Orlando

OrlandoPeople around the world consider Orlando, Florida, their vacation destination of choice, and Bluegreen Resorts’ properties at The Fountains and Orlando’s Sunshine Resort I&II can become your home base for fun. Beloved for its theme parks, almost year-round warm weather, and a lingering culture of Southern hospitality, Orlando is your family’s gateway to vacation memories that will last a lifetime.

Just outside Orlando, the Disney complex of parks includes the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the internationally focused EPCOT, Disney-MGM Studios, Islands of Adventure, and more. Each has a distinctive atmosphere and set of rides, shows, shops, and restaurants. The Disney parks offer a variety of packages and ticket options, as well as special offers directed to military families. Just remember that if you choose to visit during the summer, or spring or winter break, you should expect to encounter crowds and longer lines. Some Disney parks extend their hours to 10 or 11 p.m., or even midnight, in the summer, at Christmastime, and at New Year’s. Downtown Disney, which features free admission, provides a day of walking among distinctive entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences such as House of Blues Orlando.

While the Disney parks remain Orlando’s most popular attractions, Sea World also offers plenty of entertainment and even some education about the lives and habitats of fish, marine mammals, and birds. Visit a penguin, a parrot, a manatee, a bottlenose dolphin, or a beluga whale. Take in the park’s wide range of attractions that include Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. One of Sea World’s most ambitious efforts, Empire of the Penguin features a family-friendly ride into a South Pole-like atmosphere for a flightless bird’s-eye view of the mysterious and icy continent.

Like the Disney parks, Sea World offers a range of package choices and discounts, and both parks provide the chance to buy annual passes that can save frequent Bluegreen Resorts customers both time and money.

Shopping enthusiasts will enjoy the Orlando area’s variety of discount outlet malls, most of which are within easy access of other tourist-friendly areas. For example, Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Avenue offers savings on brand names such as Nike, Armani, Fendi, The Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. Many outlets offer special holiday or end-of-season sales, when merchandise is discounted even more steeply.

If you’re looking for a gentler vacation experience, or one closer to nature, Orlando’s wide-ranging biking and hiking trails will not be far away. Or take a pontoon boat cruise along the Winter Park chain of lakes just north of the city and learn some fascinating local history, view elegant old-style architecture, and get acquainted with the birds and wildlife that call these waterways home. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour glides along canals lined with cypress trees, palms, and colorful flowers as visitors enjoy a narrative detailing the lives of the wealthy citizens who built the lavish homes and estates that appear at every turn. You might even see an alligator or two.

The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is located in Maitland, also just north of Orlando. The center offers insights into the lives of the bald eagles, owls, ospreys, and other raptors it cares for in its rehabilitative facility. Experience a personal encounter with these often-misunderstood creatures and pick up a new appreciation for the natural world that awaits you beyond the theme parks.