The Fountains is in one of the greatest vacation towns in the world: Orlando Florida. Orlando is not only home to Disney and Universal Studios, but a great collection of Theme Parks and fun.
Coming to this area though, I feel I have to at least go to Universal or Disney one day on my trip. This resort itself is almost a park. It is 54 acres of fun in the sun. Check out the 360 virtual tour for yourself.
Video by Island Hopper TV
Day One Arrival at The Fountains
I like to drive from my home in Virginia to Orlando. This trip will be a special one because I will be staying at several resorts and staying a full week in the area. This meant the drive down was extra special because it was for a nice long stay.
The resort has every amenity you can imagine.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- BBQ Grills
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Hot Tub
- Indoor Pool
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Live Entertainment
- Lobby Bar
- Massage Therapy/Spa
- On-Site Security
- On-Site Security
- Outdoor Pool
- Sauna/Steam Room
- Snack Bar
- Poolside Bar
The rooms here are from 700 square feet to almost 3,000 square feet. For this trip, since I was going to be here 3 nights, I chose a 2-bedroom deluxe villa. This was a huge 1,343 square foot room that is laid out perfectly. These villas have a balcony off of the living room and master bedroom.
The room is complete with a large kitchen master bathroom with a jet tub, shower, and dual sinks.
The resort itself is in an ideal location. It is in between Sea World and Disney. Very close to both, and easy to get to. When I drove in from the airport, it was less than a 20-minute drive in my rental car.
If you have read my travel blogs on this site before, you know once I check-in (sometimes before) I like to do a tour of the resort. This resort has some great things to check out. There is a central building that has a fitness center, business center, and kids’ activity room. Outside there are pools and bars. The resort even has a swim-in and our pool that allows you to be inside or swim from the inside out and back again. That is awesome and great if you have already gotten a ton of sun for the day at parks, but the kids still have the energy to burn.
There is a pool bar and an outside grill and bar. Each is in a great location and has a great range of options for drinks and the grill also has nice snacks. So, after checking in I hit the grill and had a few drinks, a burger, and a decent margarita on the rocks with salt, well 3 of those.
Day Two time to go to Disney
Since I was in town for a week, I had the time to do Disney right. By that I mean go to each park and spend a great deal of time. I love some things at Universal, but I was starting my week at Disney. I was able to get a deal on some tickets from a reseller that is a legitimate travel booking company for things like local tickets. Normally you get a better deal through the park themselves but they throw these ticket sales companies a deal to keep them promoting the park.
This does not happen during prime weeks like spring break, or Christmas, but you can get discounted deals at other times of the year. I was here in late spring before summer so that is one sweet spot for deals on tickets. If you want a discount, do not go during spring break. That is the bread-and-butter time for Disney, and now also for Universal as well.
First things first, I went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for a walk down memory lane. This is where I came during my childhood with family members that are no longer with me. So for me, this in a bit of a weird way is like taking a moment to remember and be on vacation with them again. Here I am a man of 50 and I miss my Grandparents, and my Father significantly to this day. As I go on the same ride or see the same show I once did, I do not weep, but I do smile a little more.
For me smells, music, tastes, and locations or places all can bring memories flooding back. They wash over me like waves breaking on the sand. Never in a bad way, but always powerful. These memories remind me that I was loved and cared for. Not because I was spoiled with great vacations (and I certainly was) but because of the time with those loved ones. Those special memories and moments that no one can take from me. The echoes of those great memories still move me forward on tough days.
I always have to go to a few specific places when I come to Disney in Orlando. It’s a small world, and the enchanted Tiki room is two must-visit locations. One time when I came, the Tiki room was closed, and it almost broke my heart. But I found out that Tom Sawyer Island was open so I went there instead and recalled my first ride, which was the boat ride that was here when I was maybe 4 or so. It was a ride you did not have to be a certain size to go on if you were with your parents.
We are talking about the 1970s here, folks. Back when you got the old coupon like greed tickets to the park. The good old days. Now many of those same rides and things are still at Disney, but with all the parks and attractions many do not see the traffic they once did when the Magic Kingdom was the whole thing.
After visiting at least 8 of my favorite spots, I wanted to go to Epcot to eat, then visit some of my other rides and spots that are directly linked to my memories. I went to the 9 Dragon’s Restaurant for some great Asian food. This is in the China area and is a full sit-down dining experience.
