time you don’t have, so we decided to do the hard work for you and create a guide to Orlando spring and winter activities. This isn’t just any guide, however, it is the ULTIMATE guide, and whether you are trying to escape the frigid tundra of your own hometown in the winter or are looking for a family-friendly spring getaway that everyone can agree to, you will find tons of suggestions on what to do, where to go, and even where to eat all in one place with little to no effort needed!
The Wonders of Winter
Chances are you are coming from a place where the cold, gray, and lack of sun seems to go on forever, and as such, your first minutes in Orlando are destined to surprise you! The sun will be shining, the temperatures will encourage you to take off that jacket you packed just in case, and the blue skies will convince you that, yes, this was the only place in which you want to spend your winter break. Even if winters are mild where you come from, the friendliness, the cheerfulness, and the laid-back vibe of Florida life will have you rethinking your life choices and wondering to yourself if this central Florida town could perhaps provide your new forever home. In any case, your first matter of business will be exploring not just the wonders of an Orlando winter vacation, but the wonders to be revealed in your Magnolia Villas home away from home. That heated pool in the screened-in lanai is calling to you, so go ahead and drop your bags where you stand, pull out your suits, and start practicing your cannonballs for the week ahead while one thought runs through your mind: It’s winter and you are SWIMMING! It doesn’t get much better than this, or does it?
The World the Mouse Built
The majority of people who find their way to Orlando during any season are going to find their way to Disney World or any and all of the theme parks, so the obvious way to start your Orlando winter getaway is by exploring the joy found here! In the early winter months, the parks will offer Christmas magic, and special events such as Disney Very Merriest After Hours may be the best part of your getaway. Taking place on the weekend evenings from November through January, the events begin at 9 at night (although entrance to the park can start as early as 7 PM) and involve parades, sing-a-longs with your favorite characters, and delicious snacks and foods all offering a holiday theme! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park will be offering holiday merchandise, making this the perfect time to get some Christmas shopping in as you explore the worlds that Star Wars built. And although The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Universal Studios and NOT Disney, it deserves a special mention in this category as well, offering more magic as you explore the seasonally decorated Diagon Alley and become awed at the sight of Hogwarts all decked out in colorful Christmas lights!
Feeling Nostalgic for the Cold?
Even if you did make the trip to get away from the cold, some travelers find it hard to get into the holiday spirit without the chill, but don’t worry. As you might expect, we have your back, and from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve, Gaylord Palms ICE will help you feel all the emotional echoes of the season, offering acres of ice sculptures that cover the gamut of cartoon characters to North Pole structures to Santa’s Reindeer. A slide made from ice is guaranteed to be a hit with all participants—there are six in total, all two stories high—and if you didn’t bring your winter coats, never fear. Giant blue parkas are provided for all who enter and are better suited to the 9-degree temperatures inside; gloves are recommended, though, especially if you want to go down the slide! If you are planning on being in Orlando through the entire month the ICE show takes place, you may want to consider purchasing season tickets for unlimited access, and when you have enough of the cold, give back the parka, strip off the gloves, and head outside to the warmth and palm trees that will make your Orlando getaway a dream come true!
While your friends and family back home are buried under many feet of snow and having to resort to playing PGA Tour 2K21 on their PS5, you will be slathering on sunscreen and riding around lush and verdant greens having the time of your life! Winter in Orlando brings the perfect temperatures for a game of golf, and the courses found here are some of the best in the world. The Shingle Creek Golf Club, named after the ancient creek that winds its way through the course, is fast, challenging, and undeniably one of the more beautiful courses in town. The Kissimmee Bay Country Club, open since 1990 and designed by golf course architect Lloyd Clifton, is another popular course famed for the ancient oaks that stand guard over its greens and the Langley Golf Museum that is on the property. Finally, Orange County National is regarded as one of the best courses in the entire region. Offering two famous courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat, both of which have hosted different legs of the PGA tour for many years, Orange County National has earned the best public golf course in Orlando nod for 2021!
