Category Archives: Disney Vacation Club

Best Day Ever! (Animal Kingdom In 1 Day)

Wrapping up the “Best Day Ever, Disney in 1 Day” series, today I am focusing on doing Animal Kingdom in a day.  Animal Kingdom combines my two favorite loves (aside from my family), and that is : animals and Disney.  Animal Kingdom also has some AHHHHMAZING food!  With the 2017 addition of the new Pandora- World of Avatar, things just got even better in the jungle!  Get ready for a swingin safari….here is Animal Kingdom in 1 Day.

But first…..Flight Time!

Without a doubt, Flights of Passage has become the #1 most coveted ride in all of Disney World.  Getting a FastPass+ for this ride isn’t a mere suggestion, it is a definite if you want to be able to ride this possibly more than once.  If you were fortunate to be able to score a FastPass+ for this ride, you have a couple of choices.  You can head straight for Flights of Passage as soon as the park opens (so that you will get at least 2 rides in throughout the course of your day), or, you may choose the Na’vi River Journey as your first choice and then hop in the standby line for Flights of Passage.  Either way, this is definitely a ride that you will want to do multiple times and the best time to catch it is early in the morning before the crowds hit.

Safari then Sweets

One of my favorite things about Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris.  I love the oversized jeep ride, the open air feel, seeing the animals move in their own spaces.  I love how close you are able to get to (some) of the animals.  You feel as if you are truly in another country, which is what Disney does best.  I suggest doing this early in the morning because that is when the animals are moving around the most.  You can also do this later in the day.  I have been on the safari during lunch hours, and that is “typically” when the animals are resting and not as active.

After doing all of this, you will definitely need some morning fuel to push through until lunch.  Why not take a pause for some sweets?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments:  Chocolate Waffle Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream 
  • Restaurantosaurus:  Warm Chocolate Turtle Brownie 
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant:  Fried Wontons or Sorbet
  • Zuri’s Sweets Shop: Cake Pops, Animal Cookies, Fudge, and several other delicious choices.  

Expedition Ahead!

After getting a little morning fuel, you have enough time and energy to trek ahead and do another ride before stopping for lunch.  This could be a great time to do the popular Expedition Everest, home of the Yeti!  This was a family favorite due to the climb, the view, the yeti, and the way in which you travel forwards and backwards.  Amazing experience.  We had alot of fun screaming out of my crew when we did this!  The “best” time to ride this is in the evening.  You can definitely try it during this time, and the best way to do this would be as a single rider  Then, head back later in the evening to do it again, maybe using a FastPass+ for it.

If time allows, you could sneak in one more ride before lunch.  I would suggest DINOSAUR.

Buffet with Buddies

Time for lunch, and what better way than to eat with some of your favorite Disney characters?  I suggest Tusker House.  It has delicous buffet style food and you get to see some familiar safari friends as you dine.  Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will make their way to your table, sign your autograph books, pose for photos, and just look so darn cute you won’t want them to leave.

It’s Showtime!

After lunch, the crowds tend to be pretty thick and it is definitely at its warmest time of the day.  One of the best ways to spend this time of day is by weaving in and out of the heat.  Watch a show, do a ride, then repeat.  Here is my suggested list of things to do during these hours:

  • Festival of the Lion King (one of my favorite shows ever!)
  • Finding Nemo- The Musical
  • Use your FastPass+ for Flights of Passage as a possiblility here
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Kali River Rapids (you will NEED a poncho for this ride!!!!)
  • Meet Disney Pals

Dinnertime Delight

By now, you have had a fun filled day, experienced things on so many glorious levels, but you will definitely need some down time to enjoy more of the fantastic food offerings that Animal Kingdom has.

If you chose Tusker House for lunch, a great supper meal would be Tiffins.  It boasts one of the best restaurants in all of Disney World.  Another option is Yak & Yeti Restaurant       (we love their Pork Pot Stickers) or Flame Tree BBQ.

Nighttime Novelties

Your first stop should be the Tree of Life Awakenings. The famous “Tree of Life” (as seen in my photo above) lights up in glorious beauty by the use of amazing animal projections.  Head over to the Rivers of Light Nighttime experience where guests can enjoy the beauty and magic of nature coming to life.

If you are able to experience the Extra Magic Hours, then you definitely want to head back over and try Flights of Passage…again.  You could even try to squeeze in the beautiful nighttime version of Expedition Everest.  Rides are so different at night, with everything you can see.

