The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
We recently took the brood to their first ever visit to Orlando and Disney World. We knew right away that we didn't want to be in the Disney compound and that we wanted a luxury resort escape but with close proximity to all Orlando has to offer.
Enter The Omni Orlando ChampionsGate. Just eight miles from Disney World's gates, this Mediterranean-styled resort is tucked away and surrounded by 1200 acres of natural wetlands. Between golf, the spa, the restaurants, the swimming pool complex, and the proximity to theme parks and shopping, this hotel will make all family members happy.
We were greeted by enthusiastic staff who gave the girls their Camp Omni backpacks. We were early and our room wasn't ready yet so we went to the poolside bar and cafe Croc's for lunch and to check things out. The girls could barely sit still because the pools are amazing and a DJ was playing some Disney music. Oh the excitement!
The pools at the Omni Orlando include a formal pool with cabanas, another huge pool with a 125 foot long slide, a fountain/spray area, a zero entry family pool and a huge lazy river. We had kids' meals and salads at lunch and went to change to hit the pools! What can I say that afternoon was a blur of water play and several loops on the lazy river.
The resort has 700 rooms decorated in tropical colors and styles. We had two adjoining rooms -- one king bedded room and one double double.
The rooms were spacious, with ample storage space, a plasma TV, refrigerator bar area, roomy bathrooms with tubs and a writing desk. The beds were VERY comfy and blackout shades extremely effective. (Note: the hotel also has two and three-bedroom villas for larger families.) We love the hotel's free WiFi too but the huge hit was the basket of goodies awaiting us!
We didn't spend much time in the rooms but when we did, we all slept like babies.
The next day we opted to get up early and get a cab to Disney's Magic Kingdom BEFORE the gates opened. Note that the Omni does have complimentary shuttles to Walt Disney World! Our visit to the Magic Kingdom was just that -- Magical!
We loved spending the day there and hitting all the classics for younger kids: Dumbo Ride, It's a Small World, Mad Tea Party, Peter Pan's Flight, Pooh's Ride among others.
We also saw a couple different Main Street Parades, got to meet Merida from BRAVE, saw "Mickey's PhilharMagic" in 3D and had an autograph session with several princesses.
We went back to Omni, exhausted and so glad to be able to head to the pool and splash and float.
The next day, after a big delicious buffett breakfast at Trevi's (kids' breakfast is included in the Camp Omni package) we ventured to Downtown Disney with the highlight being a scheduled appointment (yes, this was totally arranged by Daddy!) at the Bippidy Bobbidy Boutique.
At the salon, guests ages 3 to 12 can choose from 3 hair styles—Fairytale Princess, Disney Diva and Pop Princess—as well as nail color, make-up and a total package including Disney Princess costume, accessories and photographs. It was a major highlight and the girls were thrilled...can't you tell??!!
Besides the pool area, kids will enjoy the Omni Kids Camp, a 2,000 square foot facility overseen by Le Petit Academy. A playground, video game arcade, and puzzles and video games by request at the concierge guarantees kids will be occupied. The girls all went to Kids Night Out while we enjoyed a quiet, adult dinner.
We opted for Omni's Zen restaurant. Zen is a pan-Asian restaurant and sushi bar. Asian-themed privacy screens create separate dining areas and we enjoyed having alone time and eating delicious and fresh sushi.
When we returned to Camp Omni to pick up the girls they were sitting on beanbags, watching a movie with new friends and eating popcorn. It took a lot of cajoling to get them to leave at 9:30 pm, the Camp Omni counselors were lovely and the space large, fun and inviting!
The next day was HOT so we opted to head back to Downtown Disney, an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment area (no entry fees!) and caught Brave 3D, afterwards we grabbed lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, which is definitely over the top but fun to do with kids once and awhile. Our food was very good too!
Back to the pool we went and nibbled on snacks from Croc's for our dinner then blissfully hit the sheets.
Our final day at Omni was the 4th of July! The kids did a scavenger hunt with their dad while I went to the gym and had an incredible massage at the 10,000 square foot Mokara Spa. *sigh*
Then we all went to the incredible Reptile Show the Omni had for guests on the grounds.
A gentleman from a local reptile facility brought a baby croc, snake and other animals to teach us about local reptiles. (Note to visitors, don't feed crocs!) We got to hold the baby gator and my husband was the lucky one chosen to hold a giant python. So fun!
The rest of the day we spent in a cabana by the formal pool that was absolutely lovely! The cabanas have TVs, Wi-Fi and refrigerators stocked with smoothies and fresh fruit. It was such a great way to regroup and take a break from the sun.
That evening, we had a family dinner at Trevi's, the hotel's family-style Italian restaurant. This family of five shared spaghetti and meatballs for four, a salad and Dad got a filet. The food was so delicious. The dessert menu also looked mouth-watering but we had bought fixings for s'mores in the hotel's coffee shop. We went over to the hotel's firepit and made delicious s'mores.
Next up? Glow in the Dark Golf! For those real golfers out there, the Omni Orlando has a 36 hole world-class golf course designed by Greg Norman and a David Ledbetter Golf Academy.
For us, we spent our final evening playing Glow in the Dark Wacky golf with other families while watching fireworks at Disney and surrounding communities all around us. It was so fun and such a cute idea.
The activities offered on property are very diverse and staff very helpful! We went to bed that evening tired and happy but more than a little sad it was time to leave Omni Orlando.
Think it can't get any better?? Room rates begin at $109 a night!
To see what the kids thought of Omni Orlando, view the video below!