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Our Staff Picks

We’re excited to help you plan your upcoming retreat to Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. Check out our Staff Picks blog, where we highlight local attractions and exciting Orlando events.

dragon statue breathing fire

Have Fun With the Darker Side of Disney World


This summer, Magic Kingdom is here to bring your favorite heroes to life while you enjoy all of your favorite attractions. However, the question is, why should they get all of the fun? When the sun goes down and the knights in shining armor go to sleep, it will be time for the night crew to come out and play. Disney Villains After Hours will be open on select nights this summer and is sure to make bad feel fun.

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You will have the opportunity to meet your favorite characters and hop around over 20 attractions - all of this with very little wait. A brand-new villain stage show will be unveiled as well as villain inspired food, drinks, and activities. Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean will even be redesigned to feature new darker elements during the event. This is definitely not an experience you will want to miss!

For the month of June, event dates will be the 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th with additional time slots in July and August. Admission to the park begins as early as 7:00 pm, but the real party is from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am. Grab your tickets early and join the excitement!

water slide at night

Celebrate Summer with Disney H2O Glow Nights

It’s no doubt that Typhoon Lagoon is the most fun way to beat the summer heat, but did you know that the party doesn’t stop just because the sun goes down? From May 30 - August 24 (minus June 20), Typhoon Lagoon invites you to spend your Thursday/Saturday nights at an exclusive after-dark party that’s sure to be a ton of fun for the whole family.

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The party officially lasts from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm but guests who have already purchased their event tickets are welcome in as early as 6:00 pm. As the sun sets, the electric celebration begins with a DJ-hosted dance party and glowing decoration galore. You will be thrilled to see the shortest lines of the season for all of your favorite rides and slides and you don’t have to be shy about soaring down Crush ‘N’ Gusher 2, 3, or maybe 7 times. The kids can enjoy meeting their favorite Toy Story characters as we celebrate the summer release of Toy Story 4 and parents can enjoy the adult-only party area and bar, The Wharf. Whatever your reason for celebrating, be sure to check out Disney H2O Glow Nights this summer and see your local favorite in a new, glowing, light.

wax hands

Marvel at Madame Tussauds Wax Sculptures

The various Madame Tussauds museums have attracted the awe of fascinated guests for almost 200 years. Specifically, these museums are home to hundreds of absurdly life-like wax sculptures of celebrities and other famous people or characters. There is something strangely alluring about gazing at these fake-yet-real people. Those wanting this experience first-hand won’t have to look any further as Orlando is the proud home of one of these museums.

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Madame Tussauds is sure to be a great time for anyone in the whole family. Superhero fans can spend some time with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Superman at the Justice League: A Call For Heroes exhibit. See your favorite crime-fighting legends up close and personal and maybe you can manage to get an autograph (but don’t count on it). Party it up on a replica of Pitbull’s Miami Yacht or say hey to Brazilian soccer superstar, Neymar.

Come be a groupie and take hundreds of realistic photos with your favorite famous people. Combo tickets are also available for those who want to also visit either Sea Life Orlando Aquarium or Legoland Florida and don’t forget to take home your own pair of wax hands as a souvenir.

flower wall

Harvest New Memories at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Spring is finally here and the flowers are in full bloom. Whether you want to see unique floral displays, marvel at world-class topiaries, or learn gardening tips from top experts, the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will be where you want to be. Swing on over to see, hear and smell the wonders of spring as live bands and world-class chefs decorate your garden viewing experience.

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With so much to do and see, you’ll be glad to know that Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek has complimentary resort shuttles to Epcot so you can stress less and smile more. The topiaries will leave you and your family breathless as you experience classic Disney characters in a new light. From March 6 through June 3, the only way to get the full experience is to come on down and feel the spring magic for yourself!

couple window shopping

Thornton Park

In the late 1900s, James Thornton began developing Orlando and the surrounding area began to grow. Thornton was thought to have lived on James Street, which was named for him in 1913. Soon after, other streets in the neighborhood would bear his surname with the advent of both Thornton Avenue and Thornton Lane. It was not until 1915 that the area became known to all as Thornton Park.

