Facts about Disney Hotels

The Walt Disney World Hotels are broken into 3 brackets, the Values, the Moderates, and the Deluxe. Here are some facts about each category:

 

The Values are the most budget friendly hotels on property, and there are 5 of them; All Star Music, All Star Movies, All Star Sports, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. The value resorts are bright with large icons around, and are mainly geared towards kids. They have Themed pools but no water slides, and they have food courts but no table service restaurants.

There are currently 5 Moderate resorts on property; Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. They have more elaborate landscaping and have a more “grown up” feel. They each have A main feature pool with a water slide and other quiet pools, as well as on site recreation options. All except the French Quarter contain a table service restaurant, and they all have a food court as well. Riverside and Caribbean Beach accommodate families of up to 5 while the others go up to 4. There are also themed rooms available at Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resorts

The Deluxe are the most high end resorts on property and there are 8 of them; Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Contemporary Resort , Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. The deluxe resorts have beautiful and well decorated theming, with elaborate lobbies and gift shops. They all include Table Service restaurants (including 1 upscale option) and Quick Service, but no food courts. They all contain a main feature pool with a water slide and other quiet pools, and have on-site gyms, salons, and valet parking available. Most offer other transportation options other than a bus to get around property, and most accommodate up to 5 people.

 

 

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10 Reasons to do the Disney College Program

  1. It’s a paid internship/experience
  2. It looks awesome on a resume. Disney is a very well respected fortune 500 company, so it’s awesome to have that name on your resume.
  3. You get in the parks for free. And isn’t that all you could ever want?
  4. Disney provides housing and transportation so you don’t have to worry about that while you’re there.
  5. You get to meet and make friends with people from all over the world. There is a Disney International Program that runs and operates very similarly to the Disney College program, so you can make friends with people from all over the world.
  6. You get to be a part of creating the magic!
  7. You will learn a lot about yourself.
  8. You can get college credit for the experience.
  9. You make lifelong friends.
  10. It’s an experience of a lifetime.

 

What are you waiting for, go apply!

5 Things You Might Not Know About Walt Disney World

  1. Just outside of Orlando WDW was the second resort created by the Walt Disney Company. Walt purchased the large amount of land under different aliases, and ended up with about 43,000 Acers of land. Most of that is still undeveloped leaving lots of room still for expansion. When Disneyland was announced hotels and businesses immediately started popping up around it, leaving them no possibility for expansion, and no sort of separation from the outside world. Walt wanted to change that with his next park, hence why “the Florida project” was kept a secret for a long time, until he had purchased most of the Florida marsh land that is now where the Walt Disney Resort stands.

 

  1. Today Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited tourist destination in the world.

 

  1. Walt died on December 15th, 1966, before the park ever opened. His brother Roy headed the project after he died, and he decided the park would be named “Walt Disney World” in Walt’s honor. Roy said, “Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here.”

 

  1. There is a hotel suite inside of Cinderella’s castle that you can win to stay in at random.

 

  1. 15 miles south of Disney World is the Disney Wilderness Preserve, which is a 12,000 acre wetlands mitigation project that Disney company bought to provide funds for restoration and wildlife monitoring in order to offset the lands impacted by the development of Walt Disney World.

5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Holiday Trip

With the holidays around the corner, right now is a very busy time at the Walt Disney World Resort. With the large crowds come long lines, so here are some tips to help make the most out of your holiday trip.

 

  1. Book Fastpasses Ahead of time. Preferably as soon as the 60-day window opens, so you can be sure to be able to ride the rides you want to go on.
  2. Keep track of line wait times on the My Disney Experience app.
  3. Take advantage of extra magic hours, especially in the morning. Be there for rope drop! The first hour or two that the park is open, the lines are the shortest, so you want to take advantage of this time.
  4. Know the show and parade schedules. There are a lot of cool holiday specific shows and parades that you will want to take advantage of seeing.
  5. Avoid park hopping on busy days. You will spend a large amount of time in travel when you could be spending the time in the parks. Also the parks could reach capacity during your travel time.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Christmas is in full swing at Walt Disney World, they even taped their Christmas morning parade this past week. After Halloween Walt Disney World switches over to their Christmas decorations, and with that also comes the end of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and the beginning of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year runs certain dates from November 9th-December 22nd. The party is structured a lot like the Halloween party (which you can read about here); with tickets you purchase to attend the event. There are additional characters you can meet with, that you normally can’t. For example, a popular one is Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, who is dressed in his “Sandy Claws” costume. There are also dance parties throughout the party, so you can dance with your favorite characters. Much like how trick or treating takes place at the Halloween party, at the Christmas party there are stations with hot chocolate and cookies! In addition to the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies there are also some fun holiday treats that can be purchased throughout the park. Visit Disney Parks blog to read; Foodie Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party here.