There you have it!  A “Best Day Ever” event for one day at Animal Kingdom.  Don’t forget to contact me to plan your Best Day Ever, whether it be at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, a stay at Aulani, or jetting off on Adventures by Disney.  I can also make your dreams come true at Universal Studios in Orlando.  Find me at:  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com or visit my website at www.magical-vacations.com/debbie.lands  See ya soon, pals!

True Love’s Kiss

Since today is my wedding anniversary, I thought I would take this time to talk about how wonderful it can be to do Disney with people in love.  You see, this photo was taken last year, as my husband and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary.  He was gracious enough to indulge me in a weekend getaway, just the two of us.  We had never done Disney without our kids before, so I knew that not only this was going to be a romantic journey for us, but it would also give me a chance to show my sweetie the adult side of Disney.

We used our DVC points and stayed at the Beach Club Villas for this short stay.  It was beyond perfect for us, although we were literally minutes away from missing our flight TO Disney! That’s a memory that is funny now…..but back then…..stressful!

We took an early-bird flight so we could arrive in Orlando at 10am.  We skipped the Magical Express and decided to splurge and use Tiffany Towncar for a personal ride to the villas.  It was an added expense, but our trip was so short that we didn’t want to lose a single minute.  So, after our very short drive, we were checked-in immediately, received our “Happy Anniversary” buttons and headed for Epcot.

We spent the entire day there, hitting the rides I thought he would love (Soarin, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space), and honestly, doing the things I thought he would enjoy most, “Drinks Around the World”.  There was no rush, no hustle.  Just the two of us, hand in hand, gliding our way around the countries, remembering why we loved each other so much, and realizing how vital “adult time” really is in a relationship.

The weather was wonderful, beautiful during the day, and so chilly at night that we had to buy jackets!  We went back to the room to get ready for dinner, ate supper at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, and then headed to the DVC lounge at Bay Lake Tower for drinks and to watch the fireworks from the amazing balcony.  Nothing felt better than watching those with my love, even though I was shivering!  We were cold and thought it was time to call it a night, but before we left, we rode the monorail over to the Polynesian so I could get my favorite Disney dessert, a Dole Whip!  After that, we headed back to the Beach Club, and we “thought” we were done for the night,  when we decided differently.  We again, realized, it’s just the two of us, so let’s enjoy this night for as long as we can.

We went for a walk around the property, and strolled around, hand in hand, over to the Boardwalk resort.  We spent three hours walking outside together, and literally, saw no one until we got to the Boardwalk.  Once there, we got a bite to eat, and headed back “home”.

The next morning, we slept in, had breakfast together, snuck in one more adult drink before heading back to Epcot for short stroll.  We bought the kids some souvenirs, and by the time we ate lunch,  it was time to catch the Magical Express so we could fly back home.  It was only two days together, one full day and a half at the parks, but it felt like it was a week together.  We needed that for us, and we vowed to always make time like this for each other.

It made my husband appreciate Disney in a different way. It can be exhausting at times when you are traveling with your whole family.  But this time, this trip, with just the two of us….it was magical….and definitely something we will do again this year.

If this sounds like something you and your sweetheart would love to do, please feel free to visit my website to get a custom quote www.magical-vacations/debbie.lands  or email me at debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com.  See ya soon pal!

I Wan’na Be Like You-uuu

One of my favorite things to talk about with Disney are the great opportunities to interact with characters.  We have been very fortunate to have the chance to have ALOT of character meet & greet’s over the years, and it has not only been on the “to do” list for my children, but also for me as well.  I love seeing the excitement in their eyes as their on screen characters come to life.

I can not call this a “top” character meet & greet, because we have yet to run into a character that we didn’t love.  For now, let’s just say these have been our top so far……  Let’s start with my featured image:

Joy and Sadness (Epcot):  They.  Were.  Amazing.  The time they spent with my children, the way they moved around them.  Joy was literally hopping and dancing everywhere, and Sadness told my son she adored him simply because he wore glasses, just like her.  When we left our meet and greet, they both fell to their knees in a “we’re not worthy” kind of manner” and left us all giggling for hours afterwards.  I get the best feeling when I tell the stories about our time with them.  They devoted great time to us, so much, that they earned a compliment card from us.