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Located at the core of downtown Orlando is the best example of old and new—a blend of historic homes and a hip-lifestyle. It is a great walking neighborhood from beautiful Lake Eola to the boutiques and restaurants of Washington Street. Stroll along brick-paved streets amongst the bungalows and towering Live Oaks. These bungalows are well known for their verandas and gardens—Orlando’s first ‘Garden’ district. The homes were mainly constructed between 1880 and 1930, and throughout the years many have been restored under the shade offered by the stately oaks that line the streets – some standing close to 175 feet tall!

Tucked in amongst boutiques, bars and the many fine eateries—the center of all the action on Washington Street is the Baroque-style stone and tile fountain. Visitors and residents alike enjoy a stroll down the avenue accented with this European flair! Next time you are in Orlando, explore Thornton Park.

trapeze artist

Disney Springs

So you know where we are, but what is there to do? The answer: SO MUCH! But let’s just start with Disney Springs. Disney Springs was formerly known as Downtown Disney. Other than a few venues, everything has changed. And for the better. You still have your favorites—Cirque du Soleil, House of Blues and Rainforest Café—but now there are so many great additions. We are getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start from the beginning.

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Getting there: We have several great options at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. You can hop on the shuttle (price included in your resort fee) or you can drive there. Parking is free! If you do drive yourself, we recommend parking on the second level – there’s direct access to Disney Springs from the second level. The parking garages are very tech savvy which makes parking on a busy day a breeze.

Shopping: Disney Springs is certainly a shopaholic’s dream. They have just about every store that you would see in a regular high-end mall. But you can always shop in those stores. Here are a few of our favorite one-of-a-kind stores:

If you’re looking for that perfect Minnie mouse t-shirt, the BB-8 backpack, or practically anything Disney related you could ever want—World of Disney is the perfect spot. They also serve TONS of candy. Who doesn’t like candy?

Disney's Days of Christmas is open year-round and is the perfect location for that gift to bring back to friends who wish they were in your shoes. It smells of Christmas—cinnamon and happiness.

The Art of Disney is a very interesting place to walk through. The different types of Disney themed art are quite entertaining. They even have Caricaturists waiting to draw you and your family!

Did we mention the candy? There are a lot of those stores.

Dining: There are countless options for dining—even if you don’t count the candy stores! There is quick service, full service, and snacks. Here are some of our favorites:

Raglan Road: This is an Irish pub that does not disappoint. They have traditional entertainment each night and the entertainers are authentic! But it’s not just them - the owners, the chef, and even the actual building came from Ireland. Not to mention their food is fantastic.

Earl of Sandwich: If you’re looking for a quick but delicious meal, look no further. Earl of Sandwich serves great sandwiches without blowing the budgets. And they’re unique! For example, feast on the Holiday Turkey made with turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise. Most of their sandwiches are $6.99.

Entertainment: Looking for a special night event? Enjoy one of a kind entertainment less than 3 miles away from Wyndham Grand Orlando!

House of Blues regularly plays fun, smaller-sized concerts that are sure to please. They also have happy hour!

Cirque du Soleil is always a crowd pleaser. If you have never seen it—now is your chance. And you won’t be disappointed. The acrobatics, choreography, and music will dazzle you and your family. Keep an eye on their website, they like to offer discounts!

Now, let’s say you want to see all of Disney Springs at one moment. Look no further than the world’s largest tethered helium balloon. Yes, that’s a real thing. You can ride for 8-10 minutes and catch every view of the area from 400 feet. Not into heights? There’s also a bowling alley and movie theater. Everyone likes bowling. And movies.

So now that you have a small taste of what Disney Springs has to offer—GO! You won’t regret it.

P.S. Did we mention the candy? There’s also a cupcake ATM. Because cupcakes.

wine and cheese board

A One-of-a-Kind Celebration of Food, Art, & Fun

As a Disney Gateway Hotel, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek makes it so easy to experience the magic of Walt Disney World! And at the beginning of this new year, there’s a little extra magic to look forward to—the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

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Beginning January 18 and running through February 25, 2019, this 39-day festival is a celebration of all things artistic, from visual arts to culinary arts to performing arts. Get creative with a guided painting class, find inspiration in some world-class cuisine, or learn from the pros in an interactive workshop. There are a variety of artful activities for the whole family!

New to the festival this year, Broadway comes to Walt Disney World with an extra special concert series, featuring seven days a week of Disney Broadway tunes and singalongs. Kick off the new year right and purchase your ticket today!