There’s added entertainment as well, such as Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Stage Show, which takes place in front of the castle with mickey and his friends, and is definitely a fun one. In Tomorrowland there’s also a Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show with the characters often located in Tomorrowland, like stitch and buzz. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is always loads of un and packed with characters dressed for winter and the holiday season. They even make it snow on Main Street, which is probably the only time you’ll see in snow in Florida! Much like the Halloween party, they have a holiday version of wishes, which is definitely a highlight of the event.

 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a fun event with unique experiences that you should definitely look into attending.

10 Things to do at Disney World Without a Park Ticket

Walt Disney World Resort has a lot to offer, even without a park ticket. Here are 10 things to do without a park ticket.

 

Go Resort Hopping – each resort is unique and different, and imagineers worked tirelessly to make sure every little detail followed the resorts theme, so this is definitely a fun thing to do.

Disney Springs – As I mentioned in my “Doing Disney World as an Adult” Blog, there is a lot to explore and do here.  Disney Springs has tons of restaurants and shops, as well as various performers.  You can also see a movie at the AMC, go Bowling at Splitsville, or go to a Cirque du Soleil show, all located on the west side.

Dining – There are lots of fun restaurants not located at the parks. Check out some of the resort restaurants! See my blog about table service restaurants here.

Campfire Sing Along with Chip ‘n’ Dale – takes place some nights at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.

Children’s Activities – The children’s activities cast at each resort has a lot of fun activities open to everyone, and at night they show a movie under the stars.

Check out the Boardwalk – sometimes with love entertainment/street performers, the boardwalk can be a fun, relaxing place to check out. There are also some restaurants located on the boardwalk as well.

Check out rentals – There are surrey bike rentals at resorts like the Boardwalk, Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, and Port Orleans-Riverside. Or you can rent things like jet ski’s at the contemporary resort. There are even activities like tubing and parasailing there as well. Things like canoes and boats can also be rented at Fort Wilderness Campground. It’s definitely worth checking out Disney’s sports and recreation site here.

Have a spa day – check out one of the Disney spas.

Golfing (Mini and Real) – There are two themed mini golf courses at Walt Disney World that can be fun to check out. There are also 4 full sized golf courses for you golf enthusiasts. Check out the Walt Disney World Golf Blog here.

Fort Wilderness Recreation – Fort Wilderness campsite offers a variety of recreation activities like, archery, horseback riding, and wagon rides. This is in addition to the boat rentals mentioned above.

 

As you can see there is a lot of activities and experiences to take advantage of on your next trip.

Doing Disney World as an Adult

“Adults are only grown up kids, anyway.” –Walt Disney

Walt Disney World is for people of all ages, not just children. Here are some tips for your adult’s only Disney trip!

 

Hotels – Often one of the first questions is “where should I stay?” While some resorts, especially the Value Resorts, are designed with kids in mind, such as Art of Animation or the All Star Resorts, there are definitely ones with a more “adult” feel. Some of these include The Grand Floridian, The Boardwalk, The Contemporary, and Coronado Springs.

Take Advantage of Late Night Park Hours – Whether it is extra magic hours or not, the later you stay the less people, especially children will be in the park. If this is a major concern for you I would definitely take advantage of those. Also, with less people in the park there will be shorter lines which is something to take advantage of.