Sorcerer Mickey (Hollywood Studios):  The area that we met him in was truly something “Fantasmic”.  Mickey seemed truly larger than life during this character meet and greet.  Maybe it was because we came in out of a torrential downpour to see him.  Or maybe it was just the Pixie Dust that we felt had been spread over us.  Either way, Mickey was great about spending time with us and we loved meeting him.

Cinderella and Tiana (Magic Kingdom): Both of these princesses were true to their character!  They carried on conversations with us as if we were their best friends.  Cinderella talked to my son until he was practically floating away on a cloud, and even called him her “Prince Charming”.  Tiana talked to us about her mother and how we know she’s the best cook in all of N’Orleans!  She was magical, graceful, and beautiful.  When we mentioned how we would see her at her Riverboat Dessert party the following day, she told us all about how Naveen would be there too.  We loved these ladies.

Rafiki (Animal Kingdom):  Oh how we loved Rafiki!  He took mutiple pictures with our kiddos and we just loved how he signed their autograph books.  Very engaging and definitely worth our time!

O’hana Breakfast Characters (Polynesian Resort): Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Pluto:  Maybe it was the food, or maybe it was the music.  Maybe it was the dance line.  But when these characters came around to see us at our tables, they laughed with us, did sign language, signed autograph books, and interacted with our kiddos in the perfect way.  The perfect way to start our day.

Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Daisy:  Again, tremendous food, followed by characters who weaved their way into our hearts.  Daisy flirted and hugged on our boys, and Mickey was just as sweet as he could be.  Donald and Goofy played around and signed autographs, and we all were full of smiles.

Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom) and Akershus (Epcot): Divine meals while being surrounded by the princesses.  They spent so much time with us and we had opportunities for real conversations with them.  It didn’t feel rushed at all and was definitely worth the time and money, especially being inside the castle .

This is my list of our top character meet and greets.  For your opportunity to do this and more, please visit my website:  www.magical-vacations.com/debbie.lands or feel free to email me at: debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com to get your vacation planning started.  Remember that my custom quotes are free, along with all of my services.  All of our resort packages come with a complimentary Minnie Box.  Let’s create some magic today!

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

You can’t help but want to sing the lyrics when you are at Disney and you hear this famous song.  You even believe it, “my, oh, my what a wonderful day!”.  So, what exactly makes a great day at Disney?  Loved ones being there to share in the day with you, of course.  Spreading some “pixie dust” for others (good deeds such as letting someone have your spot in line, giving someone something that is special to you, or simply helping someone who is lost).  I like to find as many of these opportunities to spread some pixie dust as possible, not only because it’s good for my children to see so they know how to act as adults, but also, maybe your good deed will change the course of someone’s day for the better.

Another way of making a great day at Disney is getting to indulge in some of your favorites.  Keep in mind, these are MY personal favorites, and while I know there are some amazing things I will be leaving off of this list, I have to keep it fairly short.  So…with that being said, I’m going to list my top five things to do at each park, according to my taste.  Kind of a “if I only had one day at Disney, what would you suggest?” post.

Magic Kingdom Favorites

This is REALLY hard.  I have SO many things I could put on this list.  But, when I think of Magic Kingdom, these things come to mind:

  1.  Peter Pan’s Flight:  This ride just comes to mind when I think of Magic Kingdom.  The wait is ALWAYS long, and you will do yourself a huge favor if you are able to get a fastpass for this ride.  Hop aboard a magical ship that takes you through the famous movie scenes and truly feel as if “you can fly”.
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean:  Another ride that SMELLS and FEELS like you are truly in the movie.  The water, the darkness, the smell of the sea….admist a backdrop of magnificent ships and Captain Jack Sparrow.  This is a ride that we go on again and again.  Some days we have needed a fastpass, and others, we have been able to go right in.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!
  3. Dine like a Princess at Be Our Guest AND Cinderella’s Royal Table:  BOG is more budget friendly and you can sample “the grey stuff (it’s delicious!)”.  Snag a breakfast or lunch dining option for Quick Service, or choose a Dinner serving time for Table Service and a chance to see “The Beast”.  Or, if you are more into all of the Princesses and dining at “THE” castle at Magic Kingdom, then make your advanced dining reservations (ADR’s) at the 180 day mark out from your trip to ensure you are able to snag this coveted character table experience.  Even my youngest son loved this dining opportunity.  We had our meal at 7:20, and it ended just as the fireworks began at night.  As we left, we had nowhere to go except the front row for prime fireworks seating!  What a bonus!
  4. Main Street, USA:  What I love about this is that it is supposed to mimic Walt Disney’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri (my home state!).  The architecture, the shops, the quaint cafe’s and ice cream parlors all scream of days gone by and truly make you yearn for simpler times.  It is a beautiful glimpse into where he grew up and of a time that can only be re-imagined with the dreams of someone like Mr. Disney.
  5. Splash Mountain:  Without a doubt, this ride is worth your time.  One thing my family and I commented on was how long this ride was prior to the actual uphill climb towards the thrilling descent.  Lots of crazy characters that really take you back in time, to the movie “Song of the South” with the famous Br’er Rabbit.

