With temperatures still hovering in the freezing zone, for most of the country at least, a trip down to Florida sounds downright dreamy. Add on the new activities and attractions at Disney World (celebrating 40 years in 2013 and with a brand, spanking new Fantasyland to boot) and Orlando becomes a great weekend getaway. Here's what to pack first.
When walking around Epcot, go for comfort first, and for style second. These sporty silver mesh sneakers (particularly smart for humid days) by Superga ($84.95) nail both requirements. From there, build upwards, with these navy cotton double-weave shorts ($165), which will work better for rides than a skirt. On top, layer a Florida orange-colored tank ($15.95) underneath an open-stitch white sweater ($29.99). Stash everything, including a pair of sunnies ($98 by Banana Republic) in this long-strap bag to keep your hands free ($258 by Marc by Marc Jacobs). If you feel like a fun Mickey-themed splurge, sub in these quirky Mickey Mouse sunglasses by designer Jeremy Scott for Linda Farrow ($465). Keeping with the theme, this Mickey Mouse hat silver necklace is just the right blend of grown-up and light-hearted fun ($30).
With mild temperatures year-round, Orlando is ideal sundress weather. We like this one in a gorgeous blue print (the hue is deep enough to wear for fall in colder climates) ($198.50 by Club Monaco). For an in-between season shoe, this brown oxford pump has airy cut-outs on the sides ($178) while keeping toes covered. To get more wears out of your travel wardrobe, accessorize with simple, classic shapes like this envelope clutch in sprightly aqua snakeskin ($185) and this affordable set of stack rings ($58).
Daytime in Fantasyland
Vintage Disney characters make for cool, playful shirts, like this Donald Duck tee in green ($26.99). Pair with light gray shorts with a sleek tab front closure ($69.50) and these lightweight dyed mesh sneakers in orange ($100). For the Florida sun, bring along a pair of aviator sunglasses, like this well-crafted style by Garrett Leight ($285). And keep the playful vibe going with a sleek cube print iPhone case by Pierre Hardy ($95).
It's casual just about everywhere in Orlando, including the city's hipper restaurants like The Rusty Spoon. Try a pint of Monk in the Trunk, a Florida-brewed beer, while wearing this floral print short-sleeve button-down (a tongue-in-cheek riff on the classic vacation shirt) by Saturdays NYC ($108). Add these slim canvas pants in a khaki ($44.95), and white and blue canvas sneaker that's fantastically lightweight and machine-washable ($60 by Tretorn). Lastly, if you feel like turning up your outfit a notch, this Louis Vuitton black and gray Damier bracelet goes with just about everything and won't completely break the bank ($205).
Where to Stay
For good eats, the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is tough to beat. It houses the hot restaurant Deep Blu Seafood Grille helmed by buzzy chef Cory York. For golf enthusiasts, the 482-acre Waldorf-Astoria Golf Club is a stone's throw away. The fees are slightly higher for outside guests, but think of the bundle you'll save on room rates. The Waldorf also has a fabulous 24,000 sq. ft on-site spa, where for $20 you can chill out in the steam room, Jacuzzi, and tea lounge, and free luxury motorcoach service to Disney World.
For families with funds to spare, the Walt Disney Wilderness Lodge has great 2-bedroom villas. The nightly rates are certainly pricy (from $830 a night) but it can sleep up to 8 people and includes a washer-dryer, convenient for longer stays.
And if being close to nature is more your thing, head to the campsites and cabins at the Disney Fort Wilderness resort and campsite. There are RV hook-ups and premium tent sites starting from $54 a night. Cabins that sleep 6 go for $450. The accommodations might not be as luxurious as a top hotel, but there are the amazing grounds, all 750+ acres of cypress and pine trees, to keep you enchanted and occupied.
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