Celebration is a small town located south west of Orlando. It was created in the 1990s by the Walt Disney Company. Today it is separate from Disney’s operations and it’s just an awesome little town to hang out in. The homes and buildings are of an early 20th century architectural style, so it is easy to still see Disney’s influence.
Celebration’s downtown is situated on the picturesque Lake Rianhard.
We love visiting Celebration. Compared to other areas of Orlando it has a more quiet, relaxed vibe with less people. Whether it’s just somewhere to go for lunch somewhere to stay for a weekend Celebration has a lot to offer.
Being close to Disney, there are plenty of places to stay around Celebration. In the heart of downtown Celebration there is the Bohemian Hotel by Marriott. This hotel is right on the lake and is easy walking distance to everything in downtown, so it’s a convenient location. As you walk around the lake the hotel is visible from all points. The building is stylish, and has a lot of character.
From the very first time we visited Celebration, Danielle said how much she wanted to visit and stay there. We recently stayed there for her birthday and had a room overlooking the lake. The inside of the hotel is laid out consistently with all the high fashion eclectic character that you see from the outside.
The furniture is stylish and comfortable and there is a gallery in the hallway. The foyer is open and shared with a restaurant and bar. The restaurant extends to an outdoor eating area overlooking the lake. Just around the corner from the outdoor dining area is the pool. The pool here is quite small but it is adequate for a quick dip.
If you are after a more modern style hotel and don’t mind being a bit further out of town, you might prefer the Melia Orlando Suite Hotel.
We booked this hotel for about $100 through Orbitz when we were visiting Orlando for Cirque du Soleil. It is less than 2 miles from downtown Celebration. We enjoyed running into town and around the lake in the morning.
Melia really excels when it comes to the swimming pool area. There is a large courtyard in the center of this hotel largely taken up by the swimming pool which is in a horseshoe shape. There are plenty of lounges and even a ping pong table along with poolside waiting service if you want to drink or eat snacks.
Both hotels have their own restaurants. There are also a number of great food options in town.
Some of the places we’ve tried are…
Italian – Cafe D’Antonio
Mexican – Avocado Mexican Grill
American & Seafood – Celebration Town Tavern
I would say the Italian was my favorite – but I do always love my pasta! I would go back to all of them though, their food was great.
You’ll also find a pizza shop a Thai restaurant, and a couple of other options in town as well. Although we did go inside the Thai restaurant, we didn’t get service. We ended up leaving after 15 minutes.
If you don’t have your fill at the restaurants, there are a couple of snack options afterwards so you might want to try out.
Kilwins Ice Cream
Kilwin’s, located near the old theatre, always has some great ice cream. I personally love getting an ice cream cone and then eating it while walking around the lake and enjoying the calm night atmosphere.
Cookie Dough Shop
If you’re up to something a little different than ice cream there’s also a cookie dough shop in town. That’s right cookie dough! They have a range of different flavours that you can choose from and you eat it raw!
I was initially really excited about this when I first tried it, but I got a little too excited. Let’s say I bit off more than I could chew. If you go here, I recommend just getting a small amount as it is very rich and may make you feel queasy if you eat too much.
Well we typically use Celebration as a base for other activities around Orlando such as going to the theater at the Dr. Phillips Center, or seeing Cirque du Soleil, there is also a lot to do around town.
Christmas in Celebration
At Christmas time every year, residents in Celebration decorate their homes with lights. It’s fun to park the car and just walk around town, seeing how people decorate their homes. I’d suggest taking the kiddos for a nice night light stroll.
Downtown, they also have machines that make it snow along with music which has a great festive atmosphere.
Wildlife walk around Lake Rianhard
I love just taking a little stroll around the lake. At the right time of year you’ll see plenty of animals.
We have seen alligators, birds, turtles, squirrels, and a bunch of other fauna. There are places to sit and just relax and take in the view.
Food Truck Friday’s
On a Friday night in Lakeside Park you’ll find a range of food trucks. This could be another Dining option for you or just a place to grab a snack and enjoy the atmosphere.
Sunday Farmers Market
On Sunday mornings there is a farmers market in the main street. Here you’ll find anything from fresh produce, arts and crafts as well as other odds and ends.
Celebration also has other events throughout the year. One weekend we were there they had a car show in town. It’s definitely worth checking the calendar to see what’s coming up.
Whether you were just looking for a place to relax for the weekend or a base to use to visit the theme parks or take part in activities in Orlando, Celebration is a great place to visit. It’s also a good way to avoid the crowds in the other parts of Orlando.