BONUS;   Dumbo, while it typically doesn’t require a fastpass, is also one of my favorites, especially at night, for you to see all the beautiful lights at Magic Kingdom.  Finally, while you are at Magic Kingdom, you need to stop by and try their famous Dole Whips!  A refreshing pineapple creamy treat that I look forward to each trip! Finally, you MUST stay for the “Happily Ever After” fireworks special, as mentioned above!

Epcot Favorites

For me, Epcot is equally as hard.  I have always struggled between which park is my favorite, not that I have to choose, but Epcot is also a park in which I could spend two to three days of my trip just wandering around and enjoying all of the experiences that it has to offer.  With that being said…..here are my personal favorites.

  1.  Soarin:  I could ride this over and over and over again.  The sights of some of the world’s most iconic locations, the hang gliding feel of the ride, the gigantic screen, the music, and we can’t forget the smells that go along with each “stop” you make on the voyage.  You feel you are truly there.  Fastpasses are suggested for this ride, although if you get there early in the day, you could hop on.
  2. Test Track:  In the words of my son, “I’m so going to drive like this someday!”.  Test Track allows you to “build” a car, design the best features possible for not only a safe ride, but also a very fast ride.  Your car will go on multiple “tests” prior to being out in the open for the ride of your life.  This ride was simply amazing.  Fastpasses are suggested for this ride as well.
  3. Spaceship Earth:  Getting to go inside the iconic feature of Epcot, the enormous geosphere (referred to by many as a “giant golf ball”), is amazing.  I have never needed a fastpass for this ride.  Spaceship Earth takes a little jaunt through our civilization and how communication has transformed over time.
  4. The Seas with Nemo and Friends:  If you love the movie, you will love the ride.  A fastpass is typically not needed for this ride.  Journey through the seas as you go on a search for Nemo.  You truly feel that you are taking a dive!
  5. Frozen Ever After:  I must begin this with telling you that a fastpass will definitely be required for this encounter.  Even if you aren’t a fan of the movie, you will enjoy this ride.  Take a ride through Norway with some cool Audio Animatronic figures and songs and let the ride show you how “cool” being frozen can be.

BONUS  You must stay for the IllumiNations fireworks spectacular.  Also…..The. Food.  That is all.  It’s amazing.  Sample some from as many countries as your stomach can tolerate!  Finally, the countries themselves are their own attractions.  There isn’t just one that I can say we loved the most.  But one example is that while in Morocco, my daughter got some amazing henna drawn on her hand that lasted well beyond our trip.  Epcot is simply amazing.

Hollywood Studios Favorites

There is so much that I love about Hollywood Studios.  I loved walking in and seeing the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  There are currently alot of changes going on at Hollywood Studios, and this post could very well be edited with some new favorites after our next trip this spring.  Let me hop into what my favorites were up to our last trip in 2017.

