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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Lake Buena Vista

Lake Buena Vista holidays

Stints amid the lush greenery composing Lake Buena Vista offer a tranquil side to getaways in this part of Florida. You'll be far enough away to lose yourself beside the pool, but close enough to the theme parks – Florida holidays here can go from zero to Disney in a matter of seconds.

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Your Disney home base

Lake Buena Vista isn't just the premier home base for Florida's famous theme parks – its marshy surroundings and peaceful lakes make it a holiday destination in its own right. Buena Vista does mean 'good view' in Spanish, after all.

That said, Lake Buena Vista is a top spot for those looking for family holidays to Florida just outside of the area's theme parks. It's the official address for the Walt Disney World Resort, and each of the six theme parks – two waterparks included – are never more than a 20-minute drive away. Hotels here are distant enough to act as their own little oases, while still being just within reach of all this sunny Florida destination has to offer.

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A network of parks

If you're heading for a holiday in Lake Buena Vista, chances are you're familiar with this area's array of theme parks. The parks, shopping, dining and entertainment options of the Walt Disney World Resort are right at your doorstep, so staying in Lake Buena Vista will keep you well in the action.

The six, wildly varied parks will ensure no two days on your Lake Buena Vista holiday look the same. Epcot is for tasting worldly destinations while Hollywood Studios takes you inside glitz and glamour. The Animal Kingdom gets you up close and personal with very real wildlife, and the Magic Kingdom is for all things princesses and Mickey Mouse.

But Lake Buena Vista activities aren't just reserved for Disney. Universal Resort Orlando is even closer at just 15 minutes away. That's where you'll find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, high-flying roller coasters and behind the scenes looks with kids' favourite animated characters.

Marshland lakes

Lake Buena Vista is a small body of water surrounded by patches of lush green, broken up by many a high rise hotel. When you aren't spending your days at the parks, the landscape of Lake Buena Vista is the ultimate backdrop for unwinding.

On one side of the lake is the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, another branch of Disney. There, you'll find an 18-hole course that has played host to a number of big-time golf events.

American bites and sips

Restaurants and nightlife opportunities in Lake Buena Vista are largely limited to your hotel or the nearby theme parks, unless you're looking to branch out within the wider Orlando area. This isn't to say there aren't enough options to keep you occupied throughout your stay though – the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort are privy to hundreds of restaurants and dining kiosks.

The restaurants at Disney Springs stay open well after dark, along with the sights and sounds of the restaurants-turned-bars in Downtown Disney. That's where you'll find live music, too. Classic American chains are available widely in surrounding Orlando, plus you'll find more than a hundred dining spots along International Drive.

Outlet shopping

It'll come as no surprise that the theme parks are packed to the gills with souvenir shops, so you can expect to leave with a suitcase full of Disney or Harry Potter-themed goodies. Disney Springs is also renowned for its huge selection of shops, whose specialities range from designer brands to wine, sweets to toys like Lego and your favourite Disney characters.

Also located less than a 15-minute drive away are the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. Serious steals are to be found at these big brand stores, whose names include Armani, Coach, Kate Spade and Prada.

Get around for free

Because the theme parks are such a massive draw among holidaymakers staying in Lake Buena Vista, most hotels offer complimentary shuttle services to and from attractions within the Walt Disney World Resort and the Universal Resort Orlando.

In addition to this, many hotel packages include car hire. Taking advantage of this service will allow you to explore Lake Buena Vista and surrounding areas like greater Orlando, Kissimmee and International Drive at your own pace.