When you think of Orlando you probably think of Disney World (and maybe Universal). And when you think of Disney World a couple things probably come to mind right away, and the nighttime fireworks are likely one of those things.
If you are in the Parks, there are all kinds of places to see the spectaculars that light up the sky. If you aren’t in the Parks, or just want to escape the crowds, it’s a little more complicated. Capa, atop the Four Seasons, is a go-to destination for great food and drink, stunning views of the area and skyline, and a wonderful perch to see the fireworks.
However, Illume at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek is making it’s mark on the rooftop firework viewing scene.
I recently visited for the first time, and noticed they are stepping up their game with more waitstaff to ensure a seamless experience, food specials, and a better stocked bar. The food menu is relatively small and mostly Asian inspired with sushi featured heavily. I do hope they continue to expand food options but the beautiful sushi rolls are always a hit, as are the shrimp tempura and soup, though it’s not exactly easy to eat soup in a lounge setting, such as all the outdoor seating at Illume.
Their signature cocktails are quite tasty, in particular the Magritte’s Pipe, prepared tableside. But they also make a mean spicy margarita.
Though the inside is definitely gorgeous and has nice views, you definitely want to sit outside. The sweeping ninth floor deck allows you to catch glimpses of Orlando from all angles. You can spot Disney buildings, with the Epcot ball as an anchor in the sky, Disney Springs, including the balloon, as well as many other Orlando landmarks such as the rides at Icon Park.
The sunset views are pretty unreal as well. It’s such a pleasure to watch as the sun goes down and the sky changes colors. You can see stars and sometimes the moon, depending on where and when it’s rising and setting and its phase. The place is so open and the view is far more expansive than Capa, which is one of the best reasons to visit Illume.
When it’s time for the fireworks, they aren’t as close as at Capa, but they are still magical and worth watching. Right now, both Epcot and Magic Kingdom are at 9 pm, so they appear next to each other from Illume, though not from Capa. This was an incredibly cool and unique experience to be able to see both shows at the same time.
Whether you are visiting Orlando or are a local, Illume is a must visit for a classy, chill night out, with views that are beyond compare. I’ve had three awesome evenings there, and I look forward to many more.