  1.  Fantasmic:  It helps to snag a fastpass for this epic firework extravaganza.  Sit down and enjoy this show that includes Mickey Mouse, fireworks, boats, ships, FIRE, and glorious scenes from dozens of Disney classic films.  There are live characters blended in with the digital projections, all taking you in and reminding you of why you love Disney so much.
  2.  Toy Story Mania:  Grab a fastpass for this ride, or arrive early to hop to this one.  Toy Story Mania is a 3D Based “game” in which you compete with the person sitting next to you to get the most points by going through several Toy Story themed rooms.  Very cute, VERY fun, and definitely worth your time.
  3. Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage: Lots of singing and dancing, in this condensed version of the movie.  Fastpasses are optional, but not usually needed.  Sit back and enjoy the songs of Beauty and the Beast, watch the characters in motion, and feel as if you have watched the entire movie all over again.
  4. MuppetVision 3D:  This may have been my son AND my husband’s favorite attraction at Hollywood Studios.  They are both HUGE Muppets fans (cmon, who doesn’t love “Kermie”).  There are bits of Muppet-type humor woven in throughout the pre-show and main feature, and it leaves you feeling a little nostalgic for the days when the Muppets were at the height of their popularity.  A fantastic attraction for the kid in you.
  5. Star Tours:  The Adventure Continues:  Calling all Star Wars fans….this ride is a MUST!  Super exciting fun and adventure awaits on this motion simulator ride.  The ride is one big adrenaline rush as you are on a fast paced track with lots of dips and swerves and turns through the Star Wars locations.  Definitely grab a fastpass for this adventure!

BONUS:  Twilight Zone Tower of Terror….My daughter and sweet friend Katie LOVED it and I know it deserves to be on this list. Jump onboard as you manuever through the Twilight Zone in this free fall thrill ride.    Also, if you have time, watch the stage show Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  It’s a nice little adventure with Ariel and friends.

Animal Kingdom Favorites

Animal Kingdom is in a world of its own.  To me, it’s a park where you really start to feel you are in another world, miles away from civilization.  Give Animal Kingdom a chance to show you all that it has to offer.  You won’t regret it!

  1.  Kilimanjaro Safari’s:  You will need a fastpass to catch this trek.  It is simply amazing, how you feel you have been transformed into the jungle.  Something only Disney can design.  The live animals, the glorious waterfalls, the “bumpy” ride that feels like you are really riding on a real safari adventure.  Remember, most animals are usually alert and active early in the morning or right before sunset.  Try to get your fastpass for those times!
  2. Avatar Flight of Passage:  The new “it” ride at AK.  Climb on the back of a banshee (which you can even feel “breathing”), and soar and glide your way through Pandora.  You will experience smells and sights like no other and the wind and water from the ocean.  Needing a fastpass isn’t even a question…it’s a must!
  3. Expedition Everest:  Amazing to see at night, where you can see all the lights that Animal Kingdom has to offer.  Expedition Everest is an amazing thrill ride that goes forwards, backwards, and you encounter a Yeti that can frighten even the toughest of people!  Hold on tight during this ride!  Fastpasses recommended, unless you can grab a spot early in the morning at park opening.
  4. Kali River Rapids:  Remember how I advised on bringing ponchos for the Florida showers that pop up out of nowhere?  You also need those ponchos for this ride unless you want to leave drenched (like my husband was!).  You never know when you will get soaked on this ride, but it’s inevitable, it will happen.  Journey through the rainforest and ruins on this whitewater rapids ride.  Try to book it for later in your day, so you don’t take the chance of being soaked for the rest of your afternoon.  Lockers are available for storage and highly recommended.  You could even sneak in a dry set of clothes.
  5. Festival of the Lion King:  This. Show.  I don’t know that there is a better show at Disney.  Acrobats, fire, animals, singers, themed costumes and larger than life characters make this a stand out performance.  I was simply in awe throughout this show.  Do it.

BONUSIt’s Tough to Be a Bug:  The cast of A Bug’s Life takes you through an interactive and educational story on insect.   Finding Nemo:  The Musical is a condensed version of the movie but so worth it.  A great mix of live actors simulating the glorious characters from the movie make you feel that you are right there in the ocean with them.  Extra songs and lots of moments that make you laugh make this show unforgettable.

That’s it!  These are a list of my personal favorites, maybe even some of yours.  If you would like to seek out another adventure at Disney or this stimulates your need to go for the first time, let me help you make that happen!  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

So This Is Love

Can’t you see the look of truly smitten love in his eyes?  Isn’t Alice just a beautiful and glorious girl to look at?  On this day, my sweet boy was exhausted and ready for a swim to help ease his swollen and tired feet.  We had to take off his orthotic shoes and just leave on his SMO’s to help get some air to them, and were about to head back to the monorail when sweet Alice came walking down the lane.  All of the sudden,  her gracious and loving smile and her caring voice as she spoke directly to my son, made him feel like he was floating on a cloud.  Life got just a little sweeter for these few moments.