EPCOT World Showcase – You’ve probably been wondering when I would bring this up. Drinking around the world showcase is a pretty well known activity that is part of any adult Disney trip. If you aren’t into drinking around the showcase, you can also just enjoy the walk around experiencing the different countries. Many of the world showcase cast members in each country are actually from the country they are working in, so it can be fun to go into some of the shops and just talk to the cast members if learning more about the country interests you. Lastly, There are lots of wonderful restaurants in the world showcase as well.

The Boardwalk – The boardwalk is a fun place to enjoy with a few restaurants and sometimes there are street performers. Additionally there is a piano bar, Jellyrolls, located on the boardwalk, which is something fun to enjoy.

Spa’s – If you are looking for a way to unwind and relax, some of the resorts like Grand Floridian, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club, Coronado Springs, and Animal Kingdom Lodge offer spa treatments. If this interests you it is something you should definitely check out the Disney site here. Also, here is one bloggers opinion on the best Disney spa’s.

Disney Springs – Disney Springs has a lot of restaurants and shops to offer, making it a really enjoyable place to explore. Additionally at night there’s often live entertainments to watch.

 

There’s always something for everyone at Disney, so don’t hold back booking your adult trip!

 

 

 

6 WDW Table Service Restaurants You Won’t Want to Miss

Walt Disney World offers a variety of unique themed dining options throughout property, which for the most part are split into two categories: quick service and table service. Quick service restaurants are often cafeteria or counter service type venues that offer fast service, where as the table service are structured more like a sit down restaurant. Table service restaurants can take reservations, however, how necessary it is to create a reservation is highly determined by the restaurant itself and the time of year. Character meals (when characters come to your table and do meet and greets) fall under the category of table service, however, not all table service restaurants have characters, so if you are looking to dine with certain characters make sure to check out your options and book in advance. There are many good dining options at Walt Disney World, each offering a unique experience, so you are sure to find the right one for you. Here are 6 of my personal favorite table service restaurants at WDW.

 

  1. Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant is located in Magic Kingdom in New Fantasyland. It opened in 2012 in conjunction with the opening of New Fantasyland. Nearly 5 years after its opening, it is still the most desired reservation in Disney World. Be our guest is a table service restaurant for dinner and a quick service restaurant for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is located inside of the Beast’s castle and you dine in one of three themed rooms based off the movie: the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing, and the Rose Gallery. Also after your meal you are given the opportunity to meet the Beast. If you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, like myself, this is a reservation you defiantly want to book!

 

  1. ‘Ohana

‘Ohana is located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort Hotel, and is a fun family style character meal with lilo and stitch. This is the best and easiest place to meet lilo and stitch, so if you’re a fan I would highly suggest booking this reservation!

 

  1. 50’s Prime Time Café

50’s Primetime Café is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is a fun flashback to the 50’s. Its menu specializes in comfort food made “just like mom”. The whole restaurant is themed to look like a 1950’s home, and the waiters/waitresses treat you like immediate family ready to bring you a home cooked meal. They will be quick to remind you of manners like not to put your elbows on the table. They will also make sure you eat ALL your vegetables before you get your dessert, and tell you to clear your plate so you can join the “clean plate club” and receive a sticker. It’s a completely different dining experience than you can get anywhere else, its tons of fun, and probably my favorite restaurant on property. Pro tip: I was hesitant at first about the peanut butter and jelly milkshake, but I finally gave in and tried it, and it’s fantastic.

 

  1. Cinderella’s Royal Table

If you want to eat it the castle, this is your opportunity! Located inside of Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table is a favorite for princess lovers. The dinning room contains large stained glass windows overlooking Fantasyland, and large flags and tapestries. It is also character dining, with several princesses visiting your table throughout the course of your meal.

 

  1. The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace is located in Magic Kingdom and is a bright character meal venue, giving you the chance to meet the characters from Winnie the Pooh. This is a fun one, and offers a huge buffet that everyone will enjoy.

 

  1. Chef Mickey’s

Last, but certainly not least is one that is fun any time of day. Chef Mickey’s is a character meal located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel. Being at the Contemporary it is fairly easy to get to from anywhere on property, by bus or monorail. Chef Mickey’s is a buffet style meal that is accompanied by the fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto). Given that it’s a meal with the fab 5, it is a reservation that is in high demand.

