The Four Seasons Orlando (Part 1)

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Ed. – To hear (literally,™ James Hill) more about the Four Seasons, listen to Steve and Paula Bloom on today’s episode of the WDW Today podcast.

The Four Seasons Orlando is the newest resort at Walt Disney World. My in-laws, wife, and two children visited the Four Seasons Resort September 18-21. After the Touringplans Everywhere trip in October we will do a blog post comparing the deluxe resorts in Orlando. This blog post is going to focus on our experience at the Four Seasons.Four Seasons View from 14th floor

While the Four Seasons Orlando is expensive the cost is in-line with other Four Seasons resorts and the high end of the Disney deluxe resorts. Currently the Four Seasons is offering a 50% discount to Florida residents, and a third night free special. The chart below shows the cheapest available room at different Four Seasons Resorts for November 13-16. The Disney resorts listed are prices if available.

 Resort Rack Rate Sq.Ft. Type Offer Discount
Four Seasons- New York $995 500 City-View Room $995
Four Seasons– Atlanta $699 950 One-Bedroom Suite $699
Four Seasons– San Francisco $595 460 Deluxe Room $595
Four Seasons– Chicago $575 575 City-View Executive Suite $575
Four Seasons– Washington, DC $545 385 Deluxe Room $545
Four Seasons– Maui $489 600 Mountain-Side Room $489
Four Seasons– Austin $649 345 Lake view $487
Disney’s Grand Floridian $613 440 Outer Building Garden View 25% discount $460
Disney’s Polynesian Village $553 415 Standard View 30% discount $387
Disney’s Contemporary $451 394 Garden Wing – Standard View 15% discount $383
Four Seasons– Miami $575 750 Four Seasons Executive Suite City View 3rd night free $383
Four Seasons– Orlando $549 500 Golden Oak View Room 3rd night free $366
Disney’s Boardwalk $471 371 Standard View 25% discount $353
Disney’s Beach Club $466 381 Standard View 25% discount $350
Disney’s Yacht Club $466 381 Standard View 25% discount $350
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge $393 344 Standard View 25% discount $295
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge $390 344 Standard View 30% discount $273
Four Seasons– Houston $390 378 City-View Room 3rd night free $260

 

The Orlando Four Seasons is the largest Four Seasons with 444 guest rooms, but is smaller than any of the Disney hotels. The standard rooms either have a king-sized bed and pull-out sofa or 2 double beds.

Four Seasons King RoomFour Seasons Two Double Room

The service at the Four Seasons is top notch. 27% of the staff are transfers from other Four Seasons properties, which means they come with experience and knowledge of the Four Seasons brand. From the moment we arrived, we experienced the quality of service. The doorman escorted us from our car to check-in. After an efficient check-in process the receptionist took us to our room and showed us around. Moments later when the bell-hop brought our luggage up he gave us a more in-depth tour of our room including an orientation to the technology in the room.

The hotel has 2 different Wi-Fi options. We used the complimentary one and had no issues. There is a paid Wi-Fi option with higher bandwidth. Each room has its own iPad. The tablet replaces many items in a typical hotel room. It is the alarm clock, radio, resort map, resort information, event guide, weather report, and newspapers. The room had plenty of plugs for all our gadgets. At the night stand there were four outlets and two USB power ports.

Four Seaons iPad

Instead of a door hanger for privacy there was a button next to the bed to change the color of the doorbell: red meaning privacy (do not enter) and green when you are ready for housekeeping services. When we indicated that we did not want to be disturbed, housekeeping left a note with a phone number to call when we were ready for their services. There were two televisions, a large flat screen TV, and a small screen embedded in the mirror in the bathroom. Our never-one-to-initiate-hygiene 10-year-old son was so excited about the mirror TV he said he’d be brushing his teeth a lot during the trip. Both TVs had DVRs so you could record upcoming programs. The room also had a Bose Bluetooth speaker that you could connect the iPad or your personal device to.

Four Seasons Bathroom TV

The Four Seasons does not forget the kids. During check-in each kid was given a draw string backpack and a passport for a scavenger hunt. When we arrived in the room, the bed had a welcome note for my daughter, a baseball cap, water bottle, magazine, and a kid’s robe. (It was a bit odd because we had 2 children on the reservation, but our son happened to not be with us at check-in.) Shortly after the bell-hop left, housekeeping stopped by with a silver tray with welcome notes to each kid, cold milk, and chocolate alligators. Each day there was a small gift for one of the kids. We ended up with three chocolate alligators, three water bottles, three magazines, two baseball caps, and a Four Seasons Rubik’s Cube.

