Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations
Parc Soleil® by Hilton Grand Vacations is in Orlando located at 11272 Desforges Ave Orlando, FL 32836. This is steps to both Sea World and Universal. It sits in a lakefront location, and is tucked away from the main road. This resort provides 1-2-3 bedroom units. These are seized from over 900 sq ft to over 1,700 sq ft.
Video by The Frugal Brit – Orlando
Day One Travel
My trip down was free of issues. Sometimes when you take that 11+ hour drive down interstate 95, that is not the case.
I made it down in one straight shot, which I do not do often anymore. I was just so busy with work this week that an earlier journey was not possible.
My drive went even faster and easier than normal, so I made it to the area of the resort several hours before I could check in. So I chose to stop and eat something near the resort.
I own a Ford Mustang and drove it down today, so it felt right going to the Ford Garage this is a chain, restaurant but I have never been. I love American-made cars, so I made my way to this location which is near the resort. The menu here has many great burgers. I had the Bison Bacon Burger. This place reminds me of many of the restaurants I loved in the 80s like Bennigan’s and others. I washed down my meal with Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. The beer is aged in bourbon barrels.
I will not comment on how many of those I chose to have before and after my meal. But they went down wonderfully.
Check in was fine, and I was able to find my suite and get sorted well. I went back down for a snack or two for the room and some non-alcoholic options.
If you get into town before your check in time. There are outlets across the street from the resort and it makes for a great time killer for those who love to shop. These are the Vineland Outlets and there is something here for everyone. The mall area has over 140 locations.
If you go less than a mile South from the resort, you are at Disney Springs resort area, which has many other dining and entertainment options.
Check in time was here, and I headed back to the resort to get settled. The thing to focus on is how central this location is. If you want to be in the heart of some of the most powerful locations in Orlando, then this is an amazing choice.
At this resort, the 1 bedroom villas or suites are over 900sq ft and the 3 bedrooms are over 1,700 sq ft. The suites are available in 1-2-3 bedrooms. I had a 1 bedroom suite that was on the penthouse level. Here is what the site has to say about my room.
Located on the top 2 floors of the hotel, penthouse one-bedroom suites enjoy premium panoramic vistas of Central Florida and its endless entertainment from your private balcony. Finished with granite countertops, as well as dark hardwood floors and cabinetry, Featuring a spacious living room with sofa bed, 65-inch TV with DVD player, balcony and washer/dryer. The fully equipped kitchen includes a stove with oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and utensils. The master bedroom has a king-sized bed and 49-inch TV. The master bath has a shower, a sculptural tub with a crafty, ceiling-mounted spout, and a 22-inch TV. Sleeps 4.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
Day Two Fun in Orlando
On this trip to Orlando I want to visit some of the many other things you can do in Orlando than the major parks. I could go to Disney, or Universal, and even Sea World every trip and be happy. But I wanted to see some of the things I miss on those other amazing Orlando trips I get to take.
Today I wanted to drive about 45 minutes to the East of Orlando and visit the Kennedy Space Center. I have been before, and I have even seen several launches which are amazing. But it has been several years, and they have added a ton to the visitor’s experiences.
Now this is still a major attraction as far as pricing is concerned. I do not feel like it should be since this is government funded, but it is as pricey as some major theme parks.
With me saying that in advance, let’s go visit together today and see what they now have available.
I am a space nut, and a fan of NASA and the amazing work that they do, and have done during my lifetime. So, for me, this is going to be awesome no matter what. If you are a fan of all things space travel, this is for you like going to Legoland would be for a Lego fan. Or getting to go into Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory even if you did not get a change to own it.
As early as 1960, you could visit Kennedy and take a tour. I grew up in Hampton Roads Virginia, near the Hampton Space Center complex. In my childhood years in the 1970s, they also had a visitor center at that site. In those early days, there were no rides. The exhibits were cool and fun things like weighing yourself in the gravity of other planets and the moon. Simple things that made you think about outer space and beyond.
On my first trip to Kennedy, I think I was around 8-9 and even at Kennedy there was not a lot to do or see in those early years. Now there are many real world level experiences, rides, and even two IMAX theaters on site. All of these are set to impress you with the amazing work they do at NASA, and what our space program means to the world.
