Just before the Great Recession, a British developer took $200 million of other people’s money, began constructing a massive 900-room lakeside resort on 106 acres by a conservation area west of Disney—and then fled the country. It sat grimly half-built for 7 years, a white elephant in the swamp, but finally the saga has a happy ending. In 2018, new owners finished and expanded it, and now it’s a full-service moderate resort that isn’t quite luxurious but is still a value for money. Guest quarters here are huge comfortable apartments, each with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, tub, and screened-in balcony; even the smallest are 975 sq. ft. To sweeten the pot, the grounds face a small Old Florida lake (only electric or human-powered boats, available for rent, are allowed, and so is fishing). Families are also drawn to the small private water park, separate from the adult pools, with a little slide tower and lazy river. Don’t let the Winter Garden address scare you; I’ve timed it, and the drive to Disney’s gate on Western Way via backroads is 7 minutes. In fact, the semirural location sets it apart from competitors, like a resort oasis in a wide wilderness of green. Resort fee warning: $35–45/night.
The Grove Resort and Water Park Orlando
14501 Grove Resort Ave., Winter Garden
Our Rating Neighborhood west of Walt Disney World Phone 877/890-7932 , 407/545-7500 Prices 1-bedroom units from $233; 2-bedroom units from $249; 3-bedroom units from $469; 4-night stay may be required. Lake view with distant Disney fireworks view about $65 more. Parking $18/night. Resort fee $35/night (1- and 2-bedrooms), $45/night (3-bedrooms) Amenities Restaurant; water park with 2 slides, FlowRider, and lazy river; 3 pools; 2 pool bars with grills; cocktail lounge; fishing; electric boats; coffee bar and sundries shop; 24-hr. fitness center; free local and toll-free calls; business center; free standard-speed Wi-Fi Units 1,170 units Web site The Grove Resort & Water Park Orlando
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.