Spring Is for Everyone
As the temperatures creep up (just a little) and the sun shines longer, your Spring Break getaway in our central Florida hometown will be one that dreams are made of! Of course, you will want to get outside and play as much as possible, and the pools and hot tubs in our Magnolia Villas vacation escapes are just the start of all the fun you can have. Slide into your most comfortable walking shorts, grab your sunglasses, water bottle, and a hat, and head to La Costa Urban Wetlands for a quietly beautiful hike on a lazy Tuesday morning. Offering 25 acres of natural beauty with wide hiking paths that are easy to navigate meandering through the wild countryside, this is a great spot for bird, turtle, and animal watching, and if you have young children, a jungle gym in its midst will help burn off some of that youthful energy! The Split Oak Forest, located off Clapp Simms Duda Road, offers more tranquil hiking trails, these ones staying cool under the canopies of the ancient oaks that still grow in the area. Named after a 200-year-old oak tree that survived a lightning strike that split it in half, this forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including foxes, turtles, squirrels, and the occasional red-headed woodpecker. Staying cool in these early days of spring is naturally easy when you choose to hike through the clearly marked trails of the Split Oak Forest!
Experiencing the Wild Side of Orlando Spring
The hikes you take through the parks and wetlands will definitely give you a peek at the wildlife that makes their home here, but if you really want to venture over to the wild side, a visit to Gatorland will provide you and your family the thrill of a lifetime! Located at 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, this combination wildlife preserve and theme park is destined to be your favorite spring destination. Scream with joy as you ride the Screamin Gator Zipline over gator habitats; for those who have mobility issues, the Gator Gauntlet Zipline is designed for those facing challenges. Learn all about the variety of wildlife creatures who make their home here at the park, including alligators, crocodiles, wildcats, and more, and night owls can sign up for the Gator Night Shine event that starts after the sun has set. This unique park may not be Disney-associated but it is definitely a favorite of everyone who enters its gates, and it will be an important and exciting part of your vacation experience!
Visitors of a certain age may remember a television show about a kid, a bear, and a park ranger who spent his days keeping watch over the Everglades from the helm of a boat that resembled a big fan with seats. That flat-bottomed boat is called an airboat and is designed to skim over the shallow wallows of the Everglades without a motor bumping against the bottom of the swamp, and when you plan an Orlando spring trip, you too have the opportunity to experience sea travel this way! Orlando Airboat Tours, based in Kissimmee, takes you deep into the wilds, giving you an up-close and personal look at the wildlife, that live off the Everglades while keeping you safe. Offering tours that range from one hour-long all the way up to four hours, they also provide sunset tours for a bit of romance, private tours, and the chance to learn all the secrets of the Everglades!
Time to Eat
Because there is very little change between the two seasons temperature-wise, these restaurants we have listed here will be perfect for any time you are staying with Magnolia Villas!
Start with the delicious breakfast options offered by the Cape May Restaurant located at 1180 Seven Seas Drive. They feature an extensive menu filled with all your morning favorites as well as the chance for your kiddos to meet with their favorite Disney characters and perhaps even share a bite with the costumed characters!
Looking to get a little later start on your morning adventures and enjoy an elegant brunch with your favorite traveling partner? Canvas Restaurant & Market, 13615 Sachs Avenue, offers a Southern/Latin fusion brunch menu designed to become your new obsession! Keep it simple with your favorite breakfast dishes or explore their benedict options, including their very delicious and very fresh Lobster Benedict.
As you are running around Orlando having a perfectly wonderful time, you will definitely need to refill your tank, (and by tank we mean stomach, of course) and Christo’s Café at 1815 Edgewater Drive is one of our favorite lunch spots in town. Offering a menu filled with comfort foods, every bite you take will feed your soul as it fills your belly!
Le Café de Paris offers a taste of France, serving authentic French treats for breakfast and lunch; their coffee is so good they sell it online so you can continue to enjoy it when you return to real life!
Finally, dinner is the meal we most look forward to, and the restaurants in Orlando cover a vast selection of cuisines from countries all over the world! Enjoy enchiladas at Reyes Mezcaleria, 821 Orange Avenue, gnaw on Neapolitan style pizzas from Pizza Bruno, 3990 Curry Ford Road, or fall in love with an elegant and romantic dining experience at Kres Chophouse, housed in a historic building at 17 W Church Street.
Magnolia Villas Will Be Your New Obsession
The adventures you will enjoy in Florida will keep you entertained and happy, but the moments spent in our Magnolia Villas seasonal sanctuaries will make magical memories you never want to forget. Check out our spring our holiday rentals here if you did not find what you are looking for.
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