Love is love, however you want to put a spin on it.  Whether it is through the eyes of an eight year old looking at a beautiful princess that has caught his eye, or through the eyes of his thirty nine year old mother as she is admiring the beautiful flowers that surround their resort.  Love comes in a variety of packages, whether it is bandaging someone’s blisters from walking too much, or riding “It’s a Small World” with your brother, even though you hate it.  Just because he loves it.  Love is taking risks, seeking out adventure.  Love is apologizing and loving someone for exactly who they are.  Love is letting someone have your favorite Dole Whip.  Love is going on the Astro Orbiter with your family (even though you are deathly afraid!!!!) and holding on tight, just to be with your family and show them that you can always tackle your dreams head on.

Love. Is. Love.  I love being with my loves at Disney.

Let me show you how to be with your loves at Disney World or our other Disney locations and adventures.  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com  See you soon pals!

 

You Can Fly

When there’s a smile in your heart, there’s no better time to start                                    Think of all the joy you’ll find, when you leave the world behind                                        And bid your cares goodbye!  You can fly! You can fly!                                                                                                       YOU CAN FLY!”       – You Can Fly- Peter Pan

I love that song, and not because of the movie, but because of the encouragement that it provides when you have a little “faith, trust, and pixie dust” floating around in your life.  Sometimes in life, we are overwhelmed, over-worked, and over-scheduled.  Those were the thoughts from our pastor this week.  He was right.  We spend so much time trying to meet every demand on our calendars, hit every deadline, attend every meeting, practice, concert, and it all becomes too much.  Stress takes over our ragged bodies, and we begin to deflate a little each time it happens.

But if you are wise, and turn your thoughts to something “lighter” when you are upset, things can begin to look up.  This photo for instance, was not one that I originally planned.  But as we were waiting in line for Peter Pan’s Flight, I caught a glimpse of these two, side by side, enjoying a loving moment together, holding onto each other’s hands and “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” about the scenes from the movie.  Gabe’s legs were pretty wore out from the day, and we had to park his wheelchair and walk just a bit to this ride.  It wasn’t bad, but a little longer than we had anticipated.  Syd knew he needed a hug and some love, and instantly, he was back to giggling and having a good time.  It also just happened to be at the spot in line, where your shadow is cast along the wall.  I knew, I needed to get my camera out, because I wanted to remember this moment forever.  A glimpse at this photo, gives me a glimpse at what I live for:  my family.  At the end of the day, no matter what meeting was attended, what game was played, what plans were made, my family is everything to me, and they are the reason that I want to better my life.  They are the reason I know I have been blessed, and they are the reason why, no matter what happens, I have to just smile and be grateful for all I have been given.  When my life bucket “feels” empty, I know it is something I have done to myself, but also within myself, I can think about the ones I love, and suddenly, my life bucket is full, overflowing.  Amazing how one photo can remind you of everything you live for.  They give me my wings, and they allow me to fly.

I have been very fortunate to have a family who supports my dreams, and who knows that without their love, I would be able to make it, but I wouldn’t be as fulfilled.  Love gives us wings we didn’t realize we had.  Just like in Peter Pan, they believed in themselves and each other, and that faith allowed them to fly.

We do Disney because of that feeling, the way we believe in each other, and how we support each other’s dreams.  Disney allows us to “never grow up”, to relive moments that we loved as children, and to explore our passions while being together as a family.  I would love to give you the same experiences that I have shared with my family.  Let’s create some magic together, and find out where our wings can take us:  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com

 

Bare Necessities

Deciding on where to stay during your trip to Walt Disney World can be a huge decision.  Even just deciding what type of resort to stay in can be a huge choice to make!

While I have discussed resorts before, I haven’t gone into great detail about the types of resorts and what to expect.  In this next section, I will go into some detail about what to expect from each level, the resorts in each one, and some key features about each tier.

Value Resorts

Let’s jump in with our Value resorts first.  All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, Pop Century, and Art of Animation are the five resorts in this category.  Here are some key features about this category of resort:

  • Fun, bright, kid-friendly, whimsical theme with large icons
  • Motel type rooms that open to outside corridors
  • Food courts and pizza delivery available, but no Table Service restaurants
  • Themed pools that do not include water slides
  • Large, spread out layout, which can mean a lot of walking to rooms and dining
  • Bus transportation only to all parks and Disney Springs (and only 1 internal bus stop)
  • 260 sq. ft. rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king bed
  • Most budget friendly of all of the categories
  • Art of Animation has themed suites and rooms can be around 575 sq. ft.