Four Seaons Kids Welcome SwageFour Seasons Milk and Chocolate

The scavenger hunt sent the kids around the resort, ending at Lickety-Splits, a café, for a free gelato. The Four Seasons has a complimentary kids club for kids age 4-12. Our 10-year-old son loved it. They had the latest video games. Kids could do organized group activities or one-on-one games with a staff member. Lunch is available at the kids club. Outside of the kids club they had pool, table tennis, foosball, and other games that anyone could enjoy. Also at “The Mansion” (the name for the outdoor games area) is a climbing wall, sand volleyball and a basketball courts. Close to the golf course are three clay tennis courts.

Four Seasons Kids Club - Volcano Four Seasons Kids Club - PlaygroundFour Seasons - Game Area2014-09-21 10.55.21

The pool and grounds are the most impressive we’ve seen on Walt Disney World property. The pool area is five acres. The landscaping around the pool areas has a natural tropical feel. Closer to the hotel the landscaping is more formal. The pool area includes an adult pool, family pool, 11,000 square-foot lazy river, and a splash zone. The splash zone includes two 242-foot water slides. Cabanas are at both the family and adult pools. Currently they are free, but we were told by staff that in the future the cost will be $200 a day. Even without a cabana there are many secluded areas to enjoy the pools. The pool area at the Four Seasons is about twice as large as Storm-a-Long Bay at the Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, but serves 1/3 the number of guests. (Yacht Club 630 rooms, Beach Club 583 rooms and 282 villas, Four Seasons 444 rooms/suites.)

Four Seasons Lazy River Waterfall Four Seasons Pool seating Four Seasons Adult Pool Cabana

The hotel has a full-service spa and fitness center, as well as a beautiful late check-out lounge that allows use of the showers and bathrooms in the spa. The top 3 floors of the hotel are under construction, and amenities such as a teen club, retail stores, 2 restaurants and a golf course are not yet open.

The hotel has a Disney Planning Center manned by Disney cast members. The cast members can help with tickets, reservations, or any other Disney needs. The hotel offers luxury motor coach service to the four parks. There are two bus routes. One goes to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. The other bus route goes to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. They each leave once an hour but are staggered so that one bus leaves the hotel every 30 minutes. Disney does package delivery to the Four Seasons. Staying at the Four Seasons does not, however, qualify guests for Extra Magic Hours, 60-day FastPass+ reservations, or use of Magical Express from the airport.

Four Seasons Spa Waiting RoomFour Seasons Gym Four Seasons lawn

The Four Seasons is not a resort for everyone. This is definitely a splurge for those who plan to spend time and enjoy the resort. If you enjoy the Disney Deluxe resorts and want an upgrade in service, give the Four Seasons a chance.

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

4 thoughts on “The Four Seasons Orlando (Part 1)

  • October 6, 2014 at 11:26 am
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    Sounds like an amazing “bucket list” resort experience! Can’t wait to hear more – especially about the dining at the resort.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2014 at 11:53 am
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    Thanks for an excellent post Steve. I’ve been eyeing this resort (but keep returning the familiar Grand since I didn’t know enough to risk a whole vacation). I’m wondering if the Four Seasons felt like you were in the “Disney bubble” or if it just felt like a great resort with Disney touches? Things like the background music, cast members saying ‘hello princess’ to my daughter, and cartoons playing on the lobby tv are little touches that make us feel like it’s another world. Does the Four Seasons provide that feeling? Thx!

    Reply
    • October 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm
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      The Four Seasons is its own bubble. I’ve found the Disney deluxe hotels to feel massive and impersonal. The Four Seasons is calm and relaxing; no cartoons playing in the lobby. The employees were very polite and often called us by name. The staff interacted with our children, and I would not be surprised if your daughter would get a ‘hello princess.’ (My daughter always hated being call a princess. When she was 4, she told a cast member “I’m not a princess; I’m Rachel!”)

      Reply
  • October 7, 2014 at 10:08 am
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    Okay, I’m convinced!! I just rebooked our stay in June to add two days at the Four Seasons. Love this post, and looking forward to Part 2!

    Reply

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