Reunion Resort Makes a Splash in Orlando

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Of course, all that activity should be wound down with a soothing treatment at the intimate onsite spa, which is very, very laid-back and quite inviting. And even children can get in on the fun. The spa offers a children’s menu for kids 5 to 12 that includes prince or princess manicures, pedicures and facials—they’ll love it!

The best part of staying at Reunion, however, is that although guests know they have all these activities at their fingertips, they can simply choose to while an afternoon away at one of our favorite places, Eleven. This rooftop lounge is open afternoons and evenings and serves tapas and small bites from around the globe—not to miss from this vantage point are the nightly fireworks display at Disney World (just six miles down the road). Another must is dinner at Forte Grill, with a scrumptious menu that includes everything from a pear salad (with thin sliced bosc pears, shaved Serrano ham, reggiano, cracked tellicherry pepper, and extra virgin oil) to pork osso bucco (with risotto Milanese and herbed pine-nut gremoulada).

homey surroundings “Typically, large families and extended families [book Reunion], many of which are multigenerational—about 70 percent of rooms sold are 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom villas, perfect for multigenerational families as they are 2,000 sq. ft.” These really are the perfect accommodations, with top-of-the-line everything. Here, the master suite comes with a sumptuous king bed and spacious bath, there’s an ample living room with dining area, there are flat-screen TVs in each bedroom and living room—no need to fight over the sports news and “Hannah Montana”—and a DVD player and high-speed Internet access. The second bedroom comes with a king or queen bed, and a third bedroom offers either two full or two twin beds. And then, of course, there are those aforementioned fully equipped kitchens (a true amenity when it comes to vacations with the whole gang). And with maid service and a personal concierge—they’ll even take care of your grocery shopping—this is one of the best “home away from homes” we’ve ever visited.

Rates start at $225 for a 1-bedroom villa. Additionally, guests of agents who book Reunion packages through Dec. 31, 2009 and reference Recommend, will receive an amenity upon check-in (agents must reference Recommend and it’s one amenity per reservation). Agents interested in visiting the resort themselves, will get an agent rate of 20 percent off rack rates (must have a registered IATA number that must be included at time of booking).

“diving” into orlando attractions It’s true, Reunion is made so that guests can choose to never wander past the gates, but, it is in Orlando, and with Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and countless other attractions right around the corner, there’s more than ample reason to spend a day—or two or three—plunging right into the thick of things.

Or rather “diving”—one of the more unique offerings in the area is SkyVenture Orlando, an indoor skydiving adventure. Yep, you read right—it’s a must and what families will love is that even the smallest of tots (as young as 3, in fact) can swish through the air in this indoor wind tunnel. And tell parents not to fret, as the experience includes some training with a flight instructor, and everyone gets equipped with a flight suit, helmet, goggles and other gear. After that, each participant gets two one-on-one flight rotations with the instructor. It’s quite tricky and does look a lot easier than it actually is, but for families looking to get the most out of the area thrills, tell them they must try it—the family will be talking about it long after the experience as the feeling of soaring through the air is really quite exhilarating.

Of course, if it’s the thrill of swishing through the air at high speeds your clients are after, tell them to head to SeaWorld Orlando, and get on the new attraction ride, Manta, which they’ll encounter right at the entrance. This giant manta ray roller coaster flies, soars, glides and spins at highway speeds, all while 32 riders lay prone on its “belly.” It’s really best left for the most adventuresome members of the family.

The best part of SeaWorld Orlando, however, is that beyond the breathtaking rides, park guests can view spectacular displays of underwater creatures, including at the Manta ride itself. For guests too young to ride roller coasters—or those who like their adventures a little less extreme—the Manta experience includes views into 10 stunning and all-new aquariums, home to 100 species of fish, hundreds of rays and other sea life, more than 3,000 creatures in all. Another to-do in the park is riding the Shark Encounter, a 60-ft. tunnel that features a moving floor allowing guests to get an up-close look at these creatures without ever fearing they’ll take a chunk out of them—although, when they press up against the acrylic panels, it can be a bit disconcerting, but what’s a family vacation without a few chills and thrills?