Some people wonder about the money we spend to send men and women into space. All along, though, we benefit from their research efforts and technological advancements. A great deal of the technology we use and enjoy today comes from efforts to get our men and women safely into space and back. Everything from ballpoint pens to the mattress you sleep on has benefited from NASA projects and research.
When you visit unless you are staying several days, just like the major theme parks, you need to have a plan. There is so much to do and see it would be virtually impossible to do it all in a single visit. All the experiences are broken down into areas of focus.
- Heroes & Legends here you can interact with the history of NASA, the amazing astronauts and understand the work of the support staff that helps make everything possible. You get to learn about many of the heroes from NASA’s past. You also get to understand the work of the mission control staff. Another overwhelming thing is to visit the Rocket Garden where you can see many of our nations’ rockets. From the website on the Rocket Garden:A Mercury-Redstone 3 rocket launched the aspirations of an entire country in 1961, when Alan Shepard completed the first U.S. human space flight. NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs are represented by this garden of giants, not just as engineering feats of technology, but also as tribute to the scientists and engineers who turned dreams of spaceflight into reality. Let a space expert guide you through a history of early rocket science during daily guided tours.
- Race to the moon: As the name suggests, here is where the exhibits and experiences are focused on the missions, people, and equipment of the moon landing. If you are sharing all of this with your children or child and they are saying that they hope to be an astronaut you may want to watch From the Earth to the moon with them before you come, or watch the movie The Right Stuff. Both are great. The Right Stuff gave a boost to my interest in flight and space travel that still exists today.Race to the moon has so much to see that any space fan will be blown away. From full experiences that give you a chance to reliver the moon landing, to historic treasures of Apollo Mission artifacts, this area has it all. I really enjoyed seeing the Apollo 8 launch room and seeing that launch from the mission control point of view.
- Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other: Here you can tour the Atlantis shuttle and participate in a virtual launch. The adventure here is really all about a firsthand experience. The virtual shuttle launch is a neat experience. I went on something similar years ago at Disney, and this was such a powerful experience that it rivaled that.
- NASA Now + Next: This offers a glimpse into Mars and the future of space flight and travel to distant planet. Even perhaps the colonization of Mars itself.
- Finally visit the Space Mirror Memorial: This is a powerful memorial to all whom have perished in the pursuit of space and science.
There are many addition things to see and do as well. I spent a full day going from one neat experience to the next. It was a joy for a fan of NASA and a bit of a nerd about all of this.
I was not fortunate enough to be here on a launch day but I was lucky to be able to attend a chat with an astronaut. Which was a powerful experience to hear firsthand from one of our finest. It reminded me of a docent tour at Dulles, where my tour guide was one of the original SR71 pilots.
They have a number of on site dining options. I grabbed drinks while on site but saved the meal for when I left. I wanted to drive out to Coco Beach and eat at a local spot I had enjoyed before Coconuts on the beach they have good food and a water view from the great location.
Day Three More of Orlando
I could wake this day and head somewhere like Legoland, but I am neutral on Legos. Maybe it was because in my early childhood years my older sister was the one with the building talents. She could make the most amazing little houses or castles with them.
Any Lego fan will enjoy a visit. For me today instead I am headed to a water park. Instead of going to Universal, Disney, or Sea World options, I am going to try out Aquatica, which is a giant water park in Orlando. They offer a number of slide rides here and many pools, beaches and tons of onsite dining options.
Aquatica also has a massive wave pool that is more than suffer friendly. If you want to see it or experience it in a water park, this park likely has it. They have several river type experiences. One Loggerhead Lake that is slow and calm, then Roa’s Rapids that as the name implies is more high speed fun.
It is hard to pick out a main attraction here. Most people loved the slide that went through a dolphin enclosure, this year (2022) that will be a full reef of things to view and see.
Adults will like the drink options, cabanas, and lazy rivers. Kids will love all the slides and the giant wave pool. The staff seemed well trained here and they have a watchful eye on the water, which was nice to see.
For myself, this water park is at the top of my short list of great waterparks. I do not get into them as much these days as when I was younger, but they are still so much fun for families and young kids. This is one to keep on your list. Day tickets here are deeply discounted at this time, but check the website for current pricing and availability before you go.
As always, when you are looking to travel for vacation and fun, choose TZort to book your stay, and save.