Moderate Resorts

The Moderate resorts are Caribbean BeachCoronado SpringsPort Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside are the four resorts in this category.  Here are some key features about this category of resort:

  • Beautifully themed with lush landscaping
  • Rooms that open to outside corridors
  • Table Service restaurants (except at Port Orleans French Quarter), food courts and pizza delivery available
  • A main feature pool with a water slide and other quiet pools
  • Large, spread out layout, can mean more walking to dining but not as far to buses
  • Multiple options for on-site recreation
  • Bus transportation to all parks and Disney Springs (and many internal bus stops, except at French Quarter).
  • Boat transportation to Disney Springs is also available at Riverside and French Quarter.
  • 314 sq. ft. rooms (340 sq. ft. at Caribbean Beach Resort) with 2 queen beds or 1 king bed
  • Riverside and Caribbean Beach can accommodate families of up to 5
  • Themed rooms available at Riverside ((Royal Guest rooms) and Caribbean Beach Resorts (Pirate rooms).
  • Coronado Springs offers Junior, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom suites.
  • Middle of the road as far as expense for a room budget

Deluxe Resorts

The Deluxe resorts are Animal Kingdom LodgeBeach ClubBoardWalk InnContemporaryGrand FloridianPolynesianWilderness Lodge and Yacht Club are the eight resorts in this category.  Here are some key features about this category of resort:

  • Beautiful, unique, impeccable theming with elaborate lobbies and gift shops
  • Rooms that open to inside corridors
  • Table Service restaurants (including 1 upscale option) and Quick Service, but no food courts
  • A main feature pool with a water slide and other quiet pools.  Some even Adults Only
  • Non-bus access to at least 1 park (except Animal Kingdom Lodge which always uses buses)
  • On-site gyms, salons, and valet parking available
  • Amenities are similar to a nicer chain of hotels
  • Each resort offers a full slate of hotel services
  • Direct monorail access from the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary
  • Direct boat access from Wilderness Lodge

Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts/ Disney Vacation Club Resorts

The Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, sometimes referred to as the Disney Vacation Club Resorts, are:  Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, Villas at Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Saratoga Springs. All ten resorts are sold as timeshares through Disney Vacation Club (DVC), but you can also rent the units directly through Disney’s reservation system, just like you would a hotel room

Theming is on par with the Deluxe resorts.  These resorts will also be located in the same area, just in different buildings.  So, if you are staying in the DVC at the Polynesian, you will still check in like you normally would for a vacation at the Poynesian.  Your building assignment will just be in a different area.

Rooms for DVC are as follows:

  • Studios:  sleep up to five and include a mini fridge and a microwave, along with some disposable plates/utensils.
  • 1 and 2 Bedroom Villa: 1 (sleep 4-5) and 2 (sleep 8-9) Bedroom Villas have full kitchens with pots and pans, including a living room.  Most have a whirlpool tub in the master bathroom
  • Treehouses:  at Saratoga Springs, have 3 bedrooms and sleep 9
  • Bungalows: at the Polynesian, have 2 bedrooms and sleep 8
  • Cabins: at Wilderness Lodge, have 2 bedrooms and sleep 8
  • 3 Bedroom Grand Villas: at Animal Kingdom Villas, Bay Lake Tower, BoardWalk Villas, Villas at Grand Floridian, Copper Creek Villas, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs can sleep up to 12.

Fort Wilderness Cabins/Campsites

The last of our categories are the cabins and campsites.  Here is a brief overview of how they work:

Campsites are divided into three categories:  Partial, Full, or Preferred.

  • Partial Hookup (electricity and water provided),
  • Full Hookup (electricity, water and sewer provided)
  • Preferred (electricity, water, sewer and cable TV hookups, plus a more prime location). Each site has a picnic table and charcoal grill. Most sites feel secluded because there are trees and bushes between sites.

Cabins provide their own type of theming and offer boat transportation to Magic Kingdom.

  • One bedroom with a double bed and bunk beds
  • Murphy Bed in the living room
  • Full Kitchen with all basic cooking utensils, pots, pans, and dishes

 

There you have it!  Here is your complete list of resort categories.  Let’s create some magic together for 2018!  Contact me today to plan your dream getaway!  debbie.lands@magical-vacations.com