After eating, I went on some rides that are in this area. The one that I went to first was Mission Space. It is funny too many who know me, but I am a ride coward. I mean, I do not like many roller coasters or real rides. The Mission Space is one exception. I rode it the first time with my oldest niece on vacation with my sister and her family. I only rode it the first time because I was too embarrassed to tell her no. Now when I go, I ride the crazier version of the ride. This is a simulator ride that has two options: a mild version and a wild version. I opted for the mild version that first time. But enjoyed it so much that the next time I came to the park, I tried the wild one. They even color code the ride so you will know you are going on the right one for you. If you are not a ride person (like me) do not go on the Orange version first. Wait on that and try the tame version.
Both are fine, but the orange version is intense. It throws you around a good bit, and you feel like you are on a rocket to outer space. With the calmer version, you get to see the things and feel a little, but the G-forces are much easier. Keep that in mind, but do consider this ride.
Next, I jumped on the Test Track ride, which is a simulation of a test track for a race car, and a fun ride to catch when you are in the park.
The celebration of so many nations Epcot is an amazing journey.
After a full day between both of the parks, I went back to the resort to recover and rest for tomorrow. Singing in my head, “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow.”
Day Three The Fountains resort and back to Disney for day two
Today I am starting at Hollywood Studios. If you have not been or been in a while, this is the park that now has the Star Wars content. So, I was excited to get in a visit some new park content. I grew up on Star Wars, being just 7 years old at the time of its release. Ever since then I have watched all the movies as they have been released.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is amazing! It is something for every Star Wars fan to make a point to go see. If you are bringing the kids to Disney and they are old enough to follow along with the movies (even with help) make sure you watch them before your trip. If you drive down, have the kids watch the movies in the car, maybe. They will be so excited to see and experience Star Wars in person after the movies. I was seeing young boys, and girls, hearts leap so high you could see them in their eyes. Just like giant balls of happiness. It was as powerful to see the kid’s reaction and their parents with them, as it was the area, rides, and all the Star Wars fun.
I have been to the Harry Potter sections of Universal and you get a similar reaction, but this was like 2X that for the space fans. (I like them both to be honest, but the Butter Beer and Universal are much better than the green milk drink in Star Wars Disney.)
After a few hours of having fun, it was time for some food. Hopefully, you saved enough on the resort booking through TZort to be able to eat in the park. It is not only a good experience, but it is also much easier than leaving and coming back to the park.
When I was 17, I worked in the Bush Gardens Williamsburg theme park in their kitchens in Italy. This means I understand how hard these cooks and staff work to make your visit and meal great. I think this makes me enjoy their hard work and effort more than I should. But I liked it and loved the setting.
In this park, I skip the Tower of Terror and the Rock-N-Roll Roller Coaster, but for people who love rides, I hear they are great. I did check out Star Tours, and I had to ride in the Millennium Falcon.
After a full day at Hollywood Studios, it was back to the resort for a Spa visit to recover from all the walking and spoil the heck out of me.
Day Four: Animal Kingdom and back to the Magic Kingdom
When you go into the Avatar section, you will be amazed if you are a fan of the movie. I can not imagine how hot this park will be after the next Avatar movie comes out. There will be lines of people stacked up like never before. It is not bad now only because it has been a while since Avatar’s release as a film, and with no sequel yet.
The visuals here and the areas are impressive. The builders and imaginers had some help on this one and wow, just wow, the results are impressive. Yes, you still know it is a theme, but the immersion is high, and the special effects and artistic quality of the plants and scenery is amazing. They can save on some CGI costs of the next movie and just film some on-site here, it is that good.
The Valley of Mo’ara is an area where they literally have created those floating landmasses. That is something that grabs your eyes and won’t let go. Then there is one of my favorite Disney things: a new boat ride. I think I like them so much because the boat ride in Disney was my first ride way back in, I believe 1974 or 75. This one is the Navi River on Pandora and they did such a great job with scenery and experience. Make sure you check that one out. It is one boat ride you and the family will certainly enjoy.
After what would be a full day for many at Animal Kingdom, I headed back to the Magic Kingdom.
After getting back to the original park, I wanted to check out any rides I have not been to yet. It is a fairly long list of things I missed one day one. I started with the Haunted Mansion, The Swiss Family Treehouse, and the Carousel of Progress. The Pirates of the Caribbean, I even took the time to walk through the Winnie the Poo section just for old times’ sake.
If you have kids with you that are young enough also consider getting them with some characters while they are in the parks. Little girls especially like to meet the amazing Disney Princesses. There are characters in all parks but many in the Magic Kingdom, and the Animal Kingdom.
On this trip, I was hitting all the remaining memories of my past by seeing the Country Bear Jamboree.
Next, it was time to move resort locations to the next resort on this trip Orlando’s Sunshine Resort, follow this vacation story more there.