Photo Credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5
On our last stay at Walt Disney World, I went to check in to our room at Disney’s All Star Music Resort. I had paperwork in hand as I approached the online check-in counter. We were booked for a preferred room using my annual pass discount. When originally booking the stay, my husband was not coming along. However, now that he was with my son and me, I requested that we move to a moderate room, if available. He enjoys the moderate accommodations better so I was hopeful that we could upgrade.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Resorts, Travel Reports, Travel Tips, Vacation Tagged All Stars Music, customer service, Meet the Magic, Meetthemagic.com, Preferred Room, Standard Room, Value Resort, Walt Disney World
As you may recall, last week I discussed our state room aboard the Disney Dream and how nice our space was in the inside state room. When planning to go aboard the Disney Dream, my son and I had done a bit of research by looking at much of the data on the Disney Cruise Line’s site. During our research, I had found that there would be no irons in the room. Therefore, when packing, I was sure to pack clothes that would not wrinkle or would fold in such a way that the item would look wearable without actual use of an iron. For whatever reason, this proved to be a real challenge.
Photo credit: NDM #118
In the last few days Disney has applied for permits for adding a large building to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The building would be wedged north of the wedding pavilion and south of the existing resort buildings. To make room for the new property, the existing tennis courts would be removed. This would allow room for a parking lot for the new space.
Aboard the Disney Dream, my family stayed in an inside state room. We were very excited to see our room aboard the Disney Dream! I had reviewed the information carefully, including the blue prints of the room and available photos. I was so ready to see it in person! Of course, the Dream was only a bit over a month old, meaning the room would be extremely clean!
When we walked in the room, I was greatly pleased with all of the furnishings. The walls were wood paneling, making the space feel warm and inviting. The bed was white with a blue throw draped over the side. The throw and the red pillow atop the bed were adorned with the Disney cruise emblems. The bed was a queen-sized bed and included side tables and overhead lamps. Beside each side of the bed were light switches for the bedside lamps. Also on one side of the bed was a switch for the virtual porthole. I flipped on the switch and impatiently waited to see the virtual porthole appear. We saw a view of Port Canaveral from a camera located along the outside of the Dream. We kept the porthole “on” during the day and “off” when going to sleep. The visual helped us to see when we were at port or away at sea. We only saw a few characters, as they appear only a few times an hour.
My husband, my son (age 5) and I (Natalie H of Meet the Magic) just returned from our vacation aboard the Disney Dream. Following our fun there, we headed over to Disney World for a few night’s stay at the All Star Movies Resort. My son and I had previously stayed in the All Star Movies in the Toy Story building located right beside the main building back in September 2010. The room was very nice and very convenient. With this in mind, I booked this location for our stay after our Disney Dream fun.
Photo credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5
Amenities! These are typically what makes a resort one of your favorites! This review of the amenities is broken down per Resort Level as follows:
1. Campsite – All campsites are found at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. In addition to rooms in the Campsite Resort Level, you will also find that the Fort Wilderness has rooms at the Moderate Resort Level. As such, the amenities found for this least expensive Resort Level are great for the price!
Posted in Disney Reviews, Resorts Tagged Accommodations, Amenity, Deluxe Resorts, Disney Vacation Club, Meet the Magic, Moderate Resorts, Natalie H., Resort Room Level, Value Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort
Photo credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5
Beginning last week, our teacher, Natalie H from http://MeetTheMagic.com, began our lesson on Disney Room Levels by getting an understanding of Resort Seasons and room location. You may remember that these two variables help determine the room rate per night. You can attend this lesson by clicking here.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Resorts Tagged Campsite, Concierge, Deluxe Resorts, Disney Vacation Club, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Hotel, Meet the Magic, Moderate Resorts, Natalie H., Square foot, The Walt Disney Company, Value Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort
Photo credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5
The Walt Disney Resort includes 24 resorts! To get an understanding of how Disney prices their rooms, consider the following Resort Level lesson:
Each of the Disney Resorts is included in a Resort Level. The Resort Levels include the following: Campsite, Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Disney Vacation Club (DVC). These Levels denote the differences in price ranges to be expected, accommodation room types, and amenity differences. For each Level, room rates vary based on the season of travel and the location of the actual room.
This week, I finish out our discussions of the Dinner Shows. As you may recall, in the previous weeks, I have discussed the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show and the Spirit of Aloha Luau Dinner Show. These shows are located at Fort Wilderness and the Polynesian Resort, respectively.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Fitness, Recreation, Resorts Tagged Barbecue, Coleslaw, Dinner, Dinner Show, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Mickey Mouse, mickey's backyard barbecue, MinnieMouse, Polynesian Resort, Walt Disney World
As you may recall, I challenged you two weeks ago to guess my favorite “thing” to do at Walt Disney World. The “thing” was at a resort and had nothing to do with the traditional resort fun: the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review Dinner Show! Going along with this same theme, I would like to discuss with you today the Polynesian Resort’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.
The Basics: The show is located in Luau Cove at the Polynesian Resort. As you may know, the Polynesian Resort is a monorail loop resort, thus making getting to the show much easier than getting to the Hoop-Dee-Doo! While most do take the monorail to get to the resort, additional transportation may be found by way of Disney bus. The dinner show appetizers include Pineapple-Coconut Bread, Mixed Greens with Mango Poppy Seed Dressing, and Sweet Golden Pineapple. The main course includes BBQ Pork Ribs, Roasted Chicken, Rice and Seasoned Vegetables. But be sure to save room for the Kilauea Volcano Delight. (Since I don’t even remember the dessert, I must not have saved room.) Many of the drinks are included such as certain beers, wines, and sodas. However, a full bar is also available.