 

 

Those are some of my favorite table service restaurants, let me know what your favorite table service restaurant is!

 

Read Disney Food Blog’s 56 Must-Read Disney Dining Secrets Here.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it was time to talk about my favorite Halloween party, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

 

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) takes place in Magic Kingdom certain nights that this year run from August 25th – November 1st. You need to buy a special ticket to get into the event, and they will give you a wristband when you enter the park. MNSSHP begins at 7pm, however you may get into the park at 4pm, assuming you are using the event ticket as your park entrance ticket as well. If you are in Magic Kingdom on days of the party and you are not attending the party, the park closes at 7pm.

That’s all great, but what do you do at MNSSHP, right? Well for starters there are special characters that you can only see during the party, the most popular being Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. However, because of their popularity, I would suggest getting in line to meet them early, like, before the party even begins at 7pm, because you don’t want to spend your whole time in line! In addition to the special meet and greets, they have more special entertainment at the party as well. Their stage show at the castle, known as, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is one of these additions. It’s a fun musical show in front of the castle that features a variety of Disney villains, starring the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus, who throw the “best evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard.” One of my favorite Disney parades takes place during the event, Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade. Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade is fun because it contains your favorite characters in their Halloween costumes. There are floats dedicated to villains, and there is even an appearance from the headless horseman! Lastly in the entertainment side of things is the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, which they show instead of the traditional nighttime show. There is even a HalloWishes Dessert Party (for an extra fee) that takes place at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and allows great viewing for the fireworks show.

Aside from all the additional entertainment, there still more fun to be had at the party. Trick-or-Treating is a popular activity, with locations all around the park you can defiantly get your fair share of candy to bring home! There are also special treats that can be purchased on party nights that are Halloween themed, as well as party merchandise.

 

In all this is a crazy fun party that should defiantly not be missed in my opinion. It is popular and enjoyable for kids and adults alike!

 

For more MNSSHP tips click here

For more information on the party click here

 

EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival

Fall is a popular time at Walt Disney World Resort, and one of the popular events is EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. Here’s some info and tips to make the most out of this event!

 

Food and Wine began in EPCOT in 1995 making this their 22nd year of the Festival. It takes place around the EPCOT world showcase and includes kiosks that sell food and drinks from different countries around the world. Traditionally the EPCOT world showcase has 11 pavilions themed to represent different countries all located around the showcase lagoon, where EPCOT’s nighttime show, Illuminations, takes place. About 1.2 miles around, the showcase contains Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada pavilions.

This year the festival will run from August 31st through November 13th, and will have 35 kiosks, in honor of EPCOT’s 35th Anniversary that was on October 1st. Guests have the ability to try food and drinks from places like Spain, Africa, Belgium, Australia, Brazil, Greece, India, New Zealand, Scotland, and many more. Guests can pick up a Food and Wine passport that contains the list of things offered, but you can also get stamped as you make your way through the event!

Food and Drinks at the kiosk locations are made in small portions so that guests can try more things throughout the event. Also, I’ve found that sharing different things with other people will allow you to try more without getting sick or breaking the bank! View Disney Tourist Blog for tips for drinking around the world at the event.

The world showcase opens at 11 and it’s a good idea to get there right when it opens. The later in the day, especially on weekends, the more and more crowded the world showcase becomes, the lines get longer, and people get drunker. Remember to pace yourself whether you are eating or drinking your way through the festival. Additionally Florida is very hot and humid, so be sure to take breaks in the AC.

Throughout the event there are lots of seminars and demonstrations offered which can be interesting to check out, as well as premium special events, which sell out long in advanced. These seminars are commonly unknown to the average guest, and may be something to check out if it interests you. Additionally there are bands and entertainment scheduled throughout the event, so it can always be fun to check out that schedule. You can view this years schedule here.

 

In conclusion, EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival is fun and enjoyable, offering a unique experience to explore different cultures and cuisines without leaving the confines of a 1.2 mile loop. I would highly recommend attending Food and Wine!

 

View the full menus for the event here.