Last week, you may remember how I discussed my favorite “thing” to do at a Walt Disney Resort. The “thing” was not swimming, cycling, or fishing. And, as you can see from the title, my “thing” is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review Dinner Show!
I first went to this Dinner Show because after traveling to Disney World so many times, I felt I should give more time to activities outside the parks. It just so happened I had also booked a vacation with free dining! What better opportunity to experience this Show than by using the free dining points?
The basics: Hoop-Dee-Doo is located in Pioneer Hall at the Fort Wilderness Campground. The Dinner Show includes a menu of salad, corn bread, cowboy beans, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, and strawberry shortcake. Drinks include a list of wines, beers, and sodas. Visitors can see the show 3 times nightly at 5:00, 7:15 and 9:30 PM. All shows last approximately 2 hours.
Walt Disney World resorts have so many amenities to help guests enjoy spending time at the resorts. For example, at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, guests are invited to rent a bicycle. Guests of Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter can be treated to a slow moving ride by way of horse drawn carriage.
Two weeks ago, you may recall that I mentioned that I rented points for our stay at Saratoga Springs from a DVC owner. The price for the point rental for the room was much less at $700 for the 5 nights versus the cost of over $1800 if we booked through Disney.com with an annual pass discount for the same room type, days, etc! Last week, I detailed the accommodations found in the Studio rooms at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. Today, I wanted to give you some insight into my family’s personal review of the DVC rental at Saratoga Springs.
Last week, you may recall that I discussed renting points for a stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs. My family stayed for 5 nights in a Studio there at Saratoga Springs. This resort is one of Disney’s Vacation Club properties with 6 sections—The Springs, The Paddock, Congress Park, The Carousel, The Grandstand and the Treehouse Villas. The accommodations include those that meet the needs of one visitor in a studio to the needs of a family traveling with up to 12 guests. The grounds cover 65 acres and is located in the Downtown Disney area. In fact, Downtown Disney is an easy walk from the Congress Park section!
I am not a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) owner. I have always wanted to stay in a DVC property but have found the Disney prices for the DVC resorts to be unattainable. I had frequently priced out staying at various DVC properties but could not justify the costs.
In recent months, I had read that some people rent points in order to afford staying in these rooms. I am always looking for ways to save money, yet have the Disney vacation of my dreams. As a result, I found a board that had members of DVC that were renting out their points. I had never frequented the boards prior to this, so do not feel that you must be a “board regular” to rent using the boards. I emailed the owner of the requested number of points needed after doing some research on the accommodations I wanted to request: I found online “calculators” that helped me determine the number of points I would need for the days of travel for the defined accommodations.
Posted in Disney Reviews, Disney Vacation Club, Finance, Lifestyle, Resorts, Travel Reports Tagged Disney Vacation Club, Disney World, Disney's Saratoga Springs Rep, DVC, DVC Member, DVC point rental, Walt Disney World Resorts
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and I am sure that all of you want to place your requests with the man himself: Santa Claus! So did you know that you can NO LONGER find him in the Disney Resorts?! In past years, you could find him in each of the Resorts for photos, requests, and hugs. After many searches on the Internet for information on this year’s Santa Claus Resort schedule, I turned up NOTHING!
Feeling defeated, I decided to call Disney World’s reservation line. The nice cast member checked and checked her database and also found nothing. Not to be discouraged, she called a supervisor who informed her that Santa was rather tired this year and was not able to visit all of the Resorts.
photo credit: Dennis Brown
The Grand Floridian is an absolutely beautiful Disney Resort! The Resort opened on June 28, 1988 as the Grand Floridian Beach Resort and was renamed Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in the fall of 1997. There are 867 rooms among the six buildings. The rooms are spacious averaging around 400 square feet per room. For those families needing extra space, a room is situated to accommodate up to 5 guests.
As I vacation on my trips to Walt Disney World, I notice how much paper is given to me. First, upon check in at any of the Walt Disney Resorts, I am given a HUGE packet of various brochures detailing the park hours, park maps, resort map, resort activities and on and on. Going to the resorts so often, I usually ask that they just keep them for the next guest as I really will not be browsing all of the documents. I always feel a bit ungrateful when I ask that they just keep their packet they were presenting me, but, at home, I make attempts to recycle and do not want to be wasteful while on vacation.
Last week I discussed the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground’s accommodations in detail. This week, I would like to discuss what a visitor could do at this resort even if they’re not staying there!
The Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground can easily be accessed from the Magic Kingdom by boat. Guests staying at other Disney Resorts should travel to the Magic Kingdom and take this boat to Fort Wilderness or take a bus to the Resort from Downtown Disney or a Disney theme park. Guests should know that this Resort includes an internal bus system that transports guests from the front to the back of the Resort.
As you may remember in my previous article, A Resort for Every Season, I mentioned that I thought a great Disney resort for the Fall would be the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The resort opened back in 1971 and is located in the Magic Kingdom Resort area. As visitors enter the resort, they are engulfed in 750 wooded acres of lush pine and cypress trees. Immediately, I feel I have left Disney World and